Halifax to benefit from safe access to Georges Island, offering new visitor experiences

News release

Halifax, Nova Scotia, August 9, 2019—Investing in recreational infrastructure helps communities come together and stay active. The governments of Canada and Nova Scotia recognize that strategic investments in recreational infrastructure play a key role in supporting dynamic communities while creating good jobs that help grow the middle class.

Today, Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, and Member of Parliament for Halifax, on behalf of the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development; and the Honourable Kelly Regan, Minister of Community Services, announced over $2.07 million in joint funding for the construction of a permanent timber pile wharf on George’s Island in Halifax Harbour.

The new wharf (approximately 150' x 20') will provide safe and regular access to the island and include floating docks on each side to support safe public access by tour boats, water taxis, and recreational boats. The project aims to ensure safe access to the island, creating a historical and cultural attraction and enhancing Halifax Harbour for residents and visitors.

The Government of Canada is also investing $1.6 million in Georges Island National Historic Site to support new visitor experiences that will enable Canadians to discover and connect with history. Parks Canada will continue to work with the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia, Acadians, and key stakeholders as visitor experience opportunities are developed to ensure the stories told on the island represent the important and layered history associated with this local landmark.  


“These projects will truly connect this important national historic site to the Halifax waterfront experience. As a result, Georges Island will become a compelling part of Halifax, where Haligonians and visitors alike can learn about its historical and cultural significance to the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia, Acadians, and all Nova Scotians.”

Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, and Member of Parliament for Halifax, on behalf of the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development

“Georges Island has ancient connections for the Mi'kmaq and looms large in the history of Halifax as a key to the defence of the harbour. The island is also recognized as an important place for Acadians for its role in the Grand Dérangement as a detention point during the deportation of the Acadians. By investing in new infrastructure and visitor experiences at Georges Island National Historic Site, we can open up new opportunities for people in and around Halifax to learn about the island’s important history, while visiting this iconic part of the city’s waterfront.” 

The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister Responsible for Parks Canada

“Georges Island is iconic in Nova Scotia. Making sure we have sustainable access to places like this is key to sharing our history and enhancing visitor experiences. Today’s investment helps to ensure more people visit Nova Scotia and enjoy all we have to offer – which, in turn, means our important tourism sector continues to grow.”

The Honourable Kelly Regan, Minister of Community Services

“Today’s announcement is an important commitment to enhance authentic sustainable places in Nova Scotia for people. This project provides access to extensive history, offers new experiences for our community and visitors, and create new business opportunities. We think it’s the kind of project that contributes to making Nova Scotia attractive to people and investment."

Jennifer Angel, President and CEO, Develop Nova Scotia

Quick facts

  • Through the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.

  • $25.3 billion of this funding will support social infrastructure in Canadian communities.

  • These investments complement the Atlantic Growth Strategy, a federal-provincial action plan aimed at stimulating economic growth in the region through five priority areas: 

    o    Skilled workforce/Immigration;
    o    Innovation;
    o    Clean growth and climate change;
    o    Trade and investment;
    o    Infrastructure.

  • The Tourism Revitalization of Icons Program is an infrastructure funding program focused on revitalizing Nova Scotia’s most competitive tourism icons. Through this program, government is investing $6 million over the next three years (2018-19 to 2020-2021) in five iconic tourism sites to improve visitor experiences and further motivate travel to Nova Scotia.

  • Parks Canada is responsible for protecting nationally significant examples of Canada’s natural and cultural heritage and sharing the stories of these treasured places with Canadians. Through investments in national historic sites, the Government of Canada is protecting and conserving our national treasures, while supporting local economies and contributing to growth in the tourism sector.

  • Parks Canada is committed to ensuring that Canadians have opportunities to learn about the full scope of our history, including the difficult periods of our past. Parks Canada locations strive to provide a comprehensive and balanced overview of Canada’s history. In the case of Georges Island National Historic Site, this means highlighting not only the British military features of this place, but also ensuring that the Mi’kmaw perspective and the story of the island’s role as a detention centre during the deportation of the Acadians are shared with visitors to help foster a deeper understanding of Canada’s history.

Associated links



Emilie Simard
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Rural Economic Development

Kelly Rose
Develop Nova Scotia

Infrastructure Canada
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Email: infc.media.infc@canada.ca
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Media Relations
Parks Canada Agency

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