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  #481  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2017, 3:48 PM
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Originally Posted by fenwick16 View Post
Does anyone have any information on this building (when it was built, when it was torn down). The image below is along George Street, it is the building on the harbour side of the current AGNS Building, to the right of the "Players Please" sign).

Customs House - Noticed in NS
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  #482  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2017, 4:23 PM
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Thank you. Very interesting details, too bad it was torn down.
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  #483  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2017, 5:38 PM
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Originally Posted by fenwick16 View Post
Very interesting, especially the Metro Centre construction photos.

Where was the Halifax arena, and when was it torn down (or does it still exist?)
is this not the Olympic Gardens on Cunard?
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  #484  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2017, 6:55 PM
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Very interesting, especially the Metro Centre construction photos.

Where was the Halifax arena, and when was it torn down (or does it still exist?)
It was on Shirley St., where some unremarkable apartments are now. https://goo.gl/maps/NWjKwHYhRHG2

I believe (but am not certain) it was demolished in the late 1950s, possibly early 1960s. Apparently it was very decrepit at the end.

It is mentioned here:

http://halifaxbloggers.ca/noticedinn...the-apartment/

Last edited by Keith P.; Mar 30, 2017 at 7:13 PM.
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  #485  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2017, 9:27 PM
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Thanks for the information on the Halifax arena.
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  #486  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2017, 9:42 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Interesting, Keith.

Here's a mention of it from the Sept. 13, 1956 council meeting in the discussion about rezoning for Ben's Bakery (page 6):
Quote:
Down the street you have the Arena.
It was condemned when I played hockey years ago. Now the termites have taken over and that might be a garage
And another mention on page 7:
Quote:
I don't think the properties on Shirley Street are the
choicest in the Halifax residential district. I think a lot of people on
Shirley Street across from the Arena bought land and built because of the price.
I didn't see it named as "Halifax Arena" in the document, but it seems to fit your description.

Source

Reading the minutes, it becomes quite clear that nimbyism was alive and well, even in 1956. Also, I get the impression that the discussion was quite lively, and perhaps even entertaining on some level.

As an aside, the name Ben Moir came up in several parts of the discussion. After a quick internet search I discovered that Ben's bakery originated from the same family that founded Moir's Chocolates. Perhaps it's common knowledge, but for some reason that tidbit of information had managed to escape me all these years.

From an article in the Chronicle Herald:
Quote:
When Ben’s closes, a huge slice of Nova Scotia’s food manufacturing history will go with it.

Ben’s is the last remnant of the food empire created by Scottish immigrant Alexander Moir, who arrived in Halifax in 1790. He opened a small bakery on Brunswick Street, below Citadel Hill, to supply the British Army’s insatiable appetite for bread.

By 1896, says the company website, William Church Moir’s factory had 260 workers producing 11,000 loaves of bread daily, along with 500 types of sweets and candies. Ben Moir set up Ben’s Bakery in 1907.

The confectionary business developed into Moirs chocolates, a fixture in the Halifax area. U.S. parent company Hershey put 560 people out of work in 2007 when it closed the former Moirs plant in Dartmouth, building a new plant in Mexico.
http://halifax.ca/archives/HalifaxCi...25p612-724.pdf
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  #487  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2017, 12:52 AM
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Those HRM archives are a great find.

I guess this is mostly preaching to the choir, but it's regrettable how many great heritage buildings were lost. In those photos there are 4 or 5 buildings like Morse's Teas that have since been demolished, and a whole bunch of 4-6 storey brick and stone office blocks. Instead of the big redevelopment plans of the 1950's and 60's, it would have been better to do more piecemeal redevelopment and heritage preservation. Downtown could have still had lots of new buildings, and traffic would have been no worse than now.

We're still making more or less the same mistakes with the demolition of buildings like BMO or the former Maritime Life at Spring Garden and Queen. In the future people will wonder why that was torn down, and it turns out there isn't really a good reason other than poor planning. There's a bunch of empty land a block away.
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  #488  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2017, 11:33 AM
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Those HRM archives are a great find.

