Dartmouth, N.S. 1980 City Street & Industrial Park Information

Points of Interest:

(1) Tourist Bureau
(2) Dartmouth Heritage Museum
(3) Historical Park: cairn celebrating 353 Alderney Settlers 1753 [sic], granite mill stones retrieved from harbour at entrance, panoramic view of Halifax from Pagoda
(4) Christ Church: oldest in Dartmouth, 1817
(5) Geary Street cemetery: [–supposedly] Graves of [Mi’kmaq] and their Chief Paul, [–otherwise known as the old Catholic burying ground]
(6) Dartmouth Shipyards: former location of the Whale Oil Plant
(7) Jackson House: Quaker Whaler house, oldest landmark 1785, also in area of 19th century houses
(8) Former location of Sugar Refinery: Built in 1884, moved to St. John W.W.2
(9) Sullivan’s Pond, cairns marking entrance to Shubenacadie Canal, [indigenous]-carved Totem Pole, gift from B.C. at First Canada Summer Games
(10) Bannook (sic) Canoe Club: Founded 1905
(11) MicMac Aquatic Club: Founded in 1923
(12) Senobe Aquatic Club: Founded 1965

Dartmouth: Dartmouth has been called “The City of Lakes”, but it is a city which looks to the sea as well. Indeed, from nowhere else on the shores of Halifax Harbour can one see the full panorama of landmarks and ocean-borne activity that is visible from the Dartmouth waterfront.

The Landings: Central waterfront Plazas (Chebucto Landing in Halifax and Alderney Landing in Dartmouth) will provide attractive surroundings for ferry passengers and other pedestrians near the new terminals being constructed by the Dartmouth Ferry Commission. As focal points for the major uphill streets (George Street and Portland Street), the Landings will be visual reminders of the presence, importance and new accessibility of the waterfront.

The Tour: The route selected for this tour takes in most of the attractions in the waterfront and neighbouring downtown area. The Dartmouth Heritage Museum is on the tour and well worth a visit, as is the historic Quaker house.

Areas of interest which are somewhat less accessible (due to adjacent construction activity, awkward pavement, or distances beyond the average tolerance) are noted for persons who wish to explore them (——–)

Historic waterfront: Dartmouth waterfront’s earliest recorded use was as an encampment for [Mi’kmaq] arriving each spring from the Bay of Fundy by way of the Shubenacadie River and connecting lakes.

Upon the arrival of English ships in 1749, the Dartmouth shore served as a source of timber for the settlers of Halifax, who built a sawmill above Dartmouth Cove.

When the ship “Alderney” arrived with additional settlers in 1750, Dartmouth became a community in its own right. A tidy little town developed, with waterfront businesses spilling out of the Cove and along the adjacent shore.

As the years went by, however, the waterfront of Dartmouth was rendered increasingly inaccessible to the public by both the rail line and the busy traffic of Alderney Drive. The area badly needed the revitalization effort now being undertaken by the Waterfront Development Corporation. As the first phases of this effort, the new Ferry Terminal Park and Harbour Walk are already turning the area back to the public and visitors to Dartmouth.

The Downtown: The most prominent feature of downtown Dartmouth is its Common, a legacy of the Quaker Whalers who settled here in 1785. Today, a network of footpaths and carefully laid stone walls rises to an expanse of greenery with an encircling view, 140 feet above sea level.

Another feature of downtown Dartmouth which cannot escape notice is the architecture. Wooden houses and churches of simple, graceful styles provide an interesting contrast to the predominantly stone and brick structures on the Halifax tour.

The walker who looks up at dormers, eaves and door trim will be rewarded with a variety of interesting “finds”, and will feel the charm of old Dartmouth.

Start here: Historical Text by Elizabeth Pacey.

1: Dartmouth Ferry – oldest salt-water ferry service in North America (licensed in 1752), introduced its newest ferries in 1979.

