Halifax is a Canadian city and a regional municipality. It is a port city, known because it is a business town and also a center for great history. It is the capital of Nova Scotia and has within itself a wide range of attractions and monuments with immense cultural history. The surrounding provinces and Halifax, all consisted of one huge amalgamation of land until it was separated into smaller parts for reasons like easier administration and trade methods. It consists of 90.63 square miles of urban land and 2,119. 84 square miles of the municipality. The people are called Haligonians and as of 2016, the province was seen to have around 187,338 dwellings.
The city of Halifax is set within the ancestral and tribal, aboriginal lands of indigenous people. It saw its first settlements in the form of fisheries and slowly, these settlements were seen to become permanent. This happened around the 1400s and 1500s. One of the first permanent settlements were seen Halifax peninsula. Following this, there were multiple violations of the treaties between the indigenous people of Halifax and the British, the violations mostly on the side of the British population. Soon, there were more European families being brought into the province and their settlements were nothing less than permanent. The people from the British settlements were primarily Protestants.
Along with the settlements of the British, Halifax saw the entrance of a certain number of French Protestants as well. At some point in time, the British and the French began fighting for power. In December 1917, Halifax saw one of the most tragic and frightful happenings. A French cargo ship, SS Mont-Blanc, and a Belgian Relief vessel, the SS IMO. This resulted in a massive explosion and it caused a major amount of devastation to the Richmond district.
The government of Halifax amalgamated every part of the province to create something called the Halifax Regional Municipality. It stands until today as a regional municipality and all the people, from various parts of the province find common ground with Halifax.
Halifax is made up of the primary coastal areas. It is mostly rocky terrain and there are a huge number of harbors around the province. It has a versatile kind of land arrangement, considering the fact that there exists within it and around it, a peninsula, a basin and other geographical features. There is a bay too, it is called the St. Margaret’s bay and to add to all of these amazing features there is a valley called the Musquodoboit valley. The population of the state, however, is constituted in the urban areas or the so-called urban core of the Halifax Harbour and the Bedford Basin and the regions surrounding it.
There is a large number of freshwater lakes and rivers that can be seen in the land and it is fairly fertile. The province has its defense with the Citadel Hill standing tall and it features a series of lakes too. These lakes are not just freshwater lakes they are glacial lakes and are a true topological feature.
Halifax is known to have a humid and continental climate. The climate is predisposed greatly by the temperatures of the water bodies surrounding it because of the immense number of water bodies present around it. Each part of the province is known to experience varying temperatures and humidity levels because of the fact that there are micro temperatures that exist within the bounds of the state.
There is snow during the months of November and this remains the circumstance until April, a series of snowfall and snow melts are seen. The province, on the whole, sees around 61 inches of snowfall at the least, during winter. Winter storms are common in Halifax. They come preceding days on end with harsh snowfall, they are known to be strong and can cause damage once in a while.
You are not likely to experience a hurricane while in Halifax for they are rare. The spring is a milder version of the harsh winters the province experiences and the summers put forth an assortment of hot, cold and windy nights and days. it can get really toasty and humid during the summers as well. Besides this, Halifax is known to have a large amount of rainfall and this only sees a dry side during the summer.
The weather and climate of Halifax plays a vital role in encouraging Halifax attractions. Halifax is a huge province and holds within itself some great spots and attractions for its visitors and vacationers to explore. From old Halifax photos to the new version of things, from waterfronts in the province to a potential list of restaurants you should visit while you’re there, we have it all summed up for you.
To begin with, we have 8 must-see places in Halifax. We’re following this up with 4 restaurants you should not miss and lastly 5 unconventional but great places and things Halifax has in store for you. We put it all in one place for your convenience.
Here are the top 8 attractions in Halifax.
Point pleasant park
This park is a public park run by the municipality of Halifax, situated in the Halifax peninsula. It is a place where the people of Halifax retire to. Known for its greenery and the presence of the oldest Martello tower in the whole of North America within it, it is every Haligonians pride and joy. This seaside park features a variety of performances ranging from dance to theatre and sometimes even opera. This dot in Nova Scotia becomes home to a talented theatre company called Shakespeare by the sea almost every summer. With the sea breeze and the green scenery, there couldn’t be a better park you could possibly visit.
