🏨 Half-Day Historical Tour of Halifax Activity - Travel Guide

Half-Day Historical Tour of Halifax

» Nova Scotia » Nova Scotia » Nova Scotia

From $125.51

83 reviews   (4.98)

Price varies by group size

Lowest Price Guarantee

Pricing Info: Per Person

Duration: 6 hours

Departs: Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia

Ticket Type: Mobile or paper ticket accepted

Free cancellation

Up to 24 hours in advance.

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This Tour is about Halifax's Remarkable History including all the Titanic and Halifax Explosion Sites and the Stories and Miracles of these Two Historic Tragedies. See ALL that Historic Halifax, Dartmouth and Fisherman's Cove has to offer in a Clean, Safe and Comfortable Tour Vehicle a Ford Transit 350 XLT Medium Roof 15 Passenger Van with 4 Guests Minimum to 10 Guests Maximum. Vehicle is equipped with a microphone to the speaker system and a large tablet to view Guests Videos and Photos to augment your Tour experience so you have a Memorable, Unique Tour of Historic Halifax, Dartmouth and Fisherman's Cove.

What's Included

Air-conditioned vehicle

Bottled water

WiFi on board

What's Not Included

Alcoholic Beverages


Guests driving to starting point Pier 22 can park for $10.00 CAD for All Day..Very Secure Parking


Traveler Information

  • ADULT: Age: 13 - 100

Additional Info

  • COVID-19 vaccination required for guides
  • Hand sanitiser available to travellers and staff
  • Proof of COVID-19 vaccination required for travelers
  • Regularly sanitised high-traffic areas
  • Service animals allowed
  • Tour is Four Guests Minimum to Ten Guests Maximum
  • COVID-19 vaccination required for guides
  • Hand sanitiser available to travellers and staff
  • Proof of COVID-19 vaccination required for travelers
  • Regularly sanitised high-traffic areas
  • Service animals allowed
  • Tour is Four Guests Minimum to Ten Guests Maximum

Cancellation Policy

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours before the scheduled departure time.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Experience may be cancelled due to Insufficient travelers
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

What To Expect

Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21
Your Guide will tell you all about Pier 21 the Gateway to Canada

• Admission Ticket Free

Harbourside Market
The Halifax Farmers Market was created by Royal Proclamation in June of 1750, a year after the founding of Halifax. The Governor and Council designated a site for the Market – the present day Bank of Montreal building. For 50 years this flesh, meat or cattle market, as it was known, sold produce as well as livestock delivered from Acadian farms in the Annapolis Valley and from local farm production.

In 1848 the City of Halifax was incorporated and the original City Charter conveyed the Country Market property to the city “for the public and common benefit and use of the City of Halifax according to the true interest and meaning of the original grant.”

The Market has operated in several locations across the city since its inception in 1750, but moved to the Halifax Seaport in 2010 where it is now known as the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market – the longest continuously running Market in North America and proudly hosting over 250 vendors!

• Admission Ticket Free

The Emigrant Statue
This is a masterpiece done by Armando Barbon who emigrated to Canada from Italy in 1951 and is a gift to Canada...It depicts Armando stepping on to a ship and his Beautiful wife Yole with the Kids in the Family Tree...His wife and two small children followed 5 months later...Inscription reads : The pain of separation he overcame, with faith and hope his heart aflame...

• Admission Ticket Free

Samuel Cunard Statue
Sir Samuel Cunard, was a British-Canadian shipping magnate, born in Halifax, a as the locals say a Haligonian, who founded the Cunard Line. He was the son of a master carpenter and timber merchant who had fled the American Revolution and settled in Halifax.

• Admission Ticket Free

Halifax Waterfront Boardwalk
It is said to be the longest Downtown Boardwalk in the World along side of the Worlds Second Largest Natural Harbour

• Admission Ticket Free

Georges Island
Occupied by British military forces in 1750, Georges Island’s strategic position in the middle of Halifax Harbour catapulted it to the heart of seaward defences for one of the principal naval stations in the British Empire in the 18th and 19th centuries. The island came under the command of Prince Edward in 1794 amidst tensions between the United Kingdom and the United States. Home to Fort Charlotte and later its two powerful seaward-facing batteries and underground tunnel complex, the island is also the site of one of Canada’s first fully automated lighthouses.

