• eat
  • shop
  • see
  • go
  • stay
  • daytrip
  • map
  • calendar
  • transport
  • weather
  • currency
  • tofrom

Halifax

Ultimate Halifax

UltimateHalifax_Memory-Lane

Photo: Rochelle Owen

Family fun, outdoor adventures, live theatre, and more—our annual roundup of the things we love most about our city

By Trevor J. Adams
With reporting by Janice Hudson

 

TO MARKET

Halifax hosts several farmers’ markets, offering visitors great opportunities to discover fresh produce, craft beer and cider, local wine, fresh-baked goods, local art, and unique souvenirs. 

—Over 250 vendors from across the province showcase their goods over two levels at the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market on Marginal Road. You’ll find some vendors at the waterfront market throughout the week, with full markets on Saturday.  

—A short walk up Lower Water Street takes you to the Historic Farmers’ Market in the Alexander Keith’s Brewery building. Find vendors and live entertainment in the main courtyard or tucked away in the maze of wings and hallways in this historic facility.

—In the North End on Windsor Street is the Halifax Forum, home to the Halifax Forum Farmers’ Market on Saturday mornings. Find 50+ vendors, including local farmers selling produce right off their trucks
in the parking lot.

—Across the harbour in Dartmouth, just steps from the Halifax Transit ferry terminal, you’ll find the Alderney Landing Farmers’ Market. It has live entertainment on its main stage on Saturday mornings. Outside, find flower and plant vendors aplenty during spring.

 

UltimateHalifax_Public-Gardens

Photo: Serena Graham-Dwyer

URBAN ESCAPE

Spanning six hectares in the middle of the city, the Halifax Public Gardens is one of North America’s finest formal Victorian gardens, with dramatic flower displays, weeping and flowering trees, fountains, and foliage plants. An oasis just steps from the bustle of Spring Garden Road, it’s an ideal spot to relax and recharge. On Sunday afternoons through the spring and summer, drop by the Victorian bandstand for free concerts featuring local musicians.

 

UltimateHalifax_Public-Gardens

Photo: Discover Halifax

HISTORIC HALIFAX

—Located on the site of “Canada’s Ellis Island” on the Halifax waterfront, the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 explores how immigration built our country. From 1928 to 1971, some one million newcomers passed through Pier 21, as did some 500,000 military personnel during the Second World War. This is the East Coast’s only national museum. 

—One of Canada’s most visited National Historic Sites, the Halifax Citadel towers over downtown Halifax. These colonial-era fortifications were once key to protecting Britain’s North American territories. On site, you’ll also find the Army Museum, detailing Halifax’s extensive military history. 

UltimateHalifax_Dartmouth-Heritage-Museum

—A short walk from the Halifax Transit ferry terminal, you’ll find Dartmouth Heritage Museum in Evergreen House on Newcastle Street. Built in 1867, the historic building holds dozens of artifacts and displays reflecting life in the city’s early days. 

—Explore Nova Scotia’s seafaring history at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic on Lower Water Street. You’ll find exhibitions on the glory days of the age of sail, the Canadian navy in the world wars, the sinking of the Titanic, pirates and privateers, and more.

—Cole Harbour Heritage Farm is a rural oasis standing in stark contrast to the surrounding modern development. The 200-year-old farm features livestock, heritage buildings, gardens, walking paths, and more.

 

PLAY TIME

Eastern Front Theatre’s Stages Theatre Festival presents some 15 shows and events from May 21 to June 3. The schedule includes new plays, workshops, theatre for families, and world premieres held at venues across the city. The festival highlights work from Nova Scotia’s top professional theatre companies at different stages of development, from workshops and play-readings to full productions.

 

UltimateHalifax_Peggys-Cove

Photo: Discover Halifax

DAY TRIPPER

—No trip to Halifax is complete without visiting Peggy’s Cove. About a 45-minute drive west of Halifax, this tiny community is a visitor-favourite. Descendants of the original settlers still work the North Atlantic waters and towering above the bustle of the fishing village is the famous lighthouse—purported to be the most photographed site in Nova Scotia.

—Or strike off in the other direction and find Memory Lane Heritage Village in Lake Charlotte, a 50-minute drive east of the city. The living-history museum re-creates life in a 1940s Nova Scotian coastal village. Tour the 18 restored buildings and tuck into a lunch of baked beans and brown bread at the cookhouse.

 

UltimateHalifax_Point-Pleasant

GET SOME FRESH AIR

—Haligonians love Point Pleasant Park in any season, and it’s not hard to see why. Perched at the tip of the South End, it boasts 39 kilometres of trails winding through forest and past rocky hills, ravines, and military ruins, including the Prince of Wales Tower National Historic Site.

—West past the Armdale Rotary on Purcell’s Cove Road, you’ll find Sir Sandford Fleming Park. This 38-hectare space has walking trails through forest, saltwater marsh, and a large pond. Locals know the park as the “Dingle,” in reference to Dingle Memorial Tower, a 10-storey Italianate landmark built in the early 1900s. Kids will love the new playground on-site, Halifax’s first all-natural play space made of hand-carved tree trunks. 

