8 Fun Facts About the Vibrant City of Halifax

8 Fun Facts About the Vibrant City of Halifax

8 Fun Facts about Halifax, Nova Scotia… or should we say Hali-Facts! 

1. Halifax is the capital of Canada’s Ocean Playground

Halifax is a city that’s never far from the sea. Whether you’re in the downtown core or exploring the surrounding areas, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to take in the breathtaking coastal scenery. With beautiful beaches just a stone’s throw away, you’ll never have to venture far to get your ocean fix. The coastline in the Halifax region spans approximately 150 km and boasts a variety of stunning landscapes. You can take a scenic drive along the shoreline, stretching just under 200 km from Hubbard’s in the South Shore to Ecum Secum on the Eastern Shore, in about three hours. So if you’re looking to soak up some sun and sand, Halifax is the perfect destination to explore and appreciate the natural beauty of the Atlantic coast.

2. Halifax’s warm embrace of Winter

Winter in Halifax may be chilly, but it’s also full of delights that have been embraced by Haligonians for centuries. Did you know that the Public Gardens were home to Canada’s first covered ice rink, which opened on January 3, 1863? Today, this outdoor skating tradition is still alive and well in Halifax, thanks to the Emera Oval located in the Halifax Commons. This impressive rink boasts an ice surface equivalent in size to three NHL hockey rinks and can accommodate up to 1,500 skaters at a time. In fact, it’s the largest outdoor, artificially-refrigerated ice surface east of Quebec City, making it a popular destination for locals and visitors alike.

3.  The Halifax Public Gardens was formally founded in 1867, the year of the Canadian Confederation.
A visit to the Halifax Public Gardens is an absolute must for any traveler to the city. This 17-acre oasis is home to a stunning array of fountains, rare flowers, trees, and a charming gazebo. Located near the bustling shopping district of Spring Garden Road and across from Victoria Park, the gardens offer a peaceful retreat in the heart of the city. In recognition of their historical and cultural significance, the Halifax Public Gardens were designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1984. So whether you’re looking for a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of city life or simply a beautiful place to explore, the Halifax Public Gardens are not to be missed.

4. Citadel Hill is the most visited National Historic Site in Canada to date

Citadel Hill is a true icon of Halifax, and it’s no surprise that it is the most visited National Historic Site in Canada to date. This impressive fortress has been a part of Halifax’s landscape since the early 1800s and is now a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. The site offers guided tours, interactive exhibits, and breathtaking views of the city and harbour below. Whether you’re interested in history, architecture, or simply taking in the stunning vistas, a visit to Citadel Hill is an essential part of any trip to Halifax. It’s no wonder that so many visitors are drawn to this remarkable site, and with so much to see and do, it’s easy to see why Citadel Hill remains a beloved and treasured part of Halifax’s cultural heritage. Did we mention that a cannon is fired everyday at Noon?

5. Halifax rents Point Pleasant Park from the British Government

Halifax rents the site from the British Government for 1 shilling (about 10 cents) a year, with a 999-year lease. At the western entrance, Tower Road at Point Pleasant Drive, a large map shows all walkways and points of interest, including a Martello Tower and the ruins of several forts. Talk about cheap rent!

6. The Halifax Explosion in 1917 was the largest man-made explosion before the dropping of the atomic bombs during the Second World War

The Halifax Explosion of 1917 was a tragic event that remains etched in the collective memory of the people of Halifax. The disaster occurred when two ships, one of which was carrying a significant amount of munitions, collided in the Halifax Harbour. The resulting explosion was the largest man-made blast prior to the dropping of the atomic bombs during World War II, and it had a devastating impact on the city and its inhabitants. The incident had a profound effect on the city, shaping its history and the lives of its citizens for generations to come. Today, the Halifax Explosion remains an important part of the city’s cultural heritage, and serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of safety, community, and preparedness in the face of disaster.

7. The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic is the oldest and largest maritime museum in Canada

The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic is a cornerstone of Halifax’s rich cultural heritage, and it’s no wonder that it is the oldest and largest maritime museum in Canada. With its extensive collection of artifacts, exhibits, and interactive displays, the museum provides a fascinating look into the history of the region and the many vessels that have sailed its waters. From the wooden schooners of the early 19th century to the modern cruise ships of today, the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic celebrates the seafaring heritage of Halifax and its people. Visitors can explore the museum’s many galleries, featuring everything from ship models and naval uniforms to interactive displays that bring the history of the sea to life. Whether you’re a history buff or simply looking for an entertaining and informative day out, the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic can be found on the beautiful Halifax waterfront.

8. Halifax is closer to Dublin, Ireland than it is to Victoria, British Columbia
Halifax’s unique location makes it a fascinating destination to explore. In fact, did you know that Halifax is actually closer to Dublin, Ireland (4,169 km away) than it is to Victoria, British Columbia (5,857 km away)? This surprising fact highlights just how close Halifax is to Europe and the important role the city has played in maritime history. It’s also a testament to the vastness of Canada, with its many diverse regions and cultures. Whether you’re looking to explore Halifax’s rich cultural heritage, soak up the natural beauty of the Atlantic coast, or simply marvel at the city’s unique position in the world, a visit to Halifax is sure to be a memorable and rewarding experience.


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