2: Dartmouth City Hall – built in 1967 as the first step in the direction of focusing attention on the downtown and waterfront

3: Propeller – from the ice breaker “John A. MacDonald”, this propeller was damaged in service in 1969, while escorting the “Manhattan” on its history making voyage through the Arctic Ocean.

4: Ferry Terminal Park – A walk along the water’s edge commands excellent views south towards McNabs Island and the smaller George’s Island, and north towards the Angus L. MacDonald Bridge. Across the harbor, downtown Halifax, Citadel Hill and the grey warships of the Canadian Armed Forces are visible. This popular park has been completed as part of the Waterfront Development Corporation Dartmouth Revitalization project and will have an extension along the curve of Alderney Drive (scheduled for completion Summer, 1980).

5: The Marine Slips – The earliest settlement in Dartmouth grew up around Dartmouth Cove, now the site of these drydocks noted for their outstanding recovery rate in repairing torpedoed ships during World War II.

6: Steps to Alderney Drive – a proposal by the WDCL for this central area will make access to the waterfront easier and more attractive. New steps will be located south of the existing ones, and will connect a waterfront plaza with the foot of Portland Street. Pedestrians on the main street will then enjoy a view of the water and the cluster of boats in a planned boat basin. The area will be called “Alderney Landing” after the ship which brought the first 353 settlers to Dartmouth.

7: Harbour Walk and Ferry Parking area – site planned for future redevelopment with parking included. Harbour Walk will remain.

8: Geary Street cemetery – Site of early [Mi’kmaq] graves, including those of two chieftains, as well as early 19th century headstones. This was the first Roman Catholic cemetery in Dartmouth.

9: Railway marshalling yards – best seen from the cemetery observation area.

10: “Mont Blanc” Gun – The heavily-laden munitions ship “Mont Blanc” was struck by another vessel, the “Imo”, in Halifax Harbour on December 6, 1917. The result was an explosion which devastated the northern areas of both Dartmouth and Halifax, killing or injuring thousands of persons. This explosion, the largest man-made one before Hiroshima, hurled the ship’s gun to Albro Lake, two miles away. Note also the 1500-pound anchor which was salvaged from an old sailing vessel.

11: Dartmouth Heritage Museum – Fascinating artifacts and models depicting life in Dartmouth are on display upstairs in the museum.

12: Tourist bureau – a source of information on other areas of Dartmouth.

13: Dartmouth Common – provides scenic views of the harbour entrance and the narrow Eastern Passage between McNabs Island and the oil refinery. During the American Civil War, the Confederate raider “Tallahassee”, which had come into port by day, escaped by night through the Eastern Passage, while two Union warships stood guard at the harbour entrance. (Exit the Common at King Street.)

14: Mystery House – in 1846, resident Dr. MacDonald disappeared mysteriously. The only clue in the unsolved case was the remnant of a tunnel leading out from the basement of the house.

15: Grace United Church – rebuilt in 1919 after the Explosion.

16: Nos. 53-55 Ochterloney Street – early New England style architecture (c.1800) with simple dormers, now restored for the Fire Department Offices.

17: Jackson House – best remaining example of a Quaker House. Nantucket Whalers, mainly Quaker by religion, came to Dartmouth in 1785 to avoid the high British tariff on American whale oil imposed after the American War or Independence. Restored by the Museum Society, the house is open to the public in July and August.

18: Christ Church (Anglican) – built in 1817, a fine simple Georgian structure with rounded windows, decorative cornices and plasters.

19: Christ Church Cemetery – First used by the Quakers, this cemetery is tucked in behind the gentle slope of Dartmouth Common.

20: Victoria Road Baptist Church – This ecumenical building, built in 1844, was once the parish hall for the Anglican Christ Church and was moved on rollers in 1906 to this site to serve a Baptist congregation.

21: Sullivan’s Pond – Dredged out in 1833 as part of the old Shubenacadie Canal system, this gracefully landscaped pond is located three blocks off the map. A Kwakiuti totem pole commemorates the 1969 Young Canada Games.

