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Halifax St. Patrick’s Day hot spots

Looking for the perfect spot to enjoy a St. Paddy’s Day pint in Halifax? We’ve rounded up a list of Celtic pubs that will get you in a celebratory spirit

By Trevor Adams


You won’t need a four-leafed clover to have a jolly time at these local Celtic hot spots. On March 17, the line will start forming at sun-up outside The Old Triangle Irish Alehouse on Prince Street. Enjoy traditional music throughout the day, a pint of ale from the old sod, and Irish cuisine like lamb stew.

A local favourite for an after-work tipple, Durty Nelly’s Irish Pub on Argyle Street boasts an array of popular pub grub. the Banger Burger is sure to satisfy hungry carnivores.


Across the harbour in Dartmouth, Jamieson’s Irish Pub on Cumberland Drive is a must for craft-beer lovers, with sixteen taps showcasing Nova Scotia’s best.

Hot Shopping

By Suzanne Rent


Kick off your casual spring wardrobe with a few looks from New Scotland Clothing. Everything used here is sourced in Canada and Nova Scotia, increasing the local appeal on the style. Pick from hoodies and t-shirts for men, women, and kids. Locations on Wentworth Street in Dartmouth, Historic Properties on Lower Water Street, and at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport.


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 meet the company’s commitment to sustainability. The new spring collection features tops in pastel patterns, skinny-cut trousers, and light scarves.

For something outside of the box, visit In a Box on Dresden Row. At this little department store, you’ll find one-of-a-kind and edgy fashions for women. Or browse their collection of stylish accessories such as bracelets, scarves, and handbags. There are also contemporary gifts for weddings, such as wine glasses and decorative decanters or lovely champagne flutes.


Foodies and chefs will love browsing the aisles and shelves at Liquid Gold in the Hydrostone Market or at the Sunnyside Mall in Bedford. Its stock includes oils from South Africa, Italy, Spain, Peru, Portugal, France, Greece, Tunisia, Australia, Chile, and California. At the tasting bar, try extra-virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars from around the world.

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 craftspeople.

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 dietitian is available for consultations and cooking classes.


Maple syrup is the sugar of the season and Acadian Maple in Upper Tantallon is the place 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 them through the season and beyond.

Haskapa in Bishop’s Landing celebrates the deliciousness and nutrition of the haskap berry. This berry is the prime ingredient in all its products, including food items, wine and spirts, gifts, and health and beauty items.


Knitters in the city will love The Loop on Barrington Street, supplying the best yarns for all knitting projects. Find patterns to help make accessories for your own wardrobe or to give as gifts. Sign up for workshops for knitters of every level. L.K. Yarns in the Hydrostone Market on Young Street carries a large stock of yarns in textures and colours aplenty. Yarns, patterns, and accessories come from the best suppliers.

Break free!

From open-air sports to hands-on art, there’s plenty to do this Spring Break in Halifax.

by Janice Hudson

Halifax Emera Oval

Dust off your skates and grab some friends for a free skate at the Emera Oval on the Halifax Common, at the corner of North Park and Cogswell streets. It’s the largest outdoor, artificially refrigerated ice surface east of Quebec City. There are free on-site skate rentals for adults and kids alike (with photo ID), and helmet rentals for children 12 and under. Young kids can snag a handy glider for stability on the ice. Strollers are also welcome. Check out halifax.ca/SkateHRM/index.php for skate times.

There’s more sports action to enjoy at the Scotiabank Centre, including high-octane hockey with the Halifax Mooseheads, the city’s major-junior hockey team. Watch the team take on Charlottetown March 15, Cape Breton on March 17, and Saint John on March 18. For tickets, visit halifaxmooseheads.ca.


The Scotiabank Centre on Duke Street is once again hosting the AUS Basketball Championships from March 3 to March 5. Atlantic Canada’s top university basketball teams battle for the men’s and women’s regional champions. This joint championship was extended another year thanks to the event’s success. The men’s champion will compete in the CIS Final 8 championship at Scotiabank Centre from March 9 to 12.


Drop into the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia on the afternoons of March 15 and March 16 for Sketching in the Gallery. Facilitated by local artists, kids can create their own art using a range of supplied materials. No registration required. March 12 is Family Sunday at the gallery, with more artist led hands-on activities inspired by the gallery’s 3D artworks. Kids can work with clay and other materials to create faces and figures.

