The Nova Scotia Archives has an amazing resource available to researches on their website called the Built Heritage Guide. If you own a house and want to know how to go about researching its history, figuring out what resources are available and so on this is the place to go.
One of the coolest things, at least to me, that is available in this research guide are scanned copies of various Real Estate Guides which much like the magazines and Real Estate channel today provided residents and interested persons with information about what was available for sale, rent, lease, etc. in Halifax.
The oldest register available on the website is from 1877 which you can view page by page here.
Going through this register you can see what was available for sale, rent and so on in the Old North End and its an interesting look at how much things cost and what people could buy. Some examples are:
– “A comfortable Family Residence at the North End, containing 12 rooms, pantry, etc., with stables and outhouses. Rent $400.”
– “That very eligible residence on Brunswick street, corner Proctor’s Lane, contains 14 rooms, with panties, closets, etc., large garden, croquet lawn, stables, coach house, etc. The house is built with all modern improvements, and is one of the best houses in North End. Rent $500.
– “Large House on Gottingen street near North street, contains 14 rooms with usual offices, and has large garden, stable and barn. Will be rented for $240.
– “A House in Gottingen street, containing 7 rooms, and kitchen and frost-proof cellar. Rent $240 per annum. Possession immediately.”
– “A Shop and dwelling in North End. To a good tenant would be put in thorough repair. The Railway extension being in close proximity, this should offer a good chance for a new beginner. Rent $200.”
– “A shop 30 x 25 on Gottingen Street, with work room of same size above. Suitable for market or factory. Rent $160.”
The above entries are just a smattering of the listings available in this register and they provide a valuable amount of information about the housing market in Halifax in the middle of the last half of the 19th Century. Canadian inflation calculators only go back to 1914, however, if we assumed the money was in US dollars $4,000 in 1877 would represent a value of about $85,000 in 2012. Interesting, eh?