Guided Tour Downtown Halifax | Shoptalk | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST

Guided Tour Downtown Halifax

Some buildings have grown taller, and the construction feels endless, but in that there is hope. There is renewal, growth and opportunity for more. Walking down Barrington, you can feel the resurgence of energy happening in downtown Halifax.

Get Inkwell soon

Sometimes it feels like you can't keep up with all of the occasions happening in your life. Maybe you even dread that awkward birthday moment where you'll read three of the same card and have to smile out of politeness. But then, you open up that one card that is exactly you.

Inkwell Boutique is the solution for all of your moments of holiday writer's block, and somehow knows exactly what you want to say to your quirky mom on Mother's Day. They know the way to your dad's punny heart, and their card designs will make you wish you had never given up on art.

With the opening of their new light-filled location, Inkwell has made room to display its 96-year-old letterpress, and has expanded on both local and international handmade products, adding even more to their jewellery, apothecary, home ware, accessories and baby collections. Make gift-giving fun again, and let Inkwell do the thinking for you. Inkwell Modern Handmade Boutique & Letterpress Studio, 2011 Brunswick Street

Medicine tailored to you

Figuring out what is right for your health can be a challenge. Whether you're looking for teen counselling, naturopathic medicine, health coaching or even more specialized services, Bespoke Clinic fills in the gaps to help you understand what is really going on with your health. Their diverse team goes beyond treating your symptoms and focuses on educating, guiding and inspiring you to live your full health potential.

By being in the pedestrian-friendly downtown neighbourhood, the clinic is accessible to those living or working in the area—they'll have you beginning your health journey just by going to your appointment.

The Bespoke Clinic team believes in the freedom of health. Their strength comes from their ability to work together to create a customized treatment plan that provides you with lasting results. If you're looking for support for your health, Bespoke is where you'll find it.  Bespoke Clinic, 1809 Barrington Street, Suite B100

This is the Life

Experience Life SalonSpa, where the services are customized and focused on individuality. They dare you to be your authentic self and treat you like the unique individual that you are. Continue your experience at home with a vial of your own custom-blended aroma. You'll leave feeling beautified, purified and stress-free. 

Life SalonSpa artists use natural pigments and blend them together to create the perfect hair colour that is only yours. Even their Aveda brand begs you to be original. Take a little aroma journey through your chakras during your next facial, pedicure or during a hot steamed towel while you enjoy a scalp massage at the back bar. They even feature Aveda barbering services for your modern grooming needs! Freshly moved into a gorgeous new downtown location, Life SalonSpa is here to recharge you and bring Life to Barrington. Life SalonSpa, 1592 Barrington Street

Your piece of the coast

Amos Pewter's handcrafted jewellery, ornaments and home decor designs are inspired by maritime nature and surroundings. These creations are sure to leave you pining for the ocean and wanting to take every bit of it home with you.

Want to see the process of how they cast their products from molten pewter? You can just ask the artisans, they'll be happy to show you. Like the Amos Pewter locations in PEI, Peggys Cove and Mahone Bay, while you're visiting the harbourside downtown Halifax location, you can take part in a hands-on experience. This year, visitors can hand-finish a Canada 150 coin or the signature sand dollar, where with every purchase a portion of the proceeds goes to the Bluenose Costal Action Foundation.

Pick out a beach treasure that makes you think of your stroll along the seashore, or a lighthouse to remind you of your tour. Amos Pewter knows leaving Nova Scotia can be a painful experience, so why not take a piece of the coast wherever you go? Amos Pewter, 1521 Lower Water Street

The visionaries

Walking into Ocean Optometry is like going to visit friends—well, more like your fashion-savvy friends who you desperately need style advice from. The owners and optometrists will look after your eyes, and the professional opticians are there to tell you which frame suits your face, or which colour doesn't complement your hair. The Ocean team gets to know you first, and helps pick a pair of glasses to fit your personality later.

The styles of frames are moving away from the dark, boxy trend and into the light. There's no such thing as too much colour with these vintage frames. You can match purple with teal or play around with an angular yellow pair. If colour isn't your style, how about a classic pair with a modern twist? You can pick from a variety of handmade frames, some even made from natural materials, like 100 percent wood. They can even make a one-off custom frame just for you. So be picky, there are plenty of fish in this Ocean. Ocean Optometry, 5240 Blowers Street

Flowering downtown

Take a look around at the four drawings hung on the walls of The Flower Shop and you'll see a little bit of history. The flowers have gone in and out of season, and the buildings have changed, but this shop has been a part of downtown Halifax for 80 years. 

