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someone123
Feb 26, 2015, 8:46 PM
I've always thought that the Historic Properties problems were really caused by Cogswell. It's a huge dead space that effectively cuts down dramatically on the density of the area.

eastcoastal
Feb 27, 2015, 2:08 AM
...

We would have been better off with the highway than the Disney-fied faux-historic waterfront we have now.

It would have been even more expensive to remove a whole highway.

ILoveHalifax
Feb 27, 2015, 9:15 AM
More than likely had the road been built along the waterfront connecting the MacKay to the North West Arm Bridge we would not be looking to remove it. It would have had a number of beautiful office buildings built on both sides by now and the waterfront would have been developed to be a very attractive part of the city.
We'd be missing Morses Tea and Historic Properties but it would probably work very effectively.
After all the Pacey Plan has its flaws as we know.
I suspect had the Pacey Plan not been put into effect we would not have the horrific traffic tie ups on Quinpool, Chebucto, Bayers, and Kempt.

Keith P.
Feb 27, 2015, 2:10 PM
More than likely had the road been built along the waterfront connecting the MacKay to the North West Arm Bridge we would not be looking to remove it. It would have had a number of beautiful office buildings built on both sides by now and the waterfront would have been developed to be a very attractive part of the city.
We'd be missing Morses Tea and Historic Properties but it would probably work very effectively.
After all the Pacey Plan has its flaws as we know.
I suspect had the Pacey Plan not been put into effect we would not have the horrific traffic tie ups on Quinpool, Chebucto, Bayers, and Kempt.

This is really my point. Though I cannot say whether the traffic on those streets would be better, if the original plan had gone forward we would be dealing with a far different set of issues today. We likely would have had an Arm Bridge and a very different downtown and mainland west suburb. It could be better or potentially worse but we just do not know. We have bought into the Pacey vision of what d/t ought to be without any real understanding of the alternatives.

someone123
Feb 27, 2015, 3:22 PM
This is really my point. Though I cannot say whether the traffic on those streets would be better, if the original plan had gone forward we would be dealing with a far different set of issues today. We likely would have had an Arm Bridge and a very different downtown and mainland west suburb. It could be better or potentially worse but we just do not know. We have bought into the Pacey vision of what d/t ought to be without any real understanding of the alternatives.

Many other cities implemented a Harbour Drive type of solution to traffic and regretted it though. Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland (OR), and Toronto are some examples. I don't know of any examples of a waterfront highway that is nice to spend time around and is surrounded by good development. They tend to be surrounded by parking lots and bunker-like buildings.

I do think there is/was a third way that rarely gets any attention in this polarized debate. It would have been possibly to build more bridges to the suburbs without touching much of the downtown area or South End. Even just the bridge over the Northwest Arm would have been a huge win, and it wouldn't necessarily have had to be connected to an extensive highway network on either end.

eastcoastal
Feb 27, 2015, 4:20 PM
More than likely had the road been built along the waterfront connecting the MacKay to the North West Arm Bridge we would not be looking to remove it. It would have had a number of beautiful office buildings built on both sides by now and the waterfront would have been developed to be a very attractive part of the city. ...

Maybe I'm just not very aware of any successful examples of harbourfront highways through cities. The only ones I hear about are ones that are being torn out because they're poor city-building moves. Could be just the way that urban design is framed these days, so I'd be interested in learning about some successful examples.

Know of any?

Drybrain
Feb 27, 2015, 4:41 PM
Maybe I'm just not very aware of any successful examples of harbourfront highways through cities. The only ones I hear about are ones that are being torn out because they're poor city-building moves. Could be just the way that urban design is framed these days, so I'd be interested in learning about some successful examples.

Know of any?

The only thing I can even think of that even remotely fits that bill is Havana's Malecon, and that's a VERY different city, and it's not really a highway so much as an arterial road. It's also a major pedestrian thoroughfare with vast sidewalks.

ILoveHalifax
Feb 27, 2015, 4:49 PM
I don't know what the original plan was but apparently it was not an elevated highway like the Gardner, as Cogswell is street level as it approaches downtown.
I would have hoped for a nice tree lined boulevard as in Fort Lauderdale.

OldDartmouthMark
Feb 27, 2015, 5:31 PM
I don't know what the original plan was but apparently it was not an elevated highway like the Gardner, as Cogswell is street level as it approaches downtown.
I would have hoped for a nice tree lined boulevard as in Fort Lauderdale.

This was the proposal dated May 31, 1963:

http://i59.tinypic.com/9foenl.jpg

Ziobrop
Feb 27, 2015, 6:12 PM
I don't know what the original plan was but apparently it was not an elevated highway like the Gardner, as Cogswell is street level as it approaches downtown.
I would have hoped for a nice tree lined boulevard as in Fort Lauderdale.

It was to be below grade - Like the Decarie expressway in Montreal.

See more over here:
http://halifaxbloggers.ca/builthalifax/2015/01/harbour-drive/

Drybrain
Feb 27, 2015, 6:35 PM
I don't know what the original plan was but apparently it was not an elevated highway like the Gardner, as Cogswell is street level as it approaches downtown.
I would have hoped for a nice tree lined boulevard as in Fort Lauderdale.

