Parks Canada History
Park Summaries

Park Summaries
Nova Scotia

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All text and photos are copyrighted by Parks Canada or the Canadian Register of Historic Places (except as noted) and were extracted from either the Parks Canada or Canada's Historic Places Websites. Parks with a grey background are managed by Parks Canada.



©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Acacia Grove / Prescott House National Historic Site of Canada
Starr's Point, Nova Scotia

Acacia Grove / Prescott House National Historic Site of Canada is an extensive property in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia. Set amidst gardens and orchards this large, Georgian House from the early 19th-century has a rectangular footprint, regular openings on its façade, a hipped roof flanked by two chimneys, and a small pediment over the front door. The substantial two-and-half-storey brick home is an outstanding example of domestic architecture inspired by the British classical tradition.

Acacia Grove, a dignified brick house, follows the formal architectural conventions of the Georgian style (British Classical style) and combines the compact form derived from British classical tradition with Palladian ornamentation. Its successful, symmetrical design and balanced proportions are embellished with restrained classical detailing. When Charles Ramage Prescott retired from business in Halifax, he relocated to his rural estate in the Annapolis Valley where he had built a fine home of British classical inspiration set in the midst of outbuildings, extensive gardens, and orchards. He is best remembered for introducing improved varieties of apples to the area and for establishing the New Brunswick Fruit Growers Association. The property came to be known as Acacia Grove for the grove of Acacia, or Black Locust trees planted by Prescott. Over the years, the property passed through a number of owners until it eventually fell into disrepair. It was restored by Prescott's great-granddaughter in the 1930s and is now administered as a house museum by the Nova Scotia Museum.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Admiralty House National Historic Site of Canada
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Admiralty House National Historic Site of Canada is a dignified two-storey stone mansion set within the precincts of the Stadacona site of Canadian Forces Base Halifax. Its austere stone construction material and restrained neo-classical design speaks to its British origins. Once the home of Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Navy's North American station, it now houses Canada's Maritime Command Museum.

The heritage value of this site resides in its historical associations with the Royal Navy and those physical and design elements that speak to it British classical style. Built 1815 to 1819, to house the British naval Commander-in-chief for the North American station, this house was acquired by the Canadian government in 1904 for the use of its military forces in Halifax. It has served a variety of functions since that time. Damaged during the Halifax Explosion of 1917, it was repaired and for many years was used as an officers' mess and offices. It is now the home of the Maritime Command Museum.

©Public Archives of Nova Scotia/ Archives publiques de la Nouvelle-Écosse, Bob Brooks Collection/ Collection Bob Brooks
Africville National Historic Site of Canada
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Africville National Historic Site of Canada is a site of remembrance for Halifax's African Canadian community. Once the location of a historic Black community, the houses were demolished in the 1960s and the land converted into municipally owned Seaview Park. Located at the north end of Barrington Street on Bedford Basin, below the A. Murray MacKay Bridge, Africville is a symbol of African Canadian community organization and a site of pilgrimage for people honouring the struggle against racism. The open landscape is marked by a sundial-shaped monument commemorating the former community.

Africville was initially settled by African Canadians seeking employment in Halifax during in the 1830s and 1840s. The community grew during the 19th century with its own school and church, the Seaview African United Baptist Church. Over the years, the City of Halifax consistently denied the community municipal services and, during the urban renewal movement of the 1960s, undertook the clearance of the area. Despite protests, the community was dismantled and its members were relocated elsewhere in the city. A campaign for redress eventually emerged and Africville took on a symbolic identity, one which has persisted as representative of the need for pride and vigilant defense of Black institutions and traditions. As such it has served as a source of inspiration to other African Canadian communities and nurtured leaders of its own, including members of the Carvery family and the well-known defender of human rights, Burnley ''Rocky'' Jones. The city has developed the land into the Seaview municipal park which has become an annual place of pilgrimage for the Africville Genealogical Society, an organization of former residents and their descendents.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Akins House National Historic Site of Canada
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Akins House National Historic Site of Canada is a small house on an urban lot in downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia. The one-and-a-half-storey wood-shingled house, built circa 1815, resembles Cape Cod-style houses of the Atlantic region. Along with its split wood-shingles, the house also features a low, four-bay façade with two dormers above and two tall brick chimneys. Akins House is one of the few remaining early 19th-century houses in Halifax and one of the oldest houses in the city.

The heritage value of this site resides in its associations with Thomas Beamish Akins, and in the physical elements dating from the late 18th to early 19th century.

Akins House is notable for its longevity and retention of original features. The house is representative of the period of its construction, as evidenced by both its interior and exterior features, many of which date from the time of construction and are notable for their details, including trim and carvings that were more likely to be found in larger houses of the period. With its wood shingled exterior, dormer windows and square floor plan, Akins House is also an early example of Maritime vernacular style architecture.

Built in the first quarter of the 19th century, Akins House was home to Thomas Beamish Akins, Nova Scotia's first archivist and Record Commissioner. Akins lived in the house from 1858 to 1891, during which time he made immense contributions to both provincial and local history, collecting numerous works on colonial history for the Legislative Library and assisting in the writing of two separate histories of Nova Scotia. Akins was also one of the founders of the Nova Scotia Historical Society, and served as its President from 1882-1883. At the time of his death in 1891, Akins was recognized by the provincial assembly for his eminent learning and research contributions and for his great service to historians through his assiduous devotion to the records of provincial history.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, J. Steeves, 1981
Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site of Canada
Baddeck, Nova Scotia

Commemorates famous inventor.

Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site consists of a 20th-century museum building containing Bell memorabilia, set on a 10 hectare property overlooking Baddeck Bay, part of Bras d'Or Lake, and Beinn Bhreagh, Alexander Graham Bell's summer home.

Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site was established as a historic museum in 1954 to house Alexander Graham Bell memorabilia. The reason for national significance is that the memorabilia are associated with Alexander Graham Bell, teacher, scientist and inventor, a person of national historic significance.

The heritage value of this site resides in the associations of the artifacts with Alexander Graham Bell and in the site's proximity to Bell's summer home which he established in Baddeck, Nova Scotia in 1886 and occupied it for a regular part of every year until his death in 1922. There, he conducted scientific experiments in sound transmission, medicine, aeronautics, marine engineering and space-frame construction.

The HSMBC has also commemorated- Frederick Walker "Casey" Baldwin and Douglas McCurdy for their flight experiments in Baddeck in association with Bell.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Annapolis County Court House National Historic Site of Canada
Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia

Annapolis County Courthouse National Historic Site of Canada is a handsome building in the Palladian style. Prominently located on one of Annapolis Royal's major streets, it is raised upon a high foundation storey of rusticated stone, and consists of a symmetrical facade with prominent central portico, all under a gracefully curving hipped roof.

The heritage value of this courthouse resides in its historical associations as reflected in its design and historic fabric. One of the oldest courthouses in Canada, it was constructed in 1837, and enlarged in 1922-23. Still in original use, it continues the local presence of the British-based judiciary, which dates from 1721. Builder Francis LeCain designed it in association with the county grand jury, a common process in early-19th-century Nova Scotia. The symmetrical facade, with its raised central projection and columned portico, is a hallmark of the Palladian style and typical of courthouses of that era throughout the British Empire. Prominently situated within a neighbourhood of 18th- and 19th-century buildings, the courthouse enhances the historic character of the town of Annapolis Royal.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, Ian Doull


©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, Ian Doull
Annapolis Royal Historic District National Historic Site of Canada
Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia

Annapolis Royal Historic District National Historic Site of Canada is situated at the junction of the Annapolis and Allain Rivers, in Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley. The district's historic core, consisting of commercial, military, and residential districts, lies at the centre of the original early 17th-century Acadian area of settlement. The district extends back from the waterfront, encompassing a densely built collection of 18th- through early 20th-century buildings exhibiting the Maritime vernacular interpretation of several architectural styles. The town's strategic setting, bordering the protected Annapolis Basin with access to the Bay of Fundy, made it the site of pivotal events throughout the early years of colonisation in Canada.

French colonists first began to cultivate Annapolis Royal Historic District, then known as Port-Royal, in 1605, but in 1613 the colony was seized by the British. In 1632, Acadia was restored to France by treaty after which the site was fortified and became the principal settlement of Acadian colonists. In 1643, a four-bastioned earthwork was constructed at Fort Anne, and by 1650 the beginnings of a town site existed. St. George Street, a main road of the district, was well developed by 1686. Acadia was ceded to Britain in 1713, and Port-Royal was re-named Annapolis Royal. It served as the centre of military and administrative operations for the new British colony of Nova Scotia until 1749 when Halifax became the provincial capital. By virtue of its waterfront location, Annapolis Royal was well established in shipbuilding, brick manufacturing and lumber milling, which expanded and diversified the local economy.

Annapolis Royal is characterized by continuous development, resulting in a wealth of architectural styles and the evolution of five distinct subdistricts within the site. The first subdistrict is distinguished by grand houses on large lots, reflective of the prosperity of its shipping merchants. The second subdistrict, a transitional area between residential and commercial districts, is distinguished by smaller houses with less pronounced set-backs. Landscapes such as the old cemetery and Fort Anne link it with the earliest decades of permanent European settlement. The third subdistrict was developed as a commercial district, and exhibits a variety of architectural influences, harmonized through the use of similar construction materials. The fourth subdistrict, located on Lower St. George Street, contained some of the town's river-based commercial and industrial enterprises and housed some of the most prominent citizens as reflected in the grand homes. The fifth subdistrict is a residential area, characterized by buildings of modest size and design, which housed tradesmen, shopkeepers, and proprietors of small business.

The town retains extant buildings and structures from all but the earliest of these periods, and as such contains a detailed catalogue of Maritime and Canadian building traditions. Widely regarded as the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in Canada, this exceptional collection of buildings reflects the themes of Acadian settlement, as well as the building of colonial capitals, Loyalist towns, and 19th-century commercial centres.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1987
Antigonish County Court House National Historic Site of Canada
Antigonish, Nova Scotia

Antigonish County Court House is situated in the town of Antigonish on the northeastern shore of mainland Nova Scotia. Built in a simple, vernacular style, the Court House is symmetrical, wood-frame building. It is distinguished by a Greek revival, temple-like front consisting of a pedimented portico supported by four large fluted columns. The county jail, built of stone, is attached at the rear.

Antigonish County Court House was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1981 because it is one of the best examples in Nova Scotia of the typical mid-19th century Maritime Court House.

The court houses erected in Nova Scotia toward the mid-19th century were small wooden buildings which accommodated a large court room, a judge's chambers, a barrister's room, as well as rooms for grand and petit juries. They were simple frame buildings, the design of which incorporated classicized ornamental details, giving them a monumental presence suitable for courts of law. The Antigonish Court House is a good example, designed and constructed in 1855 by local carpenter Alexander McDonald. The building has undergone some modifications, having survived a major fire in 1945 and having undergone subsequent renovations. It continues to serve as a court house.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, P. Muise, 1999
Argyle Township Court House and Jail National Historic Site of Canada
Tusket, Nova Scotia

Argyle Township Court House and Jail National Historic Site of Canada is a simple but elegant two-storey wooden building constructed from 1802 to 1805 in the New England Meeting House form. Located at the corner of Highway 3 and Court Street in Tusket, Nova Scotia, it now serves as a museum and archives.

The heritage value of Argyle Township Court House and Jail National Historic Site of Canada resides in its age, its illustration of its original function, and in its architectural quality.

Argyle Township Court House and Jail was built between 1802 and 1805 in order to house the General Sessions of the Peace for the District of Yarmouth and Argyle. It was expanded in 1833 and again in 1870, eventually expanding to three times its original size. The jail closed in 1924, followed by the the court house in 1944. From 1945-1976 it served as offices for the Municipality of Argyle until it was restored in 1982. Since 1983, it has been operated as a heritage site, museum and archives.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Beaubassin National Historic Site of Canada
Fort Lawrence, Nova Scotia

Major Acadian settlement; pivotal place in the 17th- and 18th-century North American geopolitical struggle between the British and French empires.

Beaubassin National Historic Site of Canada is located on the southwestern edge of Fort Lawrence Ridge, formerly known as Beaubassin Ridge, in Nova Scotia. The site, largely comprised of hayfields, pasture and marshland, is divided into two parts by the main Canadian National Railways line, and also contains Fort Lawrence National Historic Site of Canada.

Beaubassin was a major Acadian settlement founded between 1671 and 1672 on the Isthmus of Chignecto Isthmus, a significant place in the 17th and 18th century territorial disputes between the British and the French. The village, where residents farmed, raised livestock and were involved in shipbuilding, lay at the heart of a vast trading network encompassing Île Royale, Nova Scotia and New England. In the spring of 1750, the Governor of Nova Scotia, General Edward Cornwallis, ordered Major Charles Lawrence to push the French troops out of the Chignecto region, and in late spring, Lawrence landed with 400 men in the swamps west of Beaubassin. Lawrence was unable to take the Beaubassin Ridge, but nevertheless witnessed the burning of Beaubassin — apparently by the French themselves. The burning of Beaubassin and the militarization of the Isthmus by the French and the British radically changed the geopolitical situation because, soon thereafter, the Acadians fled en masse to French territory or, locally, to refuge on Beauséjour Ridge. Although modern agricultural buildings and homes have impacted the archaeological resources, much of the land is still agricultural or marshland. The pastured fields of the former Beaubassin village contain good archaeological evidence of the Acadian occupation.

