Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Open City Halifax Saturday, May 11, 2013

Getting a little excited about this weekend. We have a date night which coincides with one of our favourite new events in Halifax – Open City. It happens this Saturday, May 11.

What is it? Basically it’s a city wide open house for all Haligonians (residents of Halifax) to experience and explore their own city. It’s an opportunity to try new things, shop in new places and arm ourselves with answers for when our summer visitors & tourists ask, “Where do I go for the best ______ in Halifax”. Mind, you don’t have to be a Haligonian to be allowed to take part, everyone is welcome to come into the city and act like a tourist for a day. The goal is to highlight and support local business and attractions.

I believe the list of participants is now over 100, including local shops, restaurants, museums, artists, entertainers, organizations and attractions. One of the more popular aspects for many is the “Back Door Special” offered up by local restaurants. The mechanics of getting one of these special meals or snacks vary depending on the restaurant, some require a stealthy knock on the back door or others are available at “Pop-Ups” around the city. Some are cash only so you might want to have some on hand for the day. Many participants offer discounts or free samples. The list of participants and what they offer can be found here.  

Nova Scotia School of Art & Design: Artist for a Day

You might want to take a look at the website and start making you plan now, there's even an interactive map to plan your route. Participants are located all over the city, from the North End to the South End and points in between, on Quinpool and Spring Garden, on the Waterfront or in the Hydrostone. You can walk it or bike it or if you’re bringing your car there’s free parking for the day at all the My Waterfront parking lots.

This is the second year for Open City and it seems the list of participating business has grown, sounds like success to me, so successful they had a similar event in October and called it City Harvest. I’m hoping that event carries on as well.


We’ve already decided we’ll be returning to a couple of our favourites, Sugah! and Bishop’s cellar but we’ll be adding a few new.  And I’m pretty sure I have to visit Harbour City Bar & Grill at the Delta Halifax for their special, the “ Short Rib Poutine”. It's my favourite dish on their menu, I’m sure they put it on special just for me.

Short Rib Poutine from Habour City Bar & Grll

There are so many other tempting offerings around the city I can see the day might end in a food coma when we crash at our downtown home for the night, the Delta Barrington.

So wear your comfy walking shoes, buffet pants, bring some cash and get ready to sample Halifax like a tourist for a day and feel the Local Love.

Check out the website I Love Local Halifax


  1. So jealous you'll be enjoying this day so thoroughly! I accidentally planned a party that night, so my Open City experience is limited to lunch! Be sure to blog about your highlights! That poutine looks a-mazing!

    1. Happy coincidence, I had a room booked for the night downtown before I knew when the Open City was happening! And that poutine is about the best beef dish I have ever eaten, it IS amazing.