Friday, September 25, 2009


Halifax, founded in 1749, left us underwhelmed. We were surprised at the poor condition of the downtown roads and the agressive pan-handlers.Mural shows history of Halifax from 1700's to present (click on it to enlarge). The fire in 1917 is shown which started on a French cargo ship filled with ammunitions for WW1 when it collided with a Norweigen vessel. 25 minutes later the explosion obliterated all buildings within 2 km with 2,000 people dead and 9,000 injuried. Windows throughout the city and as far away at Dartmouth were shattered.
Looking up Carmichael Street to Citadel Hill, you can see the Old Town Clock, one of Halifax's most famous landmarks. The turret clock was made for the Halifax garrison in 1803 and in its early years was also used as a guardroom and residence for the caretaker.
Main courtyard of Historic Properties. The Privateers Wharf was the centre of activity on the Halifax waterfront, welcoming trading vessels and privateers from ports around the world. It was from Halifax that many of the privateers (licensed by the British crown to raid enemy vessels) set sail and returned with their bountry.
One of the most successful privateers, Enos Collins, started the first bank in Nova Scotia (the Halifax Banking Co) in this ironstone building.
The convoy escort corvette HMCS Sacksville is the only surviving corvette of more than 100 built in Canada during WW2 and has been restored to her wartime configuration. I was very pleased to tour it as my dad had served on one during the war. The Canadian Navy escorted more than 25,000 merchant ships, carrying 180 million tons of cargo across the Atlantic during the war which was crucial to the eventual outcome of the war.
Here I am at the helm of the HMCS Sackville - good thing we are anchored!
I remember dad telling us that they slept in hammocks; these ships were small and space definitely was at a premium.
Visited a pub after our walkaround historic Halifax and had a pint of Alexander Keith. It's Nova Scotia Brewery was just down the block. We had a fun waitress who so reminded me of Laura (Kathleen and Tanya's BFF) who also felt Halifax was not a favorite place. She was very funny and said they did not "get her" in Halifax and we said she should come to the other coast.


  1. For all it was 'unwhelming' you must have seen the best part because your pictures are very interesting....Rose

  2. Thanks, the photos I took were the best part. The city is dirty and very disorganized. I wonder what it looked like before the explosion that decimated it - perhaps it had lovely home before.