Main-à-Dieu is a close-knit, hospitable community set in a beautiful coastal location on the Marconi Trail. A scenic drive from the Fortress of Louisbourg and the Glace Bay Miners’ Museum, Main-à-Dieu stands in dramatic, rugged contrast to both: a bustling, traditional Cape Breton fishing village, its history and rythms woven deep into Island life.

Boats in Main-à-Dieu harbour

Our community has long been renowned for its outstanding natural beauty: neat, picturesque harbour and wharf (pictured above), home to over fifty working boats; sweeping beach, winding hiking trail, and extensive boardwalk; and Scatarie Island a mile offshore, celebrated for its unique ecology, famous for its treacherous, storm-tossed shores.

In 2004, an exciting new era for the village began with the opening of the Coastal Discovery Centre. Three years in the planning, this ambitious and pioneering facility offers tourists and guests a wide range of services, amenities and attractions including: the Main-à-Dieu Fishermen’s Museum, providing a fascinating, moving insight into the changes, challenges and hardships of the last hundred years and more; the Big Wave Café, serving high-quality refreshments in the spacious, oceanfront Tide Room (also available for entertainment, special events and functions); a well-equipped C@P Site (Community Access Program) with high-speed internet access; a community library; and a small, friendly Credit Union to meet your banking needs (closed).

The Coastal Discovery Centre is operated by the Main-à-Dieu & Area Community Development Association (MCDA), a non-profit organization incorporated under the Nova Scotia Societies Act. As part of its mandate to facilitate and support community economic development, the Association is dedicated to encouraging local entrepreneurs to take advantage of the many business and rental opportunities on offer at the Coastal Discovery Centre.

Past, Present & Future in a Rural Fishing Village: Sustainable Communities in the 21st Century

The Boats of Main-à-Dieu
A multimedia narrative history

Follow a boat from its building to its blessing; listen as generations of local residents share their memories of fishing and the sea; witness the area's transformation in light of the era's cultural, economic and technological developments.

Time & Tide
A people's history of Main-à-Dieu & area

Based on original footage and interviews, augmented by a wealth of archival material from local residents, the film revolves round four main themes: fishing and the sea, community and church, war and peace, daily life and leisure.

Green Beacon, Bright Future
5-year Plan & Sustainability Vision

An experimental development model for the Coastal Discovery Centre, and a 'green-print' for other communities wishing to go green and reduce operating costs. Read the document, discuss it, and send us feedback.