Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Pier 21 No Longer A National Historic Site

Ya, you read that right.

Pier 21 is no longer a National Historic Site. It now has officially received the designation as one of the 5 National Museums of Canada (with a 6th in the works). Defence Minister and Central Nova’s MLA Peter MacKay made it official last Monday. It’s shiny new title is The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21. Meh..... it’s kinda awkward and doesn’t exactly roll of your tongue ….. but hey, it’s an official government title what do you expect? Most people are still going to call it as Pier 21 anyways.

With the new title, Pier 21 will also receive about $25 million in funding over the next 5 years for upgrades and exhibit development. Now they says that 1 in 5 Canadians can trace their heritage back to Pier 21 which is kinda amazing since it was only open from 1928 to 1971. That’s a lot of traffic coming through. However, it makes me wonder how many of those immigrants actually stayed in Nova Scotia since I’d says that for the most of us, our ancestors have been here since at least the late 1700s. I wonder where I could find such a statistic... someone must have it.

None the less, if you’re even just a tiny bit interested in history it’s a really unique museum to visit. There is lots of interactive displays and exhibits. It’s not your typical “here’s stuff that people use to use long before there was electricity” with a cue card next to it indicating what it is exactly that you’re looking at and how it was used. It’s really presented in a modern and engaging way. It’s been a few years since I last went but the three screen 3D documentary movie of the story of Pier 21 was my favorite part.

 I’d like to get back and check their new memorial to the boat full of Jewish immigrants that they turned away on the eve of WWII called the Wheel of Conscience. I see from the museums website that it is in Toronto for some fine tuning and will not be back ‘til March which is a shame since it will miss the Canada Games.......


  1. Do you know what pier was used prior to 1928? My Grandmother, Great Grandmother and Aunt arrived in Nova Scotia in March 1920 from England. My Grandmother lost her husband just a couple months before the end of WWI.

  2. A pier owned by the Cunard company was used, it was called Pier 2. Found this on Pier 21 website