Halifax 101

Compiled in 2003 by Jane Kansas, Andrea Methot, Lynne Patterson, Chuck Teed and Tara Thorne: see how we’ve grown! And no, there still is no Ikea.

1. Halifax gets its share of feature films shooting around town, but we’re really a magnet for televised biopics and made-for-TV Christmas movies. Town Without Christmas (starring Everybody Loves Raymond’s Patricia Heaton) and last year’s rating bonanza The Christmas Shoes (yup, this is what Rob Lowe quit The West Wing for) shot here, as have Martha Inc: The Martha Stewart Story, Homeless to Harvard and CBC’s Trudeau miniseries. The stories of American darlings Elizabeth Smart and Private Jessica Lynch are on deck for fall.

2. Province House (between Hollis and Granville at George) is the oldest Provincial Legislature building in Canada. Construction on the building began in 1811 and was completed eight years later, amassing over 32,000 pounds of debt in the process. Looks like the province has a long history of not balancing the books.

3. Boston, New York, Halifax. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? Halifax is aiming to be in with the likes of them since it announced the new Halifax International Marathon, the first of which will take place in May of 2004.

4. Sure, they aren’t the Golden Gate and the Brooklyn Bridges, but the Macdonald and the MacKay have their own charms, and their own dark sides. People do commit suicide by jumping off of them, and people have been talked down from precarious positions. You won’t hear much about it, though—it’s just one of our skeletons.

5. You’d think it was women’s right to vote‚ or something, the way this province goes on about Sunday shopping. Here’s the status: we don’t technically have it, but you can find stuff that’s open, like restaurants, cafes and certain small retail stores, as long as you don’t plan on going to, say, the mall. (Hint: small ethnic grocery stores are good places if you’re out of food. And convenience stores.)

6. Consider yourself warned: we’ve so far avoided SARS, the blackout, snipers, anthrax, West Nile, terrorism, Mad Cow disease, large-scale forest fires and any association with the movie Gigli. Though some may say we’re a safe city, we’re pretty sure someone is planning to smite us as we speak.

7. If you’re finding the vibe here to be laid-back, consider this: Halifax happens to the official world headquarters for Shambhala Buddhism. The ‘Buddhism inspired’ magazine, The Shambhala Sun, is run out of Halifax, and local celebrities Cathy Jones (This Hour Has 22 Minutes), jazz drummer Jerry Granelli and Steve “O-Reno” Armbruster are Buddhists.

8. Blah blah blah Titanic. If you didn’t get enough of it five years ago when the movie came out, you’re going to love Halifax. Since we were the closest port city to the disaster, we’ve shelved a lot of the history here, including, most notably, the graves of dozens of its victims, located at the Fairview Cemetery. The J. Dawson tombstone does not mark the grave of Leonardo DiCaprio’s fictional Jack Dawson character.

9. Halifax is known for its delectable donairs, but there’s a whole other world of donair-like goodness. Bash Toulany, of Bash Toulany’s Fine Foods in the city’s north end, is credited with coming up with the local love pie that is the donair pizza. Get it. Love it.

10. If you drive a lot, you’d better start saving your quarters: the bridge toll is 75 cents and it’s got to be paid in quarters. (Though you can get change during the day, the tolls aren’t open late at night.) And make sure you pull up close enough to the basket: fishing for lost quarters under your front tire is not a good time.

11. Oh, you knew the waterfront was touristy. But did you know the Royal Bank on George Street (near the ferry terminal, across from Province House) actually gives you the option of collecting US dollars from its ATMs? Which is odd because, American tourists or not, they’re still presumably spending the money here—in Canada.

12. In 1917 two ships collided in the harbour, and caused the biggest human-made explosion until Hiroshima. Almost 2,000 people died, and nearly every window in Halifax and Dartmouth shattered (hence historical references to the “Shattered City,” and the upcoming miniseries of the same name), and the north-facing side of City Hall’s clock tower stopped at 9:05, which it still reads today.

