Defining the Old North End of Halifax

The North End of Halifax, Nova Scotia is an eclectic neighbourhood that today is a mix of old late 19th and early 20th century buildings and newer condominiums and warehouses forever divided from the rest of down town Halifax by the Cogswell Interchange which was built in the late 1960s. This neighbourhood was once a bustling community where people lived above shops and businesses, where two movie theatres existed between cafes and diners, where once as many as ten different denominations built their houses of worship and whose spires towered over the houses and streets below. Today the community is coming out of nearly forty years of urban renewal efforts gone awry, mass relocation of his population and economic depression. Today this neighbourhood is half the size it was 50 years ago but its urban character is still very much alive.

The Old North End for the purposes of this blog is defined by the neighbourhoods which exist today between North Park/Agricola Streets as a Western boundary, North Street to the North, The Harbour on the Eastern side and Cogswell Street to the South. However, the old boundaries of this neighbourhood stretched a little bit further South along Brunswick Street to Duke Street and East toward the Harbour – most of this neighbourhood was razed in the 1950s and 1960s to make way for the development of Scotia Square and the Cogswell Interchange.

The goal of this blog is to tell the stories of the people, buildings, streets, and events that make up this neighbourhood’s history. Another important aspect of this blog is to provide comment on the things that are taking place today, that are reshaping the characteristic of the neighbourhood and provide insight into how these changes add to, come from and help to continue the rich history of this place. As a resident of the Old North End I walk the streets of this neighbourhood every day and as I look at the houses and buildings I always wonder who lived here, what did they do, what was this neighbourhood like? Without the ability to go back in time the only avenue available to me to help answer these questions is to dig into the archives and libraries of this city and see what stories are hidden inside.

Thank you for coming to this blog and for reading my posts. I look forward to sharing these stories with you. I hope that these stories will inspire someone to get to know where they live a little better and to become a little bit more familiar with where they live. I hope to have some guest submissions from authors, historians, genealogists, politicians, etc. who work in, walk through or just generally find this area of Halifax interesting.

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5 thoughts on “Defining the Old North End of Halifax

  1. Howdy! Heard your piece on CBC Mainstreet – sounded great! I also have lots of interest in this part of town.

    Could you please correct the link in the footnotes on 2112 Gottingen Street, to read http://gay.hfxns.org/ (no www.) ?? Thanks!

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