But consider the differences between Halifax and Fort Lauderdale:

1. Fort Lauderdale's waterfront isn't downtown, but three miles away from downtown.

2. Outside of the high-rise hotels, etc., it's a much more low-density, suburban style city than central Halifax, so auto-oriented infrastructure like this is more in keeping with their built environment.

3. Their highway connects to the greater Miami-Dade highway system, so traffic volumes make a highway a more justifiable use of waterfront land.

4. Fort Lauderdale sucks.

Keith P.
Feb 27, 2015, 7:58 PM
It was to be below grade - Like the Decarie expressway in Montreal.

See more over here:
http://halifaxbloggers.ca/builthalifax/2015/01/harbour-drive/

I think it would have been a real improvement.

It could have been made into something like this:

http://www.vox.com/2015/1/9/7520805/hamburg-highway

ILoveHalifax
Feb 27, 2015, 8:43 PM
But consider the differences between Halifax and Fort Lauderdale:

1. Fort Lauderdale's waterfront isn't downtown, but three miles away from downtown.

2. Outside of the high-rise hotels, etc., it's a much more low-density, suburban style city than central Halifax, so auto-oriented infrastructure like this is more in keeping with their built environment.

3. Their highway connects to the greater Miami-Dade highway system, so traffic volumes make a highway a more justifiable use of waterfront land.

4. Fort Lauderdale sucks.

To each their own. I like Fort Lauderdale, lived there for 17 years and will move there this summer again. It is my favorite city in the USA.

curnhalio
Feb 27, 2015, 9:46 PM
It was to be below grade - Like the Decarie expressway in Montreal.

See more over here:
http://halifaxbloggers.ca/builthalifax/2015/01/harbour-drive/

This is the first I've heard of the highway being below grade. I had heard that the "plaza" in front of the Supreme Court building was originally part of an overhead highway. Where would it have gone below grade? It would have been nice if they had explored a tunnel option. Say the southbound carriage under Hollis and the northbound under Lower Water. May have even been able to save some buildings but I guess it would have been a far more expensive proposition.

fenwick16
Feb 27, 2015, 10:57 PM
It was to be below grade - Like the Decarie expressway in Montreal.

See more over here:
http://halifaxbloggers.ca/builthalifax/2015/01/harbour-drive/

I enjoy seeing all the information that you have found relating to the Harbour Drive. Although I am glad this freeway wasn't built in Halifax, I often wish that a subway would have been built instead with less destruction of the downtown area. I like to imagine a short subway loop around the downtown (underground) then it could have gone close to the rail cut (on the Southwood Drive side) followed the CN tracks to the Halifax Shopping Centre and then returned down Chebucto Road (underground). At some point a branch line could have gone under the Harbour to Dartmouth.

counterfactual
Feb 28, 2015, 4:40 AM
What an embarrassment. I used to cross there every day on the way to work. It just screams "Screw you, pedestrians."

But of course, if we had never razed a whole neighbourhood's worth of buildings and streets in order to build that atrocity called the Cogswell Interchange, we'd have a normal street crossing there, the Historic Properties and the Granville Mall wouldn't be orphaned at the north edge of downtown, and the whole area would probably be a whole lot healthier.

The quick fix will be to put in a proper walk signal there. The real fix will be the Cogswell redevelopment.

Yes. I just don't understand why there isn't a cross walk put in there, given all the pedestrians hit this past year.

Sometimes, I honestly have no idea what the planners and bureaucrats running this city are thinking.

counterfactual
Feb 28, 2015, 4:43 AM
I think Halifax has a great Harbour Waterfront and it seems to be appreciated by locals and tourists as shown by the opinions on Tripadvisor - http://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_Review-g154976-d6749512-Reviews-Halifax_Waterfront_Boardwalk-Halifax_Halifax_Regional_Municipality_Nova_Scotia.html

I think that if the Harbour Drive was built as a freeway it would have been just as bad as the Gardiner Expressway in Toronto. I think the real mistake was in also eliminating the planned Northwest Arm Drive and bridge (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northwest_Arm_Drive), which would have provided a direct route for trucks and cars to the 102 highway without requiring them to go through the downtown area. This could have been built without the Harbour Drive/Cogswell Interchange and would have saved interesting heritage buildings such as the Pentagon building - http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=143037&page=7

Yep. The Gardiner is probably one of the biggest mistakes in Toronto's planning history.

It completely ruined the Toronto waterfront for generations; and it's still a mess. Completely cuts off the core of downtown from the waterfront, eats up valuable real estate that could be used for more development, and also has created a thick cloud of polluted air you must negotiate to reach the waterfront on foot.

counterfactual
Mar 2, 2015, 12:50 AM
I posted this on another thread, but thought I'd start a discussion here.

The sidewalk clearance in this city has been a complete disaster this year.

Calls flooding in:
http://thechronicleherald.ca/metro/1271470-calls-flood-in-on-state-of-halifax-sidewalks-streets

Protests:
http://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/icy-sidewalks-spark-protest-in-halifax-1.2257631

And private contracted sidewalk clearers are still just laying down little bits of gravel, which DOES NOT melt the ice. Roads and fully clear-- mainly from salt being laid regularly-- and yet sidewalks on main streets on the peninsula are like sheets of ice.

