Historical Halifax, Halifax
Favorite thing: There are many universities in Halifax (e.g. Dalhousie University, University of King's College) and you can see students of many races along the streets of Halifax, making this a really cosmopolitan city. In fact, I noticed many Asian students in Halifax especially Chinese. The buildings of the universities look impressive and historical :)
Favorite thing: The St Mary's Basilicia is of very impressive architecture and the nightview is equally majestic with the lights shining on it. It is conveniently located at the junction between Barrington Street and Spring Garden Road, you cannot miss it because it is so tall and imposing on the surrounding cityscape.
The Halifax Explosion occurred on December 6, 1917. At 8:30am the Imo, a Belgian relief ship, and the Mont Blanc, a munitions ship, collided in an area just to the left of the picture. The Mont Blanc was full of ammunitioon, gun cotton, TNT, and benzol stacked in barrels on the deck. It caught fire and at 9:05am it exploded creating the largest man-made explosion until the first atomic bomb test explosion in 1945. It killed 1,635 people and injured thousands more. The Mont Blanc was shattered into pieces with the barrel of one of its guns found 5km away, and the anchor shank found 3km in the other direction.
The following day a blizzard hit the city, crippling recovery efforts. Immediate help rushed in from around New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. In the following week more relief from North America arrived and donations were sent from around the world. The most celebrated and most complete effort came from the Boston Red Cross and the Massachusetts Public Safety Committee.
Favorite thing: If you enter St. Paul's cemetery from Barrington Street, you'll see a huge stone arch with a lion on top. It's beautiful really and I noticed some inscriptions at the top as well as interpretive signs near it. This is not just any old stone arch with a lion resting on it...it's a Crimean War memorial constructed and named for the memory of Major Welsford and Capt. Parker--both of Halifax who died in the war. It's rare because it's pre confederation...built by a man named Laing. The interpretive signs are also rare because they are one of the few things I saw in both English and French for the public.
Joseph Howe was born in Halifax in 1804. He is credited for spearheading the crusade to bring Responsible Government to Canada and Nova Scotia was the first area in Canada where it was granted by Queen Victoria in 1848. He was victorious defending himself in a case of libel which brought great strides for freedom of speech. He was elected to the provincial legislature and later, when Canada became a new country, he was elected as a member of Parliament. He was also a published poet and h is statue is found on the grounds of the Provincial legislature.
Fondest memory: http://www.mikecampbell.net/josephhowe.htm
December 6 might be a "day that lives in infamy" regarding the Pearl Harbour invasion, but it has another infamous meaning to Haligonians. On Dec 6, 1917 two ships collided in Halifax harbour, the Imo and the Mont Blanc. The Imo was carrying relief supplies for WWI and the Mont Blanc was carrying explosives for the war effort. The Mont Blanc caught on fire and at 9:05 a.m. it exploded sky high. IT was the biggest man made explosion before the nuclear age and leveled the north end of Halifax and Dartmouth on either side of the harbour.
Two thousand were killed and thousands more were injured, many blinded from flying glass. Thousands were homeless and windows broke all over the city. China rattled on shelves as far away as Truro and New Glasgow, some 75 miles away. The next day, a winter blizzard hit.
The army set up rows of tents for temporary shelter. Schools and churches were turned into hospitals and mortuaries all over the city.
Fondest memory: The city of Boston immediately sent a train full of supplies and medical help, the first among many other places to offer help. The city slowly crawled to its feet, rebuilding began in the spring. There is a memorial on Fort Needham in the north end and a service there every year on the anniversary. There are still a few people who survived the explosion alive, in their 80's and 90's.
And every year for the last 35 or so years, Nova Scotia donates a Christmas Tree for Boston's city square in thanks.