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* <see name="York Redoubt" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="Free">A sprawling complex of forts from 1790s to 1940s. Plan to spend hours exploring tunnels, caves, cliffs, cannons, bunkers, trails, and views of the harbour. 1 hour bus ride from downtown.</see>
 
* <see name="York Redoubt" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="Free">A sprawling complex of forts from 1790s to 1940s. Plan to spend hours exploring tunnels, caves, cliffs, cannons, bunkers, trails, and views of the harbour. 1 hour bus ride from downtown.</see>
  
* <see name="Halifax Common" alt="" address="Quinpool and Robie" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">A large public space open to everyone. In the summer, you can find residents and visitors playing sports, picnicking, and exercising. Pending funding, a permanent ice rink will be installed for public use</see>
+
* <see name="Halifax Common" alt="" address="Quinpool and Robie" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">A large public space open to everyone. In the summer, you can find residents and visitors playing sports, picnicking, and exercising. The Emera Oval, an ice rink installed for the 2011 Canada
 +
Winter Games speedskating events is open for public use during the winter months.</see>
  
 
==Do==
 
==Do==

Revision as of 14:55, 19 April 2013

The old town clock situated at the base of Citadel Hill

Halifax [1] is the capital city of Nova Scotia and the largest city in the Atlantic Provinces of Canada. The city's origins and rich maritime history derive from a strategic location and one of the world's great natural harbours. In the 19th and early 20th century, Halifax was the entry point for European immigration to Canada. Today, Halifax is a busy Atlantic seaport and the economic and cultural hub of Eastern Canada.

Contents

Understand

Halifax is the provincial and regional hub of Nova Scotia. It is still, however, a smaller city by North American standards (2010 pop. 412,012). Rather than feeling relegated to 'second-fiddle' status, this dichotomy is celebrated by residents who take pride in their slower pace and warm hospitality.

History

While the area around Halifax has been inhabited by native Mi'kmaq for millennia, modern Halifax was founded on June 21, 1749 as a British military outpost. Easily defended and featuring the world's second largest natural harbour, Halifax proved its worth during the Seven Years' War against the French and later in the American Revolutionary War, and as the base grew in size and importance, a significant population of merchants and other civilians sprung up in its wake.

On December 6, 1917, the collision of a munitions ship loaded with 2,500 tons of explosives resulted in the Halifax Explosion, which killed over 2,000 people and leveled the northern half of the city.

The city was quickly rebuilt and World War II saw Halifax busier than ever, with British supply convoys assembling to start their perilous journey across the Atlantic as German U-boats lurked offshore. After the war, over a million immigrants to Canada passed through Halifax.

Orientation

The city of Halifax is on Halifax Peninsula, on the west side of the harbour, with Dartmouth to the east. The main landmark is the Halifax Citadel, on a high hill above the city, and it conveniently divides the city into three districts: the South End, representing the older, wealthier urban core south of the Citadel; the North End, the grittier northern suburbs destroyed by the Explosion; and the largely residential West End. The downtown core is sandwiched between the Citadel and the sea, making navigation a snap.

Inhabitants of the city are known as Haligonians.

Climate

Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daily highs (°C) 0 0 4 8 14 19 23 23 19 13 8 3
Nightly lows (°C) -9 -8 -4 1 6 11 14 15 11 6 1 -5
Precipitation (mm) 151 114 134 121 119 108 106 98 107 135 154 160

See the Halifax 7 day forecast at Environment Canada








Visitor information

  • Nova Scotia Visitor Information Centre (Waterfront), 1655 Lower Water St (On boardwalk, at Sackville Landing), +1 902 424-4248 (), [2]. 8:30AM-8PM daily.
  • Nova Scotia Visitor Information Centre (Airport), Halifax Stanfield International Airport (in the domestic arrivals area on the main level), +1 902 873-1223 (+1 902 873-1224, ), [3]. 9AM-9PM daily.

Get in

By plane

The modern Halifax Robert L. Stanfield International Airport (IATA: YHZ) [4] is located 35 km north of Halifax. It is the biggest airport in the maritime provinces, with direct flights from Toronto, Montreal, New York, Chicago, Ottawa, Calgary, Boston, Philadelphia, London, and limited service to a number of regional and holiday destinations. Direct connections to Europe are provided by Air Canada (London-Heathrow), Thomas Cook Airlines (London-Gatwick), Condor (Frankfurt/Main, May-October only), Canadian Affair and Icelandair (short stopover in Reykjavik).

An express bus service to downtown Halifax—making intermediate stops in Fall River and Dartmouth—takes 55 minutes and costs $3.25 one-way, or $1.00 It runs on 30 minute frequencies on-peak and 60 minutes off-peak, with the first departure from the airport at 5:45AM and the last 12:15AM. Upon boarding you should ask the driver for a "Transfer", so you can continue your trip on a connecting bus.[5]

Taxis charge a flat rate $53.00, limousines $56.00, to Halifax City centre and may be prebooked at no extra charge [6]. The Airporter [7] shuttle charges $21.00 to most major hotels but may take up to an hour to get to yours. Sunshine Cabs (1-800-565-8669 or 902-429-5555, [8]) is a reasonable compromise, with door-to-door service for $26.00 per person going out and $28.00 coming in, but you have to book one day in advance.