—Across the harbour in Dartmouth, Shubie Park is a 16-hectare greenway bounded by Charles Lake to the north and Lake Micmac to the south. Meander from deep forest to sunny lakeside along the historic route of the Shubenacadie Canal.

 

UltimateHalifax_Discovery-Centre

Photo: Riley Smith

JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY

A family-favourite in any season the Discovery Centre gives kids and adults alike exciting, hands-on opportunities to learn about science, math, engineering, and technology. Find it in its new 40,000-square-foot home on the Halifax waterfront on Lower Water Street. It boasts four themed galleries, an innovation lab, and Atlantic Canada’s only immersive dome theatre. There is an ever-changing array of visiting exhibitions, plus many permanent displays. On Wednesday evenings from 5 to 8 p.m., admission is free. 

Hot Dining

Dining_Your-Fathers-Moustache

ABOVE IT ALL

Take a lofty perch above the bustle of Spring Garden Road to enjoy the rooftop patio at Your Father’s Moustache. This perennial summer favourite is the ideal place to laze away a sunny afternoon with a cold beverage, including four house-brewed beers. There are daily lunch specials and the weekend brunch menu (with offerings like skillets, french toast, pancakes, and more) is always popular.

 

Dining_Athens-Restaurant

LOCALS LOVE IT

Athens Restaurant on Quinpool Road offers the Greek mainstays you’d expect, but Haligonians love it for weekend brunch: omelettes, eggs Florentine, and a buffet chock full of breakfast favourites like sausage, baked beans, pancakes, perogies, pastries, and more. Get there early to beat the crowds.

 

Dining_Shore-Club-Lobster-Suppers

Photo: Tourism Nova Scotia

A SHORE THING

The Shore Club Lobster Suppers in Hubbards are a must for Nova Scotian visitors. Enjoy a huge feed of fresh Atlantic lobster in the rollicking and informal setting of a community supper at one of the province’s last old-fashioned dance halls (live music on Saturday nights in season). The menu includes all-you-can-eat mussels, and vegetarian, steak, chicken, and kids’ meals. 

 

Dining_Cut-Steakhouse

DIAMOND DELIGHTS

Two Halifax restaurants recently claimed the coveted AAA/CAA Four Diamond Award. For the tenth straight year, Cut Steakhouse on Salter Street was feted. “It is a testament to the hard work, dedication, and meticulous attention to detail over the past decade by our entire team,” says general manager and sommelier Melissa Carey in a press release. The other Halifax award went to Gio on Market Street. This stylish spot is noted for a globally-influenced menu, creative cocktails, and exquisite service.

 

Dining_Primal-Kitchen

Photo: Trevor J. Adams

STEAK OUT

As the name suggests, Primal Kitchen on Brenton Street is a carnivore’s haven, boasting local meats smoked, cured, and butchered in-house. Guaranteed date-night all-star: the 35-ounce bone-in prime rib for two paired with truffle fries.

 

Dining_Dhaba

ASIAN APPETITE

In a historic building on the corner of Morris and Hollis streets, Talay Thai serves up heaping portions of traditional dishes like creations like Gung Pad Pik Pow (basil prawn with chili paste), Pla Muek Tod Katem (garlic shrimp), and curries aplenty. 

—Japanese fine dining, showcasing traditional and fusion dishes, is on offer at Sushi Nami Royale. Check it out at locations on Queen Street in the heart of the downtown, Lacewood Drive in Clayton Park, Hector Gate in Dartmouth Crossing, and the Bedford Highway. 

—Don’t let the strip-mall exterior or industrial-park cul-de-sac location deter you: Dhaba Casual Fine Dining & Express on Oland Crescent serves some of the tastiest Indian food around. The butter chicken is a reliable choice.

 

Dining_Sugah

Photo: Tammy Fancy

CHILL OUT

When exploring city streets, beat the heat with a tasty treat. At Sugah on the waterfront boardwalk in Bishop’s Landing, you’ll find all manner of confections, but the star of the show is the house-made hand-paddled ice cream, showcasing unique Nova Scotian ingredients.

 

Dining_Primal-Kitchen

Photo: Bruce Murray/VisionFire Studios

POUR A PINT *Editor’s Pick*

Continuing through May 6, Nova Scotia Craft Beer Week offers a great chance to discover the best of the province’s fast-growing brewing scene. This month’s highlights include a nano-brewery tap takeover at Good Robot Brewing on May 3, as the popular urban tasting room pours creations from Nova Scotia’s smallest breweries alongside its own creations. Visiting later in the month? Local brews abound at spots like Battery Park beer bar and Jamieson’s Irish-House & Grill in Dartmouth, stylish Stillwell on Barrington Street, and long-time local favourite The Maxwell’s Plum on Grafton Street.

Hot Shopping

Shopping_Freak-Lunchbox

SWEET SENSATIONS

Freak Lunchbox on Barrington Street and in Sunnyside Mall in Bedford offers a whimsical (and tasty) shopping experience. The colourful store is chockablock with retro treats like Pez, Cracker Jacks, and Pop Shoppe soda, plus fun toys and gifts. 

—For gourmet treats or a basket of sweet goodies, stop into Sweet Jane’s on Queen Street. The staff here will put together arrangements for any tastes or celebrations. Amp up your date-night game with gourmet truffles.

