Most people don't realize there are (at least) two Cape Bretons -- the mythical Scottish-heritage rural Cape Breton of Alistair MacLeod and Ashley MacIssac (and the Rankins, and Natalie MacMaster, and Rita MacNeil, etc.) and the industrial Cape Breton of me and a lot of other people you never heard of.
The two are quite distinct. While the former is very scenic and picturesque, the latter has never been pretty. It endures a long legacy of smoky and dirty industry, despite that industry's demise and vanishing. In recent years there has been an effort to make Sydney more palatable to outsiders in order to attract new businesses and to cash in on some of rural Cape Breton's success with tourism.
As a result, a number of cruise ships, such as the Queen Mary 2, visit Sydney every year -- an idea that would have been laughable when I was growning up there in the 1970s.