For the February image of our Canada150 Calendar we chose Pier 21 in Halifax – the gateway for newcomers to Canada in the early part of last century. A place that for many was the first encounter with their new home after a long trip at sea.
Canada’s Ellis Island
Located at the Halifax Seaport, Pier 21 was an ocean immigration terminal. From the late twenties to the early seventies, it was Canada’s ‘front door’ to over a million immigrants, refugees, wartime evacuees, war brides and their children. It was also the point of departure for over 500,00 troops who fought in the Second World War. It has been compared to New York’s Ellis Island, and is intrinsically linked to Canada’s multicultural national identity.
In 1999 the building at Pier 21 was refurbished and reopened as the Canadian Museum of Immigration. It pays tribute to those who passed through its doors who enriched our cultural landscape immeasurably. Canada’s last surviving ocean immigration shed, Pier 21 explores a key part of our heritage where you can experience the journey many families took to start a new life in Canada.
In 2003 we travelled through much of Nova Scotia on our honeymoon. Our trip started in Halifax and we spent almost a full day in Pier 21. We were awestruck with how important this place was to the forming of Canada’s cultural mosaic. Sitting on the benches as if we were waiting our turn in line, the speakers playing sounds of people and their many languages that would have been in line. Definitely one of highlight stops of our honeymoon. We’d love to show you some of our personal shots of Pier 21, but we broke our brand new point and shoot camera on the first day of our trip! No need to trust us, you can learn all about it on their website. If you’re planning a trip this year to the east coast and Halifax, remember to stop in for a visit.