The Shubenacadie Canal Commission

In 1984 the Province of Nova Scotia realized the heritage potential of the Shubenacadie Canal. The Minister of Development, The Honorable Roland Thornhill, signed an agreement to begin restoration of features of canal system. That work continues today.

The Shubenacadie Canal Commission (SCC) was established through an Act of the Legislature in 1986. The objective and purpose of the Commission is to oversee and further promote the Shubenacadie Canal System including the operation of any information or interpretative centres. The SCC operates and maintains 9 parcels of land and 2 buildings under license from the Department of Natural Resources.

The Commission is a volunteer organization and a registered charity composed of fifteen members.


The mission of the Shubenacadie Canal Commission is to preserve the historic features of the Shubenacadie Canal Waterway and to provide access to the waterway for the education and the enjoyment of the public. In order to achieve its mission the Commission pursues the following objectives:

  • To carry out stabilization, preservation and restoration work to the locks and associated features including the dams, head ponds and channels.
  • To provide for the maximum practical use of the waterway by shallow draft watercraft.
  • To provide for the interpretation of sites for visitors.
  • To provide park-like settings for residents and tourists.

In 2003 a team of volunteers developed the following Vision and Values:

  • “We are a waterway, bounded by a greenbelt, spanning the Province from Halifax Harbour to the Cobequid Bay – linking communities en route.
  • “We are an historic treasure, recognized at home and abroad, as a unique system of natural lakes and rivers connected by man-made locks, canal cuts and inclined planes.
  • “We enhance access to the use of the waterway for recreational, educational, cultural and economic benefits for residents, businesses and visitors.”

    We appreciate donations in support of our mandate. Click here to donate to the Shubenacadie Canal Commission.

Meet Our Staff and Head Volunteers


Doug has 22 years experience in the landscape business as an owner, designer, and project manager. He successfully grew and sold his landscape company. Doug has the experience of working in many volunteer industry positions and holds most of the industry certifications available as well as many NSCSA certifications.

Doug is responsible for: 

Financial Oversight, Recording and Reporting, Management of Commission Projects, Funding Applications and Fundraising, Development and Maintenance of Commission Assets, Records Management, Communications, Staff Management


Paula takes care of the administrative side of the Shubenacadie Canal Commission and is based in the Fairbanks Centre.


Bernie is volunteer member of the heritage secretariat at the Fairbanks Centre in Dartmouth, NS. As the former chief education curator at the Nova Scotia Museum, Mr. Hart has a distinguished history as an educator in both schools and in the community. Volunteering as a researcher with the Fairbanks Centre, Mr. Hart is uniquely suited to sharing the history of the region.