Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States is the world's longest bi-national land border, its capital is Ottawa, its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra, its population is urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, many near the southern border. Canada's climate varies across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons. Various indigenous peoples have inhabited what is now Canada for thousands of years prior to European colonization. Beginning in the 16th century and French expeditions explored, settled, along the Atlantic coast.
As a consequence of various armed conflicts, France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America in 1763. In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces; this began an accretion of provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the United Kingdom. This widening autonomy was highlighted by the Statute of Westminster of 1931 and culminated in the Canada Act of 1982, which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament. Canada is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy in the Westminster tradition, with Elizabeth II as its queen and a prime minister who serves as the chair of the federal cabinet and head of government; the country is a realm within the Commonwealth of Nations, a member of the Francophonie and bilingual at the federal level. It ranks among the highest in international measurements of government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic freedom, education.
It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many other countries. Canada's long and complex relationship with the United States has had a significant impact on its economy and culture. A developed country, Canada has the sixteenth-highest nominal per capita income globally as well as the twelfth-highest ranking in the Human Development Index, its advanced economy is the tenth-largest in the world, relying chiefly upon its abundant natural resources and well-developed international trade networks. Canada is part of several major international and intergovernmental institutions or groupings including the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the G7, the Group of Ten, the G20, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. While a variety of theories have been postulated for the etymological origins of Canada, the name is now accepted as coming from the St. Lawrence Iroquoian word kanata, meaning "village" or "settlement".
In 1535, indigenous inhabitants of the present-day Quebec City region used the word to direct French explorer Jacques Cartier to the village of Stadacona. Cartier used the word Canada to refer not only to that particular village but to the entire area subject to Donnacona. From the 16th to the early 18th century "Canada" referred to the part of New France that lay along the Saint Lawrence River. In 1791, the area became two British colonies called Upper Canada and Lower Canada collectively named the Canadas. Upon Confederation in 1867, Canada was adopted as the legal name for the new country at the London Conference, the word Dominion was conferred as the country's title. By the 1950s, the term Dominion of Canada was no longer used by the United Kingdom, which considered Canada a "Realm of the Commonwealth"; the government of Louis St. Laurent ended the practice of using'Dominion' in the Statutes of Canada in 1951. In 1982, the passage of the Canada Act, bringing the Constitution of Canada under Canadian control, referred only to Canada, that year the name of the national holiday was changed from Dominion Day to Canada Day.
The term Dominion was used to distinguish the federal government from the provinces, though after the Second World War the term federal had replaced dominion. Indigenous peoples in present-day Canada include the First Nations, Métis, the last being a mixed-blood people who originated in the mid-17th century when First Nations and Inuit people married European settlers; the term "Aboriginal" as a collective noun is a specific term of art used in some legal documents, including the Constitution Act 1982. The first inhabitants of North America are hypothesized to have migrated from Siberia by way of the Bering land bridge and arrived at least 14,000 years ago; the Paleo-Indian archeological sites at Old Crow Flats and Bluefish Caves are two of the oldest sites of human habitation in Canada. The characteristics of Canadian indigenous societies included permanent settlements, complex societal hierarchies, trading networks; some of these cultures had collapsed by the time European explorers arrived in the late 15th and early 16th centuries and have only been discovered through archeological investigations.
The indigenous population at the time of the first European settlements is estimated to have been between 200,000
Parks Canada called the Parks Canada Agency, is an agency of the Government of Canada run by a chief executive who answers to the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change. Parks Canada is mandated to "protect and present nationally significant examples of Canada's natural and cultural heritage, foster public understanding and enjoyment in ways that ensure their ecological and commemorative integrity for present and future generations". Parks Canada manages 38 National Parks, three National Marine Conservation Areas, 171 National Historic Sites, one National Urban Park, one National Landmark; the agency administers lands and waters set aside as potential national parklands, including eight National Park Reserves and one National Marine Conservation Area Reserve. More than 450,000 km2 of lands and waters in national parks and national marine conservation areas has been set aside for such purposes; the Canadian Register of Historic Places is supported and managed by Parks Canada, in collaboration with provincial and territorial governments and other federal bodies.
