I love Halifax, Nova Scotia. I was born and raised there, and I love how friendly and welcoming its residents are. Truly the warmest people collectively I’ve ever met.
But, it’s going through an awkward phase, and its attempts at reeling in tourists are not helping.
Halifax, one of Canada’s oldest cities, a port town with a strong military presence, could be beautiful. There are a lot of character buildings and homes, a few gorgeous parks, and a long boardwalk around Halifax harbour.
BUT, its downtown is filled with holes, cranes and derelict buildings. Barrington Street, one of the city’s old shopping hubs, has more abandoned buildings than some ghost towns. I used to love downtown Halifax. Now, when I’m in the city, I avoid it.
A new campaign to get people to visit this part of the city has begun, and it’s horrible.
Not only is it drawing people to a work-in-progress, it’s supporting an old-school, small town mentality of not seeing the world. I get it’s tongue-in-cheek, but why on earth would a campaign be built on not encouraging people to see new things, learn new cultures and explore? My grandmother thinks it’s silly that my sister and I have spent what equals a healthy down payment on a home to travel internationally. She just has that old 30s-depression era mindset that you hold onto every penny and do “sensible” things with money, like buy a home.
I’m sorry, I love my city, but I wouldn’t encourage anyone to visit the downtown these days, when there are nicer places to go within Halifax. And if I was responsible for tourism, I would NOT use a campaign like this. Just another reason why young people roll their eyes and vacate, not vacation in Halifax.