I guess this is mostly preaching to the choir, but it's regrettable how many great heritage buildings were lost. In those photos there are 4 or 5 buildings like Morse's Teas that have since been demolished, and a whole bunch of 4-6 storey brick and stone office blocks. Instead of the big redevelopment plans of the 1950's and 60's, it would have been better to do more piecemeal redevelopment and heritage preservation. Downtown could have still had lots of new buildings, and traffic would have been no worse than now.

We're still making more or less the same mistakes with the demolition of buildings like BMO or the former Maritime Life at Spring Garden and Queen. In the future people will wonder why that was torn down, and it turns out there isn't really a good reason other than poor planning. There's a bunch of empty land a block away.

While there are certainly a few buildings in those pictures that would have been nice to preserve, what struck me in scrolling through the collection is just how awful a good part of downtown actually was in the 1960s. It was a great refresh of memories that were stored away in my mind from my very young years driving through the area with my parents. It was mostly very old. run-down, dirty, ramshackle wooden buildings of one sort of another, combined with some very utilitarian and uninteresting newer buildings. Even the older ones of more character were in dire need of maintenance or repair and were not desirable places. The only real value was in the land. Nobody saw any great value or reason to keep those structures and there was a general feeling that Halifax needed to move on with the times. Of course we got that wrong too, pulling out before the job could be completed and left with a downtown that is a mishmash of newer and older which is difficult to get to and from.
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  #489  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2017, 10:50 AM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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There's an article about the newly-online archive photos on the CBC website:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-s...960s-1.4051542

Quote:
Photos chronicle casualties of Halifax urban development
Many low-income families were displaced for Scotia Square, Cogswell Interchange construction
By Cassie Williams, CBC News Posted: Apr 02, 2017 9:00 AM AT Last Updated: Apr 02, 2017 9:00 AM AT

A series of newly digitized photographs at the Halifax Municipal Archives chronicles the urban renewal projects that transformed Halifax in the mid-20th century and the side effects that went along with them.

The city's razing of the community of Africville in the 1960s is the most notorious example of displacing people for the purpose of development, but there were others.

Many other homes and businesses were torn down during the 1950s and 1960s in the name of urban renewal for projects such as Scotia Square and the Cogswell Interchange.

Sharon Murray, photo archivist with the Halifax Municipal Archives, spent months digitizing more than 4,000 photographs from that time.

"These images, while they do represent this significant period in Halifax's history — fairly large-scale urban renewal project — they also capture everyday life as it was in the 50s and 60s," Murray told CBC's Mainstreet.

"They really show us something about Halifax as it doesn't look today."

She said between the beginning of 1958 and March 31, 1965, 2,539 buildings were torn down in Halifax, about 1,800 of which were homes.

Building inspectors were tasked with assessing building conditions, taking photographs and presenting their findings to the committee on works.

"They had no professional photographic training yet the images are well executed," said Murray.

"Usually you see some of the siding is often either worn or sometimes falling off … lots of foundations that are crumbling, roofs that are caving in, clear signs of neglect to these buildings and yet they're still inhabited."

Building inspectors were told to find the buildings that didn't meet code. They'd then submit their reports to the committee on works, who would evaluate the reports and hold public hearings for any buildings slated for demolition. The buildings would then be torn down within a period of 30 days to six months — at the owner's expense.

"It was clear as you read through the committee on works minutes, it was clear that they too were struggling with the ethics of some of what they were doing because they were displacing low-income families and most of these families didn't have an alternative low-income rental option," said Murray.

Housing developments such as Mulgrave Park weren't finished yet.

"The more I learned, the harder of a pill it was to swallow in some ways," she said.

"To see these people living their lives but also knowing that shortly after these photographs were taken they were displaced from their homes."

Murray said she has mixed feelings about the project and what was done to some of the people who lived in the razed buildings.