13. Here’s a fun game: sit in a graveyard. See how long it takes a first-year NSCAD photo student to show up and start taking pictures. See what you can do to get in the photo. Alternately: put a cat up on a fence, or perhaps a window sill. Repeat as above.

14. Victor Hugo, who wrote The Hunchback of Notre Dame, had a daughter named Adele, who followed (read: stalked) her love to Halifax, where he was stationed, in the 1700s. She told everyone they were married and kept an encrypted diary. Watch The Story of Adele H. for all the details.

15. The gunshot you hear at noon is the cannon on Citadel Hill, fired by re-enactors portraying the Royal Artillery. Don’t ask what time it is.

16. The northern shores of the Bedford Basin used to be known as Africville, where a community of about 400 black people lived and then were forcibly relocated in the ’60s. And then, years later, they were given a plaque. To commemorate that.

17. If we have one sporting obsession around here, it’s the good old Canadian game of hockey, and our athletic darlings are The Halifax Mooseheads. The junior hockey team lost to Hull in game seven of the finals last year, but Halifax never stopped supporting them. Or blowing really loud horns in their presence.

18. If we have one other sporting obession around here, it’s b-ball: hoops fever strikes Halifax every March when the CIS Men’s Basketball Championships hit town. Teams from all over Canada compete for the final four. Look for the tall hot boys in matching jackets. Think of it as our own March Madness without Dick Vitale.

19. Though Liza Minelli isn’t around, Halifax is best known for getting its groove on at the cabarets. But in this case, cabaret just means “bar with a license to serve alcohol until 3:30am.” Which makes them stand out from regular bars, which can serve alcohol until 2am and beverage rooms, which can serve it until 1am.

20. The Great Amalgamation of April 1, 1996 pushed the cities of Halifax and Dartmouth together with the town of Bedford and Halifax County, creating the Halifax Regional Muncipality, AKA the SuperCity or simply Halifax. People from Dartmouth don’t like to be told they actually live in Halifax now. The HRM is larger than Prince Edward Island.

21. You can pay power and water bills in Scotia Square, a horribly ugly building on Barrington Street.

22. Kevin Macmichael, legendary guitarist of the ’80s band Cutting Crew (famous for the hit “I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight”), was from Dartmouth. After his stint with the Crew, he recorded an album with Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant and then returned to Halifax. He died of lung cancer last New Year’s Eve.

23. Though the city loves being host to the Halifax International Airport, we don’t make it easy to get there—you can’t take a city bus out that far. You’ll have to take the airbus, which will run you $12 one way, or a cab, which will run you between $30 and $40.

24. When Kevin Spacey presented an award at the 2001 Oscars, he mentioned Nova Scotia in his speech, and the entire province swooned. Not that he thanked us or praised us—he just mentioned he’d forgotten his tux here while filming The Shipping News.

25. Munro Day takes place the first Friday of each February. The Dalhousie holiday is named after George Munro, a Halifax native who moved to New York in the mid-1800s and became a wealthy book manufacturer. A Dalhousie graduate, Munro gave the university thousands of dollars in endowments each year until his death. Apparently Munro gave nothing to King’s; their February holiday is named after King George III.

26. Transferring buses is easier now than it used to be; you only have to get one transfer ticket for the whole trip, instead of a new transfer for each bus. But for the love of god, ask for your transfer as soon as you get on; sometimes the drivers get pissy if you hold up the line on your way out.

27. Boston is the ultimate collegiate town—home to Harvard, MIT, Berklee and Boston U, it has some of America’s biggest universities and a reputation as being young and bright and, well, academic. And yet Halifax has more students per capita. Start spreading the word: Halifax is so the new Boston.

