Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada
|Location||Nova Scotia, Canada|
|Area||10,311 km2 (3,981 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||535 m (1,755 ft)|
|Highest point||White Hill|
|Largest settlement||Cape Breton Regional Municipality (pop. 97,398 )|
|Pop. density||12.7 /km2 (32.9 /sq mi)|
Cape Breton Island (French: île du Cap-Breton—formerly Île Royale ; Scottish Gaelic : Ceap Breatainn or Eilean Cheap Breatainn; Mi'kmaq : Unamaꞌkik; or simply Cape Breton) is an island on the Atlantic coast of North America and part of the province of Nova Scotia, Canada.
Île-Royale was a French colony in North America that existed from 1713 to 1763, consisting of two islands, Île Royale and Île Saint-Jean. Its territory is known now as Cape Breton Island and Prince Edward Island.
The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest of the world's oceans, with an area of about 106,460,000 square kilometers. It covers approximately 20 percent of Earth's surface and about 29 percent of its water surface area. It separates the "Old World" from the "New World".
Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime Provinces, and one of the four provinces that form Atlantic Canada. Its provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the second-smallest of Canada's ten provinces, with an area of 55,284 square kilometres (21,300 sq mi), including Cape Breton and another 3,800 coastal islands. As of 2016, the population was 923,598. Nova Scotia is Canada's second-most-densely populated province, after Prince Edward Island, with 17.4 inhabitants per square kilometre (45/sq mi).
The 10,311 km2 (3,981 sq mi) island accounts for 18.7% of Nova Scotia's total area. Although the island is physically separated from the Nova Scotia peninsula by the Strait of Canso, the 1,385 m (4,544 ft) long rock-fill Canso Causeway connects it to mainland Nova Scotia. The island is east-northeast of the mainland with its northern and western coasts fronting on the Gulf of Saint Lawrence; its western coast also forms the eastern limits of the Northumberland Strait. The eastern and southern coasts front the Atlantic Ocean; its eastern coast also forms the western limits of the Cabot Strait. Its landmass slopes upward from south to north, culminating in the highlands of its northern cape. One of the world's larger salt water lakes, Bras d'Or ("Arm of Gold" in French), dominates the island's centre.
The Nova Scotia peninsula is a peninsula on the Atlantic coast of North America.
The Strait of Canso is a strait located in the province of Nova Scotia, Canada. It divides the Nova Scotia peninsula from Cape Breton Island.
The Canso Causeway is a 1,385 m (4,544 ft) rock-fill causeway in Nova Scotia, Canada.
The island is divided into four of Nova Scotia's eighteen counties: Cape Breton, Inverness, Richmond, and Victoria. Their total population at the 2016 census numbered 132,010 Cape Bretoners; this is approximately 15% of the provincial population.Cape Breton Island has experienced a decline in population of approximately 2.9% since the 2011 census. Approximately 75% of the island's population is in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM) which includes all of Cape Breton County and is often referred to as Industrial Cape Breton, given the history of coal mining and steel manufacturing in this area, which was Nova Scotia's industrial heartland throughout the 20th century.
Inverness County is a county in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. Its territory is almost contiguous with the Municipality of Inverness County but excludes the town of Port Hawkesbury and Miꞌkmaq reserves.
Richmond County is a county in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. For a list of communities in Richmond County, see the eponymous page.
Victoria County is a county in Nova Scotia, Canada. The shire town and largest municipality is the village of Baddeck. Previous to European settlement, Victoria County, like other parts of Nova Scotia, was inhabited by the Miꞌkmaq.
The island has five reserves of the Mi'kmaq Nation: Eskasoni , Membertou , Wagmatcook , Waycobah , and Potlotek/Chapel Island. Eskasoni is the largest in both population and land area.
In Canada, an Indian reserve is specified by the Indian Act as a "tract of land, the legal title to which is vested in Her Majesty, that has been set apart by Her Majesty for the use and benefit of a band."
The Eskasoni First Nation is a band government of the First Nations indigenous Mi'kmaq people located in Nova Scotia, Canada. As of 2012, the Mi'kmaq population is 3,490 on-Reserve, and 592 off-Reserve. It is the most populous band government in Nova Scotia and has its own community radio station, CICU-FM, broadcasting at 94.1 MHz. The Eskasoni First Nation is the home of the Unama'ki Institute of Natural Resources, a Mi'kmaq organization devoted to natural resources and the environment.
