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The Deportation Cross
The Halifax deportation cross is a reminiscent of the famous deportation cross at the Grand Pré, the original deportation site of the Acadian Expulsion.
Arcadia was an area that was formed by the present Canadian Maritime provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and also part of the US state of Maine. During the Seven Years War of 1755-1763 Arcadian people were moved to Halifax.
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
The Halifax Waterfront is under development. Especial the area from Pier21 towards downtown is being renewed.
Along the water is a wooden boardwalk that becomes rather busy in summertime at the center, where the walk goea along and through the tourist shops/restaurants.
2012 Update: New construction is ongoing around the Historic Properties.
- Family Travel
- Hiking and Walking
In the summer season you can visit the K181 HMCS Sackville, Canada's Naval Memorial.
I saw the damage with my own eyes after the ship broke loose during hurricane Juan in 2003 and plunged into the the schooner Larinda, a yacht inspired by the 1767 Boston schooner HMS Sultana, moored beside her.
Admission: CAD 4.00 (Adult).
Summer daily 10AM - 5PM
- Museum Visits
- Family Travel
WiFi hotspots are the big thing these days. A lot of coffee shops have them and even places like McDonalds as well. Now Halifax has a large outdoor hotspot on the waterfront.
There's FREE wifi on the waterfront from Cable Wharf (Near Murphy's restaurant) to Pier 21 and the Tall Ships Quay by Bishop's Landing's development courtesy of the Waterfront Development Corp. and Bell Aliant. There's more information on how to use it here.
You still have to check in to a browser on your device and agree to terms of service and then you're good to go. The only caveat is that you may find the connection slow at times as it's shared with lots of other people accessing it so the busy tourist season might affect things. Still, you don't get a lot for free these days, it's great that HWD
See the whales
Have you ever seen whales in their natural habitat. In Nova Scotia we have many whales . Humpback Whales, Minke Whales, Blue Whales, Right Whales and more all live in our waters.
In the late spring the Finback Whales, Minke Whales and Harbour Porpoises are the first to arrive from their southern breeding grounds. In June, The Humpback Whales return, and by late June, the Humpbacks are abundant.
There are tons of tours to pick from on the Halagonian111. They start at 10:30 AM and rin until 7:30 PM . The price is $33.95 with family rates available for a 2 1/2 hour cruise.
- Whale Watching
Take your picture with Pierre
Canada may be the closest neighbor of my country (the USA), but so many of us know so little about Canada and Canadian politics. I'm a bit of an anomaly - I love history and politics - so I do know that the present Prime Minister of Canada is Stephen Harper. But it's safe to say that many people in my country probably think Stephen Harper is the lead singer of Aerosmith.
But, one name that many Americans DO know is that of Pierre Trudeau. Natty Pierre was twice Prime Minister of Canada, from 1968-79 and then again from 1980-84. He was the first French-Canadian prime minister, and he cut quite a profile on the international scene. He also had a trophy wife before the term had even been invented, the irrepressible Margaret Trudeau - some called her Maggie. She was reputed to have had an affair with Mick Jagger on a Rolling Stones visit to Toronto, a rumor that turned out to be totally false. (She was actually sleeping with guitarist Ron Wood)
The point of all this tripping down the Canadian Liberal Party's memory lane is that you can have your photo taken with Pierre Trudeau within the Historic properties shopping sanctum. There is a huge, carved cariacature of Pierre and it's constantly the subject of "me and Pierre" photography. Yes, I did it - but my photo looked so silly that I'm leaving it off VT. I will, however, put a photo of Pierre alone for your perusal.
Speaking of Canadian politics and geography, it's to your benefit to learn a bit before your visit. I did get myself a free beer in JB's bar (Springhill, NS). A drunk walked up to me and when he heard I was an American, he challenged my basic knowledge of his country by saying "you probably don't even know our capital city". I smiled and said "it's Ottawa, eh?"
He bought me a beer. :)
So learn the provinces and the capital cities - and then come thirsty.
The Historic Properties, the "inner sanctum"
The shops on the inside section of the Historic Properties shopping area tend to be more of the jeweler-boutique-specialty variety. This is a good place to find something special and of fine quality on your visit to Halifax.
Among the places we enjoyed most was the Italian Gourmet (a photo included with this tip, check the "other photos"). This is the place you want to go for a cup of excellent espresso, or maybe a gourmet sweet snack. They also sell terrific sandwiches and deli products.
If you're looking for something both unique and of quality, step inside the shopping area of the Historic Properties area.
The Historic Properties, the outer edges
One of the harborfront area's swankiest shopping venues are "The Historic Properties". Basically, these are old warehouses and warehouse fronts that have been converted (inside) to upscale boutiques, cafes and other shops. There are several ale houses, too.
This is a good place for the shopaholic in your travel party, you're bound to find something worth taking home. There are "internal" shops - which tend to be more about clothing, jewelry, delis and such, while the shops on the "outer edge" (the exterior of the old warehouses) are more than likely pubs or alehouses.
The photos below include shots of "The Lower Deck", a beer shop and a pub, as well as the Carpenter's Shop.