28. For municipal voting purposes, Halifax is divided into 23 districts, with one councillor representing each district. There are five women councillors: Dawn Sloane, Sue Uteck, Sheila Fougere, Diane Whalen and Linda Mosher. For more information on Halifax city council, go to region.halifax.ns.ca/ council. For more information on patriarchy, read Gloria Steinem.

29. Keith’s Fest 1820 is a free 18-hour extravaganza that takes place at an undisclosed location September 20. You have to be 19 or over and win tickets to get in. Buying 12-packs of Keith’s or visiting participating bars can land you passes to the concert, which features Sloan, Joel Plaskett and Jimmy Swift Band, among others. Visit keiths.com for more details.

30. Nova Scotia’s smoking by-law prohibits smoking in all restaurants and bingo facilities. Bars, private clubs and casinos are allowed to have separate enclosed smoking areas, but since the by-law is less than five months old, most don’t. And Dalhousie University is the first university in Canada to prohibit smoking on all university-owned property. Take that, tobacco!

31. Three Canadian Prime Ministers were Nova Scotia born and bred. John Thompson served from 1892 until his death in 1894. Charles Tupper, Canada’s shortest-serving PM, ran the country for two months in 1896. And Robert Borden, who led Canada through World War One, held office from 1911 until 1920.

32. Halifaxlocals.com is the Internet meeting place for anyone who is interested or involved with the Halifax music scene. The show listings are pretty comprehensive, they often have the scoop on the latest musical happenings and the guestbook is usually bitchy and silly.

33. Skratch Bastid is arguably Halifax’s best DJ. He won this year’s regional DMC competition, the battle title at Cincinnati’s ScribbleJam and has toured around North America and Europe. He regularly spins at the Velvet Olive and the Marquee, and released a new CD, Blazin’ earlier this year. He is also barely in his 20s.

34. Contrary to urban legend, there’s no tunnel between George’s Island and Citadel Hill. However, George’s Island is famed for its disproportionate number of garter snakes. So if you’re looking for a place to celebrate Whacking Day, you know where to go.

35. King’s College was founded in 1789 and is the oldest university in Canada. Originally located in Windsor, NS, King’s moved to Halifax in 1820 after fire destroyed the campus’ main building. Current Nova Scotia premier John Hamm graduated from the university in 1958.

36. CBC’s consumer awareness show Street Cents has been filmed in Halifax since its inception in 1989. Some of its first hosts were Benita Ha, Jamie Bradley, Brian Heighton and Jonathan Torrens. Bradley is an now a Halifax improv fixture, Heighton is an actor and filmmaker, Torrens is a Canadian TV fixture (Jonovision, Trailer Park Boys, Degrassi: The Next Generation) and Ha was on The X-Files once. The show has won a bunch of awards, including an International Emmy, which you can see in a nice display case at CBC-TV on Bell Road.

37. In addition to being one of Halifax’s first (and enduring) Internet cafes, the Ceidilh Connection (1672 Barrington) has stepped up as a live-music venue in the past year, holding all-ages shows as well as above-ages shows. And the food is deep-fried, cheap and good.

38. The Halifax Pop Explosion will celebrate its 10th proper year (it’s actually the 11th but they skipped a year) on the weekend of October 30, 2003. Also referred to as its mid-’90s incarnation, Halifax On Music, HPX has brought a boatload of kick-ass talent to town, including Yo La Tengo, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, K-os and Hot Hot Heat.

39. Actor Bill Paxton and about 80 cast and crew were poisoned at a party for Titanic when it shot here in 1996. They were taken to Dartmouth General Hospital. Someone working for the production spiked the seafood chowder with angel dust. It was serious enough for the National Enquirer to write about it, y’all.

40. Go to Point Pleasant Park to see chipmunks and dogs. And in the summer, Shakespeare.

41. Citadel Hill is a tourist trap by day—and a blow job breeding ground by night, so if you’re not a gay boy you might as well just mind your business. Two or three times a year it’s cordoned off for a big concert, but they’ve really sucked lately, in “talent” and in price. The Hill is also a good place to sunbathe in warmer months, use as a makeshift snowboard course in winter and generally complain about when you need to get from downtown to any place past the Common.

