It’s the big 150 celebration for Canada this year. For Halifax, that means a summer full of exciting activities and events – more than the usual, that is. Before we start this year’s summer of fun, let’s take a look back to what was going on in Halifax in 1867.
The city of Halifax was already a fully established port city when Confederation began in 1867. Incorporated in 1841-42, Halifax had privateering, and international shipping and trade with the Caribbean’s to thank for its wealth and population growth in the region. This was considered a golden time for Halifax, prompting powerful local business men Enos Collins and Samuel Cunard to start what would become two of Canada’s largest banks. Halifax also had a very strong and prosperous merchant class. By providing supplies and arms to both sides of the American Civil War (1861-65), Halifax saw many merchants make huge profits (e.g. Alexander Keith). During the late 1800s, a change in industry from sail to rail connected Halifax to the rest of Canada; which brought an increase in factory work. Local politician and journalist, Joseph Howe, was a leader in promoting the new railway technology. Howe’s stance on Confederation, however, was not as encouraging. Howe believed Confederation was being passed without popular consent, and found it to be in direct conflict with his plans for the British Empire. Despite his efforts, and an unsuccessful appeal, Confederation was overwhelmingly successful in the provincial elections in 1867. Thus, Confederation joined 5 colonies; Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Ontario into a single, united country.
Interesting Historical Facts About Halifax:
- Halifax is old! It was founded in 1749 by Edward Cornwallis of England.
- The Halifax Citadel National Historic Site is the most visited National Historic Site in Canada.
- Halifax has the second largest natural harbor in the world!
- Until 1844, the Royal Navy hung pirates at Point Pleasant Park’s Black Rock Beach. The park is rented to Halifax from the British Government for 10 cents per year, and has a 999-year lease!
- The first public library in Canada was Halifax’s Citizens’ Free Library, established in 1864.
- In 1849, Halifax became the first North American city to transmit European news to New York and Boston.
- The first newspaper in English Canada was the Halifax Gazette, first published in 1752 by John Bushell.
- Canada’s first covered ice rink was opened on January 3, 1863 in Public Gardens.
- The Halifax-Dartmouth ferry is the oldest continually operational saltwater ferry service in North America.
- Halifax received its name from Lord Halifax, head of England’s Board of Trade.
Exciting Events Happening This Summer:
- July 1 – Canada Day! There will be no shortage of activities to enjoy around Halifax this day. A couple of the highlights you may enjoy:
- Canada Day Concert – happening at the Halifax Commons
- Birthday Celebration – starting with the iconic noon gun firing, enjoy bands, choirs, and cake! – all within the Citadel National Historic Site.
- July 29 – August 1 – Rendez-vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta
- All Season – Parks Canada 150 Pass – Don’t forget to order your Parks Canada 150 pass – gaining you free access to all National Parks in Canada for the 2017 season. The Halifax Citadel is one of these National sites you can visit for free!
- August 2 – 7 – Halifax International Buskers Festival. Always a bustling time on the Halifax Waterfront. This event brings art shows, magicians, acrobats, and comedians to the Halifax Harbor.
- June 29 – July 6 – Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo. A traditional Nova Scotian experience. This week-long event has exciting, and ever-changing shows that celebrate Nova Scotian culture.
We can’t wait to celebrate Canada’s 150th with our patients and clients! What are your plans this summer?