Noticed in the Counties

While looking through photos taken last month, I noticed a little theme: new public landscape elements, with thoughtful design, located in communities several counties distant from Halifax. Here are three examples. Mersey Skatepark In early June the Rhododendron Society did its annual garden tour, this year in the Liverpool area. One of the stops was… Read More

Stickers on Fruit

A couple of years ago I came upon a delightful Instagram account that posted pictures of fruit stickers. This was a bit shocking because noticing is what I do, and my impression was that fruit stickers were rubbish and not worth looking at. So I got a little notebook, that resides in the kitchen "junk"… Read More

Lift me up, don’t dumb me down

Halifax is not great at mourning old buildings that are knocked down, and is particularly unprepared to acknowledge the destruction of interesting structures that are not particularly ancient (i.e. younger than I am). Christian Science Reading Room Recently I received this tweet about the demolition of the Christian Science Reading Room and the attached First… Read More

A short walk in Athens

We visited Greece for the first time in April and it was good. The trip started and finished in Athens, so here are some images of the city, because, like us, you may only be able to conjure up the Acropolis. Air travel is amazing, but is by no means painless. The big new windows… Read More

Woven Wire Fences

Here's a little project for your summer adventures in our cultural landscapes. Take note of vintage, woven wire fences. They are not too common, but they crop up all over the province (and elsewhere on this continent), and can be delightfully decorative. Clementsvale, Annapolis… Read More


The other day on Twitter, Elizabeth Cushing posted an extraordinary blueprint for an apartment building on Oxford Street in Halifax. The plans were undated, but from the Harris and Horton architecture firm that was dissolved in 1926. I suspect the design dates somewhere around 1920. I also assume the apartment was not built. Twitter had… Read More

Fountains of Schlock

Tim Bousquet in the Halifax Examiner drew my attention to a tender that the city has issued for "Detailed Design: South African Memorial Fountain Rehabilitation." This is exciting news for fans of decorative cast iron (like myself), so I was distressed, but not surprised, that Tim's response was "blow the damn thing up." The fountain… Read More

Encounter at Kwacha House

Every few years I look at a National Film Board film called Encounter at Kwacha House. It's described as "a lively discussion between black and white youths at the interracial club in Halifax, touching on racial discrimination in employment, housing, education and interpersonal relations." I'd describe it as essential viewing, particularly at this moment when… Read More

Playing Bridge

Listen. Do you hear the wails of despair and anger from the thousands of commuters that use Quinpool Road everyday? The bridge over the railway cut is going to be repaired, and the road will be closed for four months. Lots of ideas are wafting around about how the project could have been planned better.… Read More

Meet you on the government wharf

These days there is lots of talk about place: place making in communities, and the importance of places that reflect our values, or places that inform our narrative. For Sheila and me, government wharves are such places, and we seek them out on our rambles around Nova Scotia. In many coastal communities, they are a… Read More