Crumbling Sydney street being ignored, say longtime residents

A petition calls for upgrades to Stanfield Street, which residents say hasn't been repaved in at least 50 years.

Petition calls for upgrade of 50-year-old pavement on Stanfield Street

Clara McCarron points out the crumbling asphalt on her street. (George Mortimer/CBC)

In Nova Scotia, complaining about the condition of the roads is practically a provincial pastime. But for some who live on a dead-end street of mature homes in Sydney, complaints have given way to anger.

A group of 20 residents, many of them seniors, signed a petition to Cape Breton Regional Council in May, asking for improvements.

Months later, they're wondering if anyone is listening.

Pre-1967 roadwork

Sharon Mombourquette grew up on Stanfield Street, off Upper Prince Street. She described the roadway as a mess of patchwork and "cobblestone."

"[The original pavement] was here when we built this house in 1967, so what is left of the curb and the main pavement, it's been here since before that," she said.

Gordon Thompson, who has lived on the street for 65 years, calls the condition of the pavement "deplorable." (George Mortimer/CBC)

Gordon Thompson, 81, has lived on the street for 65 years.

"Oh, it's deplorable," he said. "They promised years ago they were going to put a sidewalk in on one side and new pavement — and it's not done. For a little street, it's in bad shape."

Still waiting

Clara McCarron, who's lived on Stanfield Street for 22 years, drafted the petition. 

She brought it to the municipal offices a few weeks ago, along with pictures, but she said she was told no one was available to speak with her.

She said the street has become so bad in spots, it's down to the bare stone.

"There's not even pavement; it's pebblestone, holes and gravel," she said. "The people that live here are very disgusted, and they've waited, and they've been told we are on the list. I heard that when we bought the house here and we never seem to get to the first of the list."

McCarron said the coming winter, with its heave and thaw cycles, is likely to create "complete chaos."

'Prioritized' street

Coun. Ray Paruch says the street is one of the worst in the municipality.

"I guess the best way to describe it is deplorable," Paruch said. "[CBRM] put it in the hopper with all of the other streets that have to be done. This one, I've been told by the engineer, it is one of the top priorities and it all depends on the available funds at the upcoming budget."

Paruch estimated it will cost $250,000 to completely redo the street.

CBRM's manager of engineering services, Bruce Hardy, said in an email that Stanfield Street is part of the initial block of prioritized streets within CBRM's local roads paving program for the area.

Paruch said the street will be tackled in the spring.

About the Author

George Mortimer


George Mortimer is a longtime reporter in Cape Breton.