©Nova Scotia Museum/ Musée de Nouvelle-Écosse,
Bedford Petroglyphs National Historic Site of Canada
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Spiritually significant petroglyph site

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 2006
Black-Binney House National Historic Site of Canada
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Black-Binney House National Historic Site of Canada is an elegantly restrained, three-storey, cut-stone house that sits close to the sidewalk on a downtown street in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Its symmetrical design and restrained decorative finishes reflects the tradition of Palladian-inspired residences during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries in eastern Canada.

Built ca. 1819 for merchant and politician John Black, the Black-Binney House enjoyed a succession of prominent residents including the Honourable James Boyle Uniacke, Premier of Nova Scotia from 1848 to 1854, and the Anglican Bishop of the province, the Right Reverend Hibbert Binney from about 1855 to 1887. This house was large for its time and finished to a very high level with finely cut granite facing on the facade, wrought iron railing along the entry steps, decorated leading in the entry door lights, and fine wood and plasterwork on the interior. Its symmetrically arranged sash windows, low hipped roof and central entry place it within the tradition of vernacular interpretations of Palladian design, popular for homes of the middle and upper classes during this era.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, Mainland Nova Scotia Field Unit / Unité de gestion de la Nouvelle-Écosse continentale
Bloody Creek National Historic Site of Canada
Bridgetown, Nova Scotia

Site of two French-English combats, 1711 and 1757.

Bloody Creek National Historic Site of Canada is located on sloping farmland in Bridgetown, Nova Scotia. Two circles of land mark the sites of two battles, which took place in 1711 and 1757, between British forces and allied French and Aboriginal forces over the possession of Acadia. The first battle site is centred on the northwest shore of the Annapolis River, and the second site is centred on the east shore of Bloody Creek. Both are comprised of land and water. A Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada stone cairn, near the site of the 1757 battle, marks the location.

Bloody Creek was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1930 because: it commemorates the two combats between British garrisons of Annapolis Royal and allied French and Aboriginal peoples in the half century of conflict for possession of Acadia.

The British had captured Annapolis Royal, known as Port Royal under the French Regime, in 1710. On June 9, 1711 approximately 60 British soldiers of the 500 man garrison set out from their fortification of Annapolis Royal to investigate why local Acadians were only supplying half of the quota of trees required to make repairs to the fort, and to enforce the request. The next day, the British troops, who were travelling in three boats, were ambushed by pre-warned French forces at a narrow part of the LaHave River and either killed or taken prisoner.

The second attack on the British garrison from Annapolis Royal at Bloody Creek was a result of the deportation of the Acadians in 1755. Roving bands of dispossessed Acadians appeared intermittently around British fortifications to attack troops whenever possible. In 1757, 130 British soldiers sent to destroy bands of Acadians again fell prey to an ambush, this time on the west side of the bridge over the Renne Forest brook, which was later re-named Bloody Creek. The Acadians opened fire as British troops attempted to cross the bridge, killing 18 soldiers, and losing 7 of their own. The two battles are demonstrative of the guerrilla warfare tactics used by French soldiers and their allies during the volatile period of the mid- to late- 18th century in Acadia.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Canso Islands National Historic Site of Canada
Canso, Nova Scotia

Site of fishing centre, 16th- to 19th-century.

The Canso Islands National Historic Site of Canada consists of a group of islands located off the eastern tip of mainland Nova Scotia, within easy access of the offshore fishing banks. The site consists of Grassy Island, which is connected by a cobble beach to George Island; and Piscatiqui Island, which was linked to George Island until 1779 when a channel was opened between them. These three islands have at various times been known as Canso Island, the Great Island of Canso, the Canso islands, Great and Little Canso Islands, Canso Island and Cape Ann, Canso and Binney Islands. A number of smaller islands are also included within the site. They are located north of the three larger islands in an area historically referred to as "Back of the islands." The waters between the islands provide sheltered anchorages. The site includes Grassy Island Fort National Historic Site of Canada, located on Grassy Island itself.

The heritage value of Canso Islands National Historic Site of Canada lies in the historical associations with the fishing industry since the pre-contact era and with the French-English struggle for control of Canada as illustrated by the combination of natural features and the remains of military and fishing activity found there.

The islands in Canso Harbour have been an important centre for the North Atlantic fisheries since the 16th century, as they offered a safe haven for fishermen. The Canso Islands were first frequented by the French and the Basques in the 1550s, and became the site of an extensive New England fishing establishment during the first half of the 18th century. Here fishermen dried their catch before shipment to markets in Europe and the West Indies. Until its destruction by the French in 1744, Canso was the economic mainstay of the colony of Nova Scotia and a key centre for the English cod fishery. The town of Canso continues this fishing tradition.

The Canso Islands also played an important role in the French-English struggle for control of Canada. For example, it was the scene of several skirmishes between the British and the French and the Mikmaq during the first half of the 18th century. It was also the staging point for the British expedition led by Sir William Pepperrell and Sir Peter Warren against the French stronghold of Louisbourg in 1745.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Cape Breton Highlands National Park of Canada
Headquarters: Ingonish Beach, Nova Scotia

Home to Cabot Trail, a land blessed with spectacular cliffs.

Cape Breton Highlands National Park is known for its spectacular highlands and ocean scenery. Steep cliffs and deep river canyons carve into a forested plateau bordering the Atlantic Ocean. One third of the Cabot Trail, a world-famous scenic highway, runs through the national park along the coasts and over the highlands.

The cool, maritime climate and rugged landscape permit a unique blend of Acadian, Boreal and Taiga habitats, including old-growth forests of international importance.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Cast Iron Façade / Coomb's Old English Shoe Store National Historic Site of Canada
Halifax, Nova Scotia

The Cast Iron Façade / Coombs Old English Shoe Store is a mid-19th-century commercial building with a cast-iron facade. It is located in the Granville Street area of downtown Halifax. The Coombs building forms part of a block of historically and architecturally significant commercial buildings.

The Cast Iron Façade / Coombs Old English Shoe Store was designated a national historic site in 1980 because it provides a rare and early example of a full, cast-iron facade in Canada.

Built in 1860, the Coomb's building is one of the first cast-iron-front structures constructed in Canada and the only building in Halifax known to have a facade composed entirely of cast iron. The four-storey facade was designed and manufactured by the Architectural Iron Works of New York City, a major supplier and promoter of cast iron architecture in North America.

©Clara Dennis, Nova Scotion Museum, Halifax, William Dennis Collection, 1930
Chapel Island National Historic Site of Canada
Chapel Island First Nation, Nova Scotia

Chapel Island, approximately 2 kilometres long and one kilometre wide, is located in the southeastern corner of the Bras D'Or Lake on Cape Breton Island, where it forms part of the larger Chapel Island First Nation reserve. Since pre-contact times it has been a traditional gathering place and a site sacred to the Mi'kmaw people. The cultural landscape includes what are believed to be many unmarked burials and archaeological remains as well as visible evidence of human activity concentrated in the southern portion. Here are found marked graves, a boulder associated with the 18th-century Abbé Maillard, two circular depressions, stations of the cross, dozens of summer cabins, and a small church.

Chapel Island is a major gathering place for the Mi'kmaq in Atlantic Canada and has been used as such, according to Mikmaw oral tradition, since before contact with Europeans. During the 18th-century the French missionaries, of whom the best known was Abbé Maillard, established Roman Catholic missions. Ongoing missions on Chapel island are central to the spiritual significance of the island. The annual gathering in late July for the Feast of St. Ann draws Mikmaq people from all over the Atlantic region. Chapel Island continues to be regarded as a place of great spirituality and the cultural cradle of the Mikmaq peoples.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1980
Chapman House National Historic Site of Canada
Fort Lawrence, Nova Scotia

Chapman House National Historic Site of Canada is a two-storey red-brick house which preserves the "Georgian" form, typical of a prosperous eighteenth-century east coast farmhouse.

Located in Fort Lawrence, Nova Scotia, the house sits on a knoll, overlooking the Amherst Marsh and LaPlanche River.

Chapman House was designated a national historic site of Canada because it preserves the basic form and many of the details of a prosperous late 18th-century farmhouse.

The house was built by Charles Dixon and William Chapman Junior for Major Thomas Chapman, in the tradition of the British classical vernacular of the time. Chapman, one of several English immigrants settling this area in the 1770s, pursued farming on the fertile marsh and dyke lands already developed by the Acadians.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 2005
Charles Fort National Historic Site of Canada
Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia

Charles Fort (formerly known as Scots Fort) was built in 1629 by the son of Sir William Alexander.

Located on the grounds of Fort Anne National Historic Site of Canada, Charles Fort (formerly known as Scots Fort) was built in 1629 by the son of Sir William Alexander as a base for the colony of Nova Scotia ('New Scotland'), granted to Alexander by James I of England and VI of Scotland in 1621. Scottish colonists occupied the fort from 1629 to 1632 when Nova Scotia, known to the French as Acadia, was restored to France by peace treaty. Charles Fort forms part of the important story of early European colonization in Canada and was designated a national historic site in 1951. The remains of Charles Fort have been protected for centuries by being buried under Fort Anne's outer works. These remains are not apparent on the grounds.

Located underneath the restored Fort Anne National Historic Site of Canada, there are no above ground resources to show where Charles Fort once had been. Nevertheless, from the site where the fort once stood, one can look out over the confluence of the Annapolis and Allain Rivers.

Charles Fort was erected in 1629 by Sir William Alexander, as the base for his colony of New Scotland, or "Nova Scotia" in Latin. James I of England and VI of Scotland had granted this colony to Sir Williams Alexander by charter in 1621. The charter covered the geographical area made up today of the Maritime Provinces and the Gaspé peninsula. At this time, the French claimed part of this area as Acadia and the Aboriginal peoples knew it as Mi'kmaki. Scottish colonists occupied the fort from 1629 to 1632 when Nova Scotia was restored to France by peace treaty. Charles Fort forms part of the important story of early European colonization in Canada.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada 1993
Covenanters' Church National Historic Site of Canada
Grand-Pré, Nova Scotia

Covenanters' Church National Historic Site of Canada is a handsome, well-proportioned, classically designed wooden building expressive of the typical 18th-century meeting house in New England. A square tower with a small belfry and spire complement the pleasing proportions of this simple two-storey, rectangular church. Careful attention to detail is evidenced in its symmetry, in the regularly placed windows and in its centrally placed entrance. The sober, dignified treatment of the exterior is complemented by its setting in a treed, manicured churchyard surrounded by a small stone wall. Sited on a hill overlooking Grand-Pré, Nova Scotia, it is also a component of the Grand-Pré Rural Historic District National Historic Site of Canada.

The heritage value of the Covenanters' Church resides in its physical expression of the New England meeting house form. Originally built as a towerless Presbyterian meeting house, this simple frame church is commonly dated between 1804 and 1811. It received the Covenanter label some decades after its construction when the congregation renewed adherence to the covenant of their ancestors. The rectangular form with a five-bay front and entrance on the long side is characteristic of the 18th-century New England meeting house although the second-storey windows and galleried interior are more elaborate than normal. The interior features a high pulpit and octagonal sounding board with beautifully moulded and panelled woodwork. This laterally organized chapel eventually received a tower and steeple appended to a gable end.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, Miriam Walls, 2006
D'Anville's Encampment National Historic Site of Canada
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Encampment of failed French expedition to recover Acadia, 1746.

D'Anville's Encampment National Historic Site of Canada is located on a small plot of land in Centennial Park in Bedford Basin, Halifax, Nova Scotia. It was in this area, in 1746, that Duc d'Anville camped along the shore on a failed expedition from France to recover Acadia. The site consists of a Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (HSMBC) plaque and cairn surrounded by a five-metre radius in Centennial Park. There are no known extant remains associated with Duc d'Anville's 1746 encampment, and its precise location remains unknown.

A year after Louisbourg fell to the British in 1745, France sent an armada of warships across the Atlantic to retake and dismantle the fortress, to take Annapolis, and to attack Boston. The expedition was led by Jean-Baptiste-Louis-Frédéric de la Rochefoucauld de Roye, Marquis de Roucy and Duc d'Anville, who is often referred to as Duc d'Anville or d'Anville. The powerful fleet started with 70 ships, 10,000 sailors, and upwards of 3,000 soldiers. When d'Anville arrived in Chebucto (Halifax Harbour) on September 10, 1746, the fleet included only three war ships and a few transports; the rest had been scattered or sunk due to severe storms. Many men perished, mainly of food shortages, typhus, dysentery, and scurvy. The remaining crews camped on the beach where many continued to succumb to illness. On September 27th, d'Anville himself died and control of the fleet passed to Jacques-Pierre de Taffanel de la Jonquière, Marquis de La Jonquière, who later became a Governor of Canada. La Jonquière returned to France with the remaining fleet in October, losing more ships and men due to further storms and sickness.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Debert Palaeo-Indian Site National Historic Site of Canada
Debert, Nova Scotia

Debert Palaeo-Indian Site National Historic Site of Canada is comprised of five archaeological sites situated in similar topographic and ecological niches. They are located along the top of glacial ridges between small stream valleys, which run from the Cobequid Plain up into the Cobequid Highlands in Colchester County, Nova Scotia. The sites were used by Palaeo-Indian hunters from 8500 BCE to 9000 BCE as seasonal camps where they monitored the movement of caribou herds and manufactured tools.

