A new viewing deck along the Peggy’s Cove coastline opened today, October 18/21, with community members, guests and project partners on hand to celebrate.
The 1,300 square metres (14,000 square feet) of new, accessible public space provides the opportunity to view the lighthouse, waves and rocks in a more attainable and safer way. The event included a smudge ceremony and opening prayer by representatives of the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre.
“This celebration recognizes the efforts of the community and partners and provides a new and inclusive way to experience Peggy’s Cove,” said Susan Corkum-Greek, Minister of Economic Development. “Infrastructure improvements like the viewing deck will enhance community well-being and the experience for many more visitors to this iconic Nova Scotia destination.”
Over the past few years, Develop Nova Scotia worked closely with the community of Peggy’s Cove in a comprehensive master planning process which led to the phase one Implementation Plan that is nearing completion.
Announced in January 2021, the viewing deck project included a joint investment of $3.1 million from the Province of Nova Scotia and the Government of Canada. The project design team included Omar Gandhi Architect Inc., Harbourside Engineering and EDM Planning, with ongoing input from the community and Develop Nova Scotia.
A significant portion – 1,115 square metres (12,000 square feet) – of the deck was reclaimed for people from the existing roadway with the remaining extending slightly over the landscape and designed to blend in with the natural surroundings. Materials including wood and steel were used to complement the terrain. Visitors are still welcome to access the rocks and natural landscape. The project also includes one of two new planned public washrooms and improvements to trail connections that lead to the lighthouse and nearby parking area.
Additional provincial infrastructure investments of $6.2 million focus on pedestrian safety, traffic management, coastal protection, community sustainability, and resident and visitor experience in Peggy’s Cove.
Priorities of the implementation plan include climate change mitigation, increased parking, traffic and pedestrian routing and management, and public amenities.
Over the past year, residents and visitors also saw a Visitor Information Centre parking lot expansion, revamp of the turnaround near the lighthouse, introduction of a parking management system, a new common area in the centre of the village with accessible public washrooms, and the restoration of the historic DeGarthe Studio.
“While Peggy’s Cove is a provincial icon and a highly visited destination, it is also, first and foremost, a community. We knew that if we could help bring residents’ vision to life in Peggy’s Cove, preserving what matters most, enhancing resilience and safety, telling the real stories, that not only would the community be more sustainable, but people – partners, visitors and all Nova Scotians, would be inspired. This viewing deck is the last part of a host of initiatives designed to do just that. We all believe that taking in this majestic cove up close is something everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy.”
– Jennifer Angel, President and CEO, Develop Nova Scotia
“Peggy’s Cove, a treasured and timeless destination, is now accessible to people of all abilities with these beautiful, well-designed improvements. This is a wonderful project that respects its natural environment while inviting more people to enjoy it.”
– Mike Savage, Mayor, Halifax Regional Municipality
— a village of 40, Peggy’s Cove welcomes 700,000 visitors in a typical year
— the provincial investment of $1.7 million for the viewing deck was through the Tourism Revitalization of Icons Program (TRIP) administered by Tourism Nova Scotia
— the Government of Canada, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), contributed $1.42 million toward the project through its Innovative Communities Fund
Read more on the Peggy’s Cove projects here.