Sydney Mines is a community and former town in Canada’s Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Regional Municipality. Founded in 1784 and incorporated as a town in 1889, Sydney Mines has a rich history in coal production, although mining activity has now ceased. Take a look below for 26 interesting and fun facts about Sydney Mines, Nova Scotia, Canada.
1. Sydney Mines was home to a large steel company that was named SCOTIA it was the modern to its day between the Sydney Steel Plant (DISCO) and the Sydney Mines Steel Plant (SCOTIA) they produced 50% of Canada’s steel during World War I.
2. During the American Revolution, the British used the coal mines of Sydney Mines to supply the British loyalists in Boston and Halifax.
3. American and French ships made great efforts to interrupt this vital supply line.
4. On November 1, 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. Sydney Cape Breton provided a vital supply of coal for Halifax throughout the war.
8. The British began developing the mining site at Sydney Mines in 1777.
9. 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.”
10. 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.
11. Sydney Mines lies immediately northeast of North Sydney and faces Sydney across Sydney Harbour.
12. Sydney Mines was once a major coal-producing community.
13. Mining began locally in 1766, and in 1830 systematic operations were undertaken.
14. One of the area mines extended about 5 miles (8 km) out under the sea.
15. The last mine was closed in 1975.
16. Sydney Mines is on the northern side of Sydney Harbor, near the mouth.
17. It was earlier known as the Mines due to the coal mines abundant nearby.
18. Although mining has been carried on since 1724, the first shaft for the General Mining Association in Sydney Mines was sunk in 1830.
19. Manufacturing enterprises included corrugated steel culverts and the British Canadian Co-operative Society Limited, operating a dairy and a bakery.
20. Sydney Mines was the filming location for the 1981 horror movie My Bloody Valentine.
21. Sydney Mines experiences cool summers. The summer can be very cool at times due to the fact Sydney Mines borders the cool North Atlantic Ocean.
22. Day time highs rarely exceed 20 degrees Celsius. During Summer nights temperatures can become very cold with the average lows being around 10 degrees Celsius, although cold winds can make it seem much colder.
23. Sydney Mines experiences cold, windy, wet, snowy and very stormy winters.
24. Sydney Mines has one elementary school, Jubilee Elementary (home to the Johnny Miles Gym), one middle school, Sydney Mines Middle School, one high school, Memorial Composite High School.
25. In front of Jubilee Elementary on Main Street, there is a bronze statue of Johnny Miles in a running pose. There is a script on it with a small quote and the dates Johnny Miles won the Boston Marathon.
26. In front of the John J. Nugent Firemen’s Centre on Elliot Street (across from the fire station), there is a firefighter statue which represents all the past fire chiefs of the Sydney Mines Volunteer Fire Department.