In 1749 Halifax, Nova Scotia, was founded by the British government to establish a fortress and naval base in Nova Scotia designed to be stronger than the French fortress of Louisbourg. After this, the British started to colonize Nova Scotia by offering grants of land to Protestant settlers in a deliberate attempt to overbalance the original French Catholic population.
One of the earliest land grants was to Joseph Scott, who was a prominent citizen in the new settlement of Halifax. In 1759, only ten years after the founding of Halifax, he was granted land near Sackville, Nova Scotia. He built sawmills at Bedford on his first land grant. Six years later, in 1765, he was granted a further 7000 acres of land to supply his mills. This grant land included part of the land on which Waverley now stands.
In 1776 about 1,700 acres of land in the Waverley area were granted to a group of non-commissioned officers and sailors. This land was situated between Third Lake and Lake Thomas. It is not known whether all of the men who were granted land actually settled on the land but some probably did.