Halifax – Day 5, part 3

Yes, there was a lot to do and see this day. There is so much history and Maritime culture to explore – like the first pub. The Split Crow was the first to be granted a license to sell alcohol in 1749. The original name was the Spread Eagle – after the double eagle on the German coat of arms. But after a few beers, locals starting calling it the Split Crow (guess they were seeing double).

I had booked a reservation for lunch at the other end of the waterfront. From the Split Crow, which is near Upper Water, I walked the boardwalk, popping into shops until I got to The Bicycle Thief for lunch. I asked the hostess what the wine list was like and she seated me a stack of wine bottles. Good plan.

The Bicycle Thief came highly recommended. There was outdoor dining but there was a chill in the air. I had a nice corner table where I could look out at the harbour. Sauté Shrimp appetizer. I did have a pasta dish but neglected to take a photo (I was hungry).

After lunch I headed to the Halifax Seaport Famer’s market. On the way is a statue of Samuel Cunard – a Haligonian who was instrumental in establishing the modern day cruise ship. And in behind is the Carnival Sunrise out of Bahamas. Cruise ships are vital to the Halifax economy.

The farmer’s market was a bit of a disappointment. Not a farmer to be seen anywhere. Lots of vendors. I was told to come on a Saturday.

My final stop is Pier 21, where people from all over the world stepped on to to start a new life in Canada. It houses the Museum of Immigration. The spaciousness and natural lighting brightens up the immigration story.

Through this door and another one next to it, over 1 million people passed in order to enter and settle in Canada.

Page 16 and 17 of the Canadian Passport has drawings of Pier 21. They will stamp your passport on that page with a Canada Post stamp.

A model showing how the operation was setup. On the bottom right is where they first entered. If they passed their medical and immigration interview, and they had a destination or sponsor, then they crossed over to get their bags and catch the train.

If they couldn’t pass, they went into the top right area to work things out.

The tour tried to recreate some of the things the immigrants had to face, like this charming immigration officer.

We sat and listened to a multi-media presentation. Photos of immigrants were reflected on the wall staring at me.

People brought their food for the train. However, it was confiscated and thrown out. They had to buy “Canadian” food from the store – like Spam. Obviously a money making scheme.

After that it was time for a pint at Henry House – a National Historic site because it was the home of a Father of Confederation – William Alexander Henry. Trust Halifax to put a pub in the home of a Father of Confederation.

It was the perfect balance to the large, industrial setting of the Immigration museum.

A photograph (which I had never seen) of the Charlottetown Conference participants and where William Henry stood.

He was one of two people who worked on the British North American Act which gave birth to Canada. So I raised my glass and said a toast in his honour.

Walked all the way back to the hotel, had a shower and got ready for dinner. I had booked a reservation at The Press Gang, which is part of the Carleton building – the second oldest in Halifax. This was the stables and some servants quarters. The low beamed ceiling and stone work I found to be quite inviting.

Once again, I had a nice, little corner with a door that must have been an escape hatch.

“Sustainable Blue” Atlantic salmon with pesto cream sauce, caramelized onion polenta, seasonal vegetables & rosemary parmesan tuile.

Yes, that was a very long day but well worth it. Tomorrow is Lunenberg but I won’t have to walk there. The hotel was just a block away and was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.