The Town of Glace Bay

Glace Bay was once one of the largest towns in Canada. Today it is still very much a large town but much of the industry that existed in its glory days are now distant memories that are kept alive in the people’s memories and the many museums located in the town.

Glace Bay is about a twenty-minute drive from Sydney. The most popular attraction in the town is the Glace Bay Miner’s Museum. This museum is home to real underground coal mine that visitors can go down into to see for themselves what it was like for the men who toiled in those deeps to harvest the coal that provided heat and electricity to millions of people. Your tour guide is a retired coal miner who has first-hand experience. Guests also have the opportunity to walk through the exhibit area where they can see coal mining artifacts and read about the history of coal mining. If you are lucky, your visit may coincide with a Men of the Deeps concert or rehearsal. The Men of the Deeps is a choir consisting of retired Cape Breton coal miners who sing both traditional and original song works from various eras and tell stories relating to life in a coal mining town. This world-renowned choir has performed all over the globe to sold out shows and they are only happy to perform in their hometown to their friends and neighbors and tourists who come to the museum to learn more about the way of life that once was in a typical coal mining town in Cape Breton.

There are other museums in Glace Bay. The Marconi Museum in Tablehead has a number of exhibits outlining the life and times of that famous inventor who once made his home in the Glace Bay area. The Glace Bay Heritage Museum, formally known as The Old Town Hall, is a 115-year-old building which is currently used to house various exhibits that are open to the public. These exhibits outline some of the history of Glace Bay and Cape Breton Island and include a mining exhibit, an old schoolhouse exhibit, a fishing exhibit and military exhibit.

Glace Bay is also home to a number of shops and restaurants and beautiful Big Glace Bay Beach, a sandy stretch of sandbar with waters suitable for swimming.

Andrea MacEachern is a freelance travel writer and amateur photographer living in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

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