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While almost certainly not as famous as it’s founder would have liked, Alexander Keith’s Nova Scotia Brewery has developed a niche following throughout Canada, especially in its eastern provinces. The brewery was created almost two centuries ago, in 1820, making it one of the oldest breweries in North America (the oldest surviving commercial brewery is John Molson’s, founded in Montreal in 1786).
Alexander Keith was a Scottish immigrant who had been a brewer in Edinburgh and London before moving to the New World. He had an interesting career that extended beyond brewing and including being mayor of Halifax and President of the Provincial Legislative Council of Nova Scotia. While in Canada he experimented with ale, porter, ginger wine and spruce beer, …
Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market is the oldest continuously operating farmer’s market in North America, originating a year after Halifax was founded, in 1750. For over 250 years the market has sold meat and produce delivered from Acadian farms in the Annapolis Valley and elsewhere in Nova Scotia.
The Market has operated in several locations across the city since its inception, including within the Keith’s Brewery Building. In 2010 The Market moved into a converted warehouse along the Halifax Seaport and today hosts over 250 vendors!
We spent more than a day exploring the waterfront area and made several stops at this market. Our visit to Halifax was during the early fall so the produce available reflected the season — apples, peaches, plums …
The Halifax Town Clock (aka ‘Old Town Clock’, or ‘Citadel Clock Tower’) is situated just beneath the old Citadel on a hill overlooking the city and its harbor. It has kept time for over 200 years and is considered one of the city’s iconic buildings.
The clock was a gift from Prince Edward, Duke of Kent (Queen Victoria’s father). Prince Edward was the Commander-in-Chief of British Forces in North America and was stationed in Halifax for about a year, ending August 1800. Upon leaving, the prince (who was obsessed with punctuality and found Halifax residents lacking in this regard) decided to give the city this timepiece.
The Clock was designed by Prince Edward’s engineer in 1801 and was crafted by the …
During my travels I often find myself visiting sites of government. Not sure why this is so because, as a rule, most governments really annoy me. Perhaps it’s because the buildings in which they’re housed are often grand and opulent and their landscaping beautiful, covering many acres of prime real estate.
So a visit to Province House in Halifax was a pleasant change from the norm. When we first spotted the building during our exploratory walk through the city, I thought it must be of some significance because it was old and looked important, but it is not at all large, occupying only a small city block. Perhaps, I thought, it was a courthouse or library? Turned out this was Province …
Halifax’s roots lie in its proximity to the sea, and its large natural harbor. When the town was founded in 1749, among the first buildings constructed was a guardhouse atop what would become known as Citadel Hill. The Citadel, because of its hilltop location, offered a strategic defensive position. As the harborside town grew and changed, so did the fort which overlooked and protected it.
The Citadel was completed in 1856, the fourth and last in a series of forts built at this site. Its official name is Fort George (after King George II). It has a distinctive star shape, strategic for allowing optimum defense of the structure. Fortunately these defenses were never put to the test as the city was …
While I am not a fan of the provincial capitol of Halifax, I really enjoyed the rural landscapes of Nova Scotia, especially the many colorful and picturesque fishing villages along the coast. The most interesting coastal community we visited was Lunenberg, situated about 90 km from Halifax. It has rows of tidy well-kept homes, nice churches and shops, and a lovely waterfront. Canadians best know Lunenberg as the birthplace of the Bluenose, a racing ship which graces the Canadian dime.
Lunenburg’s history has long been entertwined with the sea. The first mention of an European settlement around here was in the early 1600s, which was a simple Acadian village. The British saw the value of the …
The highest tides in the world occur in Canada’s Bay of Fundy, which separates New Brunswick from Nova Scotia. Twice each day the Bay of Fundy fills and empties about 160 billion tons of water. In 1975 The Guinness Book of World Records listed Burntcoat Head Park in Nova Scotia as the site of the greatest average tide of 47.5 feet. with an extreme range of 53.6 feet. That’s about as tall as a four story building!
When I visited Nova Scotia last fall, one of the top things on my “to do” list was to see the sight of this great tidal surge. Ideally you want to be there at both low and high tide to see …
I’d never visited Halifax before this past summer and was not quite sure what I’d find when I visited. As it is a provincial capital, I expected a lot of government and corporate offices and was not to be disappointed in that regard. I didn’t expect the city’s natural harbor to be as lovely as it was, nor did I expect the downtown construction boom we encountered as the area is one of the poorest in Canada. It is also one of the dirtiest cities I’ve seen in a country known for its cleanliness, so this revitalization offers promises of a better tomorrow.
Halifax has a number of interesting attractions, none overwhelming, but with an engaging Maritime Museum and a unique …