For a number of years, our Foundation worked behind the scenes with the Maritime Museum and the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage to encourage the Province to restore CSS Acadia, Canada’s first purpose-built hydrographic vessel.
CSS Acadia, like her museum sister ship HMCS Sackville, is a Canadian maritime heritage treasure. Acadia was launched in 1913, at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, at the yards of Swan, Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd., She is of the same vintage as RMS Titanic (although admittedly a tad smaller) and is a National Historic Site. During her career Acadia mapped Canada’s coastal waters from Nova Scotia to Hudson’s Bay. She also served as a commissioned ship in the Canadian Navy during both World Wars and is the only ship still afloat that survived the Halifax Explosion.
In the Spring of 2019, the Nova Scotia Government, led by the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, made an extraordinary multi-year commitment to restore Acadia. For anyone who loves our connection to the sea, this project is hugely important and very exciting.
Over the past year, Acadia’s Douglas fir decking has been completely replaced (a complex and exacting process that, in itself, consumed forty weeks). All of her hawsers and mooring lines have been renewed and a fitted winter convering acquired. Below decks, her electrical wiring and fittings have been completely renewed, wi-fi has been installled throughout, new environmentally friendly heads have been put in place; the mahogany and oak woodwork in the hydrographers’ quarters has been refinished and the furniture re-upholstered. The officers, petty officers, and crew quarters and galley have been freshly painted.
Staff at the Museum are also working on new and engaging ways to tell Acadia’s fascinating stories to visitors, young and old.
The grand old ship was due to be slipped at the Irving Shipyard in Shelburne this past April, so that necessary structural restoration could take place. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic wrecked havoc with the with the Shipyard’s schedule.
However, the pandemic will eventually come to an end, the Shipyard will clear its backlog of work, and a wonderfully restored CSS Acadia will rise again as the jewel of the Maritime Museum and the Halifax Waterfront.
In the Spring of 2019, the Nova Scotia Government, led by the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, made an extraordinary multi-year commitment to restore CSS Acadia. For anyone who loves our connection to the sea, this project is hugely important and very exciting.