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NovaScotian Crystal

Hot Shopping

Shopping_Olsen-Europe

FUN FASHIONS

 New at the Halifax Shopping Centre on Mumford Road, Levi’s boasts a variety of brand-name denim fashions for men, women, and children.

• On Spring Garden Road, Olsen Europe has fresh new looks and trends. Inspired by styles on runways and in the streets, this line is known for its quality and sophistication. Fabrics chosen to reflect a company commitment to sustainability. Spring collections include New Romance, Sporty Sea, Gardenland, and Island Breeze.

• In a Box on Dresden Row is a unique little department store specializing in edgy fashions for women. You’ll also find stylish accessories such as bracelets, scarves, and handbags.

 

Shopping_John-David-Shoes

STEP UP

John David Shoes on Spring Garden Road boasts Atlantic Canada’s largest selection of women’s fashion footwear. The selection includes many exclusive brand names, such as France Mode fashion designer boots made in Europe.

 

Shopping_North-Brewing-Co
Photo: Trevor J. Adams

FOR BEER LOVERS

Just steps from the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market, the Garrison Beer Store on Terminal Road peddles beers from one of the province’s oldest crafter brewers. On tap, you’ll find seasonal creations and longstanding favourites like raspberry wheat, Irish red, and more.

Fans of Belgian-style brews will want to sample from North Brewing on Agricola Street. This tiny brewery produces Old World ales that are bursting with flavour, all with an earth-friendly commitment. You’ll find its brews, and many others, at stores like Bishop’s Cellar on Lower Water Street, West Side on Lacewood Drive, and Rockhead on North Street, plus beers from breweries around the province, and of international imports.

 

Shopping_Twiggz

KIDS WITH STYLE

Outfit the kids for the season and beyond with a trip to Urban Kids on Chain Lake Drive in Halifax or Mic Mac Mall in Dartmouth. This store serves the market for kids from age four to the tween years, and keeps on top of the latest trends in kids’ fashions. Get a complete wardrobe from tops and bottoms, to hoodies and accessories.

For kids’ shoes, boots, active wear and accessories, stop into Twiggz (also at Mic Mac Mall). Shop for durable and stylish footwear, rain gear, and more. Dance gear, including leotards, tights, and shoes, are always in stock.

 

Shopping_Fireworks

ONE OF A KIND *Editor’s Pick*

At Fireworks Gallery on Barrington Street, goldsmiths create custom jewelry with a fusion of Old World techniques and 21st-century technology. Help create your own design in gold, silver, or platinum, and with precious gemstones. Repair and restoration services available.

 

Shopping_NovaScotian-Crystal

CLEAR AS CRYSTAL

The province’s only maker of fine, mouth-blown, hand-cut crystal, NovaScotian Crystal showcases Old World artistry. Visit the waterfront studio on George Street to see master craftsmen transform molten sand into fine crystal creations.

 

Hot Shopping

Shopping_Inkwell

UNIQUE GIFTS

Inkwell Modern Handmade Boutique & Letterpress Studio on Brunswick Street is one of the city’s most unique shops, boasting Handmade limited-edition paper goods, tea towels, pottery, and jewelry by local and international artists. Letterpress printing and custom design services of social stationery available.

 

Shopping_Halifax-Seaport-Farmers-Market

LOCAL HARVEST

• Located in a stylish (and environmentally friendly) new home on the waterfront, Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market is Nova Scotia’s largest and oldest farmers’ market. Browse through a huge array of local produce, meat, cheese, crafts, baked goods, craft beer, wine, cider, and more.

• Located on the Dartmouth waterfront where the Halifax Transit ferry docks, the Alderney Landing Farmers’ Market is a weekend tradition for many families, with live music and a variety of vendors.

The Halifax Forum Farmers’ Market runs every Saturday morning and has become a North End neighbourhood favourite, showcasing products and vendors you won’t find elsewhere.

 

Shopping_NovaScotian-Crystal

CRYSTAL CREATIONS

The province’s only maker of fine, mouth-blown, hand-cut crystal, NovaScotian Crystal showcases Old World artistry. Visit the waterfront studio on George Street to see master craftsmen transform molten sand into fine crystal creations. Its collection includes a new stemmed tulip beer glass, plus vases, candle holders, and all manner of giftware.

