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Halifax - A view from our expert author


Halifax Public Gardens Nova Scotia Canada by Nova Scotia TourismHalifax's Public Gardens make for a pleasant afternoon stroll © Nova Scotia Tourism

Whilst first impressions will suggest that Halifax is friendly, charming and relaxed, dig deeper and you’ll also find a well-developed music scene, lively pubs, and restaurants and bars to suit most palates and budgets.

The province’s most important metropolis was once the major point of entry to Canada for more than a million immigrants and refugees, and the port remains a busy centre for shipping today. Much attention focuses on the bustling waterfront, and traffic in the harbour is a mix of ferries, yachts, tugs, container ships, naval vessels and ocean cruisers.

A range of museums, galleries and indoor attractions – not to mention shopping, particularly on lively Spring Garden Road – will occupy you if the weather isn’t at its best, but when the sun comes out and the mercury rises you’ll want to wander the beautiful Halifax Public Gardens and hike along the seafront at Point Pleasant Park, take a boat on the harbour, or go for a picnic. Summer is the time for an array of festivals, many of which are free.

Halifax’s raison d’être was its harbour, which is still a major part of life for Halifax, Dartmouth and Bedford. At the mouth of the harbour are Chebucto Head on the Halifax side and Hartlen Point on the Dartmouth side. Herring Cove Road and Purcells Cove Road lead towards the downtown area from Chebucto Head, passing fjord-like Northwest Arm, and on the Dartmouth side, Shore Road and Eastern Passage Road run close to the waterfront, with McNabs and Lawlor islands just offshore.

Whilst first impressions will suggest that Halifax is friendly, charming and relaxed, dig deeper and you’ll also find a well-developed music scene, lively pubs, and restaurants and bars to suit most palates and budgets. The two universities keep the atmosphere youthful – but rarely rowdy.

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