About The South End
2014 Choix du Public – Quartiers
The South End is like a city within a city, with all the amenities and niceties within its boundaries that one could desire, but with a neighbourhood sensibility: schools, hospitals, libraries, churches, shops, restaurants, galleries and museums, entertainment and sports venues, and plenty of parks and greenspace. What unites all these diverse elements together is the feeling of vitality.
Between Fall and Spring, the neighbourhood thrives with the youth and energy of students attending Dalhousie University, Saint Mary’s University, King’s College, and the Atlantic School of Theology – not to mention the private and public schools also in the area. In contrast, there are nursing and seniors’ homes that provide care for the community’s elderly population. Perhaps having so many young neighbours nearby helps to keep the older folks young at heart!
The architecture of the neighbourhood is a unique and beautiful blend of modest 19th-century homes and grand mansions, of student residences and modern condos, and some of the most colourfully-painted exteriors ever seen! The proximity to the central business and financial district makes it an ideal location for a burgeoning workforce to settle down. The area is easily walkable, but also suited to bike and vehicular traffic, as well as public transit routes. The area also welcomes many municipal events that crisscross its borders, like the annual Blue Nose International Marathon and numerous parades (most notably, the Parade of Lights with Santa himself, which upwards of 100,000 people attended in 2013).
At the southern-most end, Point Pleasant Park consists of 190 acres of forested trails facing the Atlantic Ocean. It is leased to the city by the Government of Canada at a cost of one shilling per year! In addition to its stunning water views, the Park is also home to the oldest Martello Tower in North America (The Prince of Wales Tower, 1796), several maritime and war memorials, and the ruins of artillery batteries, which are used as the backdrop for performances by the Shakespeare By The Sea troupe each summer. Although the Park was devastated by Hurricane Juan in September 2003 – which toppled about three-quarters of the forest – it continues to be a much-beloved spot for hikers, dog-walkers and picnickers, all of whom are optimistic about the Park’s renewal for future generations, now that over 70,000 new trees have been planted.
The Halifax Seaport is always a hive of activity: At the Halterm Container Terminal, enormous cargo ships come in and out of Halifax with the help of mighty cranes. The Cunard Centre is a state-of-the-art multi-purpose centre (and yes, it’s named after shipping magnate Samuel Cunard), hosting everything from conferences to Beer Fest. At Pier 21, one can step back in time and see where immigrants first set foot on Canadian soil when they arrived between 1928-1971. And in a converted shipping warehouse, the LEED-certified Farmers’ Market operates 7 days a week. Originally begun in 1750, it is the oldest continuously operating market in North America, now offering an array of regional food products and crafts, not to mention prime viewing from its rooftop for watching cruise ships like the Queen Mary 2.
The South End is where you always see someone you know, and where your favourite vendors remember your name. It’s where you might bump into a celebrity – like Rick Mercer or Pierce Brosnan – and chat like you’re old friends. It’s where maritime traditions meet trendy hotspots.
The South End is alive – with people and ships on the move, with Celtic music playing at the corner pub, with salty ocean air, and with a friendly community spirit.