North Preston is an unincorporated community located in eastern Halifax Regional Municipality, Nova Scotia, in Canada. North Preston has a population of about 3,700 people and is populated mainly by African Canadians. In 1848, William Brown Sr. and William Arnold purchased land on the southern shore of the Bedford Basin in Halifax. People from the Black Refugee communities at Hammonds Plains and Preston began settling there and the area gradually became known as Africville.
North Preston traces its origins to the immigration of former African American slaves during the 18th and 19th centuries. Many[who?] have thought it was named after clergy Richard Preston, who set up 11 Baptist churches in Nova Scotia, and helped pass the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833. However Richard Preston was an escaped slave from Virginia and took the name Preston from the community as Preston was where he was reunited with his mother as she had escaped slavery earlier in her life. North Preston is the oldest and largest indigenous Black community in Canada, as well as having the highest concentration of Black Canadians across Canada.
Today, North Preston is a prosperous community having a high home-ownership rate, a stable population, and the community's ability to resist urban sprawl such as that occurring in other Black Nova Scotian settlements. The community also has a higher average income at $33,233 a year, compared with the average of $31,795 for Nova Scotia. Despite that, however, the community remains relatively isolated from the rest of Halifax, in its rural setting. Some contemporary issues include a higher percent of lone parent families, higher unemployment rates for those aged 15–24 and a recent surge in gun crime. The Prestons have slightly more lone parent families at 19.8 percent, compared to Nova Scotia's average of 16.9 percent.