Religious services have been a part of the life of the University of King’s College since it was founded in 1789 as the first college to be granted university status in British North America. King’s was modeled on the colleges of Oxford and Cambridge, which were residential, Anglican, and followed the tutorial approach to teaching.
After a fire destroyed the original university buildings in Windsor, Nova Scotia, in 1920, the university relocated to Halifax and became associated with Dalhousie University.
The chapel was one of the original buildings to be built on the new five-acre Halifax campus, adjacent to Dalhousie University. The renowned American-Canadian architect Andrew Cobb designed the chapel, which dates back to 1930 when King’s reopened in Halifax.
Andrew Cobb was one of the foremost architects working in Atlantic Canada during the early part of the 20th century. He was one of the first students of the École des Beaux Arts in Paris to practise architecture in the region. He designed three buildings at King’s—the chapel, the Arts & Administration building, and Alexandra Hall. He also designed several buildings at Dalhousie, Acadia, and Mount Allison Universities.
During World War II, King's was used as an officer training facility for the Royal Canadian Navy. Between 1941 and 1945, the King's chapel ministered to young naval recruits. Today, the chapel's baptismal font is a ship's bell, given as a thank you to the chapel for its war effort.
Thanks to the University Archives for providing some of the above historical photos. The first photo depicts a group of students singing in the Chapel during the '50's or '60's, the second, Andrew Randall Cobb in his Halifax studio, and the third, a painting by artist Anthony Law of HMCS King's during WWII.