The Membertou First Nation is a Mi'kmaq First Nation band government in the tribal district of Unama'ki, also known as Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. As of 2012, the Mi'kmaq population is 814 on-Reserve, and approximately 481 off-Reserve. It operates a community radio station CJIJ-FM.
Its name may derive from Capbreton near Bayonne, or more probably from Cape and the word Breton, the French demonym for Bretagne , the French historical region.William Francis Ganong, however, refutes a French origin for the name and offers, instead, that the earliest form of the name appeared on Portuguese maps as "bertomes", and, he argues, "that word meant at the time the English and not the French Bretons, and referred to the region which John Cabot and his Bristol Englishmen discovered on the voyage of 1497...therefore our Cape Breton would mean 'Cape of the English '"
Capbreton is a commune in the Landes department in Nouvelle-Aquitaine in southwestern France. Located at the mouth of the Boudigau and Bourret rivers, the town is situated about 40 km north of Biarritz.
Bayonne is a city and commune and one of the two sub-prefectures of the department of Pyrénées-Atlantiques, in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of southwestern France. It is located at the confluence of the Nive and Adour rivers in the northern part of the cultural region of the Basque Country, as well as the southern part of Gascony where the Aquitaine basin joins the beginning of the Pre-Pyrenees.
In geography, a cape is a headland or a promontory of large size extending into a body of water, usually the sea. A cape usually represents a marked change in trend of the coastline which makes them prone to natural forms of erosion, mainly tidal actions. This results in capes having a relatively short geological lifespan. Capes can be formed by glaciers, volcanoes, and changes in sea level. Erosion plays a large role in each of these methods of formation.
Cape Breton Island's first residents were likely Archaic maritime natives, ancestors of the Mi'kmaq. These peoples and their progeny inhabited the island (known as Unama'ki) for several thousand years and continue to live there to this day. Their traditional lifestyle centred around hunting and fishing because of the unfavourable agricultural conditions of their maritime home. This ocean-centric lifestyle did, however, make them among the first indigenous peoples to discover European explorers and sailors fishing in the St Lawrence Estuary. John Cabot reportedly visited the island in 1497.However, European histories and maps of the period are of too poor quality to be sure whether Cabot first visited Newfoundland or Cape Breton Island. This discovery is commemorated by Cape Breton's Cabot Trail, and by the Cabot's Landing Historic Site & Provincial Park, near the village of Dingwall.
John Cabot was an Italian navigator and explorer. His 1497 discovery of the coast of North America under the commission of Henry VII of England is the earliest known European exploration of coastal North America since the Norse visits to Vinland in the eleventh century. To mark the celebration of the 500th anniversary of Cabot's expedition, both the Canadian and British governments elected Cape Bonavista, Newfoundland, as representing Cabot's first landing site. However, alternative locations have also been proposed.
Newfoundland is a large island off the east coast of the North American mainland, and the most populous part of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. It has 29 percent of the province's land area. The island is separated from the Labrador Peninsula by the Strait of Belle Isle and from Cape Breton Island by the Cabot Strait. It blocks the mouth of the Saint Lawrence River, creating the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, the world's largest estuary. Newfoundland's nearest neighbour is the French overseas community of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon.
The Cabot Trail is a highway and scenic roadway in northern Victoria County and Inverness County on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, Canada.
The local Mi'kmaq peoples began trading with European fishermen when the fishermen began landing in their territories as early as the 1520s. In about 1521–22, the Portuguese under João Álvares Fagundes established a fishing colony on the island. As many as two hundred settlers lived in a village, the name of which is not known, located according to some historians at what is now Ingonish on the island's northeastern peninsula. These fishermen traded with the local population but did not maintain a permanent settlement. This Portuguese colony's fate is unknown, but it is mentioned as late as 1570.
During the Anglo-French War of 1627 to 1629, under Charles I, the Kirkes took Quebec City; Sir James Stewartof Killeith, Lord Ochiltree planted a colony on Unama'ki at Baleine, Nova Scotia; and Alexander's son, William Alexander, 1st Earl of Stirling, established the first incarnation of "New Scotland" at Port Royal. These claims, and larger European ideals of native conquest were the first time the island was incorporated as European territory, though it would be several decades later that treaties would actually be signed (no copies of these treaties exist).
