Part 2, Chapter 1: Zoological Design

By the middle of the 19th century, Andrew Downs had become a respected naturalist at home and abroad; those seeking familiarity with Nova Scotian forests and wildlife would turn to Downs for guidance and specimens. Royalty and nobility abroad became familiar with his work after his medal-earning taxidermy displays in the world exhibitions of the …

Continue reading Part 2, Chapter 1: Zoological Design

Part 1, Chapter 8: Ornithologist

Andrew Downs was considered one of the leading Canadian ornithologists of his time, and his zoological gardens were filled with numerous species of birds. To quote an article published in the journal NATURE, the naturalist Charles Hallock wrote about the zoo’s bird life while recounting one of his visits to the premises: …tumbler pigeons throw summersets … Continue reading Part 1, Chapter 8: Ornithologist

An Aside: Journey

I’ve learned through visits to the Nova Scotia Archives, written accounts, and conversations with locals, that Andrew Downs was renowned in the Western world. He traveled abroad on numerous occasions trading specimens with major natural history institutions, but there is little documentation to support this narrative. What happened to those specimens he procured near Halifax … Continue reading An Aside: Journey

Part 1, Chapter 6: Visitors

“Downs’ Zoological Gardens” was perhaps the most favored attraction in the young city of Halifax, welcoming everyone from local day trippers to distinguished guests. According to written accounts from the day, the site was a destination point for tourists, and many famous visitors frequented the zoo; however, the only names of such guests I have … Continue reading Part 1, Chapter 6: Visitors