 

UltimateHalifax_Dartmouth-Heritage-Museum

CENTRES OF SHOPPING

Mic Mac Mall in Dartmouth boasts 120+ stores and services. Anchored by The Bay, this three-storey shopping destination features women’s fashions, entertainment, electronics, books, salons, and even a vinyl-record store. 

Halifax Shopping Centre on Mumford Road is one of the city’s busiest shopping destinations, boasting popular shops like Levi’s, Samuel & Co., and Charm Diamond Centre. The bright and airy—and recently renovated—food court offers an array of dining options: Lebanese, Italian, Thai, and more.

 

Shopping_Liquid-Gold

FOR THE FOODIES

In the heart of the North End’s stylish Hydrostone neighbourhood, you’ll find Liquid Gold on Young Street. Specializing in high-quality extra-virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars from around the world, this unique shop is a favourite with local foodies. 

 

Shopping_Bishops-Landing

ON THE WATERFRONT

As you stroll the Halifax waterfront, stylish Bishop’s Landing on Lower Water Street is a must-visit shopping stop: find a tasty and unique gift for the folks back home at Rum Runners, distinctive creations at Frida Custom Jewellery Design, finely crafted pearl works at Pearl City, an array of local wine, spirits, cider, and beer at Bishop’s Cellar, and flavourful and refreshing juices at Haskapa. 

 

Shopping_Designer-Craft-Shop

ONE OF A KIND

—It’s hard to find a more distinctive memento of your visit than a locally-crafted work of art from the AGNS Gallery Shop at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia on Hollis Street. Check out unique and collectible pieces of sculpture, pottery, paintings, and more. Maud Lewis (the eponymous artist from the acclaimed movie Maudie) is among the many local talents whose work is on display. 

The Pier 21 Gift Shop at the Canadian Museum of Immigration, on Marginal Road offers local art and books, pewter gifts, and museum-branded swag aplenty. 

—Nearby at the Designer Craft Shop on Marginal Road, Nova Scotia Designer Crafts Council members display their creations. Browse through artistic etchings, silk clothing, and handmade jewelry. An expert jury approves every item.

 

Shopping_MEC

INTO THE WILD *Editor’s Pick*

If you’re an outdoor adventurer, Halifax is the perfect base of operations: just minutes from downtown you’ll find seaside trails, dense forest, and natural splendour. MEC on Granville street is the perfect place to gear up for your expedition. Backpacks, sleeping bags, tents, boots, cooking gear, and much more—find what you need for any expedition, from day hiking to backwoods camping.

 

Shopping_Fireworks-Gallery

PRECIOUS METALS

The goldsmiths and jewellers at Fireworks Gallery on Barrington Street create customized jewelry for any occasion. Choose a design with gold, platinum, diamonds, or gorgeous gemstones. The designers use Old World techniques such as hand engraving or filigree. Browse the collections of other artists, as well as antique pieces from estate collections, too. Travel emergency? Repairs performed on site.

Hot Entertainment

Entertainment_Cadence

IN PERFECT HARMONY
May 4

Combining raw talent, hard work, and infectious charm, the cappella quartet Cadence is one of Canada’s top vocal ensembles, performing a lively mix of bebop classics, jazz standards, and contemporary favourites. The Dartmouth Community Concert Association hosts them at Woodlawn United Church.

 

Entertainment_Dirty-Dancing

CENTRE STAGE

Continuing at Neptune TheatreMamma Mia! is Halifax’s most-talked-about theatrical production of the season, featuring lively choreography and the music of ABBA.

Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story on Stage comes to Scotiabank Centre on May 22, bringing the beloved 1980s story (with the musical hits you’d expect) to life on the big stage.

 

Entertainment_Blue-Nose-Marathon

BORN TO RUN
May 18 to 20

The Blue Nose Marathon is a Boston qualifier, following a 42-kilometre route beginning at Citadel Hill and winding through the South End, Point Pleasant Park, downtown, across the Macdonald Bridge to Dartmouth, and back to the Citadel. Events include a 5K and youth run on May 19, followed by the full marathon, half marathon, and 10K race on May 20. 

 

Entertainment_Atlantic-Motorsport-Park

TOP GEAR

May 11 to 13, 16, 18 to 21, 26, 27, 30: Atlantic Motorsport Park hosts regional motorcycle and auto-racing events plus national competitions on a 2.5-kilometre, 11-turn road circuit.

May 12, 20, 25, 26: Scotia Speedworld reopens for the season, hosting auto-racing events in several classes.

 

Entertainment_Philip-Glass

MUSIC MASTERS *Editor’s Pick*
May 27 to June 10

The Scotia Festival of Music is a must for classical purists, showcasing chamber-music artists from around the world with 50 events, including concerts, recitals, open rehearsals, master classes, and more. Guests include Philip Glass (composer), Elissa Li (violin), and Sharon Wei (viola).

 

Entertainment_Touch-a-Truck

FAMILY FUN
May 12

Touch-a-Truck is intended for all ages, but machine-loving kids will especially enjoy it. Halifax Exhibition Centre on Prospect Road hosts several fire engines, cars, bikes, diggers, boats, and more, all in one space; hop up to driver’s seat for a photo. There are sessions for people with sensitivities to loud noise from 11:30am to 12:30pm and 2:30 to 3:30pm. 

