Explore History

First World War (1914-1918)
The Halifax Explosion

In December 1917, a collision between the relief ship SS Imo and the munitions ship SS Mont Blanc in the port of Halifax led to a massive explosion that devastated the harbour and the city, killing thousands.

YMCA Building, Halifax, 1917
YMCA Building, Halifax, 1917

The YMCA building in the Halifax Dockyard was one of many structures destroyed by the Halifax Explosion.

Considered a sturdy building, the recently constructed YMCA was a place for leisure and relaxation for Allied and Canadian sailors. The proximity of the exploding SS Mont Blanc to the naval dockyards resulted in widespread damage to naval facilities as well as to the city itself.

George Metcalf Archival Collection
CWM 20080060-001_8c

Fragment of the SS Mont Blanc
Halifax Pier, 1917
YMCA Building, Halifax, 1917
Dockyard Gate, Halifax, 1917
Albert Medal, First Class Lieutenant Commander Thomas Kenneth Triggs
Albert Medal, Second Class Able Seaman William Becker
HMS Highflyer
HMCS Niobe, 1917
Cadet Robert Brett, 1917
Medal Set, Robert Brett
SS Imo and Halifax Sugar Refinery
HMCS Lady Evelyn after the Halifax Explosion
Captain Edward H. Martin