42. The Halifax Common is commonly known as “The Commons.” The ‘s’ likely comes from the Atlantic Canadian prediliction to make the singular plural (for instance “Wal-Marts”), but it’s wrong. Great place for team sports, dog people culture, pot-smoking and shortcuts to various locations. There’s one ratty payphone on the Cogswell side and it’s usually broken.

43. Video Difference on Quinpool Road is open 24 hours. The Bedford Highway location only till 1am. They have an inter-store drop-off program (return your movies to either location or SuperVideo at Queen and Morris), you can buy anything in the store with Canadian Tire money, and they have food drives where four respectable non-perishables (no ramen) will get you a free movie.

44. The winter parking ban means you cannot park on any street overnight during a storm from early December until the city decides we’re free of snow for another year (April-ish). Bitch all you want, you’ll get ticketed and plowed in. Trying to get around it is not even worth it. You will also get ticketed for not clearing your sidewalk down to the pavement, and unless you’re physically incapacitated, so you should. The infoline is 490-SNOW.

45. Those birds hanging out in a circle near the Dartmouth side of the harbour—with all the water surrounding them, are you wondering why they pick that specific area? Welcome to Halifax, bitch: that’s one of the many places raw sewage is piped into the harbour.

46. Looking for a lady of the evening? Discreetly drive by the park out in front of The Westin, between Barrington and Hollis Streets.

47. One of the Oscars won by Bowling for Columbine resides in the downtown offices of Salter Street Films, whose Michael Donovan produced the movie.

48. Showcase mockumentary series Trailer Park Boys is the brainchild of Haligonians Mike Clattenburg, Barrie Dunn and Michael Volpe. Starting out as a short black-and-white-film, Boys has since become a Canadian phenomenon, with cast members appearing on stage with Our Lady Peace, and in videos with The Tragically Hip and Snow. Bubbles (Mike Smith) might be the musical connection—he was a guitarist in New Glasgow’s Sandbox.

49. Mmmm, the market. If you’re going to the Halifax Farmers’ Market (every Saturday from 7am-1pm, Mother’s Day to December and 8am-1pm, January to Mother’s Day) to grocery shop, 8:30am is the time to do it. If you want to go to meet and greet while eating hot crepes and cinnamon rolls and washing them down with a frothy coffee, sleep in a bit and arrive fashionably late—say 10:30 or so.

50. According to the Greater Halifax Partnership, our city has the highest proportion of trade school, college and university graduates in Canada, and an unemployment rate well under the national average. The average household rakes in $55,000 a year and more than half of the population is under 40. These two statistics are not necessarily related.

51. Peter Kelly is the mayor. His hero is Winston Churchill.

52. OK, enough with the fruit flies. They’ve been multiplying in the mountain of empties you’ve had hanging around since your first party. There are lots of theories on how to battle the little buggers, but honestly the best way is to lug every bottle to your nearest enviro-depot. And it’s well worth the effort: You score a cool five to 10 cents for every beer/pop/liquor can and bottle you take back.

53. Tha Dawgfather is a hot dog vendor. Last year there was a “conspiracy” to keep him off Dal campus, but it didn’t work. “Your money is NEVER funny AT THA DAWG SHOP!” Find out more at thadawgfatherphd.com.

54. The big-box phenomenom has arrived at the expense of downtowns nationwide. Business parks have lured the all-important consumer to stores such as Costco and Chapters with their discount prices. In Halifax that area is the Bayers Lake Industrial Park or, as we like to say, the BLIP.

55. Football is like a religion at Saint Mary’s University. That’s what happens when the Huskies win two straight Vanier Cups—that’s a national title for those not in the pigskin loop—in a row. As the defending national champs the pressure will be on to pick up a third title this fall. And with the semi-final bowl game recently being renamed the Uteck Bowl—in honour of the former SMU football coach, who passed away last Christmas—it could be just the push they need.

