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Sightseeing in Fredricton and Halifax

The capitals of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia

By Rasma RaistersPublished 3 months ago 5 min read

Fredricton on the Saint John River

New Brunswick is one of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada. It is one of the three Maritime provinces and one of the four Atlantic provinces. It is the only province to have both English and French as its official languages. Fredericton is the capital of New Brunswick and lies on the banks of the Saint John River.

Garrison District is a complex of impressive brick buildings lining the river side of Queen Street. At one time it was a British garrison. At the center of this district is Officers' Square a popular place for changing of the guard ceremonies. In the summer you can hear outdoor concerts and see free theater performances.

The Fredericton Region Museum is housed in the former officers' quarters in the Garrison District.

Kings Landing is a museum village located 20 minutes north of the city. You can learn about the life of the Loyalists, who settled in the river valley after leaving the 13 American colonies during the American Revolution. It illustrates how life was in a rural community. There are free interactive programs. Visitors can watch early tradesmen and tour the houses.

Government House, the official residence of the Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick is now a National and Provincial Historic site. This sandstone Georgian-style building is where members of the royal family and foreign dignitaries are greeted and stay while visiting the province. The grounds are used for patriotic holiday celebrations and festivals. June through August the house is open for tours.

Odell Park is located in the heart of Fredericton. It is a green oasis of old-growth forest with shaded trails and walking paths. The Odell Arboretum and New Brunswick Species Collection feature examples of every tree species native to New Brunswick.

The Fredericton Botanic Gardens are located at the upper end of the park. There is a collection of rhododendrons and azaleas. You'll find woodland trails and outdoor sculptures. Families enjoy the playgrounds, picnic tables, and a waterfowl pond.

Christ Church Cathedral is a neo-Gothic style Anglican diocesan church. Highlights of the interior include the East Window with its stained glass, the high altar, carved stone pulpit, and baptismal font.

The Legislative Assembly Building has housed the New Brunswick legislature since 1882. Highlights include the spiral staircase and legislative chamber with its brass chandelier. The parliamentary library has a complete set of copperplate engravings from the famous Bird of America by American artist John James Audubon.

Beautiful Halifax

Halifax is the capital of Nova Scotia, both a Maritime and an Atlantic province of Canada. Nova Scotia in Latin translates to “New Scotland”. Halifax is dominated by a star-shaped, hilltop citadel. The city is also the commercial hub of the Maritime Provinces of Canada. It is an important center for research and has six universities and colleges. There is a natural harbor with docks, piers, and parks.

Halifax Citadel National Historic Site was built in 1856. It stands above the city’s downtown area. It is an impressive example of a 19th-century British fort. During the summertime interpreters wear red British uniforms to show visitors what life was like for the 78th Highlanders and the 3rd Brigade Royal Artillery and their families. There is a road that leads up the hillside to the fortress. Along the way, you can have great views of the city, harbor, Dartmouth, Little Georges Island, and the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge. The Old Town Clock with four clock faces and chimes is a symbol of Halifax and sits on the hillside.

The Halifax Downtown Harbor front has a boardwalk that runs its length. You can see heritage vessels, small sailboats, tugs, and ferries.

The “Historic Properties” area has been refurbished and is now a pedestrian precinct. There are 19th-century stone warehouses and old wharf buildings that now serve as shops, artists’ studios, and restaurants with terraces overlooking the harbor.

Pier 21 National Historic Site was an immigration shed from 1928 to 1971. Pier 21 saw over one million immigrants enter Canada. In the interpretive center, you can see exhibits about the immigration experience. Children get to dress up in period clothes. You can see the lighthouse on Georges Island from the windows.

The Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market sells local produce. There is a rooftop picnic area.

Peggy’s Cove is an active fishing village in a beautiful bay on the Atlantic coast, 43 km southwest of Halifax. There are colorful houses on the rocks surrounded by the crashing surf. Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse sits above the village. It’s one of the iconic landmarks in Nova Scotia.

The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic offers views of the Halifax Harbor. There is a collection of small craft, model ships, photos, and other items from maritime history. Exhibits are of sea life and historic vessels, small craft boatbuilding, and more.

The Canadian Scientific Ship CSS Acadia is berthed at the museum. It was built for the Canadian hydrographic service in 1913. It was a guard ship in Halifax Harbor and served as a warship in 1939. It is the only surviving ship that served the Royal Canadian Navy during both World Wars.

The Halifax Public Gardens are a great example of Victorian horticulture. Within the gardens are an ornamental bandstand, fountains, statues, and formal flower beds.

The garden ponds are home to ducks and other waterfowl. You can get weekly free tours and on Sunday afternoons from mid-June to mid-September afternoon concerts are held in the band shell.

The Province House is a Georgian sandstone building that was completed in 1819. It is the seat of Nova Scotia’s Parliament. Guided tours include the “Red Chamber” where the Council used to meet, the parliament chamber, and the library with two grand staircases, which was once the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia.

Visitors can take harbor tours on the tugboat Theodore.

Cruise on the 40-meter Tall Ship Silva.

The Halifax-Dartmouth Ferry is the oldest saltwater ferry in North America and the second oldest in the world. At one time this ferry was the only way to get from Halifax to the town of Dartmouth on the other side of the harbor.

In the town of Dartmouth, you can see the Quaker House which is the only surviving home of the Quaker whalers. They settled in the town in 1785.

Point Pleasant Park is located on the southernmost point of the city peninsula. This natural area has tall trees, winding footpaths, and amazing views over Halifax Harbor and the North West Arm.

The park has historical monuments and the Prince of Wales Tower. This round stone tower was built by Prince Edward in 1796. The tower was built to combine accommodations for soldiers, a storehouse, and cannon mountings surrounded by thick stone walls.

The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is the largest art museum in the Atlantic provinces. The museum has a permanent collection of visual arts from the Maritimes and around the world. An exhibit focuses on the artwork of the Nova Scotia folk artist, Maud Lewis.

McNab and Lawlor Island Provincial Park at the mouth of Halifax Harbor is a wonderful place to enjoy bird watching. Visitors can go hiking.

McNab Island is reachable by ferry and has 400 acres of woodland and Fort McNab, a National Historic site.


About the Creator

Rasma Raisters

My passions are writing and creating poetry. I write for several sites online and have four themed blogs on Wordpress. Please follow me on Twitter.

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