These Scottish triumphs, which left Cape Sable as the only major French holding in North America, did not last. [ full citation needed ] which established which European power had claim over the territories, but did not in fact establish that Europeans had any claim to begin with.Charles I's haste to make peace with France on the terms most beneficial to him meant the new North American gains would be bargained away in the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (1632),
The French quickly defeated the Scots at Baleine, and established the first European settlements on Île Royale: present day Englishtown (1629) and St. Peter's (1630). These settlements lasted only one generation, until Nicolas Denys left in 1659. The island did not have any European settlers for another fifty years before those communities along with Louisbourg were re-established in 1713, after which point European settlement was permanently established on the island.
Known as "Île Royale" ("Royal Island") to the French, the island also saw active settlement by France. After the French ceded their claims to Newfoundland and the Acadian mainland to the British by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, the French relocated the population of Plaisance, Newfoundland, to Île Royale and the French garrison was established in the central eastern part at Sainte Anne. As the harbour at Sainte Anne experienced icing problems, it was decided to build a much larger fortification at Louisbourg to improve defences at the entrance to the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and to defend France's fishing fleet on the Grand Banks.The French also built the Louisbourg Lighthouse in 1734, the first lighthouse in Canada and one of the first in North America. In addition to Cape Breton Island, the French colony of Île Royale also included Île Saint-Jean, today called Prince Edward Island, and Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine.
Louisbourg itself was one of the most important commercial and military centres in New France. Louisbourg was captured by New Englanderswith British naval assistance in 1745 and by British forces in 1758. The French population of Île Royale was deported to France after each siege. While French settlers returned to their homes in Île Royale after the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle was signed in 1748, the fortress was demolished after the second siege. Île Royale remained formally part of New France until it was ceded to Great Britain by the Treaty of Paris in 1763. It was then merged with the adjacent, British colony of Nova Scotia (present day peninsular Nova Scotia and New Brunswick). Acadians who had been expelled from Nova Scotia and Île Royale were permitted to settle in Cape Breton beginning in 1764, and established communities in north-western Cape Breton, near Cheticamp, and southern Cape Breton, on and near Isle Madame.
Some of the first British-sanctioned settlers on the island following the Seven Years' War were Irish, although upon settlement they merged with local French communities to form a culture rich in music and tradition. From 1763 to 1784, the island was administratively part of the colony of Nova Scotiaand was governed from Halifax.
The first permanently settled Scottish community on Cape Breton Island was Judique, settled in 1775 by Michael Mor MacDonald. He spent his first winter using his upside-down boat for shelter, which is reflected in the architecture of the village's Community Centre. He composed a song about the area called "O 's àlainn an t-àite", or "O, Fair is the Place."
During the American Revolution, on 1 November 1776, John Paul Jones – the father of the American Navy – set sail in command of Alfred to free hundreds of American prisoners working in the area's coal mines. Although winter conditions prevented the freeing of the prisoners, the mission did result in the capture of Mellish, a vessel carrying a vital supply of winter clothing intended for John Burgoyne's troops in Canada.
Major Timothy Hierlihy and his regiment on board HMS Hope worked in and protected from privateer attacks on the coal mines at Sydney Cape Breton.Sydney Cape Breton provided a vital supply of coal for Halifax throughout the war. The British began developing the mining site at Sydney Mines in 1777. On 14 May 1778, Major Hierlihy arrived at Cape Breton. While there, Hierlihy reported that he "beat off many piratical attacks, killed some and took other prisoners."
A few years into the war there was also a naval engagement between French ships and a British convoy off Sydney, Nova Scotia, near Spanish River (1781), Cape Breton.French ships (fighting with the Americans) were re-coaling and defeated a British convoy. Six French sailors were killed and 17 British, with many more wounded.
