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History of Halifax, Nova-Scotia

things to do in Halifax

In creating our Halifax Tourist Scavenger Hunt, we dug into the city’s history so as to properly contextualize our tour. It is important for us. At most of the 45 stops along the tour, we explain the history of a site, monument, or person. This allows us to fully show you their significance.

Halifax is the capital of Nova Scotia. The Citadel on the hill, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, dominates the city. There are 2 major universities here: Dalhousie University and Saint Mary’s University.

History of Halifax

things to do in HalifaxHalifax is on the ancestral lands of the Mi’kmaq, one of Canada’s first nations. They were there, mainly for fishing, well before the arrival of Europeans.

The first colony settled in the peninsula near the current port. The city of Halifax, founded in 1749, is in fact named in honor of the 2nd Earl of Halifax. This led to the transfer of the colony’s capital here from Annapolis Royal.

The founding of the city started Father Le Loutre’s war because this colony broke the pact agreed with the Mi’kmaq in 1726. 13 ships of settlers and one sloop of war arrived simultaneously to establish and defend the colony.

Fortifications (the Citadel, among others) were erected to defend the new colony from the Mi’kmaq, Acadians, and French. Construction of other forts in Sackville, Dartmouth, and Lawrencetown occurred around the same time.

Disaster struck the city in 1917, during the Great War, as two ships, including one carrying munitions, collided very close to the port. The explosion devastated the Richmond district, killing 2,000 people and injuring 9,000 others.

Scavenger Hunt

Our scavenger hunt is a self-guided walking tour of the see you can do on your smartphone. Over 2 hours, it’ll take you to all the significant sites, teach you some history, and challenge you with puzzles and various questions.

Find out more about our Halifax Tourist Scavenger Hunt on the info page.

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Things to do in Halifax, Nova-Scotia

things to do in Halifax

Are you looking for things to do in Halifax, Nova-Scotia? This Scavenger Hunt takes you on a self-guided walking tour, with challenges through the heart of the city.

See all the sights while having fun and learning some history! You will walk from the Halifax Public Gardens to the Citadel, to the Port of Halifax, and back again. All the while, you’ll take numerous side trips to discover more sites while taking on various challenges. Our Halifax Tourist Scavenger Hunt was developed and tested in August 2018.

You will start your adventure either in front of the Public Gardens (start location 1), or at the Port of Halifax Terminal (start location 2). Follow the instructions on your smartphone to solve challenges and get instructions to your next destination. The challenges are varied in difficulty and types to keep you entertained. They’re good for all ages.

You should plan a good 2 hours for this activity, wear comfortable shoes and be certain your phone is fully charged. As well, you’ll need a data plan as WiFi will not be enough. Further, a street map and bottled water could come in handy.

Things to do in Halifax? See the sites!

things to do in HalifaxOver your 3-hour adventure through the city, you will see:

  • Theodore Tugboat
  • Queen’s Landing
  • Halifax Public Gardens
  • Our Lady of Sorrows Chapel
  • Burke Gaffney Observatory
  • Point Pleasant Park
  • Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
  • Halifax Citadel
  • City Center Atlantic
  • Saint Mary’s Cathedral Basilica
  • HMCS Sackville
  • Discovery Center
  • And more

Scavenger Hunt

Our scavenger hunt is a 2-3 hour self-guided walking tour you can do on your smartphone. Over 3 hours, it’ll take you to all the significant sites, teach you some history, and challenge you with puzzles and various questions. You’ll never walk more than 5 minutes between stops. Take as long, or as little, as you wish as you’re in control of your page on this adventure. Above all, we hope you have fun!

Learn more about the Halifax Tourist Scavenger Hunt on our description page.