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Halifax Provincial Court

Halifax Provincial Court

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Description The Halifax Provincial Court is a courthouse on Spring Garden Road in Halifax, Nova Scotia.The first trial was heard in October 1860, and it remains today a functioning courthouse. The Supreme Court sat for the first time in the newly built Halifax County courthouse on Spring Garden Road in October 1860. Home of Supreme Court of Nova Scotia until 1960 when the building temporarily became the Provincial Library and then the home of the Provincial Court in 1971. The most recent renovations to the building were completed in 1985.BuildingBy the 1850s a decision was made to consolidate all the Halifax courts under one roof. After fires razed many downtown buildings during that decade (three major fires destroyed many of the city’s wooden buildings between 1857 and 1861, officials abandoned plans for a wooden structure in favour of a more fireproof option made of stone, to protect the legal records it would house. Following the fires, almost all major buildings were constructed of brick and stone. Built on the grounds of what was then the Governor's Garden, location of the court was as contentious back in the 1850s as location of public buildings it is today. Even when the Spring Garden Courthouse was opened the location remained contentious and lawyers, reported to have "complained that the building is too far away from the business parts of the city" and it remained unpopular.Halifax carpenter Henry Hill designed the building and Toronto-based architect William Thomas and Sons were retained and created a palatial structure in sandstone. The building was built by contractor George Lang who also built The Halifax Club and the Welsford-Parker Monument at the Front gate of St Paul's Cemetery. Made from brown stone from Mary's Point New Brunswick and Wallace sandstone from Cumberland County. The Wallace quarry sandstone was also used at Nova Scotia's Province House, Province House in Charlottetown and some Parliament Buildings in Ottawa. It was proclaimed in the 1860 Halifax