Halifax, Nova Scotia: A Capital City

Halifax is the capital of Nova Scotia.  Find your way to the famous Citadel, which was never attacked, because it was so well built. Under the auspices of Canada Parks, guides give one hour tours of the fortress and tell of its history and construction. A fifty minute multimedia presentation shows the history of the town and how important the fortifications were. Did uou realize that the British were almost going to enter the Civil War against the Union? Only through some astute and timely negotiations did the tensions ease. The presence of the British Army and Navy in Halifax kept Nova Scotia part of the Commonwealth and not the fourteenth colony during the American Revolution. There were very close ties between New York, Boston, and Halifax. It was from Halifax that the British Army mustered their troops to take New York.

Stay about four hours at the fortress, have lunch and go on a walking tour of Halifax proper. Pass by the Old Clock Tower, constructed under the auspices of Prince Edward in 1805, before he left for England. He was also responsible for bolstering the defenses of the harbor.

Your next stop is the Harbor itself, a lively place full of locals and tourists. Some of the old warehouses have been turned into mini-malls and food courts, giving the area a festive atmosphere. Some of the ships permanently stationed in the harbor are the Sackville, a convoy escort corvette, the CSS Acadia, Canada’s hydrographic vessel which surveys the Canadian Atlantic Coast, Blue Nose II, the undefeated schooner champion replica which was coming back into port under motor power, and charter boats of all shapes and sizes.

Also on the boardwalk is the Atlantic Maritime Museum, which celebrates Nova Scotia’s great nautical history. Further on is Pier 21, the Canadian version of Ellis Island. Multimedia exhibits relay the experiences of the many people who passed through its portals from the turn of the century to the end of WW II.  An excellent video tells the trials, tribulations, joys and expectations of the many War Brides who entered through Halifax.

Up the street is Keith’s Brewery, one of the oldest in Canada. They now brew only India Pale Ale (heavy on the hops), a light ale, and a limited edition of an amber ale. Besides the brewery, the building houses the weekly farmer’s market on Saturday mornings and numerous restaurants and shops. The interior is very open and interesting.

Pass by the Government house, the home of the Lieutenant Governor. Unlike St. John’s, NF, this is not open to the public. Across the street are the old burial grounds in use from the 1740s to the 1820s. The cemetery has been restored and also has a monument to the two who died in the Charge of the Light Brigade during the Crimean War.

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