History Browser

Search Results

Subject > Politics and Society > Museums, Monuments and Memorials

Date > 1800

Organization > National Defence

Map of Halifax, 1865

Type: Image

Starting in the late 1820s, the fortifications of Halifax were developed into a formidable defence complex. The new Citadel on the hill dominated the city’s landscape with batteries dotting the coast to provide crossfire against enemy ships. George’s Island was also heavily fortified to block the passage leading into Bedford basin. This 1865 map of Halifax shows these defences were woven into the layout of the city. (Library and Archives Canada, NMC 48125-6/6)

Site: National Defence

32 pounder guns mounted on traversing wooden garrison platforms

Type: Image

These early 19th century British artillery pieces are mounted on platforms that allow guns to swing in a wide arc and thus follow a moving target such as a ship. These reconstucted carriages are found at the Coteau-du-Lac National Historic Site near Montreal, Quebec. The fortifications were built to defend the canal lock - the first built in North America.

Site: National Defence

Belmont Battery at Fort Rodd Hill, British Columbia

Type: Image

Built in 1898-1900 to protect the entrance to the Royal Navy (and later the Royal Canadian Navy) base on the Pacific, the battery has been restored to its appearance during the Second World War 1939-45. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

Aerial view of Fort Lennox

Type: Image

Fort Lennox was built on Isle-au-Noix just north of the American border between 1819 to 1826. Its purpose was to block the way towards Montreal to any hostile force coming up the Richelieu River from Lake Champlain. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

9-inch Armstrong Rifled Muzzle-Loading gun on a traversing platform

Type: Image

This large cannon is in a coastal battery at York Redoubt National Historic Site near Halifax. This type of gun weights 12 tons (12.2 mt) and fires a projectile of 256 pounds (116 kg.) at an effective range of 2,000 yards (1829 m.). Great guns such as this one were installed in Canadian major forts from the 1860s. During the 1880s, the eight forts defending Halifax had thirty-eight 9-inch (22.8 cm.) guns as well as fifteen 10-inch (25.4 cm.), fifteen 7-inch (17.7 cm.) and nine 64-pounder (29 kg.) RML cannons ready to battle enemy warships. The mountings and the concrete ‘Moncrieff’ emplacement pit, named after its designer, were a refinement of the 1890s which allowed gunner to fire the gun over a high parapet while being well protected from enemy fire. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

Fort George, Upper Canada

Type: Image

In 1794, Jay’s Treaty led to withdrawal of British forces from Fort Niagara. In 1796, work began on Fort George at Newark (present-day Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario), directly across the Niagara River from the older fort. Fort George was the scene of several battles during the War of 1812. It is now a major National Historic Site. The wooden palisade at the centre of this photograph sits on top of the earth-built curtain wall linking two of the fort's six stone bastions, one of which can be seen at the end of the palisade. To the left is a part of the ditch (or 'covered way') surrounding the fort, along with an further earthwork known as a ravelin. The ravelin, with its own wooden palisade and small blockhouse inside, made it more difficult for any attacker to assault the curtain wall.

Site: National Defence

Fort Chambly

Type: Image

The third fort on this site, construction began on Fort Chambly in 1709. It was made of stone and looked rather like a castle. This made it different from the low-lying, bastioned fortresses of Europe. The fort was built to be impressive and all but impregnable to Indian enemies and raiding American colonials. The fort wall facing the Richelieu River was pierced for artillery. During the War of 1812, Fort Chambly was the HQ for British and Canadian troops guarding the area south of Montreal against an advance by American armies. The complex fell into ruins during the 19th century. Its walls were stabilized in 1885 when it was made a Canadian government historic park. Recognized as a unique surviving example of military architecture, Fort Chambly was given a major restoration in the 1980s by Parks Canada. This returned the fort to its appearance of the mid-18th century.

Site: National Defence

The Quebec Citadel, circa 1950

Type: Image

Built between 1828 and 1856, the Quebec Citadel has remained largely the same ever since, as this 1950s picture shows. It is now the regimental HQ of the Royal 22e Régiment / Royal 22nd Regiment - the famous 'Van Doos'. (Library of the Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence