District 2 has a population of nearly 26,000 residents. A geographically large district, it runs 176 km from its western boundary at Little Salmon River, to its easternmost boundary at Ecum Secum. District 2 encompasses 80 communities made up primarily of expansive rural areas.
Sheet Harbour is a commercial, employment and educational hub for approximately 5,000 residents. Adjacent to the community is the Sheet Harbour Industrial Port, an important regional deep-water port. Today, the port ships wood chips for the pulp industry and imports wind turbine segments that are transported across Nova Scotia and the rest of North America. The community relies heavily on forestry, fishing, and tourism as its main economic drivers, and is home to a public library and the Eastern Shore Memorial Hospital.
Sheet Harbour is also a short drive from Taylor Head Provincial Park, which includes two beaches, hiking trails and campground. The park is open from May-October each year.
The community of East Preston is named after Rev. Richard Preston, a famous African Nova Scotian leader and minister who arrived in the region after escaping slavery in the United States. Today, East Preston remains an important source of African Nova Scotian history and culture, with many of the current residents descendant of Black Loyalists who were relocated to the area by the British following the American Revolutionary War. The local recreation centre and Baptist church play a very important role for many families in the community.
Lawrencetown, a community located just twenty-five minutes away from downtown Halifax, is home to one of Nova Scotia’s most well-known beaches. Lawrencetown Beach is a 1.5km south-facing beach that is world-renowned as a prime destination for surfers. The beach is surrounded by cliffs and wildlife, and features ramped boardwalks, change houses, showers, and toilets, as well as supervised swimming in the summer months. The beach park connects to the larger Cole Harbour-Lawrencetown Coastal Heritage Park System.
The suburban community of Lake Echo, NS, is mostly residential, with several subdivisions built during the 1980s and 1990s. Another important community in the district, Porters Lake, has seen a swell of business in recent years and serves as a shopping district for surrounding communities.
District 2 is also home to a significant portion of the 100 Wild Islands Wilderness Area – a little known but vast and beautiful archipelago of over 100 Wild Islands. It is one of the last remaining intact and ecologically rich island clusters of its size in North America. The islands boast untouched white sand beaches, idyllic sheltered coves, and dramatic, windswept headlands. They also feature unique boreal rainforests, bogs and barrens, and over 250 kilometres of shoreline which have largely been undisturbed by humans for the over 10,000 years. It is home to over 100 species of seabirds, shorebirds, and songbirds.
The district includes the lovely area of Musquodoboit Harbour and its special beach, Martinique Beach, which is the longest sandy beach in Nova Scotia, and home to the adorable (but endangered) Piping Plover. The beautiful new public library and recreation facility adds a boost to the district’s infrastructure.
The district is also home to Clam Harbour Provincial Park, a long, beautiful white sand beach which for the past 35 years has been home to a popular sandcastle and sculpting contest that attracts over 10,000 people every year.