What is the problem? Is salt very expensive, so the private contractors are willing to spread it on roads, but not sidewalks? So they're using gravel instead, which is completely useless?

To me, this is a big economic development issue. We want downtown businesses to survive and flourish and we want the population of the peninsula to grow, but that is NEVER going to happen, if for several months every year, residents cannot actually traverse from their homes to businesses.

How are businesses downtown supposed to survive when the city's horrid sidewalk clearance is making shopping and commerce downtown literally dangerous?

I'm completely able bodied and young, and I've been finding it completely dangerous. I can only imagine how older or disabled residents might be finding it.

This is the sort of thing, that gets Mayors and Councillors turfed from office.

Keith P.
Mar 2, 2015, 1:05 AM
I believe they have given up trying to remove the 6"-8" of ice that covers most sidewalks. The storm 2 weeks ago that had snow followed by rain followed by -10 degree temps meant that unless the walkways were cleared during or immediately following the rain, it became a solid block of ice. I know I spread 30kg of salt on my sidewalk of about 60' in length Saturday, and it did nothing at all to the ice. It is going to be there until spring since it is too thick to even chop, unless you have some sort of power tool.

Colin May
Mar 2, 2015, 1:59 AM
I believe they have given up trying to remove the 6"-8" of ice that covers most sidewalks. The storm 2 weeks ago that had snow followed by rain followed by -10 degree temps meant that unless the walkways were cleared during or immediately following the rain, it became a solid block of ice. I know I spread 30kg of salt on my sidewalk of about 60' in length Saturday, and it did nothing at all to the ice. It is going to be there until spring since it is too thick to even chop, unless you have some sort of power tool.
I put salt on 4" thick ice and the concentration was such that I now see concrete in less than 48 hours. As the days get longer and the sun shines the concrete heats up and more ice can be removed. The side streets are a mess, a plow would quickly break the ice - my shovel and muscles moved over 20 feet of 3-4" ice on the road. Butts has decided not to spend any more money and the councillors are ignoring public sentiment.

someone123
Mar 2, 2015, 2:39 AM
I believe they have given up trying to remove the 6"-8" of ice that covers most sidewalks. The storm 2 weeks ago that had snow followed by rain followed by -10 degree temps meant that unless the walkways were cleared during or immediately following the rain, it became a solid block of ice. I know I spread 30kg of salt on my sidewalk of about 60' in length Saturday, and it did nothing at all to the ice. It is going to be there until spring since it is too thick to even chop, unless you have some sort of power tool.

I haven't been back this winter, but this year has been highly unusual. There was a CBC story about how it was the coldest on record in Montreal and I think it might be the coldest month recorded in Halifax too: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/montreal-records-coldest-february-in-history-1.2977083

YHZ's temperatures this month were about on par with what can normally be expected in Edmundston.

Believe it or not, the average February day in Halifax gets up to +0.4 C and there are normally only 2.4 days with 5 cm or more of snow. I bet the city blew way past that this year: http://climate.weather.gc.ca/climate_normals/results_1981_2010_e.html?stnID=6357&lang=e&StationName=citadel&SearchType=Contains&stnNameSubmit=go&dCode=4&dispBack=1

Keith P.
Mar 2, 2015, 2:40 AM
3 inches of ice is manageable. Double that is a different story.

hokus83
Mar 2, 2015, 3:15 AM
Believe it or not, the average February day in Halifax gets up to +0.4 C and there are normally only 2.4 days with 5 cm or more of snow. I bet the city blew way past that this year: http://climate.weather.gc.ca/climate_normals/results_1981_2010_e.html?stnID=6357&lang=e&StationName=citadel&SearchType=Contains&stnNameSubmit=go&dCode=4&dispBack=1

We went full through November, December, January without any snow and above freezing temperatures. With only 4 full weeks of winter in the shortage month of the year the way this city handled winter clearing as been absurd. I bet we only had a total of 60 cm all winter so far, there sure isn't much snow out there just a mess of management with 4 lane roads cut down to 2.5 lanes and messy sidewalks, our spineless councillors can't even face up to there being a problem

counterfactual
Mar 2, 2015, 3:56 AM
I believe they have given up trying to remove the 6"-8" of ice that covers most sidewalks. The storm 2 weeks ago that had snow followed by rain followed by -10 degree temps meant that unless the walkways were cleared during or immediately following the rain, it became a solid block of ice. I know I spread 30kg of salt on my sidewalk of about 60' in length Saturday, and it did nothing at all to the ice. It is going to be there until spring since it is too thick to even chop, unless you have some sort of power tool.

I haven't been back this winter, but this year has been highly unusual. There was a CBC story about how it was the coldest on record in Montreal and I think it might be the coldest month recorded in Halifax too: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/montreal-records-coldest-february-in-history-1.2977083

YHZ's temperatures this month were about on par with what can normally be expected in Edmundston.

Believe it or not, the average February day in Halifax gets up to +0.4 C and there are normally only 2.4 days with 5 cm or more of snow. I bet the city blew way past that this year: http://climate.weather.gc.ca/climate_normals/results_1981_2010_e.html?stnID=6357&lang=e&StationName=citadel&SearchType=Contains&stnNameSubmit=go&dCode=4&dispBack=1

To me, the temperature is just a complete red herring. And it's an excuse that's used every year. It seems last year was a record. Now, it is again! 0

Why is it a red herring? Because despite the temperatures, record or not, the ice has, in fact, been cleared in places where proper steps have been taken-- mainly, salt laid on sidewalks regularly until the ice is gone.

