Victoria Day

So what are you going to do over the Victoria Day weekend? It’s a good bet that you will not be thinking about herself, the Queen, who died back in 1901. But I am going to predict that you will be close to something that was named after the much beloved monarch.

Many of our cities and towns have a Victoria street or road (Halifax, Dartmouth, Sydney, Amherst, Windsor, Parrsboro, Chester, Annapolis, Digby and Truro all popped up immediately). Maybe you are going to Victoria County or Victoria Beach or New Victoria or crossing the Victoria Bridge or visiting a Victoria Park. A Nova Scotia gazetteer lists 17 Victoria place names.

In Halifax it is easy to find evidence of Victoria around our old military establishments. Look for VR that stands for Victoria Regina, queen in Latin. (So the capitals of Saskatchewan and British Columbia are named after the same person?)

Many of our big cannons have a monogram like this one from York Redoubt.


Another example is on a cast iron bollard (what you tie up a ship to) behind the Maritime Museum.  A pair of them were originally in the Dockyard.


I’m most fond of the VR over the front doors of the Armoury.  You have to look carefully because it is obscured by the staging that protects you from falling bits of the building.


In the Public Gardens many visitors might not realize that the bandstand was erected to commemorate Victoria’s Golden Jubilee (50 years on the throne) in 1887.


Ten years later her Diamond Jubilee was celebrated in the Gardens with a fountain made in New York. There is a chance that Garden Commissioners, who selected the fountain design from a catalogue, thought the zinc statue, of a lady pouring water, looked a bit like young Victoria.


So this is an easy assignment, to be Victoria-aware over the weekend. And drive safely. You don’t want to be stopped by the police in their version of the Ford Crown Victoria.

Post Script

Because we are dealing with things British, and my last post was about Scottish thistles, it seems appropriate to notice Britannia and her lion on the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. This was originally built as the post office just before Confederation when we were still British…


About the author

Stephen Archibald

It’s Stephen Archibald doing the noticing. I’m a huge fan of Nova Scotia’s material culture and cultural landscapes. Twitter (@Cove17 ) made me realize I could share what attracted my attention (perfect for my very short attention) and I’m gratified when folks enjoy my content. Pleased to meet you on the internet.