The World’s Largest Axe

In Nackawic, a place with a name that just flows off your tongue, there is one of Canada’s “Biggest” roadside attractions: a seven-tonne stainless steel axe overlooking the Mactaquac headpond.

The axe was built in honour of the province’s forestry industry… and more specifically, it was erected in honour of the town’s recognition as the Forestry Capital of Canada (1991).

New Brunswick’s forest industry contributes $1.7 billion to the New Brunswick economy (annually), directly employs over 17,000 people, and accounts for a third of the exports from the province (does anyone know what the other 2/3 are?).

Nackawic had a rough time with many of its mills and farms closing after the construction of the Mactaquac Dam. The last remaining pulp mill was built specifically to employ the people displaced by the Dam (and is now one of the largest employers in New Brunswick).

But back to the axe…

There is a time capsule embedded in the head of the axe; no date has been set for opening. However, a more engaging (and immediate) “time capsule” is found on the pages of the Otis Cemetery on, where people have put time into sharing family histories that tell the story of life in this small New Brunswick town.

The “Nackawic” town name is historically new; this Loyalist area was once known as Otis and in 1976 it was merged with other towns and incorporated into what is now know as Nackawic.

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