ANNAPOLIS ROYAL - If you were wondering where the country now called Canada started, drive down Nova Scotia’s Highway 101 and follow the signs to Exit 22 at Lequille and onward to Annapolis Royal.
Signs erected on Oct. 31 show a stylized aerial view of Annapolis Royal, Fort Anne, the waterfront, and the North Mountain. Beneath the image is text that says ‘Cradle of Our Nation.’
Annapolis Royal Mayor Bill MacDonald viewed the sign west of the Lequille exit early the next morning after the large sign was put in place by the Department of Transportation. There’s another sign east of the exit.
“Like most proposals, projects, and enhancements involving the Town of Annapolis Royal, our new highway signs are the culmination of hours of often impassioned discussion and debate by committees and councils, coming together in this case with inspiration from an archival photo of Fort Anne National Historic Site and our waterfront townscape - and an unparalleled history of settlement making Annapolis Royal the cradle of our nation,” said MacDonald.
The sign underlines the fact that nearby Port-Royal was the first permanent European settlement in Canada in 1605, a claim contested earlier this year in a CBC documentary ‘Canada: The Story of Us’ that gave that distinction to Quebec several years later.
All of the Town of Annapolis Royal’s Marketing and Economic Development Committee was involved but in addition to them, the ‘highway sign committee’ was specifically Holly Sanford, Alan Melanson, Amy Barr, and Jane Nicholson.
The design company was Steven Slipp Design Inc. from Wolfville.