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Why move to Cape Breton?

A few weeks ago I posted about some of the challenges of integrating into Cape Breton

https://capebreton.lokol.me/cape-breton-warm-welcome-or-cold-shoulder

I received way more comments and shares than I could keep track of, and the conversations were very thought provoking and respectful. It got me thinking that perhaps Cape Bretoners don’t realize why people choose to move here. I have a personal perspective on this I would like to share, but encourage others to add their comments as well. I'll avoid the tongue and cheek Trump clickbait stuff and give my honest perspective.

1. Cape Bretoners are not materialistic. Growing up in small town Ontario I found the people that were part of my every day life more and more materialistic. Coming from a modest upbringing I found that there was increasing pressure on my family to keep up with everyone else. This was a huge issue in school where kids seemed to have lost sight of values, being drawn to the next marketing craze. So much pressure all around. In Cape Breton things are much up front and genuine, and that is the way I like it. Living here takes all that pressure away, and I can't stress how important it is to me.

2. Cape Breton is paradise on earth. Cape Breton is the place for nature enthusiasts. People come to Cape Breton to hike, cycle, paddle, ski. Although there are efforts to improve physical activity throughout the island, there is no shortage of opportunities and many people enjoy the fresh air, scenery and social outings organized throughout the year. I’m thinking of places like the Coxheath Mountain Trails, North Highlands Nordic, Ski Tuonela, North River Kayaking and Cape Breton Highlands National Park to name but a few.

3. There is so much heritage here and it is hard to not get caught up in it. Many people not from here don’t carry with them the same sense of heritage that people on the island do. People here can trace back their families for generations. Only a small percentage of people from other places have an interest in this or even know where to start. The thought of knowing where you come from provides a better sense of where you are now. Cape Breton inspires a greater understanding of the past. In the time I’ve lived here I have realized that I both have Acadian and Mi'kmaq heritage, something I never knew or felt I had time to research until I came here. The place inspires me to find my own roots, and look at the future with a sense of how we have gotten to this point in time.

4. Cape Breton is good for small business. Yes, I know this flies in the face of some recent events, such as store closures in downtown Sydney. But it is true. There is so much support here for buying local, many motivated people behind the movement and people that are liberal enough to try new things. The is so much energy and ambition here in individuals and places like the local farmers markets and artisan community.

In other places the notion of heritage places and community investment have been overtaken by box stores with uniform shopping options and the global influence of the web. Although not immune to these aspects, Cape Breton is still a place where small businesses can thrive. There is support through groups like Cape Breton Partnership, New Dawn, Innovacorp, and ACOA to help with investment and expertise. There are other examples of communities deciding what is best to attract for community sustainability and prosperity and Cape Breton has the people, geography and expertise to do something similar.

5. Support for the artists and the arts. I have to say that this community is growing and thriving. It is playing a major role in tourism and the local economy. There is so much talent here and it is promoted through groups like the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design, CBU Art Gallery, Inverness County Centre for the Arts and Lumiere. Speaking of Lumiere, were you there last year? The outdoor art show in the downtown core of Sydney had to be the largest gathering in Cape Breton in some time. When it comes to performing arts the Highland Arts Theatre has been a major success in a short amount of time. And the recent productions at the Savoy and the Boardmore have been tremendous. There is so much talent and will in Cape Breton that things will just get bigger and better, and it has been fun to watch things grow as someone newer to Cape Breton.

6. Cape Breton is a great home base for east coast tourism. There is so much to see in this area. When I came here I was excited about how close I was to everything - Newfoundland, PEI, Halifax, the Bay of Fundy. From Cape Breton I could get anywhere on the east coast in a short amount of time. Even longer distances are less of a chore and more of an adventure. What I have found since moving here is that there is so much to see on this island that I have hardly had time to explore anywhere else!

