Pier 21

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by tvordj on May 13, 2008

Betweem 1928 and 1971 over 1.5 million immigrants passed through Halifax on their way to new lives in Canada. They arrived by ship and landed at Pier 21 in the south end of Halifax. The museum is housed in the last remaining immigration clearing shed in Canada and is named for it and it's mission is to explore the immigration experience that so many thousands went through. The facility is also a research centre for people wanting to trace their geneology. The museum aims to celebrate all immigrants to Canada from the early days after the country was formed in 1867 onwards, bringing a large multicultural building block to Canada.

The original Pier 21 was a complex of buildings that included access to the trains. Now it houses a bright museum, with a wall of windows overlooking the harbour and George's Island. The cruise ship docks are also just next to it. There are thousands of photographs, written histories from people who want to tell their stories, interactive displays, artifacts and even an old railway car with a video of highlights of the country from coast to coast. There is of course, a gift shop and cafe and there are research facilities as well. It is wheelchair accessible.

The museum is located at the south end of the city on Marginal Road. Easiest way to get there is to go down Barrington Street to South Street where you will see the Westin Hotel and Train station. Turn left on South Street, a short left and a quick right onto Terminal Road. Follow that down and round to the right. You can also go south on HOllis Street as far as the road goes, then turn left onto Terminal Road as above. There's a parking lot there that costs $2 per hour. Alternatively, park anywhere along the waterfront or take the ferry to Halifax and walk the boardwalks all the way down. It would take about 15 minutes (or longer if you're strolling) to walk from the Halifax ferry terminal to Pier 21. There is no bus that serves Marginal Road but in the summer months you can catch the free downtown shuttle, FRED, that goes right to the door. Metro Transit bus numbers 9 and 7 go down Barrington to the train station area.

The museum is open 7 days a week in summer from 9:30 to 5:30. Winter hours (November 29 to March 31) 10:00 to 5:00, closed on Sunday and Monday. In April the winter hours are in effect but they are only closed on Sunday. Closed Dec. 25, 26 and Jan. 1. Costs are $8.50 for an adult with discounts for children and senior. There's a family rate as well.

As of 2010 the museum has been named as Canada's National Immigration Museum so will be awarded more funds for expansion. Very good news for Pier 21! (No, i don't think it will have an actual name change, just a designation change)

Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21
1055 Marginal Road
Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3H 4P6
(902) 425 7770


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