New mural commemorates Sydney Steel Plant
In the 20th century, the steel industry was a booming business in Sydney, N.S. While the Sydney Steel Plant is no longer in commission, a former steel worker has created a new mural in the heart of the community to commemorate its importance to the history of the area.
The Sydney Steel Plant was built in the early 1900's and became the heart of the town, employing thousands.
“At one point, we had over 50 different ethnic and cultural groups here. Today, there's still traces of some of those groups left, but the steel plant drew all these people here. This is our history and tradition and even though it's been closed for many years, it still runs deep in our veins,” says Alan Nathanson, Friends of Neville Park Society chair.
It took Keith Baldwin nearly a week to create the mural, depicting the industry that once had his small town booming.
“You’re seeing the open hearth, all the buildings in between. The bar mill, rail mill, then you have your glass furnace where they do the steel and iron. Bring it up to the end and finally you have a finished product,” says Baldwin.
The mural was the idea of the Friends of Neville Park Society, a group that promotes culture and history in Whitney Pier, N.S. The image was first printed on t-shirts, which spawned the idea of the large scale painting.
Kim Gallant’s store is home to the mural. She says she thinks the artwork is a great way to bring the community together.
“The people in this community are so passionate,” says Gallant. “To do something like this and to hear people come to me and say ‘thank you for letting Keith do this,’ it was an honour.”
The mural is such a hit with community members that Nathanson said the society is already looking for other buildings in Whitney Pier to similarly adorn.
“Yesterday I got permission from Leisure Pools,” says Nathanson. “Keith has agreed to possibly work on two murals for next May. One facing the overpass and will welcome people to the pier.”
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kyle Moore