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Halifax

August Hot Dining

By Janice Hudson

Top of the worldIMG_20150529_200028654_HDR-resized

Perched on the top floor of the new Halifax Central Library on Spring Garden Road, Pavia Espresso Bar & Café has incredible panoramic views of downtown Halifax and the harbour. There’s ample seating in the café or you can take your coffee outside on the terrace and check out the sedums growing on the living roof. Modelled after a European espresso bar, the café features locally roasted coffee, Italian espresso and gourmet paninis, plus fresh-baked treats.

Suds of summer

Photo: Tammy Fancy

Photo: Tammy Fancy

The Henry House on Barrington Street is the go-to-spot for a relaxed night out with friends. Park yourself on the sunny patio and pick from an extensive list of beer, including craft ales from the award-winning Granite Brewery.
•Chill out with a cold brew at Rogue’s Roost, a second-level brewpub tucked away uptown on Spring Garden Road. Pick from a variety of beers made on-site, including a popular Russian imperial stout.
•Downtown on Grafton Street, head to The Maxwell’s Plum for the city’s largest selection of draft beer. The 60 beers on tap include top East Coast brews from Moncton’s Pump House Brewery and Cape Breton’s Big Spruce.

Editor’s choice

Photo: Tammy Fancy

Photo: Tammy Fancy

One of Halifax’s busiest Thai restaurants, Talay Thai is enjoying its new digs on the corner of Hollis and Morris streets in Halifax’s South End. Now wheelchair accessible, the refurbished space boasts the same flavourful Thai cuisine that built the restaurant’s loyal following. The inexpensive lunch menu features many signature dishes like masaman curry and pad thai.

Cold comfort

•The made-local trend hits ice cream at Halifax’s two Humani-T cafés: on Young Street in the North End and uptown on Spring Garden Road. Both make small-batch gelato on-site, including milk-free sorbettos. Flavours change daily but always feature fresh local ingredients.
•Visit Sugah at Bishop’s Landing on Halifax’s Waterfront or in the Halifax Public Gardens for hand-paddled ice cream. Choose a base ice cream flavour and then add in mixings (try the brownA sugar fudge—the candy here is made on-site). And then watch staff paddle it all together on a frozen marble slab.

Photo: Janice Hudson

Photo: Janice Hudson

•The sweet smell of fresh-pressed waffle cones will lure you to Cow’s Ice Cream on the Halifax waterfront in the Historic Properties. Don’t be put off if there’s a line—it’s worth waiting. Choose from over 30 ice cream flavours, many with playful names linking back to the company’s P.E.I.’s roots.

Classic cuisineIMG_0802-resized

A staple of Halifax’s West End dining scene for more than 30 years, Athens Restaurant on Quinpool Road boasts a menu of flavourful Greek specialties like lamb souvlaki, moussaka, spanakopita and calamari. It’s also a popular breakfast spot on the weekends.

Summer explorations

By Trevor J. Adams

Whether you’re soaring above it all, watching history come alive, or sampling a fine wine, Halifax is perfectly located for day-trip adventures

GRAPE ADVENTURES

Photo: NS Tourism Agency

Discover Nova Scotian wines in the Annapolis Valley. Photo: NS Tourism Agency

Over the last few years, Nova Scotia has become Canada’s hottest new wine destination. Vintners around the province are producing outstanding wines in a variety of styles, to international acclaim. Conveniently, you’ll find several of those wineries in the Annapolis Valley, about a 90-minute drive northwest of Halifax. The friendly wineries, many in spectacular natural settings, include Avondale Sky, Benjamin Bridge, Gaspereau, L’Acadie, Blomidon Estates, Grand Pré and many others. Recently, the province’s wineries joined forces to launch “Tidal Bay,” Nova Scotia’s first wine appellation. A crisp, aromatic white wine, it pairs perfectly with fresh Atlantic seafood. To use the Tidal Bay designation, a wine must be made from specific grape varieties (all Nova Scotian grown), follow a strict set of standards and be approved every year by an independent blind tasting panel. Pro-tip: Leave the car behind and book a tour with a company like Grape Escapes or Ambassatours Gray Line.  winesofnovascotia.ca

