Historic Halifax

30 Aug

When my sister decided to get married in Prince Edward Island, my entire family was delighted to be able to finally visit the Maritimes and we booked our trip so we could also spend a few days in Nova Scotia.  First stop, Halifax.

Halifax is a city rich in history. There was a British settlement here as early as 1749 and  it was the seat of Canada’s first legislature, which first met in 1759 and later in 1858 became the first site of responsible government among the colonies of the British Empire.

On our first day in Halifax, I was keen to check out the Halifax Seaport Farmer’s market. Established in 1750 by Royal Proclamation, the market claims to be the oldest continuously running market in North America. It is now housed in a modern building which uses green energy, at the entrance to Halifax Harbour .

Halifax Seaport Farmer's Market

Having already had breakfast, I was a bit annoyed with myself as there were lots of tasty and delicious things to sample from many diverse vendors. Wine, cheeses and local produce all feature heavily as well as arts and crafts, jewellery and other design products.

Dutch Cheeses at the Halifax Seaport Farmer's Market

Vendor at the Halifax Seaport Farmer's Market

Right around the corner from our hotel and on the way to the Halifax Public Gardens, on the corner of Spring Garden Road and Barrington Street, we stumbled across the Old Burying Ground which dates from 1749,the same year as the original Halifax settlement was founded. It closed in 1843 and is resting place of many of the city’s founding fathers including such notable personalities as British Major General Robert Ross who burned Washington in the War of 1812 and died during that same war.

Old Burying Ground, Halifax

Further up Spring Garden Road, you arrive at the Halifax Public Gardens, a brilliant example of a Victorian style garden. Opened in 1867, it remains a wonderful oasis in the heart of a modern city.

Halifax Public Gardens

Covering more than 16 acres, the gardens remain one the oldest Victorian style gardens in North America.

Summer Colour in the Halifax Public Gardens

From here, we were just a stone’s throw from the Citadel so on we soldiered to see one of Canada’s most historic places. It was completed in 1856 after 28 years of construction and was part of the British Defences against the United States because of its prominent, fortified location overlooking Halifax’s natural harbour.  It was never attacked, but later served as a garrison for the Canadian Army during the 1st and 2nd World Wars.

Drummer in full regalia at the Halifax Citadel

The view is impressive and you from the lookout points high on the fortress walls you can see the entire harbour and the modern city that has evolved.

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