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Nova Scotia puts out tender for Peggys Cove upgrades

Visitors to Peggys Cove enjoy a dramatic sunset in 2017. - File
Visitors to Peggys Cove enjoy a dramatic sunset in 2017. - Tim Krochak / File

An extensive renovation of facilities at Peggys Cove is in the works. 

 A Nova Scotia government request for proposals includes plans for more washrooms, an overflow parking lot, walking trails and viewing platforms, and roadway improvements

As well, new boardwalks will be built and the breakwater area will be upgraded. 

“The popularity of Peggys Cove has created issues around crowds, traffic, servicing, and vehicular and pedestrian infrastructure for many years,” the tender said. “These issues have been exacerbated with the significant growth in cruise ship visitation to Halifax. 

“The Draft Peggys Cove Master Plan identifies and prioritizes infrastructure needs and improvements to support and enhance visitation, providing opportunities for the private sector to create new experiences, increase tourism revenues and overall sustainability of Peggys Cove as an iconic authentic fishing village for both residents and visitors.”

The tender plan proposes a new parking lot to be accessed from Highway 333, which may require a left-turn lane. The lot will be signed as “Peggys Cove Overflow Parking” and will be gated off when not in use. 

“The overflow lot will be connected to Peggys Cove via two granite crushed trails, that together create a walking loop,” the tender said. A wooden pedestrian bridge across Clam Pond including a granite abutment would connect the lot to the visitor information centre. 

“A wood boardwalk seating area with flexible seating options including an area for common gathering is proposed among other ideas. The timber deck shall (extend) to the end overlooking rocks and shoreline, with views directly at Lighthouse and waves below. Includes paths that go directly onto rocks for closer views of Lighthouse, can be closed off during bad weather.” 

Concerns have long been expressed about visitors going to the edge of the rocks near the lighthouse. An Ottawa visitor died after being swept into the ocean by large waves in 2015. A Quebec woman died after falling into the water in 2016. 

The washroom upgrades will see an expansion of the compostable toilet facilities at the visitors’ centre, as well as new composting toilets on the Peggys Cove common. 

The road loop at the top of the hill near the Sou’Wester/lighthouse will be converted into a turning circle and layby area.  This is meant to reduce pedestrian conflict, improve access to the Sou’Wester parking area and create space to allow for a viewing platform and arrival area. 

A gravel and pavement area at the turning circle is also proposed, along with traffic signs and a new wooden boardwalk and railing connecting it to the viewing platform and arrival areas. A new, crushed granite walk on the eastern side of the road between the visitor information centre and the Sou’wester also is part of the plan.  

The deadline for submissions is 2 p.m. on Dec. 10. The successful bidder must complete the bulk of the work by March 27, 2020. The tender did not include cost estimates. 

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