7. Cape Breton is the best place to raise kids. I’m throwing this out here. People may disagree, but I feel it is true. This is a place where we can promote good values, have them experience nature, and let kids be kids. I have been impressed by the schools here. I have only dealt with dedicated teachers looking to make meaningful connections with their students. The smaller class sizes has meant more attention. Schools dedicated to their local communities and providing children with a sense of community. People here are so appreciative of children and what they represent - the future of Cape Breton. When it comes to youth engagement there has been a concerted effort to encourage them and it shows. The Doctors Nova Scotia Fiddler’s Fun Run and the thousands of children that attend, youth programs that promote creative art and music, all ages shows, theatre productions, dedicated scout leaders, naturalist programs, summer children animation and leadership programs for children through the Fortress Louisbourg Association. We are investing in youth and looking towards the future - and the future is bright.


8. The cost of living lets you pursue your dreams. Cape Breton is one of the most reasonable places to live in Canada. You won't find a cheaper place to buy a house, and you won't be taxed to death. The best places to find your next home are Realtor.ca or Viewpoint.ca. You also have access to all of the seafood you would ever need if that is your thing. Sure heating costs are a little more expensive, as is meat and dairy that is mostly exported, but the other costs are so relatively reasonable that you will end up farther ahead.

9. This place grows on you. Cape Breton is a place of so many wonderful experiences that you want to share it with everyone that visits. There are the standards - Cabot Trail, Fortress of Louisbourg, Miners Museum but there are also the areas that are not so obvious that take time to uncover.

Chris Bellemore is a blogger originally from Ontario that moved to Cape Breton Island and is logging his experiences in this strange and wonderful place.

https://www.facebook.com/chris.bellemore

https://soundcloud.com/crispbellemono

Posted by on goCapeBreton.com where you can find and share everything about your local community.