The agency is the working arm of the national Historic Sites and Monuments Board, which recommends National Historic Sites and Persons. Parks Canada was established on May 19, 1911, as the Dominion Parks Branch under the Department of the Interior, becoming the world's first national park service. Since its creation, its name has changed, known variously as the Dominion Parks Branch, National Parks Branch, Parks Canada, Environment Canada - Parks Branch, the Canadian Parks Service, before a return to Parks Canada in 1998; the service's activities are regulated under the provisions of the Canada National Parks Act, enacted in 1930, amended in 2000. To mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017, Parks Canada offered free passes to national parks and national historic sites for the year; the Parks Canada Agency was established as a separate service entity in 1998, falls under the responsibility of Environment Canada. Before 2003, Parks Canada fell under the jurisdiction of the Department of Canadian Heritage, where it had been since 1994.
From 1979 to 1994, Parks Canada was part of the Department of Environment, before it was part of the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs, the Department of the Interior. With the organizational shifts and political leadership in Canada, the priorities of Parks Canada have shifted over the years more towards conservation and away from development. Starting in the 1960s, Parks Canada has moved to decentralize its operations. Parks Canada is headed by Daniel Watson, appointed in August 2015, following the retirement of Alan Latourelle, reappointed on August 7, 2007 As of 2004, the annual budget for Parks Canada is $500 million, the agency has 4,000 employees. Parks Canada Agency Act. S. C. 1952, c. 163 Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park Act Historic Canals Regulations, which governs the Rideau Canal including the Tay Canal. Marie Canal; the Department of Canadian Heritage, which runs federal Museums and more cultural affairs, falls under the control of the Minister of Heritage. Parks Canada employs Park Wardens to protect natural and cultural resources, conduct campground patrols and other targeted enforcement activities, to ensure the safety of visitors in national parks and marine conservation areas.
They are designated under section 18 of the Canada National Parks Act and have the authority of peace officers. They have access to other use of force options; the Minister may designate provincial and local enforcement officers under section 19 of the Act for the purpose of enforcing laws within the specified parks. These officers have the power of peace officers only in relation to the Act. In May 2012, it was reported that Park Wardens may be cross designated to enforce certain wildlife acts administered by Environment Canada. Should the designations go ahead it would only be for Park Wardens that are stationed near existing migratory bird sanctuaries; the intent of the change is to allow for a faster and lower-cost response to environmental enforcement incidents in remote areas in the north where Environment Canada does not have an ongoing presence, but Parks Canada has a park warden nearby who could act on its behalf, rather than have Environment Canada responded from a farther office. Parka, a female beaver, is Parks Canada's mascot.
A series of animated shorts starring her are hosted on the organization's website and have been aired on television as interstitials. List of National Parks of Canada National Park Service Ontario Parks Parks Canada Players Pingo National Landmark Campbell, Claire Elizabeth, ed. Century
Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime Provinces, one of the four provinces that form Atlantic Canada. Its provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the second-smallest of Canada's ten provinces, with an area of 55,284 square kilometres, including Cape Breton and another 3,800 coastal islands; as of 2016, the population was 923,598. Nova Scotia is Canada's second-most-densely populated province, after Prince Edward Island, with 17.4 inhabitants per square kilometre. "Nova Scotia" means "New Scotland" in Latin and is the recognized English-language name for the province. In both French and Scottish Gaelic, the province is directly translated as "New Scotland". In general and Slavic languages use a direct translation of "New Scotland", while most other languages use direct transliterations of the Latin / English name; the province was first named in the 1621 Royal Charter granting to Sir William Alexander in 1632 the right to settle lands including modern Nova Scotia, Cape Breton Island, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and the Gaspé Peninsula.
Nova Scotia is Canada's smallest province in area after Prince Edward Island. The province's mainland is the Nova Scotia peninsula surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, including numerous bays and estuaries. Nowhere in Nova Scotia is more than 67 km from the ocean. Cape Breton Island, a large island to the northeast of the Nova Scotia mainland, is part of the province, as is Sable Island, a small island notorious for its shipwrecks 175 km from the province's southern coast. Nova Scotia has many ancient fossil-bearing rock formations; these formations are rich on the Bay of Fundy's shores. Blue Beach near Hantsport, Joggins Fossil Cliffs, on the Bay of Fundy's shores, has yielded an abundance of Carboniferous-age fossils. Wasson's Bluff, near the town of Parrsboro, has yielded both Triassic- and Jurassic-age fossils; the province contains 5,400 lakes. Nova Scotia lies in the mid-temperate zone and, although the province is surrounded by water, the climate is closer to continental climate rather than maritime.