On the peninsula, a vast majority of sidewalks are icy death paths. However, even on the icy death paths, there are patches where the sidewalk is mostly clear. They are usually found around public institutions like hospitals and main avenues on university campuses, who have staff to buy and lay down salt on the sidewalks daily. It's also this case around certain businesses on core streets like Spring Garden, for example.

In those patches, the sidewalks are clear. But then you continue past the hospital or university or business and the sidewalk is an icy death path again, with pathetic little granules of gravel laid, that do absolutely nothing.

The roads are clear. And in patches, the sidewalks are clear. The rest is ice. The difference, is that salt is being laid on the former, and not the latter.

Why? It's a cheapo budget thing. The private contractors are not spending the money to lay salt on sidewalks. And Butts and the City Government aren't forcing them to do so. They need to take responsibility. They started charging more premiums in 2013, and have delivered pathetic sidewalk clearance.

someone123
Mar 2, 2015, 4:16 AM
This is something that comes up from time to time: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowmelt_system

It seems like it would be worth installing along sidewalks on Spring Garden Road, Barrington Street, etc. When there is a storm you heat up the sidewalks enough that snow and freezing rain do not stick. The amount of energy required would not be enormous (often it's right around 0 when the storms are happening).

Wikipedia shows the system being installed along an entire pedestrianized street in Reykjavik, metro population ~200,000.

OldDartmouthMark
Mar 2, 2015, 9:15 PM
This is something that comes up from time to time: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowmelt_system

It seems like it would be worth installing along sidewalks on Spring Garden Road, Barrington Street, etc. When there is a storm you heat up the sidewalks enough that snow and freezing rain do not stick. The amount of energy required would not be enormous (often it's right around 0 when the storms are happening).

Wikipedia shows the system being installed along an entire pedestrianized street in Reykjavik, metro population ~200,000.

That's pretty cool, I remember it being posted here before, in fact maybe it had been done here in front of the old Light and Power building, can't remember for sure.

One question I have on these systems is what happens to the runoff of melted water, since it will refreeze as soon as it flows off of the heating coils. Looking at what happens to salted areas of icy roads and sidewalks around here, it appears that the ice around the sidewalk would create an enclosure that would result in a pool of water to walk through, unless there was some provision for drainage.

Keith P.
Mar 2, 2015, 9:34 PM
That's pretty cool, I remember it being posted here before, in fact maybe it had been done here in front of the old Light and Power building, can't remember for sure.

One question I have on these systems is what happens to the runoff of melted water, since it will refreeze as soon as it flows off of the heating coils. Looking at what happens to salted areas of icy roads and sidewalks around here, it appears that the ice around the sidewalk would create an enclosure that would result in a pool of water to walk through, unless there was some provision for drainage.

It was actually in front of the old MT&T building on Barrington at the foot of SGR, the predecessor to Maritime Center.

http://i289.photobucket.com/albums/ll229/keith_p/mtt_sidewalk_zps16lsqeja.jpg

OldDartmouthMark
Mar 2, 2015, 9:35 PM
To me, the temperature is just a complete red herring. And it's an excuse that's used every year. It seems last year was a record. Now, it is again! 0

Why is it a red herring? Because despite the temperatures, record or not, the ice has, in fact, been cleared in places where proper steps have been taken-- mainly, salt laid on sidewalks regularly until the ice is gone.

On the peninsula, a vast majority of sidewalks are icy death paths. However, even on the icy death paths, there are patches where the sidewalk is mostly clear. They are usually found around public institutions like hospitals and main avenues on university campuses, who have staff to buy and lay down salt on the sidewalks daily. It's also this case around certain businesses on core streets like Spring Garden, for example.

In those patches, the sidewalks are clear. But then you continue past the hospital or university or business and the sidewalk is an icy death path again, with pathetic little granules of gravel laid, that do absolutely nothing.

The roads are clear. And in patches, the sidewalks are clear. The rest is ice. The difference, is that salt is being laid on the former, and not the latter.

Why? It's a cheapo budget thing. The private contractors are not spending the money to lay salt on sidewalks. And Butts and the City Government aren't forcing them to do so. They need to take responsibility. They started charging more premiums in 2013, and have delivered pathetic sidewalk clearance.

I agree that they sure could do better than they are doing.

I am curious as to why more business owners aren't taking it upon themselves to clear the sidewalks in front of their business. It only makes sense that they should do this to make it easier for their customers to get into their business. That doesn't give the city an out, IMHO, but if everybody did their little bit, there would be a lot less for the city to deal with.

Regarding using salt to melt 15 cm of ice, from personal experience I have found you have to dump an obscene amount of salt on it to penetrate to the concrete, otherwise you just melt little holes in the top layer that melts until the salt is gone, and then tends to refreeze over time once the salt water becomes diluted enough with melted ice.

The crushed stone is put on top of the ice to create friction on the surface so your boots won't slip when you walk on it. That said, once the sun heats up the little pieces of stone they tend to melt their way down into the ice and refreeze below the surface at night.

