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Victoria County Court House

495 Chebucto Street, Baddeck, Nova Scotia, B0E, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1989/01/01

Rear elevation, Victoria County Court House, Baddeck, NS, 2008.; Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, Province of Nova Scotia, 2008
Rear Elevation
Front elevation, Victoria County Court House, Baddeck, NS, 2008.; Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, Province of Nova Scotia, 2008.
Front Elevation
Side and front elevations, Victoria County Court House, Baddeck, NS, 2008.; Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, Province of Nova Scotia, 2008
Side and Front Elevations

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1889/01/01 to 1889/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/08/01

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Victoria County Court House is a two-storey stone and wood structure built in the Classical Revival style. It is located mid-way along the upper side of the main street in the village of Baddeck, Nova Scotia. In 1989, to mark its centennial, it received a Municipal Heritage Property designation, which includes the building and the land.

Heritage Value

The Victoria County Court House is valued as a significant landmark; as the local seat of law and governance; for its use by the community; for its architecture; and for its role in the history of Victoria County.

The Victoria County Court House is a significant landmark in the village, being a focal point on the main street. Since its construction in 1889, the building has served a multitude of purposes, including its original intent as a court of law and the seat of the municipal government for Victoria County. It was, and continues to be, utilized as a public meeting place. Aside from its role as a seat of government, the building housed the local library 1940s; it served as the site of the annual Remembrance Day services; and it housed the county jail from the time of construction until 1982.

Philip MacRae from Big Farm, Big Baddeck, a local skilled carpenter oversaw the construction of the building. The court house is a two-storey structure built of both wood and granite. An addition was made to the western end of the building in 1967. The original part of the building is asymmetrical in design, having a centre block and an east wing. Victoria County was created by special act in the British Parliament in April of 1851. Prior to that time, it was part of Cape Breton County. With a newly established county, the need for a seat of government was required, and subsequently, the location chosen was the developing village of Baddeck.

Source: Municipality of the County of Victoria, Municipal Heritage Files, Victoria County Court House

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of the Victoria County Court House relate to its Classical Revival style and original function and include:

- all original decorative elements including: moldings, dentils, and pilasters;
- two-storey construction;
- hipped roof;
- combination of both cut granite and wooden clapboard building materials;
- western wing built with similar materials and style;
- prominent location.



Nova Scotia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (NS)

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act

Recognition Type

Municipally Registered Property

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Governing Canada
Government and Institutions

Function - Category and Type


Office or office building
Courthouse and/or Registry Office


Correctional Facility

Architect / Designer



MacRae, Philip

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Municipality of the County of Victoria Archives, 495 Chebucto Street Baddeck, NS

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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