The Cornwallis Statue and the Destruction of Heritage

The removal of the Cornwallis statue was cited by many as the destruction of heritage. While the statue itself was integral to the original design of the park, and the lands surrounding it, Cornwallis was a dubious character in history, and despite being the “founder” of Halifax, doesn’t really warrant a statue on a pillar in the center of town. Surely there is a Haligonian more worthy of honouring in that spot than Cornwallis – perhaps railway employee and hero Vincent Coleman would be a fitting choice.

However, given the massive outcry over the loss of the statue as heritage, let me suggest a number of actual pieces of history that are being mishandled by various levels of government, and in many cases literally falling apart from neglect and in need of public outcry.

  • In the neighborhood of Cornwallis Park, the Elmwood hotel needs the protection of the delayed Barrington South Heritage conservation district
  • The Dennis Building sits empty and risks Facadism
  • Georges Island is being neglected by the federal government
  • York Redoubt’s WW2 defenses are crumbling
  • Point Pleasant Park’s WW2 forts are falling into the ocean
  • the Khyber is crumbling
  • Lighthouses are being neglected EVERYWHERE
  • CSS Acadia is rusting away in the harbour
  • Two heritage buildings at Bloomfield are falling apart
  • McNabs Island is being neglected by DNR
  • Young Avenue is being slowly destroyed
  • Schmidtville is facing development pressure
  • Getting a Dartmouth heritage museum (really the entire city needs a proper museum)
  • Better access to local archives (they’re in Burnside)
  • Getting federal tax credits for heritage buildings (private members bill was voted down by the Liberal majority)
  • Changes to the Province’s Heritage Act to disallow, as of right, demolitions of registered structures

This post is based on recent tweets by Dylan Ames.


About the author


BuiltHalifax delves into architectural history and theory with a local slant. Produced by Peter Ziobrowski, it is the sister project to