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Joe Ward Follow Me
Points 5 and 6 are strongest.
Kelli Jackson Follow Me
Gobblefest and CaperCon, too! The latter hasn't happened yet, but it looks like fun. It's definitely on my list for next year!
norma johnson Follow Me
I grew up in Cape Breton. It has many pluses however I would never move back there. There is far too much ignorance, intolerance and bigotry
Mike Henry Follow Me
Hi Norma, I'm thinking about moving my family to Cape Breton, but I'm curious about your post. When you say 'intolerance and bigotry', may I ask whom the CB residents seem to be bigoted towards?
Chris Bellemore My Post Follow Me
Mike, I really encourage you to move here. The good outweighs the bad. Like any move there is a transition period and an adjustment. I've written a bit about it from my perspective here: https://capebreton.lokol.me/cape-breton-warm-welcome-or-cold-shoulder Some of the cultural differences we can appreciate and others are more challenging. I've had very different experiences in different communities on the island.
Mike Henry Follow Me
Thanks for the reply, Chris. I'll definitely take some time today to read your article.
Mathew Georghiou Follow Me
Sorry, but Norma's statement is unfair. It's like saying don't use the Internet because you will find Intolerance and bigotry. Of course, these negatives exist everywhere if you go looking for them. You will get a much better view of living in Cape Breton by reading posts by Chris Bellemore, Rory Andrews, and others. Oh, and some of the Facebook comments you can see on this page.
Mike Henry Follow Me
Thank you, Mathew. I don't know much about Cape Breton yet, but generally I tend to agree with what you said.
Cathy Lewis Follow Me
Matthew I agree with you that Norma`s statement is unfair. I grew up in Cape Breton and being a black woman, the first bigot or discrimination I experienced in my life was in Ontario. I fully agree with you that if you`re looking for it, you will indeed find it. Cape Breton is an amazing place to live and I for one cannot wait to move back. I spend every summer back home and it`s not enough.
Paula MacMaster Hunt Follow Me
Hi there Cathy. I'm a Caper as well. (Dominion). I'm a Scottish Caper. HAHAHA! You are right though, the first time I ever saw bigotry or discrimination was when I moved to the main-land. I was very confused at first and it took me a while to even figure out what was going on. Of course, I was on the side of the person being persecuted. It's the same place I find myself more often than not. Yes, this occurs everywhere and unfortunately, I believe it always will. I truly believe it is only we, who can change this. Home of my heart, CB Island. Slainte!
Gary LeDrew Follow Me
Mostly to Indians and somewhat to 'come from aways' How ever please dont let it stop you. Generally Cape Bretoners are Friendly and helpful. What Cape Breton needs most is new people with new ideas. We have great services and is the safest place in the world (unless you are a fisherman) Please feel free to call me at anytime.
Gary LeDrew Follow Me
1 should be Cape Breton is the safest place in the world. We hardly even get thunderstorms and all other disater causing events are non existent or extremely rare and a low crime rate to boot. the only caveat is you must have an income or investment.
Gary LeDrew Follow Me
here were my 10 reasons for moving to sydney or Louisbourg I published some years ago 1: The Safest Place in the world No Hurricanes No tornadoes, no avalanches no earthquakes and rare floods and fires The sea and the harbour is beautiful and always changing. There is always a new ship or a whale or something, plus nearby is Louisbourg with the best looking lighthouse. Louisbourg is the most historic harbour in Canada. Battles here settled the course of Canada and the United States. 2: Complete range of houses and properties from $10,00 to $500,000. You can find houses that are half of what they are in Ontario especially if you want to downscale. Low property taxes that can be fixed for seniors. 3: Weather. The weather is consistantly better then weather in Southern Ontario. It is milder and has less snow in the winter and is cooler in summer. We have very few days of below zero temperatures. We might have more fog and more wind but almost all major storms and hurricanes miss us even lighting storms are rare. 4: Fresh Clean Air all the time. Excellent fresh soft Water right from the Tap Fresh seafood, Best Lobster in the world, crab halibut etc. 5: Terrific Infrastructure. Highspeed internet and cable right at the door. Garbarge collection, Snow ploughing roads and sidewalks always clean. 6: Many Organizations and Churches, Volunteer Work galore good community Services. 7: Major hospital Fast local Ambulance service (no traffic) Volunteer Fire Department. Airport is 10 minutes away. 8: Playhouses all summer, Recreation: World Class golf course 1 kilometer down the road 4 major golf course less than an hour away. Unlimited Hiking, Hunting and Fishing. Swimming on clean sandy beaches. Great Hockey in Sydney 9: Great opportunities for Entrepreneurs Artists and Hobbyists. The tourist business is much under exploited 10: Friendly people. Low crime rate.
Joe Ward Follow Me
