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Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21

Concierge Q & A

Roger Poirier has been in the service industry for 40 years. For more than half that time, he’s been with Delta Hotels by Marriott Beausejour in Moncton, New Brunswick. He’s a member of Les Clefs d’Or Canada (an international concierge organization dedicated to high-quality service) and regular visitor to Halifax, staying atop the latest developments and attractions.

For Remembrance Day, where can a visitor go to learn more about Nova Scotia’s military history?

My two favorite places for history in Halifax are the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21. Both have great exhibits on Nova Scotia’s military history. Although its closed for the season, the Army Museum opens on Nov. 11 from 10 a.m. to
2 p.m., giving visitors a chance to explore it’s many exhibits on Canada’s military experiences in war and peace.

What’s your favourite event to celebrate the Christmas holidays in the Halifax area?

The Holiday Parade of Lights on Nov. 17 marks the start of the Christmas season in Halifax. Full of joy and light, this parade begins on Barrington Street and winds through the downtown and up Spring Garden Road to Robie Street, featuring dozens of floats, entertainers, and of course Santa Claus. The next weekend, return downtown to Grand Parade square in front of Halifax City Hall for the Christmas Tree Lighting—live music, fireworks, and another visit with Santa Claus.

What’s an ideal place to find a unique gift?

Plaid Place on Barrington Street boasts an assortment of gifts reflecting Nova Scotia’s Gaelic heritage. You can find all manner of tartan-themed apparel, traditional Highland clothes, jewelry, Buchan pottery, and much more.

What’s a good way for a family to spend a blustery day in the Halifax area?

The Discovery Centre is always a good place to visit regardless of the weather. This hands-on science centre offers hours of learning (for all ages) disguised as entertainment. This season’s highlights include the Towers of Tomorrow exhibition, showcasing the amazing things creators can do with Lego. You’ll see intricate depictions of the world’s iconic towers, with 200,000 loose pieces on hand for young creators to follow their own muse.

What’s one experience every visitor to Halifax should have in November/December?

Over the holidays, I always enjoy walking on Barrington Street to Spring Garden Road to shop, dine, go for coffee or a drink. There are dozens of unique little stops on the way—boutiques, cafés, restaurants, galleries, and more. There are lots of festive lights and holiday displays along the way; it puts you in the holiday spirit!

Ultimate Halifax Guide

Live theatre, exciting exhibitions, fun outdoor activities—discover this season’s top destinations to explore in Halifax

By Janice Hudson

NEW DISCOVERIES
For 32 years, the Discovery Centre has been giving kids and adults alike exciting, hands-on opportunities to learn about science, math, engineering, and technology. And now, it’s moved to a new 40,000-square-foot home on the Halifax waterfront. The new site has four themed galleries, an innovation lab, and Atlantic Canada’s only immersive dome theatre.

Discovery Centre. Photo: Mark Dilangelan.

Discovery Centre. Photo: Mark Dilangelan.

Not just a planetarium for exploring outer space, this theatre also lets visitors immerse themselves inside the human body or run like an animal through the jungle. The centre also hosts changing exhibits: The Science of Rock N’ Roll runs until May 14 and opening on May 29 is Tyrannosaurus: Meet the Family. On Wednesday evenings from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., admission is free.

BUYER’S MARKET
Spring weekends in Halifax are the perfect time to discover Nova Scotia’s fresh produce, tasty baked goods, local artwork, and cool souvenirs. More than 250 vendors from across the province showcase their goods over two levels at the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market on Marginal Road.

A few minutes’ 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. You’ll find it less crowded than the Seaport, but equally fun to explore.

Historic Farmers’ Market

Historic Farmers’ Market

Heading north on Windsor Street is the Halifax Forum, home to one of the city’s newest farmers’ markets. More than 50 vendors take over the facility’s bingo hall each Saturday morning for the Halifax Forum Farmers’ Market. Find 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 Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Outside, find flower and plant vendors aplenty during the spring months.

ALL THE CITY’S A STAGE
Eastern Front Theatre’s 2017 Stages Theatre Festival presents 15 shows and events from May 15 to 27. 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. Highlights include The West Woods by Mulgrave Road Theatre on May 16 to 19, and Treegirl by Forerunner Theatre on May 19 to 21.