TIME TRAVEL

Photo: NS Tourism Agency

Explore the past at Memory Lane Heritage Village. Photo: NS Tourism Agency

A 50-minute drive east of Halifax on Highway 7, the Memory Lane Heritage Village brings Nova Scotia’s past to life, re-creating a typical 1940s Nova Scotian fishing village. The 17 restored buildings include a mill, barn, mine, general store, church and homestead. History buffs will love the Archives Research Centre (but book an appointment in advance). The village hosts special events throughout the year; take in the sounds of the Atlantic Canada Harmonica Festival on August 15. There are lessons for beginners, masterclasses, concerts and more. www.heritagevillage.ca

CATCH THE WAVE

Race the waves on the Shubenacadie River. Photo: NS Tourism Agency

Race the waves on the Shubenacadie River. Photo: NS Tourism Agency

With each cycle of the tides, the mighty waters of the Bay of Fundy surge back into the Shubenacadie River, offering a unique opportunity to go tidal-bore rafting. Few areas in the world are blessed with the high tides necessary to offer this unique adventure. Numerous companies take daily tours from the Shubenacadie and Maitland areas (a 45- to 60-minute drive north of Halifax). On high-powered Zodiac boats, you’ll race out to meet the rushing waves and crest over them, splash around and experience the power of nature firsthand. Pro-tip: Plan your visit around the full moon for the highest tides and wildest ride. www.novascotia.com

ABOVE IT ALL

Peggy’s Cove lighthouse is a must-see for visitors. Photo: NS Tourism Agency

Peggy’s Cove lighthouse is a must-see for visitors. Photo: NS Tourism Agency

Explore Nova Scotia as few do with a helicopter tour from Vision Air Services. Narrated tours will zoom you to the Bay of Fundy, Peggy’s Cove or the Eastern Shore. Custom itineraries available. Or you can waft along at a slower pace with East Coast Balloon Adventures, departing from the heart of the Annapolis Valley (usually near New Minas, a 75-minute drive northwest of Halifax on Highway 101). Flying daily (when conditions permit) at dawn and dusk, the hot-air balloon soars as high as 610 metres above the ground, usually travelling three to 20 kilometres, depending on winds. The ride costs $275 per passenger, with the balloon carrying four passengers plus the pilot. www.eastcoastballoonadventures.com

SEASIDE SIGHTS
Drive about 45 minutes west of Halifax on Route 333, and you’ll find one of Nova Scotia’s most-photographed sites: the iconic lighthouse, perched on the rocks above the Atlantic in the fishing village of Peggy’s Cove. In fair or foul weather, this is a must-see destination. There’s lots of space to clamber around the shore and take in the ocean’s beauty, but stay well clear of waves and slippery rocks. After you putter around the working fishing village, visiting shops and galleries, enjoy a slice of the signature gingerbread at the Sou’wester restaurant.

GO WEST

Historic Lunenburg is renowned for its distinctive and well preserved historic buildings. Photo: NS Tourism Agency

Historic Lunenburg is renowned for its distinctive and well preserved historic buildings. Photo: NS Tourism Agency

Continuing west, the Lighthouse Route wends its way to the picturesque village of Lunenburg, an hour’s drive on Highway 103. This historic community with its lovingly maintained architecture is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Great dining abounds, including the Old Fish Factory Restaurant and the Knot Pub. See Nova Scotia’s world-class sailing ambassador, the Bluenose II. Lunenburg is the iconic schooner’s home port and after extensive renovations, the vessel is again open to the public. On the waterfront, the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic tells how life on the sea shaped generations of Maritimers. museum.gov.ns.ca/fma

 

 

August Concierge Q&A

Stephen Morris has worked in the hospitality industry for over 20 years, starting out in Lake Louise, Alberta as a bellman. In the past nine years, he’s returned to the role of concierge and has been an active member of Les Clefs d’Or, Atlantic Region. He sees himself as “an ambassador” for the Prince George Hotel and the city of Halifax.

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What’s your favourite way to spend a summer afternoon in Halifax?

My idea of a great summer afternoon in Halifax is head to the waterfront and the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market. Grab a wrap to go at Wrap So D and head out to one of the many sit-down spots and enjoy the sun. Then I would move on down the boardwalk and enjoy a sweet waffle cone from Sugah. Your stroll along the waterfront will burn off all those tasty calories, unless you head back for a second scoop.

What’s the best place to find a locally made Halifax souvenir?

My go-to place for my guests is Amos Pewter in the Historic Properties on Lower Water Street. So many handcrafted gifts and souvenirs that truly embody Nova Scotia. You are sure to find something to take home with you.

What’s your pick for this month’s can’t-miss events?

