Grand Narrows, Nova Scotia

Grand Narrows, Nova Scotia

Grand Narrows, Nova Scotia

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Grand Narrows (An Caolas Mór)(2001 population 15) is a community in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality in Nova Scotia, Canada. It is at 45°57′24″ N, 60°47′32″ W.

Origin of name

The community is named to describe the wide strait or "Grand Narrows" of Bras d'Or Lake,known as the Barra Strait between it and Iona.


The community came to prominence during the 1880s after the Intercolonial Railway built its line from the Strait of Canso to Sydney, crossing the Barra Strait between Iona and Grand Narrows by a bridge, still in use, which is the longest railway bridge in Nova Scotia.Grand Narrows became a major transshipment point between rail and waterborne passengers and cargo. A hotel was constructed and became a popular resting spot, Canada's first prime minister Sir John A. Macdonald was among its guests.

A passenger and vehicle ferry service was operated by the provincial government across the Barra Strait to Iona until a highway bridge was opened in October 1993. There is but one route of travel through Grand Narrows; a gravel road called "Derby Point" which runs along the shoreline for approximately 3 kilometers. Most of the residences in the tiny community are summer homes for families who are based in industrial Cape Breton.


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