**** Parks Canada Release
Visitor season extension, in response to high interest, for Georges Island National Historic Site
Extended for five consecutive weekends until October 11, 2020, these additional days will allow more opportunities for the public to visit Georges Island National Historic Site
September 4, 2020 Halifax, Nova Scotia Parks Canada Agency
Georges Island National Historic Site opened partially to visitors beginning this past August and demand for tickets has been high. As such, the Government of Canada, today, is announcing that it is extending the visitor season an additional five weekends starting September 12-13 up to, and including, the weekend of October 10-11, 2020.
Tickets are being sold through Ambassatours Gray Line/Murphy’s on the Water, the boat tour company that is providing the ferry service to Georges Island through a contract with Develop Nova Scotia.
This 2020 visitor offer was made possible by the completion of a new wharf, jointly funded by the Government of Canada and the Province of Nova Scotia, through Develop Nova Scotia and Tourism Nova Scotia. The wharf provides a gateway to this unique historical and cultural attraction, enhancing Halifax Harbour for residents and visitors.
While visitor services remain limited at this time, Parks Canada’s continued consultation and collaboration with La Fédération acadienne de la Nouvelle-Écosse and Indigenous partners will ensure the new visitor experience represents the full and complex history tied to this key feature in Halifax Harbour.
This small island and its fortifications played a large role as a prison, as an internment camp for Acadians, in the development of Nova Scotia, and in the defence of Canada. Georges Island is one of five national historic sites in Halifax which are known collectively as the Halifax Defence Complex.
This new tourism opportunity will continue to support local economic COVID-19 recovery efforts in the Halifax region. By providing access to Georges Island, Parks Canada is providing visitors with an opportunity to connect with Atlantic Canada’s rich and complex history.
“Since opening Georges Island to the public in August, Haligonians have flocked to this iconic site in abundance to learn about the island’s diverse history and to take in Halifax from a whole new vantage point. We are adding more trips and extending the number of weekends, through to Thanksgiving, to allow more visitors to immerse themselves in the story and ecology of Georges Island. I encourage everyone to get out there and enjoy this emerald gem of Halifax Harbour.”
Andy Fillmore, Member of Parliament for Halifax, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
- A total investment of $3.7 million for the Georges Island visitor offer includes $1.6 million through Parks Canada’s Federal Infrastructure Investment program, combined with $2.07 million in funding from Infrastructure Canada and the province of Nova Scotia through the Tourism Revitalization of Icons Fund (TRIP) overseen by Tourism Nova Scotia.
- Georges Island National Historic Site has been open on the weekend for visitors since August 8, from 11:20 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and will continue for five additional consecutive weekends starting September 12 and 13, 2020, through to October 10 and 11, 2020.
- Transport to the Island will be provided by Murphy’s on the Water and it is recommended that visitors reserve in advance so their spots are guaranteed, given the popularity of this offer. Ticket purchase information can be done online at Ambassatours Gray Line/ Murphy’s on the Water.
- Upon arrival on the island, visitors will walk up a sloped, gravelled path to Fort Charlotte where interpreters will present the Island’s history and provide short tunnel tours through the lower level rooms and halls of the gun battery, defence works on the island.
- Visitors and employees will be required to wear non-medical masks or face coverings and to follow public health recommendations including physical distancing and good hygiene measures.
- Visitors are asked to plan ahead and visit the Parks Canada website before they travel.