Nova Scotia is the easternmost province of Canada. "Nova Scotia" consists mainly of the peninsula of the same name and the island Cape Breton. The peninsula joins the Canadian province "New Brunswick" (New Brunswick). The narrow bay Straits of Canso separates Nova Scotia from Cape Breton. A dam connects both regions.
In the north and west, Cape Breton borders on the St. Lawrence River, in the south on the Canso Strait and in the east on the Atlantic Ocean. With an area of 10.311 square kilometers, the approximately 175 km long and 135 km wide island is less than a quarter of the area of Nova Scotia. The coastline is rugged. The spacious ones dominate the interior of the island Bras d'Or Lake and the Cape Breton Highlands the charming landscape. The 1.100 square kilometer Bras d'Or Lake is a huge, elongated lake area that is connected to the Atlantic by two natural accesses. In 2011, part of the lake and the surrounding landscape was declared a UNESCO biosphere reserve. The lake is 80 kilometers long and up to 30 kilometers wide and is a popular sailing area. It is only one kilometer wide Barra Strait crossed by a car and a railway bridge.
Sydney / Cape Breton - Railway bridge on Bras d'Or Lake
The highest mountain on the island reaches 554 meters. It is located in the north of the island in the Cape Breton Highlands. The vast highlands are the highest point in the entire Canadian Atlantic region.
Cape Breton was originally settled by the indigenous people of the Mi'kmaq tribe. The French were the first to settle on the island in the 17th century. They were followed by the British, whose troops conquered the country in 1758. They were joined by about 18 Scottish immigrants in the late 50.000th century. They brought the Celtic language to North America. For decades, Celtic was the most common language among the islanders. Remnants of culture, music and language are still lovingly cared for today. People proudly speak of “Cape Breton Island, the Celtic Heart of North America”.
Sydney / Cape Breton - First residence of Scottish immigrants in the Highland Village Museum
Cape Breton is only sparsely populated. A little more than 160.000 people live on the island, 25.000 of them in the island's capital Sydney dwell. British royalists fleeing the aftermath of the American Revolution founded the city of Sydney in 1785. Because of the natural resources found in the area, the city quickly became prosperous. During the city's industrial heyday, settlers immigrated from many countries. For a long time Sydney was one of Canada's most important coal and steel locations. Since the coal mines were closed and steel production stopped in 2001, the city has been changing. Instead of the mining industry, the region is now relying on tourism. The lovely landscape and the abundance of water make Cape Breton a tourist destination for individualists.
From the neighboring community of 6.000 souls north sydney offshore ferries connect Cape Breton with the ports Channel Port aux Basques and Argentia on Newfoundland.
Sydney / Cape Breton - The Newfoundland Ferries
About 70.000 cruise passengers visit Sydney during the limited autumn season. In memory of the indomitable Scottish immigrants, they are greeted at the cruise terminal with an oversized, 15 m high fiddle.
Sydney / Cape Breton - The giant fiddle in front of the Joan Harris Cruise Pavilion