"It was bittersweet. After spending four months with these images everyday, I felt like I got to know this city as it was in the 50s and 60s and the people that lived in these buildings, and it certainly makes me sad," said Murray.


Between the beginning of 1958 and March 31, 1965, 2,539 buildings were torn down in Halifax, about 1,800 of which were homes. (Halifax Municipal Archives)

The project is funded by the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage through the provincial archival development program.

The photographs are available on Halifax Municipal Archives website.
The article raises some significant points about all those people who were essentially evicted from their homes with few options for relocation. One has to think that in a situation where every building is being torn down in a particular area, that yes there were some buildings that were beyond repair and unsafe, but I'm sure there were many that were not.

Also, in browsing the online photos there are many businesses that appeared to be doing well, that would have been evicted or shut down. I'm wondering how that was worked out in terms of compensation and relocation.

I'm sure that something like this on such a large scale wouldn't be allowed to happen today - makes me wonder what kind of Kool Aid they were all drinking to get those in charge to buy into it.
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  #490  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2017, 11:52 AM
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If a business cannot afford to maintain their building then they are not a profitable enterprise. As for the residences, it was the same method used in the case of Africville. A govt with laws on the books about building safety and health cannot afford to ignore them just because the occupant does not think they are important enough.
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  #491  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2017, 1:23 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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This is probably not worth a lengthy debate as it's now ancient history in the political/development world. However, while most certainly some of the cases fall under the category you presented, it's improbable that 100% of the properties located within those boundaries were unsafe and non-repairable - especially in light of the fact that this was a wholesale clearing of neighborhoods in order to to make land available for a large project being pushed by the government.

One can also question why, if the properties were actually unsafe, did the city wait to act on only after it had a large project that it wanted to move forward? It certainly raises some ethical questions about forcing their will upon the very part of society least able to defend themselves from it.

Regarding businesses, those who didn't own the businesses would not have been responsible for the maintenance of their buildings - that would have been the responsibility of their landlords. Additionally, it's not obvious that all of those buildings were unsafe or uninhabitable - in fact there is a large percentage of them that appear to be in reasonable condition from the photos.

Lots of questions here, and none have been answered. Likely none will be as I'm sure most of the people who were involved are no longer with us, aren't talking about it, or have some vision of the past that is skewed by their personal prejudices...
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  #492  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2017, 1:25 PM
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Interesting to compare many of the old houses that were demolished with the renovated houses on Bauer Street and the South end of Faulkland St; many of the renovated houses were in rough shape 20 years ago.
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  #493  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2017, 6:44 PM
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Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
This is probably not worth a lengthy debate as it's now ancient history in the political/development world. However, while most certainly some of the cases fall under the category you presented, it's improbable that 100% of the properties located within those boundaries were unsafe and non-repairable - especially in light of the fact that this was a wholesale clearing of neighborhoods in order to to make land available for a large project being pushed by the government.

One can also question why, if the properties were actually unsafe, did the city wait to act on only after it had a large project that it wanted to move forward? It certainly raises some ethical questions about forcing their will upon the very part of society least able to defend themselves from it.

Regarding businesses, those who didn't own the businesses would not have been responsible for the maintenance of their buildings - that would have been the responsibility of their landlords. Additionally, it's not obvious that all of those buildings were unsafe or uninhabitable - in fact there is a large percentage of them that appear to be in reasonable condition from the photos.

