Dartmouth has the nickname the "City of Lakes" due to its large number of lakes. City population is approximately 95,000. With the Halifax side becoming more developed, some of this investment has crossed the water to Dartmouth, updating the downtown and surrounding areas from the grittier past.
Dartmouth was incorporated as a town in 1873. In 1955 the town was permanently linked to Halifax by the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge which led to rapid suburban growth. The Town of Dartmouth amalgamated with several neighbouring towns and became the City of Dartmouth in 1961. The A. Murray MacKay Bridge opened in 1970, which spurred residential and commercial growth.
- 1 Halifax Robert L. Stanfield International Airport (YHZ IATA). The largest airport in the Maritimes, is about half an hour from Dartmouth by road. Halifax offers direct daily flights from Toronto, Montreal, Newark, Ottawa, Calgary, and limited service to a number of regional and holiday destinations. Air Canada flies to London's Heathrow airport with a stop in St. John's, Newfoundland; Condor offers seasonal service from Munich and Frankfurt.
A shuttle bus runs hourly with stops at all the major hotels in Halifax and Dartmouth ($16 one-way, $28 return). There are cabs for a $53 flat rate. MetroX Route 320 is an express bus from the airport to downtown Dartmouth and downtown Halifax ($3.50 one-way) which runs once or twice an hour; the trip from the airport to the Bridge Terminal in downtown Dartmouth takes about 40 min.
- 2 Halifax station (http://www.viarail.ca). VIA Rail's station in the south end of Halifax has trains arriving from Montreal a few times weekly.
Dartmouth shares a transit system with the City of Halifax; regional buses run to Halifax, Bedford and Sackville. The bus system does not function well with the sprawling nature of the city. Going from one neighbourhood to the next may take 10 min by car, but could be 30 min to 1 hr by bus.
- Halifax Transit. $2.75.
Halifax Transit operates the Harbour Ferry service between Halifax and Dartmouth. The 3 Alderney Ferry Terminal is the more convenient of the two Dartmouth ferry terminals, downtown along Alderney Drive near the foot of Queen Street. Service operates seven days a week, every 30 minutes, and every 15 minutes during weekday rush hours. The other option is the 4 Woodside Ferry Terminal which is just off Pleasant Street and Atlantic Street in the suburban Woodside area. Service operates every 30 minutes on weekdays, no weekend or holiday service. The fare is $2.50, which includes a 90-min transfer.
Two toll bridges join Halifax to Dartmouth.
Any local taxi will make the crossing from Halifax to Dartmouth, and back.
- The A. Murray MacKay Bridge, linking Halifax and Dartmouth
- George's Model Trains, 802 Main St (Rte 7), ☏ . Garden railway with 150 m (500 ft) of track, buildings and landscaping.
- Somme Branch No. 31 Royal Canadian Legion Military Museum The museum exhibits authentic wartime costumes, with statistics of wartime activities both at home and abroad. Collection of shoulder and divisional flashes, battalion photographs. Special tours by request. +1 902 463-1050.
- Shearwater Aviation Museum, Shearwater Airport, Dartmouth, NS.
- Cole Harbour. A suburban community of 25,000 people incorporated into Dartmouth in 1995, named after a natural harbour facing the Atlantic Ocean. From Dartmouth, several bus routes ($2.75) leave from the Bridge Terminal and Alderney Gate Ferry Terminal to Cole Harbour en route to North Preston and Cherrybrook.
- Natal Day, celebrated in the first week of August since 1895 to commemorate the arrival of the railway. Large celebrations are held throughout the city, with the largest being at the grounds of Alderney Landing. Outdoor concerts play throughout the day and night.
- Alderney Landing, ☏ . Performing arts centre with outdoor event plaza. Visual art gallery, weekend farmers' and craft market, tourist information, marina, and harbourside park.
- Quaker House, 59 Ochterloney St, ☏ . Restored house (c. 1785) associated with the Nantucket Quaker whalers who were in Dartmouth from 1785 to 1792. Costumed tour guides; pioneer dress-up trunk for children.
