Discover luxury and relaxation at Fox Harb’r Resort, Nova Scotia. Explore world-class amenities, stunning golf courses, and seaside escapes in this coastal paradise.
Sitting in the Cliff Dining Room overlooking the fabulous final fairways of Fox Harb’r Resort, the setting sun sinks into Northumberland Strait. It was a grand day on the 7253-yard golf links, a world-class course designed by Canadian architect Graham Cooke.
Tucking into succulent scallops, butter-poached lobster, and panna cotta with fresh berries, the food was just as precious as the setting sun. Not a Timbit in sight.
About Fox Harb’r Resort
Our host is Steven Joyce, the Fox Harb’r Resort’s C.E.O. and the son of Fox Harb’r’s visionary, the late Ron Joyce, who co-founded the fabulously successful Tim Hortons donut franchise before eventually selling it to Wendy’s.
Fox Harb’r is a luxury Canadian golf resort and real estate community in beautiful Nova Scotia where the likes of Bill Clinton, Tiger Woods, Wayne Gretzky, and Mr. Joyce himself zoom in via their private jets.
Located in the town of Wallace on Nova Scotia’s North Shore, about halfway between Halifax and Moncton, New Brunswick, Fox Harb’r Resort is well off the average golfer’s beaten track. But it’s close to Tatamagouche, where Ron Joyce grew up, and it’s where he returned to “give back” to the community.
As his Tim Horton’s empire grew, Joyce launched the Tim Horton Children’s Foundation for underprivileged children in Wallace in 1974. There are now six camps in Canada and one in the U.S. Nearby, he bought a parcel of land that would become the Fox Harb’r Resort.
“I’m very proud of what we’ve created here,” Joyce exclaimed. “Luxury without pretension, in one of the most beautiful places on earth.”
The Fox Harb’r Experience
Fox Harb’r, Nova Scotia, is more than just a golf resort. This four-season community boasts an extraordinary culinary scene, and it has established itself as one of Nova Scotia’s top wellness destinations as well.
Throughout the stunning natural landscapes threading the Northumberland Strait, Fox Harb’r offers sport shooting, axe throwing, archery, kayaking, hiking, and biking, along with pontoon boat and yacht tours. You can even try your hand at pickleball, tennis, volleyball, and horseshoes.
Fox Harb’r Golfing
Joyce’s vision began with the championship golf course that was named Best New Golf Course in 2001 and Best Golf Resort in Canada in 2011 by Golf Digest. Known for his masterful use of the lay of the land, celebrated architect Graham Cooke created two unique Fox Harb’r golf experiences.
The front nine plays around meticulously manicured parkland with sheltered forests, extensive wetlands, and lakes.
Head onto the back nine, and you are transported to a Scottish links-like landscape with waving fescue and fairways hugging the rugged coast of the Northumberland Strait.
Tiger Woods, who holds the Fox Harb’r course record of 63, stayed in Edgewood in 2009, one of many homes and townhouses for sale at Fox Harb’r.
No doubt Ron Joyce would be ecstatic to learn that his original 18-hole golf course is about to become a 36-hole facility with 18 parkland-style fairways and 18- 18-links-style fairways, all with views of the rugged coastline.
And he’d be proud of the fact that two of Canada’s most distinguished architects, Doug Carrick and Tom McBroom, won the international competition for the new Fox Harb’r golf project.
This is the first time that these two architects have collaborated, and they have flown into the resort to discuss their vision with our group.
The newly routed Ocean Course should be ready for the 2024 season. McBroom describes it as a “refined links-style” that revolves around the ocean.
The 18-hole parkland vineyard course that will play around the resort’s own grapevines should be completed by 2025.
Fishing And Horseback Riding
Fox Harb’r may have gained fame with golf as the main attraction, but there are plenty more things to do at Fox Harb’r to keep guests occupied.
Now, guests and owners can go horseback riding along a seaside trail known as The Foxtrot, play tennis, kayak, take a hike, or ride a bike. Anglers might try to snag a trout in one of the fully stocked ponds, and if they’re lucky, resort chef Jeff McInnis will cook it for their dinner.
Until the end of September, guests are also welcome to try their hand at saltwater fishing from the resort’s pontoon boat. Mackerel are just waiting to be caught and released under the tutelage of an expert guide.
If something a little more hands-off is their style, they can opt for a sunset cruise along the coast and finish the day with a lobster cookout by the lighthouse at the Fox Harb’r marina. It may not be Peggy’s Cove, but the views here are fantastic.
At the Fox Harb’r Sporting Lodge, sharpshooters can take expert instruction in archery, clay, and skeet shooting. Recently added to the roster of the Sporting Lodge activities is axe tossing.
