A Ferry Ride to Dartmouth and Saying Goodbye to Halifax
Right outside the ferry building is Ferry Terminal Park, a public green space with a perfect view of downtown Halifax. I strolled towards the World Peace Pavilion, a structure built for the 1995 G-7 Economic summit that contains stones and bricks that were donated by more than 70 countries, resting on a bed of Nova Scotian sand.
With interest I noticed that the United States had donated rubble from a dismantled nuclear missile silo, while Canada had donated a 150 kg block of Nepean granite, a paving stone used in Canada and throughout the world, also used for paving the Grande Esplanade of Confederation Boulevard. Even more interestingly, Austria, my birth country, had donated a brick from the infamous Mauthausen Concentration Camp. The collection of stones indeed offers a very fascinating selective glimpse at world history.
The World Peace Pavilion: “May Your Vision Be World Embracing”
From there I walked southwards to Canal Street which features the entrance of the Shubenacadie Canal, a waterway whose construction started in 1826 to link the Halifax Harbour area with the agricultural, timber and coal producing areas of the Bay of Fundy and the Annapolis Valley.
The Shubenacadie Canal
The project was fraught with problems and stopped due to the developers’ bankruptcy in 1831. It was picked up again in 1854 and finally completed in 1861. Unfortunately competition with the emerging railway network ruined the canal system; in addition many railway bridges across the canal were built too low for steamers, so shortly after its construction the Shubenacadie Canal system was abandoned for the most part. Efforts have been made recently to restore portions of the original canal route for pleasure boaters, although highway overpasses have resulted in blocking the canal to larger vessel. Kayaks and rowboats are still able to navigate a portion of the Shubenacadie Canal.
First Baptist Church
I continued my walk through pleasant well-kept neighbourhoods, past the First Baptist Church. An original church was built here in 1843, but it was destroyed during the 1917 Halifax Explosion, and the new church dates from 1922. From there I reached Sullivan’s Pond, a small artificial lake that was part of the Shubenacadie Canal system. This pond was the first water body in the canal system linking Halifax to the Bay of Fundy, and it was constructed as a holding pond for southbound vessels heading towards the Halifax Harbour.