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Design and

Land Use Plan &



Recreational Lands



Public meetings regarding the re-use of the adjacent Coke Ovens property continue to generate discussion about the creation of parks and other recreational amenities on this and other sites. This section provides some background on the potential demand for recreational amenities within the core area of Sydney.



Walking Trails


In a 2001 survey of CBRM residents, 55% of respondents indicated that walking was their primary recreational activity. This was more than double the response rate for any other activity. Clearly, the development of a regional walking trail system that connects key activity nodes and recreational facilities within CBRM should be a high priority for the Municipality.

A regional walking trail system can even be viewed as a key component of an overall strategy to attract retirees to Cape Breton (Retire Cape Breton), as these individuals will consider recreation, leisure and cultural amenities highly, when selecting communities to retire to. Although the bulk of the SYSCO site is not appropriate for walking trails, the master plan for the development of the property should consider any regional plans for a walking trail system, and where appropriate, accommodate walking trail connections though the property (e.g., connections between Whitney Pier and Ashby).





Swimming is also another activity that research indicates will increase over time as residents age, and have trouble participating in more active sports. However, unlike walking trails, swimming facilities can be expensive to maintain and the decision on whether or not to build a new facility should be supported by a strong business case on the financial viability of such a facility.

There are two swimming facilities in the downtown area: the YMCA on Bentick Street; and the Kiwanis Pool at Prince and Inglis Streets. Both facilities are very old and outdated, and are run by nonprofit groups . The YMCA has just finished a strategic planning process and has identified the need for a $4 to $6 million new facility. They have also been having discussions with the Kiwanis Group to determine if they could rent this facility on a short term basis to provide additional recreational programming to their members and the community.

One possibility is to build a new swim-ming/recreation complex on the front portion of the SYSCO lands (close to Prince Street). This could be financed through the cost savings achieved by SYSCO during the building demolition process on-site. There would be no on-going operational cost to CBRM as the YMCA has more than 100 years of experience in operating these facilities on a break even basis



Golf Course


A golf course has been discussed as one potential use for the former Coke Ovens property.

According to a golf participation survey carried out by the Royal Canadian Golf Association (RCGA) there were 115,000 golfers in Nova Scotia in 1999 (14.4% participation rate). This represents, a 50% increase from the 9.0% participation rate documented in 1991. It is likely that the Nova Scotian participation rate will continue to increase in the future, as the current 14% rate is still substantially lower than the national rate of 20.5%.

Atlantic Canadian Golfers play about 13 rounds per year on average. If these averages are applied to the CBRM (96,700 people who are who are 12 years and older), one can infer that there are 13,535 golfers in the CBRM who play an average of 175,935 rounds of golf per season.

Given that a full 18-hole golf course can expect 26,538 rounds per year in Nova Scotia (NS Golf Tourism Development Study, 1996), about 6.6, 18-hole courses could be supported by the population in CBRM. As of December 2001, there were three 18-hole courses and five 9-hole courses available in the area; those in the vicinity of the SYSCO property are shown on Figure 5.1. This indicates that the region could technically support 1.1 additional 18-hole courses in 2001.

Although the new course at Bell Bay is currently experiencing financial difficulties, this was built for a high end market (tourism) and has not received strong local support for memberships. Its distance from Sydney (45 minutes) has not helped the situation. The market that is viable is a modestly priced course in close proximity to the centre of Sydney.

The construction of an 18 hole course (par 69 to 70), of a quality similar to Avon Valley in Falmouth, Nova Scotia, would have appeal to pay-as-you-go players and members because:

  • Demand is growing for short courses that can be played in four hours or less
  • As the population ages short courses are becoming more popular because they remain a challenge to low handicap golfers and can be more easily played
  • Only 120 continuous acres are available at the Coke Ovens site which will only support a short course
  • The shorter course will leave room for revenue earning amenities such as covered driving range, practice putting greens, bunker and pitching areas
  • Risk is reduced by appealing to a variety of markets
  • It will capitalize on the high demand for green fee play, allow for some tournament business and incorporate the security in building a membership base
  • The course can become more of a private club as it matures or as other courses make inroads to the green fee market

Our market analysis indicates that in 2011 the course could expect to play about 20,150 member rounds. It would attract about 8,430 green fee rounds, at $45 per round. Total rounds played would be about 28,580. These levels of activity can be reached without having a negative impact on mature current courses or new courses that are still building their member and play levels. We assume that the capital cost for a course and amenities and working capital will be about $4.42 million.

Golf Course

Location (Distance from Downtown Sydney)

Number of Holes



Lingan Golf and Country Club

(10 minutes)

18 holes
par 72/74

Green Fee $44

Seaview Golf and Country Club

North Sydney
(20 minutes)

18 holes
par 71/73

Green Fee $48

Open since 1999
# Members 2001:
50 men
2 ladies
30 juniors

Dominion St., Glace Bay
(15 minutes)

9 holes
par 36

$500 men
$400 ladies
$300 junior
Green Fee
$12 - 9 holes
$18 - 18 holes

Lionel’s Golf Centre

Gardner Mines
(15 minutes)

9 holes
par 31


Alderdale Greens

Point Edward
(15 minutes)

9 holes
par 34

Green Fees
$12 - 9 holes
$18 –18 holes

PJ’s Golf Centre

Sydney Forks
(20 minutes)

9 holes
par 33


Baddeck Forks

(45 minutes)

9 holes
par 35

Green Fee $15

Bell Bay

45 minutes)

18 holes
par 72

Membership $1,250
Green Fee $69

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