Since 1749, there have been a series of four different forts on top of citadel hill in the middle of downtown Halifax. The highest point in the city, the current fort was built in 1856 is now a popular tourist attraction. Recognized as a National Historic Site of Canada, it has been restored to its Victorian period-appearance by Parks Canada. Inside you can see re-enactors dressed in Victorian costume, and learn about the fort and the city's history. Also, as a bonus each day, the 78th Highlander re-enactment regiment fire off a canon signaling noontime and the changing of the guard, putting on quite the show.
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Halifax Citadel Ghost Tour
Available from mid-July to the end of October, these special candlelit tours explore Canada's most haunted historic site, where there are tales of more than 30 unexplained events. Get a little haunting with your history!
The Citadel sits at the heart of Halifax and some might say that it is the heart of the city standing the test of time.
Construction of the Citadel Fort started in 1828 and finished in 1856. The fort’s purpose was to deter an overland assault on the city and the dockyard. This ‘lookout’ role explains why it’s at the top of the hill in downtown Halifax – a perfect view of the docks and harbors.
It has stood the test of time historically and it continues to keep time daily. A large part of the living history museum which makes up today's Citadel historic sight is the tradition of the noon gun. Every day except for Christmas day the noon gun, which is pointed out across downtown and towards the waterfront, is shot off. The tradition has been in place for 148 years. And it’s not without pomp and circumstance. The soldiers go through the whole ceremonious process as a crowd of tourists watch on.
However my favorite part was probably that this old, historical tradition also had a modern twist. The noon gun has a Twitter account (@HalifaxNoonGun) and every day it sends out one tweet! I recommend following it!
Website – Halifax Citadel
Hours – Jul 1 to Aug 31 - 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.
Sep 1 to Oct 31 - 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
Nov 1 to May 6 – The grounds are open from 9:00am until 5:00pm. Ghost Tours and other services available, however visitor experience services limited.
Tickets – $7 to $11
Perched high above Halifax Harbour, this historic site is home to star-shaped Fort George, completed in 1856. Tour the Citadel's Army Museum, which showcases uniforms and weaponry from Atlantic Canada's military heritage. Throughout the day, volunteers—clad in regimental dress to portray members of the Royal Artillery and the 78th Highlanders—conduct marching and band drills and, at the top of every hour, reenact the changing of the guards. You can often hear the sound of bagpipes. Grounds are open year round.