Glace Bay Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by easterntrekker
  • Things to Do
    by easterntrekker
  • Things to Do
    by easterntrekker

Best Rated Things to Do in Glace Bay

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    Visit the Miners Museum

    by easterntrekker Written Apr 6, 2009

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    Here you have the opportunity to actually go into a mine. It's not for the claustrophobic but it gives an apprection for the hard work the men of this mining town did. For me it means much more ,as I think of my own Dad who went so willingly into this black hole to support his family . His only complaint was that he often didn't get enough "shifts".
    The guides here are retired miners and will tell stories and answer questions.

    Hours of Operation
    Summer Hours
    Open 7 days a week
    June 1 - August 31
    Daily: 10 am - 6 pm
    Tuesdays: 10 am - 7 pm
    September 2 – October 31
    Daily: 10am – 6pm

    Winter Hours
    November 3 - June 1
    Monday to Friday: 9 am - 4 pm
    Underground tours by appointment
    Adults $5.00

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Seniors

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    Catch some live music- The Savoy

    by easterntrekker Written Apr 8, 2009

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    The original Savoy Theater was a movie theater that burned down and was eventualy replaced by the modern buliding that stands in the town now . There is always some form of first rate entertainment happening here . It could be a local theater group ready to give a performance of music and of course laughs or it might be a professional National Star . Tickets are an excellent value . In May 2009 there is a musical play No Class Reunion which promises to be a wonderful show highlighting all the ebst in Cape Breton Comedy . It includes a three course dinner for $42.00 . I am looking forward to attending.

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    • Seniors
    • Theater Travel
    • Music

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    See the Light House

    by easterntrekker Written Apr 6, 2009

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    Growing up here the fog horn often lulled us to sleep . To me its low morn was music to my ears. No trip here is complete until you visit the waterfront an take a look at the Light House as it looks out to the ocean

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    The Company Houses

    by easterntrekker Written Apr 6, 2009

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    "Company' houses are wooden duplexes that were sold to the miners by the "Mining Company". These modest houses are two story and are built on the ground .Countless children were raised in these homes over the years and they are a part of the history of the town. Basically, they were a part of the link that said ,people belonged to the companies, lived in company houses, and bought supplies in company stores.

    They are still here today long after the "Company" has disappeared. they are often painted a different colour on each side and their roofs might be swayed . Sometimes one side of the duplex is now gone, so half a house might remain.

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    • Architecture
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    Marconi Wireless Site

    by easterntrekker Written Apr 7, 2009

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    In 1901 the first wireless message was sent from Glace Bay across the ocean to England . This high 60 Ft wind swept cliffs were chosen by Marconi and offered an unobstruscted view over the ocean.
    There is a national historic information center at the Table Head site honouring Guglielmo Marconi.In 1907 he initiated the first permanent transatlantic wireless service from Marconi Towers to its companion site in Clifden, Ireland.

    There is a wooden walkway you can take to the edgeof the cliffs.

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    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel
    • Seniors

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    Glace Bay Beach

    by easterntrekker Written Apr 7, 2009

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    As a child growing up in Glace Bay, my summers were spent at the beach . We would take our bicycles , a jam sandwich and a jar of kool-aid and head out for the day . It's a little beach with a mix of sand and rock and every now and then you can find a lump of coal on the shore. There is a narrow and swift channel between Glace Bay Beach and Donkin Beach on the other side . What fun we had daring each other to challenge the current and swim across. It looked so forlorn here on the on a cold windy day in Oct when we visited, but i'm sure kids still discover its beauty on hot summer days as we once did.

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    Commercial St

    by easterntrekker Written Apr 8, 2009

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    This was always know as "Down Town" to me. However to some it was " Up Town" it depended on which side of the hill you lived. It was once much larger and my Mom relayed stories of a street car. Growing up that sounded so exotic! Today its a small town with a scattering of little shops and coffee bars and of course a drug store . It's anchored at the toop by the Savoy Theater. I love it and appreciate it for its local atmosphere and small town feel!

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    Renwick Brook

    by easterntrekker Written Apr 8, 2009

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    This is beautiful park with walking trails on either side of the brook with easy access at the Commercial Street bridge in the heart of downtown Glace Bay.

    The tree- lined trails follow the brook between Brookside and Catherine Streets and you'll see many locals enjoying the walk that lead to Queen Elizabeth Park.