If you like live music and outdoor fun you won’t want to miss the Dutch Mason Blues Festival happening in Alderney Landing in Dartmouth from August 7 to 9. Located right on the waterfront, it’s a short ride from downtown on the Halifax Transit ferry.

If you had one day in Halifax, how would you spend it?

I would wake up and head over to Steve-O-Reno’s on Brunswick Street and grab a coffee and a bite then head up towards the Halifax Public Gardens and enjoy a nice stroll, a breath of fresh air and take in the beautiful scenery. I would then head over to the Halifax Citadel and watch the firing of the Noon Gun… As I make my way to the waterfront I would grab a bite to eat at Durty Nelly’s on Argyle Street and enjoy a cold beer on the patio. After that I would head to Murphy’s The Cable Wharf where I would get on the Harbour Hopper and enjoy a fun, fact-filled tour of the city and harbour. To top the day off I would relax with a glass of wine and some excellent food at The Bicycle Thief, located in Bishop’s Landing on the waterfront.

What’s your favourite spot for a romantic dinner for two in Halifax?

My recommendation would be The Press Gang on Prince Street. It offers an excellent menu and the lighting is dimmed for a truly romantic ambience. If you are dining on a Friday or Saturday, you will be treated to the jazzy Mike Cowie Trio as you enjoy your meal.

Hot Dining in July!

By Janice Hudson

 

THE BIG SCOOP

DeeDees-Dennis-Evans-003

In the North End on Cornwallis Street, Dee Dee’s Ice Cream has been leading the Halifax charge for artisanal ice cream made with locally sourced ingredients like rhubarb, blueberries and Haskap berries. With its large historic windows, colourful décor and cozy booths, the place has an old-fashioned ice cream-parlour vibe. At Bishop’s Landing on the Halifax Waterfront, handmade gelato is the star of the Italian desserts at Ristorante a Mano and the Bicycle Thief. Both spots offer daily handmade gelato and sorbetto flavours, as well as gelato desserts based on Old World classics. You can also order gelato by the scoop at the counter.

 

 

SOUL FOOD

Bearlys-photo-11For over 25 years, Bearly’s House of Blues on Barrington Street has hosted great live blues and jazz. There are shows almost every night at this busy venue: on Sundays, join local music buffs for Bearly’s Blues Jam; on Tuesdays, a different guest band takes the stage. With Ace Burger at the helm in the kitchen, gourmet burgers and hand-cut fries are the specialty.

Editor’s Choice

Tucked behind The Halliburton Hotel on MorrisGarden-2006_b
Street on one of Halifax’s most historic blocks
is an oasis of flowers and ornamental trees. Tall
elms provide shade and there’s even a bubbling
fountain. The Stories courtyard is open Tuesday
through Saturday from 4pm to 7pm. Enjoy flavourful
menu items from Chef Scott Vail featuring
fresh local ingredients.

 

Local Favourite

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A North End landmark since 1932, Smith’s Bakery & Café on Agricola Street is Halifax’s oldest independent bakery, offering all manner of breads, cookies, cakes, biscuits and squares, freshly baked on-site. Smith’s uses the same Hobart mixer (a large commercial mixer) from that era for its white cake. Pop in for breakfast or lunch and choose from hearty sandwiches, chowders and potpies, and enjoy your meal among the scent of freshly baked bread.

 

SOUTHERN COMFORT

Boneheads1

– At Boneheads BBQ on Barrington Street, authentic Southern flavours abound in barbecue classics like brisket, pulled pork and baby-back ribs, all hand-rubbed with spices and slow-roasted

– Woody’s Bar-B-Q in Hector Gate, Dartmouth Crossing has a menu of authentic Southern classics, from baby-back ribs to pulled pork, among much more. On Mondays, kids eat for free from 3pm to close. Recently renovated, the restaurant now has a children’s play area.

SERIOUS ABOUT SEAFOOD

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For a waterfront view and fresh seafood galore, Salty’s on Upper Water Street is hard to top. The seafood offerings cover all of the bases: crab cakes, lobster, bacon-wrapped scallops and more.

Perched on the end of Cable Wharf, Murphy’s The Cable Wharf is another must-visit spot for seafood connoisseurs. The big patio with ocean on three sides is an ideal spot to while away a sunny afternoon while noshing on fresh mussels and seafood chowder.