The heritage value of Debert Palaeo-Indian Site lies in the similar geographic location of its archaeological sites, the nature of the artifacts they contain, and the knowledge they contribute to understanding North American Palaeo-Indian cultures. Palaeo-Indian sites are found throughout North America. The Palaeo-Indians of Debert, distant ancestors of later Mi'kmaw and other Aboriginal populations in eastern Canada, were the descendants of the Aboriginal peoples who possibly crossed the Bering Strait during and after the Wisconsinian Glacial Stage, and settled in the southern region of North America. From this central area, they eventually spread east and north into the Maritimes. The archaeological sites at Debert, which were used as seasonal camps for nomadic big game hunters, represent the initial human settlement of Atlantic Canada, from around 8500 to 9000 BCE. The relatively intensive occupation and indication of varied activities makes the Debert Site unusual.

The site was the subject of extensive excavations during the 1960s, and was expanded following the discovery of two new Paleo-Indian habitation sites. Since then, two further sites have been located making a total of five known Paleo-Indian archaeological sites on these properties. Some of these sites have been considerably disturbed by 20th-century construction. A remarkable collection in term of size and diversity, the artifacts from Debert have come to define the eastern expression of Palaeo-Indian culture in northeastern North America. The archaeological sites at Debert also exhibit the earliest known Paleo-Indian occupation and the most well recorded Paleo-Indian sites in Atlantic Canada.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Fernwood National Historic Site of Canada
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Fernwood National Historic Site is a Gothic Revival-style villa set in a large landscaped property with outbuildings on the slope of a hill leading to the North West Arm in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Fernwood was designated a national historic site in 1990 because it was a fine representative example of a Gothic Revival villa.

The heritage value of this site resides in its physical expression of the Gothic Revival style as used for suburban residential properties in the late nineteenth century. The villa was a distinct type of residence. It was large enough to require a small domestic staff: it was attached to a parcel of landscaped property, and yet it was not so large as to be pretentious. It was a building whose architectural style had been carefully considered. The lifestyle implied was one of comfort, rural calm, agrarian gentility, and unquestioned social privilege.

Fernwood was designed by architect David Stirling and built in Halifax c. 1860.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, P. McCloskey, 1974


©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1994


©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, T. Grant, 1977
Fort Anne National Historic Site of Canada
Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia

1695-1708 fortifications.

Fort Anne National Historic Site of Canada is Canada's oldest - a present-day reminder of a time when conflict between Europe's empire builders was acted out on the shores of the Annapolis River. It offers a sweeping view of the beautiful Annapolis Basin from the centre of Annapolis Royal. Museum exhibits highlight the history of the fort.

Fort Anne National Historic Site is a fortified site located at the confluence of the Annapolis and Allain rivers in the town of Annapolis Royal. Settled since 1629, the fort consists of the remains of various 18th and 19th century buildings and fortifications, the land surrounding them, and viewplanes over the adjacent salt marshes, river and town. Specific resources include the powder magazine (1708); the remains of a Vauban-style French fort (1702-8) with an underground powder magazine, a parade square well, a covert way well and earthworks; a dry-stone retaining wall (1760); a 19th-century Sally-port; shoreline cribwork (1740s); the ruins of the Queen's wharf (1740s); the British Officers' quarters (built 1797-9 and reconstructed 1934-5); an Acadian cemetery; and a British garrison cemetery.

Fort Anne National Historic Site is of national historic significance because of the site's role in early European colonization, settlement and government in Acadie and Nova Scotia in the 17th and 18th centuries; in the struggle for empire in the 17th and 18th centuries; as the centre of changing social, political and military relations among the Mi'kmaq, the Acadians and the British living in the area throughout the 17th and 18th centuries; and as an example of Vauban-style fortifications that survive due largely to successive generations of Canadians who treasure their cultural landscapes.

The site was the location of Charles Fort, settled in 1629-32 by settlers led by Sir William Alexander as part of his plan for a New Scotland. Charles de Menou D'Aulnay brought Acadian settlers to the area in 1636, making the site his Port-Royal headquarters. Acadians began their distinctive dykeland agriculture here. The French governed Acadie from successive forts on the site until 1710. From 1713 to 1749, the British governed Nova Scotia from the fort, re-named Annapolis Royal. The Deportation of the Acadians from Annapolis Royal, and the settlement of New England Planters and of Loyalists were all organized from the site during the 18th century.

As the capital and military centre of Acadie/Nova Scotia, the site played an important role for local inhabitants. The Mi'kmaq came to the site to trade, to take part in gift exchanges and to sign treaties. During the "Indian Wars" of the 1720s, they were imprisoned here.

Port-Royal and its successive forts were a focal point in the imperial struggle for control of North America. With each outbreak of war between England and France, New England launched expeditions against Port-Royal, capturing it in 1654, 1690 and, for the final time, in 1710. During the War of the Austrian Succession (1744-8), Quebec and Louisbourg sent unsuccessful expeditions to retake the fort.

Fort Anne is a classic Vauban fort, designed and built by an engineer who had studied under European fort designer Sebastian LePrestre de Vauban. Local residents began to preserve the fortifications, with the help of the federal government, as early as the late-19th century. In 1917 it was declared a Dominion Park, Canada's first administered national historic site.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, J. P. Jérôme, 1991
Fort Edward National Historic Site of Canada
Windsor, Nova Scotia

Played a role in the struggle for predominance in North America, 1750-1812; oldest blockhouse in Canada, 1750.

Authentic and illustrative, Fort Edward is the real deal. Step into another epoch and learn the story of the oldest surviving block house in Canada. Stand in a place stationed high ona hill overlooking a vast river valley once inhabited predominantly by the Mi'kmaq and Acadians. Explore how the British soldiers who stayed here lived and acted. See why this strategic location was pivotal in helping secure a British stronghold in Nova Scotia.

Fort Edward National Historic Site of Canada comprises a wooden blockhouse as well as remnants of buildings and landscape features from an 18th century fortification on the outskirts of Windsor Nova Scotia where the St. Croix River joins Pesaquid Lake.

The heritage value of Fort Edward National Historic Site of Canada lies in its illustration of the British presence during this struggle, specifically as expressed in the surviving cultural landscape of the fortress. Fort Edward was built by Major Charles Lawrence of the British Army in 1750 and originally consisted of a number of wooden buildings set inside a palisaded square with four bastions, ramparts, a ditch, a counterscarp and glacis. Its buildings included a blockhouse, two barracks and a provisions storehouse. Fort Edward was transferred to national historic sites in 1922. Its blockhouse has been restored and opened for visitation.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, Philip Goldring, 2003
Fort Lawrence National Historic Site of Canada
Fort Lawrence, Nova Scotia

English fort, 1750-55.

Fort Lawrence National Historic Site of Canada, located on Fort Lawrence Road in Cumberland County, Nova Scotia, is an archaeological site lying atop a gentle ridge surrounded by pasture fields, on the east side of the Missaguash River. Completely built over by a dairy farm, archaeological resources relating to this 18th-century fort's former embankments and trenches, which were visible until 1991, may yet survive under the dairy barn and yard. Further archaeological remains survive across the entire property administered by Parks Canada. The official recognition refers to a polygon that includes the former footprint of the fort's earthworks.

A highly strategic area, the site was occupied for nearly a century before the construction of Fort Lawrence. In 1672, Jacques Bourgeois and other settlers from Port Royal founded the Acadian village of Beaubassin, which grew into a thriving village and one of the largest Acadian settlements. However, in 1750, the French learned of an advancing British army under Major Charles Lawrence and burned the village to the ground. The French, under Louis de la Corne, Chevalier de la Corne, withdrew west across the Missaguash River where they began securing territory. Although Major Lawrence was mandated to secure territory east of the River, his forces were unable to secure the eastern ridge, and French soldiers, along with their Acadian and aboriginal allies drove the British from the area. The British withdrew to Halifax, returning in the fall of 1750 to the east side of the Missaguash River, where they erected Fort Lawrence, which consisted of three large wooden barrack frames and two wooden blockhouses. The French responded by constructing Fort Beauséjour on the opposite ridge the following year. In 1755, a British expedition captured Fort Beauséjour and renamed it Fort Cumberland. It became the British garrison and Fort Lawrence was abandoned.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Fort McNab National Historic Site of Canada
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Fort built in 1889 to defend Halifax Harbour.

On McNabs Island, visit the grassy ruins of a fort that served, along with York Redoubt, as a key element of harbour defence from 1888 to the Second World War. In summer, the island is accessible by private ferry from Cable Wharf in downtown Halifax. This National Historic Site of Canada is part of the Halifax Defence Complex.

Fort McNab National Historic Site of Canada is situated on the southwest coast of McNabs Island at the entrance to Halifax Harbour. The site is composed of remnants of late 19th- and early 20th-century defensive works, including a fort with a buffer of land surrounding it and two adjacent enclaves encompassing the southern searchlights and numbers 1 to 3 range finders. Fort McNab also includes various historic viewplanes associated with surveillance and defence.

The heritage value of Fort McNab lies in its strategic location on an island at the mouth of Halifax Harbour, and in the diffuse and varied remnants of military works constructed between 1880 and 1945 for outer harbour defence. The cultural landscape of the island bears witness to significant changes in defence technology and associated military strategy through the found location, form and materials of Fort McNab and its components, the structures associated with the search light emplacements, archaeological remains, landscape features and associated historic objects.

Fort McNab was built from 1888 to 1892 in response to advances in military technology that required the relocation of Halifax's strategic defence works from the inner to the outer harbour.

Its facilities were altered several times to adjust to changing technology: 1906 (more powerful guns), 1914 (searchlights and changes in gun technology), 1914-1918 (counter bombardment batteries), 1940-41 (new battery command post, artillery replacement), 1948 (reactivated for Cold War activity), 1953 (artillery replacement). The fort was decommissioned in 1959.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, Andrew Waldron, 2010
Fort Sainte Marie de Grace National Historic Site of Canada
LaHave, Nova Scotia

First permanent French settlement in Acadia, 1632.

Fort Sainte Marie de Grace National Historic Site of Canada is strategically located at LaHave, Nova Scotia, on a point of land where the LaHave River narrows. The land upon which the original fort was built has now eroded away; a Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada cairn, which marks the site, is situated near the original location of the fort.

Following the signing of the Treaty of St. Germain-en-Laye in 1632, the area around the LaHave River narrows was returned to French settlers, who established permanent settlements in Acadia, where fishing and fur trapping resources were abundant. Commander Isaac de Razilly, first Viceroy and Lieutenant-General of Acadia, and a Knight of Malta, built a fort and established the capital of the colony. The fort became a farming colony of around 40 residents, complete with a local mill and chapel. After de Razilly's sudden death in 1636, most of the settlers moved to Port Royal. The fort was destroyed by fire in the 1650s.

©Mr. Ivan Smith, 2003
Fort St. Louis National Historic Site of Canada
Port La Tour, Nova Scotia

Fort St. Louis National Historic Site of Canada is situated one kilometre southeast of Port La Tour, a small town on the south-eastern tip of Nova Scotia. There are no visible remains of this 17th-century French Regime fort, which was constructed during the 1620s on Fort Point, overlooking a small bay on the Atlantic coast. By 1629 Fort Saint Louis was the sole remaining French military post of significance in early Acadia. The English were unsuccessful in their attempts to capture the fort. The site's landscape now consists of a small grassed area with an HSMBC cairn and plaque surrounded by trees and brush, bounded to the west and to the east by the shoreline's high water mark.

Fort St. Louis, a French fort near the south-eastern tip of Nova Scotia, was built in 1623 by Charles de La Tour in connection with the fur trade. By 1629 the fort was the only remaining French fort in Acadia and was threatened by Scottish settlers based at Port Royal. Claude de La Tour, Charles's father, had allied himself with the English. In 1630, Claude arrived at Fort St. Louis at the head of an Anglo-Scottish expedition aboard two war vessels. After failing to convince his son to surrender this last foothold of France in Acadia he led his forces in an unsuccessful attack on the fort. Having lost his reputation with the English at Port Royal, Claude de la Tour and his English wife were later allowed by Charles to live with on the land surrounding Fort St. Louis. By 1632 Acadia was once again under French control. Archaeological remains at the site reveal material evidence dating from the early French period.





©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada
Louisbourg, Nova Scotia

Reconstruction of 18th-century French fortress.

Fortress of Louisbourg is the largest reconstructed 18th-century French fortified town in North America, located on the southeast edge of Louisbourg Harbour adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean in southeastern Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. It is composed of the site of the original fortress as well as associated outlying lands and islands, and contains rare remnants of 18th-century French and British life in North America. Part of the fortress and town of Louisbourg has been reconstructed to assist visitors in understanding its scale, complexity and dimension.

