Access granted: Halifax harbour’s Georges Island opens to the public – Global News

For decades, Georges Island has been a bit of a mystery.

Nestled in the heart of the Halifax harbour, the island can be plainly seen from the waterfront. But because of a lack of infrastructure, like water and electricity, the island has been closed to most of the public.

But on Saturday, that all changed.

On Thursday, the federal government announced the public will be able to visit Georges Island throughout August on weekend boat tours.

READ MORE: Georges Island: public granted access to historic island in Halifax harbour

Saturday marked the first day of its reopening, and for history buffs alike, it was a long time coming.

If youve never gone here, you have to come, said visitor Rachael Ingles. The tour of the tunnels are eerie but cool. The prison house is cool, its just oh so cool.

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The tunnels were actually really neat, going on the guided tour through all the tunnels. And nice views of Halifax, said visitor James Pearson.

The island was designated as a historic site in 1965. It was fortified by the British military in 1750 and served as a detention centre during the deportation of Nova Scotias Acadian population between 1755 and 1763.

Its military installations include Fort Charlotte, which is known for housing two seaward-facing artillery batteries, and an underground tunnel complex.

Plans to open the site date back to the 1990s. There was intent to open it to visitors earlier in the summer, but that was stalled by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Saturdays and Sundays throughout August, Ambassatourss Harbour Queen is ferrying passengers from Cable Wharf for Georges Island. The boat leaves every 40 minutes from noon to 5 p.m.

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READ MORE:Passenger ferry to Halifaxs Georges Island on deck for this summer

Tickets cost $25 and Parks Canada recommends booking early, as theyre selling quickly.

Wed really like people to visit the website, make sure theyre well prepared, said Theresa Bunbury with Parks Canada. So you get your ticket, you come on the boat, youll come across weve got guides stationed around on the path up at Fort Charlotte, and just wander around a little bit and enjoy the views.

The island will remain open until Labour Day, when it will once again close until next season.

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Access granted: Halifax harbour's Georges Island opens to the public - Global News

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