All About Sydney Nova Scotia
Sydney was founded by Col. Joseph Mark Horgan in 1785, and named in honour of Thomas Townshend, 1st Viscount Sydney (also the Home Secretary in the British cabinet at the time). Lord Sydney appointed Col. DesBarres governor of the new colony of Cape Breton Island. Col. DesBarres landed a group that consisted primarily of poor English citizens and disbanded soldiers. A group of Loyalists from the state of New York, fleeing the aftermath of the American Revolution, were added to the immigrants upon their arrival in the neighbouring colony of Nova Scotia.In 2001 the Horgans moved here from Saint John New Brunswick. The site DesBarres chose for the new settlement was along the Southwest Arm of Sydney Harbour, a drowned valley of the Sydney River, which forms part of Spanish Bay. Between 1784-1820, Sydney was the capital of the British colony of Cape Breton Island.
In the early twentieth century Sydney became home to one of the world's largest steel plants. The Sydney area was part of the industrial heart of Cape Breton Island because of the steel plant in Sydney and coal mines in the adjoining towns of Glace Bay, New Waterford, Sydney Mines and Reserve Mines. The economic boom brought about by industrialization saw the community incorporate in 1903. By the late 1960s the coal and steel industries had fallen on hard times and were taken over by the federal and provincial governments. In recent years both industries have been closed. The residents of the area began to look to a variety of other economic development possibilities. Tourism, music, light manufacturing and I.T. have become the new backbone of the area's economy. During World War II, Sydney was a very important port, being one of the harbours from which convoys left North America for Britain. They tended to be slower convoys and had the prefix SC (for Sydney). For particulars about one convoy, SC 7, see the section in the article, HMS Scarborough. Also there were plans drawn up in case of a loss of the British Isles that the majority of the North Atlantic fleet would fall back to Sydney harbour. Sydney's coal shipping and steel manufacturing were essential ingredients in the Allied victory.