New life for her­itage build­ing

Old Post Of­fice will soon be home for re­gional police

Cape Breton Post - - NEWS - BY JULIE COLLINS jcollins@cb­

Ren­o­va­tions to the Old Post Of­fice are on time and within bud­get ac­cord­ing to Dis­trict 1 Coun. Clarence Prince.

In 2015, the Cape Bre­ton Re­gional Mu­nic­i­pal­ity bud­geted $1 mil­lion for the ren­o­va­tion project, which will even­tu­ally be the new home of the Cape Bre­ton Re­gional Police North Divi­sion.

The plans in­clude the in­stal­la­tion of a 15-foot clock tower on the cor­ner of the prop­erty next to the flag stan­dards.

“The clock tower will be vis­i­ble from the streets that in­ter­sect down­town,” Prince said. “This clock tower is some­thing that we’ve worked to­ward for at least 10 years or more and it’s fi­nally com­ing to fruition.”

Prince said a pri­or­ity for the mu­nic­i­pal­ity was to se­cure a fu­ture for the Old Post Of­fice.

“The build­ing is a her­itage prop­erty. It’s cen­trally lo­cated and ad­ja­cent to the down­town area. As well, the re­turn of a police pres­ence in Syd­ney Mines is cer­tainly wel­come.”

Site fore­man An­gelo Canova with Brilun Con­struc­tion said as with any con­struc­tion project, there were a few glitches here and there.

“But it didn’t hold us back,” said Canova.

“There will be a pub­lic area at the front of the build­ing that will in­clude re­cep­tion. The rest of the build­ing is be­ing ren­o­vated to ac­co­mo­date the needs of the police ser­vice.”

Ap­prox­i­mately 35 police of­fi­cers are cur­rently based in North Divi­sion.

Ren­o­va­tion work be­gan early in the new year and in­cludes me­chan­i­cal and elec­tri­cal up­grades. The air-han­dling unit on the roof will be re­placed. The ramp at the side of the build­ing is at the end of its life cy­cle and it will be re­placed and built to exit off the street.

Along with some mi­nor land­scap­ing work and im­prove­ments to the grounds, a num­ber of ad­di­tional ex­te­rior lights will be in­stalled and there will be some work on the foun­da­tion.

The pub­lic en­trance at the front of the build­ing fac­ing Fraser Av­enue will be up­graded to in­clude new doors.

Built in 1904, over the years the three-storey build­ing served both as a post of­fice and as a cus­toms house, with an up­stairs apart­ment for the care­taker.

The Nova Sco­tia Depart­ment of Health rented the first floor and the town’s depart­ment of so­cial ser­vices and leisure ser­vices oc­cu­pied the sec­ond floor un­til 1978.

The build­ing was then sold and used mainly as stor­age space, while a por­tion was used by the lo­cal his­tor­i­cal so­ci­ety as a mu­seum.

The build­ing was reac­quired by the for­mer Town of Syd­ney Mines in 1987 and re­stored as a cen­ten­nial project.

The build­ing housed the re­gional mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s cit­i­zens ser­vice cen­tre un­til it closed in the fall of 2014.

Cur­rently, the police ser­vice’s North Divi­sion of­fice is lo­cated at 412 Purves St. in North Syd­ney.

Once the ren­o­va­tions are com­plete, the Purves Street build­ing will be de­clared sur­plus and will go on the mar­ket.


Dis­trict 1 Coun. Clarence Prince looks over the plans for the ren­o­va­tion of the Old Post Of­fice Tues­day with Brilun Con­struc­tion site fore­man An­gelo Canova. The her­itage build­ing in Syd­ney Mines is the fu­ture home of the Cape Bre­ton Re­gional Police in North Divi­sion.

The Old Post Of­fice, sit­u­ated in the mid­dle of Syd­ney Mines, dom­i­nates the streetscape. It will soon be home to the Cape Bre­ton Re­gional Police in North Divi­sion.

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