56. For only 10 bones you can become a social member of The Khyber Club. Artist-run and offering fun things like music, art shows and beer, the Khyber is much more than a club. For a little more moolah, there’s also a digital media centre and a turret (situated in one of the sweetest heritage buildings downtown at 1588 Barrington) for all you aspiring artists out there.

57. Bouncers take the topic of ID very seriously in this town. The “Oh, I forgot my wallet” excuse will not fly. Nor will that student ID that you doctored. In fact, the technology is getting pretty swanky, with the Liquor Dome now scanning driver’s licenses to see if the digital info meets the printed info on the card.

58. MEC. “Emm ee sea” or “meck”—both pronunciations for Mountain Equipment Co-op seem to be acceptable in the city. Fleece everything, reflective jackets and enviro-mugs are the student wardrobe staple, though Halifax hipsters have an uncanny ability to take this sporty gear and mix it with an urban secondhand flair. Very east coast style.

59. Don’t swim in the harbour.

60. Victoria has the oldest Chinatown in Canada. Halifax, on the other hand, has a restaurant in Bedford by that name. Do not catch the number 80 bus expecting to find a Chinese community with stores full of great Asian-styled teapots, steaming dishes and fashions. Unless you want egg rolls and sweet ‘n’ sour chicken, you’ll be disappointed.

61. You’re hungover and it’s Sunday afternoon. As the saying goes, a little of the hair of the dog that bit you is the best remedy. There are only two retail outlets in Metro to buy beer on Sunday: Propeller Brewing Company (2015 Gottingen) is open from noon to 6pm and Keith’s Brewery (Brewery Market, 1496 Lower Water) is open from noon to 6:30pm.

62. Duuuude! It’s hurricane season, the water’s warm and the swells are big. To hang your own 10 over the best east-coast waves north of Florida, head to Dartmouth, find Highway 107 and turn right at the Lawrencetown sign. There’s more surf turf on the eastern shore, like Seaforth and Cow Bay, but get to know the locals before you check that out.

63. Bucket Truck frontman Matt Wells is also the east coast VJ for MuchMusic’s Going Coastal, airing at the convenient time of midnight on Sundays. He’s often spotted at hip musical events with camera in hand, or in the emergeny room after hurting himself onstage.

64. Anna Leonowens was made famous in the musical The King and I (and later, the Jodie Foster movie Anna and the King). But after she finished her teaching stint in Siam, she came to Nova Scotia, where she helped start up NSCAD. Now there’s a gallery named after her.

65. Before Sloan and Sarah McLachlan, there was April Wine—Metro’s homegrown rock band—who brought us “Sign Of The Gypsy Queen” and “Tonite Is A Wonderful Nite To Fall In Love” in the ’80s. Word has it they still sell out the Marquee faster than any other band.

66. When the ’rents are in town, take them to a free taping of This Hour has 22 Minutes at CBC on Bell Road. Information on tickets and tape dates will be available in late September—call the ticket line at 420-4765.

67. The good news for cyclists is Halifax has bike lanes. The bad news is they are only on Brunswick Street and it take approximately seven minutes to bike the entire length of them. But don’t despair—there are more in the works. Or, so we’ve been told.

68. No, those flashing traffic lights aren’t broken. The downtown lights generally switch to flashing red or yellow about 12:30am to avoid long waits when there’s less traffic.

69. For the culture vulture who’s watching their cash flow but not necessarily hitting rock bottom, Neptune Theatre offers a pay-what-you-can night during each show’s run, usually on Sundays.

70. The Nova Scotia College of Art and Design is located downtown on Granville Street. The acronym for the school is NSCAD, pronounced “nasscad.” We know it sounds like it has an “A” in there but for god’s sake, let’s not see any of you writing the acronym NASCAD. The first two letters are, after all, the initials of the province.

