Sydney is a Canadian community in the province of Nova Scotia
. It is situated on the east coast of Cape Breton Island
and is administratively part of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. Sydney was incorporated in 1904 and dissolved on August 1, 1995, when it was merged into the regional municipality. Statistics Canada
classifies Sydney as a medium population centre which for census purposes includes the neighbouring communities of Westmount, a significant portion of Sydney River, and a other portions of the former Cape Breton County. The 2011 population of the Sydney census area, was 31,597, making it the largest population centre on Cape Breton Island. Together with Sydney Mines, North Sydney
, New Waterford and Glace Bay
it forms the Industrial Cape Breton region.
In recent decades, Cape Breton Island has become home to a significant tourism industry, with Sydney (as the island's largest urban centre) being a prime beneficiary. Until the early 2000s when its economy was tied to the steel industry, Sydney had been overlooked as a tourist destination, with the more centrally located scenic village of Baddeck
being a preferred location for tourists transiting the Cabot Trail
, however Sydney has recently witnessed a revival as a result of significant government investment in cruise ship facilities and a waterfront revitalization plan which has seen a boardwalk and marinas constructed, and the World
's largest fiddle.
Sydney's tourism draw is increasingly linked to its cultural asset as being the urban heart of Cape Breton Island. Its population is a diverse mixture of nationalities which contributes to various Scottish, Acadian, African Canadian and eastern European cultural events being held throughout the year. Sydney's accommodation sector is centrally located to attractions in Louisbourg
(home of the Fortress of Louisbourg
), Glace Bay (home of the Glace Bay Miners Museum), Baddeck (home of the Alexander Graham Bell Museum), as well as popular touring destinations such as the Cabot Trail, Cape Breton Highlands National Park
, and Bras d'Or Lake.
Sydney's port facilities include the privately owned bulk coal unloading pier in Whitney Pier as well as the publicly owned Sydney Marine Terminal at the northern edge of the central business district. A recently opened cruise ship pavilion welcomes several dozen cruise ships every year, with the majority visiting in late summer or early fall to take in fall foliage tours. Other port facilities on Sydney Harbour are located outside the former city limits in Point Edward (Sydport) and North Sydney (Marine Atlantic ferry terminal).
The Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the QMJHL play their home games at Centre 200. The franchise, which came into the league in 1969 as the Sorel Éperviers, moved to Sydney from Granby, Quebec in 1997, just one year after winning the Memorial Cup. From 1988 to 1996, Sydney was home to the Cape Breton Oilers of the AHL, the primary farm team of the NHL's Edmonton Oilers. They won that league's championship, the Calder Cup, in 1993. The franchise moved to Hamilton, Ontario after the 1995-96 season, becoming the Hamilton Bulldogs. In 1993 and 1994, the Cape Breton Breakers of the NBL also played at Centre 200.