Georges Island was also used as a prison in the early years. Between 1755 and 1763, during the deportation of the Acadians, known as Le Grand Dérangement (The Great Upheaval), the island became a holding area for large numbers of Acadians.

Thanks to its complex of subterranean passages and tunnels, this mysterious island has been the subject of local folklore for generations.

• Admission Ticket Free

Alexander Keith's Brewery
You will hear about its history and about its Founder Alexander Keith... Alexander Keith’s Nova Scotia Brewery first opened its doors almost 200 years ago. Today, the same brewery serves as a popular destination for visitors and beer fans alike.

One of the oldest working breweries in North America, the brewery is dedicated to crafting small batch brews, inspired by local Nova Scotian culture and Keith’s heritage.

• Admission Ticket Free

HMCS Sackville - Canada's Naval Memorial
HMCS Sackville is the only one of 269 Allied corvettes from the Second World War that remains and continues to serve as Canada’s Naval Memorial..HMCS Sackville was one of 123 corvettes built in Canada and is a National Historic Site.

• Admission Ticket Free

Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
This Museum we highly recommend you visit before or after Halifax History Tour. Located in the heart of Halifax’s historic waterfront, there’s no better place to get immersed in Nova Scotia’s rich maritime heritage than the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.
From the stories of the World War convoys, the Days of Sail to the Age of Steam plus Titanic and Halifax Explosion exhibits.

• Admission Ticket Free

Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
You will hear about Maud Lewis a Famous Nova Scotia Folk Artist

• Admission Ticket Free

Historic Properties
A designated National Historic Site in the heart of downtown Halifax, Historic Properties is the first restoration project of its kind in Canada, featuring three city blocks of Canada’s oldest surviving group of waterfront warehouses and some of North America’s finest Victorian-Italianate façades dating back to the late 1700s and early 1800s.

• Admission Ticket Free

Saint George's Round Church
You will hear about the sad history of this iconic Round Church...Built in 1800 to accommodate the growing population of the Little Dutch Church, Saint George's is a cylindrical, wooden church designed in the Palladian style thanks to the architectural taste of Edward, Duke of Kent.

• Admission Ticket Free

St. Paul's Church
Founded in 1749, this was the first Anglican cathedral built outside of England and is the oldest building in Halifax. The “Ghost Window” and piece of wood embedded in an interior wall are relics of the 1917 Halifax Explosion.

• Admission Ticket Free

Halifax City Hall
Halifax City Hall is the home of municipal government in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Designed by architect Edward Elliot and constructed for the City of Halifax between 1887 and 1890, it is one of the oldest and largest public buildings in Nova Scotia. The property was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1997

• Admission Ticket Free

Province House
Opened in 1819, Province House is Canada’s oldest legislative building and is home to Canada’s first elected House of Assembly. As both a National and a Provincial Historic Site, the building has two distinct styles of architecture: Regency and Victorian. Visitors are welcome to explore history, art, and architecture during their visits.

• Admission Ticket Free

Government House
Government House is the oldest official residence in Canada and has been the working residence of the Sovereign's representative in Nova Scotia for more than 200 years. This beautiful Georgian home and National Historic Site contains an impressive collection of art and antiques that reflect the province's history and heritage and is the home of the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia

• Admission Ticket Free

Old Burying Ground
The Old Burying Ground National Historic Site of Canada in Halifax, Nova Scotia, contains more than 1,200 head and foot stones, constituting a unique Canadian concentration of gravestone art from the 18th and early 19th centuries. This early graveyard is a 0.91 hectare treed rectangle separated on all sides from its urban environment by a stone wall bearing a decorative iron fence. On its south end, a substantial monument to the Crimean War faces Barrington Street. The burying ground now serves as a significant urban green space.

• Admission Ticket Free

St. Mary's Basilica
Saint Mary's Cathedral Basilica is a National Historic Site boasting Gothic Revival architecture and design, located in downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. It is the cathedral church of the Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth.

