Nova Scotia

Dominion Beach boardwalk in need of repair

People in Dominion are concerned about the state of their beach, with the summer holidays just around the corner.
The boardwalk at Dominion Beach was destroyed by winter storms. (CBC)

People in Dominion, N.S., are concerned about the state of their beach with the summer holidays just around the corner.

A severe winter storm tore up part of the boardwalk at Cape Breton's Dominion Beach Provincial Park, and now residents are looking to have it fixed — again.

In December, a storm destroyed the beach and boardwalk, which is about 13 kilometres from Sydney. The beach had just reopened last summer after $100,000 in repairs from an earlier storm.

"Unfortunately, when we came down, the boardwalk was washed away," Bernie Hendrickson said Friday.

Hendriksen and his family visit relatives in Dominion every summer, and spending time on the beach was a high point for them.

But last winter's storm has left it a different place altogether.

"It was such a beautiful, nice walk. We bring the kids down, they collect sea glass, and it is just a beautiful place to see and watch," Hendriksen said.

The boardwalk at Dominion Beach needs to be replaced after winter storms ripped it apart.
The storm sent waves across the beach into the parking lot, tearing up the boardwalk. Now, several hundred metres of it are missing.

That makes it impossible for people like John L. MacDonald, who uses a motorized scooter, to enjoy the beach the way they used to.

"I'd like to see them put machines here, trucks, whatever is called for," MacDonald said. "Why don't they do it? What are they waiting for? The summer will be here and gone."

The Nova Scotia government, which is responsible for the beach, has promised to fix the boardwalk.

Darren Bruckschwaiger, the area's councillor, said something needs to be done soon.

"We are one week away from the July 1 weekend. There is going to be a lifeguard on duty here July 1, and no sign of any activity at all," he said.

"So, I continue to hear that there are plans for the short term and something in the future."

Provincial officials said they will start cleanup work on the beach next week.

Possible changes to weather patterns and how they affect the beach in the long term will also be looked at.

At one time, Dominion Beach was the second most popular beach in the province, with tens of thousands of visitors every year.

The beach had been closed for five years because of sewage contamination, but a new $20 million sewage treatment plant for the area solved that problem last summer.