Waterfront Shopping in Halifax
Destination Halifax guest blog contributor Kim Humes gets close to nature in the City of Trees and shares some local green hotspots. Follow Kim’s explorations in Halifax culture, travel, food and more on her blog, Gathers No Moss, and for more information visit http://about.me/khumes.
One of the best views of Halifax is from the water, so if you are a cruise ship passenger entering our harbour, you can count yourself lucky.
But where to go once you get on the land? I could recommend tons of places to check out, but I know finding Halifax souvenirs and gifts to take home to your family and friends is high on your list. In that case, you are twice as lucky because there plenty of great shops along the Halifax waterfront, within a 15 minute walk of the Halifax Seaport. Here are just a few highlights:
A walk on the waterfront is not complete without a visit to this sunny and open temple to local food and craft. The market has over 250 vendors (check out the map here), so you are bound to find something you like. Grab one of Shelagh Duffett’s vibrant and fun paintings, a kooky t-shirt from The Quarrelsome Yeti, or some delicious truffles from Gourmandises Chocolaterie. Even if you can’t decide what to buy, you can just wander around absorbing the energy and good humour. Summer hours are Monday to Friday, 10:00am-5:00pm; Saturday, 7:00am-3:00pm; and Sunday, 9:00am-3:00pm.
This store is full of one-of-a-kind handmade pieces you can look at and buy. Tucked into the Bishop’s Landing strip of shops, the retail focus is Canadian designers and, as the namesake implies, maple products! Personal favourites are whimsical paintings by Holly Carr, pottery by Nancy Hilborn, and handbags by Nova Scotia line, Michique. Open Tues-Sat, 10:30am-5:00pm.
These stores are all separate entities, but are part of The Uncommon Group of companies, a locally-minded community business venture. Just around the corner from Maples, Rum Runners and Sugah are conveniently attached so you can get twice the shopping in one location! Rum Runners is focused on selling their fresh-made rum cake (made with Cape Breton’s Glenora Distilleries) and merchandise that takes inspiration from Halifax’s seafaring history. At Sugah, they make chocolates using unique-to-Nova Scotia ingredients, such as blueberries and even Garrison Beer! Walk another 10 minutes further down the boardwalk and you will come to a small wooden shed that houses Lost Cod Clothing. Here you can get a t-shirt stamped with a colourful and graphic logo of a historically important Nova Scotia company. Never heard of Bacalao Superior? Your purchase comes with a card informing you about the history of the logo you are wearing. An uncommon gift is always better.
It doesn’t get more well-made and elegant than a piece of hand-blown crystal. Started in 1996, the owners set out to save a dying craft and are now trailblazers in the industry. Walk by the glassworks when the doors are open and you will be mesmerized by the glassmakers, who are (as they say on their website) “working together in a tightly choreographed dance with fire as they pull molten crystal from the clay oven and fashion it into things of beauty”. You will not find inexpensive souvenirs here, but you can guarantee they will be beautiful and last a lifetime.
Showroom Summer Hours are Monday – Friday 9am-6pm and Saturday – Sunday 10am-5pm.
So, don’t forget to shop the Halifax waterfront during your next visit. You can get a new perspective on the Halifax Harbour, enjoy the beautiful scenery and refreshing sea air, get a good snapshot of the city, and still have plenty of time to return to your ship after your brief visit. If there isn’t enough room in your suitcase, you will just have to come back! Put down that stuffed lobster toy and shop for something more unique to commemorate your trip to Halifax.