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Halifax Citadel National Historic Site of Canada

'Soldier for a Day' – A Signature Experience

Leave Your Mark on History!


Over five hundred thousand British soldiers served at the Halifax Citadel between 1749 and 1906. Many left their mark on the new nation of Canada. Now you too can leave your mark by becoming a ‘soldier for a day’ and experience life in a far-flung colony of the British Empire.

Step back in time to 1869, as Canada was emerging from colony to nation, and find out what life was really like for the “redcoats” by living it yourself. Upon entering the historic Orderly Room at Parks Canada’s Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, all participants will sign their enlistment papers before receiving their soldier’s pay, the famous “Queen’s Shilling.”

Participants will be fitted for an authentic uniform consisting of a cotton shirt, wool kilt, sporran, red wool Highland “doublet,” wool socks, boots, spats, and a Glengarry bonnet bearing the brass badge of the 78th Highlanders. Once properly turned out, participants will venture to the parade square for their first lesson in foot drill. It may be hot, it may be dusty, or it may be foggy and raining, but this is the life of a soldier!

After perfecting the foot drills, participants, aged 16 years and over, will learn how to handle and fire an original Snider-Enfield rifle. Younger participants, aged 8-15, will learn to play the British Army brass shell field drum. All participants will then enjoy a private in-depth tour of the Citadel’s rooms, walls and tunnels. Finally, all participants will “stand down” and enjoy refreshments in the Sergeant’s Mess.

Dressing in authentic uniform Soldier for a Day
© Parks Canada/D. Wilson

Participants Receive:

  • Reproduction English shilling from 1869 and reproduction enlistment papers
  • Refreshment consisting of tea or lemonade and a scone
  • Opportunity to have photographs taken throughout experience

Booking Details:

Two sessions per day: 10am-1pm and 2pm-5pm, May 7 to October 31
Maximum number of participants/session: Four per session
Contact the Halifax Citadel Orderly Room at (902) 426-1990, or

Fees (HST is extra):

Adults (18+) $199
Children (8-15) $175
Couple/Group of 2 $250
Family Group of 3 $275
Family Group of 4 $300