 

Shopping_Halifax-Folklore-Centre

MUSICAL ROOTS

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 musical 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.

 

Shopping_Sweet-Jane's

HOW SWEET IT IS

Located in the South End at the corner of Queen and Morris streets, Sweet Jane’s is the ideal place to indulge a sweet tooth or pick out a distinctive gift. Find candy of all sorts, high-end confections, whimsical toys, and more.

 

Shopping_Levi's-@RILEYSMITHPHOTO
Photo: Riley Smith

• New at the Halifax Shopping Centre on Mumford Road, Levi’s boasts a variety of brand-name denim fashions for men, women, and children.

• On Spring Garden Road, Shop Olsen Europe has fresh new looks and trends. Inspired by styles on runways and in the streets, this line is known for its quality and sophistication. Fabrics chosen to reflect a company commitment to sustainability.

• In a Box on Dresden Row is a unique little department store specializing in edgy fashions for women. You’ll also find stylish accessories such as bracelets, scarves, and handbags.

 

Shopping_Bishops-Landing

ON THE WATERFRONT *Editor’s Pick*

As you stroll the Halifax waterfront, stylish Bishop’s Landing on Lower Water Street is a must-visit shopping destination: find a tasty and unique gift for the folks back home at Rum Runnersdistinctive creations at Frida Custom Jewellery Design, finely crafted pearl works at Pearl City, a huge array of local wine and craft beer at Bishop’s Cellar, and more.

Concierge Q & A

Concierge_Trevor-Proude

Trevor Proude is head concierge at The Hollis Halifax-A Doubletree Suites by Hilton. He is a musician, limousine chauffeur, and has been in the hotel industry for the past 15 years. Trevor has recently become the new regional director for Les Clefs d’Or Atlantic, part of an international association of concierges.

Q: What’s your pick for June’s can’t miss event for visitors?
A: My top pick for June would have to be the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo festival. It’s your chance to see pipers, drummers, dancers, acrobats, cyclists, singers, choirs, military bands and much, much more. It is a great Maritime tradition. Also, one may want to take in Halifax Ribfest happening around the same weekend on the waterfront. June 29 to July 2.

Q: What’s a great way for a family to spend a June day in the city?
A: I usually recommend the Discovery Centre on the waterfront. This would be a good way to start your day with the kids. It also offers free admission between 5pm and 8pm on Wednesday evenings. If you’re here on June 2 and 3, take advantage of Doors Open Halifax; 30+ venues whose doors normally are closed to the public will open. The kids may also want to see the Museum of Natural History and visit Gus, the 95-year-old tortoise. They can join in on his daily walk around 3:30pm every day.

Q: If you only had one day in the city, how would you spend it?
A: I would recommend starting your day at the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market on the south end of the boardwalk. It’s a great way to take in local vendors from around the province and a great place for a light breakfast. If it is a rainy day, one may like to take in the museums we have to offer such as the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic on Lower Water Street, which has fascinating exhibitions on the Titanic and Halifax Explosion. Be sure to make your way to Halifax Citadel for the noon gun and the changing of the guard. This National Historic Site has a lot to offer with military reenactors and the Army Museum, plus ghost tours for the kids. The Halifax Public Gardens and the architecturally distinct Halifax Central Library are also must-visits.

Q: Where can visitors find a unique souvenir to take home?
A: There are a few places in town one can find a nice souvenir. Murphy’s Company Store at the Cable Wharf on Lower Water Street has a lot to choose from, and you’ll always find something unique at NovaScotian Crystal at the foot of George Street on the waterfront. Another popular stop is Jennifer’s of Nova Scotia located in the heart of the downtown shopping district on Spring Garden Road.

Q: What’s the best thing about June in Halifax?
A: Visitor season is in full swing, and that means the opening of all of the historical tours and boat tours, including the bus tours to Peggy’s Cove and Lunenburg plus many more. You have all of the vendors starting to open shop on the waterfront as well as all of the bars and restaurants starting to rebuild their popular patios. We locals call it patio season. Our entertainment district on Argyle Street hosts many of these. The city of Halifax has many secret gems that are just waiting to be discovered.

