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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. The city has steel mills and plants manufacturing wood, aluminum, food products, and chemicals. Sydney was founded (1783) by United Empire LoyalistsUnited Empire Loyalists,
in Canadian history, name applied to those settlers who, loyal to the British cause in the American Revolution, migrated from the Thirteen Colonies to Canada.
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 and was the capital (1784–1820) of Cape Breton prov. St. George's Church (1786) is one of the oldest Anglican churches in Canada.


city (2016 pop. 208,374, Greater Sydney 2016 pop. 4,823,991), capital of New South Wales, SE Australia, surrounding Port Jackson inlet on the Pacific Ocean. Sydney is Australia's largest metropolitan area, chief port, and main cultural and industrial center; roughly one fifth of Australia's population lives in the Greater Sydney area. The city serves as the center for retail and wholesale trade as well as public administration and finance. Its main exports are wool, wheat, flour, sheepskins, and meat; the chief imports are petroleum, coal, timber, and sugar. Sydney has shipyards, oil refineries, textile mills, brass foundries, and electronics and chemical plants. The city was founded in 1788 as the first penal settlement of Australia. Its name was taken from a cave named for Captain Cook's patron, Viscount Sydney. In World War II the city was an Allied military base.

Sydney has experienced tremendous growth since World War II, and there has been extensive urban redevelopment since the 1970s. Two notable bridges cross Port Jackson inlet: the Sydney Harbour Bridge (1932) and the Gladesville Bridge (1964). In the city are the Univ. of Sydney (1850), Macquarie Univ. (1964), and the Univ. of New South Wales (1949). Among its museums are the National Gallery of Art and the Australian Museum (natural history). The dramatic, modernistic Sydney Opera House complex was largely designed by Joern UtzonUtzon, Jørn,
1918–2008, Danish architect, grad. Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen (1942). He worked for Eric Gunnar Asplund in Sweden and Alvar Aalto in Finland before opening (1950) his own Copenhagen architectural office.
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, the Danish winner of an international competition; it opened in 1974 and is now Sydney's most famous landmark. Centrepoint Tower (1981) is Australia's tallest building. Sydney was the site of the Summer Olympic Games in 2000.


G. Moorhouse, Sydney: The Story of a City (2000).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the most populous city in the Commonwealth of Australia and the country’s commercial and financial center; important transportation junction. Capital of the state of New South Wales. Situated on both shores of the bay of Port Jackson. Population, including suburbs, 2.874 million (1973).

A major industrial center, Sydney produces transportation, electrical-engineering, and electronics equipment, computers, refrigerators, instruments, and motor vehicles. There is also ferrous and nonferrous metallurgy, including conversion. The textile, food-processing, and printing industries are also important.

Agriculture is practiced outside Sydney, along the valleys of rivers which empty into Port Jackson and the Tasman Sea; vegetables and fruits are grown, and dairy livestock and hogs are raised. Industrial enterprises are concentrated on the bay’s northern shore and in the suburbs, while commercial and financial enterprises are concentrated on the southern shore. The two shores are linked by a bridge (2 km long, including approach roads), beneath which pass large oceangoing vessels.

Sydney is a port, with a freight turnover of 13.8 million tons (1972). Exports include wool, grains, dairy products, meat, hides, fruits, transportation equipment, machine tools, motor vehicles, and consumer goods. Imports include machinery and machine parts, petroleum, textiles, cacao, and coffee. An international airport is located near the city.


Sydney was founded in 1788 by British colonists and was named in honor of Lord Sydney, the British home secretary. In the 1850’s the city’s first trade unions were established; these were organizations of carpenters, stovemakers, and stonemasons. In July and August 1917, Sydney was the center of an important strike, in which more than 100,000 people took part. After World War II (1939–45), it was the center of a labor-union struggle led mainly by striking seamen, dockworkers, and transportation workers. The Australian Peace Council was also centered in Sydney.

The center of Sydney features eclectic buildings of the 19th century. In the 20th century, intensive urban growth has made Sydney the scene of the most promising developments in Australian architecture. Significant additions to the city include numerous structures by H. Seidler, built primarily in the 1960’s. Residential areas encircle (radius, 20–30 km) the city’s business districts. A subway system has been built. Sydney has many gardens and parks, and its botanical gardens, zoo, and national park are especially well known. Wooded tracts are interspersed with vast fields, where athletic games and competitions are often held. There are many seaside health resorts in the city’s environs.

Sydney has several institutions of higher learning, including the University of Sydney, the State Conservatorium of Music, and the School of Art and Design. It also has various scholarly associations and societies, including the Geological Society of Australia, the Royal Australian Historical Society, and the Australian Institute of Political Science. The city also has an observatory.

Major libraries include the University of Sydney Library, the Public Library of New South Wales, and the City of Sydney Public Library. Notable museums include the Australian Museum and the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Other museums feature collections devoted to geology, the applied arts and sciences, antiquities, natural history, comparative anatomy and physical anthropology, human anatomy, and the fine arts. The University of Sydney also maintains a museum.

Sydney’s most prominent theaters are the Sydney Opera House, a theater complex of three auditoriums used for plays by the Old Tote company and for concerts, the Independent Theatre, the Ensemble Theatre, the Community Theatre, and the New Theatre. The Australian Opera is a major opera company. Sydney’s drama schools include the National Institute of Drama at the University of Sydney.



a city and port in eastern Canada, in the province of Nova Scotia; located on Cape Breton Island. Population, 33,000 (1971). Sydney is a center for coal mining, ferrous metallurgy, and the radioelectronics and chemical industries. Motor vehicles are assembled in the city. A plant for the production of heavy water is located in the suburb of Glace Bay. Sydney was founded in 1784.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. a port in SE Australia, capital of New South Wales, on an inlet of the S Pacific: the largest city in Australia and the first British settlement, established as a penal colony in 1788; developed rapidly after 1820 with the discovery of gold in its hinterland; large wool market; three universities. Pop.: 3 502 301 (2001)
2. a port in SE Canada, in Nova Scotia on NE Cape Breton Island: capital of Cape Breton Island until 1820, when the island united administratively with Nova Scotia. Pop.: 26 063 (1991)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005