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From 1928 to 1971, the ocean liner terminal at Pier 21, in south Halifax, welcomed over 1 Million immigrants from Europe and elsewhere. It is the last remaining ocean immigration shed in Canada. In 1996 it was named a National Historic Site of Canada, and in 2009 it was awarded the honour of National Museum of Canada. In essence, it’s Canada’s Ellis Island.
As you walk through the museum, you’ll be amazed at all of the stories and items collected from actual immigrants who have made the arduous journey across the Atlantic Ocean, to then often have to face another arduous journey of many days, by rail, to a strange prairie town to meet a husband or father they’ve never known.
If you’re really lucky, like I was on this day, you’ll meet an actual immigrant who came to Canada through this same building. I was fortunate enough, and feel grateful for the chance to meet “Lilly” (I forgot her real name, it was over a year ago), from St. Louis, who came to Canada through Pier 21 in 1952. She was overjoyed that I wanted to take a picture with her, and I’ll never forget the experience of meeting her (even if I forgot her name).
Indeed, when you’re in Halifax, make sure you visit Pier 21.