I've been thinking a lot lately in terms of competitive advantages of a place to live. I think some of your points may be as such. However, many are just attributes. I.e. what we provide, not what we necessarily provide better. But overall it reflects how there is often a home here for those with the right mindset, and capability of enjoying the attributes. In terms of competitive advantages, it would be interesting to see which town in the Atlantic region would actually score the highest on all the attributes you listed. I think many are a shared commonality within our greater Atlantic region. 1, 2, 4, 6, 8 are standouts for me. #1 is right on the mark. The caveat might be that our safety is probably more at risk from health factors, not actual natural disasters. And with our healthcare system, this may not be a very safe place to live at all. Doctors leaving, those with doctors often having a hard time getting an expedient appointment or a thorough examination (rushed, overworked), and an emergency room (sometimes clinic) environment that many would rather take their chances at staying ill than visiting. Since coming from the United States, the illusion of Canada having free health care has been revealed as a myth. #2 If you want to be here, there are properties that are going to be much cheaper than others areas, especially as you get into more populated regions. Some of those cheap homes come with major disadvantages. A home inspector is an essential investment. Prior to the Canadian dollar sinking, home costs in Florida were much better in quality than what we have on this market, and those were in proximity to major cities. In my case, it was 20 minutes outside of Tampa. Comparing the quality and cost of what we have available in this market to my experience in Florida, leaves me unenthusiastic at best. However, had I been living in another Canadian region with high costs, perhaps my perspective would be altered. (cont'd)
Joe Ward Follow Me
Part II: Regarding #3, unless it's only a cultural conversation point, weather seems to be one of the most common complaints from Cape Bretoners. After last years snow removal performance by the city, in that regard I would agree. And the rainy summers certainly are not my favorite, though I generally love a nice white winter. #5 I would have to fully disagree. Internet, cable, and wireless service is ok in most regions, and is impressive for such a large and lowly populated region. But zones like Albert Bridge are a dead zone, as are many other regions. But those are not the most important factors. Snow removal in the city last winter was horrible. I would routinely see people walking *on* Grand Lake Road due to lack of snow removal (including the International students we need to continue recruiting and convincing this is a good place to be). Reeves St. and Upper Prince often had people walking in the roadways because there were not other places for them to go. For a region that has always had snow, I give the CBRM a failing grade in that regard. Our roads also look like they were hit by artillery in many places. And while that is to be expected with the changing seasons, main roadways had massive damaging potholes left unmitigated for weeks at a time. #7 Airport is 10 minutes away from several more densely populated areas. However, it is also a very expensive premium to fly from here versus Halifax. There are times when rates are more reasonable, and WestJet's new service is very welcomes. I hope that we continue to see improvements. For now, our airport hub is Halifax. #9 I'm not sure that the opportunities here are as great for entrepreneurs as other markets. We are a little excluded. I say that even while being a member of the startup community, and having a focus in information technology which has less geographic barriers to doing business. (cont'd)
Joe Ward Follow Me
Part III: #10 Our crime rate is lower, but our drug community is concerning. There are lots of areas around that are undesirable places to be. It spurs the car and home break ins. It's responsible for keeping the foster care system at it's capacity. And at times we see sparks of great violence, like the Reserve shooting recently, or the girl who met her end inside a hockey bag. This is not to say that it makes the crime rate change, but it is the variety of crime that gives us pause. It has a presence here.
Gary LeDrew Follow Me
it is the drug laws that are the problem and this is the same anywhere. They need to be decriminalized drug addiction is a medical problem not a criminal one our crime rate is still low compared to other places.
Joe Ward Follow Me
I don't think it is the drug laws when it comes to hard drug usage. I can support marijuana legalization in the economic sense, it's socioeconomic unfairness, and the strong case of the greater dangers of legal alcohol use - of which this region is certainly no stranger to. Drug addiction becomes a medical problem after it starts out as a socioeconomic/education problem, whereby people end up making bad decisions. In the case where a prescribed drug is the first foray into abuse of pills and introduction to street drugs, then perhaps it those cases would be argued as a fully medical problem. Radio host Jay McNeil posted a photo of a salt bucket filled with used needles left on one of our local beaches. I also frequently hear people complain about open drug sales in Glace Bay (in particular) and the number of abandoned sharps in various places. This is highly problematic, and something for which we need intervention. I would start with a task force directly targeted doctor auditing of prescription drugs provided to their patients, and (unfortunately) an analysis of those that have come to rely on selling their prescription meds for use as street drugs - as a form of income. Glace Bay is a beautiful community in many parts. It's reputation for drugs is very off putting.
