Many PrecisionCraft clients first imagine their log or timber homes based on the location and views from the site on which they intend to build. Because PrecisionCraft has been planning and designing homes of distinction for nearly 30 years, we have learned that a client’s initial vision of the completed home, resting on their property, is vital to the process. In addition, items such as access, proximity to activities, and weather also factor into the decision about where to build. Our team of professionals tends to regularly return to a handful of regions that meet these oft-considered criteria. For this reason, today’s article focuses on Nova Scotia, an increasingly popular build location for PrecisionCraft.

Read previous articles in our Spotlight On Luxury series. Spotlight on Luxury: Puget Sound; Spotlight on Luxury: Colorado; Spotlight on Luxury: Blue Ridge Mountains

There Is Something About Nova Scotia…

One of Canada’s three Maritime Provinces, Nova Scotia, Latin for “New Scotland”, is one of the smallest provinces in terms of area [i] with only 55,284 square kilometres (21,300 square miles). This makes it approximately half the size of the island country of Cuba. The province, however, is second only to Prince Edward Island in population density, and it is easy to understand why. Quite simply, Nova Scotia is a jewel. Surrounded by four major bodies of water, its storied miles of shoreline and breathtaking views provide the basis for its nickname, “Canada’s Ocean Playground.”

Despite being almost completely surrounded by water, however, Nova Scotia does not offer the expected Marine climate. In fact, its winter climate, though tempered by proximity to the water, is more like that of Northern Europe’s Baltic Sea coast–only wetter, and snowier. This moderate, yet still four season, climate makes Nova Scotia extraordinarily appealing to Canadians and Europeans alike.

topography of nova scotia
Areas not on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean experience warmer summers, more typical of inland areas

While Nova Scotia is not the mildest climate in which to build, it more than makes up for it as a centre of both cultural and artistic significance. Halifax, its capital, is home to the respected Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University as well as large numbers of art galleries, museums, music festivals, and theater companies. In addition to its spectacular shorelines and fine arts offerings, Nova Scotia is also home to nearly four thousand coastal islands. For PrecisionCraft clients, the province is proving to be a favorite, resulting in a disproportionate amount of interest in our log and timber home expertise.

Why Build In Nova Scotia?

Why might you consider Nova Scotia for your luxury home? Start with the aforementioned four major bodies of water and varied climate. In addition to the Atlantic Ocean, Nova Scotia is surrounded by numerous bays and estuaries including the beautiful Bay of Fundy and the world’s largest estuary, the magnificent Gulf of Saint Lawrence. This means, regardless of where your home is located, you are never more than 67 kilometers (42 miles) from the water. Whale watching, tidal bore rafting, and lighthouse tours are popular attractions and hiking trails abound. Further, unlike many inland provinces’ hiking trails, Nova Scotia’s trails almost always boast views of its breathtaking beaches and storied waters bursting with puffins and seals.

Fort Edward blockhouse, Windsor, Nova Scotia, the oldest extant in North America [ii]
Nova Scotia, Canada’s Ocean Playground

Finally, add in its two national parks, UNESCO World Heritage Site, and 87 National Historic Sites of Canada, and Nova Scotia’s appeal is no surprise. Clients choosing the province for their PrecisionCraft homes, reflect on the breadth of available experiences and activities through a variety of architectural styles.

Where Should You Build In Nova Scotia?

Nova Scotia features a large number of islands ranging from ones with ferry service and picturesque property for sale, like Pictou Island, to remote isles such as the protected Sable Island. [iii] For those with something a bit grander in mind, islands are available for private purchase. Arranging the purchase of an island is not necessary, however, for the majority of our Nova Scotia clients. The province’s 7, 400 kilometres of shoreline is more than ample to accommodate their luxury residences.

The exclusive M.T.N Design concept, the Caribou, inspired a couple’s home in Nova Scotia

As of this writing, the owners of the hybrid handcrafted log and timber residence, (original artistic rendering shown above), are scheduled to take possession in the summer of 2020. Their waterfront lot rests on one of Nova Scotia’s most enchanting shores, the South Shore. As a result of this location, the homeowners will enjoy stunning scenery and the South Shore’s milder winter temperatures.

What Should You Build In Nova Scotia?

Though the weather is more moderate than some regions of Canada, Nova Scotia still experiences its share of annual snowfall. And, depending on your specific micro climate, it is astonishingly varied. [iv] Thus, almost every M.T.N Design architectural style offers design concepts that work in this region. For example, densely wooded coves welcome Western Heritage style homes as easily as they embrace a cottage from our Cabin Refined™ series.

With their unique architectural characteristics and smaller footprints, Cabin Refined™ residences are exploding in popularity. We have more than one Cabin Refined™ project completed or in-process in the region including a Dakota-inspired residence.

custom timber cabin
Cody’s Retreat architectural design, an exclusive concept by M.T.N Design, offers elegant living within a smaller space

Meet The Nova Scotia Client Representative

PrecisionCraft client representative, Colin Showalter, P. Tech (Eng), brings nearly 15 years in the building industry to every client project. In addition to being an experienced engineering professional, Colin also offers a detailed knowledge of building techniques, including energy efficient products and methods.

Given Canada’s increasing commitment to sustainable building solutions, Colin’s expertise in energy efficiency is greatly appreciated. It is his client relationships, however, that bring him the most satisfaction. “Guiding clients through the exciting process of designing their dream home,” he explains. “is the most rewarding part of my role as a client representative.” Colin says he meets amazing people while traveling to some of the most beautiful parts of Canada. A Calgary native, he of course enjoys his Alberta projects, but admits the Maritime Provinces, are something special. Even after repeated visits to Nova Scotia client meetings, for example, he is sometimes still awe-struck. “Nova Scotia views,” he says, “will take your breath away.” 

Contemplating Nova Scotia for your custom log, timber, or hybrid home? Connect with Colin on LinkedIn.

A Final Thought

Nova Scotia provides PrecisionCraft clients never-ending opportunities to enjoy life by immersing themselves in its quaint yet cosmopolitan culture. That the province beckons to log and timber home owners is no surprise. And, because this ocean jewel is still undiscovered by so much of the world, its charming appeal is surely enhanced. If you are considering Nova Scotia for your next luxury home, please contact us. Additionally, order your complimentary literature here.

Works cited, photo credits, and notes

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Cabot Trail Skyline Hike Cape Breton Island Canada photographed by chensiyuan [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]; Nova Scotia topographic map by Zamonin [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]; Fort Edward Windsor Nova Scotia Canada photographed by Hantsheroes [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

[i] Including its some 3,800 islands in addition to Cape Breton

[ii] Paul Erickson (EditTr), Jonathan Fowler (Editor). Underground Nova Scotia: Stories of Archaeology. Nimbus Publishing (Sep 29 2010)

 [iii] 300 km (190 mi) southeast of Halifax and 175 km (109 mi) southeast of the closest point of the province’s mainland, the island is protected and managed by Parks Canada

[iv] Halifax: 25 days, 154.2 centimetres vs. Yarmouth: 52 days, 207.3 centimetres, however, both are located on the South Shore; visit Current Results weather and science facts for more details Visit HikeBikeTravel.com to read 26 Fun, Weird & Interesting Facts About Halifax, Nova Scotia

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