Halifax Citadel National Historic Site
Named after the esteemed Citadel hill, this is a complex of four forts constructed around it. These forts were built by the British and it was named after the English king George the Third. Only one fort is called by the name Fort George to this day and this is the third fort. The range of fortifications shows immense amount of history and is now a national historic site. The forts saw a series of reconstruction happen within it, but the essence of the Victorian era was kept intact and no beauty or significant historical element of Tourists love to visit the forts because while within there is truly a feeling of travelling back in time.
Halifax waterfront boardwalk
This astounding boardwalk is constructed out of heavy wood and stands along the acclaimed waterfront of the Halifax province. It is one place you must visit if you are someone who loves sunrises and sunsets. There are a huge fleet of tug boats that stand along the sides of the boardwalk and it finds its terminal at the harbour towards the south. This point is called the Halifax seaport and is also a point of interest. There is a maritime museum and a historically significant ship called the CSS Acadia at the centre of the boardwalk. It is home to multiple other attractions in the province as well. Its beauty is beyond comprehension and this place is surely one spot to visit.
This cove is a part of the cove in the town of Bedford. It comes under the Halifax regional municipality. Its named came to be because of the fact that there was a huge number of birch trees in the region. This region used to be home to the aboriginal occupants of Canada and Halifax and it is proven that the Acadian soldiers lived in this region too during the early years of occupation.
Georges Island Lighthouse
The lighthouse stands tall in Nova Scotia and has been standing here since it was first built in 1876. It was rebuilt again in 1903, after which it was destroyed in a fire. Reconstruction with precision took place again and by 1916 it was as good as new. It was first lit in the year 1919 and it was made automatic in the year 1972. The tower is 16 meters in height and has an octagonal frustum shape. The range of the lighthouse is around 15 nautical miles and it is a beautifully designed building, consisting of white and red stripes and such.
Black rock beach
The black rock beach is known for its calming shores and has passed the test for the purity of water 95% of the times. It is filled with grass on the shores and is seen to not have much lifeguard support throughout. However, its beauty and aesthetics are surely something everyone will enjoy. The beach has washrooms and parking and even a park close by, allowing for more leisure and easy access to cleanliness. It is, despite the efforts of the municipality, at risk for one of the major problems the water bodies in Halifax face, sewage contamination. This is why there are constant checks for the fitness of water etc. Everything being said, it is still a beautiful place to spend a summer evening.
This is a small community, that is not urban but is not completely developed as well, situated at the side of the sea. It has within itself a lighthouse point and other subtly attractive spots and locations. History and folklore say that the town may have been named after one of the settlers’ wives. It has a historic reputation in the province of Halifax and this town is a sea side beauty.
Old town clock – Citadel Hill
The Halifax town clock, otherwise known as the Citadel clock tower, was built by the British during the time of their settlement in Halifax and the surrounding regions. It is said to have found its existence at such a prime location in the town because the commander in chief wanted all his soldiers and countrymen to be on time and as we all know; the British hated the tardy. The clock has roman numerals on it and has 4 faces. It is atop a beautiful white tower and reminds the people to be on time to this very day.
Below is a list of 4 restaurants you must visit while in Halifax, we started with restaurants that offer fine dining and then narrowed it down to quaint and quiet cafes and homely eat outs. After looking through the various eateries, we thought these restaurants were fame worthy.
The Five Fishermen
This restaurant is known for its flavor and precision, serving amazing platters from seafood to salads and everything in between. It focusses on seafood and has a historic tale to tell too, for the Titanic had its last stop somewhere near this little restaurant and many of its passengers had their last on-land meal here. To feel the history and taste the best fish, get yourself a table at the Five Fishermen.