Stages Theatre Festival

Stages Theatre Festival

GARDEN PARTY
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. This year, it’s celebrating its 150th anniversary with events and activities happening daily during the season. This month, watch for the Victorian Tea Party at the Lord Nelson Hotel on May 22 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. It’s an afternoon of English tea, with music by Symphony Nova Scotia and Hausmusik. On May 27, there’s a poetry reading in the gardens from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Each Sunday afternoon starting June 11, drop by the Victorian bandstand for free concerts featuring local musicians.

Halifax Public Gardens

Halifax Public Gardens

HISTORY BROUGHT TO LIFE
To celebrate Canada’s 150th year since confederation, the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 presents Canada: Day 1, a travelling exhibition that showcases 150 years of immigrants’ “day one” experiences. View distinctive artworks and compelling objects, such as a Syrian welcome kit, a head-tax certificate, moving War Bride correspondence, and more.

Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21

Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21

One of Canada’s most visited National Historic Sites, the Halifax Citadel was the fourth in a series of forts since 1749 to occupy the hill overlooking the harbour. Check out the Army Museum on-site for more military artefacts and history. In 2017, all National Historic Sites are offering free admission with a Parks Canada Discovery Pass, available online at pc.gc.ca.

CRAFTED FOR CANADA
Just in time for Canada 150, Novascotian Crystal has expanded its Canadian spirit line of handcrafted crystal, featuring a maple leaf design. It’s now available in whiskey tumblers, water glasses, brandy snifters, shot glasses, and more. Stop by the workshop at the foot of George Street on the Halifax waterfront and watch the craftspeople create these mouth-blown masterpieces using age-old techniques.

TAKE IT OUTSIDE
With warmer temperatures now the norm, there’s plenty of outdoor activities on offer across the city. On the tip of Halifax’s South End, Point Pleasant Park boasts 39 kilometres of roads and trails that wind through forest and past rocky hills, ravines, and military ruins, including the Prince of Wales Tower National Historic Site. The park also hosts alfresco theatre group, Shakespeare by the Sea, during the summer.

Heading west past the Armdale Rotary on Purcell’s Cove Road is Sir Sanford Fleming Park. This 38-hectare space has walking trails through forest, saltwater marsh, and a large pond (Frog Pond). Climb up Dingle Memorial Tower, the 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. They can climb up the mesh and log tower that mirrors Dingle Tower.

Across the harbour in Dartmouth, Shubie Park is a 16-hectare greenway bounded by Lake Charles to the north and Lake Micmac to the south. Trails meander from deep forest to sunny lakeside along the historic route of the Shubenacadie Canal, offering beautiful scenery and quiet areas to enjoy a picnic lunch.

Shubie Park

Shubie Park

DAY TRIPPING
No trip to Halifax is complete without visiting Peggy’s Cove, the fishing village just a 45-minute drive west from Halifax. Its iconic lighthouse is the most photographed site in Nova Scotia. Fifty minutes east of Halifax is Memory Lane Heritage Village in Lake Charlotte, a living history museum that recreates 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 on-site cookhouse.

Memory Lane Heritage Village

Memory Lane Heritage Village

 

 

 

October Hot Shopping

By Suzanne Rent

GIFTS GALOREDrala-resized
• Drala on Grafton Street is a favourite spot for those looking for gifts and items reflecting the contemplative lifestyle. Choose from meditation cushions and incense, Japanese teas, and beeswax candles to bring a peaceful energy to your space.
• Located in the recently renovated Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, the Pier 21 Gift Shop boasts unique gifts from around the world, Inuit carvings, traveller accessories, and much more.

DESIGNING WOMENrossi-370x461-resized
Specializing in head-to-toe service, The Unicorn in Bishop’s Landing caters to the best in women’s style. Locally owned and operated, shop for top brands such as Eliza Caveletti, Laurel, Peruzzi, Riani, and others. Browse the selection of fall and winter styles in handbags, jewelry, and clothing.

EDITOR’S CHOICEfolklore-centre-resized
Musicians and music lovers will enjoy a stop into the Halifax Folklore Centre on Brunswick Street. Stringed instruments are available for sale or on consignment. Bring your instrument in for appraisal or repair. The staff are all musicians and knowledgeable about music and the products they sell.

