Map &
Directions

Hours
mode_edit
Been here?
Rate it
chevron_left
 
chevron_right

Top Tours

 
Peggy's Cove Morning Light Photo Tour
"Embark on a photography excursion to Peggy's Cove one of Canada's most iconic sites with the beautiful dawn rising up over the North Atlantic. Your driver will pick you up in a stylish 11-passenger Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van and head to the majestic Peggy's Cove Preservation Area. Your photographer guide will reveal the best hid share insights on making the most of your camera and showcase some of the rich history of the area through archival images maps movies and photographs purchased from the Nova Scotia Archives. Throughout the morning you will explore the lighthouse area
From CAD115.00
 
Eastern Shore Photo Tour
"Journey along the coast that is often forgot about when people think of Halifax Nova Scotia - the stunning Eastern Shore!Just north and east from downtown along the Atlantic coast is the historic Eastern Shore with mesmerizing coastal landscapes historic Acadian villages fisherman at work throughout the morning and cold weathered surfers dancing on waves all along the coast.We will have this area all to yourselves with your local photographer pointing out the best spots for taking pictures and helping you make the most of your camera or device. We will maps movies and photographs courtesy of the NS Archives.A few of the spots we may visit include
From CAD115.00
 
Go Boston Card
"Choose free entry to over 40 unique attractions and tours in Boston and its surrounds then let your Go Boston Card do the rest. You'll receive discounts and special offers on shopping dining and activities plus a 69-page guidebook to help you plan your Boston vacation. The Go Boston Card leaves you in control allowing you to have the best customized experience possible. The Go Boston Card is available for one two
From $54.00

Province House Tips (4)

A fascinating seat of Government.

To begin this tip, I should explain that I visited Province House in Halifax in July 2014 and am writing this tip in early November of that same year. In the interim period there have been what appear to be two appalling terrorist murders of servicemen in Canada, one at the National Monument, so how this will impact on the traveller being able to visit this place I am not sure, I suspect no final decisions have been made yet. I really do hope they don't decide just to close it off as it really is a most superb place and well worth a visit.

To be honest, my friend and I were just wandering about the middle of Halifax with a vague idea to go to the citadel (see separate tip) and had not really planned to visit here at all. I spied the Boer War memorial and decided to go and have a look and my friend was looking round and asked if I wanted to go in and look inside. Well, a hugely historical Governmental building, I didn't need any second bidding and so in we went. We didn't even get past the door before the two security guards had engaged us in conversation. Not any sort of interrogation, you understand, just a friendly chat. We made it as far as the desk and the member of staff there suggested the best way of seeing the place, also suggesting that there was a video presentation starting shortly upstairs which we might enjoy. We had a brief perusal of the impressive staircase and upstairs hallway whilst waiting to go in and were treated to a very professional video presentation about the history of the building and Nova Scotia in general.

As you would expect from the Provincial seat of Government of an industrialised nation, the place is very well-maintained. It is obviously a delightfully and attractively old building but with all the modern appurtenances (TV cameras, well-equipped media room, accessible toilets and so on) but it in no way detracts from the natural charm of the place.
We made our way towards the well-signed theatre where we took our seats and were treated to an excellent professional video performance dealing partly with the building, partly about Nova Scotia in particular and partly with Canada more generally. All very well done, lasting about 20 - 25 minutes in total and well worth the time. After that we were fairly well free to explore the building at will. Obviously, there were private offices but not too many and you could more or less wander where you wanted. I found it absolutely enchanting, both architecturally and historically.

I do not wish to sound over-fulsome but I literally felt history pouring out of every knot in every wooden panel. I trust that I write tips on Virtual Tourist that are objective and not overly-coloured by a personal impression of a particular place and I hope people respect my writing in this way even if they think it is rubbish as a piece but I genuinely found this place very moving in various ways.

So what about the building itself? Well, it started in 1819 (building having started in 1811) and was originally the legiaslature building as well as being the major Court for Nova Scotia. Don't forget, this is decades before Canada became a country!

