Right at the center of Halifax is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks: the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, or – more simply – the Citadel.
The Citadel is a fort, and a symbol of Halifax’s role as a principal naval station in the British Empire. It spans a large grassy park in the shape of an eight-point star. The fort in place at the moment is actually fourth in a series, having been completed in 1856.
At the site, you’ll find a defensive ditch, earthen ramparts, a musketry gallery, a powder magazine, and garrison cells. History lovers are able to tour the period-style rooms of the citadel, and the Army Museum makes for great browsing. There is also a “living history” program, where mid-Victorian Halifax is represented through music, performances, and guided tours. The Coffee Bar onsite serves up hot drinks and home-style baking for when you need a break.
In the warm summer months, pack a picnic and join hundreds of other Haligonians.
Although a cemetery might seem to be too depressing of a place to visit while on vacation, the Fairview Lawn Cemetery has some incredible history. It’s best known for being the final resting place for over 100 victims from the sinking of the RMS Titanic, more than any other cemetery in the world.
The headstones of the dead are simple gray granite parkers, with the name and date of the deceased. A third of the markers have never been identified, including the grave of The Unknown Child, whose shoes were donated to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. He was later identified as Sidney Leslie Goodwin, whose entire family perished in the disaster. He was only 19 months old.
Here you’ll also find a grave marked “J Dawson.” The deceased’s name is actually Joseph Dawson, but the grave became a popular place for Titanic filmgoers to leave ticket stubs and flowers after Jack Dawson first appeared on the scene.