- 1 Salt Marsh Trail, Cole Harbour. Until the mid-1980s, CN Rail operated a rail line from Dartmouth to Upper Musquodoboit with part of the route crossing the southern edge of the community. The abandoned rail corridor was converted to a rail trail which is part of the Trans Canada Trail.
- Ground Zero Climbing Gym, 105 Akerley Blvd, ☏ . Suitable for all age & fitness levels. Instruction and rentals available.
- Mic Mac Mall, 21 MicMac Blvd, ☏ . Over 160 shops and services, including Hudson's Bay. A taxi from downtown Halifax around $25, transit bus 10, 54 or 56 will get you there for $2.75.
- Dartmouth Crossing, off Highway 118 between Wright Ave and Commodore Dr. A sprawling shopping park, quickly developing past the quantity and quality of Mic Mac Mall. New hotels, big box stores, multiple restaurants and a movie theater are all spread out on this former plot of swamp. Bus 56 will get you there, but the stores are so distant from each other that a car is essential.
With Dartmouth's downtown changing rapidly, many of these older establishments have been replaced by newer culinary treats. Just walk up Ochterloney or Portland street to see the difference of new and old.
- Alexandra's Pizza, 1/2 Windmill Rd, ☏ .
- Three Bears Smoke & Deli, 111 Ilsley Ave, ☏ .
- John's Lunch. A Dartmouth fixture since 1969. Specializing in seafood, and in particular their fish & chips, John's Lunch is just across the parking lot from the Woodside Ferry.
- Burrito Jax, 978 Cole Harbour Rd, Cole Harbour, ☏ . M-W 11AM-9PM, Th-Sa 11AM-10PM, Su 11AM-8PM. More than just burritos: they also serve quesadillas.
- Hing Wing, 187 Pleasant St, ☏ . Chinese food near the Dartmouth waterfront.
- Queen of Cups Teahouse Ltd, 44 Ochterloney St, ☏ . This English-style tea house serves a variety of traditional, contemporary and unique items. Lunch, afternoon tea and other goodies. Reservations are required for afternoon tea, and strongly recommended for lunch. Open year-round.
- Smitty's Family Restaurants, 800 Windmill Rd, ☏ . Suite 301. Smitty's has served at this location for almost 30 years. Featuring breakfast, lunch and dinner all day as well as bottomless coffee and tea.
- Brewdebaker's Tap & Grill, 612 Windmill Rd, ☏ . Offers casual family dining in the middle of a full-service brewery. Open seven days a week.
- Brass Rail Restaurant, 978 Cole Harbour Road, ☏ . Su-Tu 8AM-8PM, W-Sa 8AM-9PM. Seafood Greek dishes, burgers, sandwiches, wraps, omelettes. Mains $12-22.
- The British Bulldog Gastropub, 920 Cole Harbour Rd, Colby Village Plaza, ☏ . Kitchen: Su M 11AM—8PM, Tu—Th 11AM—9PM, F Sa 11AM—10PM; the bar stays open one hour later. Dinner mains $12-26, lunch specials $9.
- Vines Pasta Grill, 4 Panavista Dr, ☏ . M 4PM-10PM, Tu-Su 11:30AM-10PM. Take out available.
- The Wooden Monkey, 88 Alderney Dr, ☏ . Veggie & vegan friendly bistro featuring local, organic and macrobiotic food and drink. Kid's menu available. A popular destination in Halifax for years, the Wooden Monkey has expanded to the Dartmouth Waterfront with a second location.
There are several Nova Scotian pubs and bars in Dartmouth, however your best bet is to cross the bridge to Halifax where there is much more nightlife to speak of. The infamous Ralph's Place, Nova Scotia's only tolerated strip club, is a thing of the past - the business shut their doors in early 2018. If you're looking for anything adult oriented, you'll have to drive to Moncton.
- Stagger's Pub & Grill, 26 Portland St, ☏ . A Dartmouth dive bar classic, with great prices on drinks and food, classic Maritime dishes (toutons for Newfoundlanders missing home), and pool tables available for casual play. Karaoke on Fridays, many community events are hosted here as well. This bar isn't your typical gentrified student Mecca- it has a very local and regulars feeling, which may be exactly what you're looking for or may be too unpolished for your tastes.
