Cape Breton Island

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Cape Breton Island,

island (1991 pop. 161,686), 3,970 sq mi (10,282 sq km), forming the northeastern part of N.S., Canada, and separated from the mainland by the narrow Gut, or Strait, of Canso. The easternmost point is called Cape Breton. The center of the island is occupied by the Bras d'Or salt lakes. Gently sloping in the south, the island rises to rugged hills in the wilder northern part. The inhabitants are mainly of Scottish Highlander descent. There are many summer resorts on the lakes and fishing villages on the coast. In the northeast are steelworks, once fueled by the extensive Sydney coal fields, which were worked from the 1720s to 2001.

The Cabot Trail, a scenic road through Cape Breton Highlands National Park, commemorates the discovery of Cape Breton Island in 1497 by John CabotCabot, John,
fl. 1461–98, English explorer, probably b. Genoa, Italy. He became a citizen of Venice in 1476 and engaged in the Eastern trade of that city. This experience, it is assumed, was the stimulus of his later explorations.
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. The island was a French possession from 1632 to 1763. After the Peace of Utrecht (1713) many Acadians migrated there from mainland Nova Scotia, which was ceded to the English. They renamed the island Île Royale and established the fortress at LouisburgLouisburg
, town (1991 pop. 1,261), E Cape Breton Island, N.S., Canada. The town, an ice-free port, is near the site of the great fortress of Louisbourg, built (1720–40) by France as its Gibraltar in America.
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. With the final cession of Canada to the British (1763), Cape Breton was attached to Nova Scotia. It was made a separate colony in 1784, with SydneySydney,
city (1991 pop. 26,063), Cape Breton Island, N.S., Canada, on the northeast coast at the head of the South Arm of Sydney Harbour. It is the port and the commercial, trade, and industrial center in a former coal-mining area.
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 as its capital, but was rejoined to Nova Scotia in 1820.

Bibliography

See history by R. J. Morgan (2 vol., 2008–9).

Cape Breton Island

an island off SE Canada, in NE Nova Scotia, separated from the mainland by the Strait of Canso: its easternmost point is Cape Breton. Pop.: 120 098 (1991). Area: 10 280 sq. km (3970 sq. miles)