INSPIRING ARTWORKPuffin_IMG_3651-e1401472401757-resized
Carrefour Atlantic and The Puffin Gallery on Upper Water Street offer one-of-a-kind gifts for discerning shoppers looking for something special. Featuring quality gifts such as literature, visual arts, and handicrafts produced in Atlantic Canada, Canada’s North and by First Nations communities.
• The artisans at Amos Pewter in the Historic Properties use traditional practices to handcraft molten pewter into designs that reflect the region’s beauty. Choose from modern and eclectic designs in collectibles, jewelry, home décor, and more.

BY A THREADLoop-resized
• Knitters will love the selection at LK Yarns in The Hydrostone in Halifax’s North End. This shop carries a large selection of yarns, as well as everything else you need for your knitting projects, such as patterns, needles, books, buttons, and baskets.
• Regardless of your skill level, The Loop on Barrington Street welcomes everyone to stop in to browse its selection of items for any project. Find natural yarns, fibres, and tools for crochet and felting projects. Sign up for a workshop to expand on your skill set.
• At Dartmouth Yarns on Portland Street, the motto is “it’s always sweater weather in Nova Scotia.” It has all the supplies you need to get started on your fall and winter sweaters and more. A class on knit therapy or crochet therapy is a great way to spend a blustery fall afternoon.

LOVING LOCALSupportLocal_KellyGreen_BC01-resized
Proud to be local, Dartmouth Clothing Co. has a selection of fun and comfortable t-shirts, baseball hats, tank tops, and posters, all featuring locally inspired logos and designs. Its products are available at Fresh Goods Sneakers and Apparel, Sugar Shok Candy Boutique, Biscuit General Store, Strange Adventures, and The Dart Gallery.

 

Ultimate Halifax

History, entertainment, fun on the water and more—discover everything we love about Halifax

By Trevor J. Adams

THE GREAT OUTDOORS

Photo: NS Tourism Agency

Photo: NS Tourism Agency

At the tip of Halifax’s historic South End, Point Pleasant Park is a popular year-round destination with native Haligonians and visitors alike. The park’s coastal and woodland trails are a hit in any season, but Point Pleasant really comes to life in summer when it hosts theatre al fresco withbarrington-cemetary-web Shakespeare by the Sea throughout the summer.

History buffs will be pleased to find the Prince of Wales Tower National Historic Site in the centre of the park. Back downtown on Barrington Street, the Old Burying Ground is a secluded historic cemetery and the burial site British Major General Robert Ross, who burned Washington, D.C. in the War of 1812.

Uptown on Spring Garden Road, the Halifax Public Gardens are one of the finest Victorian gardens in North America. In the summer, its bandstand hosts Sunday afternoon concerts. Across the harbour, the Dartmouth Common features lovely flower gardens and panoramic views of the Halifax skyline.

FAMILY FUN

Nautical adventures abound at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic on Lower Water Street. With lots of hands-on exhibits and a laid-back, welcoming atmosphere, it’s a great spot for kids to explore and learn about the Titanic, fearless explorers, swashbuckling pirates and the world wars. See shipbuilders at work and explore a scientific vessel moored dockside.

Just up the hill on Barrington Street, the Discovery Centre is a hands-on science centre where kids can explore trippy optical illusions, stand inside a giant bubble and even freeze a banana in liquid nitrogen.

The Museum of Natural History on Summer Street offers hours of entertainment for inquiring young minds. Explore Nova Scotia’s forest and ocean environments with interactive exhibits. Visit legendary Sable Island and experience Science on a Sphere. Live amphibians, reptiles, bees, a new Tide Tank and Gus, a 92-year-old tortoise.

BACK IN TIME

The Hydrostone. Photo: Lisa Enman

The Hydrostone. Photo: Lisa Enman

This province is the birthplace of hockey and boasts a long line of sports heroes—most recently, Sidney Crosby. Learn all about them in Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame at Scotiabank Centre on Duke Street.

Looming over the downtown, the Halifax Citadel Canada’s most popular National Historic Site and home to the Army Museum. Visit at 12 pm to see historical animators fire the fort’s signature Noon Gun.

