Historic Big Boat Shed on Lunenburg waterfront to be revitalized

The waterfront in Lunenburg, N.S. is shown on Sunday, October 18, 2015. Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press

A significant piece of shipbuilding history on Nova Scotia’s picturesque Lunenburg waterfront is getting upgraded with government help.

Ottawa and the province are spending $1.5-million to revitalize the Big Boat Shed, which was the main boatbuilding facility of the Smith and Rhuland Shipyards, which opened in 1900.

More than 270 boats were built there, including prominent vessels such as the Bounty, Rose, and Bluenose II.

The original Bluenose – as pictured on Canada’s dime – was built next door.

READ MORE: N.S. senior dedicates life to building dream boat in his backyard

The improvements will see the building stabilized, while the floor will be reconstructed and a full-length concrete slipway will be installed.

The province is spending $1-million, while the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency will give $500,000 to build a new accessible viewing deck so the public can observe large boat construction and repair activities, while an exhibit area will also be part of the expansion.

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Phase one of the project is expected to be completed by spring of next year, with phase two planned for the summer of 2021.

“The Town of Lunenburg is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Nova Scotia’s most visited tourism destinations,” a local Liberal MLA, Suzanne Lohnes-Croft, said in a statement.

“This investment will further highlight our shipbuilding heritage, generate new business opportunities around the site and enhance the overall experience for visitors.”

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