From March 11 to 19, The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic hosts Arctic Quest Adventures, inviting youngsters to explore this fascinating region. Sail the ship Baffin through the Northwest Passage in search of fun, art and games. Play traditional Inuit games, sketch the Northern skies, and try interactive stations to challenge your child’s creativity and survival skills. Surf to maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca for more information.


Dragons take centre stage this month at the Museum of Natural History. Here Be Dragons explores the myth, literature, culture, and folklore of these dynamic creatures. As always, check out the museum’s permanent exhibition, Science on a Sphere, to learn about weather, shipping routes, and ocean currents. Visit Gus the gopher tortoise, who has been delighting young patrons for more than 70 years.

Halifax Inside

Shearwater Aviation Museum2

Don’t let a blustery day get you down, Halifax still offers plenty to see and do


By Kim Hart Macneill


·        Avoid winter’s chill inside the Scotiabank Centre and catch a hockey game. The Halifax Mooseheads, the city’s major-junior hockey, plays at home throughout the winter so you have lots of options to watch some action on the ice. Surf halifaxmooseheads.ca for game schedules and to buy tickets.

·        While you’re there, check out the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame, located just off the box office. Celebrating the province’s top athletes, the 7,000-artefact collection features interactive and visual exhibits including the clothes dryer hockey great Sidney Crosby used for shooting practice, multi-sport simulators, and a diverse collection of historical memorabilia and gear.



Playing board games is a classic way to while away a stormy day. The Board Room Game Café, with locations in downtown and Bedford, is the first of its kind in Nova Scotia. This gamers’ haven is home to more than 500 games, and staff are on-hand to help you learn to play something new. Play as many as you like for only $5. Stay a while; the café serves espresso, a locally made soda, and snacks. This spot serves local craft beer too, which means minors are welcome with a guardian until 6 p.m.



·        Make an afternoon of it at one of Halifax’s museums. On Lower Water Street the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic offers a gateway to the past. Discover the age of steamships, The Battle of the Atlantic, and Nova Scotia’s role in the Titanic disaster Canada’s oldest and largest maritime museum.


·        Get to know our natural world at the Museum of Natural History. This institution celebrates the people, landscapes, and wildlife of Nova Scotia. Don’t miss Science on a Sphere. Visitors sit inside the 18-foot round screen to watch visual interpretations of complex data such as sea ice migrations, the world’s largest earthquakes, and live weather representations. Don’t miss Gus! The 94-year-old gopher tortoise usually goes for a walk at 3:30pm.


·        Aviation aficionados will appreciate the compact Shearwater Aviation Museum at CFB Shearwater. In a small chapel at the entrance to this active military base you’ll discover a captivating look at maritime military aviation history from 1918 to now. The museum features static displays, including uniforms through the decades and restored planes of various vintages. Admission is free.


·        Atlantic Canada’s only national museum explores immigration experiences and the role immigration played in building our country. Housed at Pier 21, a National Historic Site, the Canadian Museum of Immigration features permanent and traveling exhibits that highlight this location’s colourful history. Between 1928 and 1971, one million immigrants passed through this gateway to Canada. During the Second World War it was a departure point for 500,000 military personnel.



Thousands of square feet of trampoline await you at Get Air Nova Scotia on Windmill Road. Kids of all ages will delight at the feeling of flying as they soar through the air. In addition to the trampoline, check out the slackline tightrope and the Ninja Course, a race through a maze of walls and trampolines.



Grab a group of friends and test your problem-solving skills against the clock at one of Halifax’s escape rooms. Solve the clues in under-an-hour to escape the room. Captured Escape Rooms on Barrington Street offers eight different puzzles to keep you guessing. Add a touch of local flavour to your adventure with Halifax-explosion themed The Great Escape on North Street. It’s Halifax Explosion-themed room mixes history and mystery while encouraging you to solve the puzzle.

Hot Entertainment



January 26 to March 9

The Savour Food & Wine Festival is a must for serious foodies, offering a series of unique events celebrating Nova Scotia’s culinary scene. Highlights include Imbibe: A Cocktail Event (January 26), Decadence: Chocolate, Wine & Cheese (February 9), Rare & Fine Wine (February 24), Craft Beer Cottage Party (February 25), and the Savour Food & Wine Show (March 9).



