Description of Historic Place
Donated by Sir Sandford Fleming to the people of Halifax in 1908, the 95 acre park consists of wooded and open areas in hilly terrain, saltwater frontage on the North West Arm, a large freshwater pond (The Frog Pond), numerous paths, small beaches, and the Dingle (Memorial) Tower. The Tower is a large, four-sided, slightly tapered structure situated in a prominent location on a knoll, overlooking the shores of the North West Arm, Halifax, NS. The designation applies to the Park and the Tower.
The heritage value of the Sir Sandford Fleming Park lies in its association with Sir Sandford Fleming and his donation of the land to the people of Halifax to commemorative the 150th anniversary of the establishment of representative government in Nova Scotia in 1758. Fleming's proposal to construct a memorial tower was endorsed by the City of Halifax and the local Canadian Club who undertook fundraising for the structure. Donations were received from many places within the Empire and plaques commemorating the gifts, and stones from the countries of the Empire, were placed on the interior walls. Heritage value is also found in the long standing public use of the Park for recreation and leisure in which the Tower is a prominent local landmark.
Sir Sandford Fleming (1827-1915) moved from Scotland to Canada in 1845, was educated at Columbia University, Toronto and Queen's (Kingston), and later became appointed to conduct surveys of possible routes for the Intercolonial Railway from Halifax to Quebec. He was elevated to the position of Engineer in Chief for the Canadian Pacific Railway, a position which ensured him a prominent position in Canadian history. Fleming maintained a high profile in both political and social circles throughout his life. He was a member of the Halifax Club, the Chancellor of Queen's University and the director of the Hudson's Bay Company. He also designed Canada's first postage stamp and became internationally famous for establishing Universal Standard Time, which was universally adopted in 1884. The park was part of his original estate along the North West Arm and commemorates Sir Sandford Fleming as a prominent Canadian citizen.
The architectural design of the Dingle Tower is divided into three distinct sections. The tower is set upon a well defined granite base, and is constructed predominantly of ironstone obtained from a quarry at nearby Purcell's Cove. The base and cap are separated from the midsection by wide granite string courses. The top cap is entirely comprised of granite, and all four sides have an elaborate stone Palladian styled opening with a heavy projecting sill below as an open viewing area. The copper, hipped roof has a broad overhang with dentilled eaves. Two large, bronze lions located at the foot of the tower were donated by the Royal Colonial Institute of London in 1913, and were designed by the British sculptor Albert Brucejoy whose design was influenced by the monumental lions at Trafalgar Square in London, England.
The tower affords a beautiful view of the North West Arm and the surrounding Sir Sandford Fleming Park. It can also be seen from many communities along the North West Arm and is well recognized as a local landmark. Numerous plaques line the interior walls of the tower having been donated by other provinces and countries around the world showing the impact of the development of British parliamentary institutions in Nova Scotia.
Source: "Dingle Tower - Sir Sandford Fleming Park." Council Report, June 23, 1998 found in the HRM Planning Department, Heritage File no. 58.
The character- defining elements of the Dingle Tower include:
- its prominence on a hill overlooking the North West Arm from Sir Sandford Fleming Park;
- different building materials of ironstone rubble and granite details at each separate level;
- Classical Palladian windows with Ionic columns, decorative keystones and the heavy projecting stone sill supported brackets on the top storey viewing area;
- iron barred windows and large wooden door with heavy granite frame;
- two bronze lions at the top of the stairway entrance to the tower;
- dentiled cornice and roof of copper.
The character-defining elements of the interior of the Dingle Tower include:
- full view of the North West Arm and of Sir Sandford Fleming Park that it provides;
- plaques and stones that line the interior walls which represent Canadian Universities, province and territories, countries of the Commonwealth, and other countries as well.
The character-defining elements of Dingle Park include:
- 95 acre park consisting of wooded and open areas in hilly terrain;
- saltwater frontage on the North West Arm;
- a large freshwater pond known as The Frog Pond;
- numerous paths;
- small beaches.