Nova Scotia Archives

Historical Maps of Nova Scotia

Hopkins’ City Atlas of Halifax, 1878


City Atlas of Halifax, Nova Scotia. From Actual Surveys and Records by and under the Supervision of H.W. Hopkins, Civil Engineer. Provincial Surveying and Pub. Co. G.B. Vandervoort, Manager. 1878


Henry W. Hopkins (1838-1920) was an American land surveyor and civil engineer active in the eastern United States and Canada in the last half of the 19th century. His specialty was large, folio-sized real-estate or land-ownership atlases produced and sold for prominent cities and counties of the time. The atlases were outstanding examples then of cadastral surveying; today, as visual records of a fixed and knowable past, they hold interest and appeal for both scholarly researchers and armchair explorers.

Hopkins was born in Haddonfield, New Jersey in 1838. By 1865 he and his brother G.M. (Griffith Morgan) Hopkins had established a map-production business in Philadelphia; Griffith was the publisher, Henry the supervisor of surveying, and G.B. Vandervoort the manager.

The firm was active in Pennsylvania first, producing atlases for Delaware (1870) and Germantown (1871). By the late 1870s and for unknown reasons, their focus of interest moved north into Canada. Henry Hopkins visited Halifax in October 1877 and corresponded with James R. Graham, Chairman of the City Board of Works (Halifax Regional Municipality Archives, Correspondence, Clerk of Works, folder 16); the following year the firm produced both the City Atlas of Halifax and the Map of the Town of Dartmouth. Later productions included atlases for Montreal (1879), Quebec City (1879) and Sherbrooke (1881).

'About Historic Pittsburgh' provides additional context for understanding these map products. Between 1870 and 1940, the company published over 175 atlases and real-estate plat maps, and was one of the first publishers to produce a cadastral atlas, which is a cross between a fire-insurance plat and a county atlas.

Plat maps are real-estate or land-ownership maps showing not only the names of property owners, but also individual lots, block numbers, dimensions, street widths, and prominent buildings or physical landmarks such as churches, cemeteries, schools, wharves, railroads, lakes, rivers and streams. The maps also provide an outline or 'footprint' for each structure on a lot, and a colour code for building construction (e.g. yellow = frame building; pink = brick or stone building).

If you’re interested in connecting properties and plats in the City Atlas of Halifax to our other online exhibits, Roger's Photographic Advertising Album (1871), 'The Royal Engineers in Halifax' (1870-1885) and the 'Notman Studio Collection' all provide interesting photographic evidence of the streets, lots and building outlines compiled by Hopkins in late 1877.




Title Page: City Atlas of Halifax, Nova Scotia
City Atlas of Halifax, Nova Scotia. From Actual Surveys and Records by and under the supervision of H.W. Hopkins, civil engineer. Provincial Survey and Pub. Co. G. B. Vandervoort Manager.
Date: 1878
Reference no.: H.W. Hopkins Nova Scotia Archives Library O/S G 1129 H3 H67 1878

Outline and Index Map of City of Halifax. N.S.
City Atlas of Halifax, Nova Scotia. From Actual Surveys and Records by and under the supervision of H.W. Hopkins, civil engineer. Provincial Survey and Pub. Co. G. B. Vandervoort Manager.
Date: 1878
Reference no.: H.W. Hopkins Nova Scotia Archives Library O/S G 1129 H3 H67 1878

Plate A - Part of Ward 3
City Atlas of Halifax, Nova Scotia. From Actual Surveys and Records by and under the supervision of H.W. Hopkins, civil engineer. Provincial Survey and Pub. Co. G. B. Vandervoort Manager.
Date: 1878
Reference no.: H.W. Hopkins Nova Scotia Archives Library O/S G 1129 H3 H67 1878