Perhaps the most famous trial in the "Court", which is now the parliamentarly library, was that against Joseph Howe, sometime politician, sometime journalist, who published an article in his newspaper accusing the polce and local authorities of theft of public monies. His speech in his own defence lasted approximately six hours and cited numerous incidents of malfeasance by those in public office.

After the trial, the jury was exhorted by the judge to find him guilty and they found him not guilty a scant ten minutes later. Apparently, in those days, honesty was no defence to the libel law, how does that work? "Joe" Howe or "Uncle Joe" as he is now affectionatley known, is credited with establishing the concept of freedom of speech in this very room. I find that worth visiting if for nothing else here.

I'll tell you how open this place was and I will include a picture here. This is not in the slightest disrespectful to a people I vaguely knew before and have come to love in the last few months. We were in what is the "chamber" where things are debated, obviously off on holiday for the summer in the way of politicians everywhere. The concept of doing a VT flag photo seemed beyond possibility but the guard told us to go ahead. For crying out loud, if I tried to do that in the Houses of Parliament in London, I'd be at least given a good kicking if not shot! This is Canada for you, end of story and I thank them for it, they were so good.

There are numerous other rooms available for viewing, many of which have huge historical significance for Canada and it is absolutely worth visiting. Obviously, by the nature of the place, it is a functioning Governmental building so you may only have limited access, especially in light of the last few weeks horrors.

I did notice, on a military note (I am an ex-soldier myself) that there was a delighttful prortrait (I beleive in oils, I am no expert) of a chap called William Hall, a very upstanding looking gentleman in civvies and with his medals on , who died in 1904 and was the first "black" man (their term not mine and undoubdetly appropriate at the time he won it.) For anyone reading this who does not understand the VC, it is the highest honour for valour you can recieve in the British Forces. It doesn't get any higher than that. Colonels will salute you first (not actually required in Queens Regs but they will), differennt from the CMH in the States where it is required.

I could bore you with a thousand things to look at in this building but I won't. It is just a complete trerasure trove of things to see and experience, it really is that good.

If you have the great good fortune to visit Nova Scotia, and I hope you do as I had a wonderful time there, the attached website is where it is run from. Go and have a look. Seriously, it is well worth it and, if you are on a tight budget, it is totally free.

planxty's Profile Photo
planxty
Nov 07, 2014

I didn't even know.

Readers of my other pages will know that I have an interest in military history (all periods) and I knew a bit about the Boer / South African War which seemed to have spanned the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I know the UK had been heavily involved and indeed suffered heavy casualties but it was only when I visited Canada for the first time recently that I realised the extent of Canadian involvement in that conflict. It seems they too suffered pretty seriously a long way from home and this memorial is dedicated to them.

I certainly don't want to get into the morality of this or, indeed, any other war. I merely post this tip as sometthing interesting which the visitor may want to have a look at. It is in the grounds of the Provincial House (see separate tip) on Hollis street in the middle of "downtown". Built to the design of Hamilton MacCarthy it is a rather grand structure, a lot grander than many of the simple obelisks erected for the fallen after the first World War which was to happen all too soon. Perhaps by then people had lost the taste for war and who can blame them?

The cornerstone was laid in 1901 by the Prince of Wales (later King Goerge V) accompanied by the Princess of Wales and was the first time they had visited Canada as a couple. There are four panels on the plinth depicting the departure from Halifax (a major seaport), the Battle of Witpoort, the Battle of Paaderburg, which was the Canadians largest engagement of the war and the Seige of Mafeking. It is worth spending a minute or two examining these panels as they really are very well executed.

Atop the whole thing is a Canadian soldier, resplendent in the dress of the time (including long puttees) and with his rifle held high above his head. Again, this main character is very well executed. It is an excellently done piece of sculpture whatever your views on warfare and, if you are visiting Provincial House (which you should if it is open) it is well worth stopping off to examine this

planxty's Profile Photo
planxty
Nov 05, 2014

~ Province House ~

We were about to just walk through what we thought was a parking lot. We saw two commissionaires standing on the steps to an open door. We walked over and found out we were at the Provincial House. So we went in. They took our bags and put them through an x-ray machine to make sure there was nothing dangerous in it. Then we went off on a self tour.

