The seafood industry is a major economic driver in Victoria County. Agriculture and fisheries include fish hatcheries, marine finfish and shellfish aquaculture. The industry is valued at $1.4 million—a major contributor to the provincial fishing industry. The Village of Baddeck is the largest settlement on the Bras d’Or Lake. It is the main boating centre on the Island, and offers 111 mooring spots, 22 of which are commercial.
The Victoria Cooperative Fisheries Ltd. has been in operation since 1956. This forward thinking and unique cooperative buys a variety of seafood from over 140 inshore commercial fishing vessels. The majority of seafood, including lobster, snow crab, halibut, ground fish and mackerel are bought from vessels that are locally owned and operated. During peak periods, about 125 individuals are employed, providing a $2 million payroll for the local economy. The Victoria brand is known for its quality, as their seafood is harvested daily from the surrounding Atlantic waters. Its products are shipped to Japan, Hong Kong, China, the USA and Canada.
Tourism is a major industry here and there are plenty of opportunities for niche businesses. The Bite House is a 12-seat restaurant in an old farmhouse that has been described as a foodies dream in the New York Times, Food & Wine and Bon Appétit. Victoria County businesses offer meaningful experiences – like zip lining with a view of the Atlantic at Mountain Pine Adventures in Dingwall; empowerment at Highland Bow & Arrow, whale watching in Ingonish, Dingwall and Bay St. Lawrence and more. With direct flights from Toronto, Montreal and Halifax to Sydney, Cape Breton is easily accessible as a tourism destination. Exploring Victoria County will appeal to artisans, historians, musicians, gourmets and anyone interested in the outdoors. Much like the rest of Cape Breton Island, there is always something new to discover in this unique corner of the world.
The community also uses the services of Victoria County Transit, which offers inclusive, safe and reliable transportation to residents and visitors. Victoria County is connected to mainland Nova Scotia by Highway 105, offering businesses a direct link to the Port of Sydney and the Canso Port in Richmond County. Victoria’s sea, road and air transportation options allow for shipping and receiving flexibility. The ports at the Strait of Canso and nearby Sydney are deep-water ports that can accommodate the largest post-Panamax vessels. A full range of trucking services provides another option for transport. Victoria’s multimodal transportation network means businesses can reach customers across the Continent.