Yes, Cape Breton was part of Nova Scotia prior to 1828. Actually it was
1820, that Cape Breton, became part of Nova Scotia, again, in spite of the strong
opposition against it at that time.
On Oct. 7, 1763, Cape Breton, was united by royal proclamation to the
Government of Nova Scotia. In 1784, it separated, from Nova Scotia, and a
New capital was founded at the mouth of Spanish River, and it was called
Sydney, in honour of Lord Sydney, who at that time was secretary of the colonies.

Here is what "Place-Names and Places of Nova Scotia" page 657, has to say
about our former capital, Sydney.


Situated on the south arm of Sydney harbour on the eastern side of Cape
Breton Island, the City of Sydney is the County seat of Cape Breton County.
It was incorporated as a town in 1886 and as a city in 1904. The Indian
Name for Sydney harbour was "Cibou" meaning Inlet. On Denys' map of 1672, Sydney
Harbour appears as "La R. Denys." Before the end of the 17th century it was
known as Spanish Bay. In Holland's description of Cape Breton Island it was
also called Dartmouth Harbour. It received its present name, Sydney, when
the place was founded by Governor DesBarres in 1784-1785, and it was named
Hon. Thomas Townshend, first Viscount Sydney. It was the seat of government
when Cape Breton Island was a separate colony from 1784 to 1820.

Its earlier name, Spanish Bay, indicates that it was at one time frequented
by Spanish fishermen. In 1752 there were a number of French settlers at
Spanish Bay. There were a few visitors to the place in the years following
the Seven Years' War, until DesBarres founded Sydney and Loyalists and
other comprised about fifty houses. In 1802, two hundred and ninety-nine Scottish
immigrants arrived in Sydney from Scotland in resumption of direct
immigration from that country. In 1833 there were about fifty or sixty
houses in the town besides such public buildings as the army barracks, the
government house, the court-house, the marker, the Anglican Church, The
Presbyterian Church and a Roman Catholic Chapel. In 1854 owing to the
War, the last soldiers of the Sydney Garrison were called away and the
Victoria Park Barracks were closed.

With the coming of railways Sydney became more important as a shipping
port, particularly for coal. The Sydney and Louisbourg railroad was completed in
187, and through railway communication between Halifax and Sydney was
completed in 1891.

A steel plant was established at Sydney in 1901. This resulted in a large
increase in population. The steel plant continues to be an important industry.

St. George's Anglican Church had its beginning in 1785. Built at the
of the Imperial Government, the Church was occupied for services in 1790,
although it still had no pulpit, pews or seats. In 1821 arrangements were
made to build a tower on the Church. About eighteen years later this tower
was removed, the walls were repaired, and a steeple was built. In 1859 the
structure was rebuilt in stone and in 1863 a chancel and vestry room added.
Rev. Benjamin Lovell was the garrison chaplain in 1785. He was succeeded by
Rev. Ranna Cossit who was the first Rector of St. George's Church, Sydney,
from 1786 to 1805. Subsequently, the congregation of Christ Church was
organized in 1901 and St. Alban's Parish was also established with the
cornerstone of the church being laid in 1902.

A Roman Catholic Chapel was built between 1802 and 1805, but the town did
Not  have a resident priest until 1823. St Patrick's Roman Catholic Chapel was
built in 1826 and it continued to be used until 1874 when the Church of the
Sacred Heart was built. The latter church was destroyed by fire and St.
Patrick's Church was again used until a new church was built in 1890. From
1912 to 1949 the old St. Patrick's Church was used by the Lebanese
community of Sydney. Eventually in 1967 the students and staff of Xavier College
undertook its restoration as a centennial project. Holy Redeemer Church was
built in 1901, St. Mar's Church was built in 1913 and St. Theresa's Church
was built in 1934.

The first Baptist congregation in Sydney was organized in 1846. Services
 Were held in a small building until 1893 when Pitt Street Baptist Church was>erected. Bethany Baptist Church was constructed in 1900-01. These two
congregations merged in 1917 and a new church was dedicated in 1919.

