Located only 20 minutes from downtown Halifax, Fisherman’s Cove is a “hidden jewel.”
“It’s a beautiful spot,” says Carolyn Scott, chairperson of the board for Fisherman’s Cove.
“We’re very lucky. It’s a hidden jewel in HRM.”
Fisherman’s Cove is a working fishing harbour with shops and restaurants located in Eastern Passage.
“Plus, you’re right here on the ocean,” says Scott. “You can walk on the boardwalk, you can walk on the beach, you can watch the fishing boats come in and out. It’s almost like a semi-wilderness spot in the middle of the city.”
With close to 35 businesses on site, Fisherman’s Cove is a community success story.
“The bottom fell out of the fishery in the early ’90s,” says Scott, citing one of the challenges the community faced. Plus, there was downsizing at CFB Shearwater and the closure of the Ultramar refinery led the local unemployment rate to shoot up to more than 20 per cent.
After a lot of community consultation, tourism was seen as the solution and a not for profit board was set up. The existing harbour was redeveloped and renamed Fisherman’s Cove.
“The boost to the economy and to employment in the area has been absolutely enormous,” says Scott.
“Most of the businesses were not here and they had arisen because Fisherman’s Cove provided this hub and so businesses started developing,” she adds.
One of those business success stories is A & M Sea Charters. Owners Albert and Mary Conrod started the business after Albert retired from commercial fishing in 1995 after 28 years in the industry.
“We’ve done weddings, funerals, stagettes and stag parties. Whatever you can think about, I’m sure we can work it in,” says Mary Conrod.
The company specializes in private charters and can take clients on harbour tours, deep sea fishing, whale watching and shark fishing.
For those interested in shark fishing, Conrod says July, August and September are the best months.
“That’s when your water temperature is perfect,” says Conrod.
On Saturday, Fisherman’s Cove will be holding its first annual Seaside Harvest Festival from noon to 4 p.m. Some of the featured events are pumpkin carving and free boat tours.
“It’s going to be so much fun,” says Scott.