The Watch that ends the Night
A new restaurant at Dartmouth, also featuring a cocktail bar. This beautiful place is a little adventure in itself and can be just the right dosage of romance for a quiet evening because to reach the restaurant you’ll have to take a ferry ride. The prices are not too overwhelming and the food is decadent. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the best days to visit! Beer and burgers are their Tuesday special and on Wednesdays, the food gets better because of the divine live jazz. Do not miss out!!
This bistro takes no reservations, but is fancy and delicious. Stop by, give the steward your name and walk around the block and get yourself a drink while you wait. This amazing eat out serves up the most talked about dinners in town and the weekend brunches they cook up are to die for.
The Brooklyn Warehouse
Local ingredients and the flavors of Halifax are the core of this eating out. Not too casual, not too posh, anyway they will bring your food under a cloche. It has a great ambiance and the one thing every tourist should experience: the true taste of Nova Scotia.
Lastly, here is our take on the top 5 unconventional but should be visited places in Halifax. Their beauty is majorly underestimated and that’s why we are throwing light on them.
Here is a place you must visit if you are a lover of horses. It is the heaven on earth for these calming creatures.
St. Paul’s church
The church in itself hold no significance, however there is one window where the outline of a deacon stands till this day, caught within the church during the Halifax explosion, his outline stands there as a reminder of it to this day.
Fairview Lawn Cemetery
When you saw this name on the list you probably thought that the cemetery was haunted, you were wrong. The souls of the people who rest here are still at sea, the victims of the RMS Titanic lie here. After investigation and world being spread around the world, there still remained around 42 bodies, unidentified.
Bayer’s lake in itself is not very special, what is special though are the beautiful stone ruins that lie near the hillside. The aesthetic quality of this site will make anyone stop for a minute to catch their breath.
The Sea Turtle Center
Different from its title, this little place is actually one of the world’s smallest operating museums. It houses the world’s largest turtle, despite in smallness. Love turtles? You know where to go!
With that, this list comes to an end! Did we miss out on anything? Was this article useful? Tell us in the comments below, subscribe to our page too for further articles! We are open to answering questions as well… all you have to do is drop them in the comment box! Until next time, happy traveling and may your maple syrup always be sweet!
What is Halifax best known for?
Halifax is one of the oldest existing settlements in Canada, having been occupied by the tribes of Nova Scotia and then by the British, it has significant pieces of history attached to it.
It is known for its famous Waterfront Boardwalk and the Birch cove as well.
What should I see in Halifax, Nova Scotia?
The province of Halifax is filled with extremely exciting pieces of history and also throws light on technological and modern beauty. Nature is also a vital part of the scenery.
Starting with the National Parks and the Citadel museum, through the Waterfront Boardwalk, the Birch Cove and the Black rock Beach and finally visiting the old clock tower, is a good way to see the province. Do not forget to check out the famous hotels and spots of interest too.
What are the best things to do in Nova Scotia?
The best thing to do in Halifax is visit museums and understand its history. The coves are a great way to relax and they are of extreme beauty. Halifax, specifically, has a ton of places of interest, that are free to visit. Halifax and Nova Scotia are beautiful and the details within are phenomenal.
What can you do for free in Halifax?
You can visit the clack rock beach, the Birch cove and Peggy’s cove. You can take a tour of the old clock tower, visit St. Paul’s church and Fairview lawn cemetery. All these places hold historical significance and they are beautiful sites.
What to do in Halifax when it is raining?
Halifax has a wide range of restaurants with history imprinted within their building blocks. The traditional Nova Scotian meal is always a delight and during the monsoons there are a huge range of activities that take place at these eateries and restaurants. Visiting the galleries and the central library is not a bad idea too.
When is the best time to visit Halifax, Nova Scotia?
Halifax is a beautiful province and its beauty is at the peak during the months of May to October. There are a variety of festivals that take place during this time and there are a huge range of activities that are conducted during this time of the year!
Can you see the Northern lights in Nova Scotia?
Yes! The northern lights are visible in Nova Scotia. It is possible to spend a night under the northern lights, stargazing and experiencing the symphony of colour all around you.