The only solution at this point is to manually break up the ice and remove it, or use obscene amounts of salt or other de-icer to weaken the ice, and then remove it. IMHO, there aren't a lot of good choices in machinery around here to break up the ice without damaging the sidewalk below, and I'm not sure if there are environmental limits to how much salt can be applied at one time.

I think the real cause of the problem is the combination of an unusual series of storms (snow-rain-snow-freeze), and the resultant ice not being dealt with properly after each storm. The sidewalks were either not cleared or only cleared in a half-assed way after each storm and the ice was allowed to build up over time. Finally, it's at the point where just about the only thing to be done is take a pick-axe to it or wait for the spring thaw.

I'm kinda surprised that we as a city aren't better at dealing with this type of weather, since we've only had snowy, icy winter conditions forever. Yeesh. :rolleyes:

OldDartmouthMark
Mar 2, 2015, 9:36 PM
It was actually in front of the old MT&T building on Barrington at the foot of SGR, the predecessor to Maritime Center.

http://i289.photobucket.com/albums/ll229/keith_p/mtt_sidewalk_zps16lsqeja.jpg

Aha! That's it. Thanks Keith! :tup:

counterfactual
Mar 3, 2015, 2:30 AM
I agree that they sure could do better than they are doing.

I am curious as to why more business owners aren't taking it upon themselves to clear the sidewalks in front of their business. It only makes sense that they should do this to make it easier for their customers to get into their business. That doesn't give the city an out, IMHO, but if everybody did their little bit, there would be a lot less for the city to deal with.

Regarding using salt to melt 15 cm of ice, from personal experience I have found you have to dump an obscene amount of salt on it to penetrate to the concrete, otherwise you just melt little holes in the top layer that melts until the salt is gone, and then tends to refreeze over time once the salt water becomes diluted enough with melted ice.

The crushed stone is put on top of the ice to create friction on the surface so your boots won't slip when you walk on it. That said, once the sun heats up the little pieces of stone they tend to melt their way down into the ice and refreeze below the surface at night.

The only solution at this point is to manually break up the ice and remove it, or use obscene amounts of salt or other de-icer to weaken the ice, and then remove it. IMHO, there aren't a lot of good choices in machinery around here to break up the ice without damaging the sidewalk below, and I'm not sure if there are environmental limits to how much salt can be applied at one time.

I think the real cause of the problem is the combination of an unusual series of storms (snow-rain-snow-freeze), and the resultant ice not being dealt with properly after each storm. The sidewalks were either not cleared or only cleared in a half-assed way after each storm and the ice was allowed to build up over time. Finally, it's at the point where just about the only thing to be done is take a pick-axe to it or wait for the spring thaw.

I'm kinda surprised that we as a city aren't better at dealing with this type of weather, since we've only had snowy, icy winter conditions forever. Yeesh. :rolleyes:

Hey Mark, thanks for the thoughtful reply, as usual.

I actually think most businesses have been pretty good. When I'm walking around, it seems the areas where there are businesses, they've made an effort to lay salt around their shops, so it's not bad. Not always perfectly clear, but you're not tiptoeing or walking slowly because you're on top of solid ice. It's when you get away from any businesses (which, on the peninsula, are clustered mostly around SGR/Barrington St) it's all ice. Even down off Barrington, and just off Spring Garden, on streets that connect directly, it's icy.

And I don't think they should be required to lay salt for whole lengths of sidewalks along streets leading to their business. The city should be doing that.

The stone/gravel operates exactly as you've described. It provides a grip for the day, but then melts underneath ice and becomes useless.

I think the reality, is that the sidewalk machines that are laying the useless stone/gravel every other day, have to be laying salt every day. And actually, once you do it for a few days straight, the salt kills the ice, and it doesn't return until you get another major storm/water front. Most roads have been clear for days (until today's storms), so no salt would have to be laid. Meanwhile, sidewalks were still ice. I feel like laying a bunch of salt to melt 5 inches of ice so people can walk is just as important as laying salt on roads to melt 1 inch of snow. It seems the former isn't important to the city, but the latter is. And that is indefensible.

OldDartmouthMark
Mar 3, 2015, 5:33 PM
Hey Mark, thanks for the thoughtful reply, as usual.

I actually think most businesses have been pretty good. When I'm walking around, it seems the areas where there are businesses, they've made an effort to lay salt around their shops, so it's not bad. Not always perfectly clear, but you're not tiptoeing or walking slowly because you're on top of solid ice. It's when you get away from any businesses (which, on the peninsula, are clustered mostly around SGR/Barrington St) it's all ice. Even down off Barrington, and just off Spring Garden, on streets that connect directly, it's icy.

And I don't think they should be required to lay salt for whole lengths of sidewalks along streets leading to their business. The city should be doing that.

The stone/gravel operates exactly as you've described. It provides a grip for the day, but then melts underneath ice and becomes useless.

I think the reality, is that the sidewalk machines that are laying the useless stone/gravel every other day, have to be laying salt every day. And actually, once you do it for a few days straight, the salt kills the ice, and it doesn't return until you get another major storm/water front. Most roads have been clear for days (until today's storms), so no salt would have to be laid. Meanwhile, sidewalks were still ice. I feel like laying a bunch of salt to melt 5 inches of ice so people can walk is just as important as laying salt on roads to melt 1 inch of snow. It seems the former isn't important to the city, but the latter is. And that is indefensible.

