Halifax’s latest $200 million-dollar development, The Queen’s Marque marks the ever-changing face of the city’s waterfront. What the new residents of this development might not realize is the central military historic role the site played in Halifax’s past.
During Victorian times the Wharf was Imperial Government property used as barracks, offices, as well as a main supply center for the armed forces. Directly across the street on Lower Water to Bedford Row were the direct storage sheds and military fuel sheds located on the corner of Bedford Row and Sackville Street; as seen on the Hopkins Atlas of Halifax, 1878. Next to the fuel sheds was the first location of Halifax’s city market where citizens of Halifax enjoyed as today an open farmer’s market. The area also housed the Postal/Customs Offices now home to the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. The area in front of the Customs Office was an open square known in 1878 as the Cheapside, where deals could be had for market goers! In 1901 with the death of Queen Victoria the wharf was renamed King’s Wharf and in 1925 became home to the Atlantic Fisheries Experimental Station. The Station was responsible for advances in fisheries technology. The station was demolished in 1999.
In 1952 the names changed back to Queen’s Wharf. Now with the development of the Queen’s Marque marks a new chapter for the site. The development has led to many fascinating archaeological discoveries from soldiers boots to early pottery from the original settlement of Halifax.