Doors wide open for Haligonians

Braedon Clark
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METRO HALIFAX

Mayor Mike Savage had the door to his office wide open.

At Province House, a young boy sat in Premier Stephen McNeil’s chair and had his picture taken.

On Citadel Hill, at least 100 people waited to get a glimpse inside the Old Town Clock.

It was all part of the second Doors Open Halifax, a weekend event that sees 40 buildings in the Halifax area open their doors to the public. A cluster of venues in the downtown area meant that people could check many places off their list in a short period of time.

“I love it, it’s a great concept,” said the mayor. “It highlights our heritage, which is one of Halifax’s strengths.”

Inside Province House, Canada’s oldest legislative building, visitors were able to see the legislative assembly, the small but impressive library, and the Red Chamber, a beautiful room that used to house the Legislative Council, Nova Scotia’s now-defunct upper house of government.

“They should have this four times a year,” said Bruce MacDonald as he toured the library. “It’s fantastic.”

Many longtime Halifax residents appreciated the opportunity to go to places they’d often passed on the street but maybe knew nothing about.

“I’m 63, I’ve lived here my whole life, and I didn’t even really know what happened in this building,” Eric Flanders said of Province House. “It’s so nice to see another part of the city.”

At St. Paul’s Church, which traces its history back to Halifax’s founding in 1749, Ambassatours tour guides Cath Fitzgerald and Linda Little took advantage of an opportunity to mix work and pleasure.

“Learning more about these places gives us more facts to pass along to our guests,” Fitzgerald said.

Like many others, Little and Fitzgerald had a long list of places they wanted to visit on the first of two days for the event.

The Dominion Building was on the agenda, but first they had to grab some lunch. They’d need a lot of energy to see all that was being offered.

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