Historic Halifax by Foot
Marvel at the extraordinary architecture of Halifax as you stroll through the beautifully restored historic properties on the waterfront. Halifax is the capital of the Canadian province Nova Scotia, and the largest Canadian city east of Montreal. It is an old, vibrant city with several universities and colleges combining to bring a youthful energy.
Discover the historic and modern sites that make Halifax an amazing city. Your guide will share their knowledge of the historical, cultural, political, and military significance of Halifax's landmarks. You'll hear of the tragedies and triumphs that have shaped the character of Haligonians over the centuries and learn why the city is said to be one of the best places to live in Canada.
View the Georgian-style City Hall and Province House which houses the legislature set among modern marvels. City Hall, a sandstone structure built between 1887 and 1890, is exuberantly adorned with all the usual Victorian architectural trifles: prominent clock tower, dormers, pediments, arched windows, pilasters, Corinthian columns.
Halifax is a city with a rich and fascinating history containing historic architecture. Some landmarks reflect its culture, while others its political past, like the House of Assembly. See many Victorian influences, which reflect the city's British heritage. The Mi'kmaq spent the summers here hunting and fishing, and after the city's founding in 1749, sailors would haunt the rough & tumble taverns known as grog shops. Halifax was a key player in many armed conflicts including the War of 1812.
Halifax's rehabilitated waterfront is most inviting and on sunny summer afternoons bustles with tourists enjoying the harbor and business professionals sneaking ice-cream cones. The waterfront walkway is studded with other small diversions, intriguing shops, takeout food emporia, and minor monuments. The waterfront's shopping core is in and around the 3-block Historic Properties, near the Marriott. These buildings of wood and stone are Canada's oldest surviving warehouses, and were once the heart of the city's shipping industry. Today, their historic architecture provides ballast for the somewhat precious boutiques and restaurants they now house instead.
Another lively neighborhood runs along Spring Garden Road between the Public Gardens and the library. Here you'll find intriguing boutiques, bars, and restaurants along these 6 blocks, set amid a Bohemian street scene.
Start on the waterfront and make your way to Spring Garden Road where Victoria settings meet award winning modern architecture with Halifax's new Central Library. At the top of Spring Garden Road is the Halifax Public Garden - the oldest Victorian style gardens in Canada. From the Public Gardens make your way up Citadel Hill, the major landmark of the city. A stone fortress looming over down town from a grassy height where a view from atop will give you an impressive overall picture of the surroundings. From Citadel Hill make your way downhill passing the Old Town Clock, City Hall through the Grand Parade, past Province House to the Harbor-front and the end location of the tour.
We had to change our scheduled time for this tour because our itinerary changed, but thankfully that wasn't a problem. We had a great tour guide, Liz. And my friend and I were the only tourists on this tour so we were able to see as much as we wanted.
Reviewer: Berta Jean Lamb
The tour set the standard for a walking tour exploring a city. From the beginning and to the end, we hung on every word we heard and saw every site come alive as we walked. There is no better way to learn and experience history. Our guide knew her history, added interesting bits of information as we walked and listened. Our time with her ended much too soon.
Reviewer: Diane MacNeal
My guide on this recent tour was Margaret Ann. She was a wealth of information about the many historic sites on this walking tour and spent extra time with the group. When the tour ended at the waterfront boardwalk area she informed us that the both the Titanic museum and the gallery containing the works of Maude Lewis were only a few blocks away. I was most appreciative of this additional information as I was able to visit both on my own following the tour.
Great tour by our tour guide. She did a great job telling us about new and old Halifax.
Reviewer: Kathy Slightam
Guide was very knowledgable and answered all our questions. Easy to find the guide.