71. Lulu LaRude is the best-known drag queen—big, bold, beautiful and crude. Charles Gillis has more or less retired her, but once in a while she appears for a show. Dita Parlow is the drag queen with a heart the size of Montréal.

72. What the hell are those students at the University of King’s College studying? Fip? What the hell is Fip? Actually it’s the Foundation Year Programme (FYP)—a mix of philosophy, history, English, art, science and political science—and over 80 percent of first year students at King’s take it. The King’s Contemporary Studies Programme has a much less catchy acronym.

73. The Centre for Art Tapes is commonly known as CFAT (pronounced see-fat). It provides video, audio and computer equipment, space and services to people interested in producing their own work.

74. When the weather sucks it’s really hard to get a taxi in this burg. The cab companies all have ‘secret’ phone numbers, given out to politicos and the like. The rumour is using them gets you service and not a busy signal: Yellow Cab 420-0000; Casino 453-2222 and 454-5829.

75. A threatened Screen Actors Guild strike in Hollywood back in 2001 put a rush on feature filmmaking, and Halifax got caught up in it. In one summer, the likes of Harrison Ford, Liam Neeson, Judi Dench, Julianne Moore, Kevin Spacey, Mira Sorvino, Mariah Carey and Dean “Superman” Caine strolled the streets of the SuperCity, causing general hysteria. None of the resulting films—K-19: The Widowmaker, The Shipping News, Wise Girls—are really worth your time.

76. You’ve heard of Pizza Corner, which is downtown. Well brace yourself for Pizza Strip, the two-restaurant empire on Cornwallis Street in the north end. Rassy’s and the Pizza Factory give you pizza capes—way bigger than the downtown slices—for less than four bucks. Only a couple blocks from the Marquee.

77. Lots of walking trails abound. Try the lake trails in Dartmouth (it’s hilly by Mic Mac Mall) or the harbour trails behind NS Hospital, (the psychiatric facility), near the Dartmouth waterfront.

78. The bridge closest to downtown is the Macdonald Bridge, also called the Old Bridge. The other bridge is the A. Murray MacKay, or the New Bridge. It is not named for Anne Murray. Remember the two names with the song “Old MacDonald Had a Farm.” Or, there’s a McDonald’s on the Dartmouth side of the Macdonald. You can walk across the Macdonald but not the MacKay. Sorry about the bike lane on the Macdonald emptying on to Barrington Street only. Planners said a big “tough shit” to those wanting to go up the hill.

79. This is a university town. There are four universities and a couple colleges here plus Acadia, Brock, Cambridge, Carleton, Dalhousie, Dartmoor, Harvard, Lakehead, Laurentian, Oxford, Princeton, Duke and Yale streets.

80. The Entertainment Dome, AKA The Liquor Dome or simply The Dome, is a group of bars including Lawrence’s, Cheers, The Atrium and The Attic. There is no bar in the complex called The Liquor Dome.

81. There’s no Culture Dome either: that’s what people sometimes call the Economy Shoe Shop, or Belgium Bar/The Diamond/The Backstage complex on Argyle Street, all designed and run by artico Victor Syperek, who says he’s going to run for mayor.

82. Ferries leave Halifax at quarter after and quarter to the hour. They leave Dartmouth on the hour and half hour. Halifax = odd. The trip is short but you feel like you’re getting somewhere.

83. Musquodoboit is pronounced Musk-uh-dob-it, not “mosquito bite.” The area hosts a 50-mile yard sale every September—this year it’s September 6 and 7.

84. The Armdale Rotary, gateway to St. Margaret’s Bay Road and Purcell’s Cove, is similar to British roundabouts. When entering, use a me-you-me-you order. Do not stop unless the light tells you to. If it’s rush hour you will stop. Oh, how you will stop.

