Population: 135,974 | Celtic Influence
The island of Cape Breton along the coast of Nova Scotia has changed hands many times throughout its history—native, Portuguese, British, and French—creating a unique blended culture, but the Celtic culture dominates the island today. The island’s name derives from Celtic region of Bretagne in France, and Gaelic is still the first language of many elders on the island. Some of Cape Breton’s first settlers were Irish, and the island welcomed over 50,000 Scottish immigrants in the 1800s. The landscape itself reflects that of Ireland, Scotland, and Brittany, with rocky shores, rolling green farmland, and the Cape Breton Highlands. Drive along the scenic Cabot Trail and explore the coves and islands of Bras d’Or, one of the world’s largest saltwater lakes. Enjoy fresh seafood with a side of Celtic fiddle music, buy a handmade kilt, or check out the Highland Village Museum.