In 1784, Britain split the colony of Nova Scotia into three separate colonies: New Brunswick, Cape Breton Island, and present-day peninsular Nova Scotia, in addition to the adjacent colonies of St. John's Island (renamed Prince Edward Island in 1798) and Newfoundland. The colony of Cape Breton Island had its capital at Sydney on its namesake harbour fronting on Spanish Bay and the Cabot Strait. Its first Lieutenant-Governor was Joseph Frederick Wallet DesBarres (1784–1787) and his successor was William Macarmick (1787).
A number of United Empire Loyalists emigrated to the Canadian colonies, including Cape Breton. David Mathews, the former Mayor of New York City during the American Revolution, emigrated with his family to Cape Breton in 1783. He succeeded Macarmick as head of the colony and served from 1795 to 1798.
From 1799 to 1807, the military commandant was John Despard,brother of Edward.
An order forbidding the granting of land in Cape Breton, issued in 1763, was removed in 1784. The mineral rights to the island were given over to the Duke of York by an order-in-council. The British government had intended that the Crown take over the operation of the mines when Cape Breton was made a colony, but this was never done, probably because of the rehabilitation cost of the mines. The mines were in a neglected state, caused by careless operations dating back at least to the time of the final fall of Louisbourg in 1758.
Large-scale shipbuilding began in the 1790s, beginning with schooners for local trade moving in the 1820s to larger brigs and brigantines, mostly built for British shipowners. Shipbuilding peaked in the 1850s, marked in 1851 by the full-rigged ship Lord Clarendon , the largest wooden ship ever built in Cape Breton.
In 1820, the colony of Cape Breton Island was merged for the second time with Nova Scotia. This development is one of the factors which led to large-scale industrial development in the Sydney Coal Field of eastern Cape Breton County. By the late 19th century, as a result of the faster shipping, expanding fishery and industrialization of the island, exchanges of people between the island of Newfoundland and Cape Breton increased, beginning a cultural exchange that continues to this day.
The 1920s were some of the most violent times in Cape Breton. They were marked by several severe labour disputes. The famous murder of William Davis by strike breakers, and the seizing of the New Waterford power plant by striking miners led to a major union sentiment that persists to this day in some circles. William Davis Miners' Memorial Day is celebrated in coal mining towns to commemorate the deaths of miners at the hands of the coal companies.
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The turn of the 20th century saw Cape Breton Island at the forefront of scientific achievement with the now-famous activities launched by inventors Alexander Graham Bell and Guglielmo Marconi.
Following his successful invention of the telephone and being relatively wealthy, Bell acquired land near Baddeck in 1885, largely due to surroundings reminiscent of his early years in Scotland. He established a summer estate complete with research laboratories, working with deaf people—including Helen Keller—and continued to invent. Baddeck would be the site of his experiments with hydrofoil technologies as well as the Aerial Experiment Association, financed by his wife, which saw the first powered flight in Canada when the AEA Silver Dart took off from the ice-covered waters of Bras d'Or Lake. Bell also built the forerunner to the iron lung and experimented with breeding sheep.
Marconi's contributions to Cape Breton Island were also quite significant, as he used the island's geography to his advantage in transmitting the first North American trans-Atlantic radio message from a station constructed at Table Head in Glace Bay to a receiving station at Poldhu in Cornwall, England. Marconi's pioneering work in Cape Breton marked the beginning of modern radio technology. Marconi's station at Marconi Towers, on the outskirts of Glace Bay, became the chief communication centre for the Royal Canadian Navy in World War I through to the early years of World War II.
Promotions for tourism beginning in the 1950s recognized the importance of the Scottish culture to the province, and the provincial government started encouraging the use of Gaelic once again. The establishment of funding for the Gaelic College of Celtic Arts and Crafts and formal Gaelic language courses in public schools are intended to address the near-loss of this culture to English assimilation.
In the 1960s, the Fortress of Louisbourg was partially reconstructed by Parks Canada. Since 2009, this National Historic Site of Canada has attracted an average of 90 000 visitors per year.
Gaelic speakers in Cape Breton, as elsewhere in Nova Scotia, furnished a large proportion of the local population from the eighteenth century on. They brought with them a common culture of poetry, traditional songs and tales, music and dance, and used this to develop distinctive local traditions.
