Archibald's Wharf shed renews rancour over North Sydney land sale

A small wooden building on the North Sydney waterfront is the focus of more rancour related to the sale of Archibald's Wharf.

Community group says shed should not have been part of land deal with Canadian Marine Engineering Inc.

The Business Improvement and Development Association says it owns this shed, but the municipality says it did not claim it when the land was sold. (Megs Farrell)

A small wooden building on the North Sydney waterfront is the focus of more rancour related to the sale of Archibald's Wharf.

The combined playground and green space was sold by the Cape Breton Regional Municipality to Canadian Maritime Engineering Inc. last year amid vocal protests from area residents.

The sale involved several buildings, including a restaurant, an ice cream shop and a bandshell, but the shed situated in the parking lot was not thought to be part of the deal.

Dan Bunbury, the president of the Business Improvement and Development Association, told Mainstreet Cape Breton they consider it theirs. 

"As far as we're concerned it is," he said. "It's been used by the BIDA for at least two decades."

Bunbury said the shed was used for storage and as a visitor information centre.

The building is located behind CME's new fence and is up on blocks, about to be moved. Bunbury wants it back.

No claim during sale

The community group wants it back, along with some interpretive panels that have gone missing. (Megs Farrell)

He blames poor communication between his group, CME and the municipality for the situation.

"But of course," he said, "there wasn't a lot of communication, the sale itself was arranged in secret, so I'm not surprised this has happened."

Bunbury said four tourist interpretation signs have also gone missing. 

In an email, Christine Lamey of Mayor Cecil Clarke's office said the sale agreement was finalized in May 2015 and no effort was made at the time to claim ownership of the shed.

"Because the BIDA did not claim the building and the municipality decided to leave the building on the property as the sale progressed, the building is now part of CME's property," she said.

She said if there are contents in the building, BIDA can contact CME to retrieve them. 

"They also had a wide timeframe, almost a year, to remove any contents they wanted, as they indicated they had the keys," said Lamey.

Lamey said attempts are being made to locate the interpretive panels, which she believes are in storage. 

CME referred inquiries to the municipality.

With files from Wendy Bergfeldt


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