Hot Shopping

Shopping_Sweet-Jane's

HOW SWEET IT IS

Located in the South End at the corner of Queen and Morris streets, Sweet Jane’s is the ideal place to indulge a sweet tooth or pick out a distinctive gift. Find candy of all sorts, high-end confections, whimsical toys, and more.

 

Shopping_Denim
Photo: Riley Smith

LOCAL HARVEST

—Located in a stylish (and environmentally friendly) new home on the waterfront, Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market is Nova Scotia’s largest and oldest farmers’ market. Browse through a huge array of local produce, meat, cheese, crafts, baked goods, craft beer, wine, cider, and more.

—Located on the Dartmouth waterfront where the Halifax Transit ferry docks, the Alderney Landing Farmers’ Market is a weekend tradition for many families, with live music and a variety of vendors.

—The city’s newest farmers’ market has quickly become a local favourite. The Halifax Forum Farmers’ Market runs every Saturday morning, showcasing products and vendors you won’t find elsewhere.

 

Shopping_NovaScotian-Crystal

CRYSTAL PALACE *Editor’s Pick*

The province’s only maker of fine, mouth-blown, hand-cut crystal, NovaScotian Crystal showcases Old World artistry. Visit the waterfront studio on George Street to see master craftsmen transform molten sand into fine crystal creations.

 

Shopping_Pearl-City

JEWELS OF THE SEA

Pearls are a classic and graceful look and Pearl City in Bishop’s Landing on Lower Water Street offers necklaces, bracelets, and more made of these lustrous gems. Choose from its varied collection or help design your own style. You can watch your pearl jewelry being hand-strung on-site by top craftsman.

 

Shopping_Acadian-Maple-Syrup

TASTY TREATS

—Spring is maple-syrup season! Take a drive west of Halifax to Acadian Maple in Upper Tantallon to stock up on this sweet treat. Pick up maple candies, sugars, or coffees. Gift baskets include various maple treats. Purists will find bottles of maple syrup that will get you through the season and beyond.

Local Source on Agricola Street brings the farm to urban shoppers. Pick from an abundance of fresh products, such as seasonal fruits and vegetables, cheese, meat, and seafood. The bakery offers goods made with fair-trade and locally sourced ingredients baked on-site. An in-house dietician is available for consultations and cooking classes.

 

Shopping_Olsen-Europe

FASHION REFRESH

—New at the Halifax Shopping Centre on Mumford Road, Levi’s boasts a variety of brand-name denim fashions for men, women, and children.

—On Spring Garden Road, Shop Olsen Europe has fresh new looks and trends. Inspired by styles on runways and in the streets, this line is known for its quality and sophistication. Fabrics chosen to reflect a company commitment to sustainability. Spring collections include New Romance, Sporty Sea, Gardenland, and Island Breeze.

In a Box on Dresden Row is a unique little department store specializing in edgy fashions for women. You’ll also find stylish accessories such as bracelets, scarves, and handbags.

Hot Shopping

BishopsCellar

LIBATION LOVERS

 —Just steps from the waterfront on Lower Water Street, Bishop’s Cellar is a must-visit boutique for aficionados of fine wine, spirits, and craft beers specializing in varieties and vintages that you won’t find anywhere else in Nova Scotia.

 —The North End’s Rockhead Wine & Bar Market on Windsor Street boasts a selection of beverages from around the world, alongside local creations.

   —West Side Beer Wine Spirits on Lacewood Drive is the city’s newest private liquor store, with a heavy emphasis on local craft beers.

 

Choco-Cafe Gourmandises

SWEETS FOR YOUR SWEET

 —Rousseau Chocolatier on Hollis Street makes its chocolates in small batches with fine chocolate and local ingredients. The display case in the shop has truffles and chocolates that look like pieces of art. Sample other treats such as French macarons and chocolate-covered meringues. Gift boxes and heart-shaped boxes filled with sweet treats available, too.

