Lunenburg Opera House



Have you ever dreamt of having your own opera house? Well now you can.

In a small, picturesque fishing village in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, a century-old, multi-story opera house has just gone on the market for $1,995,000(approximately £1,200,000).

Lunenburg has been hailed as an ideal retreat for the well-heeled, regularly tops lists of places to go in Canada (USA Today, National Geographic, The Culture Trip), has a sprinkling of some of Canada’s most lauded restaurants (Four Diamond and Gold Plate Award-winners) and is has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its cultural significance.

Lunenburg is the world’s best-preserved, British-colonial fishing village. Dotted with colourful and stately heritage buildings and residences, the Lunenburg Opera House (LOH) sits at the town’s centre as a beacon of culture.

The cornerstone of the LOH was laid in 1907 and the commanding, wooden structure was built by the Independent Order of the Odd Fellows (IOOF): a fraternal order, originating in Britain. The ingenuity of Lunenburg’s fine shipbuilders and craftsmen (who built the LOH) is evidenced by the unique, architectural features that enhance both the acoustics and aesthetics of the building. Its first performance took to the stage in January 1909 and the original, scenic mural, which has never been retouched, can still be admired on the back wall.

Over the past decade, the LOH has received a no-expenses-spared restoration and today the Lunenburg Opera House is a vibrant venue for the arts. Updates to its infrastructure have been carefully considered: adhering to modern requirements and enhancing comfort, while respecting the all-important historic nature of the building. A mix of performing arts including music, comedy, theatre, spoken word and readings feature on the newly restored stage. Static art shows, an annual film festival, an annual music festival and an annual luxury craft spirits festival also make use of the beautifully historic yet significantly upgraded space.

The Technical Details

The building is simple but majestic––a testament to the sensibilities of the South Shore. The entire exterior was restored with new western red cedar trim and eastern cedar shake. The roof has been replaced entirely and every piece of wood has been meticulously replaced in the style of the original. Mouldings and knees were fastidiously and accurately recreated. Insulation has been integrated for the first time in history and all windows and doors have been replaced while maintaining the same look that the original builders intended.

The theatre and the integral mezzanine have undergone an extensive restoration: an all-new, state-of-the-art stage has been constructed and a sound booth built, while being brought up to code. The floor’s joists are laminated and made to curve in the direction of the stage; they provide support to the dished floor above while simultaneously enhancing the acoustics. The joists mimic the hidden framework that one might find beneath the facade of a guitar or inside the hull of a sailing schooner. All walls have been replaced and the floors have been brought back to life, looking like they did originally when the first show opened.

New three-phase power has been installed enabling the largest and most-demanding acts to perform on the theatre’s stage. The Lunenburg Opera House is an icon, ready to be fully-utilized for music, theatre, film and events; with a to-be-restored magnificent, top-floor ballroom that could be anything from a wedding and conference venue to a stunning penthouse with the best views over Lunenburg’s breath-taking harbour, home to one of the world’s most famous tall ships: The Bluenose, intermingled with private yachts and a backdrop of a beautiful, 18-hole golf course.

The careful restoration will enable the Lunenburg Opera House to withstand the next one hundred years without major intervention.

The current owner had three goals when he purchased the LOH: to save the building, to bring world-class acts to the stage and to provide year-round economic spin-off for the town. The building has been saved and a foundation of regular programming has been kick-started. The owner is looking for an individual or group to become the future and long-term stewards of the Lunenburg Opera House. Special consideration will be given to those who share and will continue the vision. Trades will be considered on case-to-case basis.

For serious enquiries, please contact:




About Melanie (185 Articles)
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2 Comments on Lunenburg Opera House

  1. Lunenburg is wonderful. All of the Atlantic provinces are under appreciated.

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