TPFG Background

The Friends of the Public Gardens (TFPG) became a registered society in 1984. TPFG’s mandate is to encourage and support: the preservation and conservation of heritage features; protection of the ecological and cultural integrity; and education and promotion of the Halifax Public Gardens for the ongoing enjoyment of the general public.

The Halifax Public Gardens enjoy remarkably high visitation from both residents of Nova Scotia and visitors to the province. In 2013, at the Tourism Summit hosted by the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia (TIANS), the Friends received the Parks Canada Sustainable Tourism Crystal Award of Excellence.

The TPFG annually holds The Jarvis Lecture, a public education event on garden related topics, named for Gardens’ benefactor, Mary Margaret Jarvis.

Weekly free public tours of The Gardens from May through November is provided by
a TPFG Member.

In 2011 through 2012, The Friends launched the Victoria Jubilee Campaign to fulfil their commitment to contribute $200,000.00 towards the restoration of the iconic Victorian artifacts, the historic Bandstand and the Victoria Jubilee Fountain, in partnership with HRM and Canadian Heritage.

For the city’s October 2012 festival, Nocturne, Art-at-Night, TPFG hosted an event that allowed the public to enjoy the Gardens at night. The restored Victoria Jubilee Fountain was unveiled and the public were regaled with spectacular colour-changing lights dancing to Haydn’s Water Music. Halifax’s 2012 Poet Laureate wrote and recited a poem for the occasion. At the same time a history of the Gardens’ memorable events since 1836 was presented on large screens mounted on the Bandstand.

The book The Halifax Public Gardens, published by TPFG in 2008, was very well received and sold out by early 2013. During 2012-13, the Board of Directors conducted research to produce an accurate map of the Gardens’ current horticultural features. This enabled The Friends to publish a separate Pocket Guide and a revised edition of The Halifax Public Gardens book in September 2013. It is available online at and in some local bookstores.

In 2016, the Suellen Murray Educational Bursary was established and is awarded annually
for projects related and beneficial to the Halifax Public Gardens.

Our website and social media, ie: Facebook, Twitter, are maintained by Members, providing phenomenal visitation for visitors and world-wide audiences with a superb visual and informative online garden experience.


TPFG is investigating the potential for the reactivation of the Halifax Public Gardens Protection Act which was passed in 1993, but never proclaimed.

The TPFG Board members are all volunteers:

Barbara Bickle
Judith Cabrita

Barbara Carleton
Joan Dawson
Karen Guenther
Claire Halstead
Joan Harbison
Donald Arthur Marks
Janet Murray
Henri Dominique Paratte
Janice Stuthard
Colin Stuttard – Past Chair
Dwayne Tattrie

Positions are decided by Board Members between June and September.