About Polonia in Nova Scotia

Did You Know?

  • The first Polish settlements in Nova Scotia were in Cape Breton – almost 130 years ago. Generations later, the Polish Cape Bretoners are proud of their heritage and proud of their hospitality.
  • People of Polish heritage have put down roots in all parts of Nova Scotia.
  • Many Poles first came to Nova Scotia to work in the steel and mining industries. Their influence has spread to all professions and walks of life.
  • The St. Michael’s Polish Benefit Society (established in 1909, in Whitney Pier) is Nova Scotia’s oldest Polish cultural organization.
  • St. Mary’s Polish Church in Whitney Pier is a designated provincial heritage landmark was established in 1913 and rebuilt in 2015-16 after a tragic fire. It is the only Polish church in Atlantic Canada. 
    st mary's polish church in whitney pier
    St. Mary’s Polish Parish, Whitney Pier, Sydney, NS

    St Mary's Polish Catholic Church 1963
    50th Anniversary celebrations at St. Mary’s Polish Catholic Church in 1963.
  • The Polish Village Hall in Whitney Pier is a designated municipal heritage landmark. It was built in 1949, replacing an earlier hall (c. 1911).
  • A monument in front of Pier 21 in Halifax honours Polish immigrants. It is looked after by the Polish Emigration Memorial Society.
  • During the first Nova Scotia Polish Heritage Month, in September 2020, a monument was unveiled honouring the “Polish Pioneers of Glace Bay”. It sits at the foot of “Polish Hill”, near the site of the former Caledonia Mine.
  • In 2017, Middle St. in Whitney Pier was renamed “Galicia St.” to honour the region that straddles modern-day Poland and Ukraine from where many immigrants came more than a century ago.
  • The Polish communities of Nova Scotia take pride in being warm and welcoming – proud to be part of a multicultural society and inclusive of everyone.

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