Nova Scotia, Canada
July 2003

From the time of its founding in 1749 through the 19th century, Halifax was one of four principal overseas naval stations in the British Empire. To defend Halifax, British military authorities built a series of fortifications in and around this strategic port - a system now known as the Halifax Defence Complex. For almost 250 years Halifax has been an internationally important military bastion. In the 18th and 19th centuries its impressive harbour and strategic location enabled it to play a pivotal role in Britain's acquisition and defence of much of Canada. In the First and Second World Wars Halifax was still of great importance as a centre for Allied trans-Atlantic convoys and as a base for the Allies' North Atlantic Operation.

We are at the Halifax Public Gardens covering 7 hectares (17 acres), were designed by landscape artists in 1874. This oasis is a rare example of a formal Victorian public garden, surviving intact and relatively unspoiled in the heart of a modern city. They are considered to be among the finest examples of Victorian gardens in North America. Tree-shaded gravel walks wind among the flower beds, fountains, lily ponds and shrubs.

In our suite.

The suite has a partition and bedroom to the right.

At the boardwalk on the Halifax waterfront.

In 1917, "the Halifax explosion", a maritime disaster shook the city. The French munitions ship Mont Blanc collided with the steamer Imo in the Halifax harbour, causing a fire that ignited the volatile cargo of the munitions ship. The ensuing explosion literally blew the Mont Blanc to pieces, heaved the Imo onto the Dartmouth shore and levelled the north end of the city, killing more than 2,000 people. Boston, the first city to come to Halifax's aid, receives a Nova Scotia Christmas tree each year.

We are at the Point Pleasant Park at the south end of the city. The park commands a view of the harbor and contains batteries and forts that served as part of Halifax's defense network until the end of WWII as well as nature trails and walks.

Halifax at night as seen from across the harbour.