- Battey Park, 62 Ochterloney St, ☏ . Su-Th 11:30AM-midnight; F Sa 11:30AM-1AM. Nice new bar with 17 craft beers and 3 craft ciders on tap. Features an expanded food menu, thanks to the new addition of Ace Burger. Good seating, with a patio available during the summer. Bar is upstairs, whereas the beer store is as soon as you walk in.
- Our Friends Pub, 19 Norm Newman Dr, ☏ .
- Monte's Bar & Grill, 245 Waverley Rd, ☏ .
- Celtic Corner, Public House, 69 Alderney Drive (corner of Queen St. and Alderney Drive), ☏ . 11AM-midnight. Pub hours: Su-Th 11AM-midnight; F Sa 11AM-1AM. Kitchen hours: Su-Th 11:30AM-10PM; F Sa 11:30AM-11PM. Great food and traditional Maritime music with origins from Ireland, Scotland, England, Newfoundland, PEI, and Nova Scotia, enriched by local tales and history. moderate.
If your main destination is Halifax, it is best to stay over on that side. The ferry stops service just past midnight on weekdays, and the bridge is subject to seemingly random closures.
- Caroline's Bed & Breakfast, 134 Victoria Rd.
- Burnside Hotel Dartmouth, 739 Windmill Rd, ☏ . The Burnside Hotel has deluxe and economy rooms available. The property features a licensed restaurant, a cocktail lounge and a pool.
- Traveller's Motel & Cabins Bedford, 773 Bedford Hwy, ☏ . Bedford. 19 cabins and 25 motel units, each with air-conditioning and private baths. Motel units also have cable TV and phones.
- Comfort Inn Dartmouth, 456 Windmill Rd, ☏ .
- Howard Johnson Hotel & Suites Dartmouth, 65 King St, toll-free: . Restaurant on the premises.
- 1 [dead link] Braeside Court Bed & Breakfast, 34 Braeside Ct, ☏ . Two-bedroom suite. The bed and breakfast also offers wireless internet. $80-150.
- 2 [dead link] Knightswood B&B & Carriage House, 453 Waverley Rd, ☏ . This bed and breakfast provides two beautifully decorated rooms surrounded by lush gardens. Smoking is not allowed. $100-180.
- Delta Dartmouth, 240 Brownlow Ave, ☏ . formerly the Ramada Plaza, this hotel is at the entrance to the Burnside Industrial Park and has been complete renovatted. Free parking available, swimming pool and fitness center, with a nice restaurant and Starbucks outlet.
- DoubleTree By Hilton Dartmouth, 101 Wyse Rd (immediately to the right off of the Macdonald bridge), ☏ . Used to be the Holiday Inn, this hotel opened after a major renovation project completed in 2017. Beautiful rooms, some with balconies.
Lots of Halifax residents will overplay the dangers of Dartmouth, commonly referring to it as the "Dark Side". Dartmouth is quite safe, with many family neighborhoods and high end apartments being built in the downtown. Though, like any other city, and especially of a residential sister city, common precautions should be taken. The areas of high crime are of no interest to tourists and are away from the downtown (Highfield Park, Albro Lake, Caledonia, Windmill Rd going towards the MacKay bridge). You might experience beggars or generally rough characters in the downtown off the ferry landing or by the bus terminal- they're all harmless, just give a smile or a "sorry". Prostitution is a problem on Windmill Rd, and muggings are infrequent but not unheard of. Violent crimes do occur, but most are related to gang violence or local conflicts.
Dartmouth can be a nice place to stay while visiting the Halifax area. There are many small towns and villages in the area worth exploring as well. Also, as Dartmouth is the 'City of Lakes', its quite easy to find a quiet, secluded lake and enjoy the fresh Atlantic air.
|Routes through Dartmouth|
|END ←||W E||→ Porters Lake → Merges with|
|END ← Halifax ←||W E||→ END|
|END ←||N S||→ ENDS at N S|
|END ← Bedford ←||W E||→ Porters Lake → Antigonish|