Joe Ward Follow Me
See: https://www.nfb.ca/film/cottonland Great documentary. I hope they do a 10-year anniversary follow up.
Gary LeDrew Follow Me
Snow removal Louisbourg is amazing you can walk the whole place in 24 hrs Probably unfair to include last winter the whole country was snowed in
Joe Ward Follow Me
Last winter was my first here in 10 years. So your point is fair. I'd just say that it's not so much about having difficulty dealing with unanticipated snow volume, and more about not being very adaptive to some situations that pose a danger to people or make their lives more difficulty than they should be. Major walking zones need to be cleared with priority. Massive potholes that damage vehicles need to be mitigated in high traffic zones. These things are irrespective to the volume of snow fall. It might be that whomever has the management role in this regard is sufficient in their role during typical or mild winters, but not adaptive enough to solve greater problems during more challenging winter seasons. Good managers need to be adaptive.
Robert Edwards Follow Me
We recently returned to Cape Breton after 35 years away working. We are thrilled with our decision and could not be more pleased to be retired here. Our new neighbours are friendly, welcoming, helpful and have become quick friends. The best surprise is the cost of living. Real Estate is a fraction of what a comparable home would cost in Ontario (or even Halifax) and the property taxes are low due to the reduced property costs. Yes, a "stick" of butter might be a few cents more but we save on everything else from entertainment to parking each time we leave the house. We also love the diversity and acceptance that has blossomed in the area. When we left decades ago, I never would have thought that ethnic food stores and gay pride events would work here but they do, and that is a very refreshing change.
Chris Bellemore My Post Follow Me
Some of the success stories are truly amazing. Although Cape Breton is a closely knit community it can be open and supportive to new ideas. I've witness both the welcoming and the isolation. It's truly an interesting place.
Bob Inglis Follow Me
Thanks Robert and welcome back
Bob Inglis Follow Me
Point #4.........Small business, I must address this. We operate a small business on Cape Breton Island and our selling model is this ":If you purchase any of the products we sell from another Cape Breton Business please keep it there unless you are dissatisfied with the supplier however if you purchase anything we sell, from off island we want a chance to compete and 9 times out of 10 we will be successful getting the business with the same or better product and same or better price" the EXPERT does not necessarily come over 500 Km away.Please please please think twice about buying on line and from off island catalogue companies or internet based companies give Capers a chance first . We local suppliers are the ones who support your hockey fund raisers, your silent auction and local charities. Now it's not perfect, have I ever shopped at Costco, YES, however it's usually something I jut can't get here Oh shut up Bob and get off your soap box.
Peter Sheehan Follow Me
Cape Breton has been a location that has attracted many from all over the world for centuries . It's like a "mecca " of it's own. IN this day and age , when people can do so much from home , you'd think we would be inundated with newcomers . Well, not really . It is still a trickle. Some families come and vacation here very year and have for generations. Other than a couple of months of winter , the weather is not a problem , so you plan around the winter depending where you live on the Island as in some locations, winter is not that bad .
Joe Ward Follow Me
There have been very few places I've lived where the people from there didn't love them. That includes poor towns in Puerto Rico and even the city of San Francisco - where some parts of it are filled with dealers/addicts/beggars and smell like an open air sewage area - because they are. So it's not surprising at all with the green forests and surrounding oceans and interior lakes... that people here would love their homes. However, if you're not from here, then you have the choice of any place in the country to live (if they meet your needs and desires - and resources). And when you consider moving somewhere it won't be because of some pre established love of the place. If we objectively look at Cape Breton, it's appeal should be to a few very specific demographics. However, even for those who love its good factors, there are so many reasons that it is a deal breaker. Would a young family with children or any elderly person really want to come here? They may love the postcards, but what happens when they need a doctor? When a family is working towards building a career for both