·         January 19 to 22: In the Dead of Winter is a favourite with serious music fans. The acoustic-music festival features established and up-and-coming artists at venues around the city. This year’s roster includes Andrea Ramolo, Dan Misha Goldman, Jennifer Castle, Jim Bryson, and others.

·         January 29: Cecilia Concerts hosts a matinee performance by the Helios Vocal Ensemble. One of Atlantic Canada’s top a capella ensembles, they perform sacred and secular music, specializing in Renaissance polyphony (a fluid and unifying musical style).

·         February 10: The Dartmouth Community Concert Association presents Duo Fortin-Poirier. Pianists Amélie Fortin and Marie-Christine Poirier share the stage for 1 Piano, 4 Hands.



February 14

Renowned repertory dance company BJM comes to the Dalhousie Arts Centre for a unique one-night-only Live Art Dance performance. Displaying its “radiant and expressive style,” BJM explores the creative side of contemporary trends while staying true to classical aesthetics. This show will delight new dance fans and long-time aficionados.



February 18 and 19

Astronaut Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian commander of the International Space Station, became an international celebrity thanks to his fascinating, funny, and musical broadcasts from space. He joins Symphony Nova Scotia for two concerts at the Dalhousie Arts Centre performing iconic themes from Apollo 13, E.T., and Star Wars, along with his personal songs, including his biggest YouTube hit, a cover version of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.”



February 9 to 12

The Halifax International Boat Show at Halifax Exhibition Centre on Prospect Road brings together boats and equipment from across eastern Canada: watercraft of all shapes and sizes, marine equipment, marine engines, electronics and accessories, docks, and more.




February 15

The Arkells used to open for local boy Matt Mays. Now they take Halifax’s biggest stage themselves, headlining an evening at Scotiabank Centre that also includes Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls. The Hamilton rockers are best known for hits like “11:11,” “Never Thought That This Would Happen,” and “Come to Light.”



January 10

Symphony Nova Scotia

Music meets media in Behind the Sound of Music, featuring guest composer Nicole Lizée’s unorthodox take on The Sound of Music.


January 12

Halifax Hurricanes

The hometown heroes take on the Island Storm in minor-pro hoops action at Scotiabank Centre on Duke Street.


January 21

Shaun Majumder

A night of stand-up comedy at Casino Nova Scotia with the popular Newfoundland native and This Hour Has 22 Minutes veteran.


February 3

Matt Minglewood

A mainstay of the Maritime blues-rock scene for a generation, Minglewood is a local favourite. See him in at Casino Nova Scotia.


February 24

Measha Brueggergosman

The acclaimed soprano returns to the Dalhousie Arts Centre, sharing a collection of songs about emancipation, family, faith, and discovery.


February 26

Cecilia Concerts

Soprano Rebecca Caine recreates British leading ladies of London’s West End musical theatre, including Les Misérables, Phantom of the Opera, and My Fair Lady.

Hot Shopping

Choco Cafe

By Suzanne Rent

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



  • 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. Sold at the Seaport Market, Pete’s Frootique, Local Source, Organic Earth Market and at Noggin’s at the Alderney Market.
  • Cocoa and Honey makes everything from artisan bars and truffles to candied nuts and dessert 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.
  • Inspired by Newfoundland culture, Newfoundland Chocolate Company mixes its sweet treats with whimsy and fun. The packaging is designed with Newfoundland sayings such as “oh me nerves” or with the well-known jellybean homes of St. John’s. Inside the chocolate are Newfoundland flavours like partridgeberries or bakeapple. The gelato and truffles are made at the Sunnyside Mall location. Other locations at Mic Mac Mall and Halifax Shopping Centre.
  • Gourmandises Avenue Chocolaterie in the Seaport Market 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 Café Chocolate Boutique and Espresso Bar is the place to for chocolate lovers to relax. Buy a rich hot cocoa that includes a flavour shot such as marshmallow or hazelnut. Browse the boutique for gifts of chocolate. Chocolate favours available for weddings, baby showers, or corporate events. The chocolate is Belgium and mixed with various flavours.


