Doors Open 2015

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.

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! →

  • All Saints Anglican Church

    The All Saints Church enjoyed today is one hundred and five years old. The rich wood interior has retained its original beauty. The stained glass windows are exquisite and are wonderful memorials. Although additions have been made to the original Read on! →

  • Beth Israel Synagogue

    Visit the ever so peaceful daily chapel and grand Sanctuary. Take some time to study the two large commissioned stain glass windows respectfully; South side depicts Jewish holidays and ceremonies, while the North side depicts events in Jewish history. In 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! →

  • 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! →

  • Grace United Church

    Grace United Church has survived three explosions. The “sanctuary” where Sunday services are held is separated from the church hall by a counter-weighted wall that drops and rises using a pulley system. There was once, oddly, a shooting range on Read on! →

  • Halifax Central Library

    The Halifax Central Library is a five-storey structure comprising about 11,000 square metres (120,000 sq ft) of space. A skylighted atrium, criss-crossed by stairs and walkways, spans the interior height of the structure. The design, said to resemble a stack of books, has 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 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 Transit- Ragged Lake Operations and Maintenance Facility

    This 176,000 square foot complex on a 16-acre site features two buildings: A 119,990 square foot Operations Centre and a 55,920 square foot Service Centre for bus maintenance. A very unique visit with a fun opportunity for everyone, including kids! Read on! →

  • HMCS Sackville, Canada’s National Naval Memorial

    This Canadian naval memorial is in fact the ‘soul’ of the Navy. That soul was shaped and imparted to Sackville and to the Navy by the leadership, spirit and actions of men like Alan Easton, her very successful early captain, and the 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! →

  • MacPhee Centre for Creative Learning

    MacPhee Centre for Creative Learning, formerly known as BridgeCAT, believes that young artists should have the creative space they deserve if perhaps not the one they can afford. The main space at 50 Queen Street in downtown Dartmouth, in the 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! →

  • Neptune Theatre

    Neptune Theatre is Atlantic Canada’s largest professional regional theatre. However, this building, in its own right, has a great story to tell. Originally known as the Strand Theatre and designed by Nova Scotia’s first professional architect, Andrew Cobb in 1915, 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! →

  • 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.

  • Province House

    Province House, in which the Nova Scotia Legislature has met every year since February 1819, is Canada’s oldest seat of government. This architectural gem is one of the finest examples of Palladian style in North America. From the stately Red Read on! →

  • Province House

    Province House is where the Nova Scotia Legislature, known officially as the Nova Scotia House of Assembly, has met every year since 1819, making it the longest serving legislative building in Canada.

  • 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! →

  • St. Antonios Antiochian Orthodox Church

    This lovely iteration of Saint Antonios Church is a unique hybrid, exhibiting decorative features endemic to both Orthodox and Anglican denominations.  In 2010, the Saint Antionios congregation had outgrown its previous church building and purchased its neighbour across the street, St. Read on! →

  • St. Ignatius Catholic Church

    In 1866, prominent businessman David Cronan donated the land of which the first Catholic Church in Bedford was built. The interior of the church was repainted in the 1990s and the statues and Stations of the Cross were returned to 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! →

  • Steele Ocean Sciences Building at Dalhousie University

    Dalhousie University’s Steele Ocean Sciences Building is home to world-class scientists working to better understand our mysterious and complex global ocean. Residents of the building include the CERC.OCEAN research group, Ocean Frontier Institute, Ocean Tracking Network, Marine Environmental Observation Prediction and Response Network (MEOPAR) and the Aquatron Laboratory. Read on! →

  • Supreme Court – Family Division

    The building that houses the Family Division of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia was once Richmond School, built in 1921 to replace the original school that had been destroyed in the Halifax Explosion of 1917. The supreme court in 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! →

  • 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! →

  • Veith House

    Veith House is a neighborhood house whose mission is to meet the needs of children, individuals and families, with empowerment as an ever present goal.