Dal's Best‑Kept Secrets
So cool we had to share them
Yes, Dal has its very own holiday! Everyone at Dal knows that the first Friday in February is Munro Day. The most glorious holiday of the year, because no one outside of Dal has it as a holiday. We have the run of the city!
It's named after George Munro, a wealthy New York-based publisher from Pictou County, N.S. In 1879, Dalhousie was struggling financially and about to close down. Generous gifts over the years from Munro, amounting to $330, 000 (worth $8 million today), rescued the university. Because of this gift, we're all here today! It’s only fitting to take the day to commemorate and celebrate him.
We have lumberjacks! One of the most successful varsity teams at the Agricultural Campus is the Woodsmen (which is actually a group of men and women) who battle in such awesome-sounding events as the axe throw, pole climb, and pulp toss! (Check out some of Dal AC's other best-kept secrets here.)
You can get from the Life Sciences Centre (LSC) to the Killam Library (and many points in between) without even stepping outside using Dal's system of protected and underground walkways on the Studley Campus. You'll be glad you know about them on rainy or cold days and need to get across campus. Signage is available throughout to help you find your way.
The Aquatron system provides a flow-through seawater system to labs on eight floors in the LSC/Steele Ocean Sciences Building. We also have access to a 15-metre pool tank, a 10-metre deep tower tank, and 15 environmentally controlled wet labs with aquarium space.
Pool tank: The Aquatron laboratory features a 684,000-litre pool tank which is 15.24 metres in diameter and 3.54 to 3.91 metres deep. It often has different types of fish in it, but every now and then you can spot a mermaid swimming happily in the water (for real!).
Tower tank: This research apparatus is unique in Eastern Canada. The specially designed cylindrical tank is 10.64 metres deep and 3.66 metres in diameter with an approximate water volume of 117,000 litres. This tank is ideal for research requiring depth and stratification.
Housed in the Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science in the Sir James Dunn Building in Halifax, the Planetarium was originally bought around 1955 by the Nova Scotia Museum. The heart of the Planetarium is the projector—an impressive instrument that projects images of the stars, from a magnitude of 2 to 4, as well as the Andromeda Galaxy and star clusters, on its 24-ft diameter dome. It's the oldest planetarium in Canada—a fact that all the knobs and dials on the projector can attest to.
Signs inside the building lead you to the Planetarium. Bookings, by appointment only, can be made through the NS Museum or the Dept. of Physics and Atmospheric Science.
The Agricultural Campus features a state-of-the-art Aquaculture Centre in the Haley Building that houses the resources required to nurture fish, grow algae, and manage water quality, among other projects. Inside you’ll find many different types of fish, shell organisms, and much more!
The Agricultural Campus launched its official ring, the barley ring, in 2010. The design features a textured pattern of barley around the band and each ring is handmade by local artisan Donna Hiebert. The barley pattern represents an essential element of agriculture as barley has been a widely planted and harvested crop in Nova Scotia since the earliest times and it was one of the first crops planted on the Agricultural Campus in 1890. Only graduating students can buy one, so they're worn proudly by Aggie alumni!
The Thomas McCulloch Museum consists primarily of a collection of mounted birds that were prepared by Thomas McCulloch in the early 1800s. Housed in a glass-walled hall within the Biology Department in the LSC, these specimens are mounted in the Audubon Style and ready access is provided to researchers in science, history and even art studies. Tucked in between the bird cases, lie collections of fossils, seashells, beetles, mushrooms, butterflies and aquarium fish.
The Collins Building on the Agricultural Campus is home to a beautiful indoor oasis of plants and a small fish pond that also houses two turtles who roam freely through the building. These turtles have a mind of their own! Stop by to take in the serenity of the building and you may be lucky enough to have some unexpected company!
The Dal Bike Centre
Don't you hate it when you're cycling to class and your bike gets a flat? Have no fear, drop by the Dal Bike Centre in the Studley Gym in Halifax!
Take advantage of the tools and parts to help you maintain your bike while Centre volunteers walk you through doing all types of maintenance
Don't have a bike? The Centre offers free short-term rentals—all you need is your DalCard! Make sure you check the current hours of operation on the Centre's Facebook page.
The Community Gardens
The Community Garden on the Agricultural Campus brings together students, staff, and people from the local community with a range of experience growing food. During the growing season, the garden is vibrant and busy featuring nearly 40 plots, where each member pays a fee of $20 per plot. The coordinator position is always held by a student and is organized by the Dalhousie Agricultural Students’ Association (DASA). Do you have a green thumb? This may be a perfect position for you! In Halifax, there's also a small community garden on Henry Street, behind the Computer Science building.
T-Room Trivia night
This is a great reason to venture to the Sexton Campus. The T-Room Trivia on a Friday night is legendary and a must-do for every Dal student. Tucked away in the gymnasium building, the T-Room is a three-time winner of Best Student Hangout by The Coast, and has been named Best Trivia Night for five of the past six years! The trivia's great, but so are the live bands, movie nights, and the relaxing vibe that makes it a great place to unplug from homework stress.
The Shirreff Hall ghost
Legend has it that when Shirreff Hall opened at the top of Studley Campus in 1923, staff used to live in the annex, a residence space above the kitchen, also known as the “servants’ quarters.” Penelope—a student in some versions of the tale and a worker in others—fell in love with a professor. When she became pregnant and he refused to help her, she hanged herself in the bell tower. As the story goes, she’s been there ever since...