Locals angry Tim Hortons rejected in Sydney Mines
The Cape Breton Regional Municipality has rejected a Tim Hortons franchise application to open in Sydney Mines, irritating locals who say they don't want to have to continue to drive out of town for their Tim Hortons fix.
"Every Tim Hortons I go to, there's a wait of 15 to 20 minutes," said Robert MacNeil, who drives to North Sydney for coffee every day.
"There's business here for it. It would be a lot less travel for me. Driving a Hemi, the price of gas is crazy."
A local businessman named Sandy Young had spent $160,000 to buy the piece of land — previously used as a recycling depot — in Sydney Mines and have environmental testing done.
Young had planned to sell a piece of the land to Tim Hortons and was going to build a car wash facility alongside the coffee shop.
But the Cape Breton regional council voted against the plan because the proposed Tim Hortons location was near a turn in the road and there were traffic concerns. Residents living next to the proposed site also opposed the development.
Clarence Prince, a local councillor, said about 25 people showed up to a public meeting about the proposed development.
"About 90 per cent — that would be 22 or 23 of the people — objected strongly to the fact that Tim Hortons wanted to set up in that residential area," he said Thursday.
Young said local companies would have benefited from the construction jobs and the businesses would have created dozens of full-time jobs in an area suffering from high unemployment.
"It's very, very frustrating," he said.
"It is zoned commercial and that's one of the criteria I made sure of before I bought the property. It's not zoned food and beverage. I thought, if nothing else, [Tim Hortons] would probably be the easiest thing to get here."
The Cape Breton Regional Municipality said it's willing to work with the franchise to set up a store in the area, but Young said this is the third time a Tim Hortons had been turned down in Sydney Mines.