Sunday, September 26, 2021

Local marinas open for business

  • July 7 2021
  • By Lois Ann Dort, Local Journalism Initiative reporter    

GUYSBOROUGH – Nothing says summer like boats in the water at local marinas. Despite the recent cool and rainy weather, many pleasure craft can now be found tied up at the Guysborough Marina, although the story is very different in Canso.

Paul Long, chairperson for the Guysborough Waterfront Development Society (GWDS), told The Journal in an email July 5 that the Guysborough marina was open for business “with a near capacity occupancy at this point.”

The GWDS is working to meet the pent-up demand for activities this summer by hosting the ArtWorks East exhibit throughout the summer, along with four outdoor concerts scheduled July 24, Aug. 7, 21, and Sept. 4.

The organization is also opening the Jost Building for rentals.

Long wrote: “We are currently working on grant applications for a major renovation to both buildings [Jost and Marina] and the wharf face along with other areas to better prepare for increased marine traffic and as a more inviting area for tourists and local people to spend time on the beautiful Guysborough waterfront. Our redevelopment plans are hopefully part of an attempt to improve the overall village core as we move out of the COVID restrictions and better prepare our area to receive increased tourist traffic and entice small businesses to set up shop in Guysborough.”

Unfortunately, the report for the Canso Marina isn’t as rosy. Marina owner Don Millen said on July 5 that, at this time, there’s not a single boat at the marina. Business is at an all-time low.

Millen, who has operated the marina for approximately 25 years, said that usually, by this time of year, there is some traffic with boats heading to the Bras d’Or Lake but this year, “they just aren’t there.”

The height of marina occupancy in Canso typically coincides with the Stan Rogers Folk Festival, but with no festival due to COVID-19, that traffic is unlikely to materialize this year.

Millen has a message for the boating public: the Canso Marina has room to spare, “Come on in.”