partners and planning for their future retirement, is this the job market for professional opportunities that they want to hedge their bets on? Perhaps we can sell them on a lower cost of living. And then they get their winter heating costs, or realize that their family "from away" doesn't visit as much because of the ticket prices to fly into Sydney. And perhaps there are people that aren't too bothered by winter weather. But it becomes much more of an issue when they want to walk down a street that either doesn't have a sidewalk or still has it filled with ice and snow because we live in a municipality with a mayor who believes he's just "getting by"... when what he's really doing is letting our communities deteriorate. If we want people to come here, we had better zero in on the niche demographics for whom many of these factors aren't as concerning.
Bev Brett Follow Me
Like everything you said about the people and culture but you need to let people know that this is a perspective from the Industrial area. All of this exists in the country here too, arts and culture, heritage small business and the country is, I think, where most head to when they relocate here. There are many problems - closing of small schools, etc. as well - but the surprise that you get from your friends could be due to the fact that many seldom get out to the country so wonder what all the fuss is about when people talk about beauty etc... Most of the people I know - those born here and those who were newcomers 40 years ago- know why people want to live here. How is the question. Our community St. Ann's Bay just had a big celebration for receiving the Provincial arts and culture award- community outstanding for it's support for the arts- theatre music heritage both heritage arts and contemporary. Great stuff is happening in Sydney, feels like a real revitalisation. So glad you are promoting it-
Scott Wagner Follow Me
I grew up and live in Boston but spent my summers in Cape Breton and still do, my folks are from there, I agree with everything thing you said.The only reason I don't move there permanently now that I'm retired is I don't even like the Boston winters and don't want to deal with the Cape Breton ones!!
Muriel Orr Follow Me
Thanks for this article... my husband and I are planning to retire to Cape Breton in a few years... daughter lives in Halifax we were born in Ontario...husband worked and lived near Port Hawkesbury and he always wanted to return to the east coast...looking forward to a slower pace of life...the arts community and meeting new friends. Would like to settle near New Waterford - North sydney area.
Joe Ward Follow Me
That is wonderful news, Muriel. We'll be looking forward to welcoming you to Cape Breton soon enough :)
P Sheehan Follow Me
Muriel: Start doing your research now . Remember that your choice of location has to be well thought through . First,think of the winters, as they are quite different in different locations and likely far tougher than where you are in Ontario. Second is access to health care. Our health care is good but has it's limits , even if you are close to Sydney. Third, is the real estate market as in some areas it is growing but in others it has been spotty for years . Most like to find a place on the or by the water. You will find prices lower than Ontario but you have to watch for any potential major renos or upgrades as you want those costed out before you make an offer . Replacing a roof , doors and windows is different here than in Ontario if you are exposed to the winds . Seems today everyone is converting from oil and electric heat to heat pumps. Yup, the pace is slower and life is more fun !!!
Muriel Orr Follow Me
Thxs for the info... we have lived in northern Manitoba where I can assure you the temperatures reach -40 c on a regular basis and summer is only about a month... we also have lived in Vancouver where we experienced coastal like conditions...we are doing plenty of research in the various regions North Sydney, Glace Bay, New Waterford Louisburg etc.... we do have a numbers of friends in the Sydney region and will lean on their experience before we purchase a home. Planning a trip this summer for a visit.
P Sheehan Follow Me
Muriel: Maybe you can find a way to tell people about what you experience as you go through this relocation. We, on CB, think more people should return and/ or relocate /retire here , but seems we have no one who has the job to get out there and tell people and help people relocate to CB ( let alone invest in CB ).
Muriel Orr Follow Me
Hi Peter...it's been awhile for me to respond to you. We have been working out the details of moving. But now have made our final decision for moving and have set a date of July 2019 moving to Cape Breton. Possibility in the Sydney area. I have started a blog for all the research and development that this move has undertaken. Which will also include our trip last summer to the Cape.
P Sheehan Follow Me
Well, you should know it is a buyer's market . Location -think ahead to your old age when deciding as you want to be close to health care and stores . There is a website called VIEWPOINT that shows what is for sale and what has sold in the last year .Print sales one of as they get erased after 12 months . Watch the $ per Square foot on sales. Realtors hate that when you use that as an indicator . Any reno will cost at least 30% higher than Ontario . Heating system is critical so plan on getting 1or 2 heat pumps that would total maybe $7 K but pay back can be in 5 year to replace oil , even supplement electricity .
