FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Halifax: City by the Sea

by Dale Leatherman

Apr 14, 2020

The Bicycle Thief © DARRYL BROOKS – DREAMSTIME.COM

April 2020

“FROM THE SEA, WEALTH.” The motto says a lot about Halifax, the capital of Nova Scotia, a Canadian province almost surrounded by the Atlantic. Though visitors and locals gravitate to the waterfront, a good introduction to the city is the hilltop Citadel, a 244-year-old fortress with a panoramic view of the city and its strategic harbor.

A short walk from the Citadel, the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic exhibits the city’s history as a pirate hangout, commercial port and base for warships. Artifacts from the 1912 sinking of the Titanic offer a grim reminder of the city’s role in recovering the dead, 121 of whom are buried locally in Fairview Lawn Cemetery. Another exhibit recounts the Halifax Explosion of 1917, when a ship collision set off the world’s largest accidental manmade explosion, killing 2,000 residents and injuring 9,000.

Near the museum lies the waterfront, where the Royal Canadian Navy’s Atlantic Fleet bases its operations, but most harbor traffic comprises yachts, sailboats, tour boats and cruise ships. A boardwalk connects almost three miles of shops, galleries, bars, restaurants, museums and tour offices. Benches and hammocks offer vantage points for enjoying the ever-changing view. Get even closer to the action with themed cruises (wine, craft beer, history, nature). Among the harborside eateries enjoy local favorites such as The Bicycle Thief (Italian), Salty’s (seafood) and the Stubborn Goat Gastropub (tapas, comfort food).

At the waterfront’s southern end explore Halifax Seaport Farmers Market, where more than 250 vendors ply their wares in a restored, LEED Gold-certified warehouse with a rooftop patio and garden. Nearby, the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 commemorates the site where a million people entered the country. The Westin Nova Scotia, the grande dame of Halifax hotels, overlooks the Seaport. Built in 1930 and a frequent host to royals and celebrities, it has gone green with aggressive energy saving, recycling and composting initiatives.

The hotel keeps in step with Halifax in realizing its wealth does come from the sea. Accordingly, Haligonians embrace Canada’s plans to ban single-use plastics by 2021 and to retrieve “ghost fishing gear” — lost tackle, lines and traps that harm marine life.

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