Friday, July 16, 2010

Nova Scotia National Historic Site #2: Halifax City Hall and Grand Parade

The Grand Parade has historically been the central gathering place for Haligonians (or "Halipeeps" in more hip circles) since the city's founding in 1749. It is home to the oldest Protestant church in Canada, St. Paul's Cathedral, the Cenotaph War Monument, and the Halifax City Hall.

The place where Halifax City Hall now stands used to be home to the old Dalhousie College building. After a long and bitter battle between the college and the city's governors over the city owned Grand Parade land in front of Dalhousie, former Nova Scotia Premier, Sir. William Young, provided five acres of city land to the college where Dalhousie University is now located. When Dalhouse College moved, the city demolished its building and used some of the stone and timbers in the new City Hall built in its place.

The Halifax City Hall, erected between 1887 and 1890 and officially opened on 22 May 1890, is the largest and one of the oldest municipal buildings in Nova Scotia. Victorian in nature, the City Hall was created by local architect Edward Elliot, and is representative of city halls found during the 19th century in progressive, moderately sized Canadian cities with highly developed municipal services. Today it houses the city council chamber, the offices of the mayor, aldermen and city clerks, and some civic administration departments.

(A view from the Grand Parade, looking up through Carmichael Street towards the Citadel Clock Tower.)

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