Dartmouth Annual Reports

Summary of Dartmouth Annual Reports re. the Explosion (101-1M)

This page contains relevant sections from the Town of Dartmouth Annual Reports relating to the Halifax Explosion. Report names are hyperlinked to a PDF of the digitized report.


Mayor’s Report

  • Addresses the losses and damages caused by the Explosion.
  • States that the Dominion Government has appointed a Commission to “take up the whole matter of rehabilitating and restitution to all those who have suffered.”

Fire Committee report

  • Fires in the North End caused by the Explosion completely destroyed three houses owned by Owen Sawler of Pelzant St., George Smith and E.R. Wright of Windmill Rd.

Committee on Charities report

  • Two women were admitted to the Nova Scotia Hospital as a result of the Explosion.

Water and Sewerage Committee report

  • Discussion of the damage to properties caused by the Explosion which has allowed frost to enter buildings and freeze water pipes.

Health Officer report

  • A relief hospital was opened at the Parker house for contagious diseases in order to halt an epidemic caused by housing conditions after the Explosion. Recommends acquiring the property as a full-time hospital for both infectious diseases and general health services.

Board of School Commissioners report

  • The Explosion destroyed all but two school buildings, which “will compel the new Board to provide School accommodation for at least sixteen new departments [rooms]” of which fourteen will be at Greenvale and Hawthorne schools. The Assembly Hall accounts for an additional two departments. Previous to the Explosion, there were thirty departments.

School Medical Inspector report

  • Inspections of the schools were “rudely interrupted” by the Explosion, although most had already been completed.
  • The Explosion also caused many families to be scattered and therefore school visits by the nurse were interfered.

Park Commission report

  • Interruptions to plans to sell land because of the Explosion.


Mayor’s Report

  • p. 4 – Financial statement discusses that the Liabilities of the Town exceed the Assets because of expenditures related to the Explosion.
  • States the cost of the damage to Town Buildings and Schools as filed with the Halifax Relief Commission.
  • p. 5 – states that none of the relief money has yet been received by the Town, waiting for the Commission to make a settlement.
  • Influenza epidemic and Smallpox throughout Dartmouth caused by the Explosion and resulting costs considerable.

Finance Committee report

  • Finance report shows liabilities, including “Explosion Account” and “extraordinary expenditures and accounts” due to the Explosion.

Streets and Public Property Committee report

  • Discussion of the work conducted on streets and of trouble with the water supply due to the Explosion.

Water and Sewerage Committee

  • Leaks found in main pipes, caused by the Explosion.

Health Officer report

  • Discussion of the health conditions of Dartmouth residents affected by the Explosion and the subsequent living conditions, such as overcrowding in houses. A relief hospital for infectious diseases was opened which helped to curb the spread of diphtheria. There were many smallpox cases brought by workmen who came to help with relief efforts.
  • Recommends garbage collection to curb disease, especially in the severely damaged north end.

Auditor report

  • p. 39 – “Explosion Account” lists receipts and expenditure.
  • p. 43 – “Statement of Assets and Liabilities of the Town of Dartmouth” shows assets and liabilities, including those relating to the “Explosion Account.”

School Commissioner report

  • The School Supervisor Mr. W.C. Stapleton discusses the effects of the Explosion on the schools, including:
  • Central, Park, and Victoria Schools were destroyed.
  • The Influenza epidemic shut down the Greenvale and Hawthorne Schools for six weeks and continued to affect attendance afterwards.
  • “Many of the cleverer students” left school permanently following the Explosion and subsequent epidemic.
  • Younger children in the north end could not attend school at all because there were none near their homes.
  • Schools were closed following the Explosion from Dec. 6, 1917 to Feb. 10, 1918.

Ferry report

  • Documents ferry damage at $16,470, which was filed with the Halifax Relief Commission.


Finance Committee report

  • $15,000 received from the Halifax Relief Commission for Explosion claims.

Auditor’s report

  • p. 37 – expenses relating to repairs to public property caused by the Explosion.
  • p. 47 – details on the “Explosion Account.