An Open Letter to Halifax Council.

To Mayor Savage and HRM Councilors,
If there is one thing that recent history has shown, HRM residents care deeply about the look and feel of their city. When Starfish Properties painted over the Morris Teas signage on their building, the outrage from the Public was Swift and Strong. Many wondered how Starfish can be allowed to deface such a prominent protected structure. (when entering the downtown via the Barrington/Hollis corridor It is the most prominent structure) A development agreementB has now been recommended for approval by the Heritage committee to replace the signageB with a modern sensitive alternative.

To be clear, I agree with the contents of the report. Starfish has a valid concern that their building is Advertising and existing brand, and buildings should be allowed to change and adapt, and the alteration is keeping with the character of the previous signage. That said, when council Approves this recommendation, they should levy the maximum fine allowed for violating the act in the first place.

A few blocks away, a woman erected a fence in her yard at the 12 apostles. Built to protect her children’s play area, it is sensitive to the construction methods and materials of the structure, and, most impoortantly, it is not a substantial alteration to the structure itself. – certainly the only outraged people appear to be HRM Staff.

To pursue with vigor a detached fence, located out of the way, as a substantial alteration to a registered site, while allowing the actual alteration of one of the most significant land mark downtown buildings to go unpunished is unfair and wrong. Furthermore, failure to levy a significant fine under the act will embolden other property owners to disregard the act, based on this precedence.

-Peter Ziobrowski and

The Staff Report on Starfish Properties Proposal is located at We Wrote about the 12 Apostles in July. this structure is also known as the Churchfield Barracks. See also this Spacing Atlantic Piece which also Agrees with this.
This post is an expansion of this forum post I made yesterday.

About the author


BuiltHalifax delves into architectural history and theory with a local slant. Produced by Peter Ziobrowski, it is the sister project to