One Way to do Halifax, Nova Scotia – Second Edition

Some years have passed since I wrote a port review of Halifax, Nova Scotia. The previous edition covered a taxi excursion that included parts of Halifax, the Fairview Lawn Cemetery and Peggy’s Cove…

https://solentrichardscruiseblog.com/2013/09/17/one-way-to-do-halifax-nova-scotia/

In July this year my wife and I returned to Halifax as part of Queen Mary 2’s 175th Cunard Anniversary cruise and we made the decision to see more of Halifax itself, take in a little more of the Halifax Cunard legacy,  and make a return visit to the Titanic Cemetery: on this particular visit we were blessed with considerably better weather.

Our day started at the Halifax Seaport Cruise Terminal, also known locally as Pier 21..  Step outside and you just know this port has history and that the residents are proud of it…

…that’s an original of the old railway carriage known as Colonist Cars.   These cars were specially designed for immigration and they took  immigrants the thousands of miles across the Canadian landscape.

They were a unique Canadian solution to the problem of settling distant areas in the twentieth century, thousands of miles from the seaports.  When they built these cars around WWI, a whole family could cross Canada for 7 dollars.

At the end of Pier 21 is a statue of Halifax’s most famous son, Samuel Cunard…

A waterfront walk extends from Pier 21 right into the heart of downtown Halifax…

…and,  once again,  immigration is remembered with ‘The Emigrant Statue’ seen on the left in the photograph above and here a little closer…

The Emigrant, by artist Armando Barbon, depicts an emigrant leaving his home country to start a new life in Canada and is inscribed with the words “The pain of separation he overcame, with faith and hope his heart aflame…”.

In close proximity to The Emigrant Statue is a memorial to the ships and men of the Royal Canadian navy who failed to return during the battle of the Atlantic…

The rear of the memorial details those ships…

A great feature of the waterfront walk is the abundance of information boards detailing places of interest…

There is no shortage of cafes and restaurants along the walk either, some with most interesting names…

Roughly half way along, and some 30 minutes walk, can be found a visitor centre…

…easily identified and found next to this sculptured wave. Yep, you guessed it, I couldn’t resist…

Adjacent to  ‘The Wave’ and berthed on a pier is Canada’s floating naval memorial, the preserved ‘last corvette’, HMCS Sackville…

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At this point in our day we took our temporary leave of the waterfront and headed inland. Our mission was now to locate the Halifax cemetery known as ‘The Old Burying Ground’…

the entrance to which is dominated by this hoarding…

and the Welsford -Parker Monument…

 

The Welsford-Parker Monument (also known as the Crimean War monument) is the 2nd oldest war monument in Canada  and the only monument to the Crimean War in North America. The arch and lion were built in 1860 to commemorate British victory in the Crimean war and the Nova Scotians who had fought in the war.

Our quest at this cemetery was to identify the grave of Samuel Cunard’s wife, Susan. Once again, as with the waterfront, there were excellent information boards around and it was not long before we found the gravestone…

 

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On leaving the Old Burying Ground we noticed what appeared to be a large colonial style building on the opposite side of the road. On investigation this turned out to be nothing less than Government House

Not a bad casual find.

Continuing our walk along  and heading towards the Citadel we passed  St. Paul’s Anglican Church…

It is the oldest surviving Protestant church in Canada and the oldest building in Halifax.

A short distance further up the hill on Brunswick Street can be found one of the paths leading to The Citadel entrance. The path is adjacent the Halifax Town Clock, an easily identified building …

We had visited the Citadel on our previous time in Halifax …

https://solentrichardscruiseblog.com/2013/09/17/one-way-to-do-halifax-nova-scotia/

…so on this occasion it was not a priority though still worth the climb for the view…

Continuing along Brunswick Street we quickly came upon the next venue on our list, St. George’s  Round Church – an elegant wooden example of a circular neo-Classical Paladian Anglican church that is now a National Heritage site the  construction of which commenced in 1800…

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Imagine our delight when walking the grounds to meet one of the Church elders,  James Rawding, who very kindly allowed us an early entrance and tour of this beautiful church…

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On June 2, 1994, fire was accidentally set to the Round Church, causing the dome to crumble and destroying approximately 40 per cent of the building. The fundraising effort received a donation from Prince Charles, who had also attended a service at the church in 1983 with Princess Diana.