 

Entertainment_Bull-Riding

RIDE ‘EM
May 26

While bull riding is huge in Western Canada, it’s a rarely-seen sport on the East Coast. This month, the Professional Bull Riders Monster Energy Tour comes to the city, bringing top competitors from across the country and around the world to Scotiabank Centre on Duke Street.

 

Entertainment_Kevin-Hart Entertainment_Bernhard-Gueller Entertainment_Mary-E-Black-Gallery

MAY:
4th: Kevin Hart
Hart’s Irresponsible Tour just keeps growing, with dozens of new dates added recently, including an unexpected stop at Halifax’s Scotiabank Centre.

8th to 12th: Symphony Nova Scotia
The season concludes at the Dalhousie Arts Centre with “Gueller’s Grand Finale,” two concerts honouring outgoing Maestro Bernhard Gueller.

13th: Mary E. Black Gallery
Continuing until today, the exhibition Wreaking Havoc features works by textile artist Jane Whitten. See it at the Marginal Road gallery.

Entertainment_Cheng2-Duo Entertainment_Jason-Cyrus Entertainment_William-Roache

13th: Cecilia Concert Series
The season concludes with a concert by the Cheng² Duo, a sibling team featuring pianist Silvie Cheng and cellist Bryan Cheng.

18th: Jason Cyrus
The renowned hypnotist performs an intimate show, with lots of audience participation, in the Schooner Showroom at Casino Nova Scotia.

28th: The Ken Barlow Effect
William Roache has played Ken Barlow on Coronation Street since the show’s inception 57 years ago. He shares behind-the-scenes secrets at this Spatz Theatre Q&A session. 

Concierge Q & A

Concierge_Phil-Osborne

A member of Les Clefs d’Or, Phil Osborne holds a diploma in hospitality management from the Irish Tourism Board and is the current delegate-experience team supervisor at the Halifax Convention Centre. Originally from Manchester, U.K., Phil lived in Ireland, New York, and Vancouver before settling in Halifax.

Q: What’s your pick for May’s top events for visitors?
A:
 On May 2, the Halifax waterfront (at 1549 Lower Water Street) hosts the all-ages outdoor East Coast Music Awards Kick-Off Concert. This free show features some of Atlantic Canada’s top musical talents.

Q: What Halifax-area spot do you recommend for a relaxed weekend brunch?
A: 
My favourite go-to spot for brunch is usually Robie Street Station. Since 2014 it’s been serving a great all-day breakfast and brunch. My favourite dish is the Remedy: two eggs with potatoes and a biscuit, plus your choice of pork belly, bacon, pulled pork, or fruit. It’s a great start to your day!

Q: What’s your pick for a lively night on the town with friends?
A: 
Well that would be Durty Nelly’s, especially when there’s live music. In the heart of the downtown (and just steps from the Nova Centre and Scotiabank Centre), this Irish pub is a great spot to have a few drinks, have a laugh, and meet some new friends. The menu features burgers, wings, nachos, and Irish-pub favourites like fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, bangers and mash, and curry.

Q: Where do you suggest for a romantic dinner for two?
A: 
For a romantic dinner, I would always recommend Gio at the Prince George Hotel on Market Street. Don’t think of it as a hotel restaurant; it’s a restaurant with its own identity, a great globally-inspired menu, creative cocktails, comfortable private seating, and top-notch service.

Q: What’s the best thing about May in Halifax?
A: 
The changing weather and then the patios beginning to appear around the downtown core. When the patios and beer gardens open you know summer is just around the corner and the vibe in the city changes, becoming even more upbeat and welcoming.

Q: What’s a great day-trip destination for visitors to Halifax this month?
A: McNabs Island 
is an overlooked gem of a tourist spot for a day trip. Take the Harbour Taxi (harbourtaxi.ca) out to the Island and spend the day on the trails. Kattuk Expeditions (kattukexpeditions.com) offers a popular McNab’s Island Sunset Kayak Tour: you can kayak to the island and then sit, relax, and watch the sunset over chocolate fondue with fresh fruit.

Comedy from the Coast

ComedyFest_Martha-Chaves

The Halifax ComedyFest showcases top comics from across the country and around the world

By Trevor J. Adams

 

With live shows at stages around the city, featuring some 31 different acts, the Halifax ComedyFest is always a spring highlight in Halifax. Back for its 23rd year, the 2018 edition runs from April 25 until April 28.

The festival begins with the Opening Gala at Casino Nova Scotia on April 25. Greg Proops headlines. He’s one of North America’s most prolific comedians with an award-winning live podcast (The Smartest Man in the World), but he’s best known for his appearance on the TV improv show Whose Line is it Anyway? Proops also performed as a voice actor in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and The Nightmare Before Christmas. You can also see Proops at the April 27 Gala Finale at the Spatz Theatre and hosting his live podcast on April 26 at The Carleton bar and grill.

ComedyFest_Greg-ProopsComedyFest_Nikki-Payne

The Opening Gala lineup also includes Ottawa native Jenn Labelle, Jean Paul from Trinidad (via Brooklyn and Toronto), and Nathan MacIntosh, who debuted on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and is now a regular on the comedy-fest circuit.

