May 10, 2015

Unsure of where to spend my four years of freedom but quite sure that I didn’t want to recognize my whole high school on campus, I accepted a letter from Dalhousie University and moved to city that I’d never been to and on the other side of our huge country.

Though I had been on a camping trip to the Maritimes when I was younger, I had never been to Nova Scotia and when we pulled up in front of Howe Hall in Halifax after the 16 hour drive, I was relieved to feel like I had made a great choice and had found a new home.

Halifax is a happy city located on the East Coast of Canada. It’s by far the biggest city east of Montreal (which I quickly realized) and is home to a vibrant Maritime culture, great seafood and some of the friendliest Canadians we have.

I was fortunate enough to call Halifax home for three years, spent two summers working on the harbour front and two falls travelling around the Maritimes when I played basketball for the University. Halifax is a joy in the summer and a promise in the winter – that summer will come back around, that the four seasons will propel you forward and with more bars per capita and a disproportionate amount of post-secondary institutes, Halifax is young, fun and full of ways to drink your money.

need to know Halifax 

the Weather – in Canada is very seasonal, so always check it before you go. In the summer sunny days get up to 30 even with a crisp coastal breeze and in the winter drop to a miserable white -20.

the Food – Halifax is a port city known for its lobster rolls, seafood linguine, fresh scallops and big lobster bakes. Partial to my place of employment, Salty’s restaurant in the Halifax Harbour offers two different menu’s for two different moods: fine dining for special occasions on the top level and pub food on the waterfront patio. The Economy Shoe Shop is a great restaurant on Argyle street with a really cool interior and a solid menu. Pete’s Frootique is a Whole Foods like grocery store just off of Spring Garden that offers a fresh food counter with salads, soups and sandwiches. Also not to be missed is The Hamachi House, a food-envy sushi house that makes every plate worth trying. And last but not least, The Bicycle Thief located near the waterfront which wasn’t in operation when I lived in Halifax but is rumoured to be a young, trendy, busy after work watering hole.

the Party – The Lower Deck was always one of my favourite places to listen to live folk music and stomp cheap draft beers on long wooden tables. The Split Crow just a block away is famous for its patio parties and Power Hour, 3 beers for 5$ when I was a student though I’m sure an alteration to the liquor law has changed that by now. The Argyle on Argyle street has a nice roof top patio and a young crowd on the right day. Pizza Corner is a shrine, ask anyone and they will point you in the direction of Donair for late night pizza.

the Tours – ripping round Halifax on a bike or around the harbour by sail are my favourite ways to experience the city, you can easily hook up with a tour or rent your own in both respects. Stopping for a moment at the Public Gardens on Spring Garden Street is a nice little oasis in the middlde of town. The Harbour Hopper is also a lame tourist bus much like the hop on hop off bus, though submerging into the water after touring on land is a novelty best experienced only once.

Halifax photo is borrowed from Flckr. None of my photos could do it justice.

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