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Halifax, Gateway to Atlantic Canada, has flourished as a prominent port situated on the world's second largest natural harbour.
The entire Halifax region delights with its impressive array of entertainment, museums, galleries, historic sites, fine restaurants, colourful gardens and lively nightlife.
As the capital of Nova Scotia and the largest city in the Atlantic provinces, Halifax is the major centre of the Maritimes. With its steep streets, stunning harbour, and the famous Citadel overlooking the city, Halifax is world-renowned for its beauty and character.
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
The scenery is magnificent at
any time of the year. Whatever the interest of the visitor, access is only
minutes away. Camping, skiing, swimming, canoeing, scuba diving, fishing,
hiking, and bird watching are only a few of the possibilities in this natural
Halifax, Nova Scotia's capital,
lies on one of the world's most extensive natural harbors, midway along Nova
Scotia's south Atlantic shore. It is located on a peninsula between the harbor
and an inlet called the North West Arm. Halifax harborís 16 miles are second
only in size to the harbor in Sydney, Australia. It was this feature that
attracted Colonel Edward Cornwallis and 2500 others who settled there in 1749
and established a naval and military depot. The site was named in honor of Lord
Halifax, President of the British Board of Trade at that time. Halifax was
intended to serve as a counterbalance to the French fort in Nova Scotia's far
Pier 21 in Halifax became to
Canada what Ellis Island was to the US. Between 1928 and 1971 over a million
immigrants entered Canada there, including 48,000 war brides and their 22,000
children. During World War II, nearly half a million troops departed from Pier
21 for Europe. In 1999, the Pier was transformed into a colorful national
historic site with a museum featuring a large pavilion, boutiques, cafes and
In April, 1912, Halifax was the
hub of rescue operations for the Titanic. Memorabilia remains in the
town, mostly in the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. There are also three
cemeteries that contain 150 of the victims, one third of whom were never
Another maritime disaster took
place in 1917 when the Mont Blanc, a French munitions ship carrying an
explosive cargo, collided with another ship in the harbor. The sudden explosion
killed over 1900 people, injured 9000 and leveled 321 acres of the city.
International efforts aided the rebuilding of the city with Boston,
Massachusetts being recognized as the first to provide aid. Boston still
receives the gift of a Nova Scotia evergreen at Christmastime each year.
The major industries in Nova
Scotia today are manufacturing, mining, fisheries, tourism and agriculture. Its
historic downtown section contains carefully preserved, architecturally
significant buildings attesting to past achievements and to continued prosperity
The compact downtown area
extends west from the water to the Citadel, the star-shaped fort overlooking the
city. Cogswell Street to the north and Spring Garden Road to the south mark the
other boundaries of the historic central district. Dartmouth, Halifax's twin
city, is east across the harbor. The cities are connected by two toll bridges
and the oldest continuously running saltwater ferry in North America. Charter
sport fishing excursions are available and are very popular.
In Halifax of the present day,
the harbor is the center of activity day and night. Pubs, shops, museums, parks,
and public gardens attract local residents and many visitors. Street musicians,
jazz concerts, outdoor festivals, cultural and sporting events are plentiful.
Galleries, concerts, theater, and fine dining combine to make the twin cities of
Halifax and Dartmouth a destination for any season. The excitement and bustle
of the capital city harmonizes well with the warmth and convenience of the small
town and the surrounding serenity and beauty of the countryside.