By train

The VIA Rail [9] train station located in the south end of Halifax on 1161 Hollis Street, directly next to the Westin Nova Scotian Hotel has trains to to Moncton, Quebec City, Montreal, and numerous stations en route. Note: As of 2012 this service no longer operates daily, and runs only three days a week. The trip to Montreal takes 22 hours.

By car

Halifax is connected to the rest of Canada by provincial highways 101, 102, 103, and 104. Highway 102 runs between Halifax and Truro, where it connects to Highway 104 (the Trans-Canada Highway). Going west on 104 takes one to the New Brunswick border, and then onto Maine, Quebec, or Prince Edward Island. It's about 2 hours from Halifax to the New Brunswick border; there is a $4.00 toll at the Cobequid pass. Going east on 104 takes one to Cape Breton.

A ferry service in North Sydney, Nova Scotia connects Nova Scotia with Newfoundland. Highway 103 connects Halifax with the South Shore. Highway 101 connects Halifax with the Annapolis valley. A ferry service connects Digby (about 2.5 hours from Halifax) with Saint John, New Brunswick.

By bus

Maritime Bus service operates buses throughout the Maritimes. [10]

By boat

A ferry service also operates between Halifax and Dartmouth. It is a great boat ride, especially on clear summer days, considering the $2.25 charged.

Carnival Cruise Lines [11] operates cruises to Halifax.

Get around

Halifax has a tendency to sprawl somewhat. Public transit is limited and mostly impractical outside the downtown area. The downtown shopping and attractions will engage the average traveler for a day or two at most. Beyond this time frame, a car rental will significantly open up the surrounding area.

By car

There are no photo radar or red light cameras in Nova Scotia. If you are caught, it'll be by a live officer. At some lights, there is an "advanced green", or flashing green light, which means that you can proceed left, straight, or right at your leisure. Green arrow lights are rare. Pedestrians are king. People will often cross a road in the middle of the block, and cars stop for them. U-turns are legal (de facto anywhere a left turn is allowed, de jure), barring a no U-turn sign.

By bus

Metro Transit, [12]. Metro Transit is the public transit provider for the municipality, encompassing Halifax and surrounding areas. The fare gives you access to all buses and ferries, excluding the long-distance commuter buses marked MetroLink and MetroX. Transfer tickets are free, are valid for 90 minutes, and can be used at any bus stop or ferry terminal (i.e. return journeys are possible on one fare). The agency has teamed up with Google to provide an online trip planner through GoogleMaps, however all transit maps and schedules can be found on their website as well. $2.25 with discounts for children and seniors.

By taxi

There are a number of taxi services in the city, although flagging one down may be difficult in certain areas. Calling and reserving cabs is rarely an issue. If you are bar or club bound for the evening, be aware that catching a cab back from downtown after last call may be difficult.

See

The Acadia exhibit at the Halifax waterfront.
  • The Halifax Citadel, [13]. An old fort on a hill overlooking the city and the harbour. Presently, the citadel is a national historic site and home to a museum and a small ceremonial garrison. A must see, especially during Canada day (1 July) celebrations. The museum is open only May-Oct, but the grounds are open all year around. During the summer, you can see the ceremonial cannon firing at noon.
  • Pier 21, [14], recently named as the National Immigration Museum. Canada's equivalent of New York's Ellis Island, this historic waterfront building processed over a million immigrants. Now converted into a modern museum with extensive exhibits related to Canadian immigration.
  • The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic [15] : located on the downtown waterfront. The collection includes exhibits and artifacts related to the sinking of the Titanic and the devastating 1917 Halifax explosion. The CSS Acadia [16], a hydrographic survey ship built in 1913, is an ongoing conservation project. The Acadia is moored a few meters from the museum building; tours are available during the summer. Also, located behind the museum is the HMCS Sackville, the last remaining Flower Class escort Corvettes from the convoys of WW2 (also open for guided and non guided tours)
  • Old Burial Grounds, Barrington Street and Spring Garden Road. The graveyard was in use from 1749 to 1843 and there are moderately informative plaques and signs throughout.
  • Right across the street from the Old Burial Grounds is St. Matthew's Church, the oldest United Church in Canada. The building was opened in 1859, but the congregation dates back to 1749. St. Paul's Church [17], built in 1750, is the oldest Anglican church in Canada, located at 1749 Argyle St. (a.k.a. "The Grand Parade" square).
  • The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia [18], moderate in size, but does a fine job of highlighting the works of famous local artists such as Maud Lewis (folk) and Alex Colville (hyperrealist), in addition to Mik'maq (aboriginal) art. Check the Web site for traveling exhibitions.
  • Province House, [19] 1726 Hollis St. Home to Canada's oldest provincial legislature and of Britain's first overseas self-government. A fine example of Georgian architecture, the building first opened in 1842. Visitors can learn about the history of the site and the current Legislative Assembly through guided tours, displays and an audio-visual presentation. Province House is open year-round.


