Street Dancing – Le Moine
Le Moine is part of the Acadian Region and includes Grand Etang, St. Joseph du Moine, and Cap Le Moine. These coastal communities are located on Route 19/Cabot Trail and share the same landforms as the Cheticamp area: coastline rising to a generally level or gently rolling landscape before rising into the highlands to about 300400 metres. The exception to this is at Grand Etang, at the area near the bridge connecting Grand Lac with Grand Etang Harbour. Here the land rises almost immediately into relatively steep hills from the harbour. Another
interesting land form typical of the lowlands in the Grand Etang area is the Asinkhole@ which is a dissolved bed of gypsum forming a steep sided depression. Some of these geological anomalies become small lakes or ponds, such as the one to be seen from the highway in Grand Etang.
The attached buildings and the characteristic half hipped
roofs of Le Moine give evidence of the ferocity of the suête, the southeast
winds which comes down from the mountains at speeds of 150 km/hour or greater. At Le Moine, because of the more sparse settlement and the cleared land it is easy to visualize the historic importance of farming. The architecture, as well, is an indicator, with barns attached to houses in many cases, and the variety of other extant outbuildings.
Le Gabriel – Party Time
Le Moines’ mixed economy, proximity to Cheticamp, and the beauty of its coastline
geography account for its varied population. Some families obtain their livelihoods within the community, while others, especially professionals and those in the service industries, travel to Cheticamp to work. Le Moine has a significant number of retirees, many of whom live in apartments in the community. Summer residents make up a portion of the population. The present population is estimated at 700. It is difficult to make an accurate assessment based on census data.
Civic and Social/Cultural Amenities – The Cabot Trail is the main road through Le Moine. Paved and some unpaved roads lead
from the Cabot Trail both toward the mountains and toward the ocean. McGarry Road leads into Inverness County Community Profiles 2003 – the early settlements in the rear of Le Moine. The Bazile Road also leads to these former settlement areas of Le Moine.
Sydney is the nearest major urban area, reached by travelling through Middle River. But
most shopping outside Le Moine is done in Cheticamp. All health services for Le Moine are provided at Cheticamp, 10 minutes away, or possibly at Inverness Town which is about 45 minutes from Le Moine.
Le Moine Country Side
The Cape Breton Highlands Academy/Education Centre at Terre Noire serves the community of Le Moine, all of the Margarees and north to Pleasant Bay. Students
from Le Moine may also receive their education in the French language in Cheticamp. Like the other communities in the Acadian region, students may go to any of the universities in the province or beyond. Those wishing to study in the French language usually go to Moncton.
Water and sewage are still individually and privately provided in Le Moine. However,
the community has been looking at some possibilities for clusteringfor both water and sewage. Garbage is collected once a week by the municipality; it is dumped into the landfill at Kenloch on Lake Ainslie. There is also blue bag recycling pickup.
Some materials for recycling is brought to the depot by the residents. Le Moine has a Volunteer Fire Department located in the old College de l’Acadie, with two trucks and approximately 12 volunteers. Police protection is provided by the RCMP; four officers at the Cheticamp detachment serve East Margaree to Pleasant Bay, including Le Moine
The municipal area tax rate is $1.09/$100 of assessment for residential and resource (land not used for commercial purposes); the commercial rate is $1.85/$100. In areas served by the St. Joseph du Moine Fire department, the rate for fire protection is $0.08/$100 for residential properties, $0.05/$100 for commercial properties.
Le Moine’s Post Office is located at Grand Etang Harbour. The Le Moine CAP Site is
located in Centre Le Moine, the old College de Acadie building, now owned by the Le Moine Development Association. Dialup internet access is available as is rare cell phone service. Satellite and Cable television are both available.
Centre Le Moine at St. Joseph du Moine has become the community centre and it,
together with the Parish Hall have presented various artistic programs and local music. The St. Joseph du Moine Scottish Concert, seemingly a cultural contradiction, is presented by the local Volunteer Fire Dept. each year in August. Interestingly, except for tourists and music afficionados from English speaking Cape Breton communities, the conversations in the audience and the back stage discussions are in the French language. The main ball field f or the community is located behind the Centre Le Moine.
There are several art galleries in Le Moine which are appreciated by both residents and
visitors. There is a library at Centre Le Moine, as well as a Micareme museum.
Predominantly Roman Catholic, Le Moine shares a priest with Cheticamp. St. Joseph
Church has had a shared pastor for some time, previously with East Margaree.
Industries and Commercial Services – Like Cheticamp, recent repopulation of Le Moine has resulted in the construction of homes back of the mountain where the farms were originally, in the lowlands or gently rolling land east of the first layer of hills. There are four farms still operating on a part time basis.
St Joseph’s – Le Moine
The Le Moine Development Association is considering the potential for reinstating some of the old apple species that are still growing on some of the previous farms in the back of the mountain. This might be part of the trails network planned for the McGarry Road. It is recognized that this area has a viable micro climate@ that may be very significant in revitalizing agriculture in the area. Although farming is still carried out at a subsistence or small marketing level, fishing is the most important primary industry, with its wharf being operated by the Grand Etang Harbour.
Authority. The wharf is three in one, and has the capacity to shelter about 25 fishing boats. Lobster, crab, herring and ground species are harvested in season. A number of people also work in forestry, sometime on their own wood lots.
The education profession is significant in the area, though not for employment. The
College de l’Acadie at St. Joseph du Moine teaches trades, arts, crafts and language. It serves as a distance education station for French language sources from across the province.
Le Moine has its own Credit Union, located beside its Coop Store at Grand Etang.,and there are a number of tourist accommodation facilities. Upwards of 10 people are employed at these establishments. A few people make their living as professional musicians or visual artists, accountants, or trades people.
Tourism has some importance. There are two B&Bs on the Bazile Road. The shoreline
presents good swimming and walking opportunities, and some trails development is in process. These are a lookoff and picnic area at Cap Le Moine.
The most important recent development in Le Moine was the construction of a wind
turbine by Nova Scotia Power at Grand Etang. The latest innovation of an ageold
power source, the wind turbine is 12 storeys high and has a triple blade rotor 48 metres in diameter. The blades turn relatively slowly, about 25 revolutions per minute. The turbine requires winds of at least requires 10 km/hour winds to operate. It will automatically shut down at winds of 90km/hour. This turbine has the capacity to produce enough electricity to supply 200 homes. There is discussion of developing interpretation centre explaining the turbine and the potential of wind
Joe’s Scare Crows – Le Moine
The community is also presently discussing plans for a fitness centre for a life style
Enhancement which might include a place to work out, some walking trails, etc.
Given the proximity of Le Moine to Cheticamp, and its seeming dependence on
Cheticamp for many services, it is striking that Le Moine is a community with a proudly
independent spirit. In the arts, in economic planning, in acknowledging its history and culture, Le Moine seems to have a constantly renewing sense of itself as a place, and its ability to meet challenges. There is, in Le Moine, a decided impression of strong focus as the community moves forward into the future.
(Courtesy of Inverness County History)