Make sure to check out EnVie, a local vegan restaurant that will have you forgetting any other type of cuisine existed.

Neighbourhood Highlight: North End Halifax & The Hydrostone

Today we are featuring the North End of Halifax and the Historic Hydrostone Market. While in the area, you’ll see friendly faces and get to experience one of the most popular areas in Halifax amongst locals. Often dubbed as the trendy area of town – or the culinary district – the North End and Hydrostone are home to many restaurants, cafes, bakeries and other small shops and boutiques.

Be sure to check out the Staff Picks section on our website for our North End favourites!

The North End is home to many diverse communities and was largely affected by the Halifax Explosion. Being the most densely populated area at the time, the North End was devastated when two ships collided in the Halifax Harbour on December 6th, 1917, creating one of the largest man-made explosions. In the wake of the explosion, much of what can be seen in the North End today was developed. This includes the Hydrostone Market, featuring rows of shops and restaurants located in 1920s style row houses, facing onto streets lined with trees. We suggest taking the time to bike in and out of the streets behind the Market Area to get a real feel for this English Style, Garden Suburb.

LEFT:  The Ostrich Club located in the Hydrostone.

Why Hydrostone?

It is said that during the Halifax Explosion, many homes were destroyed due to fires. Not caused by the explosion itself, but by wood stoves knocked over by the blast, therefore burning the wood homes to ashes. If you look towards the Hydrostone development, the inflammable Hydrostone material often distinguishes the main story of homes while the second is made of wood.



Agricola Street

Agricola Street is often referred to as the heart of the North End. A quick bike ride along this busy street will reveal many restaurants, cafes, shops, local markets and more. Fun fact: the word “Agricola” is latin and literally translates into Farmer. We find it fitting for this neighbourhood that has so many restaurants, cafes and small businesses, showing such a strong commitment to sourcing local food within Nova Scotia. It’s also interesting to note that prior to the Halifax Explosion, Agricola Street was the busiest street in Halifax. After the explosion, that activity moved to the now Downtown which was protected from the blast by the Halifax Citadel.

LEFT: These four homes on Agricola are a prime example of the brightly coloured homes that populate the maritimes, check out our Architectural tour to find out why.

Things to Do:

  • Grab a coffee and soak in the sun at the Halifax Commons
  • Visit the Hydrostone Market & explore the streets that lie behind
  • Spot one of many colourful houses that characterize this maritime neighbourhood
  • Bike to the Fairview Cemetery & visit graves from the Titanic
  • Pack a picnic and head to the Halifax Commons
  • Try Donuts at Fortune Donut & Vandals on Gottingen Street.

LEFT: Jane’s Next Door on Gottingen Street is a favourite among locals and our top recommendation for sourcing a picnic. Complete with pre-made salads, sandwiches and sweets – it won’t disappoint. 


If you are looking to explore the North End of Halifax by bike you can grab and go or download of our free itineraries. The “Historic & Cultural Tracer” and “Architectural & Neighbourhood Tour” both include the Hydrostone and North End neighbourhoods.

This article was written by Maddie Stinson, a Sustainabilty Student at Dalhousie University. Last updated May 2019.