Liana's Ransom, a Pirate adventure
There are several schooners and sailing vessels that tourists can buy a ticket and cruise the harbour. One of the newer entries is Liana's Ransom and she bills as a Pirate (Privateer) ship. They have a skull and crossbones flag and the crew dress up like pirates. They also have a treasure chest of clothes in various sizes for adults and kids to wear as well including hats and plastic swords for swashbuckling purposes. There is a cash bar on board and they do snacks. The ship is also available for private hire as well.
We sailed on it for a work outing during the Tall Ships festival. Unfortunately, the day was very, very foggy! It didnt' matter, though, the crew was great and the cruise was nice. Will have to go back again, though, when it's sunny!
They have six scheduled sailings a day, for about an hour and a half each, between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. for a sunset cruise. Prices are reasonable, $19.95 for an adult, discounts for seniors and children with a family rate as well. The gangplank to get on board is narrow so if you're wide-ended like me, you may have to go down it sideways.
History by the harbour
This beautiful historic area dates back to the late 18th century-early 19th century when merchant and naval ships continuously sailed through the Halifax harbour. The wharves and warehouses that were then built are now known as the Historic Properties. In fact, 10 of the city's oldest buildings are located in that area. It is interesting to know that in the 1960s, the rundown buildings were almost torn down but a group of citizens came to the rescue and gave life to what is now one of Halifax's most pleasant areas, with lots of restaurants and shops all located in a beautiful setting. We were lucky enough to be there on Natal Day and probably got to enjoy the Historic Properties' atmosphere at its very best, with lots of action, music, beer and friendly people all around!
- Historical Travel
A walk back in time
You haven’t experienced Halifax till you visit the Historic Properties. On the waterfront of the city’s downtown core, it takes you back to a different time, when merchant ships, privateers and naval ships plied the Harbour.
It’s well worth your time to spend an afternoon ambling around the area, soaking up the history. It feels as if nothing’s changed.
There are lots of pubs , restaurants, and shopping as well.
- Historical Travel
Theodore was a cheery tugboat featured on the animated series Theodore Tugboat. Cochran Entertainment, which produced the series, commissioned a life-sized replica of Theodore Tugboat. This is known as "The Theodore Too". This boat was fitted with large, movable cartoon eyes and a big red baseball cap. The eyes also blink. It's kind of creepy when the boat is looking and blinking at you.
"Theodore is used to promote safety in the water. In fact it is the "spokes boat" and official Ambassador of the National Safe Boating Council (NSBC).
- Family Travel
You know that ship that's on the back of the Canadian Dime. It's a picture of the Bluenose. An exact replica of that ship sits in front of the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic during the summer.
The original Bluenose was launched at Lunenburg, Nova Scotia on March 26, 1921, as both a working cod-fishing schooner and a racing ship. After a season fishing on the Grand Banks, Bluenose defeated the ship Elsie from Gloucester, Massachusetts in a race for working schooners established by the Halifax Herald. During the next 17 years of racing, no challenger, American or Canadian, could beat the Bluenose. Despite efforts to keep her in Nova Scotia after WWII, the undefeated Bluenose was sold to work as a freighter in the West Indies.
The Bluenose II, was launched at Lunenburg on July 24, 1963, built according to original plans by many of the same workers. She was sold to the government of Nova Scotia for $1 and serves as a goodwill ambassador, tourist attraction in Lunenburg, and symbol of the province. In the summer it is based in Halifax although it often is out visiting ports all around Nova Scotia and the world. Bluenose II does not race.
Bluenose II, like the original ship, has the largest working mainsail in the world, measuring 386 metres squared; she has a total sail area of 1036 metres squared.
- Historical Travel
HMCS Sackville is the last remaining WWII corvette in the world. Based on a British Admiralty design, these seaworthy, relatively inexpensive, and quickly-constructed bathtubs were built in large numbers during World War II for the Battle of the Atlantic. Of the 236 corvettes that were laid down in Canada and Britain, 111 sailed from Canadian slips.
HMCS Sackville entered service in December 1941. The ship's operational career was spent escorting convoys between St. John's, Newfoundland, and Londonderry, Northern Ireland. On August 3-4, 1942, while escorting an eastbound convoy, Sackville engaged three U-boats in a 36-hour period. In the foggy weather, the ship damaged one submarine, hit another with 4-inch gunfire, and shook up the third with depth charges.
At war's end, Sackville was employed as an officer training ship. Laid up in reserve, the corvette was reactivated in 1952 and spent the next 30 years engaged in oceanographic, hydrographic, and fisheries research. Retired from the Royal Canadian Navy in 1982, Sackville was transferred to the Canadian Naval Corvette Trust and restored to her 1944 appearance. On May 4, 1985, Sackville was formally dedicated as the Canadian Naval Memorial.
- Historical Travel
Tall Ship Silva
The Silva is a converted steel hull ship made into a "tall" ship. They do sailing tours around the Halifax harbour daily. It's a large ship. Passengers can participate and help with some of the tasks. The ship can be chartered for weddings and other group events as well.
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