Looking west from Port Hastings the south cofferdams for the construction of the Canso Causeway are pictured.

By the summer of 1953, Arthur Langley, Sr. was in his second year of his sixth term as Mayor of the town of Port Hawkesbury (first term began in 1928).

He was 65 years old and had owned and operated the Port Hawkesbury Marine Railway Co. Ltd. in Point Tupper since March of 1923. He was a member of the newly formed Four Counties Development Association serving as first vice president with Leonard O’Neil who was serving as president.

Photos courtesy the Port Hastings Historical Society
On April 1, 1953 work started on the Canso Causeway, starting at Balhache Point in Port Hastings.

In July 1953, Arthur produced a magazine size 14 page informative publication that included many pictures, maps and charts outlining what the Strait of Canso had to offer to potential industry after the completion of the Canso Causeway in 1955. Pictures were of the C.N.R. Ferry Terminal and Yard at Point Tupper, of the Mulgrave C.N.R. terminus and Acadia Fisheries Ltd. There were examples of the work accomplished at his Railway Dry Docks and maps of the Strait and of Richmond County.

Pictured on September 18, 1953, the piles of sand are from Port Hood Beach, and the gravel came from the beach in Troy.

He also included information on depths of water, wharves and nautical mileages from Port Hawkesbury to 70-some locations.

To indicate the mood in the community, a petition to hold a plebiscite to have the town disincorporate and return to the status of an Inverness County village was presented at the June 5, 1953 council meeting. The Wednesday, July 29, 1953 meeting was well attended.

The excavation for the Canso Canal navigation lock is pictured on September 22, 1953.

James Spray said he thought it unwise to have a plebiscite at this time. The completion of the Canso Causeway would determine that status. Either the town would forge ahead, or perhaps due to the Causeway, the population would decrease and thus we would automatically be declared a village. He said perhaps good times were in store with a good harbour and a strategic site

The ratepayers voted 72–14 to retain their present status as a town.

Taken on September 18, 1953, this was the view looking east from Auld’s Cove.

This is the ninth in a series of columns from the Port Hastings Historical Society celebrating the 65th anniversary of the opening of the Canso Causeway, and marking the closure of the Mulgrave ferry.