An Attempt was made to form a Presbyterian congregation in the 1820's and
occasionally Presbyterian missionaries visited Sydney in the early days. In
1836, Rev. James Fraser began to serve Eastern Cape Breton from
In 1849 Rev. Hugh MacLeod arrived as a missionary of the free church. He
Was inducted in august, 1850, as minister of a congregation which included
Sydney, and adjacent places. In 1852, St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church was
built in Sydney. A second church was built on Pitt Street in 1888 and it
was enlarged in 1897, and in 1900 another church was built on Bentinck Street.
Falmouth Street Presbyterian Church was organized in 1875 and the building
was erected in the following year. A new Falmouth Street Church was erected
in 1905. In 1925 Falmouth Presbyterian Church united with Jubilee Methodist
Church to form the First United Church. St. James Presbyterian Church was
organized in the Pier district of Sydney in 1900 and the building was
erected in the following year. In 1919 St. Mark's Presbyterian Church was absorbed
by St. James Presbyterian Church, and in 1925, St. James Presbyterian Church
united with Victoria Methodist Church to form Trinity United Church.
Brookland Presbyterian Street Presbyterian Church was organized in 1925 and
Westminster presbyterian Church was organized in 1937.

There are two Jewish congregations in Sydney. The Temple Sons of Israel
Were  organized about the end of the 19th century. They acquired a permanent
Synagogue in the 1920's. The Hebrew Congregation of Sydney was organized in
1910 and it built a synagogue in 1913.

A school was opened in Sydney by Edward Pate in 1786 and he remained there
for two years. In 1796 the sum of 40 pounds was allotted by the British
Government to pay a schoolmaster, and William Pooley was the schoolmaster
there in 1816. In 1822 a grammar school was opened in sydney. In 1842 an
academy was built, and G.B. Watson was the master of Sydney Academy in
1849.  Other schools were opened in 1851, 1865, and 1872. An eight-room building,
which became known as the Sydney Academy, was constructed in 1881. The
County Academy was built in 1910 and new buildings were constructed at Whitney
Pier and Ashby in 1912. The Holy Redeemer School which was destroyed by fire in
1913 was replaced in 1914. A school on Argyle Street was opened in 1919 and
another one on Victoria Road was opened in the same year. An eight-room
school opened in Whitney Pier in 1931. Two years later the school at
Rockdale was replaced. Two new high schools and an elementary school were built in
1953. The County Academy was replaced in 1959 and the building of a
Vocational High School was approved by 1960. St. Francis Xavier Junior
College was established in Sydney in 1951. In 1960 there were sixteen
elementary schools, four junior high schools, and three senior high
schools, with about ten thousand students in Sydney. Sydney also has two business
colleges, the Empire Business College and the Cape Breton Business College.

Sydney has had a number of newspapers. These included the Cape Breton
Advocate, 1840-41; The Spirit of the Times, 1841-46; The Commercial Herald,
1849; The Cape Breton News, 1849-1872; The Cape Breton Advocate, 1872-1901;
The Cape Breton Times, 1872-c. 1882; The Island Reporter, 1884-1907; The
Semi-Weekly Express, 1879; The Morning sun, 1892. Sydney's first daily, The
Record, commenced in 1898. The Post began in 1896. The two papers merged in
1934 to become The Post Record and in 1956 the name was changed to The Cape
Breton Post. The Cape Breton Magazine was published in 1901-02. A monthly
Cape Breton and Nova Scotia was published in 1902. Bras d'Or Gazette was
published from 1904-1929. The Canadian Labour Leader ran from about 1918 to
about 1922 and the Blue Banner was published between 1907 and 1911. Several
Gaelic publications were also published in Sydney including MacTalla from
1892 to 1904.

A post office was established at Sydney in 1784. As early as 1816 Micmac
couriers carried mail from Sydney to Halifax and return. A new federal
building was completed in Sydney in 1957.

Sydney has had several court houses, one was built about 1868, another was>built in 1901; and it was replaced nearly sixty years later.

The population of Sydney in 1966 was 32,767.