Makeover of Sydney's downtown commercial strip set to start next year

·2 min read
CBRM Mayor Amanda McDougall announces the redevelopment of Charlotte Street in Sydney, backed by Michelle Wilson of the downtown business association and Liberal MP Jaime Battiste. (Tom Ayers/CBC - image credit)
CBRM Mayor Amanda McDougall announces the redevelopment of Charlotte Street in Sydney, backed by Michelle Wilson of the downtown business association and Liberal MP Jaime Battiste. (Tom Ayers/CBC - image credit)

The commercial strip in Sydney's downtown business section will get a makeover starting next year.

Funding has finally been announced for the $9-million redevelopment of Charlotte Street, a project that has been in the works for at least five years.

It will involve wider sidewalks, streetscaping and landscaping, new stormwater infrastructure, solar lighting and an electric vehicle charging station.

Cape Breton Regional Municipality Mayor Amanda McDougall said along with the construction of the new community college campus on the waterfront, the downtown core is being transformed into a more pedestrian-friendly place.

"This is a time that we've not seen for many, many years, decades even, in the CBRM when it comes to development and I'm thrilled," she said.

The cost is being shared equally by CBRM and the federal and provincial governments.

Cape Breton Regional Municipality
Cape Breton Regional Municipality

The municipality plans to start construction next spring on Charlotte Street, and it will be done in stages between Dorchester and Townsend.

Provincial and municipal funding for the project was announced last month. Jaime Battiste,the Liberal MP for Sydney-Victoria, announced the federal government's contribution outside city hall Friday.

McDougall said the loud noise coming from the construction site at the Nova Scotia Community College will become a constant in the downtown area, as the Charlotte Street project is expected to take three years to complete.

"During this announcement we're hearing all of the whistles and construction noise from the Marconi campus development," she said.

"That noise is going to continue for a long time here, especially in our downtown core."

Welcome disruption, mayor says

The downtown business community has been asking for the work to be done for years, so it will be a welcome disruption, the mayor said.

Battiste said the redevelopment will improve the downtown for local residents and for tourists.

"This is once-in-a-generation infrastructure and revitalization of an area that's needed it for a long time," he said.

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