Halifax Citadel commemorates the First World War with engaging exhibits.

World War I

Canada's participation in the First World War shaped the country and Canadian identity. More than 600,000 Canadians served in the First World War, while more than 60,000 Canadians lost their lives. This is an opportunity to honour those who served. Halifax was the main shipping point from Canada to Europe—troops, convoys of supplies, munitions; the major base for escort ships, anti-submarine patrols. During the First World War, Halifax was where troops last stepped on Canadian soil when going overseas and the first part of Canada on which they stepped on their return.

100 Years Ago...The Halifax Explosion


Halifax explosion.
Soldiers engaged in rescue work after the Halifax Explosion.
Source: Library and Archives Canada.

On December 6, 1917, two ships - the Imo and the Mont Blanc - collided. The French Mont Blanc was a munitions ship coming from New York with cargo to join the convoy for Bordeaux. The neutral Norwegian-registered vessel, Imo, was a chartered ship on the way to load relief supplies in New York for Belgium. The 2,750 tons of explosives devastated the city of Halifax, killing 2,000 persons and causing another 9,000 casualties. 

Event: Halifax Explosion 100th Anniversary Commemorations

Learn more: Collections Canada page about the Halifax Explosion.
Learn more: Watch video: "The Explosion".

World War II

More than one million Canadian men and women enlisted, while more than 44,000 gave their lives in the fight for peace and freedom in the Second World War. While Canadian troops headed to Europe to assist Allied forces, Canada also mobilized its coastal defences against a possible German attack. The Halifax Citadel National Historic Site served as the Halifax headquarters for anti-aircraft defences during the Second World War, and the collective Halifax Defence Complex protected the entrance to the harbour.

Army Museum 
Army Museum Halifax Citadel's exhibit "The Road to Vimy and Beyond"
© Army Museum Halifax Citadel 

Hometown Heroes

Canada’s participation in the First World War (1914-1918) and the Second World War (1939-1945) touched every community in this country. Discover the compelling stories of several Nova Scotian Hometown Heroes

Commemorative Events

First World War Commemorations, 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge Open House (Sunday, April 9)
First World War Commemorations, 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele (Saturday, October 21)

image: WWI-era car, soldier and officer image: WWI-era trench

Commemorative Exhibits

The Road to Vimy and Beyond
This Army Museum exhibit commemorates the service and sacrifice of the soldiers in the First World War, particularly the soldiers from Nova Scotia.

WWI Trench Experience
Discover aspects of life on the Western Front. Tour a full-size simulated trench, explore dugouts where men took their orders, and take a chilling glimpse at no man’s land through the eyes of a soldier. Step into the nurses’ tent and find out how front-line medicine worked against all odds to save lives.

Learn More

Halifax Defence Complex 
Internment Operation at the Halifax Citadel during the First World War 
Halifax Citadel Army Museum