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Battery and Magazine

Shore Road and Purcell's Cove Road, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1996/03/28

Exterior photo; Parks Canada  Parcs Canada, Ian Doull 1995
Overview of building
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Other Name(s)

Battery and Magazine
York Shore Battery and Magazine
Batterie côtière et magasin de York Shore

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1942/01/01 to 1943/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/12/14

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Situated on the York shore, the York Shore Battery and Magazine consists of two large massively built reinforced concrete and steel structures with flat concrete roofs, each of which is one-storey in height and of irregular massing. The larger structure which stands at the shoreline, contains two horseshoe shaped open gun emplacements which both project at an angle from the main structure. The second auxiliary structure is linear in appearance and is comprised of a series of rooms whose doors and window patterns are irregular. The site enjoys its greatest visibility from the harbour and the channel but is visually isolated from all other military structures at York Redoubt. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The York Shore Battery and Magazine is a Classified Federal Heritage building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.

Historical Value:
The York Shore Battery and Magazine is one of the best examples of the Royal Canadian Navy’s defence of Halifax Harbour, a major commercial port and naval station during the Second World War. The York Shore Battery and Magazine was then an integral part of the coastal defence system. The Battery in combination with searchlights protected the harbour defence boom stretched between Sleepy Cove and McNab’s Island. It is one of the best examples of a coastal defence installation designed in the closing decades (1940-50s) of coastal defence artillery. This was perhaps the last phase in a long history of the construction of defence installations at Halifax, dating right back to the 1760s.

Architectural Value:
The York Shore Battery is a good example of a functional mid-20th century military coastal defence design, a specialized permanent military structure for the mounting and servicing of quick fire guns in an open emplacement. The construction and use of materials are highly specialized to accommodate technical functions and equipment. It exhibits good quality craftsmanship.

Environmental Value:
The Lower Battery looks out from the York Shore over the water to Halifax Harbour and also to McNab’s Island. The integration of the structure with the island terrain is a characteristic feature of the York Shore Battery and Magazine. The structure establishes the coastal defence setting of Halifax and is visibly familiar to the public and visitors to Halifax.

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 following character-defining elements of York Shore Battery and Magazine should be respected, for example:

its functional military defence design and good quality materials and craftsmanship as evidenced in:
- the simple geometric massing of the one-storey reinforced concrete and steel structures;
- the two horseshoe shaped gun emplacements which both project at an angle from the main structure.

The manner in which the York Shore Battery and Magazine establishes 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)


Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type


Military Support


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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