The Water's Edge $1,200,000

This unique opportunity on the waterfront in historic Baddeck on Cape Breton Island includes a four-star Inn, a Maritime art gallery, a fully equipped restaurant facility (not currently in operation), and a rare commercial waterfront lot across the street. Recommended in the Summer 2012 Canadian Automobile Association Magazine ( and given rave reviews at, the property has become a landmark in the village and beacon in the harbour to visitors by sailboat, yacht and cruise ship. The seller is motivated.

The complex has three interconnected buildings overlooking the village harbour at 18-22 Water Street. The buildings on either end are mid- to late-19th century vintage with modern renovations; the center building (Inn) was constructed in 2005. The building on the west end, fondly known by locals as “The Ark,” was built near the end of the 19th century in Washabuck, across the Bras d’Or Lake. In winter 1895, the MacLean family towed it across the frozen lake to the Baddeck waterfront, where it was placed on its current spot at the corner of Water and Ferry (now Cameron) streets. The first floor was the village carriage maker’s shop, and the family lived on the second floor. In 2004, The Ark was lifted 9 feet to create three floors, and its airy new ground floor became The Water’s Edge Gallery space.

The east side is occupied by the original Blanchard Forge, later used as a private cottage. In 1989, it was elevated one floor and renovated to create three levels containing the Rose Cottage Gallery and a charming efficiency apartment with water views and a sunroof that later became part of The Water’s Edge Inn. In 2001, this building became the first location of The Water’s Edge Gallery (before construction of the Inn and renovation of The Ark). The center building in the complex is the three-story Inn built to rigorous government code and standards in 2005.

The Water’s Edge Inn, Café & Gallery opened in 2005. The four-star Inn includes six ensuite rooms (four with balconies overlooking the water), and the housekeeping efficiency with a water view. The cozy Café opened on the ground floor of the new Inn building with a brick patio dining area in front and a fully equipped kitchen behind; it was open for lunch through dinner with a casual gourmet menu. A fully licensed facility, the Café was popular with tourists and local residents alike and achieved listings in “Where to Eat in Canada” for three of its four years of operation. One of its signature soup recipes also was featured in a book with recipes from top Cape Breton dining spots.

The Gallery moved at that time from the old Forge to the new ground floor of The Ark. It is home to original watercolors, oils, sketches and photographs, pottery, sculptures and carvings, tapestries, jewelry and other inspirations, from unusual lamps and inlaid wood cutting boards to whimsical mats and mystical mermaids. All are from the artists and craftspeople of Cape Breton and other parts of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

This is a turn-key property; in addition, its name, branding and other relative information are transferrable. (Consulting services also are available by separate agreement, including sample menus and recipes if needed.) The property presents many opportunities. They include:
* All three buildings are metered separately for power and water.
* The upper two floors of The Ark are set up as a cozy, quaint apartment and office space used by the owners and managers.
* Both upper floors have large decks; the third floor has a full bath.
* The bottom level of the former Forge is now used as the laundry and extra storage for the Inn. The top level is the housekeeping efficiency described earlier; the middle level, currently vacant, has a bathroom, nice windows and large front porch. In sum, the building affords rental space as a small office and easy conversion to an apartment.
* The property also could constitute a beautiful large-family compound just yards away from the village pontoon boat and dock with summer service every 20 minutes to Kidston Island and its beaches and landmark lighthouse.
* A buildable lot across the street has direct water access.

Baddeck is at the heart of the Cabot Trail, the starting and ending point for visitors drawn by stunning Atlantic Ocean vistas, whale and puffin watching, hiking trails, and Scottish and Acadian French communities with their native cultures, crafts, antiques and foods. Summer brings Regatta Week to Baddeck Bay, along with sailboats, yachts and cruise ships from around the world, ceilidhs and fiddle music, bicyclists and outdoor enthusiasts. Fall brings Celtic Colours, the international music festival, and the blazing reds, oranges and yellows of autumn.

Inventor and scientist Alexander Graham Bell and wife Mabel, who made Baddeck their home base from 1885 until their deaths in 1922 and 1923, respectively, are honored in an acclaimed museum in the heart of town. In the laboratory of their beloved home called Beinn Bhreagh (Gaelic for “Beautiful Mountain”), the Scotland native built hydrofoils and conducted experiments, including those resulting in the flight of Bell’s Silver Dart in 1909 over a frozen Baddeck Bay, the first in Canada of a controlled, powered aircraft. A few minutes up the road is the world-class Bell Bay Golf Club.

Easy points beyond include the famed Ingonish beaches, resort and golf course, the Cape Breton Highland National Park, the French settlement of Cheticamp on the St. Lawrence Seaway and its famous hooked-rug industry, the seaport of Sydney with ferry service to Newfoundland, the French encampment at Louisburg on the Atlantic, Pictou’s ferry to Prince Edward Island and Digby’s ferry to St. John, New Brunswick.


  • Built in 2005
  • MLS #85140937
  • 7 Guest Rooms
  • 7 Guest Bathrooms
  • Has owner's quarters
  • Has a restaraunt
  • $1,200,000

Listing Agent

Jeff Ertel
48 Partridge Circle
Portland, ME 04102

Phone: 207-221-0920


18-22 Water Street Baddeck, NS B0E 1B0

Photos (click to enlarge)

The Water's Edge overlooks the harbour in the heart of historic Baddeck on Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, hub of the stunning Cabot Trail and home to the Bell Bay world-class golf course and Alexander Graham Bell Museum.

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