History - Digby, NS Bed & Breakfast | The Harbourview Inn
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Harbourview Inn Smiths Cove

The Harbourview Inn History

The Harbourview Inn was completed in 1899 and has been receiving summer guests ever since that time. Our earliest guests came from Montreal, Toronto, and the Boston States. It was advertised as an upscale tourist resort, a unique and charming summer home. People traveled by ship and railway: Steamship service from Boston to Yarmouth took 16 hours and passengers then connected to the Dominion Atlantic Railway which stopped within 50 feet of the hotel grounds. Others arrived by way of the Flying Bluenose Express Train from Halifax, Montreal, and Toronto.

Old photo of Winchester HouseIn 1783, one of the earliest settlers, Joseph Potter Jr., exchanged land grants with a United Empire Loyalist named Joseph Smith from whom the community derived its name. Smith settled on the southwest side of the point of land located just behind the Winchester House, formerly part of the Inn. 

In 1924, Harbourview Inn was one of the first establishments to offer electric lights with power being supplied by its own electric plant. It also offered a salt-water swimming pool, and a large dancing pavilion as well as all the comforts of home. The property consisted of twenty-seven cottages as well as the inn and large dining hall. It provided all meals, social events, and recreation.

Man standing in doorway in old photoThe Great Depression of the 1930s and World War II brought an end to the era of long, leisurely summer vacations. With the threat of U-boats during the war, travel by ship to Yarmouth was severely restricted and gas rationing made travel by car almost impossible. During World War II, the cottages and Inn were used to house some of the military personnel from near-by Cornwallis. In the 1970s the cottages were sold...many to the same families who had been coming here for many years.

In 2000, Vance Simpson and Darren Snair purchased the Inn and upgraded the facilities to add many modern conveniences while trying to preserve the original character of this historic building.

In 2020 Greg and Belinda Metcalf purchased the inn. During the Covid crisis, when business was slow, they added considerable investment to further improve on the Inn. Harbourview Inn continues to offers its guests a sublime experience, second to none.

In 2022, Tripadvisor selected Harbourview Inn as one of the "Best of the Best", putting us in the top 1% of accommodations worldwide. This is a highly prestigious honor that reflects the care and standards we strive to offer our guests.  
Harbourview Inn has been and is a wonderful place for a vacation....a comfortable retreat from the world. We hope that you enjoy your stay in this tranquil and scenic area.

Harbourview Inn Smiths Cove



25 Harbourview Road
Smith’s Cove Nova Scotia
Canada B0S 1S0

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