Nova Scotia

$20M COVE transformation starts at old Dartmouth coast guard site

The $20 million transformation of the former coast guard property in Dartmouth into an ocean research and development facility has started.

The planned Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurs will bring together researchers and entrepreneurs

An artists rendering of what the former coast guard base on the Dartmouth waterfront will look like when it's converted to a hub for ocean technology research and design. (CBC)

The $20-million transformation of the former coast guard property in Dartmouth into an ocean research and development facility has started.

The land is owned by the Waterfront Development Corporation, a Crown corporation, but the Nova Scotia Community College is heading up the renovation.

The buildings and wharves will be refurbished to make the site a hub for collaboration and innovation. It's called the Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurs, or COVE. 

'Creating new technologies'

"We have a lot of institutional researchers as well as a lot of entrepreneurs who are creating new technologies," said Peter Bigelow, a senior planner with Waterfront Development. "This is where those people can all come together."

Peter Bigelow is a senior planner with the Waterfront Development Corporation. (CBC)

Modernizing the building interiors will get underway in February. Roof repairs to the office and shop space should be completed by March. 

Brian Fancy, project manager for the community college, pointed out the buildings are 70 years old.

"The mechanical and electrical systems as well as the sprinkler and fire alarm systems all have to be replaced," said Fancy. "The wharves are in poor repair."

Nearly half of the federal and provincial infrastructure funds will be used to upgrade the 28,000 of linear feet of wharf space.

"Wharf space is very hard to find around this harbour that small entrepreneurs can gain access to," said Bigelow.

The former coast guard property has 8.5 acres of land and a 13-acre water lot.

The new facility will be ready for researchers and businesses to use by April 2018.


Pam Berman


Pam Berman is CBC Nova Scotia's municipal affairs reporter. She's been a journalist for almost 35 years and has covered Halifax regional council since 1997. That includes four municipal elections, 19 budgets and countless meetings. Story ideas can be sent to