Halifax, Nova Scotia—the host city of Halifax International Security Forum’s annual gathering of global security leaders—is the economic and military hub of Atlantic Canada, serving as home port to the country’s largest military installation, the Atlantic fleet. With the second largest natural harbor in the world, Halifax boasts a rich maritime and immigration history.
The city served as a key naval station in the British Empire, with the Halifax Citadel a prominent legacy of this history, and later as the main entry point for European immigration to Canada. After the First World War, over one million immigrants passed through Halifax. It was also during this period that Halifax became a critical port and naval facility, protecting military convoys from German U-boat attacks. During World War II, the harbor served as a vital base for Allied warships.
Drawing on this long military heritage, Halifax and the broader Atlantic Canada region have developed a robust aerospace and defense industry. Today, the industry employs 6,000 local workers, generating approximately $600 million in revenues. Halifax also has become a center of shipbuilding in Canada. In 2011, Irving Shipbuilding’s Halifax Shipyard won a $25 billion contract to build combat vessels, including frigates and destroyers to invigorate the country’s shipbuilding industrial base and manufacture a fleet of vessels to protect the country’s vital interest in the melting Arctic.
Both the historic Citadel and today’s vibrant Halifax Shipyard reflect the significant role Halifax has played and continues to play in global security and defense—and why the city provides a fitting backdrop to the annual Halifax International Security Forum.
To learn more about Halifax, Nova Scotia, and the broader Atlantic Canada region, visit Discover Halifax.