85. The bus costs $1.75; cheaper with tickets or a pass. No drinks or food on board. FRED, in downtown Halifax, is free (and you can often score a free newspaper on board), but he goes to Florida for the winter.

86. The Atlantic Film Festival is in its 23rd year and is the best time to see big-screen movies and black-wearing film snobs in a city that doesn’t have a repertory cinema. They move their box office kiosk not infrequently; this year it’s in Park Lane Mall. Visit atlanticfilm.com or follow the yellow ads.

87. Call 490-4000 for all municipal questions: What bus goes to Mic Mac Mall? (The #10 Westphal.) What goes in compost bins? (It’s complicated; for example: no paper coffee cups.) When is garbage day? (It’s complicated too, because of the city’s innovative garbage and compost collection program. Just call the number.)

88. The cost of a student coach fare on the train to Montréal is $135.70. This is a nice place and all, but sometimes you need to get out before you scream.

89. The phallic-looking poles that abound downtown are designated poster areas. Street lamps and telephone poles are technically off-limits, but most people poster them anyway. The city tears down the penis-pole posters on the first and 15th of each month, so if your event falls on the 16th you’ll have some extra work to do.

90. The Public Gardens will close for the winter before the snow falls; enjoy them while you can. There’s a little cafe plus banks of benches by the gazebo. Where you can relax. Or sort of: There’s nothing more nasty than two or three boy ducks gang-banging a defenseless girl duck. Don’t piss off the commissionaires by bringing in your bike or walking on the grass. Some of those guys have issues.

91. Halifax was founded in 1749; that’s why you see that year used in advertising.

92. CKDU is the campus community radio station. It’s at 97.5 on your FM dial. CBC Radio One is at 90.5. (Radio stations always end in an odd number because of an arbitrary decision by the FCC to start at 88.1 and give each a 200-kilohertz slice of bandwidth.)

93. Your student loan ran out months ago but you’re looking for something to do. Voila! An entertainment solution: Entrance to the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is free on Thursday nights.

94. Paradise Cinema is a group trying to get a repertoire cinema going in Halifax. They’ve been trying for quite some time. Meanwhile they sponsor film nights at Pitchman’s Pub.

95. There is no Ikea here. There used to be, in Burnside, but not for years and years. Ikea says they need a million people in an area to open a store. Huge bummer. Call 800-661-9807 for a catalogue.

96. The Roy Building is 1657 Barrington; the Green Lantern Building is 1585 Barrington. The Green Toad is the glass building on the waterfront at 1601 Lower Water Street, near the end of Sackville Street. The sculpture on the quay there is called The Wave, but locals like to call it The Tongue. No one knows why that sailor is toting the giant knockwurst.

97. Blueberry Grunt is a delicious dessert. And a local bar band.

98. If you believe the best cure for a hangover is more drinkin’, you’ll do OK—eating establishments with a liquor license can sell your tonic starting as early as 10am, liquor stores open at 10am as well.If you need it earlier, Casino Nova Scotia has liquor service 24 hours a day.

99. Not only is St. George’s Round Church one of the coolest looking buildings in Halifax—find it between Brunswick and Maitland at Cornwallis—it also has the best yard sale every June and a kick-ass weathervane, which is a tribute to Haley’s Comet. One-third of it was destroyed by fire in 1994—almost five million dollars was raised and the church was restored by 2000.

100. When Reflections Cabaret isn’t busy being the best dance club in town, it’s putting on great punk rock events such as The Rock and Wrestling Super Show and the Thursday night Hang the DJ series. Did we mention it’s also a gay bar?

101. Halifax’s sister city was named in 1982: Hakodate, Japan also has a star-shaped fortress in its boundaries and in 1997 hosted the first summit of the International Star-Shaped Citadel Cities. No, seriously—other participating cities included Münster, Germany, Palmanova, Italy and St. Petersburg, Russia.

Originally published September 4, 2003.