Concierge Q&A for July

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Trevor MacRae is an executive host and concierge at Casino Nova Scotia. A Cape Breton native, he came to Halifax to study at Dalhousie University and made the city his home. He recently become a professional affiliate with Les Clefs d’Or Atlantic and has been part of the organization for two years.

What’s your pick for July’s can’t-miss event for visitors?
I always look forward to the Halifax International Jazz Festival. It’s a music lover’s paradise: jazz, blues, R&B and much more! It’s the oldest jazz festival in Atlantic Canada, celebrating 29 years of worldclass music from July 8 to 12 at 14 stages around Halifax.

What’s your favourite patio for relaxing on a summer afternoon?
One of my favourite patios in the city is at The Old Triangle Irish Alehouse on Prince Street. A block away from the waterfront, it’s a great spot to soak up the sun, sample some delicious Irish-inspired food and take in the Celtic atmosphere.

What’s Halifax’s best venue for live music?
I’m a music enthusiast and my favourite spot for live music in Halifax is The Carleton bar and grill on Argyle Street. It won three East Coast Music Awards for venue of the year, which is a huge feat with so many great music venues on the East Coast.

If you only had one day in Halifax, how would you spend it?
I would start the day off by going to the Halifax Seaport Farmer’s Market. There you will find everything from fresh local meat, fruits and vegetables to handmade local crafts and jewellery.

While in the South End of Halifax, I would take a stroll through Point Pleasant Park, one of the most picturesque parks in the city with magnificent views of the harbour. The afternoon would entail a tour on the Harbour Hopper, which is an amphibious vehicle that will provide a historical tour of much of downtown Halifax.

Afterwards, I would go to dinner on the waterfront at The Bicycle Thief, capping the night off by sampling some of the exceptional craft beers that the Maritimes have to offer at the Stubborn Goat on Grafton Street.

What’s one meal every visitor to Halifax should try?
If you are visiting the East Coast you should partake in some of our fabulous seafood. I would suggest the Seafood Tower at the Agricola Street Brasserie. The dish has an assortment of seafood and is definitely one of the best meals in the city.

Hot shopping in July!

By Suzanne Rent

BEAUTY BRANDS

Aritzia-2Brand new to Halifax, Aritzia in the Halifax Shopping Centre is the go-to place for fashionistas who love excellent design, top quality and great prices. Featured brands include Talula, Community, Le Fou, La Notte, The Castings and Auxiliary.

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CATCH OF THE DAY

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For a fresh feed of lobster (live, packed for travel, or boiled and ready for a picnic), visit Fisherman’s Market International Inc. on the Bedford Highway. The bountiful Atlantic seafood also includes snow crab, halibut, oysters, scallops, shrimp or other delicacies from the Atlantic. There’s also smoked salmon or mackerel, and novelty items such as hats, mugs and hoodies. If you’re headed home, drop into Clearwater at Halifax Stanfield International Airport to pick up some freshly packed lobster for the trip. Grab all the condiments and accessories you need for a delicious souvenir to enjoy when you arrive home. (Also an ideal gift for house-sitters.)

 

FOR WHAT ALES YOU

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The Garrison Beer Store located at Garrison Brewing on
Marginal Road is the place to pick up one of the acclaimed brews from a
granddaddy of the Halifax craft-beer scene. Find bottled beer, growlers
and party kegs. Or get a “Mixed 6” of your favourite flavours. You can
even try a sample before you purchase.

At the Prop Shop inside Propeller Brewing Company on
Gottingen Street or Windmill Road, find all the beer gear you need, such
as hats, t-shirts, hoodies, and glasses. And of course, there’s beer too, in
single-serve bottles, six packs, bombers and growlers.

 

 

OFF TO MARKET

Seaport

With more than 250 vendors, the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market on Marginal Road has the best offerings of the season and the city in one stop. There is fresh produce from local farms, fish caught from local waters, Nova Scotian wine and craft beer, and wares produced by artisans from around the province. Just a short Halifax Transit ferry ride away from downtown Halifax is the Alderney Landing Farmers’ Market on Ochterloney Street in Dartmouth. Open Saturday and Sundays, this indoor market offers everything from baked goods and produce, arts and crafts and homemade fudge.

