This weekend, June 8-9, 2013, is Halifax’s first Doors Open Halifax, an opportunity to learn about the city and see behind some of the doors that are normally closed to the public. Earlier this week, I wrote about my plan of attack, and after Day 1, I’m doing pretty well, considering post-Tropical Storm Andrea decided to show up the same day.

Nova Scotians are a hearty lot, who have invested heavily in rain gear, so the city turned out in big numbers to experience the event. Here’s what I saw on Day 1:

St. David’s Presbyterian Church

Located on Halifax’s infamous Pizza Corner, lots of folks have seen St. David’s, but most haven’t stepped inside. I was blown away by its lovely blue interior, with gold accents and a trumpeting Casavant organ.

Scotiabank Main Branch

I’ve written about my love of this building a long time ago, so I was delighted to arrive and see a big crowd there to check it out. Scotiabank had a big crew on hand to talk about the building and visitors got an extra treat, getting to go inside the gorgeous wood paneled manager’s office.

Dominion Public Building

I’ve been in the Dominion Public Building before, but this trip was far more educational. Constructed as a job creation project during the Depression, it is one of two buildings in the world that was dedicated under the reign of Edward VIII before he abdicated the throne to marry Wallis Simpson. This building isn’t open to the public generally, but for Doors Open, the seventh floor atrium was open for a great view of downtown Halifax.

Halifax City Hall

It’s embarrassing to admit I’ve lived in Halifax for 13 years and have never stepped foot in Halifax City Hall. This admission is made even more embarrassing by the fact I’ve worked almost across the street from the building for seven of those 13 years. I had missed the Mayor, but did get the chance to finally meet my councillor in person while he showed us around the renovated council meeting chambers. It’s democracy gone high-tech, with plenty of seating for those who also want to see democracy in action.

Canadian Hurricane Centre & Atlantic Storm Prediction Centre

My last stop of the day was over in Dartmouth to see the Environment Canada’s Canadian Hurricane Centre and Atlantic Storm Prediction Centre. Given the post-tropical storm which drenched the city on Day 1, it only made sense to see the hurricane centre in action. If you look carefully on the screens, you’ll see some tracking for post-tropical storm Andrea.

Well, that was one action-packed day – I’m still working my way through my wish list, but I am planning to work hard and hit the streets early on Sunday!

Doors Open Halifax  continues on Sunday, June 9, 2013

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