Pier 21 National Historic Site of Canada
Pier 21
© Parks Canada, Ian Doull, 1996

Pier 21 was designated a national historic site in September 1997.

Heritage value: Pier 21 was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1996 to commemorate: its role as a major ocean port-of-entry immigration facility in the post First World War period, and in particular during the years following the Second World War, the last intact example of a highly specialized building type associated with the theme of immigration (because of its high degree of structural and site integrity), its embodiment of the policies, procedures and attitudes of early 20th-century Canadian immigration processes.

Commemorative plaque: 1055 Marginal Road, Halifax, Nova Scotia

This site witnessed the arrival of approximately one million immigrants, who have enriched the cultural mosaic of Canada. Opened in 1928, Pier 21 served as one of Canada's principal reception centres for immigrants until it closed in 1971. It typifies the large, self-contained immigration facilities that the Canadian government had begun to establish at major ports near the turn of the 20th century. The staff at Pier 21 handled large volumes of immigrants rapidly, checking their citizenship and medical condition, and providing quarantine, detention, customs, and social services.

Pier 21 National Historic Site of Canada
General view
© Pier 21, Jennyrotten, 2010
Pier 21 National Historic Site of Canada
Side view
© Pier 21, Michael Sprague, 2009.


Other national historic designation associated with this one:

The National Program of Historical Commemoration relies on the participation of Canadians in the identification of places, events and persons of national historic significance. Any member of the public can nominate a topic for consideration by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.

Get information on how to participate in this process