 

FLOWER POWER

pots

Bring the best blossoms of summer inside with an arrangement from Props Floral Design in The Hydrostone neighbourhood on Young Street. Or sign up for a class to learn to make your own custom creations. For flowery summer gift ideas, visit My Mother’s Bloomers (page 70) in Spring Garden Place (page 73) on Spring Garden Road. Owner Neville MacKay brings to his store a lively, colourful and fresh array of blossoms that can be made into custom arrangements for any occasion. Choose from roses, orchids, lilies, or any flower of the season.

Editor’s Choice

The Pier 21 Gift Shop inside the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 on Marginal Road carries a lot more than travel souvenirs of the city. Choose one of the many books or DVDs that share the stories of immigrant life and Canada’s “gateway of hope.” Exclusive gifts include a sculpted and hand-painted authentic re-creation of Pier 21 by Catherine Karnes, plus “Pier into your past” commemorative plate.Pier-21-3

Celebrate Summer

Halifax’s festival season heats up with music, art, culture, food and more

By Trevor J. Adams

Images-From-Tattoo_3265-06

A busy month of festivals and cultural celebrations begins with the Scotia Festival of Music. Continuing through June 7 at venues around the city, this event is a must for serious music fans, showcasing the best in Chamber music. This year, the lineup includes coductor Kenneth Woods, cellist Denise Djokic, violinist Giora Schmidt and pianist Simon Docking. A gala matinee concert at the Dalhousie Arts Centre on June 7 concludes the festival, featuring works by Elgar, Beethoven and Benjamin. Concurrently, Halifax’s vibrant Lebanese community celebrates its roots with Cedar Festival from June 4 to 7 at Our Lady of Lebanon Parish on Joseph Howe Drive. Festivities include a special mass, musical performances, art exhibitions, food tastings, games, dancing and more. June also sees the return of one of Halifax’s biggest and most popular festivals. Running this year from June 11 to 14, Halifax Greek Fest always attracts thousands to Saint George’s Greek Orthodox Church on Purcell’s Cove Road.June---Antique-Car-Show_admirers Lively music and dancing abound, along with cultural exhibitions and Greek cuisine aplenty. This year’s schedule features the Poseidon live band, a screening of FIFA Women’s World Cup soccer (Greece vs. Colombia), Greek language classes, a sommelier-hosted Greek wine and food tasting, and more. That same weekend, Memory Lane Heritage Village in Lake Charlotte hosts the Father’s Day Antique Car Show. Scheduled for June 21, (rain date June 29), the show is a rite of Father’s Day. There are dozens of lovingly restored classic cars, plus live entertainment and Kub Kar races. This month also features one of Halifax’s longest-running summer events: the Nova Scotia Multicultural Festival. Running from June 26 to 28 at the Halifax Seaport Harbourwalk at the corner of Terminal and Marginal roads, the festival showcases Nova Scotia’s many traditional-dancers2cultural communities with music, food, art, cultural exhibitions and more. The Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo closes out the month. Running from June 30 to July 7 at Scotiabank Centre on Duke Street, it’s the world’s largest annual indoor show of its type. The lineup includes an exciting mix of military and civilian drill teams, bands and performers from around the globe. This year’s highlights include the Halifax debut for Sweden’s Home Guards Band of Eslöv, His Majesty the King’s Guard Band and Drill Team of Norway, the Gym Wheel Team Taunusstein of Germany and the Paris Police Gymnastics Team.

 

 

June Hot Dining

By Janice Hudson

PATIO PERFECTION

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• Catch some rays on the rooftop patio at Your Father’s Moustache on Spring Garden Road. The fun and lively space has beer aplenty on tap, including three signature brews from the RockBottom Brewpub downstairs.
• Downtown, head to The Maxwell’s Plum on Grafton Street for a cold pint on the sunny patio. The landmark bar has the city’s largest selection of draft beer, including top selections from Maritime craft breweries like Halifax’s Garrison Brewing and Cape Breton’s Big Spruce.
• For fabulous views of Halifax harbour, check out Gahan House in the Historic Properties. This popular Prince Edward Island brewpub recently opened its first Nova Scotia location, serving its own line of handcrafted beers. Try the Beach Chair lager for a refreshing summer sip.

Editor’s Choice

Steak9246Two downtown restaurants have once again earned the prestigious CAA/AAA Four Diamond Award.
Recognized for the eighth year in a row, Onyx on Argyle Street is a sleek resto bar showcasing local ingredients in delicious globally inspired recipes. Cut Steakhouse on Lower Water Street has received the award every
year since opening in 2008. The menu boasts premium beef (dry-aged and butchered on-site) with
an artful wine list and inventive sides.