• Admission Ticket Free

Halifax Court House
The Halifax Court House is a historic building in downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia. Its main section was completed in 1863, with the east wing, built in 1930, being the newest portion. The Italian renaissance style building was designed by William Thomas, a Toronto architect who built prominent structures across Canada, and built by George Lang. The building was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1969. It was also listed as a Provincially Registered Property under Nova Scotia's Heritage Property Act in 1983

• Admission Ticket Free

Halifax Central Library
The design, said to resemble a stack of books, has garnered international attention and was featured by CNN as one of ten "eye-popping" new buildings of 2014.

• Admission Ticket Free

Fort Massey Cemetery
Fort Massey Cemetery is a military cemetery in Halifax, Nova Scotia dating back to the 1750s, and is the resting place for British and Canadian soldiers, veterans and spouses. The cemetery is named after Major General Eyre Massey. The cemetery is maintained by Veteran's Affairs Canada.

• Admission Ticket Free

Holy Cross Cemetery
Holy Cross Cemetery is a cemetery in Halifax, Nova Scotia, owned and operated by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth. It was constructed in 1843 under the direction of Archbishop William Walsh, on land provided by local authorities. Holy Cross Cemetery replaced the first Catholic cemetery in Halifax, the St. Peter's Cemetery located next to St. Mary's Basilica on Spring Garden Road. Since 1843, some 25,000 persons have been buried at Holy Cross, many of Irish descent, including Canada's fourth Prime Minister, Sir John Sparrow Thompson.

• Admission Ticket Free

In Holy Cross Cemetery is Our Lady of Sorrows Chapel. On August 31, 1843, over 1,800 people gathered to build this charming little chapel—and they did so in just one day! The French stained-glass windows date to the 16th and 17th centuries.

• Admission Ticket Free

Cathedral Church of all Saints
The Cathedral Church of All Saints, also known as All Saints Cathedral, is a cathedral church of the Anglican Church of Canada in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It is the cathedral for the Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island and also the site of the first Titanic Funeral for Mr. William Henry Harrison who was Bruce Ismay's private secretary

• Admission Ticket Free

Camp Hill Cemetery
In 1844, Camp Hill replaced the city's first cemetery, the Old Burying Ground, which had been established almost 100 years earlier in 1749...Notable interments: Viola Desmond, Alexander Keith, Joseph Howe, and Halifax native and Titanic Survivor Miss Hilda Mary Slayter also John Taylor Wood, Civil War Confederate Naval Officer, grandson of President Zachary Taylor, nephew of Confederate President Jefferson Davis

10 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

Halifax Public Gardens
As one of the finest surviving examples of a Victorian Garden in North America, the Halifax Public Gardens is located in the heart of Halifax. Located on 17-acres and enclosed by a wrought-iron fence with a magnificent set of ornamental gates, take a leisurely stroll through the gardens to view many floral displays that include exotic and semi-tropical ornamental species, trees, shrubs, statues, and fountains. Recognized as a National Historic Site in 1984, the Halifax Public Gardens are a much loved and popular destination for locals and visitors alike.

30 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

Halifax Citadel National Historic Site
Where at Noon (Sharp) You WILL Experience the Firing of the "Noon Gun" a Halifax Tradition since 1856 plus the Changing of the Guards the 78th Highlanders"...Halifax Citadel continues to watch over the city’s downtown core, although now its role is as a reminder of Halifax’s past and not as a military fortification. The present Citadel, completed in 1856, is officially called Fort George, named after Britain’s King George II, and is actually the fourth in a series of forts to sit atop what is now known as Citadel Hill. Its distinctive star shape is typical of many 19th century forts built by the British military and gave the garrison sweeping arcs of fire. From its deep defensive ditch, soldiers pointed muskets from every angle of its stout walls and large cannons lined its ramparts. It’s easy to see why no enemy force ever dared to attack the Halifax Citadel.

