The Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame has created a free walking tour for you to explore all the historic sporting sites! Grab a booklet at the Hall of Fame museum (or visit our website) and we will guide you around Halifax to some of the most important sport heritage sites in the city. Here is a look at some of the walk content: The Halifax Public Gardens opened in the 1840s and became the home of Canada’s first covered skating rink in 1863, followed by the first public lawn tennis court in the country in 1876. The gardens’ pond was a training spot for Hall of Fame rowers John O’Neill and George Brown, and its grounds served as a meeting spot for croquet, cycling, snowshoeing and archery clubs. The Wanderers Grounds were established in the 1880s and were once a part of the Halifax Commons. These grounds were home to the Wanderers Amateur Athletic Club for rugby, lawn bowling and more. The Wanderers Grounds were also home to the Navy Clubhouse, and many Halifax and District league baseball games. Babe Ruth visited in 1942 to put on a batting exposition for the Navy troops. In 1957 these grounds hosted Canada Soccer’s first ever Challenge Trophy match played east of Montreal. New seating was installed in 2017 for the Halifax Wanderers Football Club, which started to play in 2019 as Halifax’s first professional soccer club. Ahern Avenue is located between Citadel High School and Citadel Hill and was named after John “Gee” Ahern. Ahern was the mayor of Halifax from 1946 to 1949 and was also a member of the Nova Scotia Legislature. Ahern felt strongly that there should be recognition for Nova Scotia athletes. He initiated the formation of the Hall of Fame in 1958 and was later inducted in 1982 for his contributions to hockey, baseball and rugby in Nova Scotia. The Halifax Commons were originally used as a pasture for horses and livestock, as well as being used as a place for army regiments. The Commons stretch from Cunard Street to Citadel High School, with a break in the grounds made by Cogswell Street. The Commons have been a sports hub for decades, and you will often see games of softball, soccer, cricket, field hockey and more. Centennial Pool was built in 1967 to help local athletes compete at a higher level. The pool played a vital role for the 1969 Canada Summer Games and made history as being one of the first Olympic sized pools in Atlantic Canada. McNabs was an important site in the popularization of quoits (a game similar to horse shoes or ring toss). Records of quoits date to 1762 on McNabs Island. The sport was likely introduced by sailors as it was a popular game at sea. The Dalplex opened in 1979 with its cutting edge “air structure” roof. It became the primary athletics and recreation facility for Dalhousie University, providing much more space than Studley Gym (which is still used today and can be found off South Street at LeMarchant Street). The Dalplex stands near the site of the old Studley Field, which held a large variety of sport events, including the meetings of the Studley Quoit Club. The club was founded in 1858, and welcomed a visit from His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales (later to become King Edward VIII) on August 18, 1919. The Northwest Arm has been the setting for many a great rowing championship, as well as much paddling and boating activity for over a century. World Champion rower and Hall of Famer George Brown achieved many of his great victories on the Northwest Arm. The George Dixon Recreational Centre was named after one of the greatest boxers Nova Scotia and Canada has ever produced. He has also recently been named Nova Scotia’s sixth greatest athlete of all time. Dixon was born in Africville, NS in 1870 and started his professional career when he was 16 years old. His talent flourished quickly and he soon became the first Black man to win a World Championship, and the first man to ever win more than two World boxing titles. Buddy Daye Street was named after Hall of Famer Delmore William “Buddy” Daye. Buddy won the 1964 Canadian super featherweight boxing championship in the Halifax Forum in front of 5,000 people. He later became the first African Nova Scotian Sergeant-at-Arms for the Nova Scotia House of Assembly. The Halifax Forum officially opened on December 26, 1927, on the ruins of the provincial exhibition building which was destroyed in the Halifax explosion. The complex was originally composed of an arena, industrial building, cattle shed, grandstand, horse racing track and horse barns. The arena at the Forum became the first artificial ice surface east of Montreal, and the industrial building housed the first Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame museum when it opened in 1964. From its first hockey game to major concerts, the Forum has welcomed many significant events. The Mayflower Curling Club was founded in 1905 and is a very historical site in Halifax. In 1912 the Mayflower was used as a morgue when the Titanic sank and many bodies washed ashore in Halifax. Only five years later the club was completely destroyed by the Halifax Explosion. The Mayflower Curling Club was then rebuilt on Monaghan Drive in 1962. The sport of curling really started to evolve after the rebuilding. The Mayflower even became the home club for Nova Scotia’s greatest curler—Colleen Jones. The Scotiabank Centre opened as the Halifax Metro Centre on February 17, 1978. It was renamed to Scotiabank Centre in 2014. The biggest audience to fill the arena’s stands was a crowd of 11,000 basketball fans who came out to watch Saint Mary’s University defeat Acadia for the national championship in the centre’s opening year. It was the ultimate battle for supremacy between two Nova Scotian teams.