1. Alexander Keith’s Brewery 1496 LOWER WATER STREET
Construction of this substantial ironstone and granite complex was started in 1820 by Alexander Keith, a local brewer and well-respected Halifax citizen, who served as mayor in 1843 and again in 1853– 54. The building was designed by William Hay, a Scottish architect who, in partnership with David Stirling, also designed the Halifax Club (1862) and the Federal Building, which currently houses the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. During the 1980s, the brewery complex was adapted to house both retail shops and meeting spaces.
Exclusive to Doors Open weekend, visitors can explore one of North America’s oldest commercial breweries free of charge. This unique tour, hosted by animators in period costume, will take you back in time. These characters will let you discover historic secrets, including the art of the brew master and the pleasures enjoyed while savouring a brew, as well as a visit to Mr. Keith’s dining room and study. There will be live music in the bar, beer samples, lemonade and iced tea.
2. Canada Border Services Agency 1061 MARGINAL ROAD, SUITE 100
Every day, marine vessels of all types enter Canadian waters. The Canada Border Services Agency’s (CBSA’s) Marine Centre of Expertise (MCE) is a national training and resource centre that teaches border services officers the necessary skills to search marine vessels and cargo containers for weapons, drugs, or other contraband. The MCE in Halifax trains officers from across the country, and around the world.
The MCE also develops training material, and provides support to CBSA marine operations nationally to support safe and effective commercial vessel, marine container and pleasure craft examinations. The centre is continually adapting courses as new risks, trends and techniques are identified, contributing to the security of Canada’s borders.
5. HMCS Sackville, Canada’s National Naval War Memorial 1675 LOWER WATER STREET
This Canadian naval memorial is, in fact, the ‘soul’ of the Navy. That soul was shaped and imparted to Sackville and to the Navy by the leadership, spirit and actions of men like Alan Easton, her very successful early captain, and the ships companies that they led.
HMCS Sackville is the last of Canada’s 123 corvettes, one of many convoy escort vessels built in Canada and the United Kingdom during WWII. She is Canada’s oldest fighting warship and has been our official Naval Memorial since 1985. It is appropriate that the ship is in Halifax, as this east coast port was an important assembly point and destination for convoys during the Battle of the Atlantic.
Open Sunday Only 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
4. Keith Hall 1475 HOLLIS STREET
Originally the residence of Alexander Keith, Keith Hall is a three-storey sandstone and brick building; its cornerstone was laid in 1863. The building was designed by Scottish architect William Hay and showcases Italianate architecture with its many ornate window surrounds and elaborate pillared portico with urn-topped balustrade. In 1999, a major restoration was begun and, after 15 years of work, Halifax firm DSRA Architecture received the 2014 Lieutenant Governor’s Design Award in Architecture for their outstanding restoration of Keith Hall.
5. Maritime Museum of the Atlantic 1675 LOWER WATER STREET
The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic features what is possibly the definitive exhibit on the Halifax Explosion of 1917. This year is the 100th anniversary of that disaster, and the Museum has opened its doors to visitors free of charge all weekend for this year’s Doors Open event. This award-winning exhibit takes visitors through the timeline of the event, establishing what life in the city was like and breaking down the unfortunate circumstances that caused the tragedy. Featuring personal effects and stories of those who both perished and survived, the exhibit explores the explosion from an anecdotal perspective, giving visitors a sense of the devastation that occurred, but more importantly, a sense of the city’s bravery in the face of adversity.
6. Maple 1583 HOLLIS STREET
Maple by Southwest Properties is designed to contribute a contemporary, iconic addition to Halifax’s urban landscape – the largest residential building in downtown. Targeting LEED ® Gold certification, Maple is a beautiful, affordable urban oasis of rental suites. Offering much more than a prime location, Maple features magnificent architecture, outstanding amenities, modern finishes and contemporary living spaces – all designed to cater to the ultimate urbanite. Doors Open weekend is your chance to glimpse Maple’s spectacular and sustainable construction. Maple offers a luxurious experience, from a welcoming entrance lobby with a wall of original art, concierge service, an interior pool and fitness centre, resident amenity space and billiard room, and designer suites – all with breathtaking harbour or city views. Group tours will be available.
7. The Alexander 1496 LOWER WATER STREET
Linked to the historic Brewery Market, The Alexander is a brand new 23-storey residential development, combining European styling with impressive views of downtown Halifax and the Halifax harbour. The architect of the project is Michael Napier Architecture. Still under construction, the Alexander will be completed in early 2018. Killam Apartment REIT is debuting two model suites of the Alexander during Doors Open weekend – the public’s first opportunity to step inside this unique property. Access through the Brewery Market.
On Saturday only, watch local artist Emma Fitzgerald create a live illustration of The Alexander from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
7. Theodore Tugboat CABLE WHARF, HALIFAX WATERFRONTT
Theodore is a friendly tugboat who loves to discover and explore brand new things. Theodore Tugboat informs and entertains, bringing the sights and sounds of an actual working harbour to life. Explore the outer deck and inside wheelhouse of this smiling, working tug. Sit at the captain’s wheel, sing along to Theodore’s famous song, colour a map of the Big Harbour, and learn about Theodore’s job as an ambassador to Halifax Harbour.