Festival favourite Jeremy Hotz returns to Halifax for the Gala of Laughs on Friday, April 27 at the Spatz Theatre on Trollope Street. One of the most unique stand-up comics working today, Jeremy’s known for his quirky, confused, and perpetually-miserable observational comedy. Other highlights from the show include Nova Scotian and local favourite Nikki Payne and Rob Pue, a regular on MTV’s Punk’d. Mark Critch, of This Hour Has 22 Minutes fame, hosts.

ComedyFest_Kabir-SinghComedyFest_Jenn-LabelleComedyFest_Jean-PaulComedyFest_Tom-Papa

Critch returns on April 28 to host the Gala of Laughs Finale at Spatz Theatre. The all-star show features the festival’s biggest names, including comedic all-star Tom Papa. With more than 20 years in stand-up, Papa is one of the top comedic voices in North America and a regular in film, TV, radio, podcasts, and on the live stage.

Papa is a regular on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert and Conan. He hosts the hit podcast and SiriusXM show Come to Papa, a weekly hour-long show exploring the funny side of life with guests like Mel Brooks, Ray Romano, Carl Reiner, and Jerry Seinfeld. Tom appears at the Gala of Laughs Finale on Saturday, April 28 at Spatz Theatre.

And this year, the festival spreads beyond the downtown core, with new shows in Dartmouth, Bedford, and Clayton Park. On April 27, find the Montes Comedy Power Hour at Montes Showbar Grill on Waverly Road in Dartmouth. The same night, Brewster’s Bar & Grill in Bedford hosts the Comedy Brew Ha Ha. On April 28 see feature LMAO at the Lower Deck Bar & Grill in Clayton Park.

Hot Dining

Dining_Rockbottom

5 FOR BEER LOVERS

—Stylish Stillwell on Barrington Street is a must-visit for craft-beer aficionados, with 12 taps plus cask and bottled brews.

—Dartmouth’s Battery Park showcases the local-beer scene: 13 different beer on tap, plus local craft cider.

—At Rockbottom Brew Pub on Spring Garden Road, you’ll find seasonal and flagship beers brewed on site, plus a selection of other local beers, wines, and ciders.

—Before the craft-beer scene exploded, there was The Maxwell’s Plum on Grafton Street. With dozens of brews from around the world on offer, you’ll find something for any taste. 

—Don’t let the strip-mall exterior fool you. Jamieson’s Irish-House & Grill on Cole Harbour Drive keeps locals coming back for craft beers (and the Irish offerings you’d expect) paired with traditional Emerald Isle pub favourites.

 

Dining_Fredie's

MARITIME CLASSIC

It’s not on the waterfront, but Fredie’s Fantastic Fish House, tucked away in Bayer’s Lake on Oland Crescent, is among your best bets for a traditional feed of fish and chips. The tiny casual diner boasts friendly service and huge portions. Try the perfectly fried fresh Atlantic haddock or hearty chowder.

 

Dining_Little-Oak

GOOD THINGS IN SMALL PACKAGES

Looking for a pleasant nook to while away an evening with friends? Intimate Little Oak on Lower Water Street is just steps away from the waterfront boardwalk. It boasts a small and dynamic menu showcasing global influences and seasonal ingredients, a huge (yet artfully chosen) wine list, and a selection of craft beer and ciders.

 

Dining_Middle-Spoon

DESSERT FIRST *Editor’s Pick*

If you’re the sort of person who skips dinner to save room for dessert, proceed directly to The Middle Spoon on Barrington Street and at Sunnyside Mall. This stylish spot specializes in decadent desserts paired with creative cocktails. It’s the ideal place to spend an evening with friends.

 

Dining_Bramosa-Pizzeria

PERFECT PAIR

Bramosa Pizzeria & Beer Bar on Quinpool Road is the ideal spot to indulge in the classic beer and pizza pairing. Local craft brews pair with signature creations like the Tuscan Sun (white sauce, hot banana peppers, pineapple, sun-dried tomatoes, green olives) and Lombardy’s Fire (smoked bacon, jalapeño, pineapple). Free delivery on the Halifax Peninsula (on orders over $15) after 4pm.

 

Dining_Boneheads-BBQ

CASUAL FAVOURITES

—A Southern-style smokehouse tucked away in a tiny Barrington Street spot, Boneheads BBQ is beloved by locals. The menu includes all the slow-smoked mainstays you’d expect: ribs, brisket, pulled pork, and more. Indecisive? Try the mammoth (and ideal for sharing) Pit Boss Sampler and get a little bit of everything.

—Just around the corner from the Atlantica Hotel on Quinpool Road, Relish Gourmet Burgers offers creative takes on the classic burger and fries. The house specialty is the Halifax Explosion: a flash-grilled pineapple ring dusted in habanero powder, plus pancetta bacon, curried onion frites, and aged cheddar.

Hot Shopping

Shopping_Sweet-Pea

SPRING STYLES

—Freshen your look for the season with a visit to Sweet Pea Boutique on Queen Street. Only a small quantity of each style is in store, so every client is uniquely outfitted. Choose from top brands and also local designs including Sweet Pea Collection by local designer Katrina Tuttle.