The Fortress of Louisbourg was established by France as a critical fishing, trans-shipment and supply port for its maritime empire. As administrative capital of the French colonies of Ile Royale including Ile-St-Jean, it was home to the local government, an established military garrison and civilian population. It was also an important mercantile centre for French ships trading around the world and for development of a North American trading empire based on the fishery. As such, Louisbourg was a fortified town. It was a strategic base for protection of the lucrative French fishery and off-shore trade as well as guarding approaches to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the main shipping route to Quebec and the North American interior. As a critical French asset, Louisbourg was a point of contention between French and British governments. It was besieged and captured by the British in 1745 and 1758. The British systematically demolished its fortifications in 1760-1768 and abandoned the town by the mid-1780s. Parks Canada has reconstructed approximately a quarter of the walled townsite (1961-81).

The heritage value of the Fortress of Louisbourg lies in its historical associations as illustrated by the surviving remnants of the 18th-century cultural landscape and the massive archaeological collection.
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©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada

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©Georges Island, Geordie Lounsbury, 2007


©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Georges Island National Historic Site of Canada
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Harbour fortification; contains Fort Charlotte.

Georges Island, a small drumlin located in the middle of Halifax Harbour, was shaped by glaciers thousands of years ago. From the mid-18th century to World War II, this island was the scene of constant military activity and played an integral role in the defence of Halifax Harbour. Tales of hidden tunnels abound in the folklore associated with this mysterious island.

Georges Island National Historic Site of Canada is a labyrinth of military works that represented a vitally important element in the sea defences for Halifax Harbour. They cover a small island situated in the middle of the harbour directly in front of what today is the Halifax waterfront.

The heritage value of Georges Island National Historic Site of Canada lies in its geographic and strategic location in the middle of one of the finest natural harbours in the world, and in the range of military works constructed during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries for inner harbour defence. The cultural landscape of the island bears witness to significant changes in military strategy and defence technology through the found location, form and materials of surviving complexes of historic buildings, engineering works, fortifications, paths, landscape features and remains above and below ground, on land and in water.

The construction of defence works on Georges Island began when Halifax was established in 1749. Significant periods during which facilities were upgraded include 1794-1812 (masonry escarp linking north and south batteries, stone Martello tower - smooth bore ordnance), 1864-1869 (construction of Fort Charlotte with rifled-muzzle-loading ordnance), 1870-1879 (submarine mine period), 1902 (the breech-loading period). The island continued to play a military role in the Canadian war efforts in both World Wars. Georges Island became a national historic site in 1960 and has since been conserved.

©Government House, Jimmy Emerson, 2010
Government House National Historic Site of Canada
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Government House National Historic Site of Canada is located on Barrington Street in downtown Halifax, close to other early 19th-century landmarks such as the Old Burying Ground National Historic Site of Canada and Province House National Historic Site of Canada. It is a monumental, early 19th-century stone mansion built in the Palladian style, and is distinguished by its overall symmetry, regularly arranged double-hung windows, and its recessed three-story central pavilion flanked by two-storey wings. It is the official residence of the Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia.

Built from 1799 to 1805 for Sir John Wentworth, the Colonial Governor of Nova Scotia, Government House has served as an official residence for more than 175 years. Wentworth, who sought to build a residence befitting his position, encouraged master-builder and surveyor Isaac Hildrith to design a building more closely resembling the country estate of an English gentleman rather than the official residence of a colonial outpost. Inspired by the Palladian style popular for English country houses in the late 18th century, Government House incorporates the classical forms, proportions and detailing typical of that style. It now functions as the official residence of Nova Scotia's Lieutenant-Governor.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada


©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Grand-Pré National Historic Site of Canada
Grand Pré, Nova Scotia

Commemorates Acadian settlement and expulsion.

Grand-Pré National Historic Site of Canada commemorates Grand-Pré area as a centre of Acadian settlement from 1682 to 1755 and the Deportation of the Acadians, which began in 1755 and continued until 1762.

Grand-Pré National Historic Site of Canada is located at the former Acadian village of Grand-Pré, beside the upper Bay of Fundy, north of Wolfville, Nova Scotia. The site consists of a memorial park created to commemorate the deportation of the Acadians, who settled in the area between 1682 and 1755.

The heritage value of Grand-Pré National Historic Site of Canada lies in its historical associations with the Acadian people and the central role it continues to play within the Acadian diaspora. This value is illustrated by the landscaping, the architecture and art that characterises the commemorative monuments, and by the physical evidence of early Acadian occupancy.

From 1682 until 1775, the village of Grand-Pré was the centre of Acadian settlement in the area of Les Mines, on the Mines Basin. In 1755, the site served as the headquarters for the deportation of over six thousand Acadians from their lands in Nova Scotia, by the British government. John Frederic Herbin purchased the site in 1907 to create a memorial park for the Acadians. In 1917, he sold the land to the Dominion Atlantic Railway, with the exception of a parcel of land intended for a memorial chapel. In 1922 the railway hired architect Percy Nobbs to design a memorial park and the Acadian Société Nationale l'Assomption hired architect René Frechet to construct a chapel to commemorate the original Église Saint-Charles. In addition, sculptor Philippe Hébert created a statue of Évangeline, the heroine of Acadian poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Although the Deportation took place in several areas of Nova Scotia, a strong attachment to the area remains among Acadians throughout the world. In fact, for decades Acadians have come to the site either individually or in organized groups from as far away as Louisiana to connect with their history and their ancestral homeland.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Grand-Pré Rural Historic District National Historic Site of Canada
Kings County, Nova Scotia

This cultural landscape includes the villages of Grand Pré and Hortonville, the farmlands which surround them, vast stretches of tidal marshes, much of which have been dyked to create arable land, and orchards extending on the uplands. A distinct rural landscape has been created from the land-use traditions of the Acadians and the New England Planters. Official recognition refers to the natural and built features, and evidence of land use patterns and characteristics originating with the Acadians within the district boundaries.

The heritage value of this cultural landscape resides in the blending of natural and built features, in the retention and development of land use patterns originating with the Acadians, particularly in the spatial distribution of arable land, orchards, dykelands, and residential hamlets.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 2005
Granville Block National Historic Site of Canada
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Granville Block National Historic Site of Canada is located in the southern section of downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia, and consists of a complex of 19 buildings. The buildings are fairly uniform in design and construction and consist of a brick or stone front, with some stucco finishes and generally date from the late 19th century. Most have a commercial ground floor and some have cast iron decoration on the front. The buildings are now part of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD).

In the 18th century and for much of the 19th century, Halifax was a major distribution and trade centre and Granville Street was a major commercial thoroughfare. In September 1859, a fire destroyed large sections of the downtown area, which were quickly rebuilt and became known for their concentration of novelty shops, haberdasheries and other stores dealing primarily in dry goods.

The façades of the Granville Block are generally known for their Italianate style. They are primarily of four or five storeys high and most of the buildings have a stone or brick façade, although a few are stucco, and some have cast iron elements on the front. The Italianate design elements include arched windows, projecting eaves, meticulous treatment of surfaces and an array of bas-relief sculptures. An all-concrete building (the Bell Building) was constructed on Granville Street around 1904; it is one of the oldest concrete buildings in Nova Scotia.

The heritage value of the block also lies in its role in the history of urban renewal and conservation in the 1970s. A comprehensive urban renewal and building rehabilitation initiative took shape in Halifax in 1971-1972. The rehabilitation consisted of making space for retailers as well as the NSCAD. The approach used was to modernize the utilities, whilst many period staircases and decorative elements were retained in order to preserve the authenticity of the place; these include the lath walls and the exposed concrete in the Bell Building.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, P. Kell, 2001
Grassy Island Fort National Historic Site of Canada
Canso, Nova Scotia

Centre of English fishery in 18th-century.

Grassy Island Fort National Historic Site of Canada is the remnant of 18th-century British fortifications situated on Grassy Island, one of a group of islands off the eastern tip of mainland Nova Scotia known together as the Canso Islands National Historic Site of Canada.

The heritage value of Grassy Island Fort lies in its historical associations with the fishing industry since the pre-contact era and with the French-English struggle for control of Canada, as illustrated by the site and its archaeological remains. Since the Canso Islands were the centre of rich fishing grounds, fortifications were constructed twice on Grassy Island Fort to protect them. Neither survived for long. A small redoubt (1720) and fort (1723-24) were built by the order of New England Governor Richard Philipps but fell into ruins in the 1730s. Edward Howe constructed a blockhouse in 1735 that was burnt during a French attack in May 1744.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Halifax Citadel National Historic Site of Canada
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Restored British masonry fort, 1828-56.

Halifax Citadel is a large, stone early 19th-century British fortification located atop Citadel Hill, in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The walled citadel is surrounded by an expansive grassed glacis descending to the commons on the west side and downtown Halifax on the east side. It is the most prominent fortification in a network of defensive works that have historically guarded Halifax, its dockyard and its harbour.

The heritage value of Halifax Citadel National Historic Site lies in its commanding location, in the legibility of its found cultural landscape as a substantial 19th-century fortification, and in the integrity of surviving 18th, 19th, and 20th-century remnants of that landscape. These include all historic resources linked to the landward defence of the town and to the harbour defences along the water that protected the naval station.

Although Halifax Citadel was established as a British post in 1749, the present fort dates from the 1828-1856 period and is its fourth generation of defence works. The Citadel was occupied by British forces until 1906, then by the Canadian military as a detention camp during World War I, and as Halifax headquarters for anti-aircraft defences during World War II. It became a national historic site in 1956 and has since been restored for public visitation.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Halifax City Hall National Historic Site of Canada
Halifax, Nova Scotia

The Halifax City Hall National Historic Site of Canada is a monumental three-storey, stone municipal building erected in 1887-90. Completed in an eclectic late-Victorian version of the Second Empire style, this elaborate composition has a central seven-storey clock tower. It is prominently located in downtown Halifax, at the north end of the Grand Parade, opposite St. Paul's Anglican church.

The Halifax City Hall is the largest example of an administrative municipal hall found in the Atlantic region and reflects the increasing professionalisation of municipal governments during the late 19th century. It was one of a handful of single-function municipal buildings built in growing urban centres across the country before 1900. The first floor offices were set aside for civic employees requiring a high degree of public access with additional offices, committee rooms and council chambers on the second floor, reflecting the practice that council meetings should not be disturbed. The building also provided space in the basement for the police department, lockup and court, and for a library on the second floor. The presence of a public library reflected the ongoing recognition of importance of education for all citizens.

Municipal architecture during this period reflected the progressive outlook of their citizens. The monumental scale of Halifax's City Hall is underscored by its horizontal massing, masonry construction, and tall central tower. The elegant design is inspired by the Second Empire style, popular at that time for large civic structures and features an eclectic blend of classical decorative elements often found in Victorian architecture.

Located at one end of the Grand Parade, the City Hall claims an actual and symbolic centrality in the lives of Haligonians. This public space, centrally located in downtown Halifax, was laid out as a major public and military drill square in the city's original plans. The City Hall anchors the north end of square with St. Paul's Anglican Church National Historic Site of Canada (1750) at the opposite end. The Cenotaph is located between the two buildings, completing this public square.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Halifax Court House National Historic Site of Canada
Halifax, Nova Scotia

The Halifax Court House National Historic Site of Canada is an imposing mid-19th century, Classical Revival style, stone public building located on Spring Garden Road, in the heart of historic Halifax, Nova Scotia. Slightly set back from the road, the symmetrical, three-storey sandstone building features a gently sloping roof and an elaborately decorated projecting central section defined by Tuscan columns.

The heritage value of this site resides in its location, setting and physical illustration of the judicial system in an architecturally imposing manner. The Halifax Court House is located in the heart of downtown Halifax, near several other historic buildings, including Government House, St. Mary's Basilica and the Old Burying Ground, all national historic sites of Canada.

Designed by Toronto architect William Thomas, the Halifax Court House is an imposing sandstone structure conceived in the Classical Revival manner with Italianate detailing. The selection of Thomas, then a major architect in Canada, is indicative of the county's desire to erect a handsome building worthy of the city, province, and judicial institution it would represent. Built from 1858 to 1860, the Halifax Court House provided permanent space for the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, with two courtrooms, judges' chambers, registry offices, and a law library. When county courts were established in 1875, an additional wing, completed in 1881, was added to accommodate the Halifax County Court. Further wings were added in 1908 and 1930 to provide additional courtroom and office space. When new Law Courts were built in 1971, the building became a Provincial Government library. In 1985 it was restored to serve as a courthouse for the Nova Scotia Provincial Court.

©Department of National Defence / Ministère de la Défence nationale, 1990
Halifax Drill Hall National Historic Site of Canada
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Halifax Drill Hall National Historic Site of Canada is a large building situated across from the common in north central Halifax, Nova Scotia. Built of red, rock-faced stone in a Richardsonian Romanesque style, the principal façade of the drill hall is distinguished by an arched troop door set under a large round-arched window and flanked by smaller arched windows and matching corner towers. Its distinguishing interior feature is its large unobstructed drill hall space.

The Halifax Drill Hall is a bold functional design wrapped in a rugged Richardsonian Romanesque style designed by Thomas Fuller, then Chief Architect of the Federal Department of Public Works. His designs, including that of the Halifax Drill Hall, provided the Canadian drill hall with an architectural vocabulary, which expressed the military nature of the buildings so well that it was used for a number of structures long after Fuller had left the department.

