The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 in Halifax, Nova Scotia
Pier 21: Canada's Ellis Island
The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 is located in the national historic website at the Halifax seaport where nearly one million immigrants landed in Canada from 1928 to 1971. Today, as Canada's sixth nationwide museum, we share the continuous story of immigration to Canada-- past to present, and coast to coast. Our displays immerse visitors in the immigration experience and permit a much deeper understanding of how beginners form our nation. Our staff and collections supply opportunities for visitors to find the many journeys to Canada and discover their own family's connection to the story. Countless Journeys.
The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, is Canada's national museum of migration. The museum inhabits part of Pier 21, the previous ocean liner terminal and migration shed from 1928 to 1971. Pier 21 is Canada's last remaining ocean immigration shed. The center is frequently compared to Ellis Island (1892-- 1954), in terms of its value to mid-20th-century immigration to Canada an association it shows 19th century migration history at Grosse Isle, Quebec (1832-- 1932) and Partridge Island in Saint John, New Brunswick (1785-- 1941). The Museum began as an independent institution run by the Pier 21 Society in 1999. It became a national museum run by the Canadian federal government in 2011.
The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 has both a physical artifact collection and a large Oral History collection. Pier 21 currently holds 2,000 stories, 500 oral history interviews, 700 contributed books, 300 films, and countless archival images and scans of immigration and WWII documents. A number of the resources can be found on the site and all can be accessed by calling Pier 21's Scotiabank Family History Centre.
The Pier 21 story collection has actually expanded from those who really travelled through Pier 21's doors, to include stories about immigration from all points of entry from the early beginnings of Canada (consisting of First Nations) and focusing on all immigration from 1867 to the present. Pier 21 is collecting family histories that return to 1867 and aspires to start gathering stories from those that arrived after 1971. These stories will be among the raw products used to produce future exhibits.
Oral historians conduct narrative history interviews onsite and periodically in various centres throughout Canada. These interviews are vital to the Museum's collection and its ongoing dedication to maintaining and sharing stories of all Canadians. The image collection consists of countless scanned newspaper clippings, immigration associated documents and ship souvenirs, in addition to digital pictures contributed by individual households and companies. The museum actively gathers donated personal and household stories on migration to Canada to add to the Museum's Story Collection.
If you’re planning a trip to Pier 21, there are a few resources that can help you make the most of your visit. The Nova Scotia Visitor Information Centre is a great place to start. They have six locations throughout the province, including one in Halifax, where you can drop in for information on Nova Scotia’s travel experiences. Their friendly and knowledgeable travel counsellors and tourism ambassadors can help you plan your trip and make the most of your time in Halifax.
Another useful resource is the Tourism Nova Scotia website. Here you can find information on visitor centres, travel guides, and top attractions and experiences throughout the province.