What to know before you visit
Over the next five years, Parks Canada will invest $3 billion to rehabilitate infrastructure assets within national historic sites, national parks, and national marine conservation areas across Canada. This historic investment supports conservation while promoting visitor experience and making our infrastructure safer and more appealing to visitors.
When visiting Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, you may encounter one or more construction zones or reduced services while we complete this important work. Please plan ahead before you travel to avoid inconvenience. Consult the following list of current infrastructure projects to see if any road or facility work might impact your trip.
South Front Rehabilitation
The “South Front” refers to the area of the fort – the southern part of the front (harbour-facing) section of the fort, that is, the section that includes the front entrance and as far south as the signal masts.
This project includes a complete assessment of South Front elements including masonry walls, the Signal Establishment, casemates and demi-casemates, drainage systems, look-off decks, etc., and stabilization of those elements in poor condition.
The restoration work will consist largely of masonry work: laborious re-pointing of the granite and mortar that make up a number of layers of fortification, and in some cases, the rooms within the walls. Work is currently underway and completion is expected for March 2018.
Heritage Experience Centre
One of Parks Canada's current infrastructure projects is replacing the four theatre Tides of History program with a modern, flagship exhibit to present the stories of the Halifax Citadel in new, interactive ways. Content and design planning are well underway and it is anticipated that the exhibit will be completed in 2017 – Canada’s 150th birthday!
Old Town Clock Rehabilitation
Like all historic buildings, the iconic Old Town Clock requires ongoing protection and maintenance to ensure its structural and aesthetic integrity for years to come. Assessment of the structure has shown water infiltration to be a problem along the roofline and around the windows.
Parks Canada has begun a project which will protect this city icon by replacing the roof and some windows to address the current water infiltration and prevent further deterioration. The project also includes painting and general restoration of the clock faces on the exterior of the clock tower.
A fenced work site will be erected around the Old Town Clock this summer, but pedestrian access up the hill from Brunswick St. will not be affected. The clockworks will need to be stopped while some of the work is in progress. The work is expected to be completed in 2017.
We apologize for any inconvenience these projects may cause. Please contact us if you would like help planning your visit to Halifax Citadel National Historic Site!
Commercial Signal Mast Installation
The 140 foot mast had the important role of informing the public of commercial marine traffic in the harbour before the advent of electronic telecommunications.
Perimeter Road Resurfacing
Perimeter Road, the access road to Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, required resurfacing. Parks Canada undertook a project to improve the road surface, as well as pedestrian safety and access at the site’s rear kiosk. Work included road paving, walkway, curbing, line painting, guard rails, signage and the entrance gates at Sackville Street and Rainnie Drive.
Garrison Grounds Drainage Infrastructure
Parks Canada is undertook a project to improve drainage infrastructure on the Garrison Grounds at Halifax Citadel National Historic Site. The work took place on the section of the grounds closest to the corner of Sackville Street and Bell Road, part of the area which is available for facility rental through Parks Canada.
*Note that this part of the facility rental area of the Garrison Grounds will be unavailable as of August 1, 2016. The work area will be fenced and closed to the public. Although field drainage work was completed in the 2016 season, the area will remain closed through the winter and the spring to allow the new sod time to take root. The area will re-open May 1, 2017.
Visitors to Halifax Citadel National Historic Site and parking clients of Indigo Park, the operator of the Garrison Grounds parking lot, should rarely be impacted by this work.
We are also doing work at nearby Prince of Wales Tower National Historic Site, located in Halifax's Point Pleasant Park.
See also: Archaeology