22: Starr Manufacturing Company – Became internationally renowned for its ice skates, selling 11 million pairs in 50 different models.

23: St. James Church – build in 1871 near the site of a 1749 [Mi’kmaq] raid on the sawmill built by the settlers of Halifax.

24: Portland Street – this commercial district is involved in a redevelopment scheme which will include repaving, landscaping and refurbishing of storefronts.

25: Corner of King and Portland Streets – two buildings with five-sided Scottish dormers, a characteristic Halifax/Dartmouth style, introduced by stone-cutters and masons who came in 1826 to build the Shubenacadie Canal. The Canal connected Halifax Harbour with the Bay of Fundy though a system of locks across the province. This engineering feat was 36 years in the planning and construction phase and 10 years in operation, from 1861 to 1871. The canal followed an ancient Micmac canoe route used for annual migration to the shores of Chebucto, the [Mi’kmaq] name for the harbor. The first stage in the canal system was located in the area visible down King Street (an inclined railway from Dartmouth Cove to Sullivan’s Pond).

26: Proposed housing – the waterfront development plan anticipates new housing on these sites, as an adjunct to the effort to revitalize Portland Street.

27: Wentworth Cannon – brought from the estate of Governor John Wentworth, once located just beyond Dartmouth. Wentworth was Surveyor General of his Majesty’s Woods in North America, then Governor of New Hampshire from 1767 to 1775, and later Governor of Nova Scotia from 1792 to 1808.

28: Alderney Landing – from this point Alderney Landing will open up a view of the harbour.

“Dartmouth: #1 with Industry in Atlantic Canada. Dartmouth, Nova Scotia has been the first choice for expansion and development for over 450 local and national firms. Dartmouth’s industrial parks offer a superior location with good connections by land, rail, sea and air. Products are never far away from the U.S., Europe and other Canadian cities. Dartmouth offers the largest pool of skilled manpower available in Atlantic Canada and over 150 site-ready acres in a retail trading zone of a half a million people.

So what are you waiting for? Take advantage of government incentive programs and call on the Dartmouth Industrial Commission for aid in expansion or relocation. Make Dartmouth your company’s first choice for the future.”

“Dartmouth, City of Lakes. The City of Dartmouth, with a population of over 65,000 is the second largest community in Nova Scotia. Since incorporation as a city in 1961, Dartmouth has enjoyed record growth and prosperity.

Located on the eastern slopes of Halifax Harbour, Dartmouth features a chain of 23 sparkling lakes complemented by public parks and recreation areas. The lakes provide swimming at public beaches and boating areas for the use of all. Canoeing and rowing clubs are situated on Lake Banook.

For the tourist and holiday maker, Dartmouth offers a quiet, peaceful atmosphere with plenty of hotels and motels. For the camper, the City-operated Shubie Park campsite provides electricity and water services for both tents and trailers.

Five shopping malls (MicMac, Woodlawn, Penhorn, K-Mart Shopping Plaza, the Dartmouth Shopping Centre) and the City’s Downtown shopping area offer a wide variety of goods and services to the shopper.

Come to Dartmouth. Stay a day or a week. You will find that we have much to offer and that you will enjoy our City, our scenic lakes and our friendly hospitality!”

“Listening to us can make your life more pleasant, CFDR 680, Nova Scotia’s strongest Radio Voice, 50,000 watts.”

Dartmouth Inn, with a Telex number listed!

Little Nashville, the Harbour Lites Country Cabaret

Little Nashville, one of only a few establishments in the area that had a cabaret license, aka Harbour lights lounge.

“City Boundary”

“Dartmouth, N.S. 1980 City Street & Industrial Park Information”, City of Dartmouth Chamber of Commerce. 1980. https://archives.novascotia.ca/maps/archives/?ID=2008&Page=202013022