Agrarian Pastime: Book a Village Stay in Nova Scotia
French, German, and Swiss settlers had occupied the land in waves, leaving only dilapidated homes, and the surrounding forest had begun to reclaim the farmland. Undeterred, Brian, a partner at MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects, set out to clear and cultivate the site.
That was in 1988. Twenty years later, Shobac opened as an "agricultural village" with cattle, horses, and sheep roaming its pastures and drumlins, or hills created by passing glaciers. Visitors can rent any of the four cabins, the studio, the schoolhouse, the barn, Point House, or Enough House. Some buildings date back to the 1800s, and others are modern designs by Brian and Ghost Residency interns, creating a campus that evolves with time while keeping its historic roots alive.
Modeled after fishing huts, the cottages Hirtles, Gaff, LaHave, and Mosher are so named for the surrounding topography. They are available for weekly rentals at varying rates ranging from $1231 (€1103) to $1638 (€1467).
Featuring an airy event space, the studio can be rented for large gatherings like corporate retreats, creative workshops, and family reunions.
Brian rescued and transported the 1830 schoolhouse from Chebogue, a community near his hometown of Acadia. The two-bedroom unit is available to rent year-round.
In addition to being a rental venue, the 19th-century barn hosts Ghost Lab lectures, a design-build workshop behind many of the structures at Shobac.
Designed by Brian and engineered by his daughter Reneé MacKay-Lyons, Enough House hosts a Ghost Residency intern for nine months out of the year and becomes a rental unit during the summer.
The dual buildings of Point House are available to rent from the last week of June through the second week of September.
For those wanting to make Shobac their permanent home, a limited number of oceanfront lots are available for purchase. The property comes with the opportunity to own a residence designed by MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects and the option of joining the rental program. For more information, visit the Shobac website.