Western Nova Scotia

My wife hails from a small town in Nova Scotia called Yarmouth. It’s got all the typical problems of a town of its size and location. Yarmouth isn’t on the way to anything and it’s got little to offer an outsider that justifies the 4-hour drive from Halifax. If Lori’s family wasn’t from Yarmouth, I’m not sure I’d have any justification to visit.

Since I do visit the area a few times a year, I used to try and spice things up with some photography. I always bring a camera, but these days I don’t usually come home with anything but iPhone snaps of whichever holiday or birthday celebration takes us there.

Water Street, Yarmouth
Water Street, Yarmouth
Port Maitland
Port Maitland

We always try to visit the beach at Port Maitland, a rugged 1Km stretch of Bay of Fundy ocean frontage. If you’re up to braving the chill, the swimming is great and there’s plenty of beach for everyone. We get our share of fog in this part of the world, no matter the season. A clear day is a blessing and you bring a windbreaker even in the summer.

Wild roses, Port Maitland NS
Wild roses, Port Maitland NS
Port Maitland Beach
Port Maitland Beach

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Colder than it looks
Colder than it looks
Port Maitland Beach
Port Maitland Beach

Yarmouth is a fishing town, first and foremost. It sits on the far western tip of Nova Scotia, pushing out defiantly into the Gulf of Maine on a massive shard of granite. The people here either work on the ocean, build boats to work on the ocean or help people spend income made on the ocean. The romantic veneer of a rugged seaside town that draws tourists is only microns thick. With a shrinking economy and population decline beginning in the 1990s, Yarmouth is a town on the brink and epitomizes small towns all across Atlantic Canada. But the area isn’t without its charms. As with anywhere, it’s the people that make the town. I’ve earmarked a couple ideas for a future Salt contribution.

Wedgeport Boat Shop
Wedgeport Boat Shop

The Cape Forchu peninsula is a blob of land just off the coast that holds two points of interest. The Yarmouth Light is as pleasant as the weather allows with views in every direction. One can’t help but admire the people who make their living off the ocean here. Even on a serene day the ocean looms behind memorials for people swept away from this spot.

Cape Forchu
Cape Forchu
Cape Forchu
Cape Forchu
Yarmouth Light, Cape Forchu
Yarmouth Light, Cape Forchu

Also on the Cape is a project I’ve always found interesting. Markland Estates (get your free DVD!) is a failed luxury oceanfront development that sits on one of the most amazing pieces of land in the province. It sits mostly empty. Lack of demand and physical removal from the wealth required makes the lots worthless. Its stunning, rugged and desolate, all at the same time. Named after the Viking term for part of North America, locals like to think Leif Erikson’s Vinland was here. Without a house in view, one can feel very alone in this stretch of hard coast.

Markland Estates
Markland Estates
Markland Estates
Markland Estates

I’ve been loosely planning a motorcycle circumnavigation of Nova Scotia using only secondary and coastal roads. As with most of Atlantic Canada, there is a lot to see that isn’t visible from gas stations off the Trans-Canada.


Images in this set are courtesy of Fuji GA645, 4.0 EBC Fujinon loaded with Ilford FP4 or HP5. Processing and scans are Ilfosol3 and Epson Perfection 3200 Photo.

Color images are courtesy of Canon 10D, Sigma EX DG HSM 50mm 1.4 and Apple iPhone 6.

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