Doors Open Halifax 2015

This year marked the third for Doors Open Halifax. While the venue list seemed smaller to me this year, lacking many of the downtown ecclesiastical structures that were open in previous years, there was still a wide variety of buildings available to see.

I went on Saturday, during the rain. This had the effect of keeping the crowds down, but there were people at all of the venues. I spent 2 hours, and planned my route in a circle, parking on Sackville Street at the foot of Citadel Hill.


First stop was the Town Clock. The base building basically houses a 2 bedroom apartment. it was neat to see the counter weights, and the video of the mechanism, since we couldn’t go up the clock tower.


Second stop was St Paul’s. I needed some better interior shots for my upcoming post on the building. The number of tablets commemorating various Haligonians in that church is quite stunning. The “museum” display on the church’s history is a nice addition.


I crossed Grand Parade to City Hall. It’s amazing to think that this one building once held all city functions including police, jail, library, museum plus offices. The city archives had copies of Edward Elliot’s drawings on display, and also included his business card. There will be an upcoming City Hall post as well.IMG_0782


Fourth on the list was Province House. The Legislative Library was the former provincial Supreme Courtroom, which symbolically sat between the Legislature and the Legislative Council Chamber (the upper house, abolished in 1928) It was also nice to see the Speaker in the Legislature talking to visitors.


Next, a quick dart across the street to the Bank of Nova Scotia. This was a quick stop (since I bank there regularly), but I was hoping perhaps they would have the vault available for viewing. Vaults in old banks are large, impressive, and surrounded by an air gap to discourage tunnelling.


I made a brief stop at Government House, The Lieutenant Governor’s residence. There was a 10 minute wait, for a 20 minute tour, so I left since I only had 40 minutes left. The front Hall was nice though.

Admiralty Court.

Admiralty Court

Across the street, and over to the Spring Garden Court. Three courtrooms were open, and the sheriff gave tours of the lockup. Court 3 was in the roughest shape, but that’s where traffic court is held. The other rooms were larger and in better shape. The former Supreme Court and Admiralty Court were included on the tour.


The last stop, which I slid into right at 16:00, was the Cambridge Military Library. A friendly bison keeps watch overhead, and the books are stored in glass cases.


It was a good day, though I wish I had given myself more time. The tour of Government House would have been done, as would a stop at Keith Hall. There is always next year.


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BuiltHalifax delves into architectural history and theory with a local slant. Produced by Peter Ziobrowski, it is the sister project to