Lots of questions here, and none have been answered. Likely none will be as I'm sure most of the people who were involved are no longer with us, aren't talking about it, or have some vision of the past that is skewed by their personal prejudices...
My thoughts: http://halifaxbloggers.ca/builthalif...to-collection/.
Slum clearance and removal of blighted areas was actually done as a progressive social movement, with the thought that it would improve health and education outcomes, reduce crime, and welfare cases, all of which were funded by the city at that time. Uniacke Square, Mulgrave park, and the Bayers road housing development were all projects built to rehome the displaced in appropriate safe and healthy housing - unfortunately they displaced more people then they provided space to re-home.

this was done in the best interests of the citizens and to help take care of people who were unable to take care of themselves.


also consider that a portion of the rundown state could be attributed to the war - materials shortages and rapid population growth hampered maintenance, and led to inadequate housing stock remaining in service.
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  #494  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2017, 7:50 PM
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Interesting to compare many of the old houses that were demolished with the renovated houses on Bauer Street and the South end of Faulkland St; many of the renovated houses were in rough shape 20 years ago.
Exactly. I think we can assume the large majority of the masonry structures, even if they needed serious renovation, were structurally more or less fine. (Unless for some reason they were in vastly different shape than the buildings on Barrington or Granville or Hollis or elsewhere that have survived to this day).

Likewise, the state of the houses probably wouldn't have been too far off from that of the whole neighbourhood aove Cogswell. if you look at mid-century photos of streets like Agricola, Creighton, Maynard, Falkland, etc, they don't look particularly better than these "slum" photos, yet they've have been largely and in some cases nearly wholly restored and revitalized, with little to no building turnover. And it continues. I used to think 5525 Falkland was a teardown candidate, but look on Google streetview to see the restoration in the past 24 months.

It may seem pointless to debate the point now, but we still have discussions about what "can" or cannot be preserved and restored.
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  #495  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2017, 9:00 PM
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Something else to keep in mind is that huge sums of money went into building new public housing projects (that were mostly unsuccessful). Would it have been more efficient to fix what was there?
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  #496  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2017, 9:03 PM
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It is somewhat amusing the logic presented in these arguments about the clearing of slums in Halifax. They were considered SLUMS at the time and Halifax was known across Canada as a city with a lot of slums.
Just as Donald Trump makes a statement starting with 'Probably' and repeats it a few times until he thinks it is TRUE, so those posting here start with 'Probably' to state that they were not really slums. If you were not there, all the probably does not mean they were not slums. I remember the slums and they were deplorable . The same with Africville - they were slums and nobody should have been living in such disgrace conditions. My aunt would tell me about a slum on Cunard St which had dirt floors and was in such horrible condition that the inhabitant would go to jail every winter to keep warm.
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  #497  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2017, 9:32 PM
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It is somewhat amusing the logic presented in these arguments about the clearing of slums in Halifax. They were considered SLUMS at the time and Halifax was known across Canada as a city with a lot of slums.
Just as Donald Trump makes a statement starting with 'Probably' and repeats it a few times until he thinks it is TRUE, so those posting here start with 'Probably' to state that they were not really slums. If you were not there, all the probably does not mean they were not slums. I remember the slums and they were deplorable . The same with Africville - they were slums and nobody should have been living in such disgrace conditions. My aunt would tell me about a slum on Cunard St which had dirt floors and was in such horrible condition that the inhabitant would go to jail every winter to keep warm.
Exactly. It is quite easy to blame landlords and evil developers for what happened. The reality is that these buildings were largely worn out during WWII when Halifax's population doubled almost overnight. Other people were uneducated and could only do menial jobs if any at all. Many had no money for maintenance or repair of a building. Still others knew nothing other than squalor having grown up in it and had no desire to improve themselves. Their descendants live in public housing and still have no willingness or ability to keep their surroundings well-kept and respectable. The ability to rewrite history is not limited to those that support the clearance of slums, it appears.
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  #498  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2017, 10:07 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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I don't think that anybody is questioning that there were some really bad buildings for which the only reasonable outcome was to demolish them, nor do I think anybody is questioning whether the general intention of the activity was to improve the city.

However, anybody with even a remote sliver of objectivity in their being has to realize that when there is a mass demolition that takes place in a location for which a large redevelopment is proposed, there is a strong likelihood that 'good' buildings will be demolished in order to facilitate the project. Whether those owners were properly compensated for their loss is not common knowledge. Indications are that it didn't happen in all cases.