Props Floral Design in the Hydrostone (page xx) can create an arrangement for a loved one or to brighten up your home during the winter. Eclectic and classic designs for every season and space. Check out the gift certificates or classes in making flower arrangements.
My Mother’s Bloomers offers fresh flower arrangements, fine giftware, and permanent botanicals. Pick up a cluster arrangement, seasonal vase arrangement, or a Bloomers original design. Designer planters include potted orchids or custom dish garden. Join in on a class to learn how to make some of the designs yourself.


Editor’s Choice


At Fireworks Gallery on Barringston Street, talented 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.

Hot Dining

Weird Harbour 2

By Kim Hart Macneill


·         Two If By Sea Café is a bright morning beacon to under-caffeinated commuters. Its two locations, Portland Street in Dartmouth and Historic Properties near the Halifax Transit ferry terminal, serve up house-roasted coffee and bakery fare that will warm you up on cold mornings. Try the pain au chocolat.

·         Downtown welcomed a new café this fall, Weird Harbour on Barrington Street. This laid-back locale is decked in wood for an authentic East Coast vibe. Ask for an espresso and a molasses cookie, and then snag a window seat to watch the world go by.



Foodies flock to Highwayman Restaurant & Bar on Barrington Street for Spanish-inspired share plates and original cocktails. This cozy, up-market option serves a menu of seafood, cured meats, cheeses, and more. Save room for a decadent dessert and something from the carefully-curated wine list.



·         Come hungry to Darrell’s Restaurant on Fenwick Street. This joint is known for sizable, gourmet burgers. A local favourite is the Hawaiian Burger featuring Angus Beef topped with teriyaki-marinated pineapple, mozzarella cheese, BBQ sauce, and an onion ring lei.

·         Go back in time at the True North Diner in Bedford Place Mall. This 1950s-themed dinner dishes up burgers, fries, shakes, and more. The classic dinner section of the menu highlights home-style fare such as meatloaf, fish cakes, and all-day breakfast.



·         Tucked into a petite Clayton Park strip mall, you’ll discover 9 + Nine. This Chinese eatery is compact, but offers ample options. You’ll find the expected Sweet and Sour Chicken, but also an array of tofu dishes, fried buns, and dumplings.

·         Cheelin Restaurant, near the historic Keith’s Brewery, presents an extensive lunch buffet from 11:30am to 2:30pm every Friday. Enjoy a selection of Szechuan and Beijing dishes made with local ingredients.



·         Tom’s Family Restaurant in Lower Sackville is a crowd pleaser with menu options for all ages. This spacious spot offers sandwiches and wraps, burgers, seafood, and a few Greek options. The kids’ menu features favourites such as chicken fingers, pita pizza, and grill cheese.

·         New offering Stone Pizza on Alderney Drive in Dartmouth offers small dinners the opportunity to customize their own nine-inch pizza and watch it be made. In addition to a long list of cheese, vegetable, and meat toppings, this spot offers gluten-free crusts. Plus old-school sodas from the Pop Shoppe.




The Foggy Goggle left its long-time digs on Argyle Street last month and headed for North End Halifax. The new location offers the Goggle additional space to feed more hungry folks its menu of comfort food with attitude, including the Thai Peanut Burger and Jalapeno and Bacon Mac and Cheese.

Holly Jolly Halifax

Music, theatre, parades, and celebrations galore—the city is abuzz with holiday excitement


By Trevor J. Adams

November and December are lively months in Halifax, with dozens of special events to celebrate the holiday season. Read on for our favourites—with an exciting mix traditional classics and new events, there’s plenty here for the whole family.



The Holiday Parade of Lights on November 19 marks the unofficial start of the holiday season in Halifax, as some 100,000 spectators line downtown streets to see dozens of floats and musical acts. Back downtown on November 26, Grand Parade square in front of Halifax City Hall hosts the city’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting, a family-friendly celebration with live entertainment and a visit from Santa. Also on November 26 (and 27), Halifax Citadel National Historic Site hosts its annual Victorian Christmas, sharing Christmas traditions dating back to colonial days. The party moves across the harbour the next weekend, as the park at Sullivan’s Pond hosts the Dartmouth Christmas Tree Lighting  on December 3, where the highlights include the Santa Claus Express Train and fireworks.