 

 

VEGGIES FIRST

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• A leader in Halifax’s emerging vegan scene, Envie touts a menu of hearty meals like vegan ribs, grilled cheese and indulgent raw desserts. Catering to dietary restrictions, the menu is 90 per cent gluten free. Find the stylish restaurant on the corner of Agricola and Charles streets in the North End.
• In the West End on Windsor Street, Wild Leek has made-from-scratch vegan comfort food. Chef Kirsten Haggart whips up recipes like mac’n cheese, seitan sandwich, and the popular coconutbacon “CBLT.” Wash it down with a fresh-squeezed juice and save room for gourmet cupcake.

 

CREATIVE CORNERSTONEGio-Tea--024---Version-2

Downtown at Gio on
Market Street, Chef Bee Choo
Char gives traditional recipes
an inventive new twist. Her
delicious version of poutine
includes fried polenta fingers
topped with duck confit, red
wine jus and blue “Cheez
Whiz.” Open for lunch and
dinner, Gio has a sommelierchosen
wine list plus creative cocktails and martinis.

 

SLICE OF SUCCESS

_MG_4104Specializing in wood-fired pizza, Morris East won bronze in the non-traditional category at the recent International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas. Its Nova Scotia-inspired winning pie featured pears poached in Blomidon Estate Baco Noir and prosciutto from Halifax’s Ratinaud Charcuterie. Visit in downtown Halifax on Morris Street and in Bedford on Larry Uteck Boulevard.

June Hot Shopping

By Suzanne Rent

HOMESPUN STYLE

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The Lost Cod in the Historic Properties on Lower Water Street will help you create clothes with Nova Scotia-inspired designs. Pick from a stock of logo designs that represent a vast swath of Nova Scotia’s commercial and cultural past (including beloved throwback sports logos like the Nova Scotia Voyageurs, Sydney Millionaires and Halifax Windjammers). Then, choose a garment, size and colour and you have your own summer style inspired by the province’s rich history. Great for gifts, too.

MADE FOR MEN

Duggers

 

• Men looking to update their summer wardrobe can stop into Duggers on Spring Garden Road. Find exclusive brands such as Hugo Boss, Canali, Coppley, Sand and Van Gils. Or visit D2 on the main level for the latest summer trends in men’s style.
• At Colwell’s in the Historic Properties on Lower Water Street, find all the basics such as dress shirts, pants, sports jackets, jeans and t-shirts.

 

 

 

 

FRESH FASHIONj&r-grimsmo-1-copy

• J&R Grimsmo Boutique on Barrington Street carries gorgeous styles for women, all ethically manufactured, made with sustainable materials and processes, but some of the best designers in North America. Find dresses, tops and bottoms and lots of accessories for any summer outing.
• For casual styles for those active shoppers on the go, try Olsen Europe in Park Lane and Mic Mac Mall. Produced in Hamburg, Germany, these styles are modern, fresh and available in a variety of colours for the season.
• At Wildflower Clothing Inc. on Clyde Street, owner Jill Strong finds styles that are like the comfort food of clothing that work for women looking for no-fuss styles. Accessorize with hats, belts, scarves or handbags.

ONE-STOP SHOP

SunnysideSunnyside Mall on Bedford Highway
is home to various retailers from around the
region. Shop for summer fashions at Turbine
or Moe’s Menswear, accessories at Peoples
Jewellers and something for the kids at Bib ’N Tucker.

 

 

BRILLIANT BLING

Frida Dress up your best outfit with custom jewellery from Frida in Bishop’s Landing on Lower Water
Street. There are styles from Canadian and European designers, and various collections highlighting gemstones and diamonds. Book a consultation to help create your own piece of wearable art.
• At Fireworks Gallery on Barrington Street, in-house goldsmiths and gem masters create unique Old World designs in gold, silver and platinum using New World techniques.

Work with one of these masters on
creating a design that tells your
personal story.

 

 

Editor’s Choice

sweet-pea_trends11Summer is the season for dresses and Sweet Pea Boutique on Queen Street has a huge selection of summer frocks for every occasion. Find dresses, rompers or jumpers with flowers, stripes, lace, all perfect for tea parties, weddings or a summer night on the town.

