Nova Scotia announces $3 million to revitalize downtown Sydney

Premier Iain Rankin and CBRM Mayor Amanda McDougall unveil the rendering of the Charlotte Street project in Sydney. Communications Nova Scotia

Premier Iain Rankin announced a commitment of $3 million to revitalize Sydney’s downtown core on Saturday, the latest in a series of campaign-style spending announcements made in the last few days.

In a release, the province said the project will help support local businesses and attract new investment in the Cape Breton community.

“There has never been more optimism for the downtown core,” said Rankin in the release.

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“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.”

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The revitalization project will feature a redesign and upgrade of Charlotte Street “to create a welcoming, accessible and green destination,” the release said.

Preliminary design details include plaza-width sidewalks on both sides of the street, a one-way lane for vehicles, accessible design with a low-back curb, parking lanes on both sides, traffic signal updates, landscaping and streetscaping, street furniture like planters and bike racks, fibreglass power poles, buried communication wires and green infrastructure stormwater management.

The province will partner with the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, which is also contributing $3 million, and Develop Nova Scotia will work in collaboration with the municipality.

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“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,” said CBRM Mayor Amanda McDougall.

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“Rebuilding better and redesigning with accessibility at the forefront will benefit all who visit downtown.”

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.

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The announcement was the second one made in Cape Breton on Saturday. Earlier in the day, the premier also announced the province would permanently eliminate fees for all seven provincial ferries.

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