Sydney/Cape Breton


Nova Scotia (Nova Scotia) is Canada's easternmost and second smallest province. The region consists mainly of the peninsula of the same name and the island of Cape Breton. Nova Scotia connects to the Canadian province of "New Brunswick" (New Brunswick). The narrow bay of the Strait of Canso separates Nova Scotia from Cape Breton. A dam connects both regions.

Interesting facts about Cape Breton

Cape Breton borders the St. Lawrence River to the north and west, the Canso Strait to the south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. With an area of ​​10.311 square kilometers, the approximately 175 km long and 135 km wide island does not even make up twenty percent of Nova Scotia's area. The coastline is rugged. In the interior of the island, the Bras d'Or Lake and the Cape Breton Highlands determine the landscape.

Cape Breton - View of Bras d'Or LakeCape Breton - View of Bras d'Or Lake


The 1.100 square kilometer Bras d'Or Lake is a huge, elongated lake area that is connected to the Atlantic by two natural inlets. In 2011, part of the lake and the surrounding landscape was included in the UNESCO Biosphere Reserves list. The 80 km long and up to 30 km wide lake is a popular sailing area. It is crossed by a road and rail bridge on the Barra Strait, which is only one kilometer wide.

Bridge on the Grand Narrows WaterfrontBridge on the Grand Narrows Waterfront


White Hill, Nova Scotia's highest mountain, is 532 meters high. It is located in the north of the island in the Cape Breton Highlands. The plateau of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park varies between 350 and 532 meters in altitude. It is the highest elevation in the entire Canadian Atlantic region.

Cape Breton - Destination of French and English immigrants

Before the Europeans took possession of the land, Cape Breton was originally inhabited by the Native Americans of the Mi'kmaq tribe. The first settlers were French. They settled on the island in the 17th century. The French were followed by the British, whose troops conquered the country in 1758. They were joined by around 18 Scottish immigrants in the late 50.000th century. They brought the Celtic language to North America. For decades, Celtic was the language most commonly spoken by the islanders. Remnants of the culture, the music and the language are still cultivated with devotion. "Cape Breton Island, the Celtic Heart of North America" ​​is said with great pride.

Highland Village Museum - Scottish home - the first houseHighland Village Museum - Scottish home - the first house


Cape Breton - destination of tourists

Cape Breton is sparsely populated. The island is currently inhabited by approximately 100.000 people. The largest town is the island's capital Sydney with 31.000 inhabitants. Sydney was founded in 1785 by British royals fleeing the aftermath of the American Civil War. The city quickly prospered due to the mineral resources found in the area. The industrial heyday of the city encouraged the immigration of settlers from many countries.

Sydney Charlotte Street - an expression of former prosperitySydney Charlotte Street - an expression of former prosperity


For a long time, Sydney was one of Canada's most important coal and steel locations. Since the coal mines were closed in 2001 and steel production was abandoned, the city has been in transition. Instead of relying on the mining industry, the region now relies on tourism. The lovely landscape and lots of water make Cape Breton a tourist destination for hikers and water sports enthusiasts.

Cape Breton - destination of cruise ships

Cruise ships call at Sydney between April and early November. The plans for the current year include 111 calls by small and large ships. On some days there are several cruise ships visiting at the same time. If the ships are at 100 percent capacity, the region is expected to receive up to 220.000 cruise passengers. To commemorate the indomitable Scottish immigrants, visitors are greeted at the Joan Harris Cruise Pavilion with a huge, 17-meter-high, eight-ton fiddle and men in kilts. We report on what there is to see and do on Cape Breton Sydney attractionsA day in Sydney and on Cape Breton and Shore excursion to Louisbourg Fortress.

Joan Harris Cruise Pavilion - the world's largest fiddle


Joan Harris Cruise Pavilion - the world's largest fiddle


In Sydney, men wear skirts


In Sydney, men wear skirts 


Ocean ferries travel to Newfoundland from the neighboring community of North Sydney. They connect Cape Breton with the northern port of Channel-Port aux Basques and the north-eastern ferry port of Argentia.

Update – November 2023