15 minutes • Admission Ticket Not Included

Old Town Clock
The idea of a clock for the British Army and Royal Navy garrison at Halifax is credited to Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, who arranged for a turret clock to be manufactured before his return to England in 1800. It is said that Prince Edward, then commander-in-chief of all military forces in British North America, wished to resolve the tardiness of the local garrison

15 minutes • Admission Ticket Not Included

Point Pleasant Park
Point Pleasant Park situated in the south end of the Halifax peninsula is a historic 75-hectare wooded park crisscrossed with 39 km of easy winding trails and wide paths, many wheelchair-accessible. Visitors can experience preserved ruins of early fortifications, coastal ecosystems, as well as cultural resources. Halifax rents the site from the British Government for 1 shilling (about 10 cents) a year, with a 999-year lease.

• Admission Ticket Free

Dalhousie University
Dalhousie was founded in 1818 by the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia George Ramsay, 9th Earl of Dalhousie desired a non-denominational college in Halifax. Financing largely came from customs duties collected by a previous Lieutenant Governor, John Coape Sherbrooke, during the War of 1812 occupation of Castine, Maine

• Admission Ticket Free

Mont Blanc Anchor Site
See the 1140 lbs anchor shaft from SS Mont Blanc that flew 2.3 miles after the Halifax Explosion of 1917

5 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

Sir Sandford Fleming Park (The Dingle)
The park was donated to Halifax in 1908 by Sir Sandford Fleming, creator of Standard Time Zones. The Dingle Tower was dedicated in 1912 to commemorate 150 years of representative government.

10 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

Mount Olivet Cemetery
The "Forgotten Titanic Cemetery of Mount Olivet". This stop you will view markers for 19 Roman Catholic Titanic Victims and hear the sad story of Margaret Rice and others interred here including the miracle child of the Halifax Explosion "Ashpan Annie"..Anne M. Welsh (née Liggins) and also the Hero of the Halifax Explosion Vincent Coleman

20 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

Fairview Lawn Cemetery
This stop you will see where 121 Titanic victims are interred and hear the sad stories of J Dawson and Sidney Leslie Goodwin and many more plus the Halifax Explosion unknown were 157 Haligonian's are interred

20 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

Halifax Explosion Memorial Bell Tower
The Halifax Explosion Memorial Bell Tower, the Halifax Explosion on December 6, 1917 killed 1900- 2000 people, wounded another 9000, and left 25,000 people homeless. It was the largest man made explosion until the atom bomb. Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

It is on Fort Needham overlooks the area devastated by the Halifax Explosion of December 6, 1917. It commemorates those who were killed or suffered injury, and those who lost homes and family when the munitions ship, Mont Blanc, blew up in Halifax Harbour. It also honours the survivors, who rebuilt the cities of Halifax and Dartmouth in the years that followed.
The ten original bells hanging in the tower were donated to the United Memorial Church on nearby Kaye Street by Barbara Orr, who lost her entire family in the explosion. That church, dedicated in 1921, took the place of two other churches that had been destroyed by the blast. Explosion survivors formed most of its early congregation. Later, four extra bells were added.

20 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

Fort Needham Memorial Park
Hear about the Fort Needham and the Halifax Explosion Memorial Bells and other very unique aspects of this park.

20 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

Hydrostone Market
Following the Halifax Explosion, many of the wood-frame buildings collapsed on their coal stoves and furnaces and caught on fire, which was a concern when reconstruction was being planned. To minimize the danger of fire, Adams and Ross proposed the use of non-combustible hydrostone for the reconstruction of this area.Hydrostone was a concrete block that was finished with crushed rock (granite, in this case) to approximate the appearance of cut-stone construction. The concrete blocks and their faces were amalgamated through a hydraulic pressing process, patented by a Chicago firm. Manufacture of the blocks was done in a plant located in Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia and the finished stones were hauled across Halifax Harbour by barge.

• Admission Ticket Free

Mont Blanc Cannon Site
When the munitions ship SS Mont Blanc exploded during the Halifax Explosion this cannon was thrown nearly 3 miles to Albro Lake in Dartmouth where it was recovered years later.

• Admission Ticket Free

Fisherman's Cove
Fisherman’s Cove is a wonderfully quaint and colourful restored 200 year-old working fishing village with lot's of photo opportunities.

