Gritty To Pretty Walking Tour

In 2015, DHBC launched a Gritty to Pretty beautification 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 welcoming to locals and visitors alike.

Gritty To Pretty Walking Tour


Take a walking tour of the Gritty to Pretty projects in Downtown Hailfax while you are out enjoying Re-Open City HFX 2020, and you could win 1 of 4 gift baskets made up of gift certificates from Downtown Halifax businesses participating in Re-Open City.

Taking place on Saturdays and Sundays between June 27 and July 19, Re-Open City is a celebration of all the small businesses that make the city a vibrant and welcoming place. Learn more about Re-Open City HFX 2020 here.


1. Take a photo and/or a selfie with (one) of Downtown Halifax's Gritty to Pretty projects.

2. Post the photo to your Instagram and/or Facebook account using the hashtags #GrittytoPrettyDT and #ReOpenCityHFX (make sure your account(s) is/are public to enter).

3. Every photo you post counts as one entry.

We will be giving away 1 (one) gift basket per weekend for a total of 4 (four) gift baskets, each worth approximately $200.00 CAD each. Giveaway starts June 27, 2020, and ends Sunday, July 19, 2020, at 11:59 pm. Participants are welcome to enter more than once and on more than one platform. Entrants must be 19 and a resident of Nova Scotia, Canada, to be eligible to win. Participants cannot win more than one gift basket. Draw will take place on Monday, July 20, 2020, for all 4 (four) baskets. Winners will be contacted shortly after that time. Images posted as Facebook and/or Instagram Stories will not count as an entry. Rules and Regulations here


 Gritty to Pretty Walking Tour

Grab your sneakers and a camera, and explore all the beautifcation projects in Downtown Halifax. You are welcome to start your tour anywhere, but our tour starts in the South End of Downtown Halifax and moves into the Downtown core. 

Flower Lights, Park at South Street and Barrington:

  • Flower lights on light poles as an expansion of seasonal lighting program
  • Best seen at night


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


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 leve, and 4 moreon floors 4 & 5


Urban Character Mural, 1557 Barrington Street (at Blowers)


Penny Lane Mural, 5222 Blowes Street at Argyle (eastern wall of alley)

  • Take a stroll down Penny Lane, an immersive painted landscape capturing scenes from the famous Beatle's song. 
  • Artist/Group: Dylan Smibert, Amber Solberg, Nick Brunt, Jack Ross, Tabitha Smith, JJ Steeves, and Barrington Street Historical Development Limited


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


The Stubborn Goat Facade 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


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: AlexMbuga Thuku (artist) and NSCAD University


Parametric Bench, Rogers Square

  • The Parametric Bench represents a space that is meant to be shared and thus promotes the idea of a connected community and bring people together. The bench's unusual style of curved layers will be sure to draw attention. The curves of the bench are meant to mimic the ripples of the ocean and represent the city's connection to the harbour
  • Artist/Group: Duncan Armour (artist) and PBJ Design Society


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 Pearl on Barrington Street, corner of George and Barrington Streets

  • Created through Sculpture Nova Scotia by sculptor Miro Davis
  • "When you sit on the pearl, her shell forms a throne behind you, creating a protective shelter that invites contemplation."


Fountain Campus Accent Lighting, Granwille Mall/5163 Duke Street

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


Ferry Boat Lane, Lower Water Street

  • Facade Lighting
  • Best seen at night






  • Vytaiemo, Park at Barrington and South streets (statue)
  • The Emigrant Statue, Halifax Seaport 
  • Women War Volunteers, Halifax Seaport (sculpture)
  • Samuel Cunard Statue, Halifax Seaport 
  • Sailors' Memorial, Sackville Landing, Halifax Waterfront Boardwalk
  • The Wave, Halifax Waterfront Boardwalk (sculpture)
  • Bearly's Bar & Grill, 1269 Barrington Street (mural)
  • Blowers Street Alley, 5228 Blowers Street (mural)
  • The Black Market, 1545 Grafton Street (mural)
  • Porous Light, Argyle Street (sculpture)
  • The Whale, Rogers Square (in front of BMO) (sculpture)
  • The Cenotaphy War Memorial, Grand Parade 
  • Custom House Lions, Granville Mall (sculpture)
  • Origins, Ondaatje Courtyard, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (sculpture)
  • Celtic Cross, George Street 
  • Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel, 1919 Upper Water Street (murals)

Re-Open City HFX 2020 - List of participating businesses in Downtown Halifax here

Learn more about DHBC's Gritty to Pretty Program here.