Me­mo­rial Park

LO­CAL

Cape Breton Post - - Front Page - BY JEREMY FRASER jeremy.fraser@cb­post.com

Syd­ney meet­ing of­fers in­for­ma­tion on pro­posed park for North­side.

Ron MacDon­ald still re­mem­bers go­ing to Lloyd’s Cove ev­ery Sun­day af­ter­noon in the sum­mer to swim with his friends in his young years.

“We would walk down from North Syd­ney just to swim at the big beach,” said MacDon­ald.

MacDon­ald was one of a hand­ful of peo­ple that at­tended the At­lantic Me­mo­rial Park com­mu­nity pre­sen­ta­tion at the Joan Har­riss Cruise Pavilion in Syd­ney on Thurs­day.

The Syd­ney Mines Tourism Devel­op­ment So­ci­ety, the group work­ing on the pro­posed me­mo­rial park, also held a com­mu­nity pre­sen­ta­tion at the Ashby Le­gion in Syd­ney on Wed­nes­day, an event that drew a large crowd.

MacDon­ald be­lieves the pro­posed park would be a wel­comed ad­di­tion to the Syd­ney Mines com­mu­nity.

“This is some­thing that on the North­side we don’t have … to han­dle cruise ship pas­sen­gers or any­thing to show them of any in­ter­est,” said MacDon­ald. “They have to go to Bad­deck or Iona right now, so this is a great spot on the North­side to be able to han­dle a lot of tourists.

The idea for a me­mo­rial park was started about a year ago by Cyril Aker.

The me­mo­rial park would fea­ture a re­stored mil­i­tary for­ti­fi­ca­tion at Chapel Point bat­tery, a com­mem­o­ra­tive mon­u­ment in an ocean­side set­ting ded­i­cated to the bat­tle of Vimy Ridge, a First Na­tions replica en­camp­ment in a wood­land set­ting as well as a fam­ily park and ocean beach.

The pro­posed site con­sists of about 120 acres of pub­licly owned land in the Syd­ney Mines area along the Chapel Point bat­tery, which in­cludes Lochman’s Beach, Ed­ward’s Pond, Neil’s Woods and the for­mer Princess mine site (Swivel Point).

The site would have his­tor­i­cal, ed­u­ca­tional and recre­ational com­po­nents, from an eco­nomic per­spec­tive, the project could pro­vide sig­nif­i­cant di­rect op­er­a­tional rev­enues as well as spinoff ben­e­fits for lo­cal busi­ness.

Eileen Lan­non-Old­ford, CEO of Busi­ness Cape Bre­ton, at­tended the pre­sen­ta­tion and she likes the idea of the park.

“I think it’s great for the re­gion, it will drive tourism, not only that but it can cre­ate many lo­cals jobs through the process,” said Lan­non-Old­ford. “It can be a des­ti­na­tion point, some­thing for peo­ple, not only Cape Bre­ton­ers, but Nova Sco­tians, Cana­di­ans and in­ter­na­tional friends and tourists will come to see.”

Early es­ti­mates are that park con­struc­tion could cre­ate in ex­cess of 600 per­son years of work. About 25 per­son years of work will be re­quired an­nu­ally to op­er­ate the park.

Ac­cord­ing to the so­ci­ety, the over­all ad­di­tional eco­nomic ben­e­fit to the econ­omy will

be sub­stan­tial and the pro­posed park will add a pos­i­tive mo­men­tum, fol­low­ing the an­nounce­ment of a sec­ond cruise ship berth on the Syd­ney side of the har­bour.

Brian Fer­gu­son, vice-chair and plan­ning direc­tor for the Syd­ney Mines Tourism Devel­op­ment So­ci­ety, said com­mu­nity sup­port will be key to the suc­cess of the pro­posed park.

“Ev­ery­body we talk to is ex­tremely sup­port­ive,” he said. “I think there is al­ways skep­ti­cism about a project like this and we have to rec­og­nize that, but we want to demon­strate that we are get­ting things done and when we do that I think the com­mu­nity will sup­port will come, but the po­lit­i­cal sup­port too.”

Fer­gu­son said the ini­tial phase of the project would cost about $2 mil­lion. The so­ci­ety be­lieves the park will likely cost be­tween $15-$20 mil­lion over a five-year pe­riod.

“The money for the con­struc­tion of the park, we’re start­ing right away to ap­ply to the Na­tional Trust Foun­da­tion, ap­ply­ing to the Her­itage Canada Le­gacy Fund, and we will also be ap­ply­ing to dif­fer­ent fund­ing agen­cies over the sum­mer.”

“We are ob­tain­ing money through com­mu­nity events now and hope­fully we will get sus­tain­abil­ity fund­ing from CBRM.”

The so­ci­ety is also wel­com­ing letters of sup­port and do­na­tions.

For more in­for­ma­tion about the project or to make a do­na­tion, con­tact Fer­gu­son at 902322-8509 or email bd­fer­gu­son@east­link.ca.

As for MacDon­ald, he can’t wait to see the project com­plete.

“It’s go­ing to bring back mem­o­ries,” said MacDon­ald. “It ties in the whole com­mu­nity, which is ex­tremely im­por­tant.”

JEREMY FRASER/CAPE BRE­TON POST

Eileen Lan­non-Old­ford, CEO of Busi­ness Cape Bre­ton, and Ron MacDon­ald are shown look­ing at a dis­play dur­ing the At­lantic Me­mo­rial Park com­mu­nity pre­sen­ta­tion at the Joan Har­riss Cruise Pavilion in Syd­ney on Thurs­day. The pre­sen­ta­tion ex­plained plans for the pro­posed park in Syd­ney Mines.

Fer­gu­son

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