ANNAPOLIS ROYAL - There may have been a blizzard Friday in Annapolis Royal, but that didn’t stop three levels of government and a community organization from talking about boating on the Annapolis River.
And come summer, residents and visitors alike could be taking advantage of a new $173,452 boat launch and floating dock system on the east side of the causeway on Highway 1 at Granville Ferry.
West Nova MP Colin Fraser was flanked by Annapolis County Warden Timothy Habinski, Annapolis Royal Mayor Bill MacDonald, and Pam Vanroestel on behalf of Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil as he announced $93,432 for the project from ACOA’s Innovative Communities Fund.
Development activities include improvements to the roadway leading to the boat launch and emergency rescue access; improvements to the parking area to accommodate vehicles, including boat trailers; installation of a boat launch ramp, mooring and floating docks, and landscaping and interpretive signage.
The upgrades will make the site more efficient for pleasure boaters, tour operators, and the fire department's marine rescue operations, ACOA said in a media release. It said the development will enhance a section of the waterfront that is currently underutilized, resulting in increased use of the outdoor recreation space by residents and visitors alike.
The project is also being supported by a $35,000 contribution from Nova Scotia Communities, Culture and Heritage, and a combined $45,020 contribution from the Nicholson Foundation, the Annapolis Royal Wharf Association, and Jost Architects Ltd.
"We feel very fortunate to be able to support accessibility to the Annapolis River which, until now, had been an under-appreciated gem of our landscape and our history,” said Peter Nicholson of the Nicholson Foundation.
County CAO John Ferguson also singled out Jane Nicholson who worked on the project through the wharf association.
“Our region’s unparalleled heritage and culture have long inspired stories and songs feeding the hearts and minds of residents and visitors alike,” said Fraser. “As a tourism draw Annapolis County’s strength is a commitment to preserve the past and share its living history with visitors.”
He said recent reports from the Annapolis Royal Visitor Information Centre show more than 17,000 tourists in 2016 seeking a variety of tourism experiences.
“One of those experiences flows along 120 kilometres of beautiful Nova Scotia countryside from Caribou Bog to Port Royal,” he said. “The Annapolis River has been aptly called a living ribbon of culture, opportunity, community connectivity, and history. Canoeing along the river you almost have a sense of paddling past history. This scenic waterway is also a favourite spot for kayaking, fishing, dragon boat racing, and community events including the Annapolis River Festival.”