Locally owned and operated, Wildflower Clothing Inc. on Doyle Street brings international style to local shoppers. The bright and fresh boutique is packed with outwear, lingerie, tops, and bottoms for your summer wardrobe. Finish off your new look with some trendy accessories.

 

Shopping_Made-in-the-Maritimes

LOCAL TREASURES

Kept Gifts and Housewares on King Street in Dartmouth is packed with handmade finds by artists from around the region and the world. The store carries a fun and fascinating selection of décor items, jewelry, accessories, paper goods, products for children, and candy. Staff carefully select each piece for its unique look and top quality.

Made in the Maritimes Artisan Boutique has two locations: Sunnyside Mall and Hydrostone Market. You’ll find creations in a variety of media from East Coast artisans, plus gourmet edibles, stained glass, fibre and fabric art, cushions, candles, and fine art.

 

Shopping_Plaid-Place

HIGHLAND PROUD

Find your family tartan at Plaid Place in Barrington Place Shops and be fitted for a kilt, too. This is the place for everything Scottish. But there are more than kilts. Browse the selection of Buchan pottery (Stoneware pottery made in Portobello, Scotland), hoodies, ties, socks, gifts, and jewelry.

 

Shopping_Bedazzled

ALL THAT GLITTERS

Fireworks Gallery on Barrington Street has been creating custom designed jewelry for 40 years. Their designers and goldsmiths blend Old World techniques with New World designs. Choose from designer jewelry, custom, or wedding and engagement styles. Fireworks also offers repair and restoration services.

Bedazzled in Sunnyside Mall, Bedford, carries a range of jewelry to suit any taste. Find designs by artists from Nova Scotia, across Canada, and Israel. Artists include Toni XO, Michique, Christine Philippe, and Earth Goddess.

 

Dining_Clearwater

HOOK, LINE, AND SINKER

A stay in Nova Scotia isn’t complete without a feed of lobster. But Clearwater Seafood on the Bedford Highway or at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport also packs up fresh crustaceans for your trip home. Other fresh seafood selections include scallops, crab, shrimp, and clams.

 

Shopping_Halifax-Folklore-Centre

TRADITIONAL TUNES *Editor’s Pick*

Any musician will love to shop at the Halifax Folklore Centre on Brunswick Street. Situated in a 135-year-old Victorian home, the shop is packed with stringed instruments, including banjoes, guitars, mandolins, and fiddles. There is also a selection of harmonicas, tin whistles, and Appalachian dulcimers. All the staff are musicians who can offer expert advice.

Hot Entertainment

Entertainment_Live-Art-Dance

BODIES IN MOCEAN
April 26 to 28

Live Art Dance wraps up its 35th season with a world premiere of new work from award-winning choreographer Heidi Strauss (one of Toronto’s most prolific and successful creators), performed by Mocean Dance. The Dalhousie Arts Centre on University avenue hosts.

 

Entertainment_Stars-on-Ice

OLYMPIC HEROES
April 27

This year’s Stars on Ice figure-skating showcase is a who’s-who of Canadian Olympic medallists, including Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, Patrick Chan, Eric Radford and Megan Duhamel, and Katelyn Osmond. See them at Scotiabank Centre.

 

Enertainment_Home-Show

TIME TO REFRESH
April 6 to 8

Thinking of sprucing up your space? Thinking of building, redecorating, or renovating your home? Find ideas and inspiration from dozens of vendors at the Spring Ideal Home Show at Halifax Exhibition Centre on Prospect Road.

 

Entertainment_Ballet-Jorgen

5 FOR MUSIC LOVERS
April 8:
 The Cecilia Concert Series presents Jeanne Amièle and Simon Larivière at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts on Chebucto Road. The pianists explore the music of Czarist Russia: Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, and more.

April 13: Indie-pop sensations Stars take the stage at the Marquee Ballroom on Gottingen Street.

April 13: Join The Stanfields for a night of rollicking rock with a Celtic tinge at Casino Nova Scotia on Upper Water Street.

April 14, 15: Ballet Jörgen joins Symphony Nova Scotia to perform Anastasia at the Dalhousie Arts Centre.

April 24: Long a mainstay of the Canadian prog-metal scene, Protest the Hero are sure to blow the roof off the Marquee Ballroom.

 

Entertainment_Mamma-Mia

DANCING QUEENS
April 10 to June 3

Opening this month, Mamma Mia! is Neptune Theatre’s most hotly-anticipated show of the season. The music of ABBA weaves through this story of a young woman searching for her father on the eve of her wedding.

 

Entertainment_Mary-E-Black-Gallery

MADE LOCALLY
Continuing

The Mary E. Black Gallery on Marginal Road specializes in fine craft from around Atlantic Canada. This month, the gallery spotlights textile artist Jane Whitten with the exhibition Wreaking Havoc.

 

Entertainment_Theatre-Arts-Guild

TIMELESS CLASSIC *Editor’s Pick*
April 5 to 21

Theatre Arts Guild performs a new adaptation of The Diary of Anne Frank. Bill vanGorder directs the poignant story of a Jewish family’s struggle to survive in Nazi-occupied Europe.

 

Entertainment_Clay-WalkerEntertainment_Tommy-TallaricoEntertainment_Johnny-Reid

APRIL:
4th: Clay Walker
From deep in the heart of Texas to the Schooner Showroom at Casino Nova Scotia, Clay Walker is an enduring country favourite.

