Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Doors Open Halifax

Hot on the heels of my Open City adventure, I'm hoping to take in another cool, upcoming event that promises to 'open' up Halifax, specifically the secret parts that most of us would never normally get to see.

Doors Open Halifax is taking place this Saturday and Sunday (June 8th & 9th) and the idea is that buildings of some significance (either historical, architectural or cultural) will open their doors and invite the public to explore - for free! This is an even that actually takes place in cities all over the world (the first one was in Glasgow, Scotland in 1990) but this is the first year for it in Halifax.

Many of the venues are buildings that many of us probably walk or drive by on a regular basis but have never actually been inside - some may have NEVER been explored by the public before!
Some of the buildings will feature tours of special areas not normally accessible and special exhibits.

For example, the Royal Suite on the 2nd floor of Government House, where the Queen stays when visiting Halifax, will be open to the public for the first time since the renos were completed. How cool would it be to stand in the Queen's Halifax bedroom?!

Alas, I am hosting a bachelorette party for one of my bff's this weekend and therefore will not have much time to explore, but I'm hoping to at least get to one or two places on Sunday.

One venue that caught my eye was the Keith's Brewery. I'm sorry to say I have lived in Halifax pretty much my whole life and have never visited this local institution. I have always wanted to but have never had the opportunity - until now. For OD, Brewery is open for FREE self-guided tours between 10am-4pm! They will have their usual actors in period costume hanging around, but you are free to wander as you wish. What a neat way to see a building I have always wondered about...I love to wander and quietly absorb things so this is perfect for me...oh and the no cost thing doesn't hurt either (an adult tour of the brewery normally costs $16.95).

Other venues I'm hoping to check out are the new King's Wharf development (think waterfront luxury with an unparalleled view of the Halifax harbour skyline - my only chance to see inside the penthouse, or any unit, since I will never have enough money to actually LIVE here!), and the new  Central Library (currently under construction), where they are having an "Around the Block in 264 Years" tour, showing findings from the archaeological dig of the site, and a 3D Virtual Tour of the completed library. This new library is easily the most exciting development currently underway in our city, so I would love the opportunity to see it 'before' completion then compare it after.

I wish I had more time to explore all the buildings, but the timing just didn't work out. If I do get out and do some exploring, I will be sure to report back! And that doesn't stop you from getting out and enjoying the event - consider playing "VIP" this weekend and heading out to see inside the secret and significant buildings that surround you every day. You never know, you may learn something new, and this should always be encouraged :) 

Check out the Open Doors Halifax Facebook and Twitter page for all the details!