Ultimate Halifax

History, entertainment, fun on the water and more—discover everything we love about Halifax

By Trevor J. Adams

THE GREAT OUTDOORS

Photo: NS Tourism Agency

Photo: NS Tourism Agency

At the tip of Halifax’s historic South End, Point Pleasant Park is a popular year-round destination with native Haligonians and visitors alike. The park’s coastal and woodland trails are a hit in any season, but Point Pleasant really comes to life in summer when it hosts theatre al fresco withbarrington-cemetary-web Shakespeare by the Sea throughout the summer.

History buffs will be pleased to find the Prince of Wales Tower National Historic Site in the centre of the park. Back downtown on Barrington Street, the Old Burying Ground is a secluded historic cemetery and the burial site British Major General Robert Ross, who burned Washington, D.C. in the War of 1812.

Uptown on Spring Garden Road, the Halifax Public Gardens are one of the finest Victorian gardens in North America. In the summer, its bandstand hosts Sunday afternoon concerts. Across the harbour, the Dartmouth Common features lovely flower gardens and panoramic views of the Halifax skyline.

FAMILY FUN

Nautical adventures abound at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic on Lower Water Street. With lots of hands-on exhibits and a laid-back, welcoming atmosphere, it’s a great spot for kids to explore and learn about the Titanic, fearless explorers, swashbuckling pirates and the world wars. See shipbuilders at work and explore a scientific vessel moored dockside.

Just up the hill on Barrington Street, the Discovery Centre is a hands-on science centre where kids can explore trippy optical illusions, stand inside a giant bubble and even freeze a banana in liquid nitrogen.

The Museum of Natural History on Summer Street offers hours of entertainment for inquiring young minds. Explore Nova Scotia’s forest and ocean environments with interactive exhibits. Visit legendary Sable Island and experience Science on a Sphere. Live amphibians, reptiles, bees, a new Tide Tank and Gus, a 92-year-old tortoise.

BACK IN TIME

The Hydrostone. Photo: Lisa Enman

The Hydrostone. Photo: Lisa Enman

This province is the birthplace of hockey and boasts a long line of sports heroes—most recently, Sidney Crosby. Learn all about them in Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame at Scotiabank Centre on Duke Street.

Looming over the downtown, the Halifax Citadel Canada’s most popular National Historic Site and home to the Army Museum. Visit at 12 pm to see historical animators fire the fort’s signature Noon Gun.

Perched on the side of Citadel Hill, you’ll spot Halifax’s iconic Old Town Clock on Sackville Street.

Shop and dine where privateers once stashed their plunder—the stone warehouses of the Historic Properties on the Halifax waterfront.

Devastated in the Halifax Explosion during the First World War, Young Street east of Robie is now a stylish neighbourhood called The Hydrostone noted for unique architecture, quaint shops and fine dining.

NEW & IMPROVED

The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 reopens this month after extensive renovations. From 1928 to 1971, almost 1.5 million immigrants and military personnel passed through Pier 21. Today, the museum (Canada’s only national museum outside Ottawa) tells the story of Canadian immigration from first contact to present day.

SPIRITED ADVENTURES

With centuries of history, Halifax teems with mysteries, folklore and reputed hauntings. Explore the city’s darker side with the Halifax Ghost Walk. Meet the group at 8:30pm at the Old Town Clock on Citadel Hill (just up from Sackville Street). Narrators lead you through historic Halifax’s nooks and crannies, sharing tales of pirates, ghosts and murder most foul.

ROAMING AROUND

Peggy's Cove

Peggy’s Cove

Centrally located, Halifax is an ideal day-trip base. Take a 45-minute drive east, and you’ll find the Memory Lane Heritage Village, a living-history museum re-creating life in rural Nova Scotia as it was 70 years ago.

Take a 45-minute drive west, and you’ll find the historic fishing village of Peggy’s Cove. Its iconic lighthouse, perched on the rocks just above the wild Atlantic waves, is Nova Scotia’s most photographed site.

ART IN ACTION

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At the foot of George Street on the Halifax waterfront, NovaScotian Crystal is one of the province’s most unique tourism attractions. In the workshop, you can watch craftsmen use Old World techniques to create functional art: mouth-blown, hand-cut crystal creations.

May Hot Dining

By Janice Hudson

BEST IN BEAN

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•A favourite place for downtown coffee aficionados, The Trident on Hollis Street roasts its beans on-site, offering an array of hot drinks, loose tea and pastries. After you recharge, browse the eclectic mix of used books.