60 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

Lake Banook
Lake Banook is a freshwater lake located in Dartmouth within the Halifax Regional Municipality in Nova Scotia, Canada. It is home to three sprint canoe and kayak clubs, two rowing clubs, and a dragon boat club. It also has a claim to be the birthplace of ice hockey.

• Admission Ticket Free


Worth every penny
Jacqui E, 16-11-2022
1000% worth every penny

We love to see the sites, but a guided tour is so worth it because Paul gave us the back stories, the nuances and descriptions. Paul added photos and videos to support the tour, which made it even more interesting.

What i ver much love is his support for local, artisan shops and restaurants. Included in the tour were local stops at the Farmers Market, Fisherman’s Cove shops and the little restaurant. These are EXACTLY the places i love to visit and I loved supporting these hardworking folks.

Do this tour at the beginning of your stay. His tour gave us a much better appreciation of the city, and as we explored the city during our stay, we often said, “Remember what Paul said about that place?”
Great days!
425colettej, 11-11-2022
Great day! A must do for all visitors. We did all the tours. Learned about and enjoyed all the sites - time well planned during all tours
An absolute must in Halifax
patde, 31-10-2022
After two cancellations, our New England/Atlantic Canada cruise finally came to pass. Early on in planning, I had booked Paul McNeil’s Halifax Titanic Historical Tour. It was refreshing that he required no deposit, so we were out no money as the 2+ years passed. I reconfirmed with Paul a couple of times and, finally, we were able to visit Halifax in October 2022. Unfortunately, the cruise line had a too-short port time for a city so steeped in history. I had no prior knowledge of Halifax, and didn’t know what to expect. After spending several hours with Paul, I was left longing for more time there. He tailored his tour to our needs and tried to fit in all he possibly could, while mindful of our ship’s departure time.
In the course of 25 cruises, we have taken many, many tours and Paul is at the top of our list of guides we’ve experienced. His knowledge of the city was obvious and his love for it became apparent in his dialogue. His occasional personal interjections added to our enjoyment.
My husband and I were very comfortable in the van and the large tablet mounted above the dash held many slides and videos that added to our understanding and enjoyment of the sights we viewed.
As a testament to the kind of person Paul is, I must tell a somewhat simplified tale of a personal incident. After ending the tour, standing in line to reboard the ship, I was onboard when I realized I was missing my small backpack. I phoned Paul’s cell and he said he’d head right back to the terminal. I was a bit panicked as, by that time, we were very close to all-aboard time. A conscientious young man on the ship’s security staff told me to stay put and he’d go to the terminal. He connected with Paul and retrieved my backpack. A bit later, Paul phoned me to see that I had my backpack and all was well. Paul went the extra mile, literally as well as figuratively!
Given the opportunity, I would book another tour with Paul McNeil in a heartbeat! I can’t recommend him highly enough!
Book this tour! Best tour of our trip - Historical Tour of Halifax with Paul McNeil
jaycT7053RS, 26-10-2022
Absolutely best tour of our entire trip. My party of 4 combined with a party of 5 and we spent 1/2 day traveling around Halifax and listening to stories, facts, etc. from Paul McNeil. He certainly knows his stuff and the entire tour was very enjoyable. I also appreciated that we reserved our spots on the tour with just a phone call (we were traveling on a cruise ship with a port call in Halifax). There was no deposit required and he was extremely professional throughout the entire process. Highly recommend both Paul and this tour for anyone stopping in Halifax. Money well spent!!!
Top Notch Tour!
flybycrow, 18-10-2022
Paul was an exceptional guide who took us to the historical sites that the tour buses go to, but he also drove us to less touristy historical sites that were just as interesting. My favorite thing (and surprise) is his van has a large monitor in front of the van. He used the technology a lot to enhance our knowledge with pictures or short documentaries. My second favorite thing was his van is specious and has a high roof. It was easy to get in and out of. Depending on when you make your reservation, your seat is assigned and you know it. First gets first row. Very simple and keeps things fair. Just a great experience!