Skip to main content

When most people vacation in Nova Scotia, they are typically looking for seafood, good scenery and a chance to relax.

In fact, in the Bluenose province there are more worthwhile sites to see - such as the lush, tree-lined greenery of the historic Annapolis Valley and the incomparably picturesque waterfront of Peggy's Cove - than can be packed into a single trip.

But for travellers looking for something a bit different, there are a couple of little-known sites in Dartmouth and Halifax, related to a popular trio of local layabouts (best known for their unlawful antics and profane wisdoms) that may be worth checking out as well.

Yes, the stomping grounds of Ricky, Julian and Bubbles, also known as the Trailer Park Boys, the East Coast's beloved misfit Haligonians, are a hidden tourist destination for their fans.

In fact, nearly all the familiar sights of the fictional Sunnyvale Trailer Park and its surrounding community can be found on Dartmouth's eastern outskirts.

A gravel driveway off a nondescript country road leads visitors up a hill to the site closest to the Trailer Park Boys' heart - the trailer park itself. Impressively, the park has a scenic view of a farm that would not give away its seedy neighbour if not for a sign marking the presence of the decidedly counterculture TPB Productions Limited.

And while a no-trespassing sign warns visitors to stay out of Sunnyvale, the absence of fencing suggests most onlookers can take a quick peek and get away unscathed - likely without infamous trailer-park supervisor Jim Lahey getting a chance to throw the book at them.

The sights of the park reveal themselves quickly. The jail where the boys often end up cooling their heels between television seasons, as well as the school where Ricky "got his Grade 10" are immediately adjacent to the park.

The trailers, upon close inspection, are surprisingly beat up - even for those residing in a place celebrated for its ironic decor. Most windows are boarded up with plywood and the ones that aren't have been smashed. But the sea of pastel-coloured, tin-roofed dwellings will leave visitors with enough memorable photos to have made the trip worthwhile.

Unfortunately, when filming is not in session, there is no sign of the park's residents, derelict vehicles or even Ricky's doorless sedan along Sunnyvale's familiar curving roadway.

Closer to the centre of Dartmouth, at the otherwise generic Penhorn Mall Shopping Centre, one can visit the scene of the boys' most memorable get-rich-quick scams. It's the place where they and their crew of local undesirables broke into cars with candy cane-shaped crowbars in order to get Christmas gifts to resell and where Ricky once had a short-lived stint as a mall security guard.

It's also the spot where Bubbles collects his beloved shopping carts by hurling them down the side of the hill beside the mall - and, lo and behold, the discarded carts remain there in real life, in his hidden aluminum-source sanctuary below the parking lot.

And when these familiar hangouts have been exhausted, interested parties can cross the bridge to Halifax, where they can visit the Trailer Park-themed bar and restaurant known as Bubbles' Mansion.

The restaurant, which also carries the shopping-cart theme, has a googly-eyed display sign splashed across its front, as a homage to its thick-spectacled owner, Mike "Bubbles" Smith. It has a kitschy appeal that no doubt draws in both tourists and local patrons, who no doubt are Trailer Park fans as well. Located in a prime spot in the downtown core, it's an easy stroll from the city's trendy waterfront boardwalk area and its historic citadel.

A word to the wise, however: It serves more highfalutin menu items than might be expected from the typical Trailer Park Boys' diet of chicken fingers, hot dogs and cheap booze.

All in all, a visit to the sites of Trailer Park lore leaves its fans with a new-found connection to the on-the-rise East Coast comedians and a craving for the next season of their favourite - and very fowl-mouthed - TV show.

Interact with The Globe