Parks

  • Public Gardens, Spring Garden and South Park St.. A beautiful Victorian-era garden occupying a large city block, open May to October. There are ponds, fountains, flowers, ducks, geese, a café and ice cream shop and sometimes live music in the gazebo. Free.
  • Point Pleasant Park, (Most southern point of the city), [20]. Dawn to dusk. A large peaceful park that serves as a vantage point to see the mouth of the harbour and into the Atlantic ocean. Was once a dense woods has since been left with patches of devastation and clear-cut from Hurricane Juan in 2003. It still remains a popular place to walk dogs and stroll. The park contains some preserved historic military fortifications such the 18th century Martello tower, as well as ruins of several other fortification. Free.
  • York Redoubt. A sprawling complex of forts from 1790s to 1940s. Plan to spend hours exploring tunnels, caves, cliffs, cannons, bunkers, trails, and views of the harbour. 1 hour bus ride from downtown. Free.
  • Halifax Common, Quinpool and Robie. A large public space open to everyone. In the summer, you can find residents and visitors playing sports, picnicking, and exercising. The Emera Oval, an ice rink installed for the 2011 Canada Winter Games speedskating events is open for public use during the winter months.

Do

Theodore Tugboat
  • Waterfront, A boardwalk with a great variety of historic buildings, shops, restaurants, and other entertainment. Theodore Tugboat, a WWII era Corvette, and other ships line the harbour. During the summer months, there are many harbour boat tours that launch from here.
  • Harbour Hopper[21], Guided tour of Halifax and harbour in an amphibious vehicle. Very informative and highlights major points of interest in the city in fun-filled hour.
  • Boat Tours Murphy's the Cable Wharf is in the heart of the Halifax waterfront and offers a variety of boat tours including nature and whale watching, tall ship sailing, deep sea fishing, historical harbour tours and dinner cruises. Open seven days a week May-October, 902-420-1015.
  • Canoe the Northwest Arm, Head down to the St. Mary's Boat Club, 1641 Fairfield Road (off Jubilee) 902 490-4688, on Saturdays and Sundays (11AM-7PM) and rent a canoe for $8/hour. Take a trip up the beautiful Northwest Arm to see the historic Dingle tower in Flemming Park, watch the numerous sailboats out for a weekend cruise or catch a regatta if you're lucky. Gawk at some of the mansions that line the water or for the ambitious, head all the way up to Point Pleasant Park, where the Northwest Arm meets Halifax Harbour. While swimming in parts of the harbour was briefly possible due to the installation of sewage treatment plants, they are down for repair and swimming is again not recommended unless a trip to hospital after is desired.
  • The Halifax Mooseheads [22] Quebec Major Junior Hockey League team plays from October to April at the Halifax Metro Centre. Rough, highly skilled games are combined with a near-NHL level of presentation. Tickets are $8-15, and are available at the Metro Centre box office.
  • The Halifax Rainmen [23] Halifax's National Basketball League of Canada team plays from November to March at the Halifax Metro Centre. With many of the players coming from NBA teams or from division one colleges and universities in Canada and the United States, the Halifax Rainmen are Nova Scotia's only professional sports team. Tickets are available at the Metro Centre box office.
  • Alexander Keith's Brewery Tour [24]. Immersive tour of Alexander Keith's original brewery as it supposedly was in 1863, complete with tour guide actors in period garb singing songs, dancing jigs and relaying a bit of the history of the brewery and Keith himself, as well as promoting Alexander Keith's India Pale Ale. You do get the chance to sample two mugs of the stuff at the end. Tours on the hour and half-hour but limited opening hours outside summer, check the website for details. If you are an Air Miles collector, you can redeem your miles here for free tickets.
  • The Spring Garden Road Memorial Public Library, 5381 Spring Garden Road. A convenient place to sit, relax, and watch kids duck between the legs of the pensive Winston Churchill statue out front. As a sliver of scarce downtown green space, the front lawn of the building is well-used by Haligonians as a meeting spot, a reading spot, and most importantly as a place to eat french fries on lunch breaks.
  • Dartmouth Ferry. The Halifax-Dartmouth Ferry dates back to 1752.[25] For the same cost as bus fare, one can take the ferry back and forth between Dartmouth and Halifax. Make sure to get a transfer (valid for 90 minutes), so you can return on the same ticket. $2.25.


  • Hiking Trails, [26]. Halifax has lots of the great outdoors. Scenic urban parks, protected areas, and coastline trails are all close to the city. Some are well known, others are off the beaten track, all are beautiful.

