Canada Games Complex

Cape Breton University (CBU) is revitalizing the Canada Games Complex (CGC), which was built for the 1987 Jeux Canada Winter Games. Preliminary designs were completed in 2021 and include a conversion to a fully accessible, NHL-size ice surface.

Construction has already begun. Click here to learn more.

The revitalized Canada Games Complex also includes:

The Home of Female Hockey

Through a recent community partnership campaign, CBU and the Cape Breton Blizzard Female Hockey Association teamed up to help Sydney and the CGC win the national title of Kraft Hockeyville for 2022, which includes a prize of $250,000 to help with the arena retrofit. This facility will become known as the Home of Female Hockey in Canada. It will be the first arena in Canada dedicated to girls and women’s hockey and will help address the nation wide inequality issue of lack of ice time for female teams.


Arena and Ice Surface Retrofit

The arena will see a complete retrofit, including an NHL-sized ice surface, accessible ice access for sledge hockey, a new energy-efficient ice plant and updated dressing room spaces.

Construction of a New Fitness Centre and Walking Track

To better support the student body, employees and community members, this campaign will see the construction of an indoor walking track and a new fitness facility for more than 7,000 users.

Creation of Convocation and Convention Centre Space

Special events, campus celebrations, conferences and community events will be hosted on the CBU campus through the creation of conference and event space within the CGC. This will allow CBU to celebrate its most important milestones and success, and the community will have access to this modernized event and conference space supporting the tourism and hospitality industry of the Island.

Expansion of the Health and Counselling Centre

At CBU, we believe true wellness encompasses both physical and mental well-being. CBU will expand the physical space and services offered through the Nancy Dingwall Health and Counselling Centre. This will include:

  • Access to optimum healthcare services for CBU’s growing and diverse student body
  • New and expanded waiting areas, doctor’s offices and treatment spaces
  • Investment in support staff and medical professionals


The Use of Green Technologies

The use of green technologies and modern, energy-efficient equipment is planned for and further efficiencies will be garnered through a number of modern eco equipment and techniques.

  • A new ice rink refrigeration plant, including an electric Zamboni
  • Waste heat from the refrigeration plan will be captured and used to supplement general space heating
  • A new ventilation system and modern dehumidification unit
  • A complete renovation of the lighting system to LED fixtures, including the induction fixtures over the ice surface.

Solar Powered Arena

In 2020, CBU and the Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy and Environment completed the largest solar power installation on Cape Breton Island. This project saw 500 solar panels installed on the roof of the CGC. Currently, most of the energy is consumed within the CGC with access exported back to the Nova Scotia Power grid.

Please see a full list of FAQs below. Do you have a question you would like to see included? Please submit it through this form.

Start up of construction took place on May 8, 2023.

Construction will take approximately 18 months, with an expected end date of December 2024.

The new Canada Games Complex will seat approximately 1744 people.

No, the Canada Games Complex will be closed during the construction period.

The new arena will include NHL-sized ice surface, which is 60.96m long x 25.9m wide, with a corner radius of 8.5m.