Crackling, banging and scraping of battles and wars echo the streets. On December 6, 1917 the great French ship carrying explosives, Mont Blanc, exploded in the Bedford Basin when Imo — a Belgian relief ship — impacted the first ship, causing an explosion that killed over 1,600 people and left thousands more homeless and injured. The explosion leveled the northern portion of Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The First Nations people were the Mi’kmaq, members of the Wabanaki Confederacy, whose habitation has been found 10,000 years prior. Their lands are across Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, the majority of New Brunswick, and portions of Gaspé Peninsula of Quebec.
In 1621, the king of England named the province New Scotland (Latin for Nova Scotia) and by 1620 there were two Scottish settlements but they were not to last. There was a great deal of conflict in the 17th Century between Britain and France for the land. However, it wasn’t until 1749 that Britain created a military outpost in what is now Halifax. The purpose of which was to even the playing field between them and the French, who already had a military fort in Cape Breton.
The continued expansion of the province lead to it becoming an important merchant station and dock for Britain’s privateering captains.
Nova Scotia became one of Canada’s founding provinces, despite their reservations about it, in 1867. Skipping ahead to the First World War, prosperity abound with the need for fish, lumber, steel and iron. Until the explosion sent them downhill and they needed to recuperate.
During the Second World War, the port of Halifax would house nearly 7,000 ships as the docks, and city, filled with sailors and merchants.