Parks Canada

Parks Canada

July 29, 2009 11:00 ET

Government of Canada Celebrates the Historical Significance of Memorial Tower

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - July 29, 2009) - The Honourable Jim Prentice, Canada's Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, today celebrated the national historic significance of Memorial Tower, which he designated a National Historic Site of Canada, on the recommendation from the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.

"Memorial Tower was built to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly, considered to be the first elected colonial legislative body in the British Empire," said Minister Prentice. "As an elected representative of the people of Canada, I am honoured to highlight the historic importance of this lasting symbol of the birth of parliamentary democracy in Canada."

"Memorial Tower celebrates advances toward democratic ideals," stated the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway. "I am delighted to know that, through this designation, the tower and its history will be forever part of Canada's rich network of protected heritage sites."

"The Halifax Regional Municipality is very pleased to have the Tower recognized as a national historic site. It has been a special landmark on the North West Arm for a hundred years but the meaning of the Tower has been largely forgotten. With this designation, people will better understand the significance of the Memorial Tower as a celebration of democracy in Canada and Canada's relationship to the Commonwealth at the turn of the 20th century," said Ms. Linda Mosher, Councillor for Purcell's Cove-Armdale.

Construction of Memorial Tower, known locally as "the Dingle," began in 1908 under the inspiration of the noted Canadian engineer, inventor and Imperialist Sir Sandford Fleming to commemorate the achievement of representative government in the colony of Nova Scotia and to celebrate Canada's relationship with the British Empire. From its position on high ground overlooking the Northwest Arm in Halifax, the tower memorializes a period of change in Canadian political history. Its design, which illustrates the shift from a High Victorian to an Edwardian Classical handling of materials and details, captures this transitional moment of Canadian nationalism as the country moved toward a more independent relationship with the British Empire in the years before World War I.

The Historic Sites and Monuments Board is supported by Parks Canada, which works to ensure that Canada's historic and natural heritage is presented and protected for the enjoyment, education, appreciation and inspired discovery of all Canadians, today and in the future.

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