Canada’s Atlantic Gateway: An Illustrated History of the Port of Halifax
James Frost chronicles the fascinating history of one of the largest, most impressive natural harbours in the world. For more information or to purchase a copy of this book, click here.
For over 250 years the Port of Halifax has remained a cornerstone of economic activity for the city, the region and the province as a whole. The Port’s strategic location made Halifax an ideal Gateway into North America for settlers and shippers and a perfect vantage point for military operations. The following is a collection of highlights and achievements in the Port’s history.
|1749||Colonel Edward Cornwallis arrives from England to found Halifax. Over 2,500 settlers follow.|
|1752||Halifax begins North America’s first salt water ferry service.|
|1758||Halifax opens North America’s first naval dockyard.|
|1818||Halifax becomes a ‘free port’ and allows foreign ships to move cargo in and out.|
|1836||Samuel Cunard, founder of Cunard Line, starts a steamboat ferry service between Halifax and Dartmouth.|
|1837||Halifax opens North America’s first yacht club, The Royal Halifax Yacht Club.|
|1840||Cunard Line’s Britannia completes the firm’s first transatlantic voyage to provide mail service between Britain and North America.|
|1841||The City of Halifax becomes incorporated.|
|1872||Intercolonial Railway opens in Halifax connecting the city to the rest of North America.|
|1873||Dartmouth becomes the first town in Nova Scotia to incorporate.|
|1880||Intercontinental opens Deep Water Terminus, a dock complex that can house 12 steamers simultaneously.|
|1882||A grain elevator is constructed at the end of Upper Water Street.|
|1886||The Halifax Drydock opens.|
|1889||The Halifax Graving Dock Company opens the largest drydock facility on the Atlantic Seaboard.|
|1895||The grain elevator and part of Deep Water Ocean Terminus are destroyed by fire.|
|1898||Imperial Oil begins operation in Dartmouth.|
|1912||Halifax deploys a rescue mission after the sinking of the Titanic. 190 bodies are brought back to Halifax with many being buried here.|
|1917||A French munitions ship (the Mont Blanc) and a Belgian relief ship (the Imo), collide in Halifax Harbour causing the world’s largest man-made explosion before the nuclear age. The blast kills 2,000 people, injures 9,000 others and destroys 325 acres of land.|
|1922||The Royal Halifax Yacht Club becomes the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron.|
|1928||Pier 21 opens as a gateway to Canada for over 1million immigrants.
The Halifax Harbour Commission is established to oversee terminal construction.
|1948||Port of Halifax Marine Exhibition and Industrial Fair|
|1955||The Angus L. MacDonald Bridge opens.
Pier A-1 opens.
|1961||Dartmouth becomes incorporated as a city.|
|1962||The Bedford Institute of Oceanography (BIO) opens.|
|1969||Dart, Halifax’s first container line, begins service at Pier B.|
|1969||The Halifax International Container Terminal officially opens and becomes the first common-user container terminal in Canada.|
|1970||The A. Murray MacKay Bridge opens.|
|1971||Pier 21 closes.|
|1981||The Fairview Cove Container Terminal opens.|
|1982||The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic opens.|
|1984||The Halifax Port Corporation is established.
Halifax hosts the World’s Tall Ships for the first time.
|1986||Fairview Cove Container Terminal expands.|
|1987||Pier 29 is redeveloped into a common user terminal with a Ro/Ro ramp.|
|1988||Pier C is expanded to accommodate two vessels simultaneously.|
|1991||CN initiates double stack rail service to the Port of Halifax.|
|1992||CN announces coast to coast double stack rail service.|
|1993||CN opens Intermodal Terminal for domestic traffic.|
|1994||The Halifax Port Corporation and South end Terminal construct Marine Terminal Entrance.|
|1995||Halifax hosts Canada’s third annual G7 summit.
CN initiates double stack service between Halifax and the U.S. Midwest.
|1997||Redevelopment of Pier A at Ocean Terminals.
Halifax establishes sister ports in Goteborg and Amsterdam.
|1998||Ocean Terminals named ‘National Historic Civil Engineering Site’
Halifax is the first Port on North Americas Eastern Seaboard to receive a post-Panamax container vessel.
|1999||Canada Marine Act established changing the Halifax Port Corporation into the Halifax Port Authority.
Halifax celebrates 30 years of containerized cargo operations.
Official opening of the Pier 21 Museum and Cruise Pavilion.
|2000||Halifax hosts the World’s Tall Ships for the second time.
Halterm Limited installs post-Panamax cranes.
|2002||Fairview Cove Container Terminals installs post-Panamax cranes.|
|2004||Halifax hosts World’s Tall Ships for the third time.|
|2005||Halifax hosts the 7th Annual Canada-New England Cruise Symposium.
Fairview Cove Container Terminal deepened berths to 55 feet – offering the deepest container berths on the eastern seaboard of North America.
|2006||Halifax Port Authority opens the Cunard Centre at Pier 23.|
|2007||MacQuarie Infrastructure Partners purchase Halterm Limited for over $170 million.|
|2007||Cerescorp Company/NYK purchases two super-post-Panamax cranes and builds a new state-of-the-art truck gate complex for the Fairview Cove Terminal.|
|2009||Port of Halifax welcomes its 2-millionth passenger.|