Town of Truro – The commercial heart of Nova Scotia

The thriving town of Truro, Nova Scotia, is a small, 12,000 person community nestled in Colchester County in central Nova Scotia. This is no ordinary small town, as it proudly wears the label of the ‘commercial heart’ of the province. In the recent times of economic uncertainty, many towns in Canada have avoided spending money on infrastructure; Truro, however, has been steadily building its facilities and services in recent years—and has no plans to slow down. A bustling centre of industry, Truro is the location of some major agricultural and manufacturing hubs on the east coast of Canada, and is home to some major components of Canadian business manufacturers. This includes the Tim Horton’s distribution centre, the Sobey’s distribution centre, and Stanfeild’s head office—among many more. So what is propelling this prosperous period for Truro? We spoke with Mayor Bill Mills to find out more.  

The industrial park

The Truro Industrial Park is home to many of the major commercial industries that keep the economy flowing in Truro. The backbone of the town, the industrial sector is the very business that allows other areas—like tourism—to flourish. Since 1985, the Truro Industrial Park has increased the number of businesses to 133 per cent and the number of jobs by 94 per cent. There is a robust job market in Truro, which is impacted by this successful endeavour. Hosting a wide variety of industries and facilities, the Industrial Park has been incremental in keeping the economy steady during the last few years. Mayor Mills notes that because the economy is not dependant on one particular industry—there is variation from textiles, to biotechnology, to manufacturing and more—the entire economy does not rest on the shoulders of a single industry. The successful variation of commerce ensures that the town continues to thrive during times of economic recession.

Daily life in Truro

Other than the economic prosperity of the city, there is another reason business does well in the town: it’s simply a nice place to live. The money generated by the commercial industry has been put back into day-to-day life for the people who live there. Massive infrastructural projects have been underway, including a new 180 million dollar hospital facility, new elementary schools, and a new civic centre which can allow the town to accommodate more trade shows, conferences, and sporting events. There is the landmark Victoria Park, rich with beautiful forests, a popular outdoor swimming pool, and a plethora of community events. There is an open, interactive relationship with the municipality here for both residents and investors alike. Mayor Mills holds open round-table discussions regarding community issues frequently—and is always looking for new ways to help the town prosper.

Future Industrial projects

The quality of life the residents of Truro have come to enjoy are contingent on the continued success of the industrial sector. For this reason, Mayor Mills is always looking for new ideas or projects, in particular what he refers to as “high-impact, low-maintenance” investments. How does Truro find such investments? The trick, according to Mayor Mills, is in the details. “When you look after the small things, the big things tend to look after themselves.” he says. Business is attracted to Truro because it is a well-run, well-maintained location. Truro has a rich history of sustainability, and has operated a water treatment plant, a sewage treatment plant, and a landfill for many years. It is a noticeably clean town, and there are unique community-based initiatives such as the “Litter Patrol”, which employs high school students to help pick up trash. Minor projects such as this, Mills argues, are part and parcel of why commercial businesses continually choose to invest in the town. States Mills, “Perception is reality to a lot of people. Everything is an opportunity.”

The commercial heart with a heart

Truro presents a very comfortable, stress-free location in which to do business. There is a prosperous housing market and consistent job creation, and a skilled workforce who appreciate the business that keeps their town ticking. There are constantly new projects and improvements happening.  Recently, an 800 million dollar grant has been secured, dedicated to revitalizing downtown Truro and giving it a major facelift. This is yet another step in attracting new business. Says Mayor Mills, “The harder we work, the success snowballs.” And he wants businesses to know that Truro is a great location for industry.  “We have sustainability,” notes Mills, “Truro has the capacity to endure.” With a positive economic outlook, and a community who stands behind it—we suspect he is right.