The greenery around the new location shows off the shop's organic style, complemented by high ceilings and newly exposed brick walls. Grab a friend and try out one of The Flower Shop's macrame workshops, or just pop by to take in the sweet smell of fresh, local, in-season peonies and delphiniums that come right from The Humble Burdock Farm. 

You can take your time and custom make our own bouquet, or pick from the array of ready-made bouquets for all of you busy bees. With the new addition of a walk-in cooler room, the shop stores an even larger supply of plants for your choosing. The Flower Shop, 1887 Granville Street

Supplies surprise

Dip your brush into cadmium yellow, alizarin crimson or cerulean blue, and paint. Whatever colour you need, whether oil, acrylic or watercolour, the NSCAD Art Supply Store has it in stock. All you need to supply is inspiration. Shop for yourself or the artist in your life. You don't have to be a NSCAD student or grad to browse and dream. The aisles are filled with new materials for you to test out during your next artistic spree. 

New artists, don't be shy—the store carries beginner-friendly materials too. Pop in and pick up some cottons or silks for dyeing; yarn for knitting or weaving; or a sketchbook, charcoal and pencils to capture the world around you. The store has a wide selection of fine art and craft materials, and creative gifts including toques, aprons, pastels and paint sets. You can spend hours looking around and dreaming up what you'll make next.  NSCAD Art Supply Store, 1874 Hollis Street

At your service

This family owned business has been serving your home-cooked meals since 1983, and you wish you could take the credit. The only complaint your guests will have about Rudy's Catering is that they wish they could eat more.

Rudy's makes planning your next event, party or wedding stress-free, and they aren't afraid of a large guest list. They'll have your food ready on time, made fresh, and serve you like you're family. You'll get your first taste of Rudy's at an event, but you'll be stopping by their downtown location every day for lunch to satisfy your craving.

Stop in for Turkey Dinner Thursdays, grab a free soup with your sandwich purchase or be surprised by one of their daily specials. If you're stumped, just ask Rudy to recommend something, he's always behind the counter to make sure that your belly is full and that you're always leaving with a smile on your face. Rudy's Catering, 1681 Granville Street

Fabulous frites year-round

The days of tasting savoury steak frites have been extended, and you'll never again have to go without in the winter months. This fabulous food truck has parked itself for good right in Scotia Square mall.

Tin Pan Alley frites shop is a real mom 'n' pop shop, where owners Karl and Jill Warmé are serving Dutch-style fries inspired by visits to Karl's mother in Holland. The two spent their first years serving from the Tin Pan Alley food truck, where they could satisfy our foodie cravings on the go, but only six months of the year.

With their permanent position, they are able to do what they love and share their artfully presented, hand-cut frites all year long, and you still feel like you're ordering from their truck. Eat outside the box with their new and innovative recipes like crispy skinned duck confit poutine, or keep it local by indulging in some freshly caught fish and crispy chips. You ask, and they'll answer. Tin Pan Alley, Scotia Square, 5201 Duke Street

Haskapa community

The world's first Haskap Berry Powder is making itself known, and moving on into the wellness world. You don't have to look far; Haskapa is bringing this super-berry right to you in Bishop's Landing.

One hundred percent pure, you get to hold onto 94 percent of the nutritional value and outstandingly high antioxidant content. It can be used in smoothies to crank up your daily nutritional intake, sprinkled over ice cream while indulging on a hot summer's day or as a way to add flavour and visual appeal to your morning oatmeal.

Haskapa is embracing and creating a wellness community. Whether you're taking a yoga class or participating in a health and wellness workshop in their newly renovated event space, or joining them at their sampling bar for a taste of traditional preserves, it's a community for you. From farm to table, Haskapa offers something for everyone! Who knew health could taste so sweet? Haskapa, Bishop's Landing, 1477 Lower Water Street

Breakfast, burgers, Bistro

There's no better way to describe Elle's Bistro except with the phrase "Treat yourself." Two years ago they filled a void in the downtown neighbourhood, and they are continuing to fill our hearts through our stomachs.

Elle's does milkshakes the proper old-school style, right down to getting you that extra bit of shake from the metal can. Don't be surprised if you find yourself making a few trips to the bistro to pick between the S'mores, Rolo, Creamsicle or 20 other milkshake flavours. And let's not even get started on Elle's baklava cheesecake, drizzled with honey, or blueberry stuffed French toast. Is your stomach grumbling yet?

Sweet tooth aside, the options at Elle's are endless and offered at a reasonable price. Pick from 12 different locally sourced beef burgers, or 17 kinds of eggs Bennies. Take your time, and sit back on their brand-new patio—with Elle's all-day breakfasts, there's no rush to decide. Elle's Bistro, 1678 Barrington Street

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Are you going to ride your bike through the winter?

Are you going to ride your bike through the winter?

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