Halifax Citadel National Historic Site of Canada

Commemorating the War of 1812

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The Halifax Defences: the forts that protected a navy that defended an empire

"" © Parks Canada

When war was declared on June 18, 1812, Halifax was key to the defence of British North America. As the primary base for the Royal Navy’s North Atlantic squadron, the port was well protected by several fortifications, including the Halifax Citadel, Fort Charlotte on Georges Island, York Redoubt, and the Prince of Wales Tower.

Although these defences were never tested in combat, the war demonstrated their importance, and in the years following 1814, many improvements were made, including the complete re-construction of the Halifax Citadel as a masonry work, becoming one of the most powerful forts in North America. 

Learn more about the Halifax Defence Complex  
Learn more about the War of 1812

The Halifax Citadel National Historic Site is a living legacy of a pivotal time in Canadian and American history. Parks Canada presents a special exhibit on the War of 1812, and re-enactments of army and navy life at a busy military station, a time when troops manned the defences or prepared to ship out for far off battlefields.