North Sydney


In the early 1900s many immigrants came to Cape Breton as laborers to work for the Dominion Iron and Steel Company. Blacks from the West Indies were among many cultural groups recruited to work in the coke ovens and most settled in Whitney Pier. Among the immigrants to settle were West Indian Blacks from Barbados, Grenada, St. Vincent, Guyana, and other Caribbean locations. Other Black settlers came from smaller Nova Scotia centres such as Guysborough and Tracadie. The plant hired individuals accustomed to tropical climates on the premise that they would be able to withstand the hot conditions associated with the steel-making. One group of immigrants originally from the West Indies came over from Alabama but did not stay long as the harsh bitter winters were too difficult for them. Following the first group of wage labourers, there arrived a group of West Indians who established small businesses in the community of Whitney Pier. They were proud owners of grocery, book, and jewelry stores, and provided other services such as shoemaking, tailoring, carpentry, and plastering. The immigration also brought professionals from West Indies to Canada. One of the more socially prominent immigrants was Doctor Alvinus Calder, a native of Grenada and a graduate of McGill University, who set up a practice in Whitney Pier. A lawyer named F. A. Hamilton, from Barbados, practiced law in Sydney and published a province-wide weekly newspaper about Blacks called The Gleaner. Source: African Nova Scotian Tourism Guide Historical Black Settlements in Nova Scotia (Google Map)


North Sydney
North Sydney, Nova Scotia B2A

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Historical Black Settlements in Nova Scotia (Google Map)
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