Revitalizing Downtown Sydney 

News release

Cape Breton Regional Municipality receives boost to drive tourism recovery

July 16, 2021 · Sydney, Nova Scotia · Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

Our economic recovery is closely linked to the vitality of downtown cores in towns and cities across Canada – when they flourish they attract new residents, entice tourists and stimulate business growth. That is why the Government of Canada is investing to revitalize Charlotte Street, in downtown Sydney, to create a more welcoming, accessible and green destination.

Federal government supports revitalization of Sydney’s downtown core

Today, Jaime Battiste, Member of Parliament for Sydney-Victoria, announced a $3 million non-repayable contribution to the Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM) to reconfigure, improve and beautify Charlotte Street. The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA. 

This transformative project will make the downtown area more appealing to pedestrians, strengthening the tourism sector, attracting visitors, and sparking new business opportunities. The project will create 166 short-term jobs when construction begins in 2022.

Today’s announcement further demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to boost local tourism and promote Atlantic Canada’s unique places, experiences and businesses.


“Tourism is a major economic driver in Canada, one that has been sorely missed during the pandemic. We’re intensifying our efforts to support Canada’s tourism sector and those whose livelihoods depend on it, by investing in the shared public spaces that will safely bring people together and help communities grow and thrive well into the future.” 

- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA

“This is an exciting time for downtown Sydney. With prospective student traffic from the new Nova Scotia Community College Marconi Campus and future tourism through the addition of a second Port of Sydney cruise ship berth, the Charlotte Street redevelopment is a welcome addition to the good things happening here in Cape Breton. This project will help continue to build Sydney’s reputation as a must-see stop, further stimulating our economy and making our downtown safer, greener and more accessible.”

Jaime Battiste, Member of Parliament for Sydney-Victoria

“Working together with the Government of Canada and Province of Nova Scotia, we will see Sydney’s charming and historic commercial district refreshed and ready to welcome the world again. Rebuilding with accessibility as a priority will benefit all who visit downtown.”

-  Amanda McDougall, Mayor, Cape Breton Regional Municipality

Quick facts

  • This contribution will support the reconfiguration of Charlotte Street including the installation of plaza-width sidewalks, tactile walking surface indicators, landscaping and streetscaping such as bike racks, benches and signage. 

  • This project will also support the installation of green infrastructure including storm water catchment equipment, solar lighting and an electric car charging station.

  • This project includes investments from federal, provincial and municipal partners.

  • Funding for this project is provided through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s (ACOA) Innovative Communities Fund (ICF).


Catherine Mounier-Desrochers
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Economic
Development and Official Languages

Chris Brooks
Communications Director, Nova Scotia
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Christina Lamey
Communications & Information Officer
Cape Breton Regional Municipality 

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