The winter and summer temperature extremes of the continental climate are moderated by the ocean. However, winters are cold enough to be classified as continental—still being nearer the freezing point than inland areas to the west; the Nova Scotian climate is in many ways similar to the central Baltic Sea coast in Northern Europe, only wetter and snowier. This is true in spite of Nova Scotia's being some fifteen parallels south. Areas not on the Atlantic coast experience warmer summers more typical of inland areas, winter lows a little colder. Described on the provincial vehicle licence plate as Canada's Ocean Playground, Nova Scotia is surrounded by four major bodies of water: the Gulf of Saint Lawrence to the north, the Bay of Fundy to the west, the Gulf of Maine to the southwest, Atlantic Ocean to the east; the province includes regions of the Mi'kmaq nation of Mi'kma'ki. The Mi'kmaq people inhabited Nova Scotia at the time the first European colonists arrived. In 1605, French colonists established the first permanent European settlement in the future Canada at Port Royal, founding what would become known as Acadia.
The British conquest of Acadia took place in 1710. The Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 formally recognized this and returned Cape Breton Island to the French. Present-day New Brunswick still formed a part of the French colony of Acadia. After the capture of Port Royal in 1710, Francis Nicholson announced it would be renamed Annapolis Royal in honor of Queen Anne. In 1749, the capital of Nova Scotia moved from Annapolis Royal to the newly established Halifax. In 1755 the vast majority of the French population was forcibly removed in the Expulsion of the Acadians. In 1763, most of Acadia became part of Nova Scotia. In 1769, St. John's Island became a separate colony. Nova Scotia included present-day New Brunswick until that province's establishment in 1784, after the arrival of United Empire Loyalists. In 1867, Nova Scotia became one of the four founding provinces of the Canadian Confederation; the warfare on Nova Scotian soil during the 17th and 18th centuries influenced the history of Nova Scotia. The Mi'kmaq had lived in Nova Scotia for centuries.
The French arrived in 1604, Catholic Mi'kmaq and Acadians formed the majority of the population of the colony for the next 150 years. During the first 80 years the French and Acadians lived in Nova Scotia, nine significant military clashes took place as the English and Scottish and French fought for possession of the area; these encounters happened at Port Royal, Saint John, Cap de Sable and Baleine. The Acadian Civil War took place from 1640 to 1645. Beginning with King William's War in 1688, six wars took place in Nova Scotia before the British defeated the French and made peace with the Mi'kmaq: King William's War, Queen Anne's War, Father Rale's War, King George's War, Father Le Loutre’s War The Seven Years' War called the French and Indian War The battles during these wars took place Port Royal, Saint John, Chignecto, Dartmouth and Grand-Pré. Despite the British conquest of Acadia in 1710, Nova Scotia remained occupied
Halifax Harbour is a large natural harbour on the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia, located in the Halifax Regional Municipality. The harbour is called Jipugtug by the Mi'kmaq first nation, anglicized as Chebucto, it runs in a northwest-southeast direction. Based on average vessel speeds, the harbour is strategically located one hour's sailing time north of the Great Circle Route between the Eastern Seaboard and Europe; as such, it is the first inbound and last outbound port of call in eastern North America with transcontinental rail connections. The harbour is formed by a drowned glacial valley which succumbed to sea level rise since glaciation; the Sackville River now empties into the upper end of the harbour in Bedford Basin. The harbour includes the following geographic areas: Northwest Arm: Another drowned river valley now used by pleasure boats; the Narrows: A constricted passage to Bedford Basin. Bedford Basin: A sheltered bay and the largest part of the harbour; the harbour is home to several small islands.
