Pin It

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Viola Desmond wins Halifax ferry naming contest

Over 6,600 votes cast for Nova Scotian civil rights icon.

Posted By on Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 3:38 PM

  • Province of Nova Scotia

Halifax Transit’s newest ferry has a name, and it’s Viola Desmond.

Mayor Mike Savage made the announcement on Thursday afternoon at the Black Cultural Centre, drawing a standing ovation from those in attendance.

According to HRM, “Viola Desmond” received just under a third of the 19,230 votes cast in the two-week naming period for the new harbour ferry. She beat out fellow shortlisted names Vincent Coleman, John Curwin, Gavin Rainnie and Ronald Wallace.

Born and raised in Halifax, Desmond is today most well-known for a 1946 trip to New Glasgow where she unknowingly sat in the white-only section of a movie theatre. Desmond was removed and held in jail overnight—a story that exposed some of the country’s more blatant racism and issues of segregation.

She’s since been commemorated in a stamp, a Heritage Day and a Heritage Minute. She’s often, problematically, called “Canada’s Rosa Parks” despite Desmond’s night in jail taking place nine years before Parks’ arrest. Of course, Rosa Parks wasn’t even the first Rosa Parks, but history likes to be streamlined like that.

“Viola Desmond” will now be submitted to Transport Canada for final approval. The new vessel will go into service this summer.

Tags: , , ,

Survey Asks

Who’s Nova Scotia’s worst tin-pot Doug Ford knockoff?

  • Matt Whitman
  • John Lohr
  • Hannah Dawson-Murphy
  • Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin
  • Tristan Flynn
  • Some other “personality” (suggest names in the comments)

View Results

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

Remember, it's entirely possible to disagree without spiralling into a thread of negativity and personal attacks. We have the right to remove (and you have the right to report) any comments that go against our policy.

Coast Top Ten


    White noise


    White noise

    posted by REBECCA THOMAS, Aug 30/18

    Letting your guard down to party loud and proud in the streets is a privilege students of colour don’t often have. comments      2

More »

Reality Bites

More »


More »

In Print This Week

Vol 26, No 17
September 20, 2018

Cover Gallery »

Real Time Web Analytics

© 2018 Coast Publishing Ltd.