Travel Like A Local
A Day in Halifax, Nova Scotia
Ashley Osa-Peters is originally from London, England and moved to Canada at 12 years old. She eventually ended up studying at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Now a part-time model and full-time laboratory technologist, she created a list of her noteworthy spots in the city, and what better place to begin than with a cup of coffee.
Our first stop of the day: Espresso 46. Located in Halifax’s Northend, this small coffee front is coined by many as the ‘best coffee’ in the city. Ashley also notes this as her favourite coffee spot, “I love it there! Seriously, some of the best coffee around Halifax for sure and also, the sweetest people! It’s nice to interact with them so I find myself going there a lot.”
From Espresso 46 all the way to her favourite out-of-city gem, she took creator Aleyah Solomon around Halifax in this exclusive interview.
What is it about Espresso 46 that makes it the ‘best coffee’?
The taste, the friendliness of the people that work there, the community, plus it’s super affordable as well. And the owner, Frederico is Italian and is such a sweet man. Coming here is like a breath of fresh air. When you go first thing in the morning Frederico is always so upbeat and happy and always in a good mood. I feel he genuinely remembers his customers which is the sweetest thing to me.
And next door to Espresso 46 is the Warehouse Market.
Yeah, so two places I love are next to each other, which is really convenient! The Abundant Acres Warehouse Market is a really great spot for local produce from Nova Scotia/the Maritimes. You can get lots of things like fruits, vegetables, greens, and they have items from other companies as well so sometimes they will have fresh bread, meats, seafood, eggs–and it’s all local and family-run, which I love to support.
We stuck mainly around the Northend of Halifax today. Would you say this is your favourite neighbourhood in the city?
The Northend is packed full of nice, local, small businesses and because they are so close to each other, you can park somewhere and just walk around. Even just walking through the streets in this area is very enjoyable. I think the Northend is a really great part of Halifax. There are lots of creatives in this area, amazing food spots–markets, restaurants–it’s a great area!
So, you are vegan. How do you find being vegan in Halifax?
I honestly find it pretty easy. I don’t notice that much trouble being vegan in Halifax. I think this city is one of the more accommodating cities for people with dietary restrictions.
Today, we went to one of my favourite vegan restaurants in Halifax: the Wild Leek, on Windsor Street. It’s so great because they have good vegan comfort food but also healthy options. The desserts, the sauces–it’s all so good!
Yes, and the décor is so nice as well–for when you can sit inside.
Whenever they open back up for dine-in, it’s such a great spot for brunch! The people who work there are just so lovely. I feel they also remember the regulars, like myself! [laughs]
You brought me to a place I had never been to: Purcell’s Pond. I never knew about this place and it’s a really nice, hidden spot to hike to.
Yeah, I love this spot. It’s often very quiet. I thought today, as it’s so nice out, it would be busy but surprisingly it’s still quiet! I love coming here because it’s nice to escape people and sit on the rocks with a book. Normally, I would bring a blanket and a book and just chill and read.
I love Halifax. When I lived in the UK, I lived in London and it’s a large, busy, hustle and bustle type of city. I find Halifax is perfect for my lifestyle. It’s not so small that I feel like there’s nothing to do, but it’s not so big that I feel lost. I have met amazing people here, there are also amazing spots to discover. The East Coast of Canada is generally beautiful–there are hikes and Purcell’s Pond is just 10 minutes drive from the city.
You also model in the city. How do you find the fashion scene in Halifax? Do you often have location shoots outside the city?
It’s definitely a smaller community in the fashion and modeling aspect. But I think that is a bonus because you get to know all the people in the industry, you get to work with the same people more than once so you really develop strong industry connections which I really love. It’s not comparable to London or New York, but it has its place and I think I do love the fashion culture here in Halifax.
We live in such a beautiful part of the world, you can go anywhere–to the ocean, nature hikes, to waterfalls, the forest–yes, I definitely notice we all gravitate towards outdoor nature shoots!
Any favourite clothing shops?
My favourite clothing shop in the city is definitely Thief & Bandit! They are a woman-owned business with their showroom and production spaces located downtown Halifax on Barrington street. I love that they are committed to sustainability in their design and production process and, again, the people there are just amazing, friendly, and refreshing to be around. I also love Ana + Zac on Agricola street is also an amazing spot with beautiful, responsibly-made pieces. And for thrifting, I love Dear Sunday Vintage, a page on instagram with a pick-up spot in the North end, and The Loot!