Saturday, October 30, 2010

HRM Point of Interest #15: Dingle Tower/Sir Sandford Fleming Park

Sir Sandford Fleming immigrated to Canada as a young boy from Scotland in 1845 . While here he worked as a lithographer and carried out many large scale surveys, perhaps most notably those of the Toronto Harbour and the eventual route for the coast to coast railway that would unite the country. He also designed Canada's first ever postage stamp, was a founding member of the Royal Society of Canada and invented Universal Standard Time - the 24 time zones used around the world to this day.

To commemorate the 1758 founding/150th anniversary of the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly - the first ever representative government in the British Empire outside of the United Kingdom - Fleming proposed the construction of a large, imposing tower and donated the land in what was his summer retreat on the western side of the Northwest Arm. The tower was completed in 1912 and was formally dedicated by Prince Arthur, the Duke of Connaught.

(View of the Northwest Arm, looking north, from the top of Dingle Tower. A suitable reward for climbing all of the stairs necessary to reach the top.)

Sir Sandford Fleming named his 95 acre back yard The Dingle, which means "wooded valley". Today it is called Sir Sandford Fleming Park, in his honour, but the tower retains the name Dingle Tower.

The park has been a favourite place of recreation for Haligonians for generations, even when it could only be reached by a small ferry. Today it continues to be popular, with hiking trails and numerous historic points of interest, and is certainly one of my favourite places in the HRM.

(One of two large bronze lions which guard the entrance to Dingle Tower. The lions were donated by the Royal Colonial Institute of London in 1913, and were designed to be similar to those which can be found at the base of Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square, London.)

1 comment:

  1. Sigh. I so look forward to returning to Nova Scotia someday.