I was too young to remember it clearly nor to be privy to the processes involved, and thus have only the physical evidence presented in the form of photographs and existing buildings in nearby neighborhoods which managed to survive the 'urban renewal' fad. Perhaps some of our more senior members can relate their personal experiences and enlighten us to a greater extent.

20/20 hindsight tells many of us that perhaps we would have been better off if those projects hadn't been initiated in the first place, given the current state of affairs with Cogswell, etc., but we can't possibly know the outcome had it not occurred, since it is not our reality. We can discuss it, though.

My hope here is for an informative and objective discussion about it, without the injection of statements bordering on derision from some posters of other posters' opinions. It does nothing to advance the discussion.

IMHO, civil conversation without the 'barbs' is preferable, but not required, I suppose... The differing opinions are interesting, and perhaps informative in some cases. It's been good read, regardless...
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  #499  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2017, 4:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Ziobrop View Post
... Slum clearance and removal of blighted areas was actually done as a progressive social movement, with the thought that it would improve health and education outcomes, reduce crime, and welfare cases, all of which were funded by the city at that time. Uniacke Square, Mulgrave park, and the Bayers road housing development were all projects built to rehome the displaced in appropriate safe and healthy housing - unfortunately they displaced more people then they provided space to re-home...
In addition to not building enough, the designs for Uniake Square and Mulgrave park isolated inhabitants. The story of Pruitt Igoe (i.e. the "death" of Modernism) has echoes here in these places. I feel like modern ideas about good living were harmful to many forms of social networks...
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  #500  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2017, 6:44 PM
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Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
I don't think that anybody is questioning that there were some really bad buildings for which the only reasonable outcome was to demolish them, nor do I think anybody is questioning whether the general intention of the activity was to improve the city.

However, anybody with even a remote sliver of objectivity in their being has to realize that when there is a mass demolition that takes place in a location for which a large redevelopment is proposed, there is a strong likelihood that 'good' buildings will be demolished in order to facilitate the project. Whether those owners were properly compensated for their loss is not common knowledge. Indications are that it didn't happen in all cases.

I was too young to remember it clearly nor to be privy to the processes involved, and thus have only the physical evidence presented in the form of photographs and existing buildings in nearby neighborhoods which managed to survive the 'urban renewal' fad. Perhaps some of our more senior members can relate their personal experiences and enlighten us to a greater extent.

20/20 hindsight tells many of us that perhaps we would have been better off if those projects hadn't been initiated in the first place, given the current state of affairs with Cogswell, etc., but we can't possibly know the outcome had it not occurred, since it is not our reality. We can discuss it, though.

My hope here is for an informative and objective discussion about it, without the injection of statements bordering on derision from some posters of other posters' opinions. It does nothing to advance the discussion.

IMHO, civil conversation without the 'barbs' is preferable, but not required, I suppose... The differing opinions are interesting, and perhaps informative in some cases. It's been good read, regardless...
Maybe a block by block redevelopment would have been preferable in retrospect, but certainly (and I am even more convinced of this today now that additional pictures have been added to the archive) the majority of the buildings in the area were awful, run-down slums and needed to go. The more you look at the pictures the uglier and more unacceptable those buildings look. Whenever you get a new development of such size you are likely to have a few buildings that are somewhat better than the others that are casualties. I see very few Penn Station quality things in these pics though. Even the Pentagon Building, while somewhat unique, is clearly well past its prime when you look at those pics and in a very problematic spot.

I don't know where you get your comment about compensation being inadequate. Nobody has mentioned that before. Do you have evidence to back that up?

That gets to your latter comment about "civil" conversation, derision, and barbs. You have been quick to be critical of me but I notice you are a master at making passive-aggressive remarks about others who do not agree with you and making suggestions unsupported by facts that support your position. Your comments above are a good example of that. When you make a statement that the buildings should have been saved, some people are going to disagree. That is not a barb or being derisive, it is simply a different opinion. You cannot be so thin-skinned on a message board. Ask me how I know.
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