News release

Province Invests in Revitalizing Sydney’s Downtown Core

The Rankin government announced today, June 19, a $3 million investment in revitalizing Sydney’s downtown core. The project will help support local businesses and attract new investment in the heart of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM).

The province is partnering with the municipality, which is also contributing $3 million, in the redesign and upgrade of Charlotte Street to create a welcoming, accessible and green destination.

“There has never been more optimism for the downtown core,” said Premier Iain Rankin. “The area is being reenergized with a new NSCC Marconi Campus and a second cruise ship berth at the Port of Sydney, and this project will help enhance its marketing position to draw in more residents and visitors and stimulate growth in the local economy.”

Preliminary design details that will be shared with community include:

  • complete street concept with a one-way lane for vehicles
  • plaza-width sidewalks on both sides of the street
  • accessible design with low-back curb
  • parking lanes on both sides
  • traffic signal upgrades
  • enhanced landscaping and streetscaping, including new trees
  • street furniture, such as planters, pedestrian lighting, bike racks, benches and “way-finding” signs
  • high, fibreglass power poles along both sides
  • buried communication wires
  • green infrastructure stormwater management

Develop Nova Scotia will work in collaboration with CBRM and the local community on the project. The process of building will be participatory and intentional to build local placemaking capacity and encourage inclusive economic participation.

Construction is expected to begin in April 2022.

Quotes:

There has never been a more exciting time for growth in the Sydney area with the anticipated increase in student population, new immigration, new investments and unlimited tourism potential. This project has been on CBRM’s radar for some time, and I am proud that our government is helping to make this a reality. Derek Mombourquette, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development and MLA for Sydney-Whitney Pier, on behalf of Labi Kousoulis, Minister of Inclusive Economic Growth

Downtown Sydney is a gem. With this significant investment from the provincial government, this historic commercial district will be ready to welcome the world back again. Rebuilding better and redesigning with accessibility at the forefront will benefit all who visit downtown. Amanda McDougall, mayor, Cape Breton Regional Municipality

Investment in places for people, like waterfronts and main streets, which are so often the heart of urban and rural communities, helps grow an inclusive economy and contributes to well-being for residents. For us, developing projects is a means to an end: by building these projects with community, the place we build is better - inclusive, sustainable and reflective of local culture which attracts people, but it also builds community participation, pride and resilience. We can’t wait to get to work. Jennifer Angel, president and CEO, Develop Nova Scotia

Quick Facts:

  • Develop Nova Scotia is co-creating projects for government on main streets and waterfronts across the province
  • the project is based on a preliminary study by consultant Ekistics Planning and Design; Dillon Consulting completed the detailed design
  • CBRM estimates the project will provide 20,000 person-hours of work over three construction seasons
  • post-pandemic, the Port of Sydney expects to again attract more than 100,000 cruise ship passengers annually

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Media Contacts:

Matt Hefler
Premier’s Office Cell: 902-220-6048 Email:
Gary Andrea
Inclusive Economic Growth Cell: 902-456-6196 Email:
Christina Lamey
Cape Breton Regional Municipality 902-574-0178 Email:
Kelly Rose
Develop Nova Scotia Cell: 902-222-6297 Email: