My last hometown trek (of the 2012 Halifax transit strike)

During the coldest – therefore the most Canadian – part of our winter, my hometown of Halifax experienced a six-week transit strike. Mercifully, the strike has since ended. Everyone has gone back to work, and things are getting back to normal. Normal enough, anyway.

It’s been a long winter in Halifax, especially on foot. Having already trekked 18 kilometres over-and-back to Dartmouth to attend my travel writing class, then braving the suburbs for Polish food, I was starting to develop the opposite of shack wackiness during Week Six of the strike. My dreams largely consisted of sitting down and being transported somewhere.

Then, spring peeked over the horizon. The days were not only sunny, but warm enough to justify a 13-kilometre walk. Intrepid spirit regained, I headed back to Dartmouth on a sunny Saturday morning, mostly for the sake of doing so.

First stop: calamity. Not for me, however, as pedestrians usually manage to avoid rear-end collisions.

An inauspicious start
An inauspicious start

I walk down North Street all of the time. It’s a pleasant walking corridor, and people normally stop for pedestrians at crosswalks. My pace was leisurely on this particular day, giving me an opportunity to enjoy some of the finer details, like Saint Theresa’s Church.

First time noticing the ornate stained glass window at St. Theresa's on North Street.
First time noticing the ornate stained glass window at Saint Theresa's on North Street.

St. Theresa's iron cross
Saint Theresa's iron cross

The street that leads to the MacDonald Bridge is full of older homes, some of which are on the “artier” side of the scale.

North Street rest stop
North Street rest stop

Local colour (literally) on North Street
Local colour

The bridge crossing was virtually identical to one I made in February. A little windier, but everything looked the same. I spent a few hours wandering around Dartmouth and inventing errands. On the way home, I took a detour through the Dartmouth Common, another great park in our city, which is perched on the side of a hill giving a spectacular view of the Halifax Harbour.

180-degree view of the view
180-degree view of the view
360-degree gazebo view, Darmouth Common
360-degree view of the gazebo

The trip back across the bridge had was more remarkable for two reasons:

Birds! Sunning themselves and drying out their wings on a buoy in the harbour
Birds! Sunning themselves and drying out their wings on a buoy in the harbour

And something I’ve never experienced before: being on the bridge while a container ship passes en route to the Fariview Cove container terminal.

Back to Halifax, I headed downtown to grab another bite to eat (walking is hard work, after all) through my favourite part of the North End, Brunswick Street.

If you want to know about all of the happening clam bakes on Brunswick Street? I'd start with this guy.
If you want to find the happening clam bakes on Brunswick Street, start with this guy.

The groovy weathervane on top of Saint George's Round Church, Brunswick Street
The groovy weathervane on top of Saint George's Round Church, Brunswick Street

I took a few minutes to unobtrusively explore the front steps of one of my favourite “only locals know about it” places in Halifax, the Churchfield Barracks or “The Apostles,” a series of 1 1/2-storey rowhouses. Twelve of them (see what they did there?). During the course of my research, I discovered a detailed local blog describing a renovation of the Eleventh Apostle. It was fascinating, and I finally got to see the inside of one. Thanks, fellow blogger!

The Apostles, Brunswick Street
The Apostles, Brunswick Street

If you can believe it, this much trekking got me to 2 o’clock in the afternoon, so I went home and napped for an hour. While the strike may be over, my walking days are not. Now, the challenge is to find new and unexplored routes, the best of which will find their way here.

If you’re in the Halifax-Dartmouth area and have a route suggestion, let me know in the comments. With better weather and time on the weekends, I’ll be out and exploring from now until next winter!



  1. Ooh I’m from Kentville, went to university in Halifax but left ten years ago to work in Toronto, like so many others. Love that you did this trek it reminds me of home.

    • That’s awesome! My parents live in Kentville and I’ll be visiting over Easter. If the weather is nice, I’ll be wandering about central Kings County – stay tuned!


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