Our friend’s particular condo overlooks George’s Island , a prominent feature of Halifax’s historic harbour. It was originally named Ile a la Raquette or Snowshoe Island by the French. However, when Halifax was officially founded in 1749, it was renamed George Island after King George III, and later, George’s Island. It has remained a part of the harbour defence system for the Port of Halifax ever since that time. The Federal Government of Canada recently announced it was going to cover the extensive cost of restoring the island’s fortresses in order to open the island to public visits, which are currently not allowed, as part of the Citadel visitor program. One interesting note, George’s Island has the highest ratio of snakes (black garter) per land area in the world. Surely, an added incentive to visit the island, although only my two grandsons shared that sentiment with me.
The condos at Bishop’s Landing vary in price from merely expensive to approximately $1.3 million for the largest and most luxurious units. From our friend’s condo, we had great views of the Dartmouth side of the harbour, the orange oil rig from Louisiana (a victim of Hurricane Katrina in port for repairs), the Harbour Walk and as always, George’s Island, the centerpiece of our outstanding harbour.
The Port of Halifax is always busy with large container ships, warships from every nation, sailboats, and fishing vessels of every type going in an out of the harbour on a regular basis. But this time we spotted something we’d never seen in the harbour before, it was a paddle surf-board . Here’s an example of what we saw from the balcony of the condo, along with pictures of paddle surf-boarding! Bishop’s Landing has a private courtyard , pool, hot tub, barbeques, and more.
Our friend has a terrific oil painting of the old, binny streetcars once used in Halifax. This was the public transportation system in Halifax until the 1950's, when, like other North American cities, the streetcar fell victim to the onslaught of GM and public transport was converted to rubber-tired buses (mainly GM). It is a great painting showing a bygone era of historic Halifax. Although interestingly enough, Granville at George Street as shown in the painting looks surprisingly as it is today. You could walk to the corner of Granville and George Street from the Harbour Walk, after your harbour cruise on the Halifax Dartmouth Ferry.
Due to privacy concerns, there is only one interior snap-shot of our friend’s condo . Nighttime shots of the harbour proved to be a bit more difficult than I had anticipated. This photo was the best of the all the shots I took.
The Port of Halifax and the Waterfront Corporation are currently making improvements to The Harbour Walk that will add another level of interest . Bishop’s Landing Condo Complex is a multi-use facility that has much to offer cruise ship visitors including numerous shops, eateries, places to sit and relax and watch the world go by, as well as harbour-side entertainment . Also part of Harbour Walk and Bishop’s Landing is a public area with a view up Bishop Street itself and a glimpse of the Old Burying Ground. Read my last blog for more information on the Old Burying Ground and about the White House creator, General Robert Ross, who is buried there. Bishop Street’s streetscape appears very much today as it did in the 1860's.
Bishop’s Landing is just a short distance from the Cruise Ship Pavilion which is located along the Harbour Walk and which, as you’ll note, has it’s own Clock Tower . If you walk the entire length of the Harbour Walk you will find numerous, informative story boards as you go along which tell the history of ships and ship types as well as other interesting information about our city. Here is an example of one of the story boards you will find , it tells the history of Pier 21 which is part of the Cruise Ship Pavilion itself.
No tour of Halifax would be complete without visiting Keith’s Brewery, circa 1863 . Brewmaster Alexander Keith, a Mayor of Halifax (1850), is still there across from Bishop’s Landing.
Keith’s Brewery offers guided tours of their facility. Guides are dressed in period costume (circa 1863) and during the tour they tell much of the history of the brewery and Halifax.
Keith’s India Pale Ale is, even after all these years, the #1 beer sold in Nova Scotia. As they say, “Those who like it like it a lot!”
We hope the snap-shots and text will help you enjoy our Blue Diamond Exclusive, “The Almost Free Family Fun Day in Halifax - DIY Cruise Ship Excursion - Cruise Halifax” .
To the left of the brick building is where the cruise ships dock , and looking north along the Harbour Walk, you’ll see the edge of Bishop’s Landing Complex. Here are pictures of the construction improvements currently underway along the Harbour Walk . These improvements are scheduled to be completed in time for the summer tourist season.
At Blue Diamond Tours, we want you to make the most of your visit to our fair city. We hope the information provided helps you make your day a memorable one and your visit to our historic home town of Halifax, a success!
Read Blue Diamond’s other blogs & newsletters to add to your day in Halifax:
- Brunswick Street February 27, 2009
- Smith Street & Wright Avenue April 10, 2009
- The Public Gardens July 31, 2008
- FRED - Free Rides Everywhere Downtown August 20, 2008
- Also, start with our original offering of DIY Cruise Ship Excursion Halifax
If Do-It-Yourself is not your cup of tea, we at Blue Diamond Tours stand ready, capable and more than willing to build a customized tour just for you! All you need to do is ask!
Until next time,