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Phase1 - Environmental Site Assessment






An essential component of a Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment is the compilation of existing information. This information comes from various sources, including site records, interviews with knowledgeable individuals, regulatory records, geographical information, and site reconnaissance. The methods employed in the compilation of this information are discussed in Section 1.3.

This section provides an overview of information sources used in the preparation of this report, as well as a brief description of the type of information derived from each. The results of the information assessment are compiled in Section 5.0, Historical Environmental Activities. A complete list of references is provided in Appendix A.




Records Review

  A major component of this study was the review of historical records, both public and private, related to the development and operation of the Sydney Steel Plant property. Historical records reviewed as part of this ESA include aerial photos, historical maps, published historical accounts, collections of historical photographs and documents, and readily available government agency information.

Each record group reviewed as part of this process is identified below, followed by a brief description of the types of information derived from each. The results of the review of these records are presented in Section 5.0.



Looking North at Hospital during 1923 strike (Beaton Institute)



Aerial Photographs

  Aerial photographs for years 1939, 1947, 1953, 1966, 1969, 1971, 1975, 1979, 1983, 1993 and 1999 were reviewed for the site. Copies of selected photographs are presented in Appendix C for reference. Photographs were obtained from Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources, and the Beaton Institute at the University College of Cape Breton.

These valuable sources of information provided the majority of the building existence information for the site (Appendix D), as well as information regarding the progress of the infilling of Muggah Creek. The air photos allow waste disposal areas and effluent plumes to be observed over time, as well as the general environmental state of the steel plant property and environs.




Insurance Plans


Insurance plans for the City of Sydney, Nova Scotia from the years 1902, 1914, 1936 and 1957 (revised to 1969) were reviewed at the Public Archives of Nova Scotia (PANS). The insurance plans were used to determine the historic land uses as well as building locations. While the plans tend to be quite detailed, they do not always cover the entire study area and therefore insurance plan information has been used to supplement that provided by other historical records such as air photos.




Other Historical Maps

  Several historical maps from PANS were reviewed during this assessment. No substantial information was gleaned from the majority of the maps due to the small scale and lack of detail.

Historical maps that were of use include A Plan of Lands and Lands Covered by Water in Sydney, Cape Breton Required for the Proposed Blast Furnaces (dated June 20, 1899), and a survey plan of water lots and previous land owners (dated 1903). These maps provided valuable information regarding early shoreline locations and the existence of early site buildings. Additional references are listed in Appendix A.



Ferry Street Bridge in 1904 (Beaton Institute)
Ferry Street Bridge


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