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Citadel Clock Tower – One of the most recognizable landmarks in eastern Canada

Citadel Clock Tower, looking out towards Halifax Harbour. Photo: Bruce Forsyth.

December 2019

Atop Citadel Hill in Halifax, Nova Scotia, sits the Halifax Citadel, a star-shaped fort built in 1749 for defence of Halifax and the harbour. Manned by a garrison of British soldiers and after Confederation, Canadian soldiers, it remained an active military installation until 1906, when it became a tourist attraction.

Located a short distance down the hill on the harbour side of the fort, sits the Citadel Clock Tower, one of the most recognizable landmarks in eastern Canada.

Built to keep time for the garrison soldiers in Halifax, the clock first became operational on 20 October 1803.

The clock tower consists of a one storey white clapboard Palladian-style building, topped with a three-tiered, irregular octagon tower with detailed trim and Greek columns, housing clock faces on four sides. The clock itself is driven by three weights, gears and a 13-foot pendulum

A caretaker, who lived in the clock tower, maintained the clock until 1965, when Citadel Hill employees took over this duty.

Citadel Hill National Historic Site, which includes the clock tower, now fall under the jurisdiction of Parks Canada.

By 1960, the clock tower had fallen into such disrepair that Parks Canada undertook a major restoration of the aging structure, rebuilding the iconic clock tower as water damage had made it irreparable. Subsequent projects undertook to restore the clock faces, hands and finally adding a new copper roof in 2018.

Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halifax_Town_Clock, https://www.thestar.com/halifax/2018/07/09/a-look-inside-halifaxs-town-clock-before-it-winds-down-for-renovation-work.html

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

Permanent link to this article: https://militarybruce.com/citadel-clock-tower-one-of-the-most-recognizable-landmarks-in-eastern-canada/

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