Halifax Shipyard

Shipyard facility tour prompts mixed reactions

Halifax Irving Shipyard invited community members to tour their new facilities, leaving some impressed and some disappointed.

Halifax Irving Shipyard
Halifax Irving Shipyard   Jill Morgan and Sara Connors

A Halifax Irving Shipyard tour prompted mixed reactions from local community members, however many were engaged with the equipment and layout of the facility.

On Oct. 3, Irving Shipbuilding hosted community members for a tour of their new facility. Approximately 80-100 people attended the tour, greeted with free coffee and baked goods.

Each guided tour was a half hour long, running from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. However, guests were invited to go on a self-guided tour of the facility if they preferred.

Shayne Trewim received the invitation and decided to bring his son to see the new facilities. He said “it was great” to see what was inside.

However, he was disappointed he couldn’t see any ship construction.

“We were hoping for a little activity. I know that’s probably not realistic with a bunch of people going through it but that would have been neat to see,” said Trewim.

Some guests looked at informational posters about different aspects of the facility while others wandered around viewing equipment.

Steven Beeler was interested in seeing what was happening inside the facility.

“For a manufacturing facility it was very clean,” said Beeler. “[But] I was kind of disappointed by all the technology. Many people who could be employed won’t be because they’ll be replaced by computers and robots.”

According to Irving’s website, the facility is the largest of its kind in North America. Inside, community members examined two large paint “booths”, four bridge cranes, “moveable elevated production floors,” and “sub-assembly” areas.

The shipyard began construction of its first Arctic Offshore Patrol ship, HMCS Harry DeWolf, in early September. It’s expected to be completed in 2018, Irving’s website states.