Digby, "The Scallop Capital of The World", is a Canadian town in southwestern Nova Scotia. It is the Administrative centre and largest population centre in Digby County. The town is situated on the western shore of the Annapolis Basin near the entrance to Digby Gut which connects the basin to the Bay of Fundy. Named after Admiral Robert Digby, RN, the town is famous for its scallop fishing fleet and the Princess of Acadia ferry service connecting to Saint John, NB.
Fishing has been an essential economic activity since the town's settlement. Digby's schooner fishery reached its peak in the early 1900s, documented by the famous Canadian historian and photographer Frederick William Wallace. In later years, trawlers, especially those harvesting scallops became the mainstay.
The town is governed by a mayor and six councilors. The offices of Digby County are located immediately adjacent to the town. Digby is represented provincially by the riding of Digby-Annapolis and federally by the riding of West Nova. Numerous provincial and federal services for the county and western Nova Scotia such as the Land Registry, Access Nova Scotia and the Department of Community and Social Services are located in Digby.
Shopping and services
There are two groceries stores located in Digby, both Atlantic Superstore and Sobeys. There is also a Walmart and a Canadian Tire. Downtown has many locally owned shops.
Restaurants include franchises such as two Tim Hortons locations, Dairy Queen, Subway, Pizza Delight, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and McDonald's along with several other locally owned restaurants filling the downtown Water Street area. Most of the locally owned restaurants serve seafood dishes with a high concentration on scallops. Many restaurants close during the winter months due to the slow tourism during that time.
The Digby General Hospital, located on Warwick Street, provides medical care to the residents, including primary care, inpatient, restorative care, ambulatory, day surgery. Although they note on the website they provide emergency care, it is only available when a physician is available. Currently, the DGH is closed most Wednesdays (8 am to 8 pm) and Fridays (8 am to 8 pm). During those periods, patients are redirected to the CEC (collaborative emergency centre) in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia or Yarmouth, Nova Scotia in the case of an emergency.
Tourism has played an important role in Digby during the 20th century beginning with the establishment of railway and steamship links that opened the town and surrounding communities as an-easy-to-reach destination for larger urban centres in eastern North America. A landmark in this industry was the construction of the Digby Pines Resort on the town's outskirts. Built in 1905 and then purchased in 1917 by the Dominion Atlantic Railway, the resort provided a focal point to the local tourism industry with a large expansion in 1927. The Pines attracted notable visitors including early film stra Theda Bara who spent her honemoon there in 1921. Expanded several times since, it was bought by the Government of Nova Scotia after the Dominion Atlantic sold its hotels. About 20 additional motels, Inns and Bed and Breakfast operations are based in Digby making tourism an important employer.