West Hants Regional Municipality is one of 12 rural district municipalities in Nova Scotia, surrounding the historic Community of Windsor and bordering on the Municipalities of East Hants to the east, Halifax to the south, Chester to the south-west and Kings County to the north-west. The former Town of Hantsport joined the Municipality of West Hants on July 1, 2015 and is an integrated community of West Hants. Legislation was enacted in October 2018 which consolidated the Municipality of West Hants with the Town of Windsor, forming one Regional Municipality on April 1, 2020. Regional Municipality will mean “The Region of Windsor and West Hants Municipality” as defined in the Act. The Regional Municipality will be one of several municipalities whose history and present life style are affected by the highest tides in the Minas Basin, predominately by the Avon River system. With an average of 287 days with sunshine, it is the ideal place to enjoy outdoor activities such as walking, hiking, golfing, biking, skiing and boating. The climate supports various agricultural activities, which in turn supports wineries, craft breweries, giant pumpkins, retail landscaping and plant operations, sheep farming, and commercially-grown land- based Atlantic salmon.
The Regional Municipality is a centrally located, thriving and growing collection of communities interspersed with rolling hills, treescapes, and water views. With a travel time of only 35 minutes to the Provincial capital of Halifax, the Stanfield Airport and the centre of the Annapolis Valley, it is an ideal location to live, work, and grow. Its population of 19,016 residents, residing on 1,253.11 square kilometres is dispersed among the former Town of Windsor, the former Town of Hantsport, three Growth Centres, and rural expanses, resulting in a population density of 15.18 persons per square kilometre. Growth Centres are served by central water and/or sewer, and the region has embarked on a project to extend its own fibre optic cable to more rural areas to encourage independent service providers to provide or improve current services. Windsor’s downtown and waterfront have free Wi-Fi access.
The former Town of Windsor is one of the oldest communities in Nova Scotia. It is located at the confluence of the Avon and St. Croix Rivers on land that is acknowledged as Mi’kma’ki, the unceded traditional land of the Mi’kmaq. The French settled in the area in 1685 but were displaced by the English in 1749. In 1750, the English built the Fort Edward Blockhouse, which was a key point for the assembly of Acadians when they were expelled from Nova Scotia in 1755. The Blockhouse is still standing as the last of its kind in North America.
In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when the comfort of a community often depended on the productivity of the land immediately around it, Windsor could be considered blessed, relative to much of Nova Scotia, and prospered as a result. Windsor benefitted from good soils and valued mineral resources that supported an active community.
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