Sydney is Cape Breton’s largest urban centre, with a population of 24,000. Its extensive services, harbour, and excellent access to attractions all over the island make it a great destination for travelers reaching Cape Breton via the Canso Causeway or by cruise ship.
Before venturing forth, visitors will want to take their time on the revitalized waterfront, along the boardwalk, and at the marinas. An exploration of the fascinating history of Sydney stretches to the 18th century when Loyalists fleeing the American Revolution arrived, through the extraordinary coal and steel works years, and onto its place in the Battle of the Atlantic. Sydney has undergone a modern transformation into a major tourist hub and the urban centre of the island.
Attractions include six 18th century buildings, including Cossit House, as well as twelve mid 19th century buildings. St. Patrick\'s Church, the oldest Roman Catholic Church on the island, built in 1828, now houses the city’s museum, and is a great starting point for historical tours. Additionally, there is the Cape Breton Centre for Science and Heritage and Jost House, a 200 year-old building that illustrates the evolution of a wooden dwelling in Sydney. There is an authentic cooking fireplace, bake-oven, special displays on local marine artifacts and an apothecary shop. Sydney is also home to the world’s largest fiddle, a nod to the city’s lively Celtic music scene.
Nearby attractions include the must-see Fortress Louisbourg, the largest reconstructed 18th-century French fortified town in North America, the Glace Bay Miners Museum and the Alexander Graham Bell Museum, in Baddeck. Lovely Bras d\'Or Lake, which offers excellent boating and sailing, is only one hour away, while the famous Cabot Trail and Cape Breton Highlands National Park can be reached within the day.
Wintertime visitors will enjoy the downhill and cross country skiing and hospitality at Ben Eion ski area.