The harbour limit is formed by the northern end of its largest island - McNabs Island. The largest island within the harbour limits is Georges Island, a glacial drumlin similar to its dryland counterpart at Citadel Hill. Several small islands are located in the Bedford Basin near Burnside. In the Northwest Arm, there is a small peninsula known as Deadman's Island, named for the burial location of War of 1812 prisoners of war. Just 200 m west of Deadman's Island is the small Melville Island, connected to the mainland by road. Melville Island forms the eastern boundary of Melville Cove and is the location of the Armdale Yacht Club. Melville Cove is the name of the adjacent residential community. Although outside the defined harbour limits, Lawlor Island and Devils Island are frequently included in descriptions of Halifax Harbour and the surrounding area. Halifax's official harbour limit for navigational purposes is delineated by a line running from Herring Cove on the west side of the main channel, to the northern end of McNabs Island from McNabs Island across the Eastern Passage to the actual community of Eastern Passage on the east side of the island.
The harbour is marked by an extensive network of buoys and lighthouses, starting with Sambro Island Lighthouse at the harbour approaches, the oldest operating lighthouse in North America. Deep draught vessels must use the main channel into the harbour, which runs on the west side of McNabs Island; the west entrance point marking the beginning of the inner approach using this channel is located near Chebucto Head 12 kilometres south of the limit. Shallow draught vessels may use the Eastern Passage. Large vessels have compulsory pilotage, with harbour pilots boarding at the pilot station off Chebucto Head. Vessels wishing to transit The Narrows between the outer harbour and Bedford Basin must travel one at a time; the Royal Canadian Navy maintains a large base housing its Atlantic fleet, Maritime Forces Atlantic, along the western side of The Narrows, as well as an ammunition depot on the northeastern shore of Bedford Basin. There are strict security regulations relating to vessels navigating near RCN facilities and anchorages.
There are two large suspension bridges crossing The Narrows: the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge, opened in 1955 the A. Murray MacKay Bridge, opened in 1970 After Confederation in 1867, boosters of Halifax expected federal help to make the city's natural harbor Canada's official winter port and a gateway for trade with Europe. Halifax's advantages included its location just off the Great Circle route made it the closest to Europe of any mainland North American port, but the new Intercolonial Railway took an indirect, southerly route for military and political reasons, the national government made little effort to promote Halifax as Canada's winter port. Ignoring appeals to nationalism and the ICR's own attempts to promote traffic to Halifax, most Canadian exporters sent their wares by train though Boston or Portland. Harbour promoters fought an uphill battle to finance the large-scale port facilities Halifax lacked, succeeding just before the First World War with the start of construction of the large docking facilities at Ocean Terminals in Halifax's South End.
The war at last boosted Halifax's harbor into prominence on the North Atlantic. The Halifax Port Authority is a federally appointed agency which administers and operates various port properties on the harbour. Run by the National Harbours Board, the HPA is now a locally run organization. HPA facilities include: South End Container Terminal - Piers 36-42 Halifax Grain Elevator Ocean Terminals - Piers 23-34 Piers 20 -22: Pier 20, Halifax Seaport Farmers Market, The Cruise Ship Pavilion and Pier 21 Museum Richmond Terminals - Piers 9 and 9A Richmond Offshore Terminals - Piers 9B-9D Fairview Cove Container Terminal - National Gypsum Wharf - Woodside Atlantic Wharf - Imperial Oil Wharves - (
A naval mine is a self-contained explosive device placed in water to damage or destroy surface ships or submarines. Unlike depth charges, mines are deposited and left to wait until they are triggered by the approach of, or contact with, any vessel. Naval mines can be used offensively, to hamper enemy shipping movements or lock vessels into a harbour. Mines can be laid in many ways: by purpose-built minelayers, refitted ships, submarines, or aircraft—and by dropping them into a harbour by hand, they can be inexpensive: some variants can cost as little as US$2000, though more sophisticated mines can cost millions of dollars, be equipped with several kinds of sensors, deliver a warhead by rocket or torpedo. Their flexibility and cost-effectiveness make mines attractive to the less powerful belligerent in asymmetric warfare; the cost of producing and laying a mine is between 0.5% and 10% of the cost of removing it, it can take up to 200 times as long to clear a minefield as to lay it. Parts of some World War II naval minefields still exist because they are too extensive and expensive to clear.
