The Story of the Old Town Hall
Situated in the heart of beautiful downtown Glace Bay, The Old Town Hall had been at the center of the community's life for over a century. Within a year of Glace Bay's incorporation as a town, in 1901, construction began on the three-story red brick building. Built to house the offices of the new municipality, Glace Bay's Town Hall was officially opened in September, 1903. Over the years, the Old Town Hall became home to every imaginable civic service, including the police and fire departments, a court of justice, and the town's jail.
In the beginning the building housed the fire and police departments, a jail, and courtroom. As well, it had offices for all the new town's services and chambers for some very lively council meetings. The Town Hall of Glace Bay featured "one stop shopping" before the term was even invented !
As the town grew, many of its services outgrew their quarters at the Old Town Hall. By 1989, the aging building had become tired and worn and its upkeep proved too expensive for a town with a dwindling population. In 1989 the Mayor and Town Council elected to relocate, rather than repair the Old Town Hall. The following year they transferred ownership to the Glace Bay Historical Society who, in turn, formed the Glace Bay Historical Museum Society. The Society oversaw the restoration of the courtroom and council chambers and opened a heritage museum at the site.
Despite valiant efforts to refurbish, the financial pressures forced the Historical Society to abandon its efforts in 1997 and vacate the Old Town Hall. By that time Glace Bay had ceased to exist as an independent municipal unit. By 1995 the town had become but one of a number of island communities that were amalgamated as the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. In 1999 the Municipality decided to tear down Glace Bay's now vacant Old Town Hall. The Glace Bay Heritage Museum Society had other plans and began a major restoration project.
With the assistance of the three levels of government, along with the private sector and community minded individuals her doors opened again on June 1, 2003; the eve of her 100th birthday. The Heritage Museum Society is committed to restoring the upper floors of the building. The Society continues to gather artifacts for the museum and to raise money for the preservation and restoration of Glace Bay's beloved Old Town Hall.
We would like to thank everyone who contributed to this restoration project which was a dream and has now become a reality.
* The Glace Bay Heritage Museum Society.
Glace Bay's Flag