I think you're right. If they continued spreading salt daily, eventually it would have the desirable effect, and in the meantime the surface would be "roughed up" by the salt eating its way down.

One thing I get tired of hearing EACH AND EVERY winter is that Halifax has used up its snow clearing budget. I mean cripes! Winter has not changed here in the past thousand years or so, at least. It varies from year to year but we always get snow and ice because we're on the coast and we always get nor'easters, etc. So how can they continue to use the 'budget' excuse as a reason that snow and ice clearing has been inadequate??

I mean, yes this February has been brutal, but they should have had to spend virtually nada for November through January, since we got very little frozen precipitation during those months. Now, 1 month of bad weather kills their budget?? I know they did increase the budget recently, but not enough, apparently.

Time to fix this issue once and for all and make way for pedestrians to be able to use the sidewalks again.

http://thechronicleherald.ca/metro/1272245-halifax-snow-clearing-costs-keep-piling-up

JET
Mar 3, 2015, 5:50 PM
It was actually in front of the old MT&T building on Barrington at the foot of SGR, the predecessor to Maritime Center.

http://i289.photobucket.com/albums/ll229/keith_p/mtt_sidewalk_zps16lsqeja.jpg

Post # 2 refers to it being the NSL&P building, which was also the Capitol Theatre building; post #2 has a picture of snow melted on the sidewalks: http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=209075

OldDartmouthMark
Mar 3, 2015, 8:03 PM
Post # 2 refers to it being the NSL&P building, which was also the Capitol Theatre building; post #2 has a picture of snow melted on the sidewalks: http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=209075

Excellent detective work! :tup:

Makes more sense that it would be an NSL&P project, as they would tend to benefit the most from the city using electricity to heat the sidewalks. :hmmm:

Dmajackson
Mar 3, 2015, 11:54 PM
I think what is driving the rash of complaints about municipal snow clearing is the difference between publicly and privately owned areas. I snapped this photo today highlighting this;

https://41.media.tumblr.com/0505d7396fe4b02ce0f3f32d19d08609/tumblr_nkntixqd4C1tvjdq8o2_1280.jpg
Halifax Developments Blog (Photo by David Jackson) (http://urbanhalifax.tumblr.com/)

This is in Dartmouth Crossing. In the foreground the privately owned sidewalk is down to bare concrete with some extra salt and gravel laid for any future storms while in the background the City of Halifax has barely plowed the sidewalk since the first storm some four weeks ago. The snowbanks actually force people to walk onto the street just to go back onto a few inches of ice and climb over more snow to hit the pedestrian signal button. Where I live there is a busy sidewalk on a hill which I sent a complaint to Halifax about not being gravelled and unfortunately they still haven't fixed this issue despite it being in the urban centre, on a slope leading down to a busy road, and on a school walking route.

Keith P.
Mar 4, 2015, 12:10 AM
Post # 2 refers to it being the NSL&P building, which was also the Capitol Theatre building; post #2 has a picture of snow melted on the sidewalks: http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=209075

This would put the lie to that misinformation:

http://i289.photobucket.com/albums/ll229/keith_p/MTTBuildings005_zpsjok8fvem.png

(Lifetime record: 759 correct, 0 incorrect; Pct.: 1.000) :notacrook:

MeEtc
Mar 4, 2015, 1:24 AM
Wikipedia shows the system being installed along an entire pedestrianized street in Reykjavik, metro population ~200,000.

Reykjavik has vast amounts of geothermal energy available. Electricity and city supplied domestic hot water are virtually free. The only large costs are infrastructure for distribution.

Halifax, fortunately or unfortunately, does not lie on an active divergent tectonic fault line to supply said geothermal energy.

Phalanx
Mar 4, 2015, 2:28 AM
Reykjavik has vast amounts of geothermal energy available. Electricity and city supplied domestic hot water are virtually free. The only large costs are infrastructure for distribution.

Halifax, fortunately or unfortunately, does not lie on an active divergent tectonic fault line to supply said geothermal energy.

All very true, but it's also possible to be inventive about it, and take some small advantage from a downtown planning blunder.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2012/12/121211-sewage-heat-recovery/

I don't know that it would work with the downtown treatment plant, and I don't know that they don't already have some type of system in place, and I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be enough to cover the downtown... but... just trying to think outside the box.

fenwick16
Mar 4, 2015, 2:38 AM
This would put the lie to that misinformation:

http://i289.photobucket.com/albums/ll229/keith_p/MTTBuildings005_zpsjok8fvem.png

(Lifetime record: 759 correct, 0 incorrect; Pct.: 1.000) :notacrook:


Very impressive. I can't remember you ever making a factual mistake on this skyscraperpage forum (no sarcasm intended). :tup: However, some might not agree with all of your viewpoints.

