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Canada's Next Great Neighbourhoods: Downtown Dartmouth

From coast to coast, we find Canada’s up-and-coming neighbourhoods.

Located on one of the oldest ferry routes in North America and just a hop across the harbour from Halifax, downtown Dartmouth no longer plays second fiddle to the Nova Scotian capital. Along Portland and Ochterloney streets, you'll find a mix of old (Fisher's Stationery) and new (The Bike Pedaler). The vibe remains low-key and DIY – this is home to the Trailer Park Boys, after all –
with a group of resident entrepreneurs buoying the town's slow but steady transformation.

Claim to fame Joel Plaskett is a resident
Local drink Beer. Cold Beer. (Perhaps brewed at local Sleeman’s brewery.)
Noteworthy nature With 23 lakes in the city’s boundaries, Dartmouth is known as ‘The City of Lakes’.
Live music Alderney Landing
Annual event The Maritime Fiddle Festival

Two If By Sea

1. Two If By Sea
"Dartmouth is kind of the underdog and felt right for what we wanted to do," says Tara MacDonald, who opened the café with Zane Kelsall. Now a community mainstay, the café hosts Family Dinners, complete with "I love Dartmouth" T-shirts, and realtors refer to a property's location in relation to TIBS.
66 Ochterloney St., 902-469-0721

Strange Adventures

2. Strange Adventures
Long-time Dartmouth resident Calum Johnston emphasizes local talent at this comic-book shop. "We carry work by as many of our cartooning community as we can," he says. Emerging talent Rebecca Kraatz shares shelf space with shop employee Kate Leth and Steve McNiven of Marvel Comics fame.
101 Portland St., 902-444-2140

3. Alderney Landing Farmers' Market
Here you'll find heaps of produce along with artisan goods and pumpkin-carving contests; you might even run into Juno award-winning musician Joel Plaskett, who lives in the area. "It's a social event: Grab a coffee, listen to music, buy some veggies," says Lisa Josey, who helped the popular Saturday market grow from four to more than 60 vendors in the last six years.
2 Ochterloney St.

4. Cheese Curds
Worth the trip outside of downtown, this burger joint and poutinerie serves 500 people a day, thanks to former Royal Canadian Navy chef Bill Pratt. Spice up your order with exotic items – ketjap manis-sweated bean sprouts, anyone? – but don't leave without tasting the Legendary CC Porker: a double burger with bacon, buttermilk onion rings and the eponymous teeth-squeaking topping.
380 Pleasant St., 902-444-3446









Comments… or add another

Jean Laroche

Saturday, October 6th 2012 04:19
There's no next about it. It has been a great neighbourhood for years now and it continues to be. You forgot to mention it is home to many great artists including playwright and former MP Wendy Lill, and painter Tom Forrestall. Many Haligonians refer to it as Darkness or the dark side. We Dartmouthians like to call it the right side of Halifax harbour.

Heather Thompson

Saturday, October 6th 2012 07:37
I live in downtown Dartmouth and love it. You left out some great places to stop in and visit. How about Colours on Portland Street, or Celtic Corner Public House on Alderney. There are plenty more!!


Saturday, October 6th 2012 19:39
Love the new Downtown Dartmouth. Check out Sugar Shok which has the same new vibe. 117 Portland St.

Jeff Overmars

Sunday, October 7th 2012 09:50
As a resident I'd sooner an authentically local beer like Propeller or Garrison over not-so-local Sleeman's. o_O


Tuesday, October 9th 2012 12:28
I am from Halifax and I worked in Dartmouth last year for about 7 months. I have to say it was one of the most horrible work environments I have ever been around. I did of course work on Main St, which probably has a lot to do with it. I do however think that downtown Dartmouth has potential and things like this article are great because it brings people to the city and hopefully creates initiative to bring more art, music, and culture into Dartmouth out into the public.


Tuesday, October 9th 2012 16:56
Dartmouth you rock. Keep it up


Wednesday, October 10th 2012 09:06
Like so many, I work in Halifax but live in Dartmouth and I am a proud Dartmouthian. From its' humble Quaker house heritage to the modern and chic Kings Warf complex. Dartmouth is progressing well into the twenty first century bravely. My daily work commute(walk) takes me from Gaston road, down to the beginning of Portland street to catch the ferry and along with the sounds and scents carried on the harbor air is the sense of optimism and a renewed vibrancy that this community exudes. Long live Dartmouth!


Friday, October 12th 2012 10:22
Love the community feel that is building in downtown Dartmuth. I can vaguely remember when Portland street was full of shops. Seems as if the up is in full swing now. Looking forward to my next visit home.


Tuesday, October 30th 2012 11:40
"Located on one of the oldest ferry routes in North America"?

Nope. THE oldest ferry route in North America. Take that, upper canadians. lol ;)

Robert Scanlan

Tuesday, October 30th 2012 12:38
Dartmouth is on the rise. I used to be a Dartmouth snob, now it's diamond in the roughness is starting to shine on me.


Friday, November 8th 2013 12:41
Within walking distance of where we live we have access to the Harbour Front Trail, Multi-purpose Trail around Lake Banook, Shubie Park (tons of trails) and Dartmouth Commons with its Community Oven and gorgeous views. It's hard to believe how beautiful the views are no matter which way we go. Oh, we live in Dartmouth!

Robin Allen

Friday, November 8th 2013 14:01
Don't forget Shubie Park, Giant Robot comics on Woodlawn Road, Anne Whebby's wonderful Tattletales bookstore on Portland Street, Finbar's Pub in Portland Hills, our wonderful neighborhoods and Schnauzer friendly walking "cut throughs" - we have EVERYTHING in Dartmouth!

Joan Downing

Friday, November 8th 2013 14:32
As a new owner at Kings Wharf on the top floor of building we have an unbelievable view of Halifax. This development is helping push the revitalization of downtown Dartmouth from a wannabe to a be.

Mike Murphy

Friday, November 8th 2013 17:10
Dartmouth: The Brooklyn of Halifax


Friday, November 8th 2013 19:11
I do not like Dartmouth ...I have tried... It has a 'feel' to it, and not a good vibe at all. Full of dirty people too... why would anyone ever want to go there? Let alone live there!

Saeed El-Darahali

Friday, November 8th 2013 23:20
Dartmouth rocks!


Saturday, November 9th 2013 06:56
Dartmouth is an amazing place to live an Active Lifstyle, from the many trails of Shubie Park (Lake Charles Trail is THE most used trail in NS), the beaches and lakes right in the City, to the paddling and rowing clubs on Lake Banook. Each summer Lake Banook also hosts the only IRON-distance triathlon in Eastern Canada (Subaru EPIC Dartmouth, and the Manulife Dragon Boat festival one of the main fundraisers for Sport Nova Scotia.

Proud Dartmouthian

Saturday, November 9th 2013 21:01
There's far more to Dartmouth than Two if by Sea:

Lake Banook is home to three canoe clubs (Micmac, Senobe and Banook), North Star Rowing Club and Dragon Boat East. This beautiful lake has hosted two world sprint canoe championships and is the birthplace of hockey.
For the best clams and chips and fish and chips in the country, visit John's Lunch.
Downtown Dartmouth features beautiful parks such as Sullivan's Pond and the Dartmouth Commons. You can also go for walks on the course at Brightwood Golf and Country Club right in the middle of the city.
Looking to experience Dartmouth's rich history? Visit Evergreen House and the Quaker Whaler House (both operated by the Dartmouth Heritage Museum).
Want some late-night greasy food? Visit the Hungry Hut or Revana Pizza for a satisfying donair or slice.
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