It is possible for some of these 1940s-era mines to remain dangerous for many years to come. Mines have been employed as offensive or defensive weapons in rivers, estuaries and oceans, but they can be used as tools of psychological warfare. Offensive mines are placed in enemy waters, outside harbours and across important shipping routes with the aim of sinking both merchant and military vessels. Defensive minefields safeguard key stretches of coast from enemy ships and submarines, forcing them into more defended areas, or keeping them away from sensitive ones. Minefields designed for psychological effect are placed on trade routes and are used to stop shipping from reaching an enemy nation, they are spread thinly, to create an impression of minefields existing across large areas. A single mine inserted strategically on a shipping route can stop maritime movements for days while the entire area is swept. International law requires nations to declare when they mine an area, to make it easier for civil shipping to avoid the mines.
The warnings do not have to be specific. Precursors to naval mines were first invented by Chinese innovators of Imperial China and were described in thorough detail by the early Ming dynasty artillery officer Jiao Yu, in his 14th century military treatise known as the Huolongjing. Chinese records tell of naval explosives in the 16th century, used to fight against Japanese pirates; this kind of naval mine was loaded in a wooden box, sealed with putty. General Qi Jiguang made several timed, to harass Japanese pirate ships; the Tiangong Kaiwu treatise, written by Song Yingxing in 1637 AD, describes naval mines with a rip cord pulled by hidden ambushers located on the nearby shore who rotated a steel wheellock flint mechanism to produce sparks and ignite the fuse of the naval mine. Although this is the rotating steel wheellock's first use in naval mines, Jiao Yu had described their use for land mines back in the 14th century; the first plan for a sea mine in the West was by Ralph Rabbards, who presented his design to Queen Elizabeth I of England in 1574.
The Dutch inventor Cornelius Drebbel was employed in the Office of Ordnance by King Charles I of England to make weapons, including a "floating petard" which proved a failure. Weapons of this type were tried by the English at the Siege of La Rochelle in 1627. American David Bushnell developed the first American naval mine for use against the British in the American War of Independence, it was a watertight keg filled with gunpowder, floated toward the enemy, detonated by a sparking mechanism if it struck a ship. It was used on the Delaware River as a drift mine. In 1812 Russian engineer Pavel Shilling exploded an underwater mine using an electrical circuit. In 1842 Samuel Colt used an electric detonator to destroy a moving vessel to demonstrate an underwater mine of his own design to the United States Navy and President John Tyler. However, opposition from former President John Quincy Adams scuttled the project as "not fair and honest warfare." In 1854, during the unsuccessful attempt of the Anglo-French fleet to seize the Kronstadt fortress, British steamships HMS Merlin, HMS Vulture and HMS Firefly suffered damage due to the underwater explosions of Russian naval mines.
Russian naval specialists set more than 1500 naval mines, or infernal machines, designed by Moritz von Jacobi and by Immanuel Nobel, in the Gulf of Finland during the Crimean War of 1853-1856. The mining of Vulcan led to the world's first minesweeping operation. During the next 72 hours, 33 mines were swept; the Jacobi mine was designed by German-born, Russian engineer Jacobi, in 1853. The mine was tied to the sea bottom by an anchor. A cable connected it to a galvanic cell which powered it from the shore, the power of its explosive charge was equal to 14 kilograms of black powder. In the summer of 1853, the production of the mine was approved by the Committee for Mines of the Ministry of War of the Russian Empire. In 1854, 60 Jacobi mines were laid in the vicinity of the Forts Pavel and Alexander, to deter the British Baltic Fleet from attacking them, it phased out its direct competitor the Nobel mine on the insistence of Admiral Fyodor Litke. The Nobel mines were bought from Swedish industrialist Immanuel Nobel who had entered into collusion with Russian head of navy Alexander Sergeyevich Menshikov.