Symphony Nova Scotia offers holiday concerts galore. Things start with singer/songwriter David Myles joining the orchestra on December 2 and 3. They’ll perform a mix of Christmas classics and original tunes. Up next is perennial favourite The Nutcracker (presented with Mermaid Theatre and Halifax Dance) running from December 9 to 11 and 15 to 18. Another annual rite of the season, Handel’s Messiah, rounds out the schedule on December 22 and 23. A King’s Christmas is back on December 13. A special guest narrator joins the King’s College Chapel Choir at All Saint’s Cathedral on Martello Street for seasonal songs and stories. Paul Halley directs The holidays get a Celtic twist on December 19, as the Barra MacNeils perform A Cape Breton Christmas at the Dalhousie Arts Centre.



December sees the return of a popular holiday-themed comedy event on December 9 and 10 The annual Ha Ha Halidays event comes to the World Trade and Convention Centre on December 11 and 12, with a lineup that includes comedian Greg Morton, a buffet dinner, and live music with Asia & NuGruv.



Neptune Theatre’s long-awaited holiday production begins on November 22 and continues until December 31. Artistic director George Pothitos adapts the Christmas classic Miracle on 34th Street for the stage. The holiday pantomime at Theatre Arts Guild is another seasonal mainstay. It’s always a lively, rollicking show with lots of audience participation. This year, The Frog Prince—A Webbed Pantomime runs from November 24 to December 10.



Grand Parade Square in front of Halifax City Hall on Barrington Street hosts a lively all-ages party beginning at 10:30pm. Performers include Neon Dreams, Christina Martin, Christine Campbell, and Atlantic Cirque. At midnight, the East Coasts’s largest New Year’s Eve fireworks show welcomes 2017.

Hot Entertainment


November 4 to 6

Hal-Con, Atlantic Canada’s biggest sci-fi convention, returns to the World Trade and Convention Centre on Argyle Street. This year’s guest roster includes Phil LaMarr (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Futurama), Gates McFadden (Star Trek: The Next Generation), Ajay Fry (Innerspace), Natalia Tena (Harry Potter, Game of Thrones), and many others. There will be games, photo and autograph sessions, Q&As, a vendors’ market, screenings, a costume contest, and more.



December 6

The Halifax Explosion Memorial at the Fort Needham Bell Tower on Novalea Drive, marks the 99th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion. The explosion, the result of a collision involving an ammunition ship on Halifax Harbour, killed thousands and devastated much of the city. To learn more about the disaster, visit the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic on Lower Water Street.



November 25

Acerbic and edgy, Ron James is a Canadian comedy favourite and regular headliner at Montreal’s famous Just For Laughs festival. See him at the Dalhousie Arts Centre on University Avenue.



·         November 13: Cecilia Concerts presents A Pocket of Time, a musical tribute to Pulitzer Prize winning poet Elizabeth Bishop, featuring Suzie LeBlanc (soprano), Blue Engine String Quartet, and Robert Kortgaard (piano).

·         November 24: The eponymous violinist joins Symphony Nova Scotia for Jonathan Crow and Appalachian Spring, showcasing some of North America’s biggest symphonic hits.

·         November 25: Tenor David Pomeroy and pianist Tara Scott share the Dartmouth Community Concert Association stage at Woodlawn United Church in Dartmouth.



November 8

Lisa Fischer and Grand Baton makes a rare visit to the East Coast. The Grammy-winning R&B star is sure to offer fans an intimate, memorable show.




December 31
The Halifax Mooseheads, the city’s major-junior hockey heroes return from their Christmas break, hosting Cape Breton at the Scotiabank Centre on Duke Street.


Editor’s Choice


December 8 to 10

Live Art Dance Productions presents Major Motion Picture at the Dalhousie Arts Centre. Contemporary-dance duo Out Innerspace (David Raymond and Tiffany Trengarthen) return to Halifax with an innovative new work.



November 4

Carroll Baker

The Canadian country-music legend takes the stage in Casino Nova Scotia’s Schooner Showroom.

November 10

Rodney Carrington

One of Texas’s hottest entertainment exports, Carrington brings his Here Comes the Truth stand-up comedy tour to Halifax.

November 26

George Canyon

A Nova Scotia native, Canyon is one of Canadian country’s hottest acts. See him at Casino Nova Scotia.