There is a room dedicated to Joseph Howe. He was a journalist; and later the Premier of Nova Scotia. He was put on trial on a charge of criminal libel. The presiding judge called for Howe's conviction, but Howe's passionate speech in his own defence swayed the jury and the jurors acquitted him in what is considered a landmark case in the struggle for a free press in Canada

We were even able to walk into the legislature room, and the library.

It was a very informative visit and the staff was extremely friendly.

RavensWing's Profile Photo
RavensWing
Aug 22, 2014

Seat of the Nova Scotia Legislature

It's always fun to visit the Leg building when you happen to be in a provincial capital because it's a great - and free - way to learn more about the province's history and current state. Unfortunately they were doing a bit of restauration to the building during our stay in Halifax so there were a few rooms we didn't have access to, but we still enjoyed visiting Nova Scotia's Province House. Built between 1811 and 1818, it is a beautiful example of Georgian architecture and it is now a National historic site. Your tour guide will point you to several symbols that represent the province's heritage and identity - ask your tour guide about the beheaded bald eagles, that's a funny one!

Jefie's Profile Photo
Jefie
Sep 07, 2006
 
 
Sponsored Listings

Hotels Near Province House

Hotels
1649 Hollis Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3J 1V8, Canada
Show Prices
Hotels
6151 Lady Hammond Road, between Robie Street and Windsor Street, B3K 2R9
Show Prices
Hotels
1875 Barrington Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3J 3L6, Canada
Show Prices
Hotels
1725 Market Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3J 3N9, Canada
Show Prices
Hotels
1599 Grafton St., Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3J 2C3, Canada
Show Prices
Hotels
1919 Upper Water Street, (formerly Casino Nova Scotia), Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3J 3Y5, Canada
Show Prices
pieter_jan_v's Profile Photo

pieter_jan_v

"WE ALTERNATE"
View Member
tvor's Profile Photo

tvor

"Where Tvor Lives"
View Member
easterntrekker's Profile Photo

easterntrekker

"Halifax MY Home Town"
View Member
PA2AKgirl's Profile Photo

PA2AKgirl

"Fantastic Halifax"
View Member
planxty's Profile Photo

planxty

"What an excellent city."
View Member
 
 

Things to Do Near Province House

Things to Do

Art Gallery of Nova Scotia

located in a historic Victorian building, the AGNS has been hosting some really fabulous shows over the last few years including a couple of Impressionist shows. Upcoming in 2005 is a retrospective of...
View More
Things to Do

Maritime Museum of the Atlantic

As part of the Museum of the Atlantic, which I have dealt with in a separate tip here and thouroughtly recommend, the traveller can also visit the CSS Acadia, which is an old sea-going vessel, the...
View More
Things to Do

Discovery Centre

The Discovery Centre is a great place for a family visit. It's a hands on centre for finding out about all things science and technology with lots of interactive exhibits. They are actually a...
View More
Things to Do

HMCS Sackville

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...
View More
Things to Do

St Mary's Basilica

St. Mary's is at the heart of Halifax, where many students and visitors flock around on Staturdays. Construction started in 1820 and lasted till 1899. Mass times: Mo-Fr: 12.15PM and 5.15PM Sa:...
View More
Things to Do

Halifax Citadel National Historic Site

It is literally impossible to go anywhere in downtown Halifax and not notice the Citadel as it is the most prominent feature in the city, set on a height which, I suppose, is why it is there in the...
View More

Getting to Province House

Address

hollis street

Hours

  • Sunday 10:00 to 16:00
  • Monday 09:00 to 16:00
  • Tuesday 09:00 to 16:00
  • Wednesday 09:00 to 16:00
  • Thursday 09:00 to 16:00
  • Friday 09:00 to 16:00
  • Saturday 10:00 to 16:00

Map