• For $12, you get a full-day bike rental (a $25 value). • For $20, you get a general tune-up (a $40 value). Idealbikes' staff of cycling experts revamp wheels and lend out an array of fully serviced bicycles. During daily rentals, customers can pedal down side streets and jump goldfish-filled bathtubs on any of the shop's myriad used bikes less than $500. Meanwhile, an included lock clasps wheels to nearby security guards, and a provided helmet cushions falling heads. Tune-ups commence as bike gurus fine-tune brakes and shifting, adjust the hub and bottom bracket, and then check the bike's tire pressure. Fresh oil lubricates the seat posts, pedals, and chain, and tools securely fasten all hardware. Finally, cycle docs wipe down and test-drive rides. Cycle parents can usually pick up their bikes the next day.
He wears a beaming smile and a red cap, beneath which his eyes turn to meet those of the happy children who pass his way. He is 65 feet tall. He is a boat.
The fleet at Murphy's The Cable Wharf also includes seven other vessels, but the most recognizable is surely Theodore Too: an enormous, custom-built life-size replica of the friendly Theodore Tugboat, star of the CBC children's television show of the same name. He was originally commissioned to sail up and down the Eastern Seaboard, giving kids a chance to take harbor cruises that were previously only possible in their daydreams, until eventually the staff of Murphy's stepped in to give him a permanent home.
Theodore Too wasn't the first remarkable vessel in the Murphy's fleet. In the early 1980s, Captain Gerald Murphy purchased the Mar, a seasoned tall ship that had sailed around the world twice and been the subject of a documentary. He used this storied vessel to establish Murphy's The Cable Wharf, a sailing and tour company based in Halifax Harbour. With ships in the water, Murphy also planned a restaurant—repurposing the old Cable Ship Terminal, which was built in 1913 and had long been dormant.
Decades later, Murphy's nautical vision lives on. The Mar still glides across harbour waters for themed sailing tours and pirate cruises. The spacious Haligonian III embarks on whale-watching excursions that bring passengers face-to-face with minke whales and dolphins, and the Harbour Queen I—an old-fashioned Mississippi-style sternwheeler—embarks on narrated history tours.
The wharf restaurant, meanwhile, continues the nautical theme on dry land, showing off unobstructed views of the waterfront. It even brings a bit of the sea indoors: a lobster tank filled with more than 300 live crustaceans lets guests net their own meals, while a touch tank brings them face-to-face with native marine life. Coastal dishes, from a buttery lobster roll to pan-fried haddock, fuel more maritime adventures.
Glowing monkeys scamper toward a neon waterfall, and a knight bearing a radiant yellow lance rides past a bright orange octopus emerging from the ocean. What appears to be a time-traveling session gone awry is really the evolving environment within Putting Edge’s indoor black-lit mini-golf course, which whisks players to deep seas, Aztec jungles, and medieval times. Since opening its original location in Canada, Putting Edge has now expanded to 16 North American locations, all of which invite guests onto its challenging 18-hole courses to seek victory over opponents and the forces that keep their teeth from not glowing as brightly as they could. Elsewhere, the facility houses private party rooms, concessions, and an arcade filled with gamer favorites such as air hockey.
Reopened in 2011 after a two-year hiatus, Briarwood Golf Club’s 18-hole executive course invites clubbers to an abridged layout stationed in the heart of a vibrant ecosystem. Briarwood’s shorter links make an ideal training ground for casual golfers; aces can loop the verdant grounds to shore up their short game or fulfill their mission to graze on the grasses of all the world’s courses. Each fairway plays into immaculate, revitalized greens, which were reseeded before 2011 and should be growing out of their brambly adolescence and into smooth, pimple-free adulthood in their second consecutive season of usage. A burbling river runs throughout the course, and cool breezes gain momentum on a course-side lake before swooping through the towering tree lines and tickling the collared necks of Briarwood’s birdie-hunting guests.
Granite Springs Golf Club's 18-hole, par 72 course takes golfers winding through 6,401 yards of fairways and greens carved into the Halifax countryside. The rolling terrain features a gauntlet of sandtraps and water hazards that make accurate shotmaking crucial to a successful round. The course shares the grounds with a driving range and short game facility, each of which help golfers prep swings, touch around the greens, and redraw golf plaids before kicking off official rounds.
Course at a Glance
Cole Harbour Place—the home of hockey player Sidney Crosby—welcomes community members into a complex that hosts three pools, two regulation-size ice arenas, squash courts, and a weight-training centre and cardio room with more than 21 new pieces of equipment. The sprawling facility invites swimmers to splash during open sessions or learn how to greet a passing octopus properly during swim lessons; fitness classes get hearts pumping in boot camp and core yoga. A wealth of youth programming entertains whippersnappers throughout the year, and the wellness centre’s health classes and programs impart preventive-health advice to members of all ages.