Self-Guided Downtown Art Tour

In 2015, DHBC launched a Gritty to Pretty placemaking program to award a limited number of grants for beautification projects located in Downtown Halifax.

Gritty to Pretty includes three grants: Open Grant for any great beautification initiative, one specifically for Façade Lighting, and one for Murals. These projects contribute to DHBC's beautification efforts to make Downtown Halifax more welcoming to locals and visitors alike. Learn more about the program here

Self-Guided Downtown Art Tour

Grab your camera and explore the public art in Downtown Halifax. You're welcome to start your tour anywhere, but our tour starts in Peace and Friendship Park at the corner of Barrington and South streets, moves into the Downtown core, and finishes on the beautiful Halifax Waterfront.  

Before you start, we recommend grabbing a coffee or cold drink from Rousseau Chocolatier, 5151 South Street; Trident Booksellers and Cafe, 1256 Hollis Street; Swee Tea House, 1237 Barrington Street, or any cafe or restaurant along the way. 


Peace and Friendship Park, Hollis and South streets

  • Spring-themed flower lights will be up until Fall 2022
  • Part of DHBC's seasonal lighting program


Victoria, Roman Goddess of Victory, 1221 Barrington Street:

  • Mural completed in early 2020 by local artist Mike Burt (@princefuze)


Halifax Distillery Mural, 1668 Lower Water Street              

  • Mural depicts rum-running boats tied at dockside in the early morning
  • Artist Jake Sibert used existing elements on the wall as part of the scene


The Brewery Market Facade Lighting, 1496 Lower Water Street

  • Facade lighting 
  • Best seen at night


Rio Abajo Rio: The River Beneath the River, 1583 Hollis Street

  • This mural is the second in a series of murals inspired by Pikola Estes interpretation of the tale "la llorona"
  • Artist: Jacoba Niepoort (@jacoba_niepoort)
  • Group: Rad Consulting, Navid Saberi, and Jacoba Niepoort


Sea Troll, I Heart Bikes, Halifax Waterfront


Park and Art, Metro Park, 1556 Hollis Street

  • Original Art in the parkade to transform an otherwise dark or drab wall into a wall filled with colour and creativity. 
  • Artist: James Janssen
  • Group: Argyle Fine Art and The Hardman Group Limitied
  • There are 5 murals, one on Granville level, and 4 more on floors 4 & 5


RISING TIDES Mural, Salter Street (Maritime Centre)


BEE KIND Mural, 1660 Hollis Street

  • Adorns the building steps in front of the FM Architecture - Interior Design - Planning office  with a repeating pattern of honeycombs in blues and yellows, and detailed honey bees and Nova Scotian wildflowers.
  • Altruistic Current Team - Amber Solberg, Dylan Smibert, Elyse Moir, and Erica Meschwitz


Urban Character Mural, 1557 Barrington Street (at Blowers)

  • Artist Jason Skinner (@jason.a.m.skinner)
  • Starfish Properties and The Loop
  • Every Downtown has its collections of interesting characters and, here, artist Jason Skinner collects a few of them.


Connection, 1326 Barrington Street (Mural)

  • Artist: Trackside Studio's Daniel J. Burt
  • Name reflects that in 2020 humans are more connected with each other than ever, yet many are still divided. This mural is for the people who go out of their way to help others. 


Barrington Street Bus Shelter, Barrington Street & Spring Garden Road

  • Orange and blue geometric pattern mural on the Barrington Street and Spring Garden Road bus shelter
  • PBJ Design


Ocean Optometry Facade Lighting, 5240 Blowers Street

  • Facade lighting
  • Group: Ocean Optometry 
  • Best seen at night


Lighting Our Past, 1521-1531 Grafton Street

  • Historic facade lighting
  • Group: Oakport Limited/A.S. Developments
  • Best seen at night


#PlayMeHFX Xylophones, Grafton Park (former Halifax Memorial Library at Spring Garden & Grafton Streets)

  • Flower xylophones brighten up Grafton Park.
  • Group: PBJ Design Society


The Stubborn Goat Façade Lighting and Mural, 1579 Grafton Street

  • The mural makes use of iridescent paint, creating both a daytime and nighttime experience.
  • Artist Jake Siebert, and The Stubborn Goat


Defeat, north side of 1600 Grafton Street

  • Mural completed by Mike Burt (@princefuze)
  • Dynamic street-art version of a warrior during a struggle. The main purpose of this mural is to be visually stimulating with bright and bold colours.


NSCAD Academy Wall, Market Street between Sackville and Prince streets

  • A beautified retaining wall with a composition of fantastical African birds and beasts and their North American cousins
  • Artist/Group: Alex Mbuga Thuku (artist) and NSCAD University


A Night Out, Albemarle Street

  • This piece is intended to add a touch of whimsy, humour, and inspiration to the city and the people who live and work there.
  • Artist: Drew McSherry, Scotia Square


eSpace Building Facade Lighting, 1652-1656 Barrington Street

  • Facade Lighting
  • Best seen at night


Daisies in the Wind New Facade, 1717 Barrington Street, (at Prince and Barrington streets)

  • Inspired by the street art of Tom Bob, this project transforms the urban infrastructure into something that brightens the street and brings a smile to the passersby.
  • Artist/Group: Jason Skinner (@jason.a.m.skinner) (artist), PBJ Design Society and Greenwood Lane


