Part VI- St. David’s Church

St. David’s Church stands at the corner of Grafton and Blowers Streets in downtown Halifax. The intersection is colloquially known as ‘Pizza Corner’ since (until very recently) the other three corners were occupied by pizza parlours catering to the late night bar crowd (The King of Donairs location across from St David’s [just beyond the right hand fringe of both photographs] shut down about two months ago, and nothing has yet to take its place). The church itself  hasn’t changed much in eight years, making it very difficult to find even minor differences. I elected to write a post about it anyways, if only to make a remark about the trees in the front churchyard.

The two shots were shot on the same day, eight years apart, and one can see that while in 2004, they were just getting their spring foliage, in 2012 they were pretty close to being fully leafed out.  Summer has been coming earlier and earlier since I’ve been in Nova Scotia. Indeed, this year leaves started appearing in early May, a full two weeks ahead of schedule. So while this pair of shots shows only very minor differences in the scenes depicted, it nevertheless implies that much bigger changes may well be afoot elsewhere. 

Part V: St Mary’s Basilica/Maritime Centre 

The 2004 pictures in this series were shot when I was in town for a few days in order to find a place to live. I’d been to Halifax once as a small child, but these pictures are a record of my first impressions of the city as an adult. Aside from pictures of a few apartments, most of the shots are fairly touristy. I remember being taken with the way the white stone spire of St. Mary’s Basilica complimented/clashed with the white concrete of the Maritime Centre. In order to get both buildings in shot, I needed to tip the camera back quite a ways. In recreating the shot, I had some trouble getting the angle right (this is probably because I was using a different camera).

In any case, there are very few changes to be seen here. The major difference is that Aliant Communications is now known as BellAliant, and its sign at the top of the Maritime Centre has been altered accordingly. It should be noted, however, that the next few years may see considerable changes afoot. The parking lot in the foreground of both shots has recently been sold by the church, and there are plans to redevelop the property.

Part IV- Blowers Street

Blowers Street is a short street running down the hill from the Spring Garden Road area into downtown. As these pair of shots indicate, its seen a few changes over the past eight years, even if they haven’t been as dramatic as those in other areas of the city. The white building on the left hand side of the 2004 shot has been completely renovated, with the addition of a fourth story and a new, brown, facade. It used to the be the home of I Love Sushi and the Hungry Chili, with apartments on the second and third floors. The apartments have given way to the new location of Bahn Thai (which used to be located just of Spring Garden Road) and the site of Hungry Chili is now a poutine joint. Pro Skates (in the green and red stucco building on the left of both shops) decamped for Quinpool almost two years ago. The building is currently vacant, awaiting likely demolition (as a part of the redevelopment of the adjoining Church lands). 

The white building on the right side of both shots, was the home of Opa!, a greek restaurant. The restaurant is still a going concern, in the same location and under the same management, but under a new name. When the restaurant became a chain, it changed its name to Ela!, so as to avoid a conflict with another eatery which had trademarked the original name. The revised sign can be seen just on the inside of the streetlamp in the 2012 shot. 

Otherwise, the changes are fairly minor: there’s a new awning on the Subway at the corner of Argyle, and banners advertising the Halifax Tattoo now adorn the light standards. For several months this year, the street was one-way downhill only, but it reverted to two-way traffic shortly before the new photo was taken.  

Part 3- Halifax Memorial Library

In June of 2004, on the verge of starting my PhD, I came to Halifax to find a place to live. It was my first visit to the city as an adult. During my four days in the city, I shot a number of photos. In June of 2012, having completed my degree, and with my future in the city uncertain, I attempted to recreate some of the photos from that first trip. 

Here are a pair of shots that betray only subtle differences between 2004 and 2012. Somewhere along the line, the library (or more likely the city parks department) decided to stop maintaining the shrubs and flower beds in front of the building. It could be that this a rather recent change, in that the Library will be moving across the street to a new building being constructed on the site of the old Halifax Infirmary. Despite the fact that the move has been in the works for some time, and despite the fact that a comparison of the two shots betrays no major differences, the exterior of the old building was extensively restored over the last couple of years. It is not yet certain what will become of the building once the new library opens in a couple of years, though I have heard that development on the site is severely constrained because it sits atop an old graveyard. Still, I suspect the next 8 years will bring more changes than the last. 

(Explanation of the project below, see also previous post)

Here’s a shot that features another one of the buildings torn down during my time in Halifax. The Reid-Sweet camera store on Blowers St had already closed by the time I took the original picture. It was torn down within my first few months in town. Next door was Pineau’s Cafe, a small restaurant on the ground floor of an old house. It shut down about 3 to 4 years ago, and has yet to be replaced with anything. The building on the left hand side of both pictures was (in the original shot) home to Carsand-Mosher Photographic Supplies. It left downtown a couple of years ago and the building has since been renovated and subdivided (the banners in the more recent photo advertise an outdoor clothing company). The light standard in the right foreground of the original picture has also been removed. These changes notwithstanding, the focus of both photos, the Renaissance clothing store, remains in business, its building largely unaltered. 

In June of 2004, on the verge of starting my PhD, I came to Halifax to find a place to live. It was my first visit to the city as an adult. During my four days in the city, I shot a number of photos. In June of 2012, having completed my degree, and with my future in the city uncertain, I attempted to recreate some of the photos from that first trip. 

In June of 2004, on the verge of starting my PhD, I came to Halifax to find a place to live. It was my first visit to the city as an adult. During my four days in the city, I shot a number of photos. In June of 2012, having completed my degree, and with my future in the city uncertain, I attempted to recreate some of the photos from that first trip. 

To start this project, I chose a pair of shots which reveal some of the more dramatic changes to downtown Halifax in the past 8 years. In this case, whole buildings are missing. The Old Halifax Infirmary (the yellow brick building behind the tree on the left of the original shot) was torn down during my first year in Halifax. The site stood empty for most of the intervening time, though work has now started on the new downtown branch of the Halifax Library. On the right side of the original shot, one can see that another building has disappeared, namely the house between the bank building on the corner (empty when the original shot was taken, and now home to a Starbucks and the Halifax Film Commission) and what is now (as of a couple of months ago) the downtown home of the Chickenburger. That house had been home to a wool store and was eventually torn down a couple of years ago. Its site is now the parking lot for the Chickenburger. The bank building on the corner has also been slightly expanded, with the second story now running the entire length of the building. Minor changes include a new traffic light/pedestrian signal configuration, and the addition of a new telephone/hydro pole at the site of vanished house. 

(Source: itswalky)

Berliner Dom and Radio Tower on Flickr.
Beach on Flickr.

Beach on Flickr.

TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB | COME BACK HOME (by twodoorcinemaclub)