In an effort to avoid debt, the restoration took six years to complete and happened in increments when funds were available. The project was completed in 2000 and came in under budget at $4.6 million…

A small section of the fire damage to the church has been preserved as a poignant reminder to the dedication and faith of those who restored it…

A big thank you for your kindness on our visit James …

Again continuing along Brunswick Street we now headed for the Fairview Lawn Cemetery where the victims of the Titanic disaster are laid to rest. It was around about an hour and a quarter walk with one coffee stop – turn left at North Street and Right at Connaught Avenue –  but what the walk did give us was a fascinating insight into what some of Halifax’s urban home architecture had to offer, both older preserved accommodation…

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…the even older Akins Cottage…

Akins Cottage is a  National Historic Site of Canada and is a small, one-and-a-half-storey wood-shingled house, built circa 1815. It resembles Cape Cod-style houses of the Atlantic region, and is one of the few remaining early 19th-century houses in Halifax and one of the oldest houses in the city. Official recognition refers to the house on its legal property(see inset)

…and the stylish newer properties…

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The Fairview Lawn Cemetery is a large cemetery with a number of entrances. The cemetery contains a cross section of Halifax’s 20th century residents including an Italian and Jewish section as well as a mass grave of victims from the Halifax Explosion.

Because of its Titanic association, it remains one of the most popular tourist attractions in Halifax. For those wishing to visit the plot on which the victims of the sinking of Titanic are buried it is well signposted.

We entered at a point just passed the Jewish section, very close to the Nova Scotia Veterans’ Columbarium...

 

Opened in November 2002, the Nova Scotia Veterans’ Columbarium provides a final resting place where Veterans (and their spouses) may be with their fellow comrades.

Following the clear signs…

 

…we arrived at the Titanic grave site…
The graves are arranged in lines on a sloping hillside to a scheme commissioned by the White Star Line. When viewed from either line end the  distinct outline shape of a sea vessel is formed…
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Headstones are arranged on the lines with either the names of the victims or the inscription ‘Died April 15, 1912′ on those where identification proved impossible.  In these cases the number assigned to the victim when their body was recovered from the sea has been added…

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Some grave stones have stories to tell. Arthur Gordon McCrae…

 

McCrae was one of six Australians on board the ship, and one of two passengers, the others being crew members. He had purchased a 2nd class ticket to travel from Southampton, where he boarded the ship to America where his fiancée Madeleine Knight lived. A graduate of the University of Sydney, McCrae ‘s body, number 209, was  recovered by the CS Mackay Bennett.

Another who lost his life on Titanic was  Everett Elliott…

His body (#317) was recovered by the CS Minia.

When Everett signed on to the Titanic as a trimmer, he gave his address as the Sailors’ Home, Southampton, but he was still residing permanently at 1 Wilmington Street, Clerkenwell. As a trimmer he could expect to receive a wage of £5 10s per month. His previous ship had been the SS Bangarth.

And  John Law Hume, a Scottish violinist …

(spot the miniature violin case?)

John Law Hume (also known as ‘Jock’) was born in August 1890 in Dumfries. 21 tears old when he died, he had already played on at least five ships before the Titanic. He was recruited to play on the maiden voyage due to his good reputation as a musician.

He boarded the Titanic on Wednesday 10 April 1912 in Southampton, UK. His ticket number was 250654, the ticket for all the members of Wallace Hartley‘s orchestra. His cabin was in the 2nd class quarters.

Probably the most famous of the grave stones though is that of the ‘Unknown Child’...

When it sank the Titanic took the lives of 1,497 of the 2,209 people aboard with it. Some bodies were recovered, but names remained elusive, while others are still missing. But researchers believe that they have finally resolved the identity of the unknown child — concluding that he was 19-month-old Sidney Leslie Goodwin from England.

Earlier mention was made to other community sections within the Fairview lawn Cemetery. Two of the most prominent being the Jewish section…

…and the Italian section…

That concluded our visit to the Fairview Lawn cemetery and we were pleased that we had been blessed with really fine weather. We retraced our route back with the intention of stopping at the Little Dutch (Deutsch) Church on Brunswick Street…

(spot the head over the wall)

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Little Dutch (Deutsch) Church is the second oldest building in Halifax after St. Paul’s. It was adapted as a church in 1756 and consecrated in 1760. It is the oldest known surviving church in Canada associated with the German-Canadiana community. Eventually the congregation migrated to St. George’s Round Church, a few hundred yards further along Brunswick Street.

We had one area left to explore and so dropped back down to the waterfront for some lunch before looking up the Historic Properties downtown area (also known as Privateers’ Wharf). But first lunch.