    Related to:
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    • Road Trip
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Real living history - we even shook hands!

    by planxty Written Dec 23, 2014

    I am not really even sure where to start writing about the Miner's Museum near Glace Bay as it was, simply put, a most memorable and stunning example of living history and was absolutely one of the highlights of my six week trip round the Maritime Provinces of Canada this year.

    I had a vague idea of what to expect having read about it but I genuinely was not prepared for the actuality of it. This is real history and not even that distant and I make no apology for the fact that I am going to use the word real several times in this tip as that is the only proper way to describe it. What this is effectively is a disused coal mine which extends out under the North Atlantic and was working well into my lifetime but is now closed has been turned into a "living museum".

    We parked in the decent sized carpark and had a look at some of the old mine trucks and so on sitting on rails about there before entering the main and fairly modern building which serves as the Vistor Centre. The very pleasant lady on the desk asked a few questions about claustrophobia etc. which will become relevant later on here and booked us on a tour which gave us a chance to have a look around the place. I mentioned that it was modern and that is because the oroginal Museum building was lost to fire in 1980 but local people, businesses and Government were undeterred and constructed this rather fine new Centre. It boasts a small but interesting Museum about the history of mining in the area.

    At the appointed time we went to the "briefing room" where we were issued with smocks and hard hats. I vaguely thought this was a bit of health and safety regulation gone mad but I was eventually most glad of both. These people know what they are doing. The man giving the briefing was a gentleman obviously older than me and with every line on his face telling a story of a hard, physical life. I took to him immediately but more of him later. We were given a safety briefing which included another warning about claustrophobia and explained that if anyone felt uncomfortable he could summon assistance from the surface and have them personally escorted back.

    To my shame I cannot remember the gentleman's name but he had been a miner in this very colliery for many years and he initially told us a couple of anecdotes before inviting us to join him in having a look at a real coalmine. I believe all the guides here are former miners and this is where I derive the title of this tip from. I was lucky enough to visit some great sites in Canada where re-enactors who are obviously very well-versed in their subject talk about things that happened centuries before they were born but this guy had actually done it all his working life. It just cannot get more authentic than that and therein lies the absolute wonder of the place.

    We took off down a fairly wide and high walkway so I was happy enough. As we proceeded though (stopping to look at a small exhibition including a rather sobering "shock-absorbing stretcher carrier") we stopped off for another chat and our guide continued to regale us with stories about how hard life was working down there. Coming from a man with obvious personal knowledge it was a very sobering and hugely educatinal experience.

    We continued on and things got tighter and lower. I should explain here that I stand 6'5" (perhaps 1:93 or 1:94 in Metric) and I also have a bad back from playing rugby so things were getting a little tight for me. I appreciated the hard hat as I managed to bash my head on the roof numerous times. The smock was also useful for the occasional drips of water coming in (don't panic as it is nothing major). On and on we went, stopping every so often for another story with me usually hunkering down to save my back a bit.

    More anecdotes and more things to see, including an exposed coalface, until we came upon one of the most incongruous things I have ever seen. Fortunately, there were benches there so my poor old back got a rest. In the very limited biology I had studied at school I had always been told that plants needed water and sunlight to survive. This is wrong! Some years ago a particular miner asked the owners if he could try to establish a garden down there. I am sure they thought him completely mad but allowed it anyway and the result is the small "garden" you can see which is populated by plants that apparently can survive without natural light as it is deep underground. I believe I am right in saying that some local horticulturalists now tend it and research what will grow under those conditions.

    It was all fascinating stuff although it regrettably signalled almost the end of our tour. We re-emerged back into the Visitor Centre, doffed hard hats and capes and went on our way, in our case to examine the re-created Miner's Village adjacent which I will deal with in a separate tip as it really is a different entity.

    I cannot speak highly enough of this place and I left with a slightly sore back and a huge smile on my face which I thought was a small price to pay.

    Should the reader wish to visit, here are the logistics, taken from the attached website.

    Hours of operation

    Summer Hours 10:00am to 6:00pm (June 1 - October 19)

    Admission: Adults $12; Children $10

    Winter Hours October 20 - May 31 Tours by appointment only.

    If you are in or even near Cape Breton then I really do strongly advise you to visit here as I know you will not regret it. Very highly recommended.