OldDartmouthMark
Mar 4, 2015, 5:45 AM
This would put the lie to that misinformation:

http://i289.photobucket.com/albums/ll229/keith_p/MTTBuildings005_zpsjok8fvem.png

(Lifetime record: 759 correct, 0 incorrect; Pct.: 1.000) :notacrook:

Awesome has happened! :haha: :cheers:

JET
Mar 4, 2015, 4:17 PM
There have been times when he was incorrect (location of a Hollis St. bar, for one);
but he was right about Ikea.
There is something odd about the Herald photos. Where exactly was the Capitol theatre?
this photo shows the Majestic/Capitol theatre two buildings South of Salter/Barrington. http://shop.thechronicleherald.ca/Vintage-Reprint-of-Capitol-Theatre-Majestic-Barrington-Street-Halifax_p_3968.html
This photo shows it from the South:http://shop.thechronicleherald.ca/Vintage-Reprint-of-Cooking-School-Capitol-Theatre-Halifax-Herald-Halifax_p_3961.html
Keith's photo show's the ultra modern MT&T building with the Capitol theatre in the background, and what seems to be an intersection between them. When was that MT&T building built; and why, if the Maritime building was soon to be built. Perhaps more sleuthing is required.

JET
Mar 4, 2015, 4:32 PM
http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=143037&page=8
Post 157/158.
Is misremembering the same as being wrong? :)

Keith P.
Mar 4, 2015, 6:49 PM
There have been times when he was incorrect (location of a Hollis St. bar, for one);

No, I was right about the location but the name confused me.

but he was right about Ikea.
There is something odd about the Herald photos. Where exactly was the Capitol theatre?
this photo shows the Majestic/Capitol theatre two buildings South of Salter/Barrington. http://shop.thechronicleherald.ca/Vintage-Reprint-of-Capitol-Theatre-Majestic-Barrington-Street-Halifax_p_3968.html
This photo shows it from the South:http://shop.thechronicleherald.ca/Vintage-Reprint-of-Cooking-School-Capitol-Theatre-Halifax-Herald-Halifax_p_3961.html
Keith's photo show's the ultra modern MT&T building with the Capitol theatre in the background, and what seems to be an intersection between them. When was that MT&T building built; and why, if the Maritime building was soon to be built. Perhaps more sleuthing is required.

The answer to your question is in the caption to one of those photos:

"December 18, 1956 Cutline: Flemming's Academy Fruit Store, at the southeast corner of Barrington and Salter streets, once did a thriving business, particuarly catering to theatre patrons who visited its soda fountain between acts. It was only a few steps from the store to the old Academy of Music, which in the later days of its existence was renamed the Majestic. During the Majestic era an addition was made to the theatre building, the lower floor being used for commercial purposes. Today the site of these buildings is occupied by the Capitol Theatre. Included in the Salter Street part of the Capitol site there once was operated the old Pictou House, in its days one of the better known public resorts, and also very popular with theatre patrons. Beyond the Majestic is the spire of historic St. Matthew's Church. Below Spring Garden Road the thoroughfare was formerly called Pleasant Street."

The lower floor on the Salter St side referred to above was used by NS Light & Power and was for many years the site for their animated Christmas show that was a tradition for children of the era. I recall being taken to it as a small child in that location.

I do not know when the MT&T building was constructed. It would appear to be a late '50s/early '60s design. There was no intersection between it and the Capitol. Salter St was on the north side of the theater.

coolmillion
Mar 4, 2015, 9:24 PM
I was away in St. John's for six weeks and returned to Halifax on Monday night. I had heard about the terrible state of the streets and sidewalks but today I saw it first hand when I walked from the north end to downtown this morning around 8:30 and back this afternoon. I noticed a few things:
- The sidewalks in front of businesses downtown are generally clear. The worst offenders on busy streets are vacant buildings. This suggests that stores and businesses are clearing their own sidewalks in spite of the fact that this is now (since last winter) the city's responsibility.
- Some of the worst sidewalks I walked along are very high volume routes, including Bell Road and Ahern. The absolute worst section I encountered was in front of the Khyber, a city-owned building.
- I didn't see any snow clearing being done at all. No plows, no bobcats, no shovels except for a few home owners. Since the temperature is above freezing now but it set to drop drastically until Friday, one would think that all hands would be on deck to get some softened ice, slush and water out of the way before it freezes again. I'm sure work is being in other areas (?!).
- I was walking, but I did notice the absolutely terrible condition of some uncleared side streets, where there are holes and ruts in the ice about six inches deep in some places. Some streets have paths cleared by tires but the ones that don't appear unfit to drive on.
- On main streets that are mainly clear, including Spring Garden, Bell, Cogswell and others, I saw enormous pot holes that I am certain will only get worse over the coming weeks. Painted crosswalk lines have disappeared in many intersections.
- I noticed that drivers were uncharacteristically slow and attentive - maybe a habit developed over weeks of cautious driving in bad conditions.

It was a relatively easy and mild winter in St. John's, especially, I have been told, compared to last year. It was much easier to walk there than here, even though it is not a very pedestrian-friendly city.

counterfactual
Mar 4, 2015, 10:38 PM
So, finally, after sitting vacant for essentially two years, the old HMV space on Spring Garden Road -- prime street front real estate on the busiest street east of Montreal-- is getting a new tenant:

http://thechronicleherald.ca/business/1272415-shelf-life-new-bakery-bigger-pub-on-tap

Not exactly Chapters or Apple. But still better than nothing.

