Friday, January 27, 2017

Pier 21 Canada

Gail Devers has written a post on using the researchers at Pier 21 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. You need to read her article http://genealogyalacarte.ca/?p=18066. For one thing she reports on what you can get for FREE.

I was there in September 2016, so I have a few personal experience comments to add. Be warned - the building is on the harbour, right where the cruise ships dock. Are you beginning to understand? We were lucky to have dedicated a several day stopover in Halifax, and there was only one of those days that the line-ups did not reach outside the doors and down the street. There were several ships sitting in dock each day - so think of the 2,000 or so passengers on EACH ship and youy get the idea of the numbers you might have to deal with.

So my suggestion, if you can, is to search online for the cruise day schedules, and work around them. Pier 21 is not a place to slip in for a few minutes. There's a lot to see and do - even if you stay away from the dozen or so tourist shops inside. Anyway when we were there they had a wonderful exhibition of the Empress of Ireland which sunk in the Saint Lawrence River after a collision with another ship on 29 May 1914. Of the 1477 people on board, 1012 died! Of particular interest to us is the fact that my husbands maternal Grandmother came from England to Canada, on the Empress, one year earlier.

We also followed a tour of the procedure immigrants would have followed when they arrived in Canada at Pier 21. It was very interesting as we moved from room to room following a knowleadgeable guide, and past wall to floor paintings and displays. One of the men in our group had experience as he had come from Italy, through Pier 21 as a young child, and he was reliving and sharing his memories with us. It was a very good experience.

Oh yes, there is a charge depending on what you want to do/see within the building and they offer a discount for showing your CAA membership! Who knew?!


Cheers,
Pat

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