Events

  • Busker Festival, [27] Visit in August for the festival of street performers along the waterfront. It's a must see, with amazing acts, some grand and awe-inspiring, some quaint, others funny (both intentionally and unintentionally). A very lively time of year along the harbourfront, with music and stalls selling food and the standard run of touristy souvenirs.
  • Nova Scotia International Air Show, [28]. A yearly event, taking place in early September. This is a great chance to see the the aerobatic teams from a number of national air forces. The Canadian Snowbirds [29] perform every year. In past years, the show was held at the Shearwater airforce base, but was moved to the civilian airport in 2005, and subsequently to Yarmouth (3 hours southwest of the city) in 2009.
  • The Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo, [30]. Happening every July, the Tattoo is the world's largest annual indoor show. Its unique combination of music, dance, drama, gymnastics, comedy, military displays, competitions and much more.
  • Tall Ships Festival, [31]. Every few years, Halifax hosts up to 30 historic and unique (and usually massive) maritime sailing vessels from around the world. The next festival is in the summer of 2012.

Learn

Halifax is home to 3 major universities. Students make up a significant proportion of the population in certain neighbourhoods.

  • Spread over 3 campuses, Dalhousie University [32] is the largest educational institution in Nova Scotia. With 15,000 undergraduates and a broad range of graduate and professional programs, Dalhousie counts itself as one of the leading universities in Canada.
  • Located in the south end of the city, Saint Mary's University [33] is somewhat smaller. St. Mary's is renowned for its business school, strong alumni support, and athletics.
  • Located just off the peninsula, along the Bedford highway is Mount Saint Vincent University [34], a smaller university with a focus on undergraduate studies, and professional programs including those in teaching and public relations.

Other educational institutions include:

  • The Nova Scotia College of Art and Design [35] is a university offering programs and degrees related to the visual arts and design.
  • The University of King's College [36] is a small liberal arts university on the Halifax peninsula. Affiliated with Dalhousie University, King's is known for its journalism programs.
  • The Nova Scotia Community College [37] has a number of campuses in the Halifax area.
  • The head of the world-wide Buddhist Shambhala organization is in Halifax. The Halifax Shambala Centre [38] offers courses in Buddhism, particularly methods related to the the Shambhala tradition.
  • The Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts [39] provides performing arts education for children and adults.
  • The Atlantic School of Theology [40], an ecumenical Christian theological university.

Work

The military is the largest employer in the region. The city is home to Maritime Forces Atlantic HQ and and the navy's East Coast fleet. Among the military installations around the city are Windsor Park, Stadacona and HMC Dockyard. It is hard to go anywhere without seeing a reference to the Navy.

Many corporations have their regional headquarters in the city, some are located downtown like TD and the Royal Bank, while others are located in some of the major business parks in the region like Burnside Industrial Park or the Aerotech Park which is located next to the Airport. Both have direct access to the major provincial highways and while the Aerotech Park is next to the airport which influences the Aerospace theme, Burnside has ~10-15 min travel time to the Airport.

Buy

Shopping Areas

  • Seaport Farmers' Market, 1209 Marginal Road, [41]. M-F 8-5, Sat 7-4, Sun 8-4. This is the new location of the oldest running farmers' market in North America. The market relocated to this building by the waterfront in 2011 and had brought most of the vendors, customers and energy with it. It runs year-round. Saturdays are by far the busiest with the most vendors, but the market is open every day of the week. Along with local produce, milk, bread, meat, and preserves, you'll find a diversity of local and ethnic prepared foods, plants, artwork, clothing, and all sorts of other interesting stuff that you may not expect for find at a Farmers' Market. Buskers play music both inside and out of the building.
  • Brewery Farmers' Market, 1496 Lower Water Street, [42]. This is the formers site of the Halifax Farmers' Market prior to their relocation to the newly constructed Seaport building at Pier 20. However, some vendors have remained or have opened a second location here open Saturdays from 7AM-1PM.
  • Barrington Street (between Cogswell and Morris) is an up and coming area right in the heart of the Central Business District. Beautiful buildings mixed with the growing amount of new stores make this definitely a nice place to 'hit up'.
  • Spring Garden Road [43] (between Barrington and Robie) is definitely the city's main shopping district and is full of all kinds of unique stores and in buildings from all kinds of eras. Definitely very lively and a must see!
  • Quinpool Road (between Connaught and Robie) is lined with streets selling bicycles, tropical fish, dresses, movies, and more. The definite Main Street of Central Halifax.

Specific Stores

  • Freak Lunchbox, a quirky and unique store on Barrington Street. Not only does Freak Lunchbox sell an array of candy (by weight), but it deals in unique and hilarious trinkets.
  • The Black Market, on Grafton Street, sells a variety of interesting trinkets, accessories, and textiles. Here can be found items from around the world, at very reasonable prices.
  • Mary Jane's is a head shoppe located on Grafton Street in downtown Halifax.
  • Rock Candy, on Prince Street, sells an assortment of(especially rock- and pop-related) music items: shirts, pins, stickets, buttons, and more.
  • Venus Envy, a store which specializes in books and other items pertaining to gender and sexuality.
  • Fifty Hats on Queen Street is a humble and interesting collection of used items. (Hats are in particular abundance!)
  • Dress in Time, often referred to wrongly as Dressed in Time, located in the district of Spring Garden Road, sells quality vintage, quirky, and unique clothing at reasonable prices.
  • Love, Me on Birmingham Street is a fantastic store selling only handmade items by Canadian crafters.
  • Sugah! on Lower Water Street is a remarkably unique chocolate store selling a variety of interesting treats.

