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(2016 - Winter Issue)


When you pull up to the gates at Fox Harb’r Resort, you immediately sense there’s something very special about this out-of-the-way resort.

Located in a less conventional corner of the resort world, Fox Harb’r is one of only five five-star resorts in Canada, and a veritable gem of an escape for a day, a week or even the best part of the summer months.

Your first clue is the whimsical sculpture garden featuring foxes playing among the rocks. Once you pass through the gates, the most impressive thing that hits you is a beautiful silence that seems to lift the weight of the world from your shoulders.

Don’t let the quietness deceive you though. Hidden among the many enclaves are world-class sporting and recreational activities, ranging from swimming and tennis to clay shooting and fly fishing. But the penultimate attraction that has drawn visitors from around the world is the award-winning golf course that sits on the peninsula high above the Northumberland Strait waters.


Fox Harb’r Resort has become a regional point of pride for the province’s North Shore region. Located in Wallace (eight kilometres from Fox Harbour Provincial Park), it was founded by Ron Joyce of Tim Horton’s franchise fame to help stimulate the local economy and provide a private haven for golf enthusiasts. Joyce, who was born in nearby Tatamagouche, acquired the 4.6 square kilometres of land in 1994.

Joyce originally developed the property so he could fly in friends and colleagues to play golf. He built guest suites to accommodate them, but some were so enamoured with the experience, they wanted to build their own homes on the property. As the community grew, it wasn’t long before this labour-of-love project expanded to include spa facilities, a fine-dining restaurant and a sporting lodge. By 2000, Fox Harb’r Resort was officially launched.

The challenging Graham Cooke-designed golf course, which is a blend of Scottish links and traditional parkland golf, garnered Best New Course kudos from Golf Digest in 2001. It has also seen its fair share of celebrities since opening, including Tiger Woods, Charles Barkley, Bill Clinton and Bobby Orr. Not to mention countless day trippers from Montréal and New York who fly into the property’s private airstrip to play a few rounds. 

Less seasoned golfers need not fear however. There’s the 18-hole championship course plus a nine-hole short course along the waterfront. And the on-site Golf Academy instructors are at the ready, using the latest radar technology advancements that can capture exact spin rates and distance to help guests improve their swing and test the latest and greatest equipment.

The landscaping has a few signature items of note. The course wraps around wetlands, frequented by otters, birds and other local creatures; and the eighth fairway is home to an enclave of smaller cottages for seasonal visitors.  


Family or group members who aren’t golfers by nature can always try their hand at clay shooting with one of the staff instructors at the sporting lodge located in a pristine wooded area. The activity has drawn amateurs and professional competitors from around the world, including world clay-shooting champion George Digweed, who visits Fox Harb’r twice a year to conduct clinics.

Or you can always try fly fishing at one of the property’s well-stocked trout ponds, or play a few sets of tennis or rounds of beach volleyball along the beachfront. Then there’s the Fox Trot, a scenic trail that winds its way throughout the property for anyone interested in running, walking or cycling (bicycles are provided). Still in the planning stages is an equestrian centre in partnership with Forever Memories Equestrian.

If you’re up for an outing, the region has plenty of great restaurants and some first-class wineries, as well as local galleries and museums.

The Dol-ás  Spa (which means ‘escape’ in Gaelic) is a luxurious relaxation haven, with six treatment rooms and a 25-metre mineral water pool. It’s a stone’s throw from the Cape Cliff dining room, where farm-to-table cuisine includes first-rate seafood sourced from local sustainable providers and greens from the property’s greenhouse operations.


While the resort welcomes its fair share of temporary guests—from individuals to large corporate groups—its residential properties are also growing to keep pace with demand.

The developers report there is plenty of room for more than 250 units over the next 10 years. Larger homes 400 square metres plus with a full-on view of the golf course and ocean can be had for $1 million and up. Executive townhomes with an ocean view or green space range from $525,000 to $749,000—or you can get into a fractional deal starting at around $169,000. If you prefer to build your own, 2,020-square-metre lots run from $195,000 to $385,000.

An added bonus for owners is a recent reciprocal deal forged with Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina in the British Virgin Islands. New owners are entitled to a complimentary one-week stay in an oceanview suite at Scrub Island for their first three years of ownership. Fox Harb’r also has partnered with Pacific Links International, which connects its members to a worldwide network of golf clubs.

If you’re not in the market for a home, there are guest suites housed in a townhome complex, each of which includes four executive and two studio suites. There are also plans in the works for single-floor-plan duplexes and a 40-unit inn, as well as a convention centre and, not surprisingly, more golf courses.

Whether you’re hankering for a day of golf, a few days of rest and relaxation or a long-term stay, there are already plenty of reasons why Fox Harb’r ranks among the top resort destinations in the country. Perhaps Ron Joyce himself said it best when he stated: “I’m very proud of what we’ve created here. Luxury without pretension, in one of the most beautiful places on Earth.”


Air Canada and Porter offer flights to Halifax Stanfield International Airport. Then a scenic 90-minute drive takes you along the edge of the Bay of Fundy through the picturesque Cobequid Hills. Shuttle service to and from the airport is available on request.

Visitors can also fly directly to the site by private jet or dock at the deepwater marina.

Package tours are available through Maritime Air Charter (eight guest minimum required) for either a Fly, Stay and Play or Touch Down to Take Off Same Day Golf Experience. Fees include chartered flights to and from Halifax Stanfield International Airport.

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