Halifax, Canada

I met one of my close friends early in the morning. She picked me up and we drove to this tiny restaurant that I would blissful more as a greasy spoon or diner. We have eaten here before and the Ardmore tea room 6499 Quinpool Road, Halifax is a great place for a hearty, filling breakfast. It was reasonably priced but just be aware that it is a cash only establishment. I am surprised by the cash only approach, you see Canada was one of the first western countries to embrace the technologically advanced payment of debit or bank card payment in stores. I chose an egg-white Omlette and I don’t remember what my friend had but the food was really good. While at breakfast my friend asked me what I wanted to do that day. I had seen a lot of documentaries about the sinking of the Titanic lately as it was te hundredth anniversary this year. I decided we should pop out to Fairview cemetary in Halifax. Here are victims of the tragedy aboard the Titanic entered in three different city cemeteries but Fairview has the most amount of graves. We drove to the cemetery and searched out the graves. The location of the graves is very well marked and signage to guide you there is well done. It may seem odd wanting to visit a place to remember the dead, especially people I didn’t know but I find cemeteries full of history, you can see the variation in names, dates of death can be indicative of pandemics or historical events and styles of cemeteries vary in different cities. I also find these places of life, not death. Most cemeteries are full of plants and flowers, wild animals like rabbits, deer and birds can often be sighted in Canadian cemeteries.

One of the graves in Fairview is for Band member John Hume, a member of the famed band that played on during the sinking of the Titanic. There is a crew member, named Freeman, who’s headstone was paid for by Mr Ismay, titanic survivor and chairman of the ship’s company white star lines. There are graves for unknown persons, the saddest being the unknown child. In recent years the child has been identified an reidentified with DNA. Originally thought to be two year old Costa Leonard Paulson as stated on the cemetery info signs, recent DNA testing positively identified the child to be 18 month old Sidney Leslie Goodwin. It broke my heart to see his headstone and that of the Paulsons, mother and 4 young children all perished.

One other grave is that of J. Dawson, not the Jack Dawson fictitious character from the 1997 movie,Titanic, but instead a young coal shoveler named James Dawson. We tried to find the graves of those who perished during the awful Halifax Explosion of 1917. They are some buried in Fairview too but proved elusive for us. We did stumble upon a former Prime Minister of Canada’s final resting place.

After paying our respects we made our way to the Halifax mall, not unlike any other mall except they are adding a massive Apple store 2 storeys high. Her headed back to the Downtown area and walked up and down Spring Garden road looking for a place to have lunch. Nothing caught our eye until we wandered off Barrington street on to a small side street that led down towards the water. We found a great little cafe Paperchase Cafe, 5228 Blowers Street, that offered many vegetarian dishes, blink and you’d miss it though. Tucked inside a conveinence store and up a back staircase that evoked thoughts of a prohibition era speakeasy we found the vegan approved cafe. It wasn’t large but was packed. The food was great for lunch and reasonably priced. I chose an ALT, avocado, lettuce, and tomato sandwich and my friend had the Vegan Chili. She said it was super yummy. I would definetly go back.