Most Gaelic settlement in Nova Scotia happened between 1770 and 1840, with probably over 50,000 Gaelic speakers emigrating from the Scottish Highlands and the Hebrides to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Such emigration was facilitated by changes in Gaelic society and the economy, with sharp increases in rents, confiscation of land and disruption of local customs and rights. In Nova Scotia, poetry and song in Gaelic flourished. George Emmerson argues that an "ancient and rich" tradition of storytelling, song, and Gaelic poetry emerged during the eighteenth century and was transplanted from the Highlands of Scotland to Nova Scotia, where the language similarly took root there.The majority of those settling in Nova Scotia from the end of the eighteenth century through to middle of the next were from the Scottish Highlands, rather than the Lowlands, making the Highland tradition's impact more profound on the region. Gaelic settlement in Cape Breton began in earnest in the early nineteenth century.
The Gaelic language became dominant from Colchester County in the west of Nova Scotia into Cape Breton County in the east. It was reinforced in Cape Breton in the first half of the 19th century with an influx of Highland Scots numbering approximately 50,000 as a result of the Highland Clearances.
Gaelic speakers, however, tended to be poor; they were largely illiterate and had little access to education. This situation still obtained in the early twentieth century. In 1921 Gaelic was approved as an optional subject in the curriculum of Nova Scotia, but few teachers could be found and children were discouraged from using the language in schools. By 1931 the number of Gaelic speakers in Nova Scotia had fallen to approximately 25,000, mostly in discrete pockets. In Cape Breton it was still a majority language, but the proportion was falling. Children were no longer being raised with Gaelic.
From 1939 on attempts were made to strengthen its position in the public school system in Nova Scotia, but funding, official commitment and the availability of teachers continued to be a problem. By the 1950s the number of speakers was less than 7,000. The advent of multiculturalism in Canada in the 1960s meant that new educational opportunities became available, with a gradual strengthening of the language at secondary and tertiary level. At present several schools in Cape Breton offer Gaelic Studies and Gaelic language programs, and the language is taught at University College of Cape Breton.
The 2016 Canadian Census shows that there are only 40 reported speakers of Gaelic as a mother tongue in Cape Breton.On the other hand, there are families and individuals who have recommenced intergenerational transmission. They include fluent speakers from Gaelic-speaking areas of Scotland and speakers who became fluent in Nova Scotia and who in some cases studied in Scotland. Other revitalization activities include adult education, community cultural events and publishing.
The island measures 10,311 square kilometres (3,981 sq mi) in area, making it the 77th largest island in the world and Canada's 18th largest island. Cape Breton Island is composed mainly of rocky shores, rolling farmland, glacial valleys, barren headlands, mountains, woods and plateaus. Geological evidence suggests at least part of the island was joined with present-day Scotland and Norway, now separated by millions of years of plate tectonics.
Cape Breton Island's northern portion is dominated by the Cape Breton Highlands, commonly shortened to simply the "Highlands", which are an extension of the Appalachian mountain chain. The Highlands comprise the northern portions of Inverness and Victoria counties. In 1936, the federal government established the Cape Breton Highlands National Park covering 949 km2 (366 sq mi) across the northern third of the Highlands. The Cabot Trail scenic highway also encircles the plateau's coastal perimeter.
Cape Breton Island's hydrological features include the Bras d'Or Lake system, a salt-water fjord at the heart of the island, and freshwater features including Lake Ainslie, the Margaree River system, and the Mira River. Innumerable smaller rivers and streams drain into the Bras d'Or Lake estuary and on to the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Atlantic coasts.
Cape Breton Island is joined to the mainland by the Canso Causeway, which was completed in 1955, enabling direct road and rail traffic to and from the island, but requiring marine traffic to pass through the Canso Canal at the eastern end of the causeway.
Cape Breton Island is divided into four counties: Cape Breton, Inverness, Richmond, and Victoria.
The climate is one of mild, often pleasantly warm summers and cold winters, although the proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf Stream moderates the extreme winter cold found on the mainland, especially on the east side that faces the Atlantic. Precipitation is abundant year round, with annual totals up to 60 inches on the eastern side facing the Atlantic storms. Considerable snowfall occurs in winter, especially in the highlands.
The island's residents can be grouped into five main cultures: Scottish, Mi'kmaq, Acadian, Irish, English, with respective languages Scottish Gaelic, Mi'kmaq, French, and English. English is now the primary language, including a locally distinctive Cape Breton accent, while Mi'kmaq, Scottish Gaelic and Acadian French are still spoken in some communities.
