The Imperial Oil Review November 1921 pages 4, 5, and 15
courtesy of Glenbow Archives, Calgary

The Imperial Oil Review November 1921 Main Office and Docks of Halifax Refinery
Main Office and Docks of Halifax Refinery
A Personally - Conducted Tour Through the Refinery, by D. M. Allen, Superintendent, Halifax
Jumping aboard the "Wilfred C" from market wharf and steaming out of the harbor one leaves behind further down the harbor, the Halifax shipyards, numerous piers, including Pier 2, where all the big liners dock, and the Halifax- Dartmouth ferry dock. Adjacent to this is the market wharf from where the Imperoyal ferry leaves. As our boat progresses seaward we note on the Halifax side many small wharves and then the ocean terminals and the C.N.R. station. Still further out lies the long strip of land which known as Point Pleasant Park, very beautiful in its wild and natural state. Beyond Point Pleasant Park to the westward and extending inland about three or four miles, is the beautiful North West Arm, with its many boat clubs, and countless canoes. On the shore, the Memorial Tower, with its bits of stone from all corners of the world, looms up, and all along the shore can he seen beautiful spots for picnicking. It is a wonderful place, one in which a person can have rest and quiet and enjoy the beauties of nature.

On the eastern shore of the harbor, there lies a branch of the Halifax shipyards, the marine and fisheries wharves, the Nova Scotia Hospital, the Acadia sugar refinery, Fort Clarence, and then one beholds a large number of tall chimneys by day or a vast expanse of dazzling light by night. These are the electric lights of the Imperoyal plant. A sea-captain not familiar with Halifax harbor at first sight, in the evening, mistook the Imperoyal plant and village for Halifax city, such is the imposing appearance of Imperoyal.

On the harbor front are three docks. First, the main dock where all boats load or unload cargoes; then further south is the passenger dock where the ferry from Halifax lands her human cargo; still further south is the Admiralty dock, built during the war to accommodate ships of the Admiralty and now used whenever the main dock is occupied and other boats are waiting to be attended to. Almost due east from the Admiralty dock lies the Company’s cottages thirty-three in all; modernly equipped and kept in first class condition. Also in this group is the Imperoyal school, with its three class rooms, two basements, library, teachers’ room, and the necessary cloak rooms. It is certainly one of the best school houses in Nova Scotia. Instruction is received here from the best teachers that are obtainable. Needless to say the building is filled to its capacity.

To come to the plant proper, we must go back to the north a bit from the cottages. The plant is cut into three sections running north and south. The first section is that between the sea and the Canadian National Railways line which runs between Windsor junction and Musquodoboit. The second section lies between this railway line and the eastern passage main road - a road which if followed northward takes one to Dartmouth. The third section lies east of the eastern passage road and extends in that direction about one and a half miles to Morris Lake, from which the Company get their supply of fresh water.

Taking up the first section: we shall start at the passenger dock and pass along the shore to the main office. On the war we pass, on our right, the "big separator" which collects the drainage of the whole plant; also the "booster pump house" situated near the railway; a little further north but still on our right is the "filling" building belonging to the marketing department. Here the oil is barrelled, the barrels repaired, etc. A few steps further north and on the water’s edge is the salt water pumphouse, equipped with pumps capable of handling 6,000,000 gallons of water each, daily. On our right, and near the pumphouse, is the main office.

Here we have the accounting department, ass’t superintendent and master mechanics' offices, the drafting room and stenographers' room, on the, main floor. In the basement are the timekeepers' office, employment office, doctor's office, test room, laboratory, and customs officers' room.

Beyond the office and still further north, is a tank field where products are stored previous to shipping. Between this field and the railway is the pipe shop, as well as a lumber yard. We are now at the extreme northerly end of the plant and directly upon Port Clarence.

We shall pass over the railway track and on to the steam stills. Passing southerly we come in turn to the "continuous naphtha treating" building, the three "agitators" and between these and the eastern passage road is a "tank field" for storing oil for use in these three departments.

Continuing further south, we come to a small "separator" which collects the drainage from the tank field just mentioned. We now cross the company road leading from the eastern passage road to the main office. Situated on our right is the "filling rack" for filling tank cars and a "loading rack" for filling box cars with coke. Just a few steps from this is the big boiler house which supplies steam to all parts of the plant. Directly across from the boiler house and to our left is the refinery pump house. This department handles all the pumping in the yard as far as delivering from one department to another is concerned. A little further on and to our right is the power house which supplies electricity for the plant and the village. Further east are the "crude" stills, ten of which are the coking stills and the remaining eight "continuous running" stills. Of course these all have their small "run down" tanks near them.

Leaving these and the large coke piles a little further to the southward, we turn our direction easterly towards the eastern passage road. To do so we have to climb a hill on the summit of which we find the "re-run" stills. Between these stills and the road are some more large tanks. It is right here that tanks Nos. I and 2 stand, marking the original site of the refinery. These tanks together with the "filling rack" at one time made up the whole plant, so we have been informed.

We now cross over the main road and start on our tour of the third section at the southerly extremity of the plant. We first come to the crude tank field. All of these tanks are about 115 feet in diameter and 35 feet high. At present four new tanks which are 120 feet in diameter and 40 feet high, are being erected in this field. As we come along the eastern passage road to the road running to the main office and which continues easterly towards Morris Lake we turn up that way. The first building we see is the "acid plant" the odor of which cannot he likened to "Attar of Roses". After passing this we climb a hill and are at No. 1 battery of "pressure" stills. We then pass on a little further and come upon No. 2 battery "pressure" stills and its "run down" tanks. Behind this, and to the eastward, there is a tract of cleared land and also land that is uncleared but which some day will be available for use by the plant, as the Company's property extends back about a mile to Morris Lake. At the lake there is a pumphouse.

Imperoyal, situated on the Atlantic sea-board stands out in an imposing array of chimneys by day and in a dazzling blaze of light by night. It draws all ships to its docks for their supply of fuel and oil, for as the ships round McNab’s Island, Imperoyal is the first object in sight. Thus it stands as its own advertisement, a monument of Imperial Service.

Imperial Oil Review 1921 Dartmouth Refinery
Imperial Oil Review 1921 Dartmouth Refinery
Imperial Oil Review 1921 Dartmouth Refinery