December 12, 13

Tis the season

Wife-and-husband comedy team Bette MacDonald and Maynard Morrison return to the Dalhousie Arts Centre with their annual Christmas show.

December 14

Hawksley Workman

The indie-rock singer/songwriter offers a concert at St. Matthew’s Church on Barrington Street celebrating “Christmas, community, family, and singing.

December 31

Dallas Smith

Ring in the New Year at Casino Nova Scotia with one of Canada’s hottest rock-country crossover stars.

Hot Dining

By Kim Hart Macneill


  • In between burst of shopping, keep the cravings at bay with a satisfying meal. Relish Gourmet Burgers offers two locations, Quinpool Road and Larry Uteck Boulevard, to sate you with hand-crafted burgers (including a vegetarian option), fries, onion rings, and more.
  • I Love Pho on the Bedford Highway presents a host of Vietnamese noodle soups to keep you warm. In addition to eight pho options, the menu features vermicelli dishes, plus che ba mau, a sweet dessert drink made with mung bean, coconut milk, and tapioca.



  • The Gahan House on the Halifax waterfront offers seven regular house-made brews, from the light Beach Chair Lager to the full-bodied Sydney Street Premium Stout. Brewmaster Kyle Jeppsen creates new seasonal offerings all the time, so treat yourself to a tasting flight.
  • In Dartmouth, Battery Park Beer Bar & Eatery offers small plates, cheese boards, and mains such as BBQ ribs and gnocchi with local beers. This spot features 13 rotating East Coast taps, including an array of options from North Brewing Company located downstairs.



Elements at the Westin Nova Scotian on Hollis Street hosts two holiday brunch series this season. The Holiday Lunch Buffet happens on Thursdays and Fridays from Nov. 24 to Dec 16. The fabulous festive spread includes turkey with all the trimmings. Sundays, from Nov. 27 to Dec. 18, the Festive Holiday Brunch offers an array of local favourites and festive dishes. Both buffets highlight seasonal desserts including yule log and Christmas pudding.



Tucked into the petite Halliburton hotel on Morris Street you’ll find Stories Restaurant, a fine-dining establishment known for attention to detail. Enjoy regional haute cuisine, a careful curated wine list, and artful desserts. Reserve a spot in the cozy library to dine by firelight.



  • Spend the last few hours of 2016 at Grafton Street Dinner Theatre. The evening features a four-course meal during a performance of Home of the Holidays. After the show, stick around for live music and dancing, midnight champagne, party favours, and hors d’oeuvres.
  • Lion and Bright on Agricola Street will host its annual NYE get-together. Choose from the early or late seating, and enjoy a five-course tasting menu (with optional vegetarian picks) and a glass of champagne to ring in the New Year.



The Vine’s Pasta Grill on Panavista Drive in Cole Harbour is an ideal spot to wind-down a hectic day. Enjoy made to order dishes paired with Nova Scotian wines in an relaxed, upscale atmosphere. Save room for dessert because there’s always an array of fresh delights to try.

Hot Shopping

By Suzanne Rent


  • Christmas at the Forum at the Halifax Forum on Windsor Street has been a holiday tradition in the city for 39 years. This three-day festival, which runs from Nov. 4 to 6, offers shoppers a chance to pick up unique gifts, decorations, food, antiques and more. Browse the aisles of this three-building venue for quality arts and crafts made by artisans from around the region. On the Saturday, admission is two-for-one after 5pm.
  • Visit the Christkindlmarket from Dec. 2 to 4 at Alderney Market on downtown Dartmouth’s waterfront, where the Halifax Transit ferries dock. This traditional German market features crafts, toys, and other arts and crafts, but also a lively assortment of holiday entertainment. Take the kids to see the marionettes, carousel, and musical acts.
  • From Nov. 18 to 20, Nova Scotia Designer Crafts Council hosts its annual Christmas Show at Pier 23 on Halifax’s waterfront. This show promotes buying local gifts handcrafted by regional artisans. Find the best in textiles, jewelry, as well as arts and crafts made from wood, metal, and glass.
  • The Dalplex Christmas Craft Market is another longstanding holiday favourite. Dating back 30 years, this event features vendors from across Atlantic Canada selling wares such as pottery, toys, food, and woodwork. This year’s event runs from Nov. 25 to 27.
  • From Nov. 11 to 13, take a drive to the Halifax Exhibition Centre on Prospect Road for the Christmas Craft Village. This is another way to support local artisans while finding unique holiday gifts for everyone on your list.


