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Fire Command Post

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1996/03/28

General view of the  Fire Command Post, showing the wrap around ribbon windows with hinged steel shutters, 1995.; Agence Parcs Canada / Parks Canada Agency, Ian Doull, 1991.
Corner view
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Other Name(s)

Fire Command Post
Building No. 614
Bâtiment no 614
Fire Command Post and Fortress Plotting Room
Poste de commandement du tir et chambre des cartes de la forteresse

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1942/01/01 to 1943/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/07/14

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Situated on Position Hill, the Fire Command Post, also known as the Fortress Plotting Room and Building 614, at the York Redoubt National Historic Site of Canada is an L-shaped, two-storey, flat roofed, concrete bunker-like building with a second component containing the Fortress Plotting Room situated deep underground. The building has a plain box like appearance featuring second-storey wrap-around ribbon windows with hinged steel shutters, which are fixed to the sills. Entry is by means of a doorway situated slightly below ground level on the south side. An identical window is situated directly below, at ground level. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Fire Command Post is a Classified Federal Heritage building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.

Historical Value:
The Fire Command Post is one of the best examples of the defensive structures built by the Canadian Corps of Engineers for the coastal-artillery defence of Halifax Harbour, during the Second World War, with subsequent alteration and use until 1956. The Fire Command Post is an integral part of the coastal defence system and the nerve centre of the fortress system of range and position finding. As one of the best preserved coastal-defence projects from the Second World War, the Fire Command Post is also an excellent illustration of the type of defence expenditure, which gave a boost to the Halifax economy during the War years, and as a strong example of a coastal-defence installation designed in the closing decades of coastal defence artillery.

Architectural Value:
The Fire Command Post is a good example of a Second World War military coastal-defence design. The low silhouette of the protected Fire Command Post in its original configuration and the bomb-proof, gas-proof design of the Fortress Plotting room display a very good response to the functional requirements of an operationally vital command installation with highly sensitive instruments. The deep underground Fortress plotting room with its thick concrete walls and roof, emergency escape shaft and tunnel demonstrates very good quality of workmanship in the handling of structural steel and reinforced concrete.

Environmental Value:
The integration of the structure with the terrain is a characteristic feature of the Fire Command Post. It is currently set in a park-like landscape. The structure reinforces the coastal-defence character of York Redoubt NHS and is visited frequently because of its' location which provides strategic views of Halifax harbour.

Sources: Ian Doull, York Redoubt, Halifax Defence Complex, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 95-001;York Redoubt, York Shore Battery (No.684). Halifax Defence Complex, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Heritage Character Statement 95-001.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Fire Command Post should be respected.

Its functional military defence design and good quality materials and craftsmanship as evidenced in:
-the simple L-shaped box-like massing of the flat-roofed, two-storey reinforced concrete and steel structure;
- the wrap around ribbon windows on both the first and second storeys with hinged steel shutters, fixed to the sills;
- the doorway situated slightly below ground level on the south side;
- the poured concrete entrance portal of the emergency escape tunnel.

The manner in which the Fire Command Post reinforces the military character of the area.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Classified Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1950/01/01 to 1955/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type



Military Defence Installation

Architect / Designer

Royal Canadian Corps of Engineers



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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