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Introducing Sydney

The second-biggest city in Nova Scotia and the only real city on Cape Breton Island, Sydney is the embattled core of the island's collapsed industrial belt. The now-closed steel mill and coal mines were the region's largest employers and now the city feels a bit empty. Although Sydney itself is nothing special, it is well serviced and you get more bang for your buck staying here as a base to explore Louisbourg and the Cabot Trail than you would in more scenic areas.

Downtown, Charlotte St is lined with stores and restaurants and there's a pleasant boardwalk along Esplanade, while the North End historic district has a gritty charm.