Sydney waterfront plan gets council's backing

Cape Breton regional council has adopted a consultant's vision for the Sydney harbourfront development.

Vision includes extending boardwalk, expanding marine terminal, building more shops and apartments

The plan to update the Sydney waterfront followed a community engagement process. (CBC)

Cape Breton regional council has adopted a consultant's vision for the Sydney harbourfront development.

Ekistics Planning and Design of Dartmouth proposes extending the boardwalk, expanding the marine terminal, building more waterfront shops and building attractive apartments along the water.

Council accepted the concept, but said it needs advice on how to accomplish it, since the Cape Breton Regional Municipality says it has little development money.

Rob LeBlanc is president of Ekistics, the company also responsible for the new design for waterfronts in Bedford, N.S., and Summerside, P.E.I.

He says CBRM should look at what other municipalities are doing in the region.

"The Summerside waterfront plan is probably half the size of Sydney and has a lot of the very same problems," he said. 

"I actually took their waterfront — very much similar to this — to a development conference in France just a few months ago. I had a lot of interest from developers overseas who are planning to actually come back to Summerside to look at doing development.”

Plan followed a community engagement process

In January, Ekistics presented the Sydney Waterfront Plan to the steering committee prior to showing the plan to the community and council.

The plan followed a community engagement process which included interviews, a community workshop and an online survey.

LeBlanc says it's critical that CBRM take a proactive approach to waterfront development.

He says that's the most effective way to attract investment in the project.