Shubenacadie Canal excavation starts this summer
Project stalled for seven years, but restoration should be done by 2015
Crews will excavate parts of the Shubenacadie Canal in Dartmouth, N.S., this summer as part of a plan to restore sections of the waterway.
The section once had a hammock that slipped under ships and pulled them between Halifax Harbour and what’s now Sullivan’s Pond en route to the canal.
This is as important to Dartmouth as the Fortress of Louisbourg is to Cape Breton.- Terry Gallagher
The restoration project started in 2002. The site was excavated in 2007, and then reburied with gravel to protect it. The project stalled for seven years.
It will be dug out starting in August and the water-powered marine railway section will be rebuilt next year.
Terry Gallagher, manager of facility development with the Halifax Regional Municipality, said the area bustled with soldiers, workmen, sheep and cows from 1862 to 1872.
“We’re going to try and make it as exciting to visit as it was in 1862,” he said Friday.
The short-lived canal system helped transport goods to the Bay of Fundy. Today, a gravel path beside Prince Albert Road covers the old machinery.
“If it weren't for the interpretive panels, you'd never know this was the centre of anything just over 100 years ago,” said Gallagher.
"This is as important to Dartmouth as the Fortress of Louisbourg is to Cape Breton or the Halifax Citadel."
Bernard Hart, a volunteer with the Shubenacadie Canal Commission, lobbied for the change for 15 years.
"It's wonderful, it's a wonderful relief to see things get underway and it's been a long time, gone through a lot of different stages and now I think we're on solid ground," he said.