If you’re headed to Nova Scotia, chances are you’ll go through its provincial capital Halifax, so leave a couple of days to explore. Halifax has that blustery, maritime feel to it, and it’s greener than you might think. Arguably the city’s most prominent park is the Citadel—check it out if you’re enamored of military history, but otherwise, there are more enticing parks out there. Here are several parks to keep in mind on your adventure:
Point Pleasant is beautifully situated at the edge of the city, right on Halifax Harbour. It’s big enough to spend a whole day there, so bring a picnic, your bike, your kids, your dogs, or whatever else. It’s thickly wooded like much of Nova Scotia, but it’s also pretty dramatic to sit at the rocky outer tip and look past McNabs Island (a provincial park accessible by private boat), into the Atlantic Ocean.
The Public Gardens aren’t rugged like Point Pleasant—they’re impeccably manicured with semi-tropical flowers, linden trees, perennials, fountains, ponds, even some resident geese. Designed like a traditional Victorian garden, it officially dates back to 1867 and honors Halifax’s Anglo roots, and the black iron gate at the southeast entrance is stunning. Look out for a model of the Titanic in Griffin’s Pond; models of ships were customary in Victorian gardens, but Halifax was also a first responder to the sinking of the Titanic, and many victims were buried in the city. The garden hosts concerts during the summer as well as free tours, and it’s all very accessible in the city center.
This park is relatively small, skinny in fact, but it’s well worth stopping if you’re passing by along Chebucto Road. It’s just a particularly nice, green, flowery space; a reminder than even though Halifax is filled with tree-lined streets, you can never have too much green in your urban planning. The park is named after Donald W. Saunders, a pioneer of Canadian aviation, and you’ll see an airplane sculpture commemorating his achievements.
Sir Sandford Fleming Park
A hilly, wooded oasis makes up this park which is in a more suburban part of the city. One of its highlights is Dingle Tower, which commemorates Nova Scotia’s representative government. You can take the stairs to the top for wonderful views over the Northwest Arm, which flows out to Halifax Harbour. There are also walking trails, a freshwater pond, and even a couple of small beaches.
What’s your favorite green space in Halifax?