Built in response to demands made by the militia in Halifax for a larger drill hall capable of training their growing number of militiamen, the Halifax Drill Hall was significantly larger than most other Canadian drill halls. Its huge size gave the militia one of the largest uninterrupted interior spaces in Canada. In order to create this large open interior space, triangular steel Fink trusses were used, marking the first time all-metal trusses were used in Canadian drill halls. Proving very satisfactory, the use of this truss system was adopted by the federal government for almost all larger drill halls constructed before the First World War.

Also innovative to the Canadian drill hall was the addition of an indoor shooting gallery, as well as libraries and lecture rooms, which ensured drill and rifle training would be supplemented with classroom instruction. Complete with billiard rooms for the officers and bowling alleys for the men, the Halifax Drill Hall functioned as both a fully equipped training centre and a recreational club.

The Halifax Drill Hall is also associated with the Princess Louise Fusiliers, formed in 1869, who saw action in the Riel Rebellion, the South African War and both World Wars.

©Canadian Navy, Department of National Defence / Marine canadienne, ministère de la Défense nationale
Halifax Dockyard National Historic Site of Canada
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Halifax Dockyard National Historic Site of Canada is located on the Atlantic shoreline at the north end of Halifax Harbour, in Nova Scotia. It is comprised primarily of wharfs, storage warehouses, and repair, servicing and docking facilities. As part of Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Halifax, the site is still in use as a naval depot, for berthing and servicing naval vessels.

Created in 1758, under the supervision of Captain James Cook, the Halifax Dockyard was the first royal dockyard in North America. From 1760 to 1815, Britain was almost constantly at war and the dockyard grew steadily in response to the needs of the Royal Navy. It served as the principle depot for the North American squadron until 1819, when it was replaced by Bermuda and became the summer rendez-vous point for the West Indies and North American squadrons. In 1905 the British left the dockyard and it was transferred to the Dominion of Canada five years later.

After the American Revolution, Halifax Dockyard became by default the oldest military harbour in British North America. Occupied by the Royal Canadian Navy, it retained its active military function and was pivotal to strategic defence in the American Revolution, the War of 1812 and the First World War. Although numerous new buildings were added to the site during the First World War, the explosion of the Mont Blanc in Halifax in 1917 destroyed many of the structures. Under the control of Maritime Atlantic Forces (MARLANT), the Halifax Dockyard continues to be used by the Canadian navy.

©Halifax Public Gardens, Ndh, 2007
Halifax Public Gardens National Historic Site of Canada
Halifax, Nova Scotia

The Halifax Public Gardens National Historic Site of Canada is one of the rare surviving Victorian gardens in Canada. Located in the heart of downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia, it is a favourite place for Haligonians and visitors to stroll and relax. Despite natural changes and occasional storm damage, the original nineteenth century design remains essentially intact, including bedding patterns, exotic foliage, favourite Victorian flowers, subtropical species and tree specimens, serpentine paths, geometric beds, commemorative statuary, and a bandstand that continue the traditions of the era.

Halifax Public Gardens was designated a national historic site of Canada as a rare surviving example of a Victorian public garden. The heritage value of this site resides in its continued use as a public park and in its illustration of Victorian "Gardenesque" landscape design and planting traditions.

The Halifax Public Gardens was established in 1874 by the amalgamation of two older gardens, the Nova Scotia Horticultural Society Garden (laid out in 1837) and an adjacent public park (opened in 1866). In 1872, Robert Power was hired as the park's superintendent. He introduced an axially symmetrical plan which governs the overall design of the site. Over the years, he oversaw the introduction of the bandstand (designed by architect Henry Busch), fountains, statues, and wrought iron gates as well as establishing the bedding out of annuals in highly designed carpet beds, redesigned Griffin's Pond and introduced water fowl. He also initiated specimen planting, including many exotic and semi-tropical species. The whole was united by a system of gently curving gravel pathways within a perimeter of mature trees and wide sidewalks acting as buffers between the park and the surrounding city.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Halifax Waterfront Buildings National Historic Site of Canada
Halifax, Nova Scotia

The Halifax Waterfront Buildings NHSC comprises a group of former stone and wooden warehouses on the waterfront that have been rehabilitated to serve a variety of commercial purposes including offices, shops and restaurants.

The Halifax Waterfront Buildings were designated a National Historic Site of Canada because the site is the most significant pre-Confederation complex of maritime commercial buildings in Canada.

The heritage value of this site resides in the tight grouping of warehouse-type buildings on the waterfront, in their informal, functionally driven designs, and in their relatively heavy and unadorned construction materials and techniques. Construction of this group of buildings began in the early 19th century and proceeded through the century in an ad hoc process of construction, alteration and addition as needs dictated. The number of buildings, their considerable size and durable construction materials speak to the mercantile wealth that supported Haligonian society during the 19th century. The rehabilitation of the buildings in 1972-1973 returned their exteriors to an approximation of their appearance circa 1900, while developing their interiors for new commercial uses and sanitizing their immediate surroundings.

Halifax WWII Coastal Defences National Historic Site of Canada
Halifax, Nova Scotia

During the Second World War the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force protected shipping on vital North Atlantic routes which were the lifeline of the Allies. Army units shared in the defence of the seaports which were essential to that shipping. In the face of a determined campaign by German submarines and despite heavy losses, the Atlantic routes were kept open. Canada's most heavily defended port, Halifax served as the main convoy assembly point for outbound traffic and played a key role in furthering the delivery of desperately needed wartime materiel.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 2006
Henry House National Historic Site of Canada
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Henry House National Historic Site of Canada is a two-and-a-half-storey stone house built in the early 19th century. Located at the front edge of its lot on the edge of downtown Halifax, Henry House features a gable roof topped by a single side chimney, a portico-covered side entrance, various multi-pane sash windows, and walls of ashlar granite blocks on the façade and dressed rough ironstone on the gable ends.

In its side hall plan and its granite and ironstone exterior, Henry House is representative of the style of early 19th-century British North American residences built for the elite. In favour of uniting the British North American provinces, and one of five delegates appointed to represent Nova Scotia at the Charlottetown Conference, William A. Henry made this house his residence during the time of Confederation.

©Canadian Register of Historic Places, 2006
HMCS Sackville National Historic Site of Canada
Halifax, Nova Scotia

HMCS Sackville National Historic Site of Canada is a Canadian built, Flower Class Corvette currently berthed at a wharf in downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia. She is an armed, steam-powered ship with a single propeller. These small, warships were used as convoy escort vessels by the allies during the Second World War.

HMCS Sackville is one of the last Flower Class Corvettes known to exist. Designed for mass production in small shipyards, they were based on a British Admiralty design patterned after a whale-catcher. This class of ship played a major role in the Battle of the Atlantic. In December 1941, HMCS Sackville entered service escorting convoys between Newfoundland and Northern Ireland. On the night of August 3-4, 1942, while escorting an eastbound convoy in thick fog, HMCS Sackville engaged three German U-boats. Lieutenant Alan Easton and his crew seriously damaged one submarine, hit another with gunfire, and depth charged a third. This action won the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) for Lieutenant Easton and commendations for the crew. After seeing action again in September 1943, HMCS Sackville was redeployed as an officer training ship in 1944, and laid up in reserve in 1945. Recommissioned in 1952 HMCS Sackville then spent the following 30 years supporting oceanographic, hydrographic, and fisheries research. The ship retired from the Royal Canadian Navy in 1982 and was transferred to the Canadian Naval Corvette Trust in 1983. Now restored to her 1944 configuration, HMCS Sackville is open to the public.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1993
Hydrostone District National Historic Site of Canada
Halifax, Nova Scotia

This English-style garden suburb, one block deep and ten blocks wide, is located in the north end of Halifax. On its short orthogonal streets are homogeneous terrace-type houses arranged to face wide, park-like courts. At the Young Street boundary is a small commercial row, designed in the same subdued Tudor Revival style as the residential area.

Hydrostone district was designated a national historic site of Canada because it is an excellent example of the English-style garden suburb in Canada retaining a high degree of authenticity. Its series of rectangular treed courtyards lined on both sides with a repetitive repertoire of residential 'Hydro-stone' buildings creates a remarkable sense of time and place with notably few jarring or intrusive elements, and it is the nation's first public housing project and an important example of the work of the influential town planner Thomas Adams.

Built to replace housing destroyed by the Halifax Explosion of 1917, the concrete-block (Hydro-stone) buildings were designed by Ross and Macdonald to complement Thomas Adams' plan.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Jonathan McCully House National Historic Site of Canada
Halifax, Nova Scotia

The Jonathan McCully House is an elegant two-and-a-half storey Italianate-style, stuccoed townhouse on a narrow urban lot in downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Jonathan McCully House was designated a national historic site of Canada because: between 1863 and his death there on 2 January 1877, it was the residence of Jonathan McCully (1809-1877), Father of Confederation and person of national historic significance; and it is a remarkably intact example of a mid-19th century town house, and an important artifact of urban life in the pre-Confederation era.

The heritage value of this site resides in its historical associations with Jonathan McCully and in those physical elements that carry its conservative Italianate design and illustrate an upper middle-class urban townhouse of the mid-nineteenth century. Built in the late 1850s, the building was carefully restored in the 1990s.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Kejimkujik National Historic Site of Canada
Kejimkujik National Park of Canada, Nova Scotia

Important Mi'kmaq cultural landscape.

Kejimkujik National Historic Site of Canada is a protected area in the centre of the broader Mi'kmaq cultural landscape of Kespukwitk, one of the seven traditional districts of the Mi'kmaq. It encompasses 404 square kilometres of land and water in central south-western Nova Scotia's Kejimkujik National Park of Canada. It is a cultural landscape associated with the Mi'kmaq people, and incorporates 38 aboriginal sites, four petroglyph sites, three villages and a cemetery.

The heritage value of Kejimkujik lies in its broad range of cultural features, which serve as a testament to, and record of, the long-term relationship between the Mi'kmaq and the natural environment of their land.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Kejimkujik National Park of Canada
Headquarters: Annapolis County, Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia's inland of historic canoe routes and portages.

A world of natural and cultural wonders awaits you at Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site, the only Parks Canada site which is designated both a National Park and a National Historic Site.

Nature is at its best in Kejimkujik. Camp in a beautiful wooded campsite or remote wilderness site and listen for the call of the loon. Discover historic canoe routes, experience Mi'kmaw petroglyphs, and swim in the warm waters of Kejimkujik Lake. Don't forget about Kejimkujik Seaside. Turquoise waters, white sand and seals basking on nearby rocks will captivate you.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 2007


©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 2007


©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 2007
King's College National Historic Site of Canada
Windsor, Nova Scotia

King's College National Historic Site of Canada is located south of the Avon River in Windsor, Nova Scotia. The location was chosen because it was situated away from the distractions of major cities, and because many influential Nova Scotians owned homes in the surrounding area. The site designated as King's College in 1923 is still an educational facility today, and consists of King's-Edgehill School and a number of landscape features, early educational buildings, staff buildings and student residences. These include Alexandra Hall, Hensley Memorial Chapel, Convocation Hall, Buckle House, and Marshall House.

The University of King's College was founded by Reverend Charles Inglis, the first Bishop of Nova Scotia, and other Anglican United Empire Loyalists in Windsor, Nova Scotia, in 1789. King's was the first university to be established in Britain's overseas Dominions. There was significant anxiety in the colony about education following the American Revolution. While there were several universities in New York, New England and other American states, there were no institutions for higher education in the remaining British colonies. King's College was established to prevent young men from becoming alienated and traveling abroad to receive an education. In 1802, King's College received a Royal Charter from King George III. Graduates of the university attained positions of prominence in the ministry, in law, in the army, in political life and in the literary world. Since its foundation, the College has also been the primary educational institution for members of the clergy in the Maritime Provinces.

Constructed between 1861 and 1863, Convocation Hall is the oldest surviving building on the original campus of King's College. It is situated in an isolated location so as to remain protected from the threat of fire. Convocation Hall was used as the museum and library at King's College from the time of its completion in 1863 until 1923, when the college moved to Halifax.

©Tourism, Culture and Heritage, Province of NS/Province de N-É, 2004
Knaut-Rhuland House National Historic Site of Canada
Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

Located in the centre of downtown Lunenburg, the Knaut-Rhuland House National Historic Site of Canada, is a severely formal wood frame house of classical inspiration. Built flush to the street, this vernacular clapboard home is given an air of grandeur by the split staircase accessing the central entry.

This attractive house, built around 1793, is one of the best early examples of British classicism embodied in a residence in Canada. Its balanced proportions and formal decorative detailing are a precursor of more elaborate homes designed in later decades. The centre-hall plan and classical motifs of the interior reflect the harmony of the exterior. The building is named for its first two owners, merchant Benjamin Knaut and mariner Conrad Rhuland. Minor modifications over the years adjusted the layout according to contemporary needs, including its brief subdivision into two apartments. Save for the addition of modern wiring and plumbing, these changes were reversed in the 1980s and the house is now operated as a historic site, open to the public.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1970
Ladies' Seminary National Historic Site of Canada
Wolfville, Nova Scotia

Ladies' Seminary National Historic Site of Canada, also known as Seminary House, is located at the centre of the Acadia University campus in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. The site consists of an L-shaped, three-and-a-half storey, Second Empire style-building with a high mansard roof punctuated by gables, dormers and slightly projecting façades. Erected in 1878, the Ladies' Seminary is the country's oldest facility associated with the upper-level training of women. Until 1914, when a women's-only university residence was opened, it was the home of all females attending Acadia University.