Eat

There isn't really such a thing as "Nova Scotia cuisine", but there are a few things that are worth seeking out. Seafood is generally not much cheaper in the Maritimes than elsewhere, however many restaurants specialize in this cuisine. The exception to this rule is mussels. They are generally good quality, cheap and found on many appetizer menus. Another seafood worth having is scallops, as they are generally higher quality than the ones you get in many parts of North America (note that good scallops are the size of a golf ball or larger, and do not taste fishy). "Sea pie" is often a good deal when available, as are hearty eats like fish and chips or seafood chowder. Lobster in a restaurant will be expensive, so your best cheap bets are to buy one at the store and cook one yourself, or attend any of the numerous lobster dinners that are hosted by churches and community groups throughout the warmer months. Buying lobster from the various fishermans markets or directly from the fisherman themselves (who will often sell street side out of a car) will get you the best deal.

Budget

Many of the cheap eats in town are along Spring Garden road. Also consider local pubs (see Drink), many of which serve up great food.

  • Trident Cafe, 1256 Hollis, +1 902 423-7100, [44]. Pick up any book to read in this bookshop cafe, then either purchase it or put it back. Beans are roasted in store twice a week.
  • Steve-O-Reno's, 1536 Brunswick Street (Just off Spring Garden Road on Brunswick), +1 902 429 3034, [45]. Open 'til 6pm every day. Specialty coffees, teas, cold drinks, and baked goods. Get there before 1PM and order an 'Egg-O-Reno' breakfast sandwich, among other prepared fare.
  • Bash Toulany's Fine Foods, 5553 Duffus Street, +1 902 455-5120, [46]. Voted best Donairs in Halifax.
  • The Ardmore Tea Room, 6499 Quinpool. 4am-8pm. Virtually unchanged since 1956, and often voted the best diner in Halifax, and quite cheap. In addition to standard diner fair, they have a few Atlantic favourites such as "Newfoundland Steak" (a.k.a. fried baloney), and cod fish cakes with baked beans for breakfast.
  • Pizza Corner 3 different pizza restaurants at corner of Blowers and Grafton. Good cheap pizza and donairs (Gyro-type wraps, often overflowing with meat and sauce). However, this area can descend into anarchy when the bars let out, and the restaurants often lock their bathrooms, even to customers. If you are looking for a more authentic pizza taste head up Gottingen or Agricola into Little Italy, where numerous "mom and pop" places abound.
  • Bud The Spud, Spring Garden Road. A favourite local chip (fry) wagon parked in front of the main library branch on Spring Garden during the spring and summer. Try them with the malt vinegar. After you've had your fill, donate the rest of your chips to the city's ever-hungry pigeon population. Try to get there early, as they've been known to run out quickly.
  • Split Crow, 1855 Granville, +1 902 422-4366, [47]. Long-standing Pub with late week and weekend entertainment and cheap food. "Power Hour" brings in the crowds for cheaps drinks (2 middies for $5).
  • Hala's Pizza and Donair, 117 Kearney Lake Rd. (Wedgewood Plaza), +1 902 455-5300, [48]. A charming and cozy pizza restaurant - takes pride in its homemade dishes.
  • The Coastal Cafe, 2731 Robie Street, +1 902 405-4022, [49]. Chef/Owner Mark Giffin prepares unbelievable breakfasts, lunches and bake goods for you to enjoy with a complete selection of coffees, teas and other non-alcoholic beverages. North End Halifax
  • Comfy Corner Cafe, 1313 Hollis Street. Great homestyle breakfast, very friendly staff, great atmosphere.
  • Cousin's Snack Bar, 2389 Agricola Street. Homestyle breakfast; quirky old-style interior decoration including faux wood panelling, faded watercolour paintings and an old tv with rabbit-ears.
  • Kings Palace, 6140 Quinpool Road. Chinese Food.
  • Mexico Lindo, 3635 Dutch Village Road. Authentic Mexican Food.
  • Your Father's Moustache, Spring Garden Road, +1 902 423-6766, [50]. Pub.
  • Shiraz, 1240 Hollis St. A tiny restaurant set up in an old taxi stand. Great authentic Iranian cuisine at an affordable price. Famous for their hot sauce, a must try with a samosa!