Despite their high cost t
Martello towers, sometimes known as Martellos, are small defensive forts that were built across the British Empire during the 19th century, from the time of the French Revolutionary Wars onwards. Most were coastal forts, they stand up to 40 feet high and had a garrison of one officer and 15–25 men. Their round structure and thick walls of solid masonry made them resistant to cannon fire, while their height made them an ideal platform for a single heavy artillery piece, mounted on the flat roof and able to traverse, hence fire over, a complete 360° circle. A few towers works attached for extra defence; the Martello towers were used during the first half of the 19th century, but became obsolete with the introduction of powerful rifled artillery. Many have survived to the present day preserved as historic monuments. In the second half of the 19th century, there was another spate of tower and fort building, during the premiership of Lord Palmerston; the Palmerston Forts are circular in design and resemble Martello towers.
Martello towers were inspired by a round fortress, part of a larger Genoese defence system, at Mortella Point in Corsica. The designer was Giovan Giacomo Paleari Fratino, the tower was completed in 1565. Since the 15th century, the Corsicans had built similar towers at strategic points around the island to protect coastal villages and shipping from North African pirates; the towers stood one or two storeys high and measured 12–15 m in diameter, with a single doorway five metres off the ground that one could access only via a ladder which the occupants could remove. Local villagers paid for the towers and watchmen, known as torregiani, who would signal the approach of unexpected ships by lighting a beacon fire on the tower's roof; the fire would alert the local defence forces to the threat. Although the pirate threat subsequently dwindled, the Genovese built a newer generation of circular towers, that warded off foreign invasions. On 7 February 1794 as part of the siege of Saint-Florent, two British warships, HMS Fortitude and HMS Juno, unsuccessfully attacked the tower at Mortella Point.
What helped the British was that the tower's two 18-pounder guns fired seaward, while only the one 6-pounder could fire land-ward. Vice-Admiral Lord Hood reported:... The Fortitude and Juno were ordered against it, without making the least impression by a continued cannonade of two hours and a half; the walls of the Tower were of a prodigious thickness, the parapet, where there were two eighteen-pounders, was lined with bass junk, five feet from the walls, filled up with sand. The number of men in the Tower were 33. Late in the previous year, the tower's French defenders had abandoned it after HMS Lowestoffe had fired two broadsides at it; the British removed the guns to arm a small vessel. Still, the British were impressed by the effectiveness of the tower when properly supplied and defended, copied the design. But, they got the name wrong, misspelling "Mortella" as "Martello"; when the British withdrew from Corsica in 1803, with great difficulty they blew up the tower, leaving it in an unusable state.
The towers were about 40 feet high with walls about 8 feet thick. In some towers the rooms were not built in the center, but more to the landside, leaving the walls thicker on seaside; these were cases where an attack with a cannon from the landside was thought unlikely. Entry was by ladder to a door about 10 feet from the base above, a machicolated platform which allowed for downward fire on attackers; the flat roof or terreplein had a high parapet and a raised platform in the centre with a pivot for a cannon that would traverse a 360° arc. The walls had narrow slits for defensive musket fire; the interior of a classic British Martello tower consisted of two storeys. The ground floor served as the magazine and storerooms, where ammunition, water and provisions were kept; the garrison of 24 men and one officer lived in a casemate on the first floor, divided into several rooms and had fireplaces built into the walls for cooking and heating. The officer and men lived in separate rooms of equal size.
A well or cistern within the fort supplied the garrison with water. An internal drainage system linked to the roof enabled rainwater to refill the cistern. During the first half of the 19th century, the British government embarked on a large-scale programme of building Martello towers to guard the British and Irish coastlines. Around 140 were built along the south coast of England. Governments in Australia, Menorca, South Africa and Sri Lanka constructed towers; the construction of Martello towers abroad continued until as late as the 1870s but was discontinued after it became clear that they could not withstand the new generation of rifled artillery weapons. The French built similar towers along their own coastline that they used as platforms for communication by optical
McNabs Island is the largest island in Halifax Harbour located in Halifax Regional Municipality, Nova Scotia, Canada. It is now a provincial park; the island was first settled in 1780s by Peter McNab, McNab family members lived on the island until 1934. The island saw seasonal Mi'kmaq and Acadian use and was surveyed by the French Navy as a possible site for a fortified seaport prior to the selection of Louisbourg. After the founding of Halifax in 1749, it was first known as Cornwallis Island. Halifax merchant Joshua Mauger used the long beach which still bears his name as a base for a fishing operation in the 1750s and'60s; the island was purchased by Peter McNab in the 1780s beginning a long settlement by generations of the McNab family on the island. Peter McNab's son Captain John McNab, Nova Scotia Fencibles, lived with his daughter Catherine Susan Ann McNabb on McNabs Island, she married Joseph Howe on February 2, 1828. McNabs Island contains many forts belonging to the "Halifax Defence Complex" including Fort Ives, Fort Hugonin, Sherbrooke Tower, Fort McNab.