ALSO AWESOME:

A bakery is opening up at the corner of Barrington and Blowers.

Great area for it! Only way to make it better, would be further up on Blowers, closer to Pizza Corner. It could be like the Market Bakery in Kensington Market, Toronto.

terrynorthend
Mar 5, 2015, 12:43 AM
All very true, but it's also possible to be inventive about it, and take some small advantage from a downtown planning blunder.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2012/12/121211-sewage-heat-recovery/

I don't know that it would work with the downtown treatment plant, and I don't know that they don't already have some type of system in place, and I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be enough to cover the downtown... but... just trying to think outside the box.

There was a fella on CBC radio a week or so ago, an engineer who was talking about Reykjavik and its geothermal resource, and noted that here in Halifax we effectively have our own manmade "volcano" in the Harbour. He contends that the Tuft's cove generating station creates enough waste heat (hot water) to heat something like 97.000 homes. It could be used to heat sidewalks and roadways, but would require an enormous infrastructure investment.

hokus83
Mar 5, 2015, 3:51 AM
So, finally, after sitting vacant for essentially two years, the old HMV space on Spring Garden Road -- prime street front real estate on the busiest street east of Montreal-- is getting a new tenant:

http://thechronicleherald.ca/business/1272415-shelf-life-new-bakery-bigger-pub-on-tap

Not exactly Chapters or Apple. But still better than nothing.

ALSO AWESOME:

A bakery is opening up at the corner of Barrington and Blowers.

Great area for it! Only way to make it better, would be further up on Blowers, closer to Pizza Corner. It could be like the Market Bakery in Kensington Market, Toronto.

This old HMV spot story sound so silly, I would much rather it remained vacant

eastcoastal
Mar 5, 2015, 2:57 PM
So, finally, after sitting vacant for essentially two years, the old HMV space on Spring Garden Road -- prime street front real estate on the busiest street east of Montreal-- is getting a new tenant:

http://thechronicleherald.ca/business/1272415-shelf-life-new-bakery-bigger-pub-on-tap

...

Eye doctors on a busy shopping street, in such a large space seems an odd fit (as did the mattress place across from the Palace Of The Killer Stairs™).

Keith P.
Mar 5, 2015, 7:42 PM
Eye doctors on a busy shopping street, in such a large space seems an odd fit (as did the mattress place across from the Palace Of The Killer Stairs™).

People will need mattresses to rest upon after tackling The Killer Stairs™ . And they will also need their eyes checked after being forced to gaze upon that ugly pile of glass books. The market has perfect logic.

eastcoastal
Mar 6, 2015, 4:22 PM
People will need mattresses to rest upon after tackling The Killer Stairs™ . And they will also need their eyes checked after being forced to gaze upon that ugly pile of glass books. The market has perfect logic.
Excellent points. LOL

ManWithTheMug
Mar 8, 2015, 11:42 PM
I just walked Chapel Street in Melbourne (Aus) the other day which I think would be analogous to SGR, though on a much larger scale, and there's multiple high end optical shops there. Glasses are increasingly becoming a mainstream fashion item again so it makes sense to set up shop in busy fashion districts to compete with the onslaught of online retailers. People will make walk-in impulse frame purchases just like they will make walk-in impulse clothes purchases.

eastcoastal
Mar 9, 2015, 3:52 PM
...Glasses are increasingly becoming a mainstream fashion item again so it makes sense to set up shop in busy fashion districts to compete with the onslaught of online retailers. People will make walk-in impulse frame purchases just like they will make walk-in impulse clothes purchases.
Good points. I hadn't thought of glasses as accessories.

counterfactual
Mar 11, 2015, 4:24 AM
Eye doctors on a busy shopping street, in such a large space seems an odd fit (as did the mattress place across from the Palace Of The Killer Stairs™).

I actually like that there's Sleep Country there. We need more retailers like this, to locate downtown, so people can get things they need to live without traveling to stupid biz parks.

someone123
Mar 11, 2015, 4:29 AM
I actually like that there's Sleep Country there. We need more retailers like this, to locate downtown, so people can get things they need to live without traveling to stupid biz parks.

I'd like to see a more full-service downtown area with a wide range of stores beyond restaurants and boutiques. This has just started over the past few years with Pete's, Lululemon, Sleep Country, Urban Outfitters, etc. It would be good to have a full-scale hardware/housewares type store and maybe an electronics store. I could imagine these setting up in a new development like the Margaretta/Sister Site #2.

OldDartmouthMark
Mar 11, 2015, 2:28 PM
I'd like to see a more full-service downtown area with a wide range of stores beyond restaurants and boutiques. This has just started over the past few years with Pete's, Lululemon, Sleep Country, Urban Outfitters, etc. It would be good to have a full-scale hardware/housewares type store and maybe an electronics store. I could imagine these setting up in a new development like the Margaretta/Sister Site #2.

That would be cool to see. I think as more residential buildings come online in the area, the market will drive this change naturally.

I would love to see the downtown with the type of activity shown in this (http://novascotia.ca/archives/virtual/EastCoastPort/archives.asp?ID=297) pic, when it was an active, bustling urban area. It's kind of odd to think that we (like many North American cities