Mid-range

  • Fid Resto, 1569 Dresden Row, +1 902 422-9162.Local by Nature. Special cooking @ an affordable price, located on Dresden Row above Spring Garden Rd. Closed Mondays.
  • Gullabulls Bar & Grill, 5640 Spring Garden Rd, +1 902 407-3696. Hands down best grill in Halifax. On the bar side, their 9 TV screens offer a view of the game better than side line seats.
  • Doraku Sushi, Down a little alley on the citadel end of Dresden Row. +1 902 425-8888. Best sushi in the city with a lovely atmosphere and proper inset Japanese tables. Get miso soup, salad, a maki roll and 5 nigiri for only $12 at lunch.
  • Satisfaction Feast, Robie St by Lady Hammond, +1 902 422-3540. Excellent vegetarian restaurant with variety and taste. Plenty of vegan or vegan option items on the menu. Dinner salad and entree = 17$ CAD. Try the Neatloaf.
  • Fireside Kitchen, 3430 Prescott Street, +1 902 454-7389. Meals are reasonably priced, atmosphere is cosy and EVERYTHING on the menu is worth eating. The cocktail menu is discounted on Martini Mondays.
  • Il Mercato, 5650 Spring Garden Rd, +1 902 422-2866, [51]. Good Pasta. Have the lemon tart for dessert. M-Sa 11AM-11PM.
  • Economy Shoe Shop, 1661-1663 Argyle St, [52]. Behind the bizarre name lies a stunningly decorated and sprawing complex incorporating everything from chandeliers to lush indoor gardens. Extensive menu. Go on Jazz night (usually Monday) and eat Nachos.
  • Elements, 1181 Hollis St,+1 902 421-1000 [53]. Located within the Westin Nova Scotian hotel, Elements is the winner of a Wine Spectator 2010 Award of Excellence and features contemporary global cuisine. Elements offers many seasonal menus with fresh, local ingredients.
  • The Wooden Monkey, Grafton St, +1 902 444-3844, [54]. Veggie & Vegan friendly bistro featuring local, organic and macrobiotic food and drink. Kid's menu available. Su-Th 11:30AM-10PM, F-Sa 11:30AM-11PM.
  • Salty's 1869 Upper Water St (Privateers Wharf), +1 902 423-6818, [55]. Seafood restaurant on the waterfront. Casual patio dining downstairs, fancier setting upstairs. Can get very busy on summer evenings. Reservations recommended.
  • Little Fish (downstairs from the Five Fisherman). 1740 Argyle Street, +1 902 425-4025. Seafood and oyster bar.
  • The Hungry Chili, 5234 Blowers St, +1 902 444-3554. Outstanding homestyle Szechuan restaurant. Like no Szechuan you have had before.
  • Heartwood Bakery & Cafe, 6250 Quinpool Road, [56]. Vegetarian, organic and extremely good. Lunch and dinner menu, soups, salads, entrees, desserts. M-Sa 10AM-8PM.
  • Coburg Cafe, 6085 Coburg Road, (near Dalhousie University). Students come here for group study or just to hang. Great hot chocolate and a $2 mammoth slice of carrot cake.
  • The Paperchase is a news outlet with a cafe on top which serves massive lattes and delicious samosas and sandwiches. Prices usually range between $5-$10 for everything. Vegetarian and vegan selections are abundant. Enjoy their computers, free wi-fi and garage-style windows which open to a full view of Argyle on warm days.

Splurge

  • Fiasco, 1463 Brenton Street, +1 902 429-4399. Fresh local ingredients prepared in classic European style.
  • Fid, 1569 Dresden Row, +1 902 422-9162. An authentic French restaurant located on Dresden Row above Spring Garden Rd. Closed Mondays.
  • Da Maurizio's, 1496 Lower Water Street, +1 902 423-0859. A world-renowned Italian restaurant located on Lower Water St. inside the Brewery Market.
  • Five Fisherman, 1740 Argyle Street, +1 902 422-4421. Lobster, scallops, and other seafood dishes.
  • Onyx, 5426 Portland Place, +1 902 454-8533. Closed Sunday. Seating only 69 guests, this restaurant offers an intimate atmosphere.
  • Chives Canadian Bistro, 1537 Barrington Street, +1 902 420-9626. Open daily for dinner. A high-concept restaurant with a daily menu. Serves only seasonal, local ingredients.

Drink

Granville St

There are a large number of good cafes, pubs, and other eateries all throughout downtown. Of particular note are those on Granville St.

Liquor purchases for private consumption are regulated by the provincially owned liquor monopoly called the NSLC (Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation). Stores can be found in stand-alone locations, malls, and grocery stores. Selection is often surprisingly large, but be prepared to pay: a twelve-pack of beer can range from $17-20, and a pint of rum or vodka will set you back $12-14. All prices quoted include taxes and recycling deposits. Most stores close at 10 PM Monday to Saturday and 5 PM on Sundays. Stores are closed for holidays. The exception has been the sole drive-through outlet near the in Dartmouth end of the MacDonald Bridge; it is frequently open holidays, but for drive-through service only. Port of Wines and several other micro-breweries are also permitted to sell their products from their outlets.

Pubs

Until a couple of decades ago, Halifax retained old British laws about the serving of alcoholic beverages. For example, if an establishment served hard liquor, it had to provide live entertainment; if it served draft beer, it also had to serve food. The heritage of those laws is a great deal of live entertainment and some very good deals on "pub food" which is priced low to get people in the door. Most "pub food" originates not far from the grill and deep fryer. Pubs that specialize in traditional-style music have "open mic" nights. Performers who attend will bring in their fiddles and bagpipes to jam---they are paid in drinks and food.

