Travel Guides to Canada

2016 Travel Guide to Canada

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TRAVEL GUIDE TO CANADA H alifax, the vibrant capital of Nova Scotia, is also the de facto capital of the Maritimes. With a population hovering around 414,400, it is by far the largest city in the region and acts as its economic engine. Home to seven universi- ties, Halifax is the centre of higher learning as well. But if that makes you picture it as a collection of offi ce towers and ivory towers tied together with a bow of legislative red tape, it is time to take a closer look ( www. SOMETHING OLD One of the fi rst things visitors will notice is that the air is tinged with salt and touched by history. Take Halifax's huge natural harbour; this busy body of water fi rst drew the British here in 1749, and the pivotal role it played over the following centuries is still obvious around the waterfront. After all, stops on or near it include the Historic Properties, a series of 18 th and 19 th century warehouses fi lled with shops and old-school eateries (; Cable Wharf, typically topped by the masts of tall ships (; and the stone-clad Brewery Market, home to Alexander Keith's—one of the continent's oldest breweries ( If you want to bone up on the harbour's backstory, the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic sits right on the scenic waterfront boardwalk ( mma). Partly housed in a ship chandlery, the oldest and largest facility of its kind in Canada highlights our seafaring legacy and contains particularly poignant exhibits relating to the Titanic disaster—recovery operations were based here when the "unsinkable" did the unthinkable in 1912—and the horrifi c Halifax Explosion, which decimated a swath of the North End and claimed nearly 2,000 lives in 1917. The museum also has a gallery focussing on national naval history, which is fi tting considering Halifax has long been the home port for the Royal Canadian Navy's Atlantic Fleet. Strategically overlooking the harbour, the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site is another place where the past seems present ( aspx). On Citadel Hill, you can literally see the passage of time in the Old Town Clock, which has ticked away in its octagonal tower for more than two centuries; and you can hear it in the fi ring of the Noon Gun, a daily ritual since 1857. You can feel it, too, inside the formidable, star-shaped fort. May through October, costumed guides recreate garrison life within its ramparts, while re-enactors wearing the kilted uniform of the 78 th Highland Regiment practice HALIFAX MUrPHY'S HarBoUr QUeen • nS toUriSM/Len WaGG GIVING TRADITION A CONTEMPORARY TWIST BY SUSAN MACCALLUMWHITCOMB NOVA SCOTIA

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