The Ladies' Seminary, now called Seminary House, exemplifies a key stage in the equal treatment of women in Canada, and their admittance to a university-level education. Opened in 1878, the building served as a home for females attending Acadia University between 1881, when they were first admitted to post-secondary programs, and 1914, when a separate women's residence was opened. The Ladies' Seminary was initially constructed to house the university's affiliated women's secondary school, the Acadia Ladies' Seminary, and to accommodate certain programs - such as art and music - which, at Acadia, were identified as distinctly "female" programs. The Seminary also offers specific structural evidence of this pioneer phase of female education. For example, this theme is expressed in the placement of the facility on the campus, in the quality of the external and interior design, and in the nature of the facilities included within the building. These three elements help to interpret the distinctive quality of post-secondary education for women in Canada during the final quarter of the 19th century.

In 19th-century campus planning, location and visual prominence exactly reflected traditional societal roles of the times. As such, the Ladies' Seminary was purposefully placed in a secondary position, behind and to the south of the main college building. It was largely hidden from public view by trees, providing graphic evidence of contemporary views of the relative importance of education for men and women. Furthermore, the seminary used a domestically-scaled version of the Second Empire style for its exterior design; a choice that melded the building's function as both domestic and official architecture. Instead of the main university building's combination of convocation hall, classrooms and offices, the seminary's centre-hall plan provided a dining room, kitchen and laundry on the ground floor; reception rooms, a music room, nine bedrooms and six parlours on the second floor; and two identical upper floors, each featuring twelve bedrooms, seven parlours and three music rooms.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1965
Little Dutch (Deutsch) Church National Historic Site of Canada
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Located in Halifax's north end, the Little Dutch (Deutsch) Church National Historic Site of Canada stands within an evocative 18th-century burying ground, surrounded by a stone wall. This modestly sized wooden structure is a remnant of the city's early years and features a simple rectangular plan, a gable roof and spired tower that stands in contrast to the surrounding 19th-century mansions and 20th-century highrises.

The Little Dutch (Deutsch) Church is located on a pre-existing burying ground which had been set aside in 1752 for the recently arrived German-speaking immigrants who formed a cohesive community based on their shared language and faith. The group acquired a building in 1756 that was moved to these burial grounds and adapted for its present. By 1758, the interior was finished by parishioners under the direction of joiner Christopher Cleestattel. In 1760, the church was extended to the north to support a belltower housing a bell taken from Louisbourg. The burial ground continued in use throughout most of the 19th century. Stone walls were erected around its perimeter in 1919.

While offering Lutheran services, the church was officially part of St. George's Anglican parish and, with the inflow of more English-speaking settlers into the area and the construction of St. George's round church in 1800, the religious role of the little church diminished. It continued to serve the German-speaking community as a school and social centre into the 19th century. While undergoing occasional repair and renovation, it has remained essentially intact.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1984
Liverpool Town Hall National Historic Site of Canada
Queens, Nova Scotia

The Liverpool Town Hall National Historic Site of Canada is a large building constructed of wood in a Classical Revival style. It comprises a central two-and-a-half-storey rectangular block with rear extensions. Now serving as a museum and theatre, the former town hall is located on Main Street in Liverpool, Nova Scotia and is set back far enough from the street to sustain a war memorial and a flag pole in front.

The heritage value of this site resides in its historical associations with the town of Liverpool as illustrated by its site, setting, design, form and materials. The Liverpool Town Hall was designed to accommodate a range of community functions including civic offices but also the community library, the registry of deeds for Queens County, and an opera house. Its size and formal design reflected Liverpool's continuing importance as a commercial centre at the turn of the century. The building is distinguished by its classically inspired decoration and proportions and by its wooden construction, which was a rare feature on town halls of this scale built during the 20th century.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Lunenburg Academy National Historic Site of Canada
Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

Lunenburg Academy is a large, late 19th century school building in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. It is a three-storey, wooden building in the Second Empire style, surrounded by a spacious, open playground area. Its key location atop Gallows Hill is visible from most viewpoints when approaching Lunenburg. The property abuts Old Town Lunenburg Historic District National Historic Site of Canada.

Lunenburg Academy illustrates a significant stage in the evolution of the education system in 19th century Nova Scotia, which had developed from one-room schoolhouses into the Academy system. The county academies were publicly funded and offered high quality secondary education within the public school system. This was reflected in their design, curriculum and quality of teachers and facilities. The Lunenburg Academy was constructed between 1894-1895 to the designs of prominent local architect Harry H. Mott.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Marconi National Historic Site of Canada
Table Head, Nova Scotia

Site of first wireless station in Canada.

This national historic site of Canada honours Marconi's role in the development of today's network of global communications. In 1902, the first official wireless message was sent from this site across the Atlantic Ocean to England. Visitors can see the Wireless Hall of Fame and walk the interpretive trail to the original transmission station.

The Marconi National Historic Site of Canada marks the isolated site where Guglielmo Marconi received the first transatlantic telegraph message in Table Head, Cape Breton Regional Municipality, Nova Scotia. It is situated on a plateau above high cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, and contains the remains of two telegraph towers that once supported Marconi's antennae and the foundation walls of his receiving room and powerhouse.

The heritage value of the Marconi National Historic Site of Canada lies in its historical association with the work of Guglielmo Marconi as illustrated by the surviving cultural landscape. This value resides in the setting and disposition of the site and in the archaeological remains of Marconi's activity contained within the site.

Guglielmo Marconi used this site as his first commercial research and transmission facility during the years 1902-1904 before moving his headquarters to a new location. He received and sent the first exchange of radio messages across the Atlantic at this location. The station constructed in 1902 consisted of four towers 64 metres high, set in a square-shaped 64 metre square piece of land, which together supported an antenna of copper wires in the shape of an inverted pyramid. An operating room and powerhouse were constructed in the middle of the square with a residence for senior staff at the south end of the site. These facilities were dismantled and moved to a larger site between Glace Bay and Port Morien, in 1904.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, Aynsley MacFarlane
Marconi Wireless Station National Historic Site of Canada
Cape Breton Regional Municipality, Nova Scotia

The Marconi Wireless Station National Historic Site of Canada is located on Nova Scotia's rugged northeast coastline, between Glace Bay and Port Morien, in Cape Breton Regional Municipality. Consisting of 350 hectares (800 acres) of mostly barren headland, the site was the location of the first regular intercontinental wireless communications service.

Marconi Wireless Station, operating with a "sister" station in Clifden, Ireland, was the first to provide regular public intercontinental service in 1908. Built between 1905 and 1907, it became the main transmitting station and the site where Marconi further refined wireless technology.

The site provided an alternative to the first permanent station, which proved too restricted. The original site was established in 1902 at Table Head, on Cape Breton Island, by Guglielmo Marconi after the feasibility of transatlantic wireless communication was demonstrated in 1901. Located further south, between Glace Bay and Port Morien, the Marconi Wireless Station ceased operations in 1946.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, S. Quon, 2001
Melanson Settlement National Historic Site of Canada
Lower Granville, Nova Scotia

Pre-expulsion Acadian farm community, 1664-1755.

Melanson Settlement contains the archaeological remains of a pre-Deportation Acadian community (c. 1664-1755). These archaeological resources reflect the family communities settled by Acadians and Acadians' unique dykeland agriculture practised along the Annapolis River (formerly the Dauphin River).

Melanson Settlement National Historic Site of Canada is the upland village fragment of a 17th- and 18th-century Acadian family farming settlement along the Annapolis River. It consists of a dyked terrace with subsurface archaeological remains, situated in the salt marshes of the Annapolis River.

The Melanson Settlement was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1986 because its in-situ resources reflect the family communities in which the Acadians settled along the Dauphin (now Annapolis) River and undertook a form of agriculture unique in North America.

The heritage value of this site resides in its sense of place - the immediate visual link between its geographic properties and life in this location in Acadian times, and the clarity and comprehensiveness of the view imparted as well as in its in-situ resources from the Acadian period.

The settlement was established on the lower Annapolis River by Charles Melanson and Marie Dugas after their marriage in 1664. It was subsequently occupied by four generations of their family before the Acadian Deportation of 1755. Historically it consisted of the family village on an upland terrace, with cultivated fields on the vast adjacent dyked salt marshes.

©Halifax Regional Municipality / Region Municipal de Halifax, 2007
Memorial Tower National Historic Site of Canada
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Memorial Tower National Historic Site of Canada is dramatically located on a rise of land in Sir Sandford Fleming Park overlooking downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia. Standing 34 metres in height, the imposing tower is approached by a large staircase and is flanked by two large bronze lions. The base of the tower is constructed of rough grey ironstone while the upper storey is of grey granite and features Palladian windows.

The Memorial Tower was built in 1908 to commemorate the adoption of representative government in Nova Scotia (1758), the first British colony to do so. The monolithic base of the tower and the Palladian windows of the upper storey illustrate the use of High Victorian and Edwardian Classical styles respectively, and gives the tower its unique appearance. This combination of design styles captures this transitional moment in the meaning of Canadian nationalism as it moved toward a more independent relationship with the British Empire prior to the First World War.

©The Canadian Mining Manual, 1896
Nova Scotia Coal Fields (Stellarton) National Historic Site of Canada
Stellarton, Nova Scotia

©NAC, PC 29313, c.1914
Nova Scotia Coal Fields (Sydney) National Historic Site of Canada
Sydney, Nova Scotia

Surviving clusters of in situ resources associated with the fields and the coal industry

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Old Barrington Meeting House National Historic Site of Canada
Barrington Head, Nova Scotia

Old Barrington Meeting House National Historic Site of Canada is an exceptional surviving example of the type of meeting house erected throughout New England and Atlantic Canada in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Located in Barrington, Nova Scotia, this building combines religious with civic functions. It is a very simple but beautifully constructed wood frame structure, designed in the vernacular classicism of the era. Although modified over the years, it retains a high degree of integrity.

Erected in 1765 by settlers from New England, this meeting house served as the civic and religious centre for Barrington Township for almost a century, accommodating all Christian denominations. Its function was confined to religious activities until it was preserved as a museum in the late 20th century. Both its exterior, covered with clapboard, and its interior, with a pulpit facing the central door and surrounded on three sides by pews and an upper Gallery, imitate meeting houses found throughout New England. Its plain appearance was an intentional reflection of the Puritan rejections of worldly ostentation.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1993


©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1993
Old Burying Ground National Historic Site of Canada
Halifax, Nova Scotia

The Old Burying Ground National Historic Site of Canada in Halifax, Nova Scotia, contains more than 1,200 head and foot stones, constituting a unique Canadian concentration of gravestone art from the 18th and early 19th centuries. This early graveyard is a 0.91 hectare treed rectangle separated on all sides from its urban environment by a stone wall bearing a decorative iron fence. On its south end, a substantial monument to the Crimean War faces Barrington Street. The burying ground now serves as a significant urban green space.

The heritage value of this site resides in the "extra muros" location, the extent, layout and materials of the burying ground and in the rich variety of styles, poignant images and carving skills displayed on its extensive collection of grave markers. Used by various Christian denominations, the Old Burying Ground originally was managed by St. Paul's Anglican Church, serving the city of Halifax from 1749 until its closure in 1844. The Welsford-Parker Memorial to two Haligonians' heroic service in the Crimean War was erected at its entry in 1860 when the grounds were also fenced and landscaped.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, C. Reardon, 1995
Old Town Lunenburg Historic District National Historic Site of Canada
Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

The Old Town Lunenburg Historic District covers the core area of the town of Lunenburg, a well-preserved example of 18th-century colonization and settlement patterns with numerous outstanding examples of vernacular architecture spanning more than 240 years. It occupies the side of a hill and a narrow area along a natural harbour and includes the town's original parade square, as well as a waterfront area that is associated with the fishing and shipbuilding industries. Old Town Lunenburg has also been designated a World Heritage Site.

The Old Town Lunenburg Historic District was designated a national historic site in 1991 by virtue of its gridiron layout, one of the earliest and most intact British model plans in Canada, its strong historical associations especially with the Atlantic fisheries, and the richness and homogeneity of its architecture.

The heritage value of the Old Town Lunenburg Historic District resides in the original plan, the built forms and open spaces within the plan, the physical and cultural manifestations of the off-shore fishing and shipbuilding industries and the harmonious integration of the town and the seascape. Laid out by Charles Morris at the time of his landing on June 8, 1753, Lunenburg's Old Town Plan was the second British model plan created in present-day Canada, a gridiron plan type which had a direct and important relationship to British imperial settlement policy.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 2007
Pictou Academy National Historic Site of Canada
Pictou, Nova Scotia

Pictou Academy National Historic Site of Canada, of which there are no extant remains, is marked by a Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaque on a cairn located on the corner of Church Street and Willow Street in Pictou, Nova Scotia. A pathway leads to the monument, enclosed by an iron fence, located on the southeast corner of the property.

