the island versus the counties

I’m from Baddeck. It’s in Victoria County, one of the four counties on the island.

When I told people in Baddeck that I was moving to North Sydney, which is in Cape Breton County, sometimes people would say, “Oh that’s great, you’re going back to school, and moving in with your boyfriend, I’m happy for you!”

But sometimes people would react with sadness, and say something like, “Oh no! We’re losing you! Another young person!”

And I would think, No, you’re not! I’m staying on the island! I’m only an hour away!

I kind of forgot about it but then the other day I ran into someone from Baddeck in Home Depot. We were chatting and I told him I’d moved to North Sydney.

“Oh, I didn’t realize!” He said, and looked disappointed. “Another young person leaving.”

So it reminded me of this question that’s played in my head a bit since I moved “over the mountain” to the CBRM.

We think of ourselves as an island, but do the four counties act like it?

What do you think? (Maybe you think this isn’t actually a thing, and that’s OK too.)

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10 Responses to the island versus the counties

  1. THIS is a very interesting topic. Worthy of a paper and presentation at a historical society!

  2. scottmac56 says:

    From an outsider’s perspective, you certainly seem to act like one island. Still, it’s human nature to be terretorial even when the distance between two places is small. Think of Dog River and Wullerton (spit).

  3. scottmac56 says:

    “TERRITORIAL”! Yikes. No spell-check on this thing.

  4. Aunt Bella says:

    I am surprised, often, at how much weight the county lines are given. It never fails to confuse me.

  5. cyiet says:

    It might be a large-city vs rural town issue. A similar issue in New Brunswick: young people from Edmundston, Bathurst, Campbellton, and Miramichi are not only moving to Alberta, but to larger cities like Fredericton, Saint John, or Moncton for jobs — each with similar disappointment from those who are forced to watch such emigration.

  6. hmmm … as a CFA … I live in Victoria County but I’m already “over the mountain”. I wonder what that means????

  7. MaryL says:

    I believe we create boundaries, where ever we may call home, even if its only a short distance, I moved 13 kms away and still in the same county and I visit the my rez daily, but it’s not my home anymore. It’s like that song nickelback “this is where I grew up”
    (am I a turtle… lol)

  8. Morwenna says:

    I was amazed when I first moved here and attended a meeting in New Waterford. The people there were more than happy to include me despite me ‘being from away’ but, whilst they could get their head around someone coming from the UK to Cape Breton they couldn’t understand why that same person who lived on the Northside now, would be all the way over in New Waterford!!

    • Patsy says:

      New Waterford was always like that!!! I remember when I was a kid living there!! If you came to New Waterford alone pepole always quetioned it!!! If you came with a local you were welcomed with open arms!!! But coming in from another County,,, You got the raft of Jesus!!! But now its nothing like that!!!Everyone is welcomed seems like we’re more into the Island as a whole now!!!! And that is a good thing!!!

  9. Charlene says:

    I live half an hour from the causeway and I think that this link, and the ease with which I can get “off-island”, diminishes my sense that I am actually living on an island. And I always find myself referring to “Industrial Cape Breton” (for CBRM and surrounding communities), or “Route 19”, or “town” (Port Hawkesbury) in order to distinguish. We are an island of communities..

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