Something unforgettable happens as I stroll along a vast sandbank in the middle of a seemingly quiet river in Nova Scotia.
The tide surges in from up ahead like a mini tsunami and within minutes it’s a giant, swirling hot tub. My fellow rafters and I are now back in the small boat and our helmswoman is motoring on into waves which are swelling and crashing over our heads.
Amid the excitement, she explains to us that about 100 billlion tonnes of seawater is currently rushing in from the adjoining Bay of Fundy and reversing the natural flow of its tributary rivers – a phenomenon which happens every six hours in this part of the world. It provides a truly exhilarating experience known as tidal bore rafting.
And adventure is just one of Nova Scotia’s many attractions. There are beautiful seaside towns coloured with brightly painted homes, long walks along rocky shores and sandy beaches, maritime museums and countless restaurants serving some of the freshest lobster you will ever taste.
Venture outside Halifax and take a Nova Scotia road trip. You’ll find wine, whales, colourful seafaring towns and scenic views along the way.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: don’t visit Nova Scotia for Halifax alone. This underrated province in Eastern Canada begs to be explored: the Bay of Fundy for whale watching; celebrated wineries; an old town UNESCO World Heritage Site; and an iconic lighthouse on the Atlantic Ocean that conjures up images of a seafaring past. All this plus magnificent scallops like you’ve never had before.
For our mainland Nova Scotia road trip, my friend Genea and I spent quite a bit of time behind the wheel of our rental car, even after our drive around Cape Breton Island. We simply wanted to see it all.
Come on, you governments of Canada, Nova Scotia and Lunenburg. It’s time you started acting together to seriously deal with what the noses of residents and the bacteria counts of scientists have been telling us this summer about Lunenburg Harbour.
It reeks of sewage.
People who live near it and work on it find it disgusting.
Water testing conducted since August has confirmed the contamination, returning fecal bacterial counts well above the acceptable Health Canada threshold for safe human contact.
So face the feces reality. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is in urgent need of a world-class harbour flush and cleanup.
All three levels of government have an environmental stewardship responsibility here.
Ottawa for the harbour. Nova Scotia for regulation of the overburdened town sewage plant.
LUNENBURG, N.S. — Standing on the bow of his fishing boat, Bill Flower only has to look down to see a thick brown sludge belch out of a municipal wastewater pipe and into one of Canada’s most iconic harbours.
The fetid material burbles across the rocks under one of Lunenburg’s busiest wharfs and flows into the sea, coating boats, their ropes and most anything that comes in contact with it in a sticky film.
For Flower, who also runs a tour boat company and often has his hands covered in the slime, the fact that sewage flows freely into the harbour of a picturesque town deemed a UNESCO world heritage site and home to Canada’s most famous sailing ship, the Bluenose II, is a maddening reality he’s vowed to change.
You might have guessed by now that I have a deep and very real love for everything Canadian. It’s beautiful countryside, literally the friendliest people, piles of delicious bacon and one massive space to explore, with Nova Scotia being no exception!
This eastern province is perched on the dramatic Atlantic coast, offering some of Canada’s most beautiful sights, an abundance of amazing cultures in its cities and enough natural landscapes to satisfy even the most seasoned traveller…
…and don’t forget Halifax, the capital, which offers cultural and historical sights that you can soak up as well!
1.) Visit Cape Forchu Lighthouse
Around 10 km, or so, from Yarmouth (not to be confused with Great Yarmouth in the UK) – this gorgeous lighthouse is a must see when in Nova Scotia.
Part of our Great Canadian Road Trips series, you’ll want your camera while driving the scenic Lighthouse Route.
To commemorate Canada’s 150th birthday, Driving is covering the country with a series of Great Canadian Road Trips, with itineraries revealing not just fun-to-drive routes, but also the pit stops, scenic views and local culture – all the things that make a road trip fun. This month, Sarah Staples takes us along the Lighthouse Route in picturesque Nova Scotia.
Not far from the Alderney Landing ferry terminal in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, two friends are kicking back with a bit of fishing after a day’s work. Their spot, a rocky outcropping near the bridge to Halifax, is where mackerel run at this time of year, explains John Renee, while his friend Claudine casts her line toward the dark water.
We’ve just arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia, for one of those trips you keep promising yourself but never seem to take; it’s so close on a map, you just assume you’ll get there eventually. Spurred by a stronger US dollar that has discounted nearly every part of our trip — including nonstop, 80-minute flights on Air Canada for less than $300 — that day is here. And maybe it’s the cool June weather, or my love of all things Celtic, or genetic residue from my French-Acadian ancestors who settled here centuries ago, but I’m quickly at ease.
It also helps that Halifax feels like a smaller version of Boston — with more coffee shops, fewer banks, and (dare I say it) friendlier people.
With its unique architecture and civic design, Lunenburg is the best example of planned British colonial settlement in Nova Scotia, Canada.
What Is The Historic Town Of Lunenburg?
Lunenburg is located on the southern coast of the province of Nova Scotia in Canada. The town was founded in 1753 during the Father Le Loutre War as the first attempt by the British to replace the Indigenous and Acadian Catholic populations with Protestant settlers. Today, the historic district of Lunenburg is considered to be the most well-preserved example of a planned British community in North America. In fact, it is one of only two urban areas in North America that have been established as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Rachel Bailey says bearing the lion’s share of responsibility for preserving the Old Town has been difficult
Before the federal government accepts nominations for a new slew of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the mayor of Lunenburg says it should provide more support for those it already has.
Rachel Bailey says Old Town Lunenburg’s designation has been very much a blessing, raising the town’s profile not only provincially, but nationally and worldwide.
“But when it comes to the sustainability of the infrastructure that makes us what we are, that’s a challenge,” she said.
“It’s disappointing that after 20 odd years now, that’s still not been recognized as worthy of support from our federal government.”
Last August, Catherine McKenna, the minister responsible for Parks Canada, announced that for the first time in a decade, Canadians could submit new places to be considered for UNESCO World Heritage designation.
Scenic hiking trails, relaxing beaches, cool craft breweries and lots of lobster — there are definitely so many fun things to do in the Nova Scotia, and sometimes driving yourself is the best way to experience it all. This was very much true on my flexible self-driving tour of Nova Scotia with Canada by Design, which gave me the opportunity to explore at my own pace allowing me to focus on finding the best bucket list adventures for you.
SEE + DO
1. Visit the UNESCO Town of Lunenburg
The port town of Lunenburg is a historic Nova Scotia coastal community that has the well deserved title as an UNESCO world heritage site. Whether you take in some shopping, dine at the quaint restaurants or stroll along the waterfront you will be in awe of its charm.