Peggy’s Cove is one of Nova Scotia’s most iconic attractions. The expansive granite rocks, rugged coastline, crashing waves, and historic lighthouse exemplify quintessential Nova Scotia. It is also a living community, an active fishing village, and home to year-round residents.
In pre-pandemic times the iconic lighthouse would attract approximately 700,000 visitors per year. Welcoming so many visitors into its backyard has understandably created its share of challenges for this small community of just 40 permanent residents.
“What we’ve realized is that people feel a strong sense of ownership over Peggy’s Cove, and I don’t mean just Nova Scotians—people around the world.”
Matthew Neville, Develop Nova Scotia
Matthew Neville is the Principal Planner for Develop Nova Scotia and the project manager for the Peggy’s Cove Infrastructure Improvement Project. Since 2018 Neville has been working closely with the residents of Peggy’s Cove to find ways to improve both community and visitor experience, as well as protect the iconic destination in the long term.
The strategy for the new viewing deck focused on creating a safe, accessible, and sustainable visitor experience. The project plan focused on climate change mitigation, parking, traffic and pedestrian routing, and public amenities. Phase 1 was completed when the viewing deck opened on October 18, 2021.
Designed by award-winning architect, Omar Gandhi, the viewing deck is set into the landscape and fits the shape of the rock, showcasing the real attractions at Peggy’s Cove - the lighthouse, the landscape, and waves.
Other key improvements include new public washrooms and improvements to trail connections that lead to the lighthouse and nearby parking area.
The viewing deck and railings are made of wood and steel, materials that will last and complement the rugged terrain. The deck’s rail guard is a steel knit pattern, reminiscent of a fishing net, meant to parallel the landscape, almost camouflaged in the rock in order not to overshadow the view.
The Peggy’s Cove viewing deck is open year-round, and the accessible public washrooms are open seven days a week from 9 AM to 7 PM.
Photos by Riaz Oozeer