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Location DB > Canada > Nova Scotia > Halifax > Citadel Hill
Citadel Hill
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 Database Info
created by tribeachpunk on 1/17/2007 7:30 PM
last modified by tribeachpunk on 2/24/2011 11:19 PM
Publically Viewable Publically Viewable
This location has been labeled by its creator as Public, and therefore can be viewed by anyone.
This National Historic Site of Canada is part of the Halifax Defence Complex.

Citadel Hill is a glacial drumlin located on the Halifax Peninsula. It measures approximately 120 feet above sea level and affords a commanding view of the entrance to Halifax Harbour, as well as nearby George's Island and McNab's Island.

Situated high on a hill overlooking downtown Halifax, the Citadel is one of the finest remaining examples of a 19th-century star-shaped fortification.
 Basic Information
Type: Fortification
Status: National Historic Site
Accessibility: Easy - Admission Fee
Recommendation: worth the trip
 Physical Information
Sackville & Brunswick Streets
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Owner: Parks Canada
  • See a map of this location
  •  Hazards
  • There are no hazards.
  •  Interesting Features
    Fort George was constructed to defend against smoothbore weaponry; it became obsolete following the introduction of more powerful rifled guns in the 1860s. British forces upgraded Fort George's armaments to permit it to defend the harbour as well as land approaches, using heavier and more accurate long-range artillery. The role of Fort George in the defense of Halifax Harbour had evolved by the turn of the 20th century to becoming a command centre for other, more distant harbour defensive works, as well as providing barrack accommodations.

    Although never attacked, Citadel Hill's various fortifications were garrisoned by the British Army until 1906 and afterward by the Canadian Army throughout the First and Second World Wars; Fort George having been used as temporary barracks during 1939-1940 and as the coordinating point for the city's anti-aircraft defences.

    According to Thomas Head Raddall, Citadel Hill was "like Vesuvius over Pompeii, a smiling monster with havoc in its belly". Following the war, the facility was designated a National Historic Site and today is under the responsibility of Parks Canada. Fort George has been restored to the mid-Victorian period.

    Site of Halifax's 'noon gun,' fired daily at 12pm. Don't let it scare you like it scares all the other tourists.
     Security Measures
  • fences
  • locked gates
  • dry moat
  •  Historical Dates
    Built: 1749
    Closed: 0
     Required Equipment
  • No equipment is required.
  •  Recommended Equipment
    binoculars, camera
    By any criteria or definition the Halifax Citadel is a very 'special place'. The Halifax Citadel has been commemorated as a nationally significant symbol of Halifax's role as a principal naval station in the British Empire and of the city's importance to Canada's development and evolution from colony to nation. The Halifax Citadel was formally recognized as a significant symbol of Canadian nationhood when it was designated as a National Historic Site in 1951.

    Visited by millions of Canadians, the Halifax Citadel is a cultural treasure. Its impressive ramparts and fortifications dominate the skyline of Halifax, Atlantic Canada's largest urban centre. The hectic daily activities of this busy seaport continue to be regulated by the noon gun and Town Clock. The green slopes of its glacis have become a popular refuge and escape from the hustle and bustle of the modern city below. The Citadel has become a tangible link between past and present.

    The Halifax Citadel is part of a larger system of national parks and historic sites throughout Canada administered by Parks Canada, a federal government agency within the Department of Canadian Heritage. Parks Canada is committed to commemorating, protecting and presenting places which are significant examples of Canada's cultural and natural heritage in ways that encourage public understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of this heritage in a sustainable manner. Under the stewardship of Parks Canada, the modern-day Citadel has been given new life. Its granite walls and fortifications have undergone extensive stabilization and restoration, in testimony of the commitment by Canadians to the importance attached to preserving their heritage.

    Where formerly the Citadel stood guard as the key defensive component of a complex of harbour defences, today it serves as a reminder of Canada's beginnings. It is a place where Canadians learn about their past and can appreciate through first-hand experience the realities of the 19th century. As a national landmark, the Halifax Citadel has become a "must-see" for any visitor to the region.
     Media Coverage
  • CBC: Citadel Hill dispute heads to Supreme Court (February 24, 2011)
  • Metro News: Clash in court over Citadel Hill’s value
    (May 26, 2010)
  • Times&Transcript: N.S. parks get cash (March 21, 2009)
  • CBC: Widening of Cabot Trail on Parks Canada's to-do list in N.S. (March 20, 2009)
  •  Future Plans
    Parks Canada will undoubtedly continue to operate Citadel Hill as a national historic site.

    Add your own story
     Photo Galleries
    Click to view gallery
    10/15/05 (Part 3 of 3)
    Sat, Oct 15th, 2005
    posted by tribeachpunk
    8 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    10/15/05 (Part 1 of 3)
    Sat, Oct 15th, 2005
    posted by tribeachpunk
    25 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    10/15/05 (Part 2 of 3)
    Sat, Oct 15th, 2005
    posted by tribeachpunk
    25 pictures

    Add your own photos

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     Web Links
  • Parks Canada: Citadel Hill
  • Parks Canada: Citadel Hill: Virtual Tour
  • Halifax Citadel Regimental Association (HCRA)
  • Halifax UrbEx: Citadel Hill

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     Moderator Rating
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    This location's validation is current. It was last validated by Opheliaism on 2/25/2011 1:59 AM.

     Latest Changes
  • on Feb 25 11 at 1:59, Opheliaism validated this location
  • on Feb 24 11 at 23:19, tribeachpunk changed the following: Media Coverage
  • on Feb 24 11 at 18:37, tribeachpunk validated this location
  • on Feb 24 11 at 18:37, tribeachpunk changed the following: Media Coverage
  • on Feb 24 11 at 18:35, tribeachpunk changed the following: Media Coverage
  • on Jan 27 11 at 21:12, tribeachpunk validated this location
  • on Jan 27 11 at 21:11, tribeachpunk changed the following: Media Coverage
  • on Jan 27 11 at 21:10, tribeachpunk changed the following: Web Links
  • on May 18 10 at 0:18, tribeachpunk validated this location
  • on May 18 10 at 0:18, tribeachpunk changed the following: Web Links
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