In 1803, Thomas McCulloch, a Presbyterian minister, stopped over in Pictou on his way to Prince Edward Island due to inclement weather. He was persuaded to stay there and become the local Scottish congregation's pastor. In a bid to establish a school for the Scottish community, McCulloch set up a grammar school and (in 1816) founded Pictou Academy. During the 1820s, McCulloch fought for provincial endowment of the Academy as a degree-granting institution and for public support of all educational institutions. Finally, in 1831, the Academy received a permanent endowment from the British to teach both collegiate and grammar school subjects. From that date, Pictou Academy offered classical and scientific education, though collegiate subjects were eventually abandoned. In 1880, the Pictou Academy was moved to a larger building, and the original building served as the West End School until its demolition in 1932. Alumni of Pictou Academy included various prominent Canadian professionals and businessmen.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1985
Pictou Railway Station (Intercolonial) National Historic Site of Canada
Pictou, Nova Scotia

The Pictou Railway Station (Intercolonial) National Historic Site of Canada is a former passenger terminal located in the town of Pictou, Nova Scotia. It is a rectangular, two-storey brick building displaying elements of the Chateau style. Detailing includes ornate stonework, Elizabethan gables and a Palladian window in the main bay. A projecting canopy runs the length of the building on both the platform and street-facing elevations.

Pictou Railway Station was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1976 because it is a company designed station, built in 1904, to replace the 1867 terminus that was built for the Intercolonial Railway, a government line, which forged a link between the Maritime provinces and central Canada.

Pictou Railway Station is associated with the early 20th century expansion and updating of the Intercolonial Railway prior to its incorporation into the Canadian National Railways. The period was one of growth and prosperity for the Intercolonial Railway reflecting a general economic upturn and increased government budgets. The Pictou line serviced the Pictou port facilities, which contained the railhead for traffic bound for Prince Edward Island. Passenger service was discontinued in 1963. The former Pictou Station suffered fire damage in 1996 that has since been repaired. The ground floor now houses a museum, a youth centre and community activity offices.

The heritage value of this site resides in those elements of the building that illustrate its original construction as a "Class One" Intercolonial Railway terminal, notably the surviving design, materials and decoration.

©Pier 21, Jennyrotten, 2010
Pier 21 National Historic Site of Canada
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Pier 21 National Historic Site of Canada is part of the immense Ocean Terminals passenger landing quay situated at Piers 20-22 in Halifax Harbour off the city-side street of Terminal Road. It includes the transit shed on Pier 21, which together with the brick Central Bay Office separating Piers 21 and 22, constitutes the centre section of the integrated Ocean Terminals transit building, and serves as the facility's entrance pavilion. Pier 21 is located on the north edge of the wharves and piers that constitute the public Port of Halifax, just behind the Nova Scotian Hotel and the VIA Rail station to which it is historically linked. Pier 21 is now operated as an immigration museum.

The heritage value of Pier 21 National Historic Site of Canada lies in its association with the mid 20th-century immigration experience and its illustration of the type of building designed to accommodate the processing of immigrants during that time period. Pier 21 was constructed in 1928 to provide new integrated passenger landing quays for the Port of Halifax. Much of it was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in 1944. Its new facilities reflected a new mid-20th century streamlining of the immigration process. From 1945-1960 it witnessed the massive stream of post World War II European immigration to Canada, including the arrival of the war brides, an event of national historical significance commemorated by a plaque at this location. Pier 21 closed its doors in 1971 and since has been rehabilitated by the Pier 21 Society as a museum to immigration.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, J.P. Jérôme, 1991
Port-Royal National Historic Site of Canada
Port Royal, Nova Scotia

Reconstruction of 1605 French settlement.

This national historic site features a reconstruction of early 17th- century buildings representing the former colony of the French who settled for a time along the Nova Scotia coast. Costumed interpreters and period demonstrations help recreate the look and feel of Port-Royal, one of the earliest settlements in North America. Visitors can also take in the panoramic view of the Annapolis River and Basin.

Port-Royal National Historic Site of Canada consists of a group of wooden buildings within a stockade, erected as a historic reconstruction of an early 17th-century French fort. The habitation is located on the north shore of the Annapolis Basin opposite Goat Island.

The heritage value of Port-Royal National Historic Site resides in the reconstructed buildings as an illustration of an early attempt at French colonization and as an example of an early twentieth-century approach to heritage conservation. Port-Royal National Historic Site was constructed in 1939.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1993


©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Prince of Wales Tower National Historic Site of Canada
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Late 18th-century stone defence tower, 1796-99.

Built in 1796-97 to protect British batteries from French attack, the Prince of Wales Tower was the first tower of its type in North America. Exhibits portray the tower's history, architectural features and significance as a defensive structure.

This National Historic Site of Canada is part of the Halifax Defence Complex.

Prince of Wales Tower National Historic Site of Canada is a large, round stone defensive tower located in Point Pleasant Park, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The heritage value of Prince of Wales Tower lies in the legibility as a specific type of defensive structure, and in its siting and relationship with other 18th -20th century elements in the shore defence facilities of Halifax harbour. It was built by the British government on the order of Edward, Prince of Wales (1796-1799) to defend the sea batteries at Point Pleasant. The tower ceased to be used for military purposes in the 19th century and was transferred to National Parks and Historic Sites in 1936. It was declared a National Historic Site in 1943, and restored and opened for visitation in 1978.

©Province House, Jimmy Emerson, 2010
Province House National Historic Site of Canada
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Province House National Historic Site of Canada is a grand, three-story sandstone public building located on an enclose landscape ground containing a garden and monuments, within the historic heart of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Built from 1811 to 1819, as the seat of government for Nova Scotia, it is one of the finest Palladian-style buildings in Canada. Its symmetrical composition, harmonious proportions and refined interior detailing are distinguishing features of the classical architecture of Georgian England. The building continues to serve as the legislative seat for the Province of Nova Scotia.

As Canada's oldest legislative seat, Province House has witnessed important political and legal debates, including newspaper editor Joseph Howe's defence against charges of libel, which led to the creation of the freedom of the press, and the winning of responsible government. Designed by architect John Merrick much of the detailed interpretation of the Palladian-inspired plans was realized by master builder Richard Scott. A stone Royal coat of arms carved by David Kinnear was placed above the main entry in 1819. Architect Henry F. Busch remodelled the original Supreme Court chambers to house the Legislative Library in 1861-1862, and additional interior rehabilitation was carried out by Edward Elliott in 1886-1888.

Province House is a sophisticated example of the Palladian compositional formula adapted for early 19th-century public buildings. Its rectangular block with projecting pedimented frontispiece and side wings, the tri-partite division of its storeys and the use of Roman Ionic order to emphasize the importance of the main floor are organized into a symmetrical composition of classical scale and proportion. Palladian concepts of order extend to the interior spatial organization and to the restrained and harmonious decorative program, culminating in the exquisite plasterwork of the principal storey.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 2008
Royal Battery National Historic Site of Canada
Louisbourg, Nova Scotia

Role in the 1745 and 1758 sieges of Louisbourg.

Royal Battery National Historic Site of Canada, located within the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada in Nova Scotia, is an archaeological site that dominates the north shore of Louisbourg Harbour. Appearing as a low grassy ridge, the outline of the battery's ditch and glacis are still evident, as are the mounds that mark the remains of the flanking towers.

The Royal Battery was part of the defences of Louisbourg harbour. The French began to build it in 1724 on the north shore of the harbour opposite its narrow entrance. The battery was essentially complete by 1728, but additions were made over the next few years and it achieved its final form by early 1732. Once completed, its cannons could theoretically fire directly at enemy ships coming through the channel and heading toward the town of Louisbourg. The battery was composed of two faces meeting at an obtuse angle, each face pierced by 15 embrasures for cannons. Behind the ramparts were barracks defended by a ditch, a small covered way, and a glacis. Finally, two towers defended the flanks of the work.

In 1745, the French abandoned the battery to the attacking colonial and British forces, who then used some of the French guns there to fire upon the town. Returned to the French in 1749, they disabled the battery before surrendering it once again to the British in 1758. The British finally destroyed it in 1760, at the same time as they were systematically destroying all the fortifications of Louisbourg. The town's inhabitants further dismantled the site when they used it as a quarry for building stones. Today, the Royal Battery is an archaeological site within the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 2006
S.S. Acadia National Historic Site of Canada
Halifax, Nova Scotia

The S.S. Acadia National Historic Site of Canada is a steel, purpose-built hydrographic vessel currently berthed at a wharf in downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia. Launched in 1913, she is a steam-powered ship with two masts, one funnel and a single propeller. She has a riveted hull and features a straight bow and a rounded counter stern.

Launched in 1913 to begin charting the sea route along the Hudson Bay's west coast, the S.S. Acadia was specifically designed for hydrographic service in northern waters, and represented a departure in construction and design from contemporary hydrographic vessels. Known as the "workhorse of the Canadian Hydrographic Service," the S.S. Acadia would go on to chart the port of Churchill, the coast of Nova Scotia, including a tidal investigation of the Bay of Fundy, the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and would complete her career by charting the waters surrounding Newfoundland and Labrador after it joined Confederation in 1949. By charting safe passageways for shipping in these often-treacherous waters, she contributed to the economic development of the regions in which she was engaged. Retired in 1969, the S.S. Acadia had been a leader in Canadian oceanography, carrying throughout her career the most modern navigation and survey equipment available. She is currently part of the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Sable Island National Park Reserve of Canada
Headquarters: Sable Island, Nova Scotia

A wild and windswept island of sand sits far out in the North Atlantic, its iconic crescent shape emerging from the expanse of the sea. Isolated and remote, Sable Island is one of Canada's furthest offshore islands.

Sable Island has a long and fascinating human history which spans more than four centuries. More than 350 vessels have been wrecked due to rough seas, fog, and submerged sandbars surrounding the island, earning it the title "Graveyard of the Atlantic". Canada's first life-saving station, established in 1801, was built here. Sable Island is a testament to survival in an unlikely environment.

Sainte-Anne / Port Dauphin National Historic Site of Canada
Englishtown, Nova Scotia

Settled, 1629, by Captain Charles Daniel, and site of an early Jesuit mission. Selected in 1713, as a naval base and one of the principal places in Isle Royale, named Port Dauphin and strongly fortified. Its importance declined with the choice, 1719 of Louisbourg as the capital.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Sinclair Inn / Farmer's Hotel National Historic Site of Canada
Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia

Sinclair Inn / Farmer's Hotel National Historic Site of Canada is a two-and-a-half storey wooden building in the commercial area of Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. Its rectangular massing and symmetrically organized façade with central pediment and main entry evoke the classical vernacular style of many of its neighbours and belie its earlier origins. Once known as the Farmer's Hotel, this structure evolved with the amalgamation of at least two buildings, one dating from the Acadian era. Stabilized in the 1980s, the building is now operated as a museum.

The heritage value of this site resides in its illustration of building techniques and materials dating from as early as the late 17th century through to the 19th century. A composite of more than one original building, the structure includes very early Acadian building techniques as well as those of the later, newer English vernacular. Operated as an inn for over 150 years, the business closed in 1950. The building retains much of its original material.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1983
Sir Frederick Borden Residence National Historic Site of Canada
Canning, Nova Scotia

Sir Frederick Borden Residence National Historic Site of Canada is a large, Queen Anne Revival-style house set in a park-like setting in Canning, Nova Scotia.

The Sir Frederick Borden Residence National Historic Site of Canada was designated in 1990 because it is a particularly good example of the Queen Anne Revival style as expressed in domestic architecture.

The heritage value of this site resides in its material expression of the Queen Anne Revival style, particularly in the successful aesthetic composition of fanciful forms, asymmetrical massing and polychromatic surfaces characteristic of its style. Entirely clad in shingle, the Sir Frederick Borden Residence represents an American variation of the Queen Anne Revival style, the 'shingle style', often used for domestic buildings in the Maritime provinces.

The house was built in 1864 and renovated in the Queen Anne Revival style in 1902 by the firm of Harris and Horton, architects (William Critchlow Harris and William T. Horton) to serve as the home of politician Sir Frederick Borden.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Springhill Coal Mining National Historic Site of Canada
Springhill, Nova Scotia

Springhill Coal Mining National Historic Site of Canada is a former coal mine located in an industrial park in Springhill, Nova Scotia. The site consists of in situ surface and underground mining features that are unique to Nova Scotia, including the entrances to the infamous Nos. 2 and 4 mines, a series of brick buildings, and a pond and spillway system used for steam hoisting engines. The focal point of the site is the one-storey redbrick building known as the lamp cabin, dating from the early 1900s.

The heritage value of Springhill Coal Mining lies in its historical associations with coal mining in Nova Scotia from the late-19th century until the 1940s. Coal extraction began in Springhill in 1873, marking the beginning of intensive coal mining in Canada. Between 1867 and 1914, Nova Scotia was the leading producer of coal, based on the markets for domestic and industrial fuel and post-confederation tariff protection that encouraged the expansion of industrial activity in Nova Scotia. The Springhill coalfields played an important role in supplying the Maritimes, Quebec, the railways and the manufactories in the early-20th century. The in situ mining resources located at the site represent various coal-mining themes, including the roles of entrepreneurship, labour and technology, and the importance of mining communities.

