Construction is well underway at Peggy's Cove, one of Nova Scotia's most iconic tourism locations. The work being done is part of a $6.2 million effort by the Province of Nova Scotia to improve infrastructure in the area.
The improvements being made are necessary and long overdue. Over the years, deteriorating conditions, lack of maintenance, and wear and tear as the result of increased visitor traffic, have all contributed in the gradual decline of Peggy's Cove.
The work being performed will maintain the quality of life for the residents of Peggy's Cove and enhance the visitor experience of the more than 700,000 annual visitors to the area. It is believed that over half of all first time visitors to Nova Scotia visit Peggy's Cove during their stay.
New sidewalks, curbs, and road work will enhance pedestrian safety. In the past, visitors were forced to walk on the road itself or risk losing their footing on the uneven and heavily eroded shoulder.
A lack of public restroom facilities at Peggy's Cove is also an issue that will be addressed. In the past, visitors near the lighthouse had to rely on the small and often overcrowded washrooms located at the Sou'Wester Restaurant. Not an ideal situation for anyone.
Additional restrooms are located at the end of the village at the Visitor Centre - far away from the main activity area near the lighthouse. This is an inconvenience for many of the area's visitors..
Better traffic management and the parking lot expansion at the Visitor Centre will be welcomed. Especially, during peak visitation periods at the height of the tourism season. Lack of available parking is an issue that can not be overcome unless expansion takes place.
In addition to the planned infrastructure improvements, an additional funding of $3.1 million has been secured for an viewing deck to be built in an area in front of the Sou'Wester Restaurant that now serves as a turning road for motor vehicle traffic.
Nova Scotia has contributed $1.7 million through its Tourism Revitalization of Icons Program, a $6 million effort to improve and refurbish infrastructure at Peggy's Cove and other popular tourist locations throughout the province.
The Canadian Federal Government has contributed $1.42 million towards the project through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.
Develop Nova Scotia, a provincial crown corporation, has been tasked with the responsibility of implementing the project through The Peggy's Cove Master Plan. Develop Nova Scotia engaged in a thorough consultation process with the residents of Peggy's Cove and other stakeholders over a 2-year period from 2019-2020 to create and design a plan to revitalize the area.
The new viewing deck will be made of wood and steel and is planned for completion by June, 2021. It will offer an elevated platform that will give a fantastic view of the lighthouse and the rocks that surround it.
As many visitors to Peggy's Cove will already know, the rugged terrain of the area makes it difficult for people of limited mobility to navigate the area. The viewing deck will be handicap accessible and allow all visitors an equal opportunity to enjoy the amazing view.
However, the viewing deck is not a universally welcomed. Especially by those who fear that the structure will prevent access to the granite rocks and the lighthouse itself. Other people are opposed to its construction based on the belief that the deck will be intrusive and the natural beauty of Peggy's Cove will suffer as a result.
The design of the deck took these concerns into consideration. However, its critics are still not convinced and they are vocal in their opposition.
Anchor Tours supports the necessary work being done at Peggy's Cove and believes its critical to the growth and sustainability of tourism in the region. The planned viewing deck will be an exciting addition and will allow people of all abilities to enjoy the natural beauty of Peggy's Cove well into the future.