Later migrations of Black Loyalists, Italians, and Eastern Europeans mostly settled in the island's eastern part around the industrial Cape Breton region. Cape Breton Island's population has been in decline two decades with an increasing exodus in recent years due to economic conditions.
According to the Census of Canada, the population of Cape Breton [Economic region] in 2016 / 2011 / 2006 / 1996 was 132,010 / 135,974 / 142,298 / 158,260.
Statistics Canada in 2001 reported a "religion" total of 145,525 for Cape Breton, including 5,245 with "no religious affiliation."Major categories included:
Much of the recent economic history of Cape Breton Island can be tied to the coal industry.
The island has two major coal deposits:
Sydney has traditionally been the main port, with facilities in a large, sheltered, natural harbour. It is the island's largest commercial centre and home to the Cape Breton Post daily newspaper, as well as one television station, CJCB-TV (CTV),and several radio stations. The Marine Atlantic terminal at North Sydney is the terminal for large ferries traveling to Channel-Port aux Basques and seasonally to Argentia, both on the island of Newfoundland.
Point Edward on the west side of Sydney Harbour is the location of Sydport, a former navy base (HMCS Protector) now converted to commercial use. The Canadian Coast Guard College is nearby at Westmount. Petroleum, bulk coal, and cruise ship facilities are also in Sydney Harbour.
Glace Bay, the second largest urban community in population, was the island's main coal mining centre until its last mine closed in the 1980s. Glace Bay was the hub of the Sydney & Louisburg Railway and a major fishing port. At one time, Glace Bay was known as the largest town in Nova Scotia, based on population.
Port Hawkesbury has risen to prominence since the completion of the Canso Causeway and Canso Canal created an artificial deep-water port, allowing extensive petrochemical, pulp and paper, and gypsum handling facilities to be established. The Strait of Canso is completely navigable to Seawaymax vessels, and Port Hawkesbury is open to the deepest-draught vessels on the world's oceans. Large marine vessels may also enter Bras d'Or Lake through the Great Bras d'Or channel, and small craft can use the Little Bras d'Or channel or St. Peters Canal. While commercial shipping no longer uses the St. Peters Canal, it remains an important waterway for recreational vessels.
The industrial Cape Breton area faced several challenges with the closure of the Cape Breton Development Corporation's (DEVCO) coal mines and the Sydney Steel Corporation's (SYSCO) steel mill. In recent years, the Island's residents have tried to diversify the area economy by investing in tourism developments, call centres, and small businesses, as well as manufacturing ventures in fields such as auto parts, pharmaceuticals, and window glazings.
While the Cape Breton Regional Municipality is in transition from an industrial to a service-based economy, the rest of Cape Breton Island outside the industrial area surrounding Sydney-Glace Bay has been more stable, with a mixture of fishing, forestry, small-scale agriculture, and tourism.
Tourism in particular has grown throughout the post-Second World War era, especially the growth in vehicle-based touring, which was furthered by the creation of the Cabot Trail scenic drive. The scenery of the island is rivalled in northeastern North America by only Newfoundland;[ citation needed ] and Cape Breton Island tourism marketing places a heavy emphasis on its Scottish Gaelic heritage through events such as the Celtic Colours Festival, held each October, as well as promotions through the Gaelic College of Celtic Arts and Crafts.
Whale-watching is a popular attraction for tourists. Whale-watching cruises are operated by vendors from Baddeck to Cheticamp. The most popular species of whale found in Cape Breton's waters is the Pilot whale.
The island's primary east-west road is Highway 105, the Trans-Canada Highway, although Trunk 4 is also heavily used. Highway 125 is an important arterial route around Sydney Harbour in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. The Cabot Trail, circling the Cape Breton Highlands, and Trunk 19, along the island's western coast, are important secondary roads. The Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia Railway maintains railway connections between the port of Sydney to the Canadian National Railway in Truro
The Cabot Trail is a scenic road circuit around and over the Cape Breton Highlands with spectacular coastal vistas; over 400,000 visitors drive the Cabot Trail each summer and fall. Coupled with the Fortress of Louisbourg, it has driven the growth of the tourism industry on the island in recent decades. The Condé Nast travel guide has rated Cape Breton Island as one of the world's best island destinations.
