The History of MacKinnon-Cann Inn

In the late 1880’s a prominent ship-owner, Zebina Goudey resided at the property on the corner of Collins and Willow Street in Yarmouth.  Part of his investment portfolio included the land located to the south of his residence, the present site of the Inn.  Mr. Goudey had two children, a daughter Fannie MacKinnon and son Hiram.

In November of 1887, Mr. Goudey died leaving the lot to the south of his home to his daughter Fannie and her husband William.Over the next two years the MacKinnon’s had this impressive double Italianate Victorian house built.  They retained ownership of the north side of the building and sold the south side to Fannie’s brother Hiram.  Both had children, the MacKinnon’s a son and daughter and the Goudey’s three daughters.

Upon their deaths, around 1920, Hiram’s home on the south, was inherited by his daughter Hazel Cann while Fannie’s home on the north, was inherited by her daughter Jean.  Jean MacKinnon and Hazel Cann were first cousins and lived in the property their entire lives.  Although Hazel had three sons, Jean remained a single woman and was most remembered by the people of Yarmouth as the local piano teacher.

In the late 1960’s, upon Hazel’s death, her home was inherited by one of her three sons William.  Upon Jean’s death, William purchased the north side of the building from his Aunt’s estate.  William, a local contractor, immediately converted the property into 4 apartments and purchased the house behind the Inn at 15 Collins Street as his residence.

After a divorce in the late 1970’s, William sold the building to a local slum lord who allowed the building to deteriorate beyond habitability.  The building was condemned in the mid 1980’s and sat vacant and abandoned until its scheduled demolition by the Town of Yarmouth in June of 2000.

Michael Tavares and Neil Hisgen, who resided at 17 Collins Street, could not bare the thought of this once grand building to be removed from the community.  They immediately purchased the building in July 2000 and began the painstaking task of a complete restoration and adaptive reuse of the property into the now MacKinnon Cann Inn.

Named in honour of Jean MacKinnon and Hazel Cann, the MacKinnon Cann Inn proudly stands as one of the finest boutique hotels in the Province of Nova Scotia.  Its seven beautifully appointed guest suites, each themed, represent the 80 years of the homes interior evolution in décor.  Its fine dining restaurant and function facility are unsurpassed in the Region honouring Yarmouth’s legacy and heritage.

Your hosts, Michael Tavares and Neil Hisgen welcome you to an experience of fine lodging and welcoming Nova Scotian hospitality.

The Mackinnon-Cann Inn - 27 Willow St - Yarmouth Nova Scotia B5A 1V2


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