Arriving in Halifax was a great time of nostalgia for me. I lived there many years ago, with two other girls and numerous mice in an old, two-bedroom apartment. Admittedly, it had its challenges, but it was cheap, and we enjoyed the adventure. We lived just up the hill from Propeller Brewery, where we readily indulged in $8 growlers (2L refillable jars) of craft beer. Yes, a growler of ESB somehow makes the sounds of unwanted rodents tolerable.
Halifax is a port city with a great deal of historical significance; one in five Canadians can trace their heritage back to immigrants who arrived at Pier 21 in Halifax. The city was initially established in 1749, because of its ideal geographic location as a military base.
Citadel Hill, a defense fortress as old as the city, is perhaps the most obvious visual indicator of Halifax’s military history. It’s now a National Historic Site, and offers one of the best views of downtown Halifax and the harbour.
Halifax is an incredibly walkable city. You can stroll from one side to the other in about an hour, passing through many eclectic neighbourhoods, landmarks, colourful rowhouses, and restaurants along the way.
One of the most interesting experiences in Halifax is the city’s yearly city-wide visual arts celebration festival, Nocturne: Art at Night.
We were fortunate enough to show up on the very weekend of this bustling event.
Art of all kinds takes place: performance pieces in store front windows, interactive pieces on sidewalks, galleries with their doors wide open, and the songs of local musicians filling the streets.
Even some of the old boats in the harbour, which pique the curiosity of hundreds who pass everyday, were opened up for people to explore.
It was an event unlike anything I’ve been to, and it was impressively well supported. It felt like all of Halifax was out that night to celebrate the art, talent, and expressions of their city.
Of course, there was also plenty of food to discover; in the next few posts, we’ll share our discovery of the farmers’ markets, dining spots, more about coffee, and even make a trip to Dartmouth, the ‘other side’…