Set beside one of the world’s finest harbours, HALIFAX has become the financial, educational and transportation centre of the Maritimes, with its population of just under 400,000 making it almost four times the size of its nearest rival, New Brunswick’s Saint John. This pre-eminence has been achieved since World War II, but long before then Halifax was a naval town par excellence. Founded by British settlers led by Edward Cornwallis in 1749, Halifax was primarily a fortified navy base well into the nineteenth century with most Haligonians, as the locals are known, at least partly employed in a service capacity. Today Halifax retains a compact, thriving centre, with artists, street performers and students from prestigious Dalhousie University adding a grungy, alternative balance to the bankers and fashionistas. Workaday office blocks reflect the city’s new commercial success, tumbling down to the harbour from the Citadel, the old British fortress that remains the city’s most significant sight. The city’s other attractions – most notably the Art Gallery, the Maritime Museum and the Georgian Province House – huddle together in the lower part of town beneath the fortress. The waterfront, once at the heart of Halifax commercial life, is now lined by a series of shops and tourist attractions linked by the traffic-free Harbourwalk.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Canada features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Road trip Canada: 5 of the best routes

Road trip Canada: 5 of the best routes

Rugged and vast, Canada has much to explore and enjoy. Driving gives you freedom to travel at your own pace, allowing you to pull over and appreciate scenery al…

05 Dec 2016 • Stuart Forster insert_drive_file Article
15 awesome images of Canada

15 awesome images of Canada

Canada is has vast and varied landscape, from beautiful beaches to glassy mountain lakes. It's difficult to capture the country's real beauty in a photograph, b…

09 Sep 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
8 reasons Vancouver is cooler than you think

8 reasons Vancouver is cooler than you think

Vancouver sometimes gets knocked for being a bit dull – and while it’s true that its residents can be earlier to bed than in the rest of North America, thi…

05 Sep 2016 • Rachel Mills insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month