Plate B - Parts of Wards 4 and 5
City Atlas of Halifax, Nova Scotia. From Actual Surveys and Records by and under the supervision of H.W. Hopkins, civil engineer. Provincial Survey and Pub. Co. G. B. Vandervoort Manager.
Date: 1878
Reference no.: H.W. Hopkins Nova Scotia Archives Library O/S G 1129 H3 H67 1878

Plate C - Part of Ward 5
City Atlas of Halifax, Nova Scotia. From Actual Surveys and Records by and under the supervision of H.W. Hopkins, civil engineer. Provincial Survey and Pub. Co. G. B. Vandervoort Manager.
Date: 1878
Reference no.: H.W. Hopkins Nova Scotia Archives Library O/S G 1129 H3 H67 1878

Plate D - Part of Ward 5
City Atlas of Halifax, Nova Scotia. From Actual Surveys and Records by and under the supervision of H.W. Hopkins, civil engineer. Provincial Survey and Pub. Co. G. B. Vandervoort Manager.
Date: 1878
Reference no.: H.W. Hopkins Nova Scotia Archives Library O/S G 1129 H3 H67 1878

Plate E - Part of Ward 6
City Atlas of Halifax, Nova Scotia. From Actual Surveys and Records by and under the supervision of H.W. Hopkins, civil engineer. Provincial Survey and Pub. Co. G. B. Vandervoort Manager.
Date: 1878
Reference no.: H.W. Hopkins Nova Scotia Archives Library O/S G 1129 H3 H67 1878

Plate F - Part of Ward 5
City Atlas of Halifax, Nova Scotia. From Actual Surveys and Records by and under the supervision of H.W. Hopkins, civil engineer. Provincial Survey and Pub. Co. G. B. Vandervoort Manager.
Date: 1878
Reference no.: H.W. Hopkins Nova Scotia Archives Library O/S G 1129 H3 H67 1878

Plate G - Part of Ward 5
City Atlas of Halifax, Nova Scotia. From Actual Surveys and Records by and under the supervision of H.W. Hopkins, civil engineer. Provincial Survey and Pub. Co. G. B. Vandervoort Manager.
Date: 1878
Reference no.: H.W. Hopkins Nova Scotia Archives Library O/S G 1129 H3 H67 1878

Plate H - Parts of Wards 1 and 2
City Atlas of Halifax, Nova Scotia. From Actual Surveys and Records by and under the supervision of H.W. Hopkins, civil engineer. Provincial Survey and Pub. Co. G. B. Vandervoort Manager.
Date: 1878
Reference no.: H.W. Hopkins Nova Scotia Archives Library O/S G 1129 H3 H67 1878

Plate I - Parts of Wards 1 and 2
City Atlas of Halifax, Nova Scotia. From Actual Surveys and Records by and under the supervision of H.W. Hopkins, civil engineer. Provincial Survey and Pub. Co. G. B. Vandervoort Manager.
Date: 1878
Reference no.: H.W. Hopkins Nova Scotia Archives Library O/S G 1129 H3 H67 1878

Plate J - Part of Ward 1
City Atlas of Halifax, Nova Scotia. From Actual Surveys and Records by and under the supervision of H.W. Hopkins, civil engineer. Provincial Survey and Pub. Co. G. B. Vandervoort Manager.
Date: 1878
Reference no.: H.W. Hopkins Nova Scotia Archives Library O/S G 1129 H3 H67 1878

Plate K - Part of Ward 1
City Atlas of Halifax, Nova Scotia. From Actual Surveys and Records by and under the supervision of H.W. Hopkins, civil engineer. Provincial Survey and Pub. Co. G. B. Vandervoort Manager.
Date: 1878
Reference no.: H.W. Hopkins Nova Scotia Archives Library O/S G 1129 H3 H67 1878

Plate L
City Atlas of Halifax, Nova Scotia. From Actual Surveys and Records by and under the supervision of H.W. Hopkins, civil engineer. Provincial Survey and Pub. Co. G. B. Vandervoort Manager.
Date: 1878
Reference no.: H.W. Hopkins Nova Scotia Archives Library O/S G 1129 H3 H67 1878