  • The Argyle, 1575 Argyle Street, +1 902 492-8844.
  • Bearly's House of Blues and Ribs is a mellow and low-key pub on Barrington Street. Great live music!
  • The Economy Shoe Shop on Argyle is a beautiful and popular restaurant and pub.
  • Gus's Pub, 2605 Agricola Street (North End). No-nonsense local pub with hockey on the TV and cheap beer, but they also host a remarkably eclectic selection of local live bands.
  • The Henry House, Barrington Street, [57]. Formerly known as the Granite Brewery. Contains a wide range of local micro-brewery beer (originally Granite Ales, but now carries a much wider stock). Excellent food in an English pub-type atmosphere.
  • The Lower Deck in the waterfront Historic Properties. Has live music reliably, almost seven nights a week usually starting at 9:00 p.m. The style of music tends to be popular not traditional. Beautiful interior.
  • The Old Triangle is a set of three pubs connected by a split level staircase. There is live music in the lower level frequently, starting at 8:00 p.m. The music style tends to be traditional Irish/Scottish ballad. The "open" night is often surprisingly good.
  • Maxwell's Plum English Pub, 1600 Grafton Steet, (902)423-5090. "Pub food" priced food and sixty kinds of imported beer. Voted "Best Beer Selection" the last 4+ years.
  • Rogues Roost, Spring Garden Rd., is a warm microbrew pub where you can order a tasting tray with a sample of 6 of their award-winning brews. Live music some nights, they also have an open-mic night.
  • The Halifax Alehouse is a traditional and popular pub, usually with live music starting at midnight. Features staff in period costumes. 1717 Brunswick Street, +1 902 423-6113.
  • The Seahorse Tavern Halifax's oldest extant tavern. 1665 Argyle Street, +1 902 423-7200.
  • The Split Crow, 1855 Granville. +1 902 422-4366. A true Maritime experience.
  • Your Father's Moustache, 5686 Spring Garden Rd., for a good atmosphere and decently priced food. +1 902 423-6766.
  • Tom's Little Havana, 5428 Doyle Street, +1 902 423-8667‎. A small, cozy tavern attached to Rogues Roost (different ownership), serving local beer and a mix of cocktails, but strangely, no mojitos.
  • The Foggy Goggle, 1667 Argyle Street, (902) 444-1414, [58]. Open Weekdays 11am-12am; Weekends 12pm-2pm. A relaxed establishment serving local and international beers. Bluegrass night every Wednesday, no cover.

Nightclubs

  • Dome/Cheers, Grafton St. Also known as the Dirty Dome. Two different establishments all linked together. Customers pay cover at the doors to either one of the two bars and gain access to both. Cheers is a bar atmosphere which features live bands. The Dome is a standard nightclub with a large dance floor, famous for cheap drinks and infamous for brawls. Wednesdays are student nights, with cover waived if you show a student card.
  • Pacifico, 1505 Barrington Street. A relatively more up-scale establishment, catering to a diverse crowd.
  • The Palace. A club on Brunswick Street.
  • Reflections Cabaret, 5184 Sackville Street. Closes 4AM. A busy club, catering especially to the LGBT community. Their busiest night, by far, is Saturday where the cover charge enters the double digits. Electronic, techno and house mix, depending on the night.
  • Taboo Nightclub, located on Grafton St. this is Halifax's most upscale nightclub with a strict dress-code and expensive drink menu. However, if you're looking for a place that attracts a classier crowd than the Dome or the Palace then Taboo is a must see.

It is common in Halifax to begin the night at one of the bars or nightclubs that close at 2:00 am, and finish the night at one that stays open until 3:30 am. For example, one could start the night at one of the bars around 10:30, then go to the Pacifico from 12:00-2:00, and finally finish off the night at the Dome.

Sleep

Budget

  • Halifax Backpacker's Hostel, 2193 Gottingen Street, +1 902 431-3170 (toll free: +1 888 431-3170, ), [59]. Easily accessible by train or bus, this hostel offers rooms starting from $20. Free internet service and free towel rentals available. Located a bit from the "downtown" area. Its location is a bit sketchier, but more authentic. Cafe on the front makes great food. $20 dorms, $57.50 private rooms, $80 family rooms.
  • Halifax Heritage House Hostel (HI-Halifax), 1253 Barrington Street, +1 902 422-3863 (fax: +1 902 422-0116), [60]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: 11AM. Located in the heart of downtown Halifax, this hostel offers free Wi-Fi to its guests. The hostel is easily accessed by bus, metro, or train. Dorms at $26 members, $31 non-members. Private rooms at $57.
  • Dalhousie University Dorm Rooms, 6136 University Ave., 6230 Coburg Road (Howe Hall); 5303 Morris Street (Gerard Hall); 5598 Fenwick Street (Fenwick Place), [61]. Dorm and apartment-style accommodation From late May-Aug. Limited availability (1 of 2 suites in Howe Hall) during the school year. Rooms start at $42.
  • Mount Saint Vincent University Dorm Rooms, 166 Bedford Highway, [62]. Single and double rooms, apartment style accommodations. Available from May 1st to August. Rooms start at $41.
  • Mumford Bed & Breakfast 7015 Mumford Road. [63]. An English-style B&B with just two rooms, starting from $85.
  • Clifty Cove Motel, 8444 Peggy's Cove Rd., [64]. This motel is located 35 minutes outside of Halifax, but has beautiful views of St. Margaret's Bay.