Muriel Orr Follow Me
Thanks...great advice will pass along to my hubby. Cheers.
Ursulina Crocker Follow Me
Hi Chris, I really enjoyed reading your great points about living in Cape Breton. I grew up here, moved away for 16 years and moved back again. I think Cape Breton is a wonderful place to live. I love how people here are down to earth and friendly. I really like the laid back lifestyle. The slower pace is enjoyable. I love to visit Dartmouth and Halifax but I don't like how busy it is. I love Cape Breton so much that I wrote a poem about it several years ago that sums up a lot of what Cape Breton has to offer. It is Nova Scotia's Masterpiece after all! If you look there is a lot to do here especially in the summer, and the scenery of course is out of this world. Oh, and Alan Arkin lives here too part of the year! He knows we have our own piece of heaven right here. 100,000 welcomes to anyone who wants to come here to live. You won't be disappointed!
Sheila MacAvoy Follow Me
I Love Cape Breton.... it's as simple as that. It's where I'm from and now have come back home to retire. It's definitely a challenge when you're coming from a larger town/City as the conveniences are just not the same but when you're living here who give a care about "stuff". Now the real challenge is Healthcare! I'm in great need of a family Physician. Once I solve that problem I'll be all set❤️
Lise Aitken Follow Me
As a newcomer from the nether regions of Southern Ontario to Cape Breton, I can relate to the points. No regrets as this is a beautiful place to live. There are areas that can be improved upon but change is brought about by involvement.
P Sheehan Follow Me
And where did you settle on CB ???
Chris Bellemore My Post Follow Me
I agree Lise. I did another article some time ago on the darker side of moving here where I talked mostly about the challenges of integrating. You are going to have good and bad. But I have no regrets. I've had a great experience overall as this place has so much to offer.
Lise Aitken Follow Me
The people have been truly welcoming and there is no shortage of wondrous things to see and do. The only downside is the immense amount of garbage and the apparent lack of interest the CBRM has in addressing that issue.
Joe Ward Follow Me
A positive development regarding garbage: Although it's still a significant issue, the CBRM recently passed a bylaw that imposed fines for illegal dumping, and within the last few weeks one person was fined using the new bylaw.
Steven Smith Follow Me
The garbage and graffiti is terrible here. CBRM and the people seem to push the tourist dollars for a major source of revenue. However, nothing is done to address the issue. The high visibility locations should be cleaned and painted over every spring, just like at other tourist locations around the world.
P Sheehan Follow Me
If people have no pride in their houses, they have even less in their community . The more your population is renting , the pride of ownership slowly disappears. How often have you seen students cleaning the school grounds ? The people that want the tourism dollars only want to have your taxes pay for what they want ..
Ron MacDonald Follow Me
The tax rates are killing CBRM development ! no development = no growth. The commercial and residential tax rates are extreme and any Property Assessments for new construction are in the range of places like Lower Sackville and Dartmouth, where tax rate = (1.16 - 1.2%). and the CBRM rate is almost double = (2.0 -2.2%) I know from experience, I moved here 8 years ago built a new house and pay more than triple the property tax I did there. The NS Capped Assessment Program is broken, too many hiding under the Cap, that pay next to nothing in taxes. while others are footing the bill. Lets say I buy a house on a street and have the exact same house and services as everyone else there, but I might pay double or more in property taxes! it makes no sense. While living in HRM... groceries, gas, oil, household goods and taxes were cheaper, the only thing cheaper here is maybe the cost of an "older style" house, definitely not new construction. The commercial rates here are also killing us HRM = 3.36%, and CBRM (Sydney) = 5.63%. So say I own a small business with an assessed value of my building at $200K, I have to pay $11,260 in taxes a year! that's crazy! its why we pay more for everything also its primarily why businesses are closing or moving out of here. Check the tax rates in the link below for places like Antigonish (1.04%) and Kentville (1.37%) those are beautiful places to live..so we compete with places like that. (Tax rates are here in 2016 https://novascotia.ca/dma/pdf/Municipal_Tax_Rates_2015-16.pdf) Its a great place to live and grow up here but something has gotta change for us to survive and taxes are good place to start.
P Sheehan Follow Me
As long as the Municipalities get away with hiding their financial reports , salaries, cost of contracts , etc., the poor taxpayer will never be able to see for themselves where their money goes .
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