New Barracks for Halifax (1902)
The Quebec Saturday Budget, 21 June 1902
The Imperial government have decided to erect new barracks and construct other works in and around Halifax this summer. A new brick barracks will be built also, married soldiers' barracks, these latter will be built on the site known as Churchfield which adjoins the Garrison chapel on Brunswick street.
The building will be of solid brick, two stories in height and faced with stone. A gymnasium which will be one of the finest in Canada, will also be erected on the site of the present gymnasium on Cogswell street, opposite the station hospital. The quarters at present occupied by the officers of the Royal Artillery and the Royal Engineers will be razed and new and commodious buildings erected. The new quarters will consist of large mess rooms, parlors, reception rooms, library, servants' quarters, etc. The plans of a new fort are at present under way, and the proposed site is at Sambro. At present the defences of Halifax consist of the Citadel and the harbor forts.
The Citadel, which has only a few modern guns, was condemned some years ago, but is still capable of sheltering within its walls the greater portion of the population of Halifax.
Of the harbor forts York Reboubt is the greatest and most impreganble being armed with 12-inch quick-firing, disappearing guns. MacNab's Island is also well mounted with several disappearing guns of the most modern type.
Amongst the other harbor forts may be mentioned George's island, which is strongly fortified, and which commands the entrance of the harbor, also Fort Clarence, Fort Ogilvie, Ives' Battery and Fort Cambridge.
These forts are situated in different parts of the harbor and all are mounted with modern weapons of the latest type and manned by men of the Royal Garrison Artillery, who in tests with the Atlantic fleet have demonstrated the utter impossibility of any vessel, no matter of what tonnage, to enter the harbor without being discovered and blown out of the water.
Besides the harbor forts, look out stations are situated at Camperdown and the Northwest Arm and vessels are sighted and signalled fully twenty miles out to sea.
Modern range finders are on all the forts, and the men of the Royal Artillery take special courses each year in the manipulation of these instruments.
The barrack accommodation for the past ten years has always been a source of complaint and the proposed new changes will be hailed with delight by both officers and men alike.
The officers' quarters of the Royal Artillery and Royal Engineers were not at all up to the standard called for by a naval and military station of the importance of Halifax and their proposed improvement will be eagerly looked forward to.
The barrack accommodation for the men, especially the married ones, has been very inadequate, and the new married quarters will fill the long felt want.
At present there is stationed at Halifax the Royal Canadian Regiment of Infantry, a company of Royal Engineers, also detachments of the Royal Army Medical Corps, the Royal Garrison Artillery and the Army Service Corps.