Halifax: The Best in Budget Accommodation

Nova Scotia is the land of watersports, puffins and seals, is the perfect place for a summer getaway far from all those tourist-heavy destinations. One of the beauties of this province is that it has a vast selection of affordable lodgings that caters for all tastes and budgets.

If you’re planning on visiting Halifax this summer and need a place that will help maximise your budget, here are three accommodation options in the capital that will cost you no more than $50 a night.



Hostelling International (HI) members may want to stay at this super convenient heritage house hostel that’s doesn’t implement a curfew, has free Wi-Fi, and is just $26 a night. Located in the heart of the city centre, public transit is just a minute away from HI-Halifax. Note: Non-members will be required to pay an extra fee.

Saint Mary’s University Conference Services & Summer Accommodations

Saint Mary's
Saint Mary’s

Universities have great summer housing options that are easy on the wallet. Starting at $39 a night, guests at Saint Mary’s will have free daily breakfast buffets, Wi-Fi, and parking on top of their private kitchenette and bathroom. You’ll also get the conveniences of on-campus shops and facilities.

Halifax Backpackers

Halifax Backpackers
Halifax Backpackers

The cheapest place to stay in the city is Halifax Backpackers Hostel with rooms starting at $23. The hostel draws in the night owls that love to bar hop, as Halifax Backpackers is located in a neighbourhood filled with dive bars. This is one of the best options to meet and mingle with the locals.

Getting to Halifax

There are plenty of ways to get to Halifax. If flying is your transport of choice, you’ll most likely by flying into Halifax Stanfield International Airport, although you might find cheaper tickets going into JA Douglas McCurdy Sydney or Yarmouth International. Just be careful with time and expenditure associated with these cheaper flights, as Parking4Less explains that there will be additional costs for transportation to and from the airports that are much further away from tourist travel spots. Nova Scotia is also accessible by ferries and cruises, but if you’d like to take in the scenic views of the maritime province, a road trip will be your best bet.

Cruise Ship Stops Up in Halifax in 2015

When you think that cruise ships were almost non-existent twenty years ago having 261,216 passengers visit Halifax in 2010 is a great accomplishment. This equates to a 14.7% increase over 2009 and an abundance of revenue for Halifax businesses as well as employment.

Cornerstone of the Cruise Ship Business

Based on a collaborative marketing initiative by the Atlantic Canada Cruise Association, Destination Halifax and the Halifax Port Authority it was found that 95 -97% of the visitors coming to Halifax, and Cape Breton, were from American ports. In fact the report goes on to say that “Halifax has become the cornerstone of the Atlantic Canadian and New England cruise itinerary.

What Do Cruise Passengers Do Here?

1. Tours

Pre-booked tours are a mainstay in the cruise ship business. In this category Peggy’s Cove is atop the list as well as hop-on hop-off city bus tours where cruise passengers can decide on their own pace.  Some tours go to the Annapolis Valley and others gos as far south as Lunenburg.

2. Rides and City Tours

Horse and wagon rides are popular as well as city tours. There is even a Harbour Hopper, an amphibious vehicle that tours the city from the water.

3. Walking

Pier 21, where the cruise ships dock, is only about a mile from the major attractions and restaurants on the waterfront. For someone of average physical ability this is easily accomplished and there are tourism booths to hand maps and brochures detailing attractions.

4. Shopping

Whether you take a cab or walk shopping on the prestigious Spring Garden Road or waterfront boutiques is close by

TIANS Against Halifax Historic Properties Redevelopment

The (Halifax) Historic Property core region is one of the most defining elements on the Halifax Waterfront. Any development that mitigates the authentic experience and preservation of this area would be very short-sighted and detrimental to tourism over the long term.

– Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia

It is now standard practice in big business to develop for the sake of development. In other words, ripping down the old and building the new seems to be the ultimate way to drive the economic engines. And if this isn’t happening then the economy is in recession.

During the past ten years Nova Scotia has lost dozens of historic buildings including two gas stations that date back to the 1920′s. But those are new compared to the buildings from the 1800′s that are suffering the wrecking ball. And why is this happening? Because the powers-that-be figure that tearing down historic buildings, ones that have been saved by previous administrations, is the only way to retain or gain a good tax base.

And what happens when the developers lose? They throw fits. This is because they have spent tens of thousands of dollars on architects and consultants so why wouldn’t they? The real problem is that there are no hard and fast rules about dealing with historical landmarks. The rules seem to change with each mayor:

1973: The city council formally supported the preservation of the Historic Properties ares north of Duke Street from Granville Street to the water. This recognition made Halifax a leader in preserving history.

2002: The Heritage Canad foundation, a national organization dedicated to preserving the architectural heritage and historic places of Canada, chose Halifax to host its conference. They found that vacationers want to visit historic areas and their preservation is vital.

2008: Armour Group wants to destroy the main buildings and keep the facades. This will take in the last original area of Halifax.

What TIANS is saying is that the Armour Group should not have been lead on to believe that they could destroy old properties for the sake of a new development. Armour Group and certain city councilors argue that there is not enough office space in Halifax. Actually, Halifax has over 1,000,000 square feet of vacant land in downtown Halifax.

There are a lot of stupid moves in Halifax planning. (The Cogswell exchange was one of them) Rather than destroy the heritage properties why not look at the available land? Because you know what happens to many buildings that are destroyed in Halifax? They become parking lots. And tourists can only park once.