Doors Open 2016

Doors Open celebrates Halifax’s blend of historical and contemporary architecture. Our buildings tell the story of the development of our society, our values and our shared culture.

Join us on June 4th & 5th, 2016 from 10 am-4 pm

The Venues

Many of these buildings are part of our everyday lives, yet are never viewed or explored by the public. By providing public access to these buildings, Doors Open Halifax will bring our community together to learn, explore and enjoy a fantastic weekend of discovery…together.

  • Alexander Keith’s Brewery

    Exclusive to Doors Open, visitors can explore one of North America’s oldest commercial breweries free of charge. This unique tour, hosted by animators in period costume, will take you back in time. These characters will let you discover historic secrets, including Read on! →

  • Atlantic School of Theology and Hospice Halifax

    Leaders come in many forms. Atlantic School of Theology helps develop post-graduate students for ministry, as well as for meeting the theological and ethical challenges of today’s world. At AST, students are able to explore new avenues for theological education such as interfaith Read on! →

  • Cambridge Military Library

    In the far corner of the Royal Artillery Park, this diminutive red brick building is the Cambridge Military Library. This building was the social and literary centre of military Halifax. The Library opened in 1817 at Grafton Street as an Read on! →

  • Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21

    Pier 21 is a National Historic Site which was the gateway to Canada for one million immigrants between 1928 and 1971. It also served as the departure point for 500,000 Canadian Military personnel during the Second World War. Today, Pier Read on! →

  • City Greenhouse and Horticultural Tour

    Ever wonder where all the flowers and trees for our parks and open spaces come from? The municipality has two large greenhouses, one in Halifax and one in Dartmouth where all the flowering annuals, veggies and other specimen plants are Read on! →

  • Dalhousie University School of Architecture

    In 1909, the Nova Scotia Technical College moved into a new building on the south side of Spring Garden Road at Brunswick Street, designed by Herbert Gates. The School of Architecture was established within the Nova Scotia Technical College in Read on! →

  • Founders Square

    Founders Square was developed by former president of the Armour Group, Ben McCrea, who was a well-known Halifax philanthropist and developer, responsible for transforming numerous properties including three downtown city blocks full of run-down buildings into Halifax’s Historic Properties. Founders Square, Read on! →

  • Government House

    A favourite each year, this timeless residence will captivate visitors with its opulence and history. The home of the Sovereign’s representative for more than 200 years, it houses stunning antiques and sophisticated art throughout for people to view. Plus, visitors will have an exclusive opportunity to Read on! →

  • Halifax City Hall

    One of the most popular venues on our roster! The current City Hall was opened to Council and the public in 1890, replacing offices in the old court house on the waterfront. Rich in history, it’s one of the finest Read on! →

  • Halifax Grammar School

    Built in 1912, the Tower Road Campus (originally called the Tower Road School- TRS) educated elementary-aged children from the surrounding area for 87 years. It is a classic example of Edwardian architecture. The building has undergone significant changes since then. Read on! →

  • Halifax Junior Bengal Lancers

    This non-profit riding society was founded in 1932 by M.B. Dick. The building that houses the Lancers was constructed in 1908. It served as the city’s works shop and housed police and fire horses until 1942, when it became home Read on! →

  • Halifax Provincial Courthouse

    This local landmark was built with three reasons in mind. The first was that the growing town needed somewhere other than the church to carry out and settle charges. Second, there had been a very large number of fires in Read on! →

  • Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency, Station #2

    Constructed in 1908 by William B. Fidler, the Halifax Fire Department eventually settled here, after being established in 1754. It is the second oldest, continuously working fire station in Canada. Today, it is part of Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency, one of Read on! →

  • Halifax Shambhala Meditation Centre

    The Halifax Shambhala Centre offers public meditation, a curriculum of Shambhala Buddhist teachings, and a myriad of educational, artistic, cultural, family and community activities that help people of all traditions discover their inherent sanity, gentleness and humour. It is located Read on! →

  • Icon Bay

    Icon Bay, a first of its kind in Halifax presents an all glass state of the art building. While enjoying the comfort of your luxurious suites you will have the opportunity to look over the sparkling water of the Bedford Read on! →