 —At Rawthentic Chocolate, owner Chandra Lockhart makes her raw chocolate from Peruvian fair-trade chocolate. Her truffles are flavoured with lavender, cayenne, or rose. Cooked on a low temperature to preserve the raw label, these treats are gluten and dairy free. Available at the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market.

   —Also, in the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market, Gourmandises Avenue Chocolaterie is owned by a Parisian-trained chocolatier, so the chocolates are made with French traditional, but combine local flavours and designs. Chocolates are made with wines from Nova Scotia wineries or designed in fun fish shapes. The shop also sells delicate and delicious French pastries and macarons.

   —Located on Lower Water Street, Choco Cafe Chocolate Boutique and Espresso Bar, is a haven for chocolate lovers to relax. Buy a rich hot cocoa that includes a shot of flavours like marshmallow or hazelnut. Browse the boutique for gifts of chocolate. Chocolate favours available for weddings, baby showers, or corporate events. The chocolate is Belgian and mixed with various flavours.

 —Cocoa and Honey makes everything from artisan bars and truffles to candied nuts and desert sauces. Its chocolates are created with organic and fair-trade products and no preservatives or artificial flavours. Local ingredients include cranberries from Lunenburg and plums from area farmers’ markets. Sold at Ratinaud on Gottingen Street.

 

Touch-of-Gold_IMG_5831

GOLDFINGER

Visit Touch of Gold on Spring Garden Road for the finest engagement and wedding rings. The experienced and knowledgeable staff will help you find the best fit and designs. Offers an array of luxury watches including Rolex, Tudor, TAG Heuer, and Frederique Constant.

 

NS-Crystal-2

UNIQUE CREATIONS *Editor’s Pick*

Visit the NovaScotian Crystal workshop on the Halifax waterfront year-round to see Canada’s only crafters of mouth-blown, hand-cut crystal. In the adjoining boutique, you’ll find all manner of unique and functional works of art—exquisite wine glasses, opulent candle-holders, intricate art, and much more.

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

 

 

 

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

master_stemming_philip-web

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.

Ultimate Halifax

By Trevor J. Adams

Theodore Too

Theodore Too

GO PLAY OUTSIDE

At the south end of the peninsula, Point Pleasant Park is a popular year-round destination with native Haligonians and visitors alike. Coastal and woodland trails draw people year-round, but the park really comes to life in summer when it hosts theatre al fresco with Shakespeare by the Sea throughout the summer. In the midst of the downtown on Barrington Street, the Old Burying Ground is a secluded historic cemetery and a green oasis amongst the buildings. It’s also the grave of 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 a lovely flower garden and panoramic views of the Halifax skyline.

CENTRE STAGE

The region’s largest professional theatre company, Neptune Theatre on Argyle Street, wraps up another season, with Mary Poppins. With intricate sets, lively music and a heartwarming story, this is sure to be another blockbuster for Atlantic Canada’s largest theatre company.

OUT OF THE FIRE

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.

BACK IN TIME

•Still the geographic (and emotional) heart of the downtown, the Halifax Citadel is Canada’s most popular National Historic Site.

•In Halifax’s early days, citizens were notoriously tardy. The solution, courtesy of an exasperated early ruler, was the Old Town Clock on Sackville Street.

•You can shop and dine where privateers once stashed their booty in the Historic Properties.

•Halifax boasts a long line of sports heroes—most recently, Sidney Crosby. Learn more: Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame on Duke Street.

•Devastated in the Halifax Explosion almost a century ago, the area now called The Hydrostone has regrown as a stylish neighbourhood with unique architecture, quaint shops and world-class dining.

MARITIME GOTHIC

With centuries of history, a city gets its fair share of mysteries and folklore. Explore the city’s more sinister side with the Halifax Ghost Walk. Meet the group at 8:30 p.m. 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 haunted houses.

HIGHLIGHTS FOR KIDS

•Kids’ reactions are always priceless when they stroll down Cable Wharf and see the giant smiling tugboat in the big red hat. Theodore Too is a loving life-sized re-creation of the eponymous Theodore Tugboat of PBS fame. Hop on board for a tour that lets your kids live the Big Harbour adventures they’ve seen so many times on television.