Mid-range

  • The Garden South Park Inn 1263 South Park Street, +1 902 492 8577, Toll Free 1-877-414-8577, [65]. This inn is in the heart of downtown Halifax. It consists of 23 air conditioned rooms with private baths. Rooms start from $99 and vary with the season. The friendly staff can help you make reservations and suggest new places to visit.
  • Lakeview Inn & Suites Halifax, 98 Chain Lake Drive, +1 902 450-3020. The hotel is comfortably located in the Bayers Lake Business Park. Rooms start from $100 and include breakfast and internet. The hotel also houses an exercise room and indoor pool.
  • Waverley Inn, 1266 Barrington St. [66] Unique 19th century property downtown - filled with antiques. Rooms start from $109, and vary according to the season.
  • Atlantic Corporate Suites, 5536 Sackville St.,[67]. $75. The Atlantic Corporate Suites offers fully furnished apartments and condos for weekly rates. The suites are equipped with kitchens, cleaning service, and cable TV.
  • Braeside Court Bed & Breakfast, 2 Bedroom Suite, +1 902 462-3956, [68] Braeside is a modern suite located 20 minutes away from downtown Halifax. The bed and breakfast also offers wireless internet. Rooms range from $80-150.
  • Knightswood B&B & Private Carriage House, +1 902 435-3969 [69]. Located 15 minutes away from downtown Halifax, the bed and breakfast provides two beautifully decorated rooms surrounded by lush gardens. Smoking is not allowed. Rooms range from $100-180.
  • Four Points by Sheraton, 1496 Hollis Street, [70]. The Four Points by Sheraton Halifax - Local calls; high speed internet, both wired and wireless; bottled water; in-room umbrellas...of course it's free!. Located in downtown Halifax within walking distance of all major attractions. Rooms start from $150.

Splurge

  • Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel, 1919 Upper Water St, +1 902 421-1700 (toll free: +1 800 943-6760), [71]. Directly connected to Casino Nova Scotia by indoor skyway, the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel offers unique restaurants, the exquisite full-service Interlude Spa and spectacular views of the Halifax Harbour. $169+.
  • The Lord Nelson, 1515 S Park St, +1 902 423-6331 (toll free: +1 800 565-2020), [72]. Lovely views overlooking the Public Gardens just below the Citadel. $169+.
  • Prince George, 1725 Market St, +1 902 425-1986 (toll free: +1 800 565-1567), [73]. The Prince George Hotel offers guests 189 rooms. There is a restaurant on the premises. $200+.
  • The Westin Nova Scotian, 1181 Hollis St, +1 902 421-1000 (toll free: +1 888 627-8553), [74]. 310 nicely appointed rooms, many of which overlook the harbour. The Westin also has a shuttle that offers complimentary rides to downtown Halifax.

Stay safe

Crime has been increasing in the Halifax area, and some dangers are worth mentioning. Some instances of swarming - groups of people harassing, robbing or assaulting persons - have been reported. Be especially careful around the certain areas around the North End of the city, especially near Gottingen Street and the Halifax Commons at night. In most cases, common sense should suffice.

Pedestrian crosswalks are highly respected by drivers in Halifax, and crossings can occur just about anywhere. This provides a double danger: For drivers to keep on the ball watching out for pedestrians; and for pedestrians to not be lulled into a false sense of security while crossing.

Rapidly changing weather means that black ice abounds in winter, and it's particularly nasty when combined with the city's hilly topography. Choose your steps and drive carefully.

Contact

Internet Space, 5675 Spring Garden Road. A reasonably priced internet cafe in Nelson Place in downtown Halifax.

Cope

Direction 180, 2158 Gottingen Street. The main resource drug addiction treatment. They operate a needle exchange, but you may need to register.

Get out

  • St. Margaret's Bay is only half an hour away; a gorgeous bay, almost as big as the harbour itself, but without the cities. Instead, it is dotted with islands and small towns.
  • There are beautiful beaches, such as Queensland, Cleveland, Black Point and others, just before the town of Hubbards.
  • The drive along highway 3 (2 lane, coastal) is well worth the twists and turns, for it is beautifully scenic, especially on nice summer days.
  • Peggy's Cove: stunning bare granite rocks and cliffs with its historic and still-used lighthouse. While sunsets are gorgeous and peaceful on clear summer evenings; the best times to see Peggy's Cove are the stormier days, when the waves crashing against the cliffs send salt spray high into the air. Better to get out there early in the day to avoid tour buses.
  • If you have a car, there are plenty of historical towns within an couple of hour's drive of Halifax that are worth visiting, such as Lunenburg, Mahone Bay, and Wolfville.


Routes through Halifax
Truro  N noframe S  ENDS


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