    Miner's Museum, Glace Bay, Canada. Miner's Museum, Glace Bay, Canada. Miner's Museum, Glace Bay, Canada. Miner's Museum, Glace Bay, Canada. Miner's Museum, Glace Bay, Canada.
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    • Historical Travel

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    Miners above ground.

    by planxty Updated Dec 23, 2014

    I have written in another tip on this page about the absolutely wonderful Miner's Museum near Glace Bay where you go out under the ocean into what was a working mine until relatively recently and are given a superb guided tour by a retired miner. As part of the admission price you are also allowed to visit the Miner's Village above ground and adjacent to the Visitor Centre although we were never asked for our admission tickets. I am not sure how much of this is original and how much re-constructed but it does give a very clear idea about how hard life was even above ground for these men and their families never mind the privations of working in a hole in the ground deep under the North Atlantic.

    As with so many places in Nova Scotia, the "overground" portion of the site is populated with re-enactors or interpreters or whatever they are properly called, and they all proved to be friendly and knowledgeable. Frankly, when we visited in the height of the tourist season (mid-July) there was not another soul about and I suspect they are glad of the company.

    Life for the miners was tough with everything controlled by the mining company and designed to keep them permanently in debt so they had to keep on working. It is like the line from the old song, "St. Peter don't you call me coz I can't go, I owe my soul to the company store". How very true as you will find out if you visit here which I strongly recommend you do.

    Housed in small and very basic semi-detached homes within a few minutes walk of the mine entrance, everything was deducted from their pay before they got it, rent, whatever credit they had run up at the company store mentioned previously and various other sundries. Things came to a head in 1925 when the "pluck me" store, as it was known, refused credit to the miners and so they looted them and burned them to the ground. They never re-opened.

    A wander round here, especially in the company of some of the wonderful re-enactors I mentioned previously really is a a bit of an eye-opener. The underground portion of the Museum is an absolute "must-see" but I would recommend that the traveller allows a little extra time to visit this portion of the site as well as it is a fascinating glimpse into a life not so long gone.

    Should you wish to visit, here are the logistics taken form the excellent attached website.

    Summer Hours

    Open 7 days a week
    June 1 - October 19
    Daily: 10 am - 6 pm
    (Open until 7pm during Men of the Deeps concert dates)
    Admission: Adults $12; Children $10
    Winter Hours

    October 20 - May 31

    By Appointment Only. Please phone us to book your tour today!

    Like the underground portion of the Museum this really is highly recommended.

    Miner's Museum, Glace Bay, Canada. Miner's Museum, Glace Bay, Canada. Miner's Museum, Glace Bay, Canada. Miner's Museum, Glace Bay, Canada. Miner's Museum, Glace Bay, Canada.
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    • Historical Travel
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    A fitting memorial.

    by planxty Written Dec 23, 2014

    I have mentioned on various other pages here that Canadians are very particular about honouring the dead be they servicemen and women, mariners, police officers or whatever else. I have also mentioned that on a trip through Glace Bay we had visited the excellent Miner's Museum which had given me an appreciation about how important the coal-mining industry had been in this area and how inherently dangerous it was.

    It came as no surprise then when we came upon the monument you see pictured here although I must admit I was a touch surprised at the pretty out of the way location it was situated at , being basically out the back of the Irving filling (gas) station. It is a relatively modern memorial which was only unveiled in 1980 (by two local miners appropriately enough) and dedicated to "the coal miners from Glace Bay and surrounding areas who have lost their lives in the coal industry. Their contributions to our industrial society have been incalculable, their sacrifices great".

    The memorial consists of a granite plinth with the bust of a helmeted miner on top of it, the bust apparently being a replica of one on a similar memorial at Sydney Mines. I only noticed whilst revisiting my images to create this tip something which I found a little odd. Whatever the angle of the sun was, there was a horizontal shadow across the upper portion of the plinth which bisected the perpendicular motif inscribed and forms an almost perfect cross as in the Christian faith. I promise you I did not do this on purpose, I just did my usual camera trick of "point and press" which is about all I can manage and it sent a slight shiver down my spine when I saw it just now. See what you think, perhaps I am just imagining things.

    Whilst the memorial was only 34 years old when I visited in 2014 and the mining industry is all but gone from the area, it had a great resonance even when it was unveiled as only a year previously twelve men had been killed and four more seriously injured in a mine explosion locally. As the title of this tip suggests, this is a fitting memorial to a lot of brave men who risked their lives daily and sometimes with awful consequences.

    Well worth a look.

    Miners Memorial, Glace Bay, Canada. Miners Memorial, Glace Bay, Canada.
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