On the traces of Germany in Halifax and surroundings

Did you know...

... that Lunenburg was the first German settlement in Canada and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995?

During the 18th century, Britain recruited mercenary soldiers from all over Europe to ensure its preeminence over France. Therefore, many Germans settled in Nova Scotia. Besides the idyllic port town Lunenburg, many more German traces can be found in Halifax and its surroundings. Some streets and bus lines are named after German cities. A Halifax borough named "Schmidtsville", which derives from the name of a German captain has some architectural peculiarities to discover! While historical German settlement can be traced in the cityscape of Halifax, one can find some more recent German traces in the fields of arts and sciences.


The painting “Halifax” by Gerhard Richter © Goethe-Institut Montreal

The painting “Halifax” by Gerhard Richter

With its flourishing arts and music scene, Halifax has inspired well-known figures from all over the world, including artists like Gerhard Richter, who taught for a summer semester as a guest lecturer at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD).

The Little Dutch Church © Goethe-Institut Montreal

The Little Dutch Church

Going for a walk along Gottingen Street towards the Little Dutch Church gives insight into one of Halifax's multicultural neighborhoods, which has undergone rapid changes. In addition, it's worth visiting the cemetery of the Little Dutch Church, where you can find German last names and research the earliest origins of German immigrant history.

The Museum of Immigration on Pier 21 © Goethe-Institut Montreal

The Museum of Immigration on Pier 21

Because of its exceptional meaning for the country’s immigration history, the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 was named one of Canada’s national museums.

The historical quarter “Schmidtville” © Goethe-Institut Montreal

The historical quarter “Schmidtville”

During the 20th century, Schmidtville was home to lots of immigrants of German, Irish, English, Italian, and Scottish heritage. Today, Schmidtville is once more a lively neighbourhood in the heart of Halifax, and it presents a direct connection to the history of the early settlers.

Lunenburg Port Town © Goethe-Institut Montreal

Lunenburg Port Town

Located 90 km southwest of Halifax, Lunenburg was a flourishing center of the fishing and shipbuilding industries in Nova Scotia and is one of Canada's oldest settlements.

Elisabeth Mann Borgese: “The Mother of the Oceans” © Goethe-Institut Montreal

Elisabeth Mann Borgese: “The Mother of the Oceans”

In 1979, upon receipt of a Killam fellowship from Dalhousie University in Halifax, the German-born environmental activist, author, and expert on the Law of the Sea Elisabeth Mann Borgese moved to Canada.