Cape Breton is well known for its traditional fiddle music, which was brought to North America by Scottish immigrants during the Highland Clearances. The traditional style has been well preserved in Cape Breton, and céilidhs have become a popular attraction for tourists. Inverness County in particular has a heavy concentration of musical activity, with regular performances in communities such as Mabou and Judique. Judique is recognized as 'Baile nam Fonn', (literally: Village of Tunes) or the 'Home of Celtic Music', featuring the Celtic Music Interpretive Centre. Performers who have received significant recognition outside of Cape Breton include Angus Chisholm, Buddy MacMaster, Joseph Cormier, first Cape Breton fiddler to record an album made available in Europe (1974) , Lee Cremo, Bruce Guthro, Natalie MacMaster, Ashley MacIsaac, The Rankin Family, Aselin Debison, Gordie Sampson, Dawn and Margie Beaton, also known as "The Beaton Sisters", and the Barra MacNeils. The Margaree's of Cape Breton also serve as a large contributor of fiddle music celebrated throughout the island. This traditional fiddle music of Cape Breton is studied by musicians around the world, where its global recognition continues to rise.
The Men of the Deeps are a male choral group of current and former miners from the industrial Cape Breton area.
Cape Breton artists who have been recognized with major national or international awards include actor Harold Russell of North Sydney, who won an Academy Award in 1946 for his portrayal of Homer Parrish in The Best Years of Our Lives , and Lynn Coady and Linden MacIntyre of Inverness County, who are both past winners of the Giller Prize for Canadian literature. The Rankin Family and Rita MacNeil have recorded multiple albums certified as Double Platinum by Music Canada.
People from Cape Breton have also achieved a number of firsts in Canadian politics and governance. These include Mayann Francis of Whitney Pier, the first Black Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, Isaac Phills of Sydney, Nova Scotia, the first person of African descent to be awarded the Order of Canada,and Elizabeth May of Margaree Harbour, the first member of the Green Party of Canada elected to the House of Commons of Canada.
Cape Breton Island is also home to YouTube weather forecaster Frankie MacDonald, who has over 200,000 subscribers. He accurately predicted an magnitude 7 earthquake in New Zealand in November 2016.
American artists like sculptor Richard Serra, composer Philip Glass and abstract painter John Beardman spent part of the year on Cape Breton Island.
Steve Arbuckle is a Canadian-born actor born in Cape Breton Island.
Director Ashley McKenzie's 2016 film Werewolf is set on the island and features local actors; McKenzie grew up on the island.
Bruce Guthro; Lead singer and guitarist of the former Scottish Celtic band Runrig, which disbanded in 2018 after 46 years. Guthro resides in Hammonds Plains, Nova Scotia.
Dylan Guthro; musician. Son of Bruce Guthro.
The Maritimes, also called the Maritime provinces or the Canadian Maritimes, is a region of Eastern Canada consisting of three provinces: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island (PEI). The Maritimes had a population of 1,813,606 in 2016. Together with Canada's easternmost province, Newfoundland and Labrador, the Maritime provinces make up the region of Atlantic Canada.
Sydney is a former city and current community located in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada. Situated on Cape Breton Island's east coast, it belongs administratively to the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. Sydney was founded in 1785 by the British, was incorporated as a city in 1904, and dissolved on 1 August 1995, when it was amalgamated into the regional municipality.
Acadia was a colony of New France in northeastern North America which included parts of eastern Quebec, the Maritime provinces, and Maine to the Kennebec River. During much of the 17th and early 18th centuries, Norridgewock on the Kennebec River and Castine at the end of the Penobscot River were the southernmost settlements of Acadia. The French government specified land bordering the Atlantic coast, roughly between the 40th and 46th parallels. It was eventually divided into British colonies. The population of Acadia included the various indigenous First Nations that comprised the Wabanaki Confederacy and descendants of French colonial settlers (Acadians). The two communities intermarried, which resulted in a significant portion of the population being Métis.
Port Hood is a Canadian community on the west coast of Cape Breton Island and the shire town of Inverness County, Nova Scotia, Canada. Local residents are predominantly English-speaking Roman Catholics, the population core having Scottish Highlands ancestry; MacDonalds/MacDonnells mostly. The community is named after Samuel Hood, 1st Viscount Hood.
