Welcome to Best of Halifax 2020, reasons we love the city

Because so much broke this Covid year, we’re breaking from the traditional gold, silver and bronze awards.
For a year like no other, we put together a Best of Halifax issue like you've never seen before. You will not find Best Coffee in these pages, nor the gold, silver and bronze winners for Best Spa.

We love that Halifax’s library loves us back

Shannon Hansen has Best-of-Halifax moments at the library every day.
  We asked Shannon Hansen, a community library assistant at Halifax North Memorial Public Library, to pick one moment that describes the spirit of Halifax Public Libraries and why it's the best.

We love that Halifax musicians are building the industry’s future

Corey Writes shares his vision for what the music biz could look like.
If there was to be a rallying call for 2020 (and really, as survey replies told us, it was music that helped many in this tough time) the only song to consider would be "Lion" by Corey Writes.

We love how the Trellis Collective brings pedal power to the pandemic

Mohammad Aljenadi is giving new life to 100+ bikes and a group of bike mechanics.
What was the nicest thing you saw during the pandemic?

We love that Halifax came together in grief

How a tea party honoured Halifax's African Nova Scotian matriarchs in the time of coronavirus.
  Grief and ritual normally go hand in hand.

We love that Halifax knows Black Lives Matter

We have community advocates like Kate Macdonald to thank for that.
Kate Macdonald remembers the peculiar quiet of 6,000 Haligonians trying their best to hear the words being spoken out of a PA system that was not expecting such a huge turnout. The crowd, assembled along Spring Garden Road on the first Monday in June, was there to take a knee for eight minutes and 46 seconds—the same amount of time a Minneapolis police officer knelt on George Floyd's neck, killing him

We love how Halifax answers the door with a smile

Nothing makes a socially-distanced day like an ice cold beer delivery.
Eric Daponte spent the past eight months on the road in HRM.

We love that Halifax got baked

LF Bakery didn’t just endure the pandemic, they thrived.
In the early days of the pandemic, Halifax was uncertain about lockdowns, scared of new cases and worried about job security.

We love the frontline healthcare workers taking on the pandemic

Janvier Korongo was the first volunteer for disinfection duty: "They thought I was joking."
For leading Nova Scotia through a particularly brutal first wave of COVID-19, premier Stephen McNeil and chief medical officer of health Robert Strang earned heaps of praise in the BOH survey.

It's been one for the books

How local bookstores helped us make it through our time at home.
In the Best Of survey we asked, "Before Covid, what did a perfect day in Halifax look like for you?"

Our collective art beat

The best thing to happen in visual arts this year? There were too many choose.
“Art helps us: In connecting with art, we connect with each other, we orient ourselves in time,” says sound artist and Nocturne 2020 curator Lindsay Dobbin.

Going viral as virus therapy

In a time when, as we heard from readers in the survey, the social part of social media became ever more important, Halifax's love for TikTok hit the mainstream.

Our not-so-secret garden

How a gate at the corner of Spring Garden Road and South Park Street became a magic portal for all of us.
“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden,” wrote author Frances Hodgson Burnett in 1911.

How to bring the party home

Local DJs helped us bust a move—and lift our mood—when we needed it most.
“My wife and I really looked forward to the living room dance parties with the kids,” one reader tells us in our Best Of survey.

What’s so special about Halifax, anyway?

“It’s big enough to be progressive, but small enough to stay the same.”
In the BOH survey we asked "What makes Halifax special to you?" and we got back a pile of answers on the same theme: It's the perfect size.

Crafters in a dangerous time

Covid couldn’t unravel Halifax’s fibre arts community.
What was the nicest thing you saw during the pandemic?

Basha gets benevolent

The south end Mediterranean joint is giving away about 300 free meals a month.
In late March, Basha Mediterranean Cuisine co-owner Chico Al-Rashaydeh began hearing stories of pandemic layoffs. "We found that a lot of people have no money and no income, they lost their job, and nobody knows what to do," he tells The Coast.


© 2021 Coast Publishing Ltd.