The story of Canada’s history is one of a constant flow of immigrants arriving to help build Canada from the ground up. To document this important part of Canadian history and share it with future generations, the Scotiabank Research Centre is now being opened at Pier 21, home of Canada’s Immigration Museum.
Located in the port of Halifax, Pier 21 was once Canada’s most active receiving point for immigrants. Between the years of 1928 and 1971, over 1.5 million new Canadians passed through Pier 21 on their way to their new lives in Canada. Since that time it is far less common for immigrants to arrive in Canada by boat, and Canada’s waterfront immigration locations fell out of use. In recent years however Pier 21 has been restored and re-opened as a museum, documenting the experience of immigrating to Canada.
This week’s opening of the Scotiabank Research Centre at Pier 21 adds a new dimension to the efforts to document the history of immigrating to Canada. The research centre will hold collections of thousands of documents, photographs, and oral histories that tell Canada’s history through the eyes of the new Canadians who helped make it. The centre will also support new initiatives to research the history of Canadian immigration and to document the experiences of recently-arrived Canadians for future generations.