If stepping into the Lodge with its massive stone fireplace and comfy leather chairs feels like you are at a weekend hunting party in Britain, it’s because it was designed by England’s World Sporting Clays Champion George Digweed.
The leather sofa, once owned by Johnny Cash, was purchased at a New York auction by Steven Joyce.
Dol-άs Oceanside Spa Retreat
Ready for some pampering? The recently renovated Dol-ás Spa & Wellness Centre offers a full range of treatments.
The Fox Harb’r Interlude tempts with five and a half hours of bliss that includes Healing Hands Massage, Signature Facial, Body Polish and Deluxe Manicure and Pedicure. The Fox Harb’r Spa Signature Facial was designed exclusively for the spa by CELLCOSMET, featuring a new generation of Swiss cellular and phyto-cosmeceutical products and accompanied by a microcurrent NuFace (FDA-approved) treatment. This anti-aging facial tones and firms with immediate results.
The GolFore’s Massage is designed for the avid golf swinger with a focus on hands, forearms, and lower back. The wellness level features a gym, a Junior Olympic swimming pool, and hot tubs. Awarded the best spa in Nova Scotia, the popular facility is scheduled to expand to bring even more wellness opportunities.
Dining at Fox Harb’r
All this activity and fresh sea air whets the appetite, so it’s no surprise that fine cuisine is an important element of the Fox Harb’r experience.
The Cape Cliff Dining Room (open daily for breakfast and dinner) is Atlantic Canada’s first sustainable seafood restaurant certified by Ocean Wise.
For a more casual lunch or dinner, head to The Willard pub beside the golf pro shop. You can’t go wrong with the chock-full seafood chowder and lobster roll washed down with a craft Nova Scotia beer.
Fox Harb’r also uses fresh herbs and produce from its own greenhouses under the direction of master horticulturist Michael Stewart. The resort’s extensive wine list has received the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence.
Fox Harb’r now grows its own vines, and its vineyard boasts the second-largest single-block planting of grapes in Nova Scotia. They are growing L’Acadie Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling, New York Muscat, and Lucy Kuhlmann grapes. I suggest you try their Tidal Bay white blend.
Fox Harb’r Accommodations
Fox Harb’r offers 88 oceanfront accommodations ranging from suites to golf manors or marina villas. My Executive Suite included a large living room with a sofa bed and working desk, fireplace, and a well-stocked wet bar.
The living room opened onto a large patio overlooking the 10th fairway. The bathroom was well-appointed, with two sinks, a hydrotherapy tub, a rain shower, and heated granite floors. I would have happily slept a few more nights on the ultra-comfortable king-size bed made up with fine Frette linens and a matelassé coverlet. There’s even a pillow menu!
Getting around the 1000-acre resort is easy. You can walk, bike, or call for a smiling driver to chauffeur you to any facility.
How To Get To Fox Harb’r Resort
Fox Harb’r Resort is a scenic 90-minute drive from the Halifax airport. Its central location makes it easy to get to from anywhere within Nova Scotia or nearby New Brunswick.
The resort also caters to the traveling elite, so getting there by land, sea, or air is a breeze. Arrive by yacht to their deep-water Marina, scenically overlooked by its classic lighthouse. Or travel by private jet to their on-site airstrip and jet port. It’s a scenic 90-minute drive from Halifax Airport.
Fox Harb’r Nova Scotia, A True Canadian Success Story
The Fox Harb’r story has all the makings of a great Canadian novel or movie. Ron Joyce, a Blue-collar cop from remote Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia. buys a donut/coffee shop in Hamilton with a famous Maple Leaf hockey player. The Tim Hortons brand has become a roaring success, with franchises all over Canada and a loyal following eager to “roll up the rim” on their double-doubles.
Mr. Joyce wants to give back to the Nova Scotia community of his childhood, so he starts his first camp for underprivileged kids near his birthplace. In the process, he buys a parcel of land with the dream of making it a five-star golf resort. He succeeds, and his legacy continues to grow.
You can find out more about Fox Harb’r Resort on their website.
Anita Draycott is a Canadian travel journalist, photographer, and editor who has visited over 100 countries. She lives to eat and makes it her mandate to find the best restaurants, cafés, and culinary experiences wherever she goes. She has attended cooking classes all over the planet—from finding the right spices combos for Pad Thai in Bangkok to learning to make linguine from scratch in Italy. Hunting for truffles in Croatia, touring wineries in Bordeaux, and exploring the street food of Istanbul are all in a delicious day’s work for Anita.