Transportation Infrastructure

Sea

Ports of Sydney - Located on the northeastern shore of Cape Breton Island, and featuring a 17m (56 ft) draft, the Sydney Ports offer a full range of services. Federal, provincial and municipal governments, along with the private sector, have invested $38 million to dredge the harbour to deepen the access channel allowing post-panamax ships access into the Ports of Sydney.

The cruise ship industry has become a key part of Cape Breton’s tourism sector with over 50 ships per year docking in the Ports of Sydney while smaller cruise ships regularly access the ports of Louisbourg and Baddeck.

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Strait of Canso – Located between mainland Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island, the Strait of Canso is the deepest harbour on the North American East Coast. It is 20 km long (12.42 mi), up to 1.5 km wide (.93 mi) with a depth of 27 m (89 ft) that can handle vessels up to 500,000 dwt. It has two public harbours, Port Hawkesbury and Mulgrave, and five private terminals.

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Air

The JA Douglas McCurdy Sydney Airport provides multiple flights per day to the Halifax Stanfield International Airport, with subsequent connections into major North American and international destinations. Air Canada also offers daily direct flights from Sydney to Toronto. WestJet operates a daily flight from Sydney to Toronto from May through October. Air Canada also offers seasonal direct flights from Sydney to Toronto. The airport’s main runway is 7,070 ft (2,155 m).

The Port Hawkesbury Airport provides corporate and charter aircraft services. Located approximately 8 kms (4.9 mi) from the Port Hawkesbury town limits, the paved runway is 1,524 m (5,000 ft) long by 46 m (150 ft) wide, with radio controlled lighting for night operations.

Road

There are three 100-series highways in Cape Breton (Highway 104, Highway 105 Trans Canada Highway, and Highway 125) totalling 211 km (131 mi) of roadway. Visitors can access Cape Breton via the Canso Causeway on mainland Nova Scotia. A full range of services from large fleet operations to small niche trucking companies are available for the shipment of cargo. Cape Breton is also the transshipment point for all truck cargo to and from Newfoundland and Labrador.

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Ferry

Marine Atlantic Ferry provides the vital service linking automobile and cargo traffic from Newfoundland and Labrador via North Sydney to the rest of Canada.

Rail

Cape Breton is connected to the rest of Canada and the US by 394 km (245 mi) of railway operated by the Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia Railway. Rail service is provided at certain facilities in the Ports of Sydney and the Strait of Canso and at many of the region’s industrial parks. The rail line offers double stacking container capability and connects to the CN North America network in Truro, Nova Scotia. Its major commodities are coal, wood products, chemicals, steel and rail.