  • 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, activewear and gear, stop into Twiggz in Mic Mac Mall. Shop for durable and stylish winter boots, as well as rain boots for the spring season. Pick up gloves, hats, and other winter gear to keep them warm. Dance gear, including leotards, tights, and shoes, are always in stock.


  • Rousseau Chocolatier on Hollis Street serves up handcrafted chocolates made with the finest, freshest, and when possible, locally sourced ingredients. Flavours included everything from peanut butter cranberry to smoky chili. Pick a couple dozen for a gift-wrapped box.
  • Sugar Shok Treat Boutique on Portland Street in Dartmouth has more than 50 types of bulk candy, and chocolate bars from around the world. That’s more than enough to satisfy any sweet tooth. Find funky gifts, including magnets, greeting cards, and home décor. There’s also ice cream served year round.

Editor’s Pick


Make your holiday a celebration of local talent with a visit to Made in the Maritimes Artisan Boutique in Sunnyside Mall or the Hydrostone. Shop the beautiful selection of local, fine art and paintings by artists from around the region. Quirky cushions made of rich textiles feature nautical logos or regional sayings. A beauty section includes products made from natural ingredients.

Hot Dining


By Kim Hart Macneill

Bottoms up
• Rockbottom Brew Pub on Spring Garden Road highlights house-made beers and offers live entertainment most nights. Pair a hearty burger with the Stay or Go dark mild, or the curried chicken penne with Fathom IPA.
• For a classic Nova Scotian experience, try The Old Triangle Irish Ale House on Prince Street. This boisterous spot is known for live Celtic music and traditional pub grub. The menu features an unofficial provincial beer tour with local breweries aplenty.

Weekend feasts
• Cora is known nationwide for titanic breakfasts served with towers of freshly cut fruit. Halifax offers five locations to get your fill. From eggs Benedict to savoury crepes, and teen favourites like the brunch burger, you’ll wonder how to decide on just one plate.
• Dartmouth visitors can discover local favourite Nena’s All Day Breakfast on Wyse Road. This old-school dinner serves-up classic breakfasts like steak and eggs and pancakes. Or try something different: the breakfast poutine features hashbrowns mixed with diced bacon and sausage, smothered in Hollandaise sauce and topped with two eggs any style.

Sushi salvo
• One of Halifax’s best-known sushi houses, Sushi Nami Royal, offers four locations for fine Japanese cuisine. In addition to the expected rolls, the menu features a host of innovative creations, and a wide array of hot Japanese dishes.
• New on the sushi scene is Kitsune Food Co. on Young Street. This pint-sized eatery is built for take-out with only 4 seats, but those who dine-in get a show. Long-time restaurateur Ami Goto produces sushi, dumplings, and other home-style eats in full view of the counter.

Afternoon elegance
Take an afternoon off from sight-seeing for high tea at Ma Belle’s Café on Octerloney Street. Reservations are required (and worth it). Enjoy your choice of coffee or tea alongside an elegant high-tea stand featuring dainty sandwiches, raisin scones, jam, and assorted squares and treats.

Sublime seafood
• Hidden away in a strip mall on Oland Cres. in Bayers Lake sits Fredie’s Fantastic Fish House. The whole eatery seats only 12. The casual stop is small but the portions aren’t. A two-piece fish and chips features two sizable pieces of lightly battered haddock with a mountain of chips.
• Waterfront Warehouse on Lower Water Street is a downtown favourite for a seafood feast. Housed in a historic building, this restaurant boasts the city’s largest selection of oysters. The Atlantic lobster dinner is a must-try, and the seafood tower artfully displays the bounty of local seafood. Reserve a spot near the fireplace for a romantic evening, or a large octagonal booth for larger parties.

Editor’s Pick
Taste of Turkey
New bistro-cafe Agora Café Bistro on Agricola Street offers an array of light lunches in a cozy, light-filled atmosphere. The menu is largely foods from Turkey’s Aegean region: Borek, a phyllo pastry filled with vegetables, meat, or both; lacha paratha, a flat bread that requires 12 hours of resting time before baking; and moon cookies filled with raisins, chocolate, and walnuts.