Cape Smokey to become premier year-round tourism destination

News release

Major renovations and development at local ski hill brings investment and jobs to Ingonish

May 18, 2021 · Ingonish, Nova Scotia · Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

With public health and travel restrictions still in place, the tourism industry is facing a long and challenging road to recovery. That is why the Government of Canada is investing in businesses like Cape Smokey Holding Ltd. – a family-friendly destination in Ingonish – to help the tourism industry thrive, grow and come back strong.

Federal support for tourism in Cape Breton

Today, Jaime Battiste, Member of Parliament for Sydney-Victoria, announced a repayable contribution of $2,500,000 to Cape Smokey Holding Ltd. to develop its facilities into a multifunctional year-round tourism destination. The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages.

This investment will support work on a new gondola lift, a tree walk experience, and upgrades to the ski hill. These unique activities and improvements will enable Cape Smokey to attract more visitors to the area, once it is safe to travel again – boosting local tourism and the economy. The project is expected to create up to 85 permanent jobs in Ingonish.

Today’s announcement further demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to help position the tourism sector and the region for a strong recovery. Upon completion, Cape Smokey will be another anchor in the development of the Cabot Trail as a premier travel destination, adding to the list of amazing places, experiences and products Atlantic Canada has to offer. 


"We know how important the tourism industry is to Atlantic Canada’s economy. And I want all tourism operators to know that we hear you and recognize the challenges you’re facing. We are investing now to support the strong recovery of this vital sector.”

- Darren Fisher, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (ACOA), and Member of Parliament for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour

“Prior to the pandemic, the Cabot Trail and surrounding areas had seen significant growth in the number of new businesses and visitors to the region. The renovations and additions at Cape Smokey will bring a major boost to the area to complement existing offerings and contribute to the rebound of the local tourism industry once it is safe for people to travel.”

Jaime Battiste, Member of Parliament for Sydney-Victoria

“There is a special value to Nova Scotia that has often been overlooked, fearing that big development can’t see a return. Even through this global pandemic, Cape Smokey recognizes this untapped potential, and is thankful to ACOA and the province for supporting our efforts in bringing Cape Breton Island and Nova Scotia to the limelight."

-   Joseph Balaz, President, Cape Smokey Holding Ltd.

Quick facts

  • Cape Smokey will offer a wide range of year-round activities that include a tree walk, hiking, skiing, skinning (backcountry skiing), mountain biking and ski-doo trails, archery, zip lining, tree top obstacle courses, and more. 

  • The Cape Smokey gondola will be the first gondola attraction in Atlantic Canada.

  • Upon completion, the Cape Smokey tree walk will be the first of its kind in North America, reaching heights of 32 metres.

  • Repayable funding for this project is provided through ACOA’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program.

Associated links


Catherine Mounier-Desrochers
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Economic
Development and Official Languages

Chris Brooks
Communications Director, Nova Scotia
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Patrick Austin
Chief Operations Officer
Cape Smokey Holding Ltd.

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