  • Keith Hall

    The residence of Alexander Keith, Keith Hall, is a three-storey sandstone and brick building fronting on Hollis Street.  The cornerstone for Keith Hall was laid in September 1863 and the building was designed by Scottish architect William Hay.  Keith Hall Read on! →

  • Lord Nelson Hotel, Universal Realty Group

    The Lord Nelson Hotel & Suites is a classic Maritime landmark serving excellence since 1928. Step into the lobby and experience a grand sense of arrival—ornate millwork framed by an historic coffered ceiling and crystal chandeliers reflected in the sparkling marble Read on! →

  • Maritime Museum of the Atlantic

    The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic features what is possibly the most definitive exhibit on the Halifax Explosion of 1917. This year is the 100th anniversary of that disaster, and the Museum has opened its doors to visitors free of Read on! →

  • Nova Scotia Association of Architects

    Home to the Nova Scotia Association of Architects (NSAA) for over 30 years, the building at the corner of Bishop and Barrington Streets occupies a prominent location right next door to Government House, the residence of the Lieutenant Governor of Read on! →

  • Nova Scotia Power

    Once known as the Lower Water Street substation, and previous to that a power plant built in the early 1900’s, the Nova Scotia Power 1H building on the Halifax waterfront has been transformed in to a LEED Platinum built office Read on! →

  • NSCAD Academy and Dome

    Built in 1878, the Academy Campus is full of history, but is also brimming with new, innovative technologies. As a part of Doors Open Halifax and in partnership with The KA’NATA Foundation, Halifax will get the first glimpse of The Read on! →

  • Old Town Clock

    The Town Clock, also sometimes called the Old Town Clock or Citadel Clock Tower, is one of the most recognizable landmarks in all of Canada. It is an absolutely faithful 1960s reconstruction of the original design, but the structure still Read on! →

  • Our Lady of Sorrows Chapel – Holy Cross Cemetery

    On 31 August 1843, over 1,800 people gathered to build this charming little chapel—and they did so in just one day! The French stained-glass windows date to the 16th and 17th centuries.

  • Royal Artillery Park Officer’s Mess

    Royal Artillery (RA) Park Officers’ Mess is the oldest military Mess in Canada, serving Officers in the Halifax Garrison since 1816. The site of RA Park was acquired in 1799 from John and Richard Cleary for £150, in the name Read on! →

  • Sacred Heart School of Halifax

    Founded in 1849, the Sacred Heart School of Halifax building was constructed in 1850 by the Religious of the Sacred Heart. The central wing and main entrance is the oldest original school in Halifax.  Renovations in 1876 gave the School Read on! →

  • Scotiabank Main Branch

    This jewel of Canadian architecture will take your breath away. In 1930, pre-eminent Canadian architect John Lyle was commissioned to design a new head office. This is the building that now stands at 1709 Hollis Street, and it is a Read on! →

  • Southport – Killam Properties

    Halifax’s first loft-style condo development is a nod to the city’s rich shipping history – and an exciting indication of things to come. Located on Barrington Street next to the historic South End, just minutes from downtown, the innovative building Read on! →

  • St. Patrick’s Church

    The parish began unofficially in the 1830s as a mission parish, where the community gathered in a barn on the corner of Gottingen and Gerrish streets. By 1843, the Roman Catholic population had increased in the old North End, and the Read on! →

  • St. Paul’s Anglican Church

    St. Paul’s Anglican Church is the oldest Anglican church in North America and the oldest building in Halifax. The church opened in 1750, one year after the founding of Halifax. Services began several months later, even though it took 10 years Read on! →

  • The Waegwoltic Club

    Doors Open visitors can tour one of Halifax’s most historic sport & leisure facilities.  The Waegwoltic Club’s amenities include 12 tennis courts, 4 saltwater pools, 2 volleyball courts, endless green space and the best views of the Northwest Arm. At the Read on! →

  • Theodore Tugboat

      Theodore is a friendly tugboat who loves to discover and explore brand new things! Theodore Tugboat informs and entertains, bringing the sights and sounds of an actual working harbour to life. Explore the outer deck and inside wheelhouse of Read on! →

  • University of King’s College

    The University of King’s College is the oldest English-speaking university in the Commonwealth outside the UK. Founded by Loyalists in 1789 in Windsor, NS, King’s received a royal charter from George III in 1802. After a disastrous fire in 1920, Read on! →