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Ask a Local: A Neighbourhood Guide to the Halifax Common


There’s no better way to experience a place than by living like a local. Discover cool coffee shops, live music venues, and secret beaches with tips from locals who make Halifax an amazing place to live and visit. Each of these Haligonians are passionate about this place, and have a story to tell. Get to know them and experience Halifax like a local.

Carolina Andrade: A Neighbourhood Guide to the Halifax Common

Bordering downtown Halifax and the North End is an iconic area dotted with saltbox houses, independent businesses, cultural landmarks, and inviting spaces to play. It’s a roamable neighbourhood with deep-rooted history and deserves a spot on any visitor’s list. The area around the Halifax Common is home to many artists, activists, and entrepreneurs living within and alongside communities that carry lineal ties to the inception of this postal code. Being in this space is an invitation to acquaint oneself with the folks and culture that make up this special place.

Whether you’re on a quick sojourn or spending a lifetime in the area, the neighbourhood surrounding the Halifax Common is a wonderful place to live, visit, and immerse yourself in community spirit.

Throughout the neighbourhood there are a number of essential community hubs: The Halifax North Memorial Library, the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre, Community YMCA, the George Dixon Community Centre, Alliance Française, and Hope Blooms that offer vital support, cultural enrichment and celebrate diversity among the residents here.

For recreation, the Halifax Common is a versatile green gem that caters to a wide range of interests, including public tennis courts where you can find the early risers, daytime breakers, and evening go-getters.

The Emera Oval’s dual season charm hosts beginner and advanced cyclists, bladers, and skateboarders in the warmer months while transforming into a host for ice sports in the winter. The recent addition of the Halifax Common Pool is a public place for swimming laps in the morning sun, lessons for all levels, and family-friendly swim sessions.

The list goes on with an all-ages skatepark, a playground, cricket field, baseball fields, a soccer pitch, and ample space for leisurely strolls, dog walking, laying out to read a book, or sharing a picnic with friends.

When it comes to dining, the neighbourhood has many great options. Start your day with a perfect cup of coffee and lunch at businesses like Ramblers, Café Aroma Latino, Luke’s Small Goods, Suda Table, and Espresso 46 among others.

Stop in to Mid East Food Centre, Local Source, Thomeh Market Kwik-Way, JJ Korean Mart, to name a few, and a variety of delicious take-out options.

Grab a drink at the seasonal Good Robot Beer Garden right on the Commons. And when dinner calls, indulge in menus that support the local food movement such as Field Guide, Edna, Lou Pécou Pizzeria, The Stillwell Freehouse, Tako Loko, Rinaldo’s, The Narrows Public House, Kofuku, and Bar Kismet.

Meet the local

Carolina Andrade (she/her)

Carolina Andrade is a Chilean-Canadian photographer and writer living in Kjipuktuk Mi’kma’ki/Halifax, Nova Scotia. She focuses her lens on the light within stories that encourage compassion and remind us that we are all human beings. Her work can be found in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, DWELL, The Globe and Mail, VICE, Chatelaine and more.