6th to 8th: Symphony Nova Scotia
Tommy Tallarico and the Soundtrax choir join the Symphony for Video Games Live at the Dalhousie Arts Centre.

16th: Johnny Reid
The Canadian country star brings his Revival Live Tour to the Scotiabank Centre on Duke Street.

Entertainment_Jimmy-Carr Entertainment_Harlem-GlobetrottersEntertainment_Jane-Archibald

27th: Jimmy Carr
Montreal’s Just For Laughs comedy festival presents the acclaimed British comic at the Dalhousie Arts Centre.

28th: Harlem Globetrotters
The “clown princes of basketball” return to Scotiabank Centre for a display of hoops wizardry.

29th: Cecilia Concert Series
A favourite with opera fans around the world, soprano Jane Archibald joins pianist Liz Upchurch at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts.

 

Concierge Q&A

Concierge_Trevor-MacRae

Trevor MacRae is an executive host at the recently renovated Casino Nova Scotia. He graduated from Dalhousie University and is a professional affiliate with Les Clefs d’Or Canada.

Q: Excluding your property, what’s a great place to see live music in Halifax this month?
A: 
The Marquee Ballroom located at 2037 Gottingen Street in Halifax’s North End is an exceptional venue for live music. The vibe and the sound make it one of the best venues in the city, bringing in musical acts from all genres. This month there are some terrific bands gracing the stage, including Protest the Hero.

Q: If you only had one day in Halifax this month, how would you spend it?
A:
 I would begin by going to the Coastal Cafe for breakfast, located at 2731 Robie Street. It is by far one of the best spots for breakfast in the city. I would then continue on to the Halifax Central Library located at 5440 Spring Garden Road. A beautiful new building that offers something for everyone from a rooftop patio offering stunning views of the harbour, a 300-seat theatre, two cafes, gaming stations, two music studios and much more. Moving on from the Central Library, I would take a tour of the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic located at 1675 Lower Water Street. This is Canada’s oldest and largest maritime museum, housing many relics of Canada’s naval past. There are displays about Second World War convoys, the Battle of the Atlantic, and the Halifax Explosion. A day would not be complete without taking a tour of the Alexander Keith’s Nova Scotia Brewery, located at 1496 Lower Water Street. It is one of the oldest working breweries in North America.

Q: Where should sports fans go to watch the NHL playoffs?
A: HFX Sports Bar & Grill 
located at 1721 Brunswick Street is by far the best place to watch sports in the city. With over 90 TVs, there is plenty of opportunity to watch your favourite NHL team plus they have one TV that is an enormous 235 inches. Along with being able to watch multiple NHL games at one time they have a free app that taps into any TV on site so you can listen to your preferred game.

Q: Where should visitors go to indulge a sweet tooth?
A: 
If you have a sweet tooth then The Old Apothecary Bakery and Cafe at 1549 Barrington Street is the place for you. Everything is made from scratch and locally sourced where possible with delicious selections that include breads, pastries, and cakes.

Q: What should visitors be sure to see and do when visiting Dartmouth?
A: 
If you are planning on visiting Dartmouth I would suggest taking a walk through Shubie Park located at 54 Locks Road. The heavily forested park has many picturesque walking trails from easy to moderate in difficulty. Bordering on Lake Micmac, a portion of the abandoned Shubenacadie Canal passes through the park, from which the park takes its name. I would also recommend visiting the Shearwater Aviation Museum located at 34 Bonaventure Street. The museum acquires artifacts and documents which exemplify the history of Canadian maritime military aviation. One of my favourite exhibits is on HMCS Bonaventure which was Canada’s last aircraft carrier (decommissioned in 1970).

Spring Fling

March Break or any time—family fun abounds in Halifax

By: Trevor J. Adams

 

Entertainment_Halifax-Hurricanes

TAKE IT TO THE HOOP

It’s championship-basketball season in Halifax, as Scotiabank Centre hosts two major tournaments. From March 2 to 4, the AUS Basketball Championships sees Atlantic Canada’s top men’s and women’s university teams battle for the regional titles. The following weekend, the U Sports Men’s Basketball Final 8 comes to town, with top teams coast-to-coast competing for the national title.

 

Spring-Fling_Oval-Skating
Photo: HRM

GO PLAY OUTDOORS

Skating on the Oval on Halifax Common at the corner of North Park and Cogswell streets has become a rite of winter in Halifax—join the locals for a free whirl on the outdoor ice. No skates? No problem: free skate and helmet rentals are available on site with photo ID. See halifax.ca/SkateHRM/index.php for skate times.

 

Spring-Fling_AGNS 

ARTISTIC EXPRESSIONS

March Break is the perfect time to foster your budding artistes at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia on Hollis Street. Events include Family Sunday on March 11, March Break Art Classes on March 12, and Sketching in the Gallery on March 14 and 15—no experience necessary. And of course, you’ll also find the usual vast selection of touring and permanent exhibitions, including works by acclaimed folk artist Maud Lewis.

