Cape Breton Estates: Land of the Golden Arms

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Cape Breton Estates: land of the golden arms

Island Point: The Mother of All Peninsulas

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*If you would rather view all 20 aerials in a slideshow format, even though the size necessitates some scrolling at common screen resolutions, please use this link: AERIAL SLIDESHOW.

* This is a very large property which has been essentially untouched for well over 100 years. While there is a trail on the point itself, there was no access through the acreage on Boularderie. About five years ago, a woodsman cut a walking trail from the road on Boularderie down to where the peninsula begins. It is now possible to walk the property and take photographs from Island Point itself - to see the views, the terrain, the forest, the beaches and a small pond which appears to be located at about the halfway point. Seeing the whole acreage from the road to the tip of the point and back again would be approximately a 5 mile walk. (see THIS AERIAL WITH TRAIL ROUGHED IN)

Three important points can be made at this juncture as a result of the woodsman's activities in cutting the trail, the walk of the property to the end of the trail by Tom and one of the shore areas observed:

  • THE TRAIL: It is possible to walk to the point from where the present trail ends using the shoreline areas in combination with bushwhacking through the woods to see the majority of the property. Also, a tour of the property using a boat may be possible given some notice.
  • SINK HOLES: A visit to Island Point was was made with the objective of reaching the area of the peninsula that has been reputed to contain "sink holes" due to its gypsum topography. A surprising discovery was made. The "sink holes" are not sink holes! They are the result of manual mining of the gypsum just before World War II. Each hole still has a pile of earth and gypsum chips mounded up beside it. A talk with one of the local residents who was around back then confirmed this finding and the resident was even able to remember where on the shore the boat that transported the gypsum from the point docked. This is very good news as it is now apparent that the topography is stable enough to drive a road through to the end where someone may wish to build.
  • INTRUDERS: Several of the photos in Part I show one of the crescent sand beaches on the point complete with removable floating dock, outdoor lounge furniture, a fire pit and other signs of use by what appears to be kayakers and ATV trail riders. This discovery has been reported to the owner who was unaware of this use of the property by non-owners.


The end of the point, a large portion of the shoreline on the harbour side, some of the shoreline on the Bras d'Or side and the old homestead area were visited and photographed thanks to a boat trip provided by a local resident. In excess of 60 photos from this trip are available above in Parts 3 and 4 of OCTOBER PHOTOS. It was too windy (too much chop) to go very far down the Bras d'Or side of the property. The local resident who took Tom to the Point also shared an interesting painting his family has in their home. It is an area artist's rendition of what Island Point may have looked like in the late 1800's when the MacLeod family homestead was there. Tom took this photo which includes a digitally enlarged plaque with the artist's name, the location and the date:


(the foreground shows a church - still there - on Boularderie opposite Island Point with the background showing the tip of Island Point just visible on the right side of the painting complete with house, barn and a large cleared area)

Cape Breton line
$900,000 (HST over and above purchase price.)
Category: Vacant Land
4 PID#/s: 85029973 + 85096352 +
85164358 + 85164341
Tradewinds Property #:   O - 9821
Address: Kempt Head Road (no civic #)
City: South Boularderie, Victoria County, Cape Breton
Property Size: 230.5 +/- Acres
Land Dimensions: irregular
GPS Info: 46.1313150156; 60.537757873
Possession: IMMEDIATE
Cape Breton line

This is an almost island; an extraordinary geological formation that extends boldly into the Bras d'Or Lakes for a distance of 1.8 miles off South Side Boularderie. Island Point is a wild, remote and uninhabited peninsula only 30 minutes from N. Sydney. The land has the typical Karst topography of eroded hills and valleys, but is resplendent with a hardwood forest that covers the entire length of the Point. Its sheer white gypsum cliffs protect a long harbour while the shore is interspersed with beaches and nearly 40 foot depths almost all the way to the sand bar end. The elbow shaped connection to the Boularderie Island shore leads up a steep pitch covered with large firs to the road’s edge at the top of a ridge. 3.6 miles of shoreline, 252 acres, sand beaches, protected anchorages and wilderness character - this property is very special. With a good pair of walking shoes and stamina, you can see it all. A trail runs from the road through much of the property.


  • the peninsula forms a protective barrier in the Bras d'Or and creates a lengthy area between it and Boularderie Island called Island Point Harbour
  • a large portion of the land across the harbour from Island Point is Crown land and is unlikely therefore to ever be developed
  • most of the length of the harbour has depths up to forty feet to within a couple of hundred feet of the sand bar located near the elbow where the peninsula joins Boularderie
  • there is a substantial cove partially protected by a sand bar with six feet of water which deepens to 10 feet and presents an attractive, very sheltered anchorage
  • the cut pathway begins at an old grassy driveway and snakes down the hillside to the elbow allowing direct access to the point as well as access to the sand bar
  • an ATV track beginning at the sand bar meanders along the coast of the peninsula but reportedly does not go all the way to the end of the point
  • a trip to the end of the point would have to be done on foot probably with some bushwhacking
  • seeing the land beyond the end of the ATV track might be better done by boat and arrangements to have one available are being made (liability issues may necessitate viewing the land on foot)
  • the aerials of Island Point show a grassy area out near the end of the point as well as a crescent beach - both on the Bras d'Or side
  • the crescent beach provides an opportunity for swimming and other water sports out into the Bras d'Or Lakes
  • the water within the harbour and particularly in the cove is likely a good deal warmer than the Bras d'Or for swimming
  • the remains of an old farm house, the cellar stones, and a small cemetery with two headstones are located somewhere on the point proving that life and subsistence was possible even years ago on this lovely land
  • One should be aware that much of the island point is comprised of gypsum as illustrated by the bright white cliffs carved into macabre shapes by wind and rain. Obtaining potable water from gypsum strata is now possible by means of a two-stage cleansing system available in the local market. The alternative is a water catchment on the roof of one's building directed into a cistern of usually several thousand gallons capacity used extensively throughout Cape Breton where gypsum occurs. The more modern approach is perhaps more desirable. The remnants of the old farm suggest a viable water source but no one really knows.


Call Tom @ 866-325-1001(toll free)

Area Links:
Boularderie Island Historical Society
Site has some historical info, primarily about the construction of the Seal Island Bridge; also maps, births and deaths of area residents and restoration projects.
MacLeod Family Cemetery
The account of those buried in the MacLeod Family Cemetery was originally written in 1935 by Lena A. MacAulay from information she obtained from her Aunt Hannah shortly before she died. The cemetery is located on south side of Island Point just west of the gravel bar with barrasois pond behind it.
Wikipedia for Boularderie Island
Good summary, especially geography.
This hospital is the major medial referral centre for Cape Breton Island. The web site is extensive, covering all the departments in the hospital as well as a full spectrum of topics associated with a major medical institution.
City of Sydney web site.
Profiles of N. Sydney and nearby communities.
Cape Breton line
Title to Land: Freehold
Property Size: 230.5 +/- Acres
Land Features:
Peninsula, 3.6 miles of Bras d'Or shoreline, sand bars, wooded (mixed), cliffs, some beaches, fairly steep slope on the Boularderie side, trail, brackish pond, meadow
Access: Off gravel Kempt Head Road
Cape Breton line
Assessment: $582,100 (2016 RESOURCE TAXABLE) Taxes: $ pending
Listing Office: Tradewinds Realty Inc.
  Compliments of Tom Childs
Call any time @ 1-866-325-1001
Cape Breton line
( The above information is deemed reliable, but is not guaranteed. )
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