•Veteran coffeehouse Java Blend on North Street has been in the bean business since 1938 and roasts all of its coffee on-site. Unique coffee memorabilia and an old (but still working) coffee roaster add to the cozy, laid-back feel of the café.

•In Dartmouth, Two if by Sea Café is the go-to spot for coffee fiends, offering not just fabulous coffee but also indulgent fresh-baked croissants that can stand in for a meal. The café has a second location on the Halifax side in the Historic Properties near the Halifax Transit ferry terminal.

EDITOR’S CHOICE

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Offering French-inspired cuisine, Bistro le Coq on Argyle Street has the atmosphere of a Parisian bistro, with an ornate tin ceiling, elegant artwork and plush booths. Service en français is always available. Choose from tasty French classics like steak frites and glazed duck. There’s an extensive list of wines, with many served by the glass (including champagne). For dessert, try the layered Nutella crêpe cake.

SAVOUR SPRING

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The brainchild of award-winning Chef Renée Lavallée, The Canteen on Ochterloney Street in Dartmouth serves up flavourful sandwiches, salads and take-out dinners. Lavallée changes the menu daily to highlight fresh local ingredients. Breadmaster Jessica Best bakes all the bread on-site, including tasty gluten-free options.

SPLASH OF LIFE

Photo: Janice Hudson

Photo: Janice Hudson

A newcomer on Halifax’s vibrant diner scene, Robie Street Station has become the it-spot in Central Halifax for all-day breakfast and comfort food with a global twist. Colourful murals and local artwork decorate the charming eatery, located near the Halifax Common on Robie Street. Hit up Robie Street Express next door for a coffee and fresh baked-goods to go.

IN VINO VERITAS

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A stylish yet intimate space, Obladee on Barrington Street offers a range of stellar, hand-chosen wines, including special local vintages. Try the monthly cellar wine special: staff uncork top red and white vintages for customers to enjoy by the glass. Pair your choice with charcuterie from the local artisanal producers.

May Hot Shopping

By Suzanne Rent

LOCALLY MADE

Made in the Maritimes

Made in the Maritimes

•For an eclectic mix of local, Canadian and international jewellery and accessories, visit Bedazzled in its new location in Sunnyside Mall in Bedford. Find unique and exquisite designers by artisans such as Earth Goddess, Arcane Angel, Myka and Tori XO.

Bedazzled

Bedazzled

Made in the Maritimes Artisan Boutique brings to its new location in Sunnyside Mall contemporary, high-quality products for its clientele. All of the products, which include woodwork, jewellery, glass art, toys and more, are made in the region.

 

SPRING SHOPPING

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Find the latest in spring styles at Halifax Shopping Centre, the largest shopping complex in Halifax. Retailers include Coach, Banana Republic, Victoria’s Secret, Sephora and Roots. Anchored by Sears, and the annex across the street is home to Winners and Wal-Mart.

FINE DESIGN

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•Art lovers will appreciate Art Zone Fine Arts Gallery on Barrington Street, which showcases some of the best of local talent by providing them a space to display their work. The gallery also hosts monthly shows, workshops and artist talks and more.

•For hand-crafted local treasures, visit The Bogside Gallery in the Hydrostone Market on Young Street. The elegant and whimsical art, made by artisans from Nova Scotia and around Atlantic Canada, make for great gifts or décor for your own home.

BEST OF THE EAST

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Drala on Grafton Street is the city’s home to supplies for a contemplative lifestyle. Find Asian-inspired décor items and gifts, as well as meditation cushions and supplies, beeswax candles, Japanese teas and buckwheat hull pillows.

MEMENTO

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•For fun and casual custom clothing, visit Cool as a Moose in the Historic Properties on Upper Water Street. Outfit the whole family with hoodies, sweats, pajamas and t-shirts, all of which are emblazoned with the store’s logo.

•Located on the rocks of Peggy’s Cove next to Nova Scotia’s most famous lighthouse, the Sou’wester carries a large mix of souvenirs for anyone visiting the province. Finds include kilts, postcards, sweatshirts, and giftware made my local artisans. You can also find books that explore local history and folklore. Visit the restaurant for a treat like lobster or gingerbread.

EDITOR’S CHOICE

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For one-of-a-kind shopping, visit The Piazza at Bishop’s Landing on Lower Water Street. Find a dinner wine at Bishop’s Cellar and dessert at Sugah or Rum Runners Rum Cake Factory. Pick up a new outfit at Unicorn and accessories at Frida Custom Jewellery Design or Pearl City.