Orientation & Geography

North America, Canada, Victoria County

Baddeck (2001 population: 907, pronounced /bəˈdɛk/) is a Canadian village in Victoria County, Nova Scotia. It is the county's shire town and is situated on the northern shore of Bras d'Or Lake on Cape Breton Island. According to some historians the name Baddeck is derived from the Mi'kmaq term "Abadak" which has been translated as "place with an island near" (in reference to Kidston Island, immediately offshore). The creation of the Cabot Trail during the 1930s made Baddeck the focal point for vehicle touring on Cape Breton Island. The village experienced a boom in post-World War II tourism, particularly after the 1956 opening of the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site of Canada and the opening of the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 105) immediately north of the village during the early 1960s. Today, Baddeck functions as a service centre for the sparsely populated county and hosts a well-equipped volunteer fire department, a consolidated school serving grades Primary-12, as well as a public library, provincial government offices, a hospital and a nursing home. The village's economy is driven by tourism during the summer and fall months; it has been estimated by provincial tourism officials that the village experiences almost as many tourists as the provincial capital Halifax. Baddeck has managed to maintain public access to much of its attractive waterfront while preventing aesthetically unpleasing developments. It hosts a yacht club which is the focal point for cruising on Bras d'Or Lake, as well as a world-class golf course, a lake-front resort, numerous hotels/motels, restaurants, small shops, and a small airport in the foothills above the town.