Cabot Building Facade Lighting, 1725-1727 Barrington Street

  • Historic Facade Lighting 
  • Best seen at night


Freak Lunchbox Mural Facade Lighting, 1729 Barrington Street

  • Facade Lighting by the Gritty to Pretty program
  • Artist/Group: Freak Lunchbox
  • Best seen at night


St. Paul's Facade Lighting, 1684 Barrington Street

  • Historic Facade Lighting
  • Best seen at night


The Fun and Beauty of Performance, 1809 Barrington Street

  • The mural celebrates Halifax and its support of local and emerging performers and musicians through its annual Busker Festival.
  • Artist: Drew McSherry, @drinoart
  • Building Partner: Scotia Square, @scotiasquare


Fountain Campus Accent Lighting, Granwille Mall/5163 Duke Street

  • Historic Facade Lighting
  • Group: NSCAD University 
  • Best seen at night


Between the Sea and the Sky, Lower Water Street at George Street

  • This colourful mural is made of rectangular wooden tiles inspired by the sky and water of the Halifax Harbour. The tiles are nested in the vertical recesses of the retaining wall surrounding the access point of the overpass that connects George Street to the courtyard of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia.
  • ​This mural was completed by Joseph Pesina, Luke Fair, and Rachel Anzalone in early November 2020.


Ferry Boat Lane, Lower Water Street

  • Facade Lighting
  • Best seen at night


The Sea in Her Blood, Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, 1675 Lower Water Street

  • This mural, called The Sea in Her Blood, is inspired by the diverse, and sometimes unexpected connections Nova Scotia women have with the sea.
  • Came to life thanks to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Trackside Studios (@trackside.studios) and DHBC's Gritty to Pretty Placemaking grant
  • Arists include: Mike Burt (@princefuze), Daniel Burt (@bunhundred) and Justin Fraser-Fong (@pekingdon)


Ocean Sunset, Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel, 1919 Upper Water Street

  • Artist: Swade Owens, (@swadeowens)
  • Came to life thanks to Trackside Studios, Halifax Marriott Harbourfront, and DHBC’s Gritty to Pretty Placemaking grant program



King Conch, Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel, 1919 Upper Water Street

  • Artist: Donny Fraser, (@pekingdon)
  • Came to life thanks to Trackside Studios, Halifax Marriott Harbourfront, and DHBC’s Gritty to Pretty Placemaking grant program
  • Is 1 of 3 rotating murals 


Pod Racers, Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel, 1919 Upper Water Street

  • Artist: Daniel Burt (@bunhundred)
  • Came to life thanks to Trackside Studios, Halifax Marriott Harbourfront, and DHBC’s Gritty to Pretty Placemaking grant program
  • Is 1 of 3 rotating murals 


Puff, Puff, Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel, 1919 Upper Water Street

  • Artist: Mike Burt (@princefuze)
  • Came to life thanks to Trackside Studios, Halifax Marriott Harbourfront, and DHBC’s Gritty to Pretty Placemaking grant program
  • Is 1 of 3 rotating murals 


Magic Meadows, 1560 Grafton Street

  • Artist: Sarah Cannon (@nightarcade)
  • Depicts a woman and her dog sitting in a patch of brightly coloured lupines as they watch butterflies dance overhead
  • The concept was inspired by Sarah’s encounters with the natural wonders unique to Canada’s East Coast.
  • Came to life thanks to Paramount Management, on behalf of Maxwell Properties Limited, and  DHBC’s Gritty to Pretty Placemaking grant program
  • Reflects the ongoing evolution of Cannon’s body of work in which she develops various characters to examine how curiosity and exploration of nature contributes to cultivating positive mental health and well-being.


Warm Welcome, Granville Hall Student Residence Building, 1669 Granville Street

  • Artist: Kristen De Palma of KDP Letters (@kdpletters)
  • Features the word "welcome" in over 20 languages, including Japanese, Arabic, and Mi'kmaq
  • Consultations with cultural group ensured accuracy of translations 
  • Aims to welcome the international students that Granville Hall hosts every year 


NEW Mikisew, 1580 Grafton Street

  • Artist: Peatr Thomas (@thunderbird4311)
  • Thomas is an Ininew (Swampy Cree) and Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) artist.
  • Composed of three Ininew syllabics, or Spirit Markers, ‘SAH-KI-TAH’ which translates to ‘love.’
  • Intertwined with the Spirit Markers is an eagle, which represents love in the Sacred Seven Ancestor Teachings.
  • The external lines, more commonly called ‘Spirit Lines,’ are visual representations of the connection between the eagle, the word ‘love’, as well as the land the piece now resides on. 


NEW Living Space, 1580 Grafton Street

  • Artist: Daniel Burt (@bunhundred)
  • Inspired by the energy that flows through and connects all living things.
  • Though not visible to the human eye, this energy engulfs and swirls around us, filling up the negative space we once thought was unoccupied.
  • The representation of this energy is a distant visual from the bare bland walls that are common in a city core.

NEW Sound of Time, 1326 Barrington Street

  • Artist: John McPartland (@absenarchives)
  • The concept is a young woman at the piano in deep concentrated thought about her art.
  • At her feet is a young man who is working studiously on composing his music. To the left of these two is a young girl observing their creative hustle. 
  • Inspiration came from the relationship with time and growth, the creative sparks we see in older people when we are kids, and how through hard work, we can grow up to become the people we once idolized.



Wondering what's open in Downtown Halifax? See our list of businesses open and open online here