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1. Hal­i­fax Ju­nior Ben­gal Lancers 1690 BELL ROAD

This non-profit rid­ing so­ci­ety was founded in 1932 by M.B. Dick. The build­ing that houses the Lancers was con­structed in 1908 and served as the city works shop and housed po­lice and fire horses. In 1942 it be­came home to the Lancers. It was one of the first lo­cal struc­tures to use con­crete and con­crete blocks, which helped it sur­vive a fire in 1949 that de­stroyed the in­te­rior sta­bles but left the ex­te­rior stand­ing. That same year, the Hal­i­fax Ju­nior Ben­gal Lancers re­ceived their reg­i­men­tal colours from Lord Corn­wal­lis (a de­scen­dant of Hal­i­fax founder Ed­ward Corn­wal­lis) for their con­tri­bu­tion to the city dur­ing the Sec­ond World War.

In the late 1960s, a ther­a­peu­tic rid­ing pro­gram for in­di­vid­u­als with spe­cial needs was es­tab­lished at the fa­cil­ity and con­tin­ues to be an in­te­gral part of Lancers’ pro­gram­ming. The build­ing un­der­went a ma­jor ren­o­va­tion in the 1970s, when swaths of the struc­ture were re­moved to stream­line it into sta­bles and an indoor rid­ing ring. It was des­ig­nated a Hal­i­fax Her­itage Prop­erty in 2001. For Doors Open Hal­i­fax week­end, en­joy a guided tour and watch a mu­si­cal ride prac­tice on Satur­day from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

2. Provin­cial Court­house 5250 SPRING GAR­DEN ROAD

This lo­cal land­mark opened in 1860 was built with three rea­sons in mind. The first was that the grow­ing town needed some­where other than the church to carry out and set­tle charges. Sec­ond, there had been a very large num­ber of fires in Hal­i­fax and this build­ing was one of the first in the city to be cre­ated with more fire re­pel­lant ma­te­ri­als. Third, the build­ing needed to model both power and per­ma­nence for the thriv­ing city.

Fol­low­ing a hia­tus from 1971–1985, when it housed the Provin­cial Li­brary and other govern­ment de­part­ments, this im­pos­ing ex­am­ple of Clas­si­cal re­vival ar­chi­tec­ture con­tin­ues its func­tion as a court­house to­day. Guided tours will be avail­able for Doors Open Hal­i­fax week­end.

Open Satur­day only, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

3. City Green­houses & Hor­ti­cul­tural Tour 5711 SACKVILLE STREET

Ever won­der where all the flow­ers and trees for our parks and open spa­ces come from? The mu­nic­i­pal­ity has two large green­houses, one in Hal­i­fax and one in Dart­mouth, where all the flow­er­ing an­nu­als, veg­gies and other spec­i­men plants are grown for our parks and gar­dens. Come take a tour.

Open Satur­day only from 10 a. m. to 4 p. m.

4. Lord Nel­son Ho­tel 1515 SOUTH PARK STREET

The Lord Nel­son Ho­tel & Suites is a clas­sic Mar­itime land­mark serv­ing ex­cel­lence since 1928, well-known as the first choice of roy­alty and celebrity alike. The ho­tel was named af­ter Ad­mi­ral Horatio Nel­son, who never came to Hal­i­fax in his fa­mous naval ca­reer, but whose name stood for naval tra­di­tions strongly as­so­ci­ated with the her­itage of Hal­i­fax.

Step into the lobby and ex­pe­ri­ence a grand sense of ar­rival. Some char­ac­ter- defin­ing ele­ments in­clude or­nate mill­work fram­ing a lovely cof­fered ceil­ing, and crys­tal chan­de­liers re­flected in the sparkling mar­ble floors. The aim of the con­struc­tion was to use lo­cal ma­te­ri­als and to award con­tracts lo­cally. As much as pos­si­ble ma­te­ri­als avail­able in Nova Sco­tia were used, al­though some had to be im­ported.

Pho­tos and ar­ti­facts will be on dis­play, and guided tours will take place dur­ing Doors Open Hal­i­fax week­end. The Arms Restau­rant is lo­cated just off the lobby and fea­tures tra­di­tional English pub fare as well as a va­ri­ety of tempt­ing in­ter­na­tional dishes.


At the found­ing of Hal­i­fax in 1749, the bury­ing ground lay out­side the new set­tle­ment’s pal­isades. Dur­ing its 95 years of use, ap­prox­i­mately 12,000 peo­ple were buried here. It was closed to buri­als in Au­gust 1844. The Wels­ford-Parker arch is the only mon­u­ment to the Crimean War in North Amer­ica and was erected in 1860 in mem­ory of two Nova Sco­tians who were killed in the siege of Se­bastopol. The red sandstone arch is carved with names of Crimean War bat­tles and is topped by a twelve-ton lion. Ge­orge Lang, the builder and sculp­tor of the Wels­ford-Parker mon­u­ment, also built the nearby Provin­cial Court­house and Keith Hall (both also Doors Open venues) and the Fed­eral Build­ing (now the Art Gallery of Nova Sco­tia.) The Old Bury­ing Ground is a Na­tional His­toric Site – the first graveyard in Canada to re­ceive such a des­ig­na­tion – and a Provin­cial and Mu­nic­i­pal Reg­is­tered Her­itage Prop­erty.

6. Sa­cred Heart School of Hal­i­fax 5820 SPRING GAR­DEN ROAD

Founded in 1849, Sa­cred Heart School of Hal­i­fax is the old­est con­tin­u­ally op­er­at­ing pri­vate school in Hal­i­fax. The build­ing was con­structed in 1850 by the Re­li­gious of the Sa­cred Heart. Ren­o­va­tions in 1876 gave the school a more Vic­to­rian look. Keep­ing with gothic re­vival trends, a crenel­lated para­pet (me­dieval ef­fect) was added to the roofline on the cen­tral tur­ret. The front of the build­ing was bricked in 1896 and the porte-cochère was added soon af­ter. To­day, Sa­cred Heart is an in­de­pen­dent Catholic school that ed­u­cates boys and girls through grade 12: co-ed age 4 to grade 6, and sin­gle-sex grades 7 to 12.

7. Steele Ocean Sci­ences Build­ing at Dal­housie 1355 OX­FORD STREET

The Steele Ocean Sci­ences Build­ing is home to world-class sci­en­tists work­ing to bet­ter un­der­stand our mys­te­ri­ous and com­plex global ocean. Res­i­dents of the build­ing in­clude the CERC.OCEAN re­search group, Ocean Fron­tier In­sti­tute, Ocean Track­ing Net­work, Marine En­vi­ron­men­tal Ob­ser­va­tion Pre­dic­tion and Re­sponse Net­work (MEOPAR) and the Aqua­tron

Lab­o­ra­tory. Learn about ocean re­search, life and tech­nol­ogy through fam­ily-friendly ac­tiv­i­ties in the build­ing’s beau­ti­ful atrium.

Duf­fus Ro­mans Kundzins Roun­se­fell Ar­chi­tects Ltd. de­signed this four-storey, 76,000-square-foot build­ing 400 me­tres away from Hal­i­fax’s North­west Arm. Don’t miss a per­for­mance by Raina the mer­maid from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for Doors Open Hal­i­fax week­end only!

Nova Sco­tia As­so­ci­a­tion of Ar­chi­tects

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