Tag Archives: mining

The Combo Pizza of Venice, and other things Glace Bay and Cape Breton

When I was growing up, there were only so many varieties of pizzas. You could get a pepperoni pizza, or a mushroom pizza, or the king of all pizzas: the Combo! The combo was pepperoni, mushroom AND green peppers. In my mind it was the best pizza ever. In some ways it still is. The last time I had such a pizza was seven years ago, from one of the places legendary for it: Venice Pizzeria.

Now people from outside of Glace Bay will tell you that the Combo was not limited to my hometown, and that’s true. The one above is from Kenny’s in Sydney, N.S. It is also good! But really pizza anywhere in Cape Breton is a good thing, and if you are visiting, try and get one. Ask for a Combo.

If you feel like something else and you are in Glace Bay, I recommend the food at Colette’s restaurant. In the morning I am a big fan of their breakfast with fried bologna. It’s fantastic. And if you are there on a Thursday, you can get their corned beef and cabbage. That’s also great. A classic, in fact.

While I haven’t been back to the Island in some time, I still like to keep up with what is going on. I was sad to hear of the passing of the great Peter Politte. The Cape Breton Post remembered him here, ‘A feel for the blade’: Legendary Glace Bay skate sharpener remembered:

When local hockey players wanted to get the edge — literally — on their competition, they turned to Peter Politte. For decades, Politte was widely regarded as the best skate sharpener in Glace Bay, if not the entire island. He died Saturday at age 91.

Everyone went to him, including me as a kid. If you had fresh ice and skates sharpened by Peter, you were bound to have a great game of hockey at the Miners Forum.

In doing some research on Glace Bay, I came across these sites that wrote about mines down home, including No 2 and the Caledonia mine where my grandfather dug coal. I even found this piece on a mining disaster at Caledonia mine in 1899. More on Glace bay mining at this link.

Finally, here’s more on the combo pizza. Here’s a recipe for corned beef and cabbage from Food & Wine if you want some and can’t get to Colette’s any time soon.

Here’s a YouTube video of  Glace Bay in 1992 that brought back memories.

Finally here’s a map of all the streets of Glace Bay:

Streets of Glace Bay

I used this site to make it: Draw all roads in a city at once.


On Davis Day, and other histories of Cape Breton

Today is Davis Day in Cape Breton. It’s now known as Miners Memorial Day, but growing up we honoured this day and thought about William Davis and all the sacrifices miners and their families suffered over the years as they struggled to live better lives. It was a solemn day. You can read more about it here: Miners Memorial Day: Davis Day | Museum of Industry. Here’s a good piece on how this day is still relevant in places like my home town of Glace Bay.

Over the last while I have been collecting these links regarding Cape Breton history which I thought worthwhile and you may as well:

(Image from a link and comes from the Beaton Institute)