Features of Interest (roughly north to south)
Ives Point was once the gateway to McNabs Island and served as an anchor point for a WWI submarine net. It offers panoramic views of Halifax Harbour.
Construction at Fort Ives began in 1864. The fortification was updated in the 1890s and again during WW I. The fort features two rifled muzzleloading guns in their original casements.
Indian Point, near Ives Cove, takes its name from the Mi’kmaq people, who were forced to relocate to McNabs Island in 1760 by British settlers.
Woolnough's Pleasure Grounds opened in 1873 with two large pavilions for dancing and dining. Thousands were entertained on these grounds, including the Governor-General of Canada. Today nothing remains of this once popular site.
The Conrad House was built as a summer home by A.J. Davis, who operated a soda pop factory on the island. The home was the residence of Gladys Conrad, sister to Bill Lynch, and the last full-time resident on the island.
The Matthew Lynch house was the childhood home of Bill Lynch, the midway king, who got his start in the fair ground business on the island.
Findlay’s Picnic Grounds was a popular recreational grounds in the early 20th century. Today nothing remains of the site.
Hugonin Battery was constructed in 1899-1900. It was used until 1993 by the Department of National Defence as an acoustic monitoring station. The site is off-limits to visitors.
A.J. Davis Soda Pop Factory operated before and during Prohibition, producing soda pop as well as a special concoction called ‘Pure McNab’.
The Teahouse was built in the 1980s by John and Glenna Jenkins, and is now closed. The Teahouse was built on the site of the former Hugonin-Perrin Estate, and features many introduced plants and trees.
In 1752, Captain Joshua Mauger, a merchant, distiller, and ship’s provisioner, acquired five acres on Maugers Beach for drying and processing fish.
Maugers Beach Lighthouse was built during WWII on the site of Sherbrooke Tower, a military“Martello” Tower completed in 1828 and later adapted as a lighthouse. In 1852 Dr. Abraham Gesner used his new kerosene fuel to operate the lighthouse for a trial period.
Around 1800, the British Admiralty used Hangman's Beach to hang deserters. The bodies were left hanging there as a warning to sailors considering deserting.
Strawberry Battery, near the site of the McNab homestead, was built in 1939. The battery guarded the submarine net between the lighthouse and York Redoubt during WWII. Today the site is overgrown and holds many hazards for visitors.
McNabs Pond, once a cove open to the ocean, is now fresh water and a stopover for migrating birds. It is one of the island’s best birding areas.
Back Cove (or Wreck Cove) opposite Lawlor Island, became the final resting place for several scuttled ships. The cove is a favourite picnic and recreation area for boaters.
The McNabs Family home was built at the sheltered south-end of McNabs Pond, which was once open to the ocean. Today, nothing visible remains of the homestead.
Construction of Fort McNab National Historic Site began in 1889. It was the first fortification in Halifax to use breech-loading guns, making it the most powerful fort to guard Halifax. It served as an examination battery during WWI and WWII and was distinguished as the only fort in Halifax to fire “shots in anger” when a local boat tried to skip inspection.
The fenced McNabs Cemetery is the McNab family graveyard. Fort McNab was built around the graveyard, making it “the world's best guarded graveyard”, according to Thomas Raddall in his book, Halifax: Warden of the North.
The overgrown Rifle Range was once used by the military stationed on the island. It poses hazards for visitors.