December 31, 2020

15 Great Things That Happened in Halifax in 2020

2020 hasn’t been easy for anyone – and Halifax has certainly experienced its share of challenges – but we think it’s important to remind ourselves that this has also been a year of amazing accomplishments, resilience, and community strength for the Halifax region and Nova Scotia!

We’ve compiled a list of 15 great things that happened in Halifax in 2020 – Enjoy and share the love! 😊

April 2020

1. Compass Distillers came to the rescue with locally made hand sanitizers   

To support our community when disinfectant supply was running low in Nova Scotia, Compass Distillers shifted from making spirits to hand sanitizers

Bottles are sold for just $5 and more than 500 bottles were donated to organizations in need such as Parker Street Food and Furniture Bank. 

April 2020

2. Local favourite restaurant, The Canteen opened a community kitchen

The Canteen on Portland made a temporary transition from popular neighbourhood restaurant to a community kitchen, preparing and distributing 400-500 meals weekly to those who need it most.

“Beginning the week of April 13, we temporarily transitioned to The Canteen Community Kitchen. Under the new name, we have been working with both The North Grove and Margaret’s House in downtown Dartmouth to prepare 400-500 meals per week for distribution to those in need.” 


May 2020

3. Local rapper, Classified released “Good News” single 

Enfield artist Classified released his 2020 catchy single Good News earlier this year with featured artist Breagh Isabel.

The video features his daughter and her friends/classmates visiting a retirement home in Elmsdale, bringing a little more joy to the world.

May 2020

4. Halifax Council waivered café and patio fees  

This summer, Halifax’s regional council voted to waive the usual fees charged to restaurant operators looking to set up outdoor seating in a way to help struggling businesses! 

Fees can range from $250 to $1,000, which had a small impact on the city’s overall budget but a big impact on restaurants. Way to go Halifax!  

July 2020

5. New mural in Africville celebrates famed boxer George Dixon 

This summer, a new mural was unveiled in Africville to celebrate 150 years since famed boxer George Dixon was born.  

Global News reports, “Dixon was born in Africville and went on to become not only the first Canadian-born boxing champion but the first-ever Black athlete to win a world championship in any sport.”

July 2020

6. Garrison Brewing Co. raised over $25,000 in support of Feed Nova Scotia  

As of July 30, local brewery company, Garrison Brewing raised $25,158 for Feed Nova Scotia from the purchases of their “stay the blazes home” beer and merch! 

Available for home delivery, Garrison created a beer to recognize the hard work we have all done and everyone continuing to do their part. It is described as “refreshingly light & crisp, this blonde ale is great for bubblin’ with close friends or “Stayin’ the Blazes Home”!”  

August 2020

7. Georges Island opened to visitors this summer

Anyone who’s spent time in Halifax will recognize Georges Island, the small island at the centre of the Halifax Habour with a white lighthouse and an array of fortress-like structures.

While for years it has been a sight to behold from the Halifax waterfront, this summer Georges Island National Historic Site became accessible to the public for the first time in years!

Steeped in history, and covered with underground tunnels, Parks Canada hopes to open the access again for summer 2021. 

August 2020

8. Halifax Public Libraries waived all fines!  

As of August 5, 2020, the Halifax Public Library moved to a fine-free model. All existing fines have been forgiven and blocked cards are now reset!  

The library released a news saying: “The foundation of the public library is free and equitable service to all; however, we know that a Library fine can create a barrier to access. Removing this barrier gives everyone in our community lifelong access to the library. ”

August 2020

9. 13-year-old pianist from Halifax was named one of CBC Music’s “30 under 30” 

This summer, Devin Huang, was named by CBC music as one of Canada’s hot “30 under 30” classical musicians to watch and is also the youngest participant in their 2020 list.  

Musique Royal reports that Devin has received tremendous support from the music community, receiving awards from the Halifax Ladies’ Musical Club and scholarships from the Nova Scotia Talent Trust! Way to go Devin! 

August 2020

10. North Preston native signed to play professional basketball in Germany  

Daneesha Provo from North Preston signed to play professional basketball in Feinberg, Germany this year. Bound for Europe to play with Eisvögel USC Freiburg in Germany’s top professional women’s basketball league, she was planning to arrive this fall!

September 2020

11. Good Robot, Propeller and Garrison won awards at the Canadian Brewing Awards!

This fall, three of Halifax’s breweries won medals at the Canadian Brewing Awards:  

  • Good Robot Brewing won silver in the New England Style India Pale Ale category for its Creature Feature beer. 
  • Propeller Brewing Company won silver for its Azacca Session IPA in the Session Ale category. 
  • Garrison Brewing Company’s Bringing Sexy Bock won bronze in the Traditional German Style category. 

November 2020

12. Nova Scotia began covering breast reduction surgery for non-binary people 

For anyone in Nova Scotia who identifies as non-binary (those who do not identify as either male or female) and wants a breast reduction, it will now be covered through the provincial insurance system 

In a physician’s bulletin dated Nov. 4, Nova Scotia Medical Services Insurance (MSI) says the Department of Health and Wellness has “added the diagnoses of Persistent and Well Documented Gender Dysphoria to the list of criteria for MSI coverage for a breast reduction.” 

November-December 2020

13. Evergreen Festival launched in late November 

This winter, Develop Nova Scotia and Discover Halifax worked with businesses to bring the holiday Evergreen Festival life. What was once going to be an outdoor festival, complete with wooden chalets, soups & sips and music and quickly shifted once new COVID-19 restrictions were released. 

The event turned into a beautiful collection holiday light displays across downtown Halifax and beyond, including the highly visited Tunnel of Hope. 

14. Halifax author’s book stayed at #1 on the Canadian Best Seller List for 11 weeks

Halifax resident Genevieve Graham wrote her book The Forgotten Homechild here in Halifax, which stay at #1 on the Canadian Best Seller list for 11 weeks straight!  

The book is based on the true of the British Home Children, following a young girl caught in a scheme to rid England’s streets of destitute children, following them through Halifax’s Pier 21 to  towns across Canada. This is a must-read.  

15. Mayor Mike’s Stuff Challenge

A 2020 holiday initiative, Halifax Mayor Mike Savage worked with local business improvement districts across the HRM to fill stockings with local items.

The stockings will be sold at online auction, with all proceeds going directly to Shelter Nova Scotia.

It’s a great way to support local business and show off some of the wonderful items made and for sale here in Halifax.

Did we miss some great news that happened this year? Let us know on social media! Tag @discoverhalifax to get in touch.