Halifax Feature

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A Good Walk

Starting your walk at the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site is practical because, as the city's highest point, it puts you on a downhill course. More importantly, visiting the star-shaped fortress—built in the 1800s as an outpost for the then-expanding British Empire—is like taking a crash course in civic history. After exploring the site, descend the stairs (a more direct route for pedestrians than the road) to the Town Clock, which has been keeping time for more than two centuries.

From here, cross Brunswick Street and head down Carmichael, passing the Metro Centre (Halifax's main sporting venue) and the World Trade and Convention Centre en route to the Grand Parade. Once used for military drills, the leafy rectangle is now the setting for summertime picnics and free concerts. Anchoring its right end is St. Paul's Church (dating from 1750, it's the country's oldest Protestant church); the Second Empire-style stone building on the left end is City Hall. As you exit the park, Carmichael Street becomes St. George. Follow it two blocks down to Hollis, then make a short detour to see the impressive collection of folk art in the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. Province House, Canada's oldest legislative building, is just across the street and is also open for tours. Walking another two blocks down lands you on Water Street, where you'll find the Historic Properties, a cluster of restored warehouses linked by cobblestone lanes, containing shops and eateries.

If you go straight through, you will reach the Halifax Waterfront Boardwalk, which runs all the way over to Marginal Road. This is where decision-making gets difficult. Depending on your tastes (and budget) you might board a sightseeing boat at Cable Wharf, hop the Metro Transit Commuter Ferry to the Dartmouth side of the harbor, take in the action from a waterfront restaurant, or simply ogle the tugboats and transatlantic yachts that often tie up here. Whatever you choose, be sure to leave time for the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, where you can learn about Nova Scotia's seafaring past. A final stop lies to the south, just off the boardwalk: the Port of Halifax seawall development, which includes the cruise ship terminal, the new Seaport Farmers' Market, and Pier 21, a former immigration depot that now houses Canadian Museum of Immigration. You could spend several hours in Pier 21 alone, so if you're staying in the city longer, save this for another day. Instead, cap your walking tour with a libation in a local pub. Halifax is said to have more pubs per capita than anywhere else in Canada.

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