Five Perfect Ways to Spend an Afternoon in the North End

December 29, 2014
Lola Augustine Brown


Living in Halifax’s North End means that you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to great places to eat and drink, shop, and find fun things to do. Here are five perfect ways to spend an afternoon in this vibrant and exciting neighbourhood.

Check out the Hydrostone Market

Take a short stroll up Agricola to Young Street and you’ll find a gorgeous historic strip of businesses serving up everything from delicious pastries and coffee to designer home furnishings and eyewear, flowers and handcrafted gifts to a spa and a knitting store, and much more. The Hydrostone District was built in 1918, named after the large concrete (hydrostone) blocks used to construct the homes and shops there, and modeled on English garden suburbs of the time (walk further and you’ll see leafy streets with wide treed courts dividing them).

Indulge your passion for food

There are so many fantastic restaurants in the North End so choosing where to spend an afternoon can be tough! We suggest starting at Lion and Bright for one of their craft beer and grilled cheese combos (or anything else off their exciting small plates menu). Next pop next door to at Local Source Market where you can shop for all manner of fabulous local produce, meats, cheeses, baked goods and other delicious things to stock your fridge with. Then head north a block to FRED, a salon café combo where you can pick up the most decadent cupcakes in town and a great latte to sip on as you munch. Just diagonally across the street from FRED is the MidEast Food Centre and Café where you can pick up delectable treats from Lebanon and other far flung countries, as well as interesting teas, coffees and breads.

Love a little park life

Living at Q Lofts, you’re a short walk from some really sweet parks. Walk south down Agricola Street and you’ll hit the Halifax Commons, which has sports pitches, an excellent playground, a swimming pool and splash park, skate-park, and more. This huge green space is much loved by the citizens of Halifax, and the site of many festivals throughout the summer months. Walk north to Fort Needham Memorial Park for fabulous views out over the city, and an off-leash dog area, or just a few blocks from there is Isleville Park which has three playgrounds and, while it might be too chilly for this right now, quite possibly the best splash-park in the city for tots.

Go antiquing

The North End is home to some of the best antique stores in the city. Finer Things Antiques and Curios on the corner of Agricola and Almon Streets is a well laid out and carefully curated store stocking Mid-Century Modern furniture, naval memorabilia, paste jewels, and just about anything else you could be looking for. McLellan Antiques and Collectibles (also on Agricola) has lots of carefully restored furniture (and more). Hop over to Gottingen Street to visit Plan B, a kooky indoor market filled with unique finds and kitsch artwork.

Explore the Oval

Whatever the season, you can skate at the Emera Oval on the Halifax commons. Fly around the speed track on your ice skates and then treat yourself to a hot chocolate and a Beavertail at the kiosk there afterwards. All summer long you can use your inline skates. Built for the Canada Games in 2010, the Oval has become a popular spot to get a workout in or just goof around with your friends.

Lola Augustine Brown

Lola Augustine Brown

Freelance writer Lola Augustine Brown is a regular contributor to Canadian Living, The Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, Today’s Parent, and various other magazines and newspapers. She lives in Nova Scotia, and loves Halifax’s North End.