 

Spring-Fling_Discovery-Centre
Photo: Riley Smith

MORE TO DISCOVER

The Discovery Centre on Lower Water Street is the ideal spot to while away a blustery day. This huge, whimsical hands-on science centre is jam-packed with hands-on fun and interactive exhibits. Special programming for March includes the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, math) Olympics and the Digital Discovery Camp. Check thediscoverycentre.ca for details.

 

Spring-Fling_Nova-Scotia-Sports-Hall-of-Fame

SPORTS FANS

The Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame at Scotiabank Centre on Duke Street is a riveting stop for sports fans of any age. Highlights include exclusive Sidney Crosby exhibits, Olympic artifacts, sports simulators, historic photos, and much more. Free admission.

 

Spring-Fling_MMA

NAUTICAL ADVENTURES

With exhibitions on the Titanic, Halifax Explosion, world wars, and piracy, the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic is a hit with history buffs of any age—the ideal place to explore Nova Scotia’s seafaring history. Special programming for March includes Ships and Shipping, a photo essay on the evolution of traffic in the port of Halifax over the last 50 years.

 

Spring-Fling_Museum-of-Natural-History

GOING NATURAL

The Museum of Natural History on Summer Street boasts an array of permanent exhibitions, including Science on a Sphere, to learn about weather, shipping routes, and ocean currents. It’s home to Gus the gopher tortoise, who has been delighting young patrons for more than 70 years. And continuing through April, it features Body Worlds RX. Created by anatomist Dr. Gunther von Hagens, the exhibit features real human bodies, preserved with Plastination, a complex technique that removes the fluids from the body and replaces them with plastics that harden. Specimens compare healthy bodies and organs and those stricken with disease. Unique and educational, but not for the faint of heart.

 

 

 

Hot Dining

Dining_NSLC-Festival-of-Whisky

WONDERFUL WHISKY

If you’re a whisky aficionado, March 1 to 3 is the time to be in Halifax, as the city hosts the NSLC Festival of WhiskyAttendees will experience some of the world’s finest whiskies at the Grand Tasting, featuring some 170 selections. Highlights also include the Single Malt Whisky Dinner at Chives Canadian Bistro, while Casino Nova Scotia hosts an exploration of Scottish distilleries and a Single Malt Scotch Master Class.

 

Dining_Durty-Nellys

LUCK OF THE IRISH

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Halifax? Locals love these spots for jolly all-day celebrations.

—On March 17, the line will start forming at sun-up outside The Old Triangle Irish Alehouse on Prince Street. Enjoy traditional music throughout the day, a pint of ale from the old sod, and Irish cuisine like lamb stew.

—A local favourite for a tipple with friends, Durty Nelly’s Irish Pub on Argyle Street boasts an array of popular pub grub, including Emerald Isle favourites like bangers and mash, fish and chips, and chicken curry. Wash it down with a local ale, or an imported Irish brew.

—Across the harbour in Dartmouth, Jamieson’s Irish Pub on Cumberland Drive is a must for local-beer explorers, with 16 taps showcasing Nova Scotia’s best. The bar boasts a broad selection of premium whisky and rum.

 

Dining_Craft-Beer-Cottage-Party

NOVA SCOTIA’S BEST

Continuing through March 15, the Savour Food & Wine Festival features a series of special events celebrating the province’s culinary offerings. Highlights include Dine Around (special prix fixe menus at participating restaurants, showcasing local flavours) and the Craft Beer Cottage Party on March 3—a beer festival showcasing dozens of local brewers.

 

Dining_da-Maurizio

THE FINER THINGS

Tucked away in historic Brewery Market on Lower Water Street, da Maurizio Fine Dining is a perennial local favourite. The rustic cuisine of Northern Italy inspires Chef Andrew King, as he offers classics like fresh pasta, Atlantic lobster, duck, lamb, and more. An expertly curated wine list and top-notch service complement the experience.

 

Dining_Morris-East

PIZZA PERFECTION

—Intimate Morris East, just steps from the waterfront on Morris Street, pairs wood-fired gourmet pizza with local beer and wine. Not venturing downtown? Visit the newer location on Nine Mile Drive in Bedford West.

—New York-Italian cuisine rules at Salvatore’s Pizzaiolo Trattoria on Young Street in the historic Hydrostone Market. If you’re not in the mood for the signature pie, the hearty meatball hero is one of Halifax’s most popular sandwiches.

—Just steps from the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market on Marginal Road, Tomavinos boasts an assortment of popular Italian pizza and pasta creations.

—If you love pizza, you won’t want to miss Ristorante a Mano on Lower Water Street. The Pancetta, Poplpette e Funghi (crispy pancetta, house-made meatballs, wild mushrooms, fresh mozzarella) is a local favourite.

—Recently selected by the editors as one of Where Canada’s 10 Best New Restaurants, Rinaldo’s on Windsor Street has quickly become a neighbourhood favourite, with creative pizzas, mighty sandwiches, and weekend brunch.

 

Dining_Mexico-Lindo

FIERY FLAVOURS *Editor’s Pick*

Don’t let the humble exterior fool you: loyal foodies jam Mexico Lindo on Dutch Village Road every night of the week. Fiery home-style Mexican cuisine is the house specialty. The menu includes explosively flavourful offerings like burritos, enchiladas, chimichangas, tacos, and more.