Saturday, December 16, 2017

Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada

Cape Breton Island is on the Atlantic coast of Canada and part of the province of Nova Scotia. Although geographically separated from the Nova Scotia peninsula by the 1-1/2 mile wide Strait of Canso it is physically connected to it by the Canso Causeway. 
Sydney, founded by the British in 1785, was the island's capital until 1820 at which time Cape Breton was merged with Nova Scotia and the capital became Halifax. The town enjoyed rapid population growth after the turn of the 20th century when it became was home to the Dominion Steel and Coal Corporation  and the town was incorporated as a city in 1904. Later, during both the First and Second World Wars, Sydney became a major staging area for England bound convoys and these activities also contributed to growth. 
Following World War II, however, the steel mill and mining industries declined and the port activity decreased overall culminating in the loss of city status in 1995. Although the local and national governments nationalized the steel mill in the mid-sixties it continued it's decline and was finally closed in 2001. 
Currently the economy is largely supported by a miscellany of customer support call centers and tourism. Also housed on the island are five reserves for the Eskasoni, Membertou, Wagmatcook, Waycobah, and Potlotek tribes of the Mi'kmaq Nation. See slideshow.

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