•Nautical adventures continue 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, swashbuckling pirates and the world wars. You can see shipbuilders at work and explore a retired hydrographic 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.

DAY TRIPPIN’

•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 that re-creates 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.

January & February Hot Shopping

By Trevor J. Adams

 

LS_all_9ad15805-25d0-479a-991a-1e0ea87a8253

LOVING LOCAL

For centuries, Atlantic Canada has been home to unique products, brands and businesses. The Lost Cod clothing line celebrates that rich heritage with tees and hoodies emblazoned with logos like the Nova Scotia Voyageurs (the region’s first American Hockey League) and Starr Skates (originators of the modern skate). Its waterfront kiosk is closed for the winter, but you can order online or visit the Lost Cod pop-up stores that frequently appear at the Uncommon Grounds cafés.

 

Bishop's Cellar

Bishop’s Cellar

FOR THE WINE LOVER

In stylish Bishop’s Landing on Lower Water Street, Bishop’s Cellar is an upscale wine spirits and beer store, specializing in varieties and vintages you won’t find elsewhere. It also hosts regular tasting events. In Dresden Row Market just off Spring Garden Road, Premier Wine & Spirits is Nova Scotia’s first and largest private liquor store, focusing on value wines from independent vineyards.

 

J-Brand-Jeans-Tattered-Boyfriend-Jacket

FASHION FORWARD

It’s never too soon to start thinking about your spring styles. Premium denim is always hot. Find the latest designs from J Brand Jeans—among countless other high-end fashion lines—at the Mills department store on Spring Garden Road.

 

ClayCafeStore

HANDS-ON

Want to escape the elements, amuse young minds and find a unique gift? Clay Café on Quinpool Road is a paint-your-own pottery studio where young (or young-at-heart) artists can pick their pottery and paint it with their own whimsical designs, or follow a detailed pattern.

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PROTECT YOUR VALUABLES

If you’re the sort of traveller who enjoys year-round outdoor explorations—cross-country skiing, hiking and the like—odds are good you’ll destroy, soak or freeze your wallet at some point. The Pelican ProGear Sport Wallet may be just the thing for you. Compact and durable, it can hold your cards, keys and cash, and comes with a lanyard and water-resistant seal. Find it at Kellys Luggage on Brunswick Street, in the Halifax Shopping Centre or at Park Lane.

 

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YEAR-ROUND COMFORT

Damage resistant, crushproof and comfortable in any weather, the signature Canadian-made Tilley Endurables hat is de rigueur for savvy travellers. The cold-weather version is ideal for Halifax’s notoriously capricious winter weather. Find Tilley products at the Pier 21 Gift Shop at the Canadian Museum of Immigration on Marginal Road or at the Trail Shop on Quinpool Road.

 

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EDITOR’S CHOICE

The creations at NovaScotian Crystal are more than products; they’re functional works of art. Using Old World techniques, the workers (North America’s only makers of mouth-blown fine crystal) turn molten sand into intricate crystal creations—elegant dishes, ornaments and more. Visit the glassworks to see the magic happen (Monday to Friday) and browse the adjoining showroom (open daily).

Hot Shopping: 3 Timeless Souvenirs to Take Home

NovaScotian Crystal

Looking for a souvenir that you can treasure for years to come? These items at local Halifax shops are far from the typical tourist fare.

1. Make your photos stand out or pick a new print at Frame-It, on Spring Garden Road. Get a custom-designed frame or choose from more than a thousand styles to fit your home décor. Take a look through the catalogue collection of artwork, including Peggy’s Cove scenery and the Bluenose.

2. Looking for a special gift? Go local with creative sculptures, jewellery, ornaments and more at Amos Pewter, on Lower Water Street. This store is full of Nova Scotia handmade designs, including new collections and traditional pieces.

3. Impress your guests at the next dinner party and visit NovaScotian Crystal for formal glasses, dishes and other crystal creations. Canada’s only maker of mouth-blown, hand-cut fine crystal recently launched its Canadian Spirit line, available in the George Street showroom or at the Pier 21 Gift Shop on Marginal Road.