Guysborough Waterfront Fundraising Campaign

We are seeking to improve the overall supporting infrastructure through a phased approach, allow more opportunities for improved local use and also playing a more prominent role in the tourism market. 

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Since 2001, the Guysborough Waterfront Development Society (GWDS) has operated the Guysborough Marina and Jost Building as cornerstone gathering places for local community activities and tourism development. A volunteer board of directors oversee the continued operation of the properties and have successfully maintained a vibrant waterfront that has been enjoyed by locals and tourists alike.

The Past

For 135 years, these buildings have supported our community in countless ways. Looking back to the late 1800s, the waterfront structures have been part of our landscape and the backbone of industry when shipbuilding was the business of Guysborough. They have come full circle over the years with many stops along the way. This location in the core of the village, has always been the place where people could gather freely in whatever capacity they choose.

It has hosted seaside community events and concerts, been a location for training and meetings, served as the home of the farmer’s market, an immersive art gallery and the entertainment hub in all seasons. It has provided a resting spot to enjoy the panoramic view, and has been the place that has allowed countless couples to fulfill their dream of holding a wedding near the water. The marina and boating activities have loaned themselves well to the youth of our community; providing decades of continual summer employment and unique skill development that come with working on a waterfront.

It’s time now for us to give back to the place that has shaped our identity and supported us in so many ways.

The Present

Today, we are actively trying to prepare for the future generations who will hopefully enjoy these landmark facilities in similar, yet possibly better, ways. We are seeking to improve the overall supporting infrastructure through a phased approach, allow more opportunities for improved local use and also playing a more prominent role in the tourism market. We have had some prestigious niche yachts sail into our marina who were taken aback by the beauty of our seaside community and we want to be able to continue to welcome them back.

To do this, we need help.

The summer of 2023 will excitedly change the face of the buildings and the grounds, with many cosmetic upgrades for which funding has been secured. Significant building beautifications such as new cladding, windows and doors, overhead door replacement, a new expansive glass railing system and the addition of two new kiosks for added food offerings. Upgrades to washroom facilities, landscaping, new lighting, seating and sun sails will enhance the overall appearance of our waterfront and become more welcoming and inclusive. Although these changes are wonderful and long overdue, a deeper restoration of the non-cosmetic elements is greatly needed.

Since the formation of our Board, we have had tremendous public usage but also tremendous community support. Being the recipient of a most-generous endowment from a gentleman who recognized the value that the waterfront held in the community, Mr. Jimmy Drysdale’s generosity has allowed us the good fortune to make extensive repairs to our docks without strife, after Hurricane Dorian wreaked havoc; but, we cannot rely on that kind gesture forever.

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The Future

At present, before our structures become past the point of repair, we need to go deeper-literally. Significant investments need to be made to improve the underpinning structure of the wharf facilities themselves. Sheet piling repairs across the front of the main wharf need to be carried out to structurally support the wharf as well as upgrades to both the north and south docks and moorings. These are not cheap repairs.

A community fundraising campaign has begun, and once again through the generosity of our community, we have received the first donation from Jacques and Claire Creppell in the amount of $10,000.00! We have set our fundraising bar at $200,000.00 which will allow us to provide the matching dollars necessary to participate in government funding programs to complete the work!

Thank you for considering to support this community initiative as we move forward on our journey to maintain the character and historic significance that the waterfront has had in our community for over a century, and for helping preserve the opportunity to share it with future generations to come.

On behalf of the members of the Guysborough Waterfront Development Society, we sincerely thank you!

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