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farmers markets

Ultimate Halifax Guide

Live theatre, exciting exhibitions, fun outdoor activities—discover this season’s top destinations to explore in Halifax

By Janice Hudson

NEW DISCOVERIES
For 32 years, the Discovery Centre has been giving kids and adults alike exciting, hands-on opportunities to learn about science, math, engineering, and technology. And now, it’s moved to a new 40,000-square-foot home on the Halifax waterfront. The new site has four themed galleries, an innovation lab, and Atlantic Canada’s only immersive dome theatre.

Discovery Centre. Photo: Mark Dilangelan.

Discovery Centre. Photo: Mark Dilangelan.

Not just a planetarium for exploring outer space, this theatre also lets visitors immerse themselves inside the human body or run like an animal through the jungle. The centre also hosts changing exhibits: The Science of Rock N’ Roll runs until May 14 and opening on May 29 is Tyrannosaurus: Meet the Family. On Wednesday evenings from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., admission is free.

BUYER’S MARKET
Spring weekends in Halifax are the perfect time to discover Nova Scotia’s fresh produce, tasty baked goods, local artwork, and cool souvenirs. More than 250 vendors from across the province showcase their goods over two levels at the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market on Marginal Road.

A few minutes’ walk up Lower Water Street takes you to the Historic Farmers’ Market in the Alexander Keith’s Brewery building. Find vendors and live entertainment in the main courtyard or tucked away in the maze of wings and hallways in this historic facility. You’ll find it less crowded than the Seaport, but equally fun to explore.

Historic Farmers’ Market

Historic Farmers’ Market

Heading north on Windsor Street is the Halifax Forum, home to one of the city’s newest farmers’ markets. More than 50 vendors take over the facility’s bingo hall each Saturday morning for the Halifax Forum Farmers’ Market. Find local farmers selling produce right off their trucks in the parking lot.

Across the harbour in Dartmouth, just steps from the Halifax Transit ferry terminal, you’ll find the Alderney Landing Farmers’ Market. It has live entertainment on its main stage on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Outside, find flower and plant vendors aplenty during the spring months.

ALL THE CITY’S A STAGE
Eastern Front Theatre’s 2017 Stages Theatre Festival presents 15 shows and events from May 15 to 27. The schedule includes new plays, workshops, theatre for families, and world premieres held at venues across the city. The festival highlights work from Nova Scotia’s top professional theatre companies at different stages of development, from workshops and play readings to full productions. Highlights include The West Woods by Mulgrave Road Theatre on May 16 to 19, and Treegirl by Forerunner Theatre on May 19 to 21.

Stages Theatre Festival

Stages Theatre Festival

GARDEN PARTY
Spanning six hectares in the middle of the city, the Halifax Public Gardens is one of North America’s finest formal Victorian gardens, with dramatic flower displays, weeping and flowering trees, fountains, and foliage plants. This year, it’s celebrating its 150th anniversary with events and activities happening daily during the season. This month, watch for the Victorian Tea Party at the Lord Nelson Hotel on May 22 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. It’s an afternoon of English tea, with music by Symphony Nova Scotia and Hausmusik. On May 27, there’s a poetry reading in the gardens from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Each Sunday afternoon starting June 11, drop by the Victorian bandstand for free concerts featuring local musicians.

Halifax Public Gardens

Halifax Public Gardens

HISTORY BROUGHT TO LIFE
To celebrate Canada’s 150th year since confederation, the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 presents Canada: Day 1, a travelling exhibition that showcases 150 years of immigrants’ “day one” experiences. View distinctive artworks and compelling objects, such as a Syrian welcome kit, a head-tax certificate, moving War Bride correspondence, and more.

Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21

Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21

One of Canada’s most visited National Historic Sites, the Halifax Citadel was the fourth in a series of forts since 1749 to occupy the hill overlooking the harbour. Check out the Army Museum on-site for more military artefacts and history. In 2017, all National Historic Sites are offering free admission with a Parks Canada Discovery Pass, available online at pc.gc.ca.

CRAFTED FOR CANADA
Just in time for Canada 150, Novascotian Crystal has expanded its Canadian spirit line of handcrafted crystal, featuring a maple leaf design. It’s now available in whiskey tumblers, water glasses, brandy snifters, shot glasses, and more. Stop by the workshop at the foot of George Street on the Halifax waterfront and watch the craftspeople create these mouth-blown masterpieces using age-old techniques.

TAKE IT OUTSIDE
With warmer temperatures now the norm, there’s plenty of outdoor activities on offer across the city. On the tip of Halifax’s South End, Point Pleasant Park boasts 39 kilometres of roads and trails that wind through forest and past rocky hills, ravines, and military ruins, including the Prince of Wales Tower National Historic Site. The park also hosts alfresco theatre group, Shakespeare by the Sea, during the summer.

Heading west past the Armdale Rotary on Purcell’s Cove Road is Sir Sanford Fleming Park. This 38-hectare space has walking trails through forest, saltwater marsh, and a large pond (Frog Pond). Climb up Dingle Memorial Tower, the 10-storey Italianate landmark built in the early 1900s. Kids will love the new playground on-site, Halifax’s first all-natural play space made of hand-carved tree trunks. They can climb up the mesh and log tower that mirrors Dingle Tower.

Across the harbour in Dartmouth, Shubie Park is a 16-hectare greenway bounded by Lake Charles to the north and Lake Micmac to the south. Trails meander from deep forest to sunny lakeside along the historic route of the Shubenacadie Canal, offering beautiful scenery and quiet areas to enjoy a picnic lunch.

Shubie Park

Shubie Park

DAY TRIPPING
No trip to Halifax is complete without visiting Peggy’s Cove, the fishing village just a 45-minute drive west from Halifax. Its iconic lighthouse is the most photographed site in Nova Scotia. Fifty minutes east of Halifax is Memory Lane Heritage Village in Lake Charlotte, a living history museum that recreates life in a 1940s Nova Scotian coastal village. Tour the 18 restored buildings and tuck into a lunch of baked beans and brown bread at the on-site cookhouse.

Memory Lane Heritage Village

Memory Lane Heritage Village

 

 

 

Canadian Rockies Entertainment: Favourite Events

By Afton Aikens & Olivia Grecu

Photo: Rita Taylor, The Banff Centre

Photo: Rita Taylor, The Banff Centre

Inspired Outdoor Shows

Watch artists perform against a mountain backdrop at The Banff Centre’s Shaw Amphitheatre, where the Centre’s theatre students help build sets and operate lighting. Must-see Canadian musical acts:

  • Art of Time Ensemble’s rendition of the Beatles album Abbey Road (June 27).
  • Blue Rodeo’s iconic country-rock (July 5).
  • Royal Wood’s folk-pop tunes (July 26).

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Muskoka Farmers’ Markets for 2013

Muskoka's farmers' markets offer an abundance of fresh fruits, vegetables and more (photo: a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/rheaney/4623200857">Ryan Heaney)

Muskoka’s farmers’ markets offer an abundance of fresh fruits, vegetables and more (photo: Ryan Heaney)

Whether you’re heading up to the cottage for a summer getaway or just visiting for the day (or even if you live in the region all year long), one of the best ways to get a little local flavour is to attend one of the many Muskoka farmers’ markets. Be sure to visit these weekly gatherings for the best of nature’s bounty!

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Weekend Roundup: September 21 to 23

Friday: Tom Cochrane is one of many performers rocking the Canada’s Walk of Fame Festival.

Friday, September 21st
Celebrate this country’s cultural icons as part of the annual Canada’s Walk of Fame Festival, which showcases popular Canadian performers at venues throughout the city, including a number of free concerts at Nathan Phillips Square. Dance the night away to Suzie McNeil, Tom Cochrane and Jann Arden, just some of the homegrown talent that will be gracing the stage.

Canadian sculptor Evan Penny’s new exhibition of meticulously rendered yet distorted human sculptures opened this week at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Titled Re Figured, the display will alter your perspective of the human form with 30 pieces, including sculptures, photographs and a film about Penny’s work over the past decade.

Toronto’s famed jazz venue, The Rex, holds its annual tribute to John Coltrane this weekend. Juno-winning saxophone players Pat LaBarbera and Kirk MacDonald—alongside the rest of their highly capable quintet—take the stage tonight to honour the celebrated musician. (more…)

Hot Shopping: Shop Like a Chef at the Main Street Farmers’ Market

Fresh, local produce is a mainstay at the Main Street Farmers’ Market

Looking for fresh produce, meats and baked goods mid-week? Locals in the know head to the Main Street Farmers’ Market, running every Wednesday afternoon until Oct. 3. There you’ll find chefs buying from vendors such as Little Qualicum Cheeseworks, The Jam Ladies, French Made Baking, Langley Organic Growers and Take A Fancy Chocolate and Sweets. What you won’t find are the long line-ups common at weekend farmers’ markets.—Sheri Radford

Hot Shopping: Fresh from the Field at the Whistler Farmer’s Market

Farmers' market photo by Chad Chomlack courtesy Tourism Whistler

Locals love the bustling Whistler Farmers’ Market for just-picked fruit and veggies. Purchase a loaf of fresh bread and some home-made jam, then head to the hills for an impromptu picnic. Keep an eye out for handmade souvenirs such as jewellery, candles and art.—Jennifer Patterson

Weekly Planner: June 4 to 10

Pick a pepper (and other fresh produce) at Muskoka's farmers' markets

Our guide to cottage-country events and activities has returned for another summer! Check back every Monday for more timely ideas for family fun.

Support Ontario growers and get some fresh ingredients for this week’s breakfasts, lunches and dinners at a pair of farmers’ markets that are now in full swing. This Wednesday (and all subsequent Wednesday throughout the summer) the Gravenhurst Farmers’ Market operates from from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Muskoka Wharf, while the Bracebridge Farmers’ Market runs on Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Memorial Park.

Stretch out on a blanket at Bracebridge’s Memorial Park bandshell and listen to the acoustic folk sounds of Neil Hutchison. Influenced by the likes of Gordon Lightfoot and Ian Tyson, Hutchison takes the stage this Thursday at 7 p.m.

Grab your motorcycle boots and leather jacket and head on down to the Kee to Bala. Blues singer and guitarist George Thorogood—with his longtime band, The Destroyers—rocks the joint on Saturday, with hits like “Bad to the Bone” and more.

Drive around the region this Saturday and Sunday and take in not only the exceptional natural scenery, but also some great artistic visuals. This year’s Muskoka Lakes Spring Art Tour allows you to visit the studios of 11 top cottage-country artists in Bracebridge, Bala, Port Carling and elsewhere.

The local food movement just keeps creeping ever closer to home; one of the latest trends is to keep a chicken or two right in your own backyard (depending on municipal bylaws, of course). If you’re interested in learning more, regional culinary association Savour Muskoka hosts a poultry workshop on Sunday at Severn Sunset Eco Farm in Severn Bridge, where participants will find out some of the ins and outs of working with chickens, ducks and turkeys.

 

 

Staff Picks: 5 Farmers’ Markets to Fill You Up

Evergreen Brick Works farmers' market (photo by Paul Henman)

To local-food movement is now thoroughly entrenched in our fair city, with professional and home chefs alike seeking out the best Ontario-grown ingredients. Farmers’ markets taking place throughout Toronto are, of course, a great place to pick up fresh produce. They also offer opportunities to take in some real neighbourhood flavour. Read on to discover our five favourites! (more…)

Hot Dates: Richmond’s Summer Night Market

The Summer Night Market in Richmond

May 11 to September 16

Barbecued squid and bubble waffles are just a couple of the exotic eats you’ll find at the Summer Night Market (pictured), deemed one of the world’s best by Travel + Leisure magazine. Foodies and bargain hunters hop on the SkyTrain to taste Asian street food, enjoy live entertainment and haggle with retail vendors over super-cute trinkets and jewellery. The nearby Richmond Night Market (May 18 to Oct. 8) is also worth a visit for snacks, shopping and carnival rides. —Kristina Urquhart

Hot Dates: Handmade Heaven

A Cagey Bee necklace at Portobello West Fashion + Art Market

March 24 to 25

If you’re on the hunt for some locally made jewellery, fashion and art—aka, the perfect souvenir—look no further than the city’s über-popular seasonal market, Portobello West. Each show, held inside the Creekside Community Centre on picturesque False Creek, brings together over 50 artists displaying covetable crafts and wall-worthy art. A few favourites: whimsical necklaces by A Cagey Bee (pictured), graphic paintings by Michael Soltis and hand-dyed, vacation-ready swimwear from Daub + Design. Another hot spot for unique collectibles: the 21st Century Flea Market (Mar. 18). Scour more than 185 booths for retro furniture, kitschy decor, heirloom jewellery, china dolls, linen and lace.—Jennifer Patterson

Markets, Lakes and Gorges: Guelph to Southampton, Ontario

The Southampton shore. (Photo by Alistair Edmondson)

By Meghan Wilson-Smith

Fall driving in southwestern Ontario means landscapes of lush, ready-to-be-harvested fields of rich yellows, oranges and greens, and sunny skies dimpled with heavy wet clouds whisked by on a breeze just cool enough to bring out the wools. Air-conditioning off, windows open, and nothing but the splendor of the great Canadian north in your windshield.

Start: Guelph
End: Southampton
Overnight: Southampton

Get the map.

ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS

1. Guelph is already a pretty special town, a vibrant city core with a popular farmers’ market on Saturdays. It retains many small town values while delivering on big city comforts. It’s also a great take-off point to some of the quaintest of towns en route to beautiful Lake Huron.

2. Just a half-hour outside of Guelph, the town of Elora and the stunning Elora gorge are musts. Heading north on Highway 6 you’ll see a small sign for the Fergus and Mount Forest to the north or Elora to the west. Bend west a bit and head straight to Elora. The town is mostly made of limestone, as if it were an extension of the gorge it sits on. It has lovely shops and great hiking. (25 km)

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Hot Shopping: Grown Here

Photo: Lisa Enman

The Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market may be North America’s oldest farmers’ market but the digs are state-of-the-art. The market recently moved to a new home on the waterfront on Marginal Road. Now open Wednesday and Friday to Sunday, it showcases crafts, cuisine and produce from across the province.