A fragment of an earlier time

Friday evening we were walking down Dresden Row after a delicious meal at Efendy.  I paused to look at this pair of old Halifax style houses that feel more and more anachronistic every year. Sheila glanced over and said “there’s the entrance to the Tokay  Restaurant.” She was right. Running down the alley next to Moksha Yoga was the elegantly designed entrance to one of our few European style restaurants of the late 60s early 70s.


The structure has steel ribs supporting a “floating” canopy that projects out over the sidewalk.  It provided a lit, protected route to the Tokay’s entrance down the alley.

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In this photo from a 1976 guidebook you can see the end of the canopy between the buildings.  Astroffs Delicatessen was one of the only places in Halifax you could get European style meats and cheeses.  Every lunch hour there was a line up of people choosing plastic wrapped sandwiches from two bins at the front of the shop.

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The Tokay was operated by Hungarian emigrant Elizabeth Molcsan and closed about 1972.  I don’t recall what other businesses might have used their space.  It was instructive to see what care had been taken to turn an alleyway into an entrance experience and that somehow it had survived 40+ years.

Hummm. . .  This gives me an idea for a next blog  about other fragments that reference structures that are not there.


About the author

Stephen Archibald

It’s Stephen Archibald doing the noticing. I’m a huge fan of Nova Scotia’s material culture and cultural landscapes. Twitter (@Cove17 ) made me realize I could share what attracted my attention (perfect for my very short attention) and I’m gratified when folks enjoy my content. Pleased to meet you on the internet.