Important historic features on McNabs Island which are still visible include the foundations of several houses built by early settlers, an aboriginal shell midden, a cemetery containing some of the island's earliest residents, remains of a turn of the century picnic ground and soda pop factory, remnants of a once extensive Victorian garden. Numerous military fortifications can be found, including Fort McNab, Fort Ives, Fort Hugonin and Strawberry Battery. Other features include the original McNab house, Martello Tower, the main burial site of cholera victims from the S. S. England. Maugher Beach, where a lighthouse stands, is known as "Hangman's Beach" because of its use by the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic wars to hang the bodies of executed mutineers as a warning to crews of ships entering the harbour that this was a port where they had best behave themselves; the light at Maughers Beach was used in 1851 by Abraham Gesner to test out the new fuel he had invented, kerosene, to replace whale oil.
Although lighthouse officials were skeptical, the careful recording of the efficiency of kerosene by Maughers Beach keeper David George helped establish the fuel for standard use. During World War II new gun batteries, search lights and a steel anti-submarine net were installed between the island and York Redoubt to prevent German U boats from entering the harbour. In 1944 and 1945 the Canadian Army used McNabs Island as an isolated prison/detention centre for soldiers convicted of crimes. McNabs Island was the home of the location where he started the Bill Lynch Show; the remains of Fort McNab were designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1965 as being reflective of the significant changes in defence technology that occurred in the late 19th century. Today, of McNabs Island's total area of 395 hectares, the Province owns 62 percent, the Federal Government 35 percent, 3 percent is owned. Most federal lands on the island are administered as a park reserve by the Department of Heritage, under the responsibility of Parks Canada who manages the Fort McNab National Historic Site of Canada, except for the Fort Hugonin lands of 11 ha under the responsibility of the Defence department.
The Province of Nova Scotia manages a Provincial Park. A group called "Friends of McNabs Island Society" a volunteer, non-profit, registered charity, based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, dedicated to the preservation of McNabs and Devils Islands, promote McNabs Island as a Nature Park and Outdoor Classroom; the Society hosts events on McNabs Island such as picnics and historical tours, annual beach clean-ups. The society produces maps and brochures, the popular guidebook Discover McNabs Island, island posters and quarterly newsletters; the society maintains the trails with the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources and Parks Canada. There are a few permanent residents living on the island and it is considered a community of the Halifax Regional Municipality. 1830-1836 Bolser, J. 1840-1846 McGlinn, D. 1846-1873 George, David 1873-1896 Horn, E. 1896-1903 Doody, J. 1903-1915 Iceton, W. 1915-1936 Conrod, T. 1936-1940/1945-1947 MacDonald, J. A. 1940-1942 Hull, R. W. 1942-1945/1951-1958 Bell, J. J. 1948-1951 Hartley, G.
R. 1958-1959 Lalonde, J. D. 1959 Stevens, A. J. 1959-1970 Rampton, E. F. 1970 Mitchell, L. G. 1970 Turner, M. B. 1970-1983 Lowe, H. G. Automated since 1983 1903-1905 Doody, J. 1905-1932 Lynch, M. 1932-1957 Cleveland, Colin W. 1957 Lumsden, B. J. 1957-1959 Eddy, W. Automated 1959-1973 1973 - replaced by skeleton tower 1976 - structure torn down Military history of Nova Scotia Discover McNabs Island Friends of McNabs Island, 2008 The Sea Road to Halifax, Hugh Pullen, (Nova Scotia Museum, p. 45-48. Friends of McNabs Island Society McNabs and Lawlor Islands Provincial Park Fort McNab National Historic Site of Canada Property ownership from Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources "History Maughers Beach Lighthouse", Nova Scotia Lighthouse Preservation Society Satellite Image from Google Maps