North Sydney - Ballast Grounds - Breakwater Realignment, Cape Breton County, NS

The proposed harbour improvements at North Sydney – Ballast Grounds SCH will include removal and realignment of the existing south breakwater. The proposed project will result in a total footprint of approximately 6,927 m2 of which approximately 4,677 m2 will be in addition to the existing footprint.

The rock material from the existing breakwater will be removed and set aside to be reused in the new breakwater construction.  An area of marine sediment west of the existing breakwater, measuring approximately 2,081 m2 will be dredged prior to placement of the new stone on the northern side of the proposed breakwater. The material will be brought to the federal, land based dredge material management site in Lingan.

An ell shaped breakwater will be constructed southwest from the existing finger pier wharf and service area. At the south end of the proposed breakwater, the existing underwater shelf will be shaped to accommodate 2 layers of new 2-4 tonne armour stone at a 1.5:1 slope. Core stone will be placed on the harbour bottom. On top of the core stone on the southern side of the breakwater, 2 layers of new 200-400 kg filter stone will be placed. Two layers of new 2-4 tonne armour stone will be laid on top of the filter stone at 1.5:1 slope. The existing service area at the east side of the harbour will be modified to extend onto the northern end of the new section of the breakwater. At the northern section of the breakwater, 2 layers of reinstated 100-300 kg filter stone will support 2 layers of reinstated 1-3 tonne armour stone at a 1.5:1 slope. Additional armour stone will be placed on the northern side of the breakwater into crevices formed by existing and reinstated armour stone.

The breakwater removal and construction will consist of the use of heavy equipment such as excavators and haul trucks working from the existing breakwater, wharf, and proposed breakwater.


Latest update

End of Public Comment Period

November 19, 2023 – The public comment period on the project is closed. Fisheries and Oceans Canada - Small Craft Harbours and Transport Canada are considering comments received to date to inform its determination on whether carrying out of the project is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.


Key documents

Key documents
Document Number Document Title File Date
1 Notice of Intent - October 19, 2023


Department of Fisheries and Oceans - Small Craft Harbour, Maritime and Gulf Region
Chyann Kirby, Regional Environmental Advisor
Gulf Fisheries Center, 343 University Ave.
Moncton, New Brunswick E1C 9B6
Telephone: 506-866-5164

  • Location

    • North Sydney - Ballast Grounds is located at 231 Commercial Street, Cape Breton Regional Municipality, Cape Breton County, N.S.. It is on Sydney Harbour which is located on the northeast of Cape Breton Island. (Nova Scotia)
  • Nature of Activity

    • Ports and Harbours
  • Assessment Status

    In progress
  • Start Date

  • Proponent

    Fisheries and Oceans Canada - Small Craft Harbours (DFO-SCH)
  • Authorities

    • Fisheries and Oceans Canada
    • Transport Canada
  • Assessment Type

    Project on federal lands
  • Reference Number


This map is for illustrative purposes. The markers represent the approximate locations based on available data. More than one marker may be identified for a given assessment.


Nearby assessments

...within 200 kilometres
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