A difficult choice as it was a glorious day and the waterfront scene was buzzing. We eventually settled on a restaurant called Salty’s right on the water…

…and enjoyed a platter or two of ‘Lobster Sliders’…

Salty’s was still busy when we eventually sailed later that evening…

 

The Historic Properties…

… are a series  of warehouses on the Halifax Boardwalk that date back to the Napoleonic Wars.  The area boasts  10 of the cities oldest buildings, including 7 which have been designated National Historic Sites. It is one of the oldest and nicest parts of Halifax rich with beautiful buildings, unique iron work on some of the facades of the buildings, interesting windows, book stores and galleries, restaurants and cafeterias…

During our Atlantic crossing I had attended a number of presentations on Samuel Cunard’s life and links to Halifax. One interesting snippet had been his ‘interest’ in the inauguration of a bank, the remaining indication of which was an inscribed lintel above one of the Historic properties: which I duly sought out…

In keeping with my love of a photograph there was a ‘prop’ (or three) in this area that presented an opportunity too good to  be missed…

 

Also nearby is Granville Block...

The buildings here are now part of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD).

The final prominent building visited in the heart of downtown was  Province House…

…an imposing, three-storey Neo-Classical building…

…in whose northern grounds stands the South African (Boer) War Memorial Statue…

The South African War (1899-1902) or, as it is also known, the Boer War, marked Canada’s first official dispatch of troops to an overseas war.

All that now remained was for us to walk back to our ship, once again taking the waterfront route. This in itself proved a fun walk, passing interesting sites such as…

The Old Dockyard Clock…

The moored Theodore Too

…a large-scale imitation tugboat based on the fictional television tugboat character Theodore Tugboat. The vessel provides tours of Halifax harbour during the summer months and we were lucky to spot it from Queen Mary 2 later that afternoon…

 

The length of the waterfront has a great buzz about it including many an entertainer…

 

Also on the waterfront the CSS Acadia…

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Acadia was a former hydrographic surveying and oceanographic research ship of the  Canadian Hydrographic Service. Acadia served Canada for more than five decades from 1913–1969.  She was also twice commissioned into the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) as HMCS Acadia, the only ship still afloat to have served the RCN in both World Wars.

 

 

If time allows…

Cunard Centre is a waterfront cargo shed renovated into a large multipurpose, year round event centre. Cunard Centre is located at Pier 23, behind the Westin Nova Scotian hotel, as part of the Halifax Port Authority’s SeaPort redevelopment. The venue’s sheer size, 45,000 square feet of column free space, boasts one of the largest capacities for events in Halifax. The Cunard Centre can accommodate a variety of functions, from formal banquets for up to 2200 guests, receptions and concerts for 4,000 people, trade and consumer shows, to charity and fundraising events and product launches. This multi-functional facility embraces innovation, with creative design and a state-of-the-art kitchen.

 

 

 

 

 

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10 responses to “One Way to do Halifax, Nova Scotia – Second Edition

  1. Pingback: Cruising Mates | Solent Richard's Cruise Blog·

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  3. Excellent read, Richard. Halifax is one of my favorite cities. My brother lives here, so we have been many times.

  4. This is one of the best photo/blog daytrip descriptions I have seen.
    I grew up in Halifax and take far too much of this for granted. It is wonderful you took the time to walk across the city and to tell us all about it.

  5. And you still had time to get to the shop for supplies for our sail away party that night:
    A lot of your pictures were the same path we took until you went inland.
    We must have passed you all eating and we did take a tour on Theodore Too
    The waterfront has truly been improved since we were there in 2006.
    The Immigrant railroad car would have been one of the ones I left Pier 21 in having arrived as a WarBride child.. Time flies

  6. And you still found time to go to the shops and get needed supplies for our sail away part that evening 🙂
    We took a tour on the Theodore Too that same day and did the same stops on the waterfront before you went inland. Must have passed you on the waterfront dining
    The waterfront has been upgraded since we were last there in 2006
    Great post // Rob

  7. What an amazing detailed review and such wonderful graphic photos. I wanted to be there when I read it and this has to be on my wish list for the future . Many thanks for sharing you experiences with us. Superb effort!

  8. This is now a must have, bucket list wish list port of call. What an interesting review and such wonderful photos to add to the thrill of it all. I really felt I was there with you, So well done, and thank you for sharing this exciting port of call. I look forward to more of your travels.

  9. Pingback: One Way to do Halifax, Nova Scotia – Second Edition | Eby Online Business·

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