What to know before you visit

Our national historic sites reflect the rich and varied heritage of our nation and provide an opportunity for Canadians to learn more about our diverse history. Investments in preservation, and restoration of our national historic sites will protect our heritage and strengthen their appeal as destinations to celebrate our nation's achievements. 

Parks Canada is investing $3 billion to rehabilitate infrastructure assets within national historic sites, national parks, and national marine conservation areas across Canada. This historic five year investment supports conservation while promoting visitor experience and making our infrastructure safer and more appealing to visitors. 

Ongoing work

Please watch this page for infrastructure work updates. The current infrastructure projects are not expected to significantly impact site access for visitors. 

Old Town Clock Rehabilitation (July 2018 – Spring 2019)

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. 
Halifax Citadel National Historic Site.

A project began in July 2018 to protect this city icon by replacing the roof and 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. 

Over the summer, workers discovered some wood on the southwest face of the bell tower that had rotted more than anticipated. The contractors are replacing the wood, which will extend the project into next spring. With projects like this taking place on cultural resources and built heritage assets, it is common that the extent of deterioration of these structures is only determined once preparatory work is underway. Once this particular project is completed, the overall condition of the Old Town Clock will be improved and this work to replace the rotted wood will prevent further deterioration, reducing future maintenance costs.

A fenced work site will remain erected around the Old Town Clock as the project continues through the fall and winter. Pedestrian access up the hill from Brunswick St. will not be affected. The clockworks will need to be stopped while the work is in progress. The work is expected to be completed in the spring of 2019. 

Masonry Rehabilitation (Ongoing until March 2020)

Restoration and repair is never entirely complete with historic structures. Halifax’s seaside climate is hard on masonry elements with the freeze-thaw cycle deteriorating mortar. 

Halifax Citadel National Historic Site.

The current masonry project included a complete assessment of the South and North Front masonry walls, and we are now stabilizing the elements that were in poor condition. The restoration work consists largely of masonry work: laborious re-pointing of the granite and ironstone walls that make up a number of layers of fortification, and in some cases, the rooms within the walls. Work is currently underway outside the fort in the ditch area to minimize the effect on visitors, until November 2018 where the work will then return to inside the fort for the winter. The masonry rehabilitation process is expected to be completed in March 2020. 

Cavalier Building roof replacement (May 2018 – May 2019)

With its animated roofline rising above the ramparts, the Cavalier Building reinforces the military character of the Halifax Citadel. Work began this summer to replace the cedar roof shingles on the main roof, as well as on the west and south flat roofs. 

Though it is not impacting visitor access into the building, there is rotating scaffolding placed around the building as work is being completed. Work on the Cavalier Building is expected to be completed in spring 2019. 

Other Infrastructure Projects 

  • Elevator to ramparts replacement (Fall 2018)
  • Site lift (2019)
  • New Heritage Experience Centre: a modern, flagship exhibit to present the stories of the Halifax Citadel in new, interactive ways (2019) 

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! 

Work completed

Waterline Replacement (February – June 2018)

Contractors are currently working on a project to replace the waterline that feeds the Halifax Citadel. The waterline runs from Brunswick Street to the Old Town Clock and from the Old Town Clock over to a service tunnel, where it then continues up and under the walls of the fort. Last winter, contractors replaced the waterline in the service tunnel and this winter they are replacing the waterline on the hill. A service road has been installed to allow trucks to move freely on site and not damage the hill. A silt fence has been installed to protect the slope from erosion during construction. These will stay in place until all project work is completed.
The visitor path that runs from Brunswick Street, next to the Town Clock and up to the front entrance, may be inaccessible for a few days at a time to allow for excavation and waterline tie-ins to be made. When the pathway is closed, the nearest pedestrian access to the Halifax Citadel's front entrance is via Sackville Street. This work should be completed by early June. Paving work and tying into the Halifax water system will wait until consistent warm temperatures allow for repaving. 

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 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. 

We have also completed work at nearby Prince of Wales Tower National Historic Site, located in Halifax's Point Pleasant Park.