The Fortress of Louisbourg is a National Historic Site of Canada and the location of a one-quarter partial reconstruction of an 18th-century French fortress at Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. Its two sieges, especially that of 1758, were turning points in the Anglo-French struggle for what today is Canada.
The Ceilidh Trail is a scenic roadway in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia.
Cape Breton Regional Municipality, often referred to as simply CBRM, is the Canadian province of Nova Scotia's second largest municipality and the economic heart of Cape Breton Island. As of 2016 the municipality has a population of 94,285. The municipality was created in 1995 through the amalgamation of eight municipalities located in Cape Breton County.
Cape Breton—Canso is a federal electoral district in Nova Scotia, Canada, that has been represented in the House of Commons of Canada since 2004. Its population in 2011 was 75,247. It is the successor to Bras d'Or, which was represented in the House of Commons from 1997 to 2004.
Bras d'Or Lake is an inland sea, or large body of partially fresh/salt water in the centre of Cape Breton Island in the province of Nova Scotia, Canada. Bras d'Or Lake is sometimes referred to as the Bras d'Or Lakes or the Bras d'Or Lakes system; however, its official geographic name is Bras d'Or Lake, as it is a singular entity. Canadian author and yachtsman Silver Donald Cameron describes Bras d'Or Lake as "A basin ringed by indigo hills laced with marble. Islands within a sea inside an island." The lake is connected to the North Atlantic by natural channels; the Great Bras d'Or Channel north of Boularderie Island and the Little Bras d'Or Channel to south of Boularderie Island connect the northeastern arm of the lake to the Cabot Strait. The Bras d'Or is also connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Strait of Canso by means of a lock canal completed in 1869—the St. Peters Canal, at the southern tip of the lake.
Sydney—Victoria is a federal electoral district in Nova Scotia, Canada, that has been represented in the House of Commons of Canada since 1997.
St. Peter's is a small incorporated village located on Cape Breton Island in Richmond County, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Sydney Mines is a community and former town in Canada's Nova Scotia's Cape Breton Regional Municipality.
Nova Scotia is a province located in Eastern Canada fronting the Atlantic Ocean. One of the Maritime Provinces, Nova Scotia's geography is complex, despite its relatively small size in comparison to other Canadian provinces.
Nova Scotia is a Canadian province located in Canada's Maritimes. In known history, the oldest known residents of the province are the Mi'kmaq people. During the first 150 years of European settlement, the region was claimed by France and a colony formed, primarily made up of Catholic Acadians and Mi'kmaq. This time period involved six wars in which the Mi'kmaq along with the French and some Acadians resisted the British invasion of the region. During Father Le Loutre's War, the capital was moved from Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, to the newly established Halifax, Nova Scotia (1749). The warfare ended with the Burying the Hatchet ceremony (1761). After the colonial wars, New England Planters and Foreign Protestants immigrated to Nova Scotia. After the American Revolution, Loyalists immigrated to the colony. During the nineteenth century, Nova Scotia became self-governing in 1848 and joined the Canadian Confederation in 1867.
Johnstown is a small community in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, located in Richmond County on Cape Breton Island. The altar in the vestry of Sacred Heart Church in Johnstown is reported to have come from Fortress Louisbourg before the final siege.
The Action of 21 July 1781 was a naval skirmish off the harbor of Spanish River, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, during the American Revolution. Two French Navy frigates, led by Admiral Latouche Tréville and La Pérouse, engaged a convoy of 18 British ships and their escorts from the Royal Navy. The two French frigates captured two of the British escorts while the remainder of the British convoy escaped.
The Siege of Port Toulouse took place between May 2–10, 1745 when a New England colonial force aided by a British fleet captured Port Toulouse in the French colony of Île-Royale from its French defenders during the War of the Austrian Succession, known as King George's War in the British colonies.
Andrew John Bayly Johnston is a Canadian historian, novelist and museum writer. He is the author of five novels of historical fiction as well as fourteen books on the History of Atlantic Canada. Johnston is originally from Truro, Nova Scotia and currently lives in Halifax.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Nova Scotia:
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