Bus Route #1 or: “The Core Route”
The #1 is @hfxtransit’s most used bus, going from Mumford Terminal at the west end of the peninsula, through Scotia Square Terminal on Barrington Street and across the MacDonald Bridge to the Bridge Terminal in Dartmouth and back. The 1 is also the most frequent route, coming every 10 minutes at most times. For the purpose of this post, we’ve stuck with covering from Bayers Road to Barrington Street, as the rest of the route will be covered in other bus route posts.
Note for cyclists: Distances are following the #1 route from Mumford Terminal, east on Bayers Road and turning south onto Oxford Street. There are no bike lanes along this route and you’ll find heavy traffic on Bayers Road, light to moderate along Oxford Street and Coburg Road, becoming moderate to heavy down Spring Garden Road.
We begin this route with Halifax’s quintessential mom & pop greasy spoon, The Westcliff. This diner is an institution in the Halifax west end, located at the corner of Bayers Road and Oxford Street. The prices are unbeatable with full plates often coming in at $5 or less.
A block south along Oxford you will find Local Jo Café (@LocalJo1). Local Jo lives up to its name, using local ingredients in their products. It’s a pretty hip little spot with warm oranges and browns and a play area for kids. They also have free WiFi and regular live entertainment.
There are a couple great playgrounds for the kids along this stretch of Oxford Street. The first, Ardmore Park, is at the corner of Oxford and Almon. It offers a swing set, slide, things and things to climb as well as a basketball court that more often than not is used for ball hockey. Another block along the street brings you to Oxford school, boasting its own playground and basketball courts.
If you think the King’s and Dalhousie Campuses are just for students, think again. There is tons to do in the area, including theatres and concerts at one of the many campus venues, events and fundraisers, and guest lecture series. We especially recommend Mini Med School, a series of medical lectures aimed at the general public. You can find out more information here.
If you’re a Dal or Kings Student, you may have stopped into Coburg Coffee (@CoburgCoffee) for a bite to eat or a cozy place to study, but even if you aren’t currently a student, there are lots of great reasons to visit. The food is homecooked, healthy and delicious, and the pricing is great. You can also check out the works of local artists on their walls. A nice meeting, reading and writing spot.
We’ve often mentioned Just Us Coffee based out of Grand Pre. Their Spring Garden Road (@JustUsSpringGdn) location just before you get to Summer Street is in a beautifully redone house that makes for a great place to read a book inside or meet friends on their deck. Their bulletin board is also filled with many of the goings-on of Haligonian life.
We did a full post on Saege (@SaegeBistro) as part of our Chowder Trail series. This great restaurant is conveniently located on the #1 bus route, which means you can indulge in a local beer or two while you dine.
Sugah (@SugahHFX) really changed the game for sweets in Halifax. Not only do they carry a range of local, hand made chocolates (S’mores or Retro Caramel anyone?), they also hand-paddle their ice cream. What is involved in a hand paddling, you ask? Customers can choose from a range of tasty toppings, then pick their favourite flavour ice cream, and staff will mash and mix it right in front of you. A great place for creative foodies.
The Public Gardens & Victoria Park (5.0km)
If you grew up in HRM, chances are you have been photographed in the Public Gardens (@hfxpublicgardens). It’s the unofficial photo spot for every big occasion from prom to graduation to wedding photos. Other than being a perfect photo spot, it is a great place to stop and smell the roses (and hydrangeas, and dahlias and lillies). You can preview what flowers you’ll see each week at Along the Gardens Path, the official blog of the Halifax Public Gardens.
Fresh Goods (5.1km)
One of Halifax’s two sneaker boutiques (Soled Out Sneakers is also nearby), Fresh Goods (@FreshGoodsInc), is located at the corner of Spring Garden and South Park. Inside you’ll find everything your inner stylehead could desire, especially for fans of Adidas sneakers and The Hundreds clothing. There is also a bit of an emphasis on Adidas Star Wars paraphernalia.
We have also already documented our love for Rockbottom and their quality draft. You can read all about it here, or just check it out for yourself via the #1 bus.
There are simply too many great shops, restaurants and bars to list here along Spring Garden Road (@SpringGardenRd), which is Halifax’s main shopping district. Because of this, we asked the Twitterverse for some examples of favourite places along here. The shopping district is only a few blocks long, but make sure you don’t neglect to head up the side streets and into Park Lane Mall.
High end restaurant: Fid Kitchen @Fidresto (@adamzita approved)
Microbrewery: Rockbottom (@RockbotmBrewpub) (@benwedge), Rogues Roost (@adamzita)
Shopping: HIM (@HIMBoutique) & Soled Out Sneakers (@SoledOutSnkrs) (@FreshGoodsInc recommended)
Cheap eats: Spring Roll in Park Lane (@ocj3 says the hot & sour soup isn’t to be missed)
Sushi: Minato (@MinatoSushiBar) (@Cerajoy swears by the Dragon rolls)