Plate M - Part of Ward 1
City Atlas of Halifax, Nova Scotia. From Actual Surveys and Records by and under the supervision of H.W. Hopkins, civil engineer. Provincial Survey and Pub. Co. G. B. Vandervoort Manager.
Date: 1878
Reference no.: H.W. Hopkins Nova Scotia Archives Library O/S G 1129 H3 H67 1878

Plate N - Part of Ward 1
City Atlas of Halifax, Nova Scotia. From Actual Surveys and Records by and under the supervision of H.W. Hopkins, civil engineer. Provincial Survey and Pub. Co. G. B. Vandervoort Manager.
Date: 1878
Reference no.: H.W. Hopkins Nova Scotia Archives Library O/S G 1129 H3 H67 1878

Plate O - Part of Ward 1
City Atlas of Halifax, Nova Scotia. From Actual Surveys and Records by and under the supervision of H.W. Hopkins, civil engineer. Provincial Survey and Pub. Co. G. B. Vandervoort Manager.
Date: 1878
Reference no.: H.W. Hopkins Nova Scotia Archives Library O/S G 1129 H3 H67 1878

Plate P - Parts of Wards 2, 3, and 4
City Atlas of Halifax, Nova Scotia. From Actual Surveys and Records by and under the supervision of H.W. Hopkins, civil engineer. Provincial Survey and Pub. Co. G. B. Vandervoort Manager.
Date: 1878
Reference no.: H.W. Hopkins Nova Scotia Archives Library O/S G 1129 H3 H67 1878

Plate Q - Part of Ward 2
City Atlas of Halifax, Nova Scotia. From Actual Surveys and Records by and under the supervision of H.W. Hopkins, civil engineer. Provincial Survey and Pub. Co. G. B. Vandervoort Manager.
Date: 1878
Reference no.: H.W. Hopkins Nova Scotia Archives Library O/S G 1129 H3 H67 1878

Plate R - Parts of Ward 5 and 6
City Atlas of Halifax, Nova Scotia. From Actual Surveys and Records by and under the supervision of H.W. Hopkins, civil engineer. Provincial Survey and Pub. Co. G. B. Vandervoort Manager.
Date: 1878
Reference no.: H.W. Hopkins Nova Scotia Archives Library O/S G 1129 H3 H67 1878

Plate S - Part of Ward 5
City Atlas of Halifax, Nova Scotia. From Actual Surveys and Records by and under the supervision of H.W. Hopkins, civil engineer. Provincial Survey and Pub. Co. G. B. Vandervoort Manager.
Date: 1878
Reference no.: H.W. Hopkins Nova Scotia Archives Library O/S G 1129 H3 H67 1878

Plate T - Part of Ward 6
City Atlas of Halifax, Nova Scotia. From Actual Surveys and Records by and under the supervision of H.W. Hopkins, civil engineer. Provincial Survey and Pub. Co. G. B. Vandervoort Manager.
Date: 1878
Reference no.: H.W. Hopkins Nova Scotia Archives Library O/S G 1129 H3 H67 1878

Plate U - Part of Ward 6
City Atlas of Halifax, Nova Scotia. From Actual Surveys and Records by and under the supervision of H.W. Hopkins, civil engineer. Provincial Survey and Pub. Co. G. B. Vandervoort Manager.
Date: 1878
Reference no.: H.W. Hopkins Nova Scotia Archives Library O/S G 1129 H3 H67 1878

Plate V - Part of Ward 6
City Atlas of Halifax, Nova Scotia. From Actual Surveys and Records by and under the supervision of H.W. Hopkins, civil engineer. Provincial Survey and Pub. Co. G. B. Vandervoort Manager.
Date: 1878
Reference no.: H.W. Hopkins Nova Scotia Archives Library O/S G 1129 H3 H67 1878