Welcome to Halifax!
Halifax is the capital city of Nova Scotia, Canada, and the largest city in Atlantic Canada with over 1 million residents. Halifax is home to a number of higher education centres, including Dalhousie University, Saint Mary’s University, Mount Saint Vincent University, the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and more. Halifax is a cosmopolitan city with its own symphony, many museums, festivals and galleries. It is the business centre of Atlantic Canada, and Halifax is known for its spectacular harbor and has long been the entry point to Canada. Halifax is one of the oldest cities in Canada, and its rich history is on show day in and day out, whether by exploring the citadel or watching the tall ships in the harbour.
Originally home to the Mi’kmaq people, ‘Jibugtug’ harbour (Anglicized as ‘Chebucto’), is one of the deepest harbours in the world. The maritime provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island once made up Acadie, Acadia, until the British Conquest of Acadia in 1710. While the French maintained Île Royale (now Cape Breton) and the Fortress of Louisbourg, the Acadians refused to sign an oath of allegiance to the British and allied themselves with the Mi’kmaq to rebel against British for the next 50 years.
Governor Edward Cornwallis incorporated the Town of Halifax in 1749, which was followed by the Great Upheaval, as Acadians were expelled from their land. The British built massive fortifications on the glacial drumlin now known as Citadel Hill to protect their new settlement from the rebellions. Citadel Hill has excellent views of the city, the harbour, neighbouring Dartmouth, Point Pleasant Park and the ocean. The Citadel, also known as Fort George, was completed in its current form in 1856, and has daily tours in addition to canon firing. Fort George was built in a star-shape, which allowed the cannons to protect the harbour and city from any angle of attack. You can find more information on Citadel here: http://www.novascotia.com/see-do/attractions/halifax-citadel-national-historic-site/1440
Halifax’s boardwalk and waterfront is a great place to spend a day. With many shops, pubs, and cafes, you can spend hours down on the water on a beautiful Halifax day. Grab ice cream from Cows, a Prince Edward Island Creamery, or jump on a harbour tour boat. Theodore Tugboat is in the harbour most days, or just hop on the ferry to Dartmouth for a great view of the city. You can find more information on the Boardwalk here: http://www.novascotia.com/explore/top-25/halifax-waterfront
Point Pleasant Park is a popular recreational spot among Haligonians. The park makes up 77 hectares on the southern tip of the peninsula, with beautiful views of the ocean. The city of Halifax rents the park from the British Government for a ceremonial one shilling every year; equal to about ten cents. Sir William Young negotiated the lease for 999 years in 1866. There are a number of old fortifications throughout the park, including the Prince of Whales Tower, the oldest Martello Tower in North America. You can find more information on Point Pleasant here: http://www.novascotia.com/see-do/attractions/point-pleasant-park/1461
Pier 21 was often referred to as the Gateway to Canada, similar to Ellis Island in New York. Immigrants to Canada were registered in Halifax, and the records are all still available at the Pier. The Pier also acted as a departure point for the many soldiers who left Canada during the World Wars. Pier 21 is steeped in the history of Halifax and Canada, and is a great place to spend a rainy afternoon. You can find more information on Pier 21 here: http://www.novascotia.com/see-do/attractions/canadian-museum-of-immigration-at-pier-21/1396
The Public Gardens are Victorian-style gardens located in downtown Halifax, right across from the Lord Nelson Hotel. The gardens are maintained by a large crew of gardeners are cover 17 acres in the city. The bandstand in the centre of the garden has daily performances throughout the summer, though many Haligonians and visitors alike wander through the garden at leisure or bring a book to enjoy the sunshine and flowers. The gardens were established in 1864, the yeah of Canadian Confederation. You can find more information on the Public Gardens here: http://www.novascotia.com/see-do/attractions/halifax-public-gardens/1345