Extra Italianate – Octagon House

Our recent look at Italianate Architecture missed one unique, but unfortunately now gone, example. This octagonal villa style was popular between 1850 and 1870. The idea behind octagonal building originated with American phrenologist and amateur architect Orson Fowler, who wrote the book "A Home For All Ages". He cited the more perfect shape of the… Read More

Italianate Halifax 1850-1870

The Italianate style was common in Canada from 1850-1870. It was particularly popular for commercial buildings in Halifax, possibly due to a number of large fires requiring reconstructing entire blocks of the city. The main identifying features of the style include: flat or low sloping roofs symmetrical, with a slightly protruding central section cornices quoins… Read More

The Founding of Halifax

Halifax was founded in 1749 as a result of Louisbourg being handed back to the French in 1748. The American colonies, led by Governor William Shirley of Massachusetts, wanted a buffer between them and the French, as did the Board of Trade and Plantations, led by Lord Halifax, whose job it was to advise the… Read More

Georgian Architecture in Halifax 1749-1840

The Georgian style of architecture is very common in early Halifax buildings. The style's name is derived from the period it was most popular, during the reigns of Kings George I, George II, George III and George IV – roughly the period between 1720 and 1840. The style, however, is also frequently mixed with Palladian… Read More

The Halifax Archives Photo Collection

Recently the Halifax Archives made a vast collection of photos available from the '50s and '60s. The CBC reports: "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… Read More

#4 Fire Station

Located on Bedford Row at the corner of Prince Street, the No 4. Engine House was built to replace an older station also on Bedford Row, that in 1905 was declared unfit for men to live in by the Fire Chief. In May 1904, City Council: "Resolved, that the City Engineer be and is hereby… Read More

The Buildings of Africville

Recently the former residents of Africville have re-launched a suit for compensation for lost property. This seemed like a good time to release a work in progress. I ran through minutes of council meetings from the 1960s and recorded the owners and compensation paid to each resident. I cannot claim to be an expert in… Read More

Centennial Project – Part 1

Canada celebrated its 100th birthday 50 years ago, in 1967. To commemorate the event, the Federal government offered funding for civic projects across the country. The result was a legacy of centennial arenas, museums, and even a UFO landing pad built across the country to commemorate Canada’s birthday. In August 1964 the City of Halifax’s… Read More

Mulgrave Park

Mulgrave Park was one of the direct results of the Central Redevelopment Area land clearance scheme. It was specifically developed to house the displaced people from this area. Mulgrave Park itself began as a large estate in the north end. It was destroyed in the Halifax Explosion and sat as vacant land, until it was… Read More