District 7 is comprised of downtown Halifax – the cultural and economic hub of Atlantic Canada – as well as some of the oldest neighborhoods in the city, characterized by stately historic homes and mature, tree lined streets. Also the home of several post-secondary institutions, District 7 has a large student population, contributing greatly to the character and vibrancy of the area. The district has a population of approximately 24,500 residents.
Downtown Halifax is steeped in history and is a wonderful combination of old and new. Citadel Hill National Historic Site is a focal point of the downtown and very important part of Halifax’s history. In 1749, the hill, with its strategic hilltop location and view of the Halifax Harbour, was chosen by the British Military as the site of a Fort to protect the city. Originally a single guardhouse, it grew over the years to become a star-shaped fortress. Today, the Halifax Citadel endures as a reminder of Halifax’s military history, and is a popular destination for residents and visitors who enjoy panoramic views of the city and tours of the military fortress.
While certainly known for its rich history, downtown Halifax is also the modern-day economic heart of HRM, housing almost half of the office jobs in the municipality and generating almost 20% of commercial and residential property taxes paid in all of HRM.
The Port of Halifax generates over $1.5 billion in economic impact and handles over 1,500 vessels annually. The waterfront welcomes over 200,000 cruise ship passengers every year, and is also the proud home of Canada’s East Coast Navy.
The Halifax Waterfront includes a beautiful, 4 kilometre boardwalk that begins at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 – the historic gateway for one million immigrants into Canada –and continues on to the Halifax Seaport Farmers Market, the oldest continuously operating farmers market in North America. Further along is Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, which includes displays on the city’s link to the Titanic disaster. Along the way, residents and visitors can enjoy a variety of eclectic shops and galleries, some of the city’s best restaurants, and stunning views of the Halifax Harbour.
District 7 is home to two hospitals, several grade schools, and five post-secondary institutions including Dalhousie University, St. Mary’s University, University of King’s College, NSCAD, and the Atlantic School of Theology.
The district has many recreational opportunities, and is home to three regional parks – Grand Parade, the Halifax Common, and Point Pleasant Park as well as fourteen smaller parks scattered throughout the district.
Recreational centres serving the district include the Centennial Pool, which features one of the municipality’s two Olympic-sized swimming pools, as well as Citadel Community Centre and St. Mary’s Boat Club.
Residents of district 7 enjoy The Emera Oval, Halifax’s much-loved permanent ice and paved track that is located nearby in district 8. The Oval is perfect for skating in the winter months and rollerblading in the summer. Free equipment rentals are available in the winter, including skates, helmets, and snowshoes, and the Oval’s newly construction pavilion features washrooms and a warming area.
Scotiabank Centre, the largest multi-purpose indoor arena in Atlantic Canada is also located in the district. Home of the Halifax Mooseheads QMJHL hockey team, and the Halifax Hurricanes basketball team, the Scotiabank Centre also hosts premier sporting and cultural events and concerts throughout the year.
The Halifax Central Library was completed in 2014 and has become a community and cultural meeting place for residents and visitors. The library has been recognized nationally and internationally and has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Lieutenant Governor’s Design Award in Architecture in 2014 and a Governor General’s Medal in Architecture in 2016. The library was also featured by CNN as one of ten “eye-popping” new buildings of 2014, and was short-listed for the World Building of the Year Award in the Civic and Community category at the 2015 World Architecture Festival in Singapore. The library welcomed 1.9 million visits during its first year of operation and remains a hugely popular public space.