A flock of Phoenix on Inglis Street

The last post took you inside this big, old house on Inglis Street, where we lived in the 1980s. I mentioned it had been one of a pair, but that the mirror image burned and the Resolutes Club occupied the site. Now I can tell that story in more visual detail.

After my post, Sharon Murray from the Halifax Municipal Archives directed me to photos taken in 1960 by City building inspectors to record the fire damage to our neighbour. What a discovery! It was instructive to see that our house, on the right, looked more decrepit than its burned-out sibling.

Halifax Municipal Archives photographic collection, 29 Inglis St. Apr. 29, 1960 (102-39-1-139.1)

This beautiful photo shows the burned house, several months after the fire, when it is being demolished, with apparent care. The roof had already been removed. The photo also reveals that back in the day we hadn’t yet learned how to close a sidewalk as we do so readily today.

Halifax Municipal Archives photographic collection 2461 Inglis St. Oct. 4, 1960 (102-39-1-963.1)

The Municipal Archives has a number of shots of the fire-ravaged interior. The  damaged stair on the left is interesting to compare to the equivalent on our side of the house.

Halifax Municipal Archives photographic collection 29 Inglis St. July 15, 1960 (102-39-1-140.3)

After the demolition, a long, narrow, one-story concrete block building was constructed on the site. Someone told me that it was built for a dry-cleaning business, but by the mid-60s it had morphed into a nightclub called the Flame. All I really know about the club is that it had a flaming gas jet on the front. In 1967, the building inspectors were back, and photographed the building that was now called the Inglis Lobstertrap Club, with what must be the brazier for the Flame still mounted on the roof. Sweet.

Halifax Municipal Archives photographic collection, 5461 Inglis St. Apr. 13, 1967 (102-39-1-144.3)

When we arrived in 1979, the building was home to the Newfoundland Club. The windows on the front had been closed in and covered with rustic shingles. Here I am in the late 80s, sweeping the sidewalk in front of our house and the club (because community spirit), which had changed hands once again, and was the new home of The Resolutes Club.

The Resolutes Amateur Athletic Club was incorporated in 1901 and is proud to be the oldest private members club in Nova Scotia. They were previously located somewhere in the North End, and soon made some quite attractive alterations to the facade of their new home. Street View shows flower-filled planters that are a far cry from the regular Saturday night fights we witnessed in the Newfoundland Club days.

While you’re here, let’s also look at the evolution of the convenience store next door to The Resolutes. I took this swell picture of People’s Groceries some time in the 70s. The windows display socks, mops and brooms, and “Men Only” magazines.

By 1980, the name had changed to Inglis Street Market, it was covered with aluminum siding, and there was another serious fire. Building inspectors and the Municipal Archives provide the evidence again. My vague memory of the fire is that it began in the shop area after the store had closed for the evening.

Halifax Municipal Archives photographic collection, 5465-67 Inglis St March, 1980 (102-39-1-958)

The rebuild was more interesting  than we expected . There was a curved entrance to the second floor apartments, and the shop front was recessed into the facade of the building. Street View shows it today, renamed Jerry’s Kwik Way.

So fire was the agent of change, as it has been in cities for centuries. And what I think of as new buildings are nearly 40 years old.


  • I don’t have an explanation for all the clubs that came and went next door to our house. The seaport was just a quick dash through the tunnel under the rail lines at the bottom of Inglis Street. (We called it the tunnel, the Pee Place because of the smell. If you made a quick dash you didn’t have to take a breath.) Perhaps there was a hope that sailors would be customers for the clubs. The Lighthouse Tavern around the corner on Barrington had “exotic dancers” that perhaps provided greater appeal.
  • The Lobster Trap Club reappeared in a very strange location on a lower level of the Trade Mart beside the ramp to the Cogswell Street Interchange. They too had a visit from building inspectors.

Halifax Municipal Archives photographic collection, 2021 Brunswick St., 1972 (102-39-1-545)



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.