Perched on the side of Citadel Hill, you’ll spot Halifax’s iconic Old Town Clock on Sackville Street.

Shop and dine where privateers once stashed their plunder—the stone warehouses of the Historic Properties on the Halifax waterfront.

Devastated in the Halifax Explosion during the First World War, Young Street east of Robie is now a stylish neighbourhood called The Hydrostone noted for unique architecture, quaint shops and fine dining.

NEW & IMPROVED

The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 reopens this month after extensive renovations. From 1928 to 1971, almost 1.5 million immigrants and military personnel passed through Pier 21. Today, the museum (Canada’s only national museum outside Ottawa) tells the story of Canadian immigration from first contact to present day.

SPIRITED ADVENTURES

With centuries of history, Halifax teems with mysteries, folklore and reputed hauntings. Explore the city’s darker side with the Halifax Ghost Walk. Meet the group at 8:30pm at the Old Town Clock on Citadel Hill (just up from Sackville Street). Narrators lead you through historic Halifax’s nooks and crannies, sharing tales of pirates, ghosts and murder most foul.

ROAMING AROUND

Peggy's Cove

Peggy’s Cove

Centrally located, Halifax is an ideal day-trip base. Take a 45-minute drive east, and you’ll find the Memory Lane Heritage Village, a living-history museum re-creating life in rural Nova Scotia as it was 70 years ago.

Take a 45-minute drive west, and you’ll find the historic fishing village of Peggy’s Cove. Its iconic lighthouse, perched on the rocks just above the wild Atlantic waves, is Nova Scotia’s most photographed site.

ART IN ACTION

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At the foot of George Street on the Halifax waterfront, NovaScotian Crystal is one of the province’s most unique tourism attractions. In the workshop, you can watch craftsmen use Old World techniques to create functional art: mouth-blown, hand-cut crystal creations.

Festival Season

June marks the start of the summer festival season in Halifax, with vibrant events for any taste continuing through the month.

Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo runs June 30 to July 7: This is the world’s largest annual indoor show of its type, featuring military and civilian performers from around the world—gymnasts, marching bands, acrobats, comedians and more. Photo: Nova Scotia Tourism Agency

Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo runs June 30 to July 7: This is the world’s largest annual indoor show of its type, featuring military and civilian performers from around the world—gymnasts, marching bands, acrobats, comedians and more. Photo: Nova Scotia Tourism Agency

One of the biggest, the Scotia Festival of Music, actually began in May. This annual festival celebrates the best in chamber, baroque and classical music, with dozens of guest performers visiting for concerts, open rehearsals and masterclasses at venues around the city. This year’s lineup includes conductor Kenneth Woods, pianist Lynn Stodola, violinist Robert Uchida, cellist Denise Djokic, trumpeter Richard Simoneau, Composer-in-Residence Tim Brady and many more. It continues until June 9.

Returning on June 13, the Halifax Greek Fest is one of the city’s most beloved summer festivals. Thousands will gather at Saint George’s Greek Orthodox Church on Purcell’s Cove Road for three days of live music, games, cultural displays, wine tastings, food samples and more. The Fest continues unil June 16.

Another popular event returns on June 21, as the Halifax Seaport Harbourwalk (near the corner of Marginal and Terminal roads) hosts the Nova Scotia Multicultural Festival. Dozens of cultural groups, representing a broad cross-section of the province’s communities, take part in the festival. Rollicking music, tasty cuisine and a friendly atmosphere are this festival’s hallmarks.

Although we’re all one big happy municipality now, the erstwhile town of Bedford maintains its civic pride. Join in the community’s annual celebrations as DeWolf Park hosts Bedford Days from June 27 to July 1. Community celebrations include live entertainment, sports competitions and fireworks.

Concurrently, Halifax marks the nation’s birthday with Canada Day Weekend celebrations around the city. Throughout the weekend, you can check out parades, entertainment and citizenship ceremonies. Venues include Halifax Citadel and the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21.

The month also sees the return of one of the city’s most iconic summer events. The Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo is the world’s largest annual indoor show of its type. Hundreds of performers and both military and civilian acts will perform. The spectacular show at the Halifax Metro Centre on Duke Street includes bands, acrobats, comedians, military drill teams and more.