Nova Scotia

Cluster of Peggys Cove buildings to be restored, say new owners

A family living in Toronto with Maritime roots are the new owners of six historic buildings in Peggys Cove, N.S. Eleanor McCain and Paul Hansen say they will restore the buildings, which include businesses, cottages and a former schoolhouse.

Eleanor McCain and Paul Hansen purchased the 2 multi-building lots for $1.6M

Most of the buildings on the far side of the road in this image were part of the purchase. (Steve Lawrence/CBC)

A family living in Toronto with Maritime roots are the new owners of six historic buildings in Peggys Cove, N.S.

Eleanor McCain, daughter of one of the founders of the McCain french fry empire, and Paul Hansen say they're thrilled to start restoring the buildings, which include businesses, cottages and a former schoolhouse.

The properties were previously owned by members of the Beales family, who have deep roots in the community.

"This project isn't about me. It isn't about us," said McCain. "It's about Peggys Cove. It's about their story. It's something that moves us emotionally to do this project because we think it's a beautiful story."

The pair said they have no plans to add any new buildings to either of the parcels of land they purchased, which include expansive areas that stretch to the ocean coastlines.

Paul Hansen and Eleanor McCain, the new owners of properties in Peggys Cove, N.S. (Brett Ruskin/CBC)

Hansen said the purchase of both parcels cost a total of $1.6 million.

Once lockdown restrictions are reduced and the pair can come to Nova Scotia, the first step will be to fully inspect the buildings and decide which ones need the most urgent care.

Aerial map of the Peggys Cove area, with the two parcels of land highlighted in red. (Viewpoint Realty)

"The immediate investment will be shoring up the foundations as necessary and simple things, like, the roofs haven't been replaced in quite some time," said Hansen.

They say they want to maintain the authenticity of the buildings and work with the community to develop a plan for what they want to see done with the spaces.

While the plan is to restore the buildings, one exception is the schoolhouse, which could be transformed into an arts centre or performance space.

"Our intention from the outset, is to reinvest all proceeds from these businesses, back into the community, through initiatives and programs," Hansen said.

They say they don't have a timeline for when the improvements and restoration might start, or when they could be complete.

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