Safety was an issue of vital concern for the miners. A host of factors including soft rock, the prevalence of gas, difficulty of ventilation, restricted working spaces and the use of explosives, all contributed to making coal mining one of Canada's most dangerous occupations. As the workforce increased in size, large disasters began to occur in the mines, such as the 1891 Springhill disaster in which 125 people were killed. The sites of Nos. 2 and 4 mines would eventually become infamous as the locations of the two great Springhill mining disasters of 1956 and 1958.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1984
St. George's Anglican Church / Round Church National Historic Site of Canada
Halifax, Nova Scotia

St. George's is a cylindrical wooden church designed in the Palladian style with elegantly simple openings and smooth finishes. Located in downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia, this handsome building is associated with the early days of the city and with its Royal linkages.

Commonly known as the 'Round Church', St. George's was begun in 1800 to improve on the accommodations previously supplied by the 'Little Dutch Church' nearby. St. George's is the only 19th-century example of a round church in Canada. Reflecting a level of architectural sophistication previously unknown in the colony, its unusual design was associated with the Duke of Kent, who served as a military commander of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick from 1794 to 1800. The plans have been attributed to master shipwright William Hughes. Damaged by the Halifax explosion of 1917 and by a devastating fire in 1994, the church has been heavily restored, but retains its classical lines and harmonious proportions.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1998
St. John's Anglican Church National Historic Site of Canada
Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

St. John's Anglican Church National Historic Site of Canada is a large, white wooden Carpenter Gothic style church in the heart of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Regarded as an important symbol of the town, it has continually evolved over a period of some two hundred and fifty years and, most recently, was rehabilitated after a disastrous fire in 2001.

The heritage value of this site resides in its associations with the history of Nova Scotia and the town of Lunenburg, and in its architecture. These values are expressed in the setting and location of the church and those elements of its design, as well as the physical elements that survived the fire of 2001. St. John's Anglican Church was originally constructed 1754-1763, enlarged in 1840 and through the 1870s, and again in 1889. After a disastrous fire in 2001, the structure was rebuilt from the surviving ruins.

©St. Mary's Basilica, Glenn Euloth, 2009
St. Mary's Basilica National Historic Site of Canada
Halifax, Nova Scotia

St. Mary's Basilica National Historic Site of Canada is a large church prominently situated in downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia. The church's Gothic Revival design, with impressive triple portal and tall central spire make it one of the city's outstanding landmarks.

The heritage value of St. Mary's Basilica resides in its historical association, particularly in its central position in the history of Roman Catholicism in Nova Scotia as reflected in the physical and design qualities of the church itself. One of the first Roman Catholic cathedrals in Canada, it is an imposing example of mature Gothic Revival architecture and its long and early history is reflected in its architectural evolution. Begun in 1820 under Bishop Edmund Burke as the first Roman Catholic cathedral in Nova Scotia, it heralded enormous gains in the legal and social standing of Catholics. Under Archbishop Thomas Connolly, a major expansion and redecoration of the church was undertaken (1860 - 1874) to designs by Irish-American architect Patrick C. Keely. The expansion reflected the growing confidence and importance of the Diocese. St. Mary's was named a Basilica in 1950.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1994
St. Paul's Anglican Church National Historic Site of Canada
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Prominently situated in front of the Grand Parade square in the historic heart of Halifax, Nova Scotia, St. Paul's Anglican Church National Historic Site of Canada is a small, classically-designed wooden church with a gable roof and central steeple. Its design and splendid classical detailing evoke its associations with the 18th-century British establishment of the city.

Completed in 1750, St. Paul's became the cathedral church of the diocese of Nova Scotia from 1787 until 1864 with Charles Inglis as its first bishop. For 96 years, St. Paul's was also the official garrison church of the local British army and navy establishment. The design of the building probably came from a pattern book and is based on that of St. Peter's, Vere Street, London, England, by James Gibbs. As such, St. Paul's is an early, if evolutionary, example of the Palladian style in Canada. Despite its 1812 expansion and the later addition of side aisles (1868) and chancel (1873), the original wooden frame (pre-cut in Boston) still forms the main body of the church. In 1926 the steeple was clad in copper and the north porch rebuilt. The church was meticulously restored in 1984-1990.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
St. Peters National Historic Site of Canada
St. Peter's, Nova Scotia

French trading post and fort, 1650-1758.

St. Peters National Historic Site of Canada is an extensive site containing archaeological evidence of 17th- and 18th- century Mi'kmaq and Acadian communities. It is situated on the southeastern shore of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, on the isthmus located between the shores of St. Peters Bay on the Atlantic coastline, and Bras d'Or Lake. The designated place extends along what was the Atlantic coastline in the 17th century, and crosses the isthmus within the boundaries of St Peters Canal National Historic Site of Canada.

The heritage value of St. Peters National Historic Site of Canada lies in its strategic location and in the evidence of early Mi'kmaq and Acadian communities embedded there. This site underlines the strategic long-term importance of the narrow isthmus between St. Peters Bay and Bras d'Or Lake as a transportation route, and commemorates evidence of the earliest settlement flanking the route, witnessing its importance as a point of contact between the Mi'kmaq and the French, and as a French post in the commercial rivalry between European nations in the 17th and 18th centuries.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada>


©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
St. Peters Canal National Historic Site of Canada
St. Peter's, Nova Scotia

Operational canal; structures dating from 19th-century.

St. Peters Canal is an 800 metre canal linking the Atlantic Ocean with the Bras d'Or Lakes. Work started on the canal in 1854 and was completed in 1869. View interpretive exhibits, enjoy a picnic lunch, or experience the canal by pleasure craft.

St. Peter's was the site of Fort Saint-Pierre, a 17th century fortified trading post acquired by Nicolas Denys in 1650 to trade with the Mi'kmaq. It was also the site of Port Toulouse, a French community with a military presence that bore witness to the Anglo-French rivalry during the period 1713 and 1758.

St. Peter's Canal National Historic Site of Canada is a man-made water channel that connects the Bras d'Or Lakes with St. Peter's Bay on the Atlantic Ocean in St. Peter's, Nova Scotia together with its associated landscape.

St. Peter's Canal was designated a national historic site of Canada because it is part of Canada's system of canals.

The heritage value of St. Peter's Canal lies in the cultural landscape directly associated with the construction and operation of the canal including the land and water areas which were modified, blasted, graded or dredged during every construction phase and stage of canal use.

St. Peter's Canal was originally built in several phases 1854-1869, and enlarged twice. It has been in continuous operation since its construction as a transportation facility for commercial and industrial goods during the 19th and early 20th centuries, and more recently for pleasure craft.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, HRS #, 2006
Sydney WWII Coastal Defences National Historic Site of Canada
Sydney, Nova Scotia

During the Second World War the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force protected shipping on vital North Atlantic routes which were the lifeline of the Allies. Army units shared in the defence of the seaports which were essential to that shipping. In the face of a determined campaign by German submarines and despite heavy losses, the Atlantic routes were kept open. In this struggle Sydney played an important role. It was a major convoy assembly port, protected by seven coastal gun batteries, and included an airfield, seaplane base and extensive dockyards.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, Danielle Hamelin, 2007.
Thinkers' Lodge National Historic Site of Canada
Pugwash, Nova Scotia

Thinkers' Lodge National Historic Site of Canada is located on a spacious property jutting out into Northumberland Strait in the small village of Pugwash, Nova Scotia. Thinkers' Lodge is the birthplace of the Pugwash movement, a transnational organization for nuclear disarmament and world peace. In 1957, at the height of the Cold War, the first Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs took place here, at the summer home of a wealthy businessman, Cyrus Eaton.

The place of Thinkers' Lodge on the world stage came out of the intersection of a wealthy businessman and philanthropist, Cyrus Eaton, and some of the most pressing issues of the era. Eaton purchased Thinkers' Lodge and refurbished it as a summer inn, with the goal of revitalizing the economy of the village of Pugwash, which had fallen on hard times in the 1920s. A visionary philanthropist, Eaton saw the isolated village of Pugwash as an ideal location for retreats for people from many walks of life to escape the pressures of their everyday work life, to relax and refocus. In the 1950s, he began organizing and financing such gatherings with wide-ranging discussions, from the Suez situation to nuclear disarmament.

The Pugwash Conference was held at Thinkers' Lodge in July 1957, a meeting of scientists from both sides of the Iron Curtain that encouraged dialogue and understanding between East and West on the uses of nuclear power for peace and not for war. A small, but extremely eminent group of twenty-two individuals from ten countries attended, including three Nobel laureates, the vice-president of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, a former director-general of the World Health Organization and the editor of the influential Bulletin of the Atomic Sciences. Informal aspects of the meeting, such as meals in the dining hall and games of croquet on the grounds were just as important to the success of the conference as the plenary sessions. The rustic and peaceful setting of Pugwash provided an atmosphere conducive to fruitful discussions and exchanges, marking a new willingness on the art of scientists to engage with world affairs and social responsibility.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1991
Trinity Anglican Church National Historic Site of Canada
Digby, Nova Scotia

Trinity Anglican Church National Historic Site of Canada is a large wooden church sited on a treed lot with a nearby cemetery in Digby, Nova Scotia. Boldly designed, the church exhibits the functional and structural rationalism of the Ecclesiological Gothic Revival. Its interior disposition of spaces is clearly articulated in the exterior, in a pyramidal building up of forms climaxing in a steep roof and prominent spire. A surface grid pattern of wood trim around doors and windows and across the surface expresses the wooden construction of the building.

Designed by American architect Stephen C. Earle and built in 1878, this church is a fine example of the Gothic Revival style as interpreted in wood. In the spirit of British parish churches of the Middle Ages, the exterior composition clearly defines the principal interior spaces of nave, chancel and side aisles. The attractive pattern of vertical and horizontal boards reflects late 19th-century American practice and is intended to emphasize the church's frame construction. Trinity Anglican Church replaced the original church built by Loyalist settlers on this site in 1788.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1982
Truro Post Office National Historic Site of Canada
Truro, Nova Scotia

The Truro Post Office National Historic Site of Canada is a two-and-a-half-storey, brick building constructed during the late 19th century. The post office is located on a prominent corner lot in downtown Truro.

The Truro Post Office was designated a national historic site in 1983 because: it is representative of the small urban post offices by Thomas Fuller; it possesses architectural merit, this is to say it has not undergone major exterior alteration; and it is in harmony with its environment.

The Truro Post Office, built in 1883-1886, is a good example of the post offices erected by the Department of Public Works in smaller urban centres during Thomas Fuller's term as Chief Architect (1881-1886). It is representative of Fuller post offices in its two-and-a-half-storey height, its use of high-quality materials, its blend of Gothic and Romanesque elements, and its prominent siting on a corner lot.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, David Henderson, 2005
Wolfe's Landing National Historic Site of Canada
Kennington Cove, Nova Scotia

Successful landing led to capture of Louisbourg, 1758.

Wolfe's Landing National Historic Site of Canada is located in Kennington Cove, on the east coast of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. Contained entirely within the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada, the site is bounded by a rocky beach to the south, and a rolling landscape of grasses and forest to the north, east and west. It was from this site that, during the Seven Years' War, British forces launched their successful attack on the French forces at Louisbourg. The site includes the cove with its two modern beaches, numerous trails, and the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada cairn.

The battle at the French Fortress of Louisbourg was one of the definitive battles between Britain and France for dominance in North America. Two years into the Seven Years' War, the British executed plans to lay siege to the fortress, located on Cape Breton Island. On June 8th, 1758, Brigadier General James Wolfe, under heavy fire from French troops, successfully landed a party of light infantry on an undefended rocky beach in Kennington Cove, known to the French as Anse de la Cormorandière. The successful landing allowed Wolfe and his troops to launch a surprise attack against the French. Unaware of the size of Wolfe's force and fearing the worst, the French troops quickly retreated towards the Fortress of Louisbourg. While the landing of the entire British force took weeks to complete, the initial landing of Wolfe and his troops, and subsequent evacuation of the French forces from the various defense works, created the opportunity for the British to lay siege to Louisbourg. The French fortress capitulated near the end of July 1758, effectively ending the period of French rule in Cape Breton.

©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada


©Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
York Redoubt National Historic Site of Canada
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Major seaward defences of Halifax Harbour from the American Revolutionary War until World War II.

Established in 1793 on a bluff overlooking the harbour entrance, and expanded in the 19th and 20th centuries, York Redoubt was a key element in the defence of Halifax Harbour. Visit the Second World War Command Centre, and enjoy the scenic views of the harbour mouth and adjacent coastline. This National Historic Site of Canada is part of the Halifax Defence Complex.

York Redoubt National Historic Site of Canada is comprised of a large, cleared plateau on the west side of Halifax's inner harbour opposite McNabs Island and a gun battery and searchlight positions located close to sea level, reached by a path. The redoubt contains some 27 buildings, related structures, and armament developed over 150 years. The upper portion of the redoubt is located high above wooded cliffs, overlooking the entrance to Halifax harbour which it has protected since the late 18th century.

York Redoubt was declared a national historic site for its evolving role as part of the Halifax Defence System from the late 18th century to World War II in protecting the principal naval stations of the British Empire and of Canada.

The heritage value of York Redoubt lies in its physical illustration of the historical evolution of the Halifax harbour defence system. York Redoubt was first developed as a component of Halifax fortifications in 1793 by the British government. Major alterations to its facilities occurred in 1794, 1812-1814, 1863-1875, 1890-1899, 1940-1943. It was opened for visitation as a national historic site in 1968.

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Last Updated: 06-Nov-2014