News release

Marine Infrastructure Investments in Nova Scotia

Working waterfronts are important social and economic infrastructure across the province. They add value to local economies and communities and attract boaters and visitors by sea.

That is why today, Dec. 14, Develop Nova Scotia, along with the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), the Municipality of the County of Victoria and the Village of Baddeck announced investments of close to $1.2 million to build and improve shared-access marine infrastructure in Baddeck. Develop Nova Scotia will also invest $85,000 in flexible floating docks in Mahone Bay. Both investments will help grow ocean-related sectors and preserve the public’s access to the water’s edge.

“For locations like Baddeck and Mahone Bay, having a developed, working waterfront with flexible marine infrastructure acts as an attraction to visitors by land and sea,” said Minister of Business Geoff MacLellan. “It creates destinations where locals and visitors can enjoy the scenery, visit local shops and restaurants and use the amenities, resulting in increased density along the water, employment, tax revenue, property values and business.”

Repairs to the Baddeck wharf will extend its working life by 25 years, while Develop Nova Scotia will build new floating docks as well as gangways and attachments.

In Mahone Bay, new flexible floating docks will provide waterfront protection as a breakwater and accommodate a variety of boats, including local and visiting recreational vessels. These projects continue to build on past investments in Halifax and Lunenburg marine infrastructure to create a reliable, inviting and accessible network of marine destinations along Nova Scotia’s 13,300 km of coastline.

These waterfront projects are based on Develop Nova Scotia’s marine visitation plan, which identifies a provincial boating itinerary based on port market readiness, existing demand, clusters of recreational and marine businesses to support visitation, as well as community mobilization. The floating dock structures in both Baddeck and Mahone Bay will be owned by Develop Nova Scotia and maintained and managed through agreements with the village and town, respectively.


Positioning Baddeck as a port that offers information and reliable services will increase economic opportunities for the area when it is safe to welcome tourists. Today’s announcement will ensure the people of Baddeck, and visiting boaters, can safely access and use the dock for many years to come. Jaime Battiste, Member of Parliament for Sydney-Victoria, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA

These projects have been developed with community, which results in authentic destinations and strategic infrastructure that supports the community’s priorities. A strong provincial marine network helps to build opportunities for business, create new public spaces for people to come together, attract local visitors by land and sea, and once it’s safe to welcome visitors again, attract marine visitors from around the world to our shores. Jennifer Angel, president and CEO, Develop Nova Scotia

The Baddeck waterfront is an anchor for community in our village and we are so pleased to see some real progress. The waterfront will become the focal point for both locals and visitors, nautical and land travelers alike, and reinforce Baddeck’s reputation as the premiere boating location on the Bras d’or Lakes. Bruce Morrison, warden, Municipality of the County of Victoria

A dedicated committee of community members from Baddeck started working on this project 33 months ago – we recognized the critical importance of our waterfront infrastructure to the village’s future growth and success. We’re ecstatic we’ve now been joined by Victoria County, Develop Nova Scotia and ACOA, and together we're making this happen. Bill Marchant, chair, Waterfront Baddeck

Quick Facts:

  • Baddeck Wharf project: Develop Nova Scotia $596,000; ACOA $484,401 Innovative Communities Fund contribution (non-repayable); Municipality of the County of Victoria $60,000; Village of Baddeck $20,000; Community donations $20,000
  • Mahone Bay project: Develop Nova Scotia $85,000
  • existing vessel demand is measured by Automatic Identification System (AIS) data, which tracks marine traffic
  • a study commissioned in 2016 by the National Marine Manufacturers Association of Canada found that the recreational boating industry in Canada was directly and indirectly responsible for $10 billion in revenues in 2016, a 12.4 per cent increase from 2012. Atlantic Canada accounted for approximately $500 million of these revenues
  • local providers benefit from spending by operators on maintenance, fuel, dockage and provisioning of all types of vessels
  • in addition, direct spending by guests and crew of visiting vessels can increase revenues to tourist operators in the area
  • increased marine visitation by visiting vessels will result in increased direct wharf revenues that will contribute to ongoing wharf maintenance

Additional Resources:

Information on the Develop Nova Scotia Marine Visitation Plan: