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Established in 1908, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia Halifax is a premier art gallery in Atlantic Canada. Showcasing Nova Scotian works, it is among the finest art institutions in the country. In its effort to promote lifelong learning, the gallery also provides in-school programs, hands-on workshops and other opportunities for families, children, teens and teachers, as well as, organizes tours, films and lectures. With more than 17000 artworks on display, it is indeed a visual delight for art lovers.
The second church constructed on this piece of land, Saint Mary's Cathedral Basilica was built in 1820, and its Gothic Revival façade invites a close look. Attend services or simply stop by for a visit, the oldest Roman Catholic Church in Canada still celebrates daily mass. The church is quite fascinating to look at from the outside with a pure granite façade, and inside you will find a museum where you can learn about Saint Mary's grand history. The church has been given the designation of a National Heritage Site by the Canadian government and there is a tour guide on site to take you through it.
The 'Last Corvette', HMCS Sackville is a memorial to all who served in the Canadian navy. During World War II she spent her time escorting convoys to Ireland and met with quite a few adventures. Visitors are welcome aboard each summer to explore the fully restored ship, which is docked just behind the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. There's a gift shop where you can pick up a copy of the HMCS Sackville's history and multi-media presentations at the Interpretation Center.
At the Maritime Museum of Atlantic, you can explore the hydrographic research vessel, CSS Acadia, which is berthed at this museum's wharf. At other times, content yourself with wandering through the William Robertson & Son Ship Chandlery. For those interested in the Titanic, you might be aware of the fact that the recovered bodies of the tragedy were brought to the city's morgue and then interred here in 1912. Watch a film depicting the tragedy that was the Halifax Explosion in 1917. Check out more than 40 small watercraft and thousands of artifacts. Souvenirs can be purchased in the Museum Shop. The Museum is also rented out for different events.
For tourists who wish to explore the coastal city of Halifax in a unique way, I Heart Bikes is a must-visit site. This company offers cycle tours around the city lasting two to four hours, which help you discover the best attractions, restaurants and shops. Couples and small groups opting for private tours can enjoy the customized services of a knowledgeable tour guide. These guided tours are really meant for a tourist who wants a quick overview of the city. If you would like to take your own time exploring Halifax and linger at favorite tourist spots, then I Heart Bikes offers cycle rentals. However, the guided tour takes you to hidden gems that are hard to discover by yourself. This company also manages a shop selling bells, baskets and other bicycle accessories.
If you seek the hidden gems of Halifax without spending a cent, Halifax Free Walking Tours is your answer. This company provides guided tours free of charge between the months of June and November. Most tours are in French or English but groups can make requests in advance to conduct tours in Arabic or Mandarin Chinese. Walk through streets full of historic landmarks, explore the harbor area and waterfront parks, and learn about the best eateries in the city. The tours start at a major city landmark: Halifax Town Clock at Halifax Citadel National Historic Site. Though the tours are free, donations are welcomed as this is the only source of profit for the tour operator.
Originally from Scotland, Alexander Keith migrated to Canada and began running this brewery in the 1800s. Learn the art of making your favorite beverage as you stroll through Alexander Keith's Brewery which is known for producing some of the finest ales in the country. The tour narrates the details of the brewing process back then with the help of some actors dressed like people from the 19th Century. Beer is served on the tour, while for non-drinkers, alternatives to beer are served. Located in a wonderful old building, The Brewery Market, this is a tour for all ale fans. Timings and hours vary seasonally. Summer tours run every half hour and winter/Spring tours run every hour. Each tour lasts around fifty minutes. Tours are arranged at a charge; the brewery also arranges group events.
The Harbor Hopper Tour happens aboard a Lark V, built during the Vietnam War years to navigate on land and water. Individuals and groups up to 41 can be accommodated for a 55-minute tour. On the tour you will see it all - gardens, famous old churches and the City Hall. Then it's into the water for a different perspective. You can get your tickets at Harbor Hopper's kiosk, located next to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.
Segway Nova Scotia allows you to discover Halifax and its surrounding towns by the two-wheeled vehicle called Segway PT. Choose from Standard City Tours, Waterfront Tours and Beechville Lakeside Timberlea Tours. The first gives you a glimpse of the entire port city, the second lets you enjoy a panoramic view over the bay, while the third is for nature lovers. Segway Nova Scotia also offers a range of customized and theme tours, and winter tours that take you to top sports arenas in the city. The tour guides are knowledgeable and give tourists an amazing local overview and insider glimpse into the life at Halifax. If you wish to explore the city on your own, you can rent a Segway PT from this tour operator.
The Halifax Citadel is one of the most popular attractions in Canada. The citadel that stands today on the aptly named Citadel Hill is actually the fourth fort to sit on the site. The first citadel on the site was constructed in 1749, although it was not in the form of the citadel we see today. The current star-shaped fort was built in 1856 and took 28 years to complete. In its history, the citadel never suffered an attack and many of the original 1856 features are still preserved today. A visit to the Army Museum includes watching 'The Tides of History', and experiencing the day-to-day life of a soldier or his wife in the mid-Victorian era. Concerts are sometimes organized at the garrison grounds here.
To walk through the iron gates of The Halifax Public Gardens is to step back a century; Canada's first public gardens have that effect. Since 1867, visitors have enjoyed the flowers, trees, fountains, a pond and winding paths. Sit on a bench near the Victorian bandstand and listen to the music and marvel at the beauty of a huge Rhododendron in bloom. Bring lunch, you'll want to stick around. one thing to remember while visiting the park is that opening times vary in the winter and summer seasons.
The Halifax Waterfront is your gateway into the rich and vibrant cultural arena of Halifax. Set against the backdrop of the shimmering, ocean waters and the graceful masts of the ships at port, a walk along Halifax Waterfront will take you past some of the city's most popular attractions. Alongside museums like the Canadian Museum of Immigration and the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, you will find numerous charming boutiques and inviting restaurants to explore. You can also stock up on local specialties at the Halifax Seaport Farmers' Market, or explore the historic warships moored here. With its breathtaking scenery and cultural bounty, the Halifax Waterfront is, not surprisingly, a popular venue for festivals, fairs, concerts and other major events. Stroll here with a loved one early in the morning to watch the sunrise and light up Dartmouth and Georges Island in Halifax Harbour. Experience the best of what Halifax has to offer and keep your finger on the pulse of the city with a visit to the Waterfront.