Many immigrants came to Canada through the Port of Halifax. Pier 21 was the entrepôt after 1921. The Pier 21 Museum in Halifax is a very interesting visit for researchers. They have a website that offers valuable information re ship schedules and arrivals. Ship’s manifests can also be accessed.
For passenger ships arriving in the late 19th century and the first part of the 20th century one would have to check with their local public library in Canada to see if they have microfiche records of ship arrivals and manifests. A researcher would have to have some idea when their family members may have arrived in Canada. Halifax was not the only port of entry. Montreal, Quebec City, St.John New Brunswick were also destination ports. Some immigrants even landed in St. John’s Newfoundland and then entered Canada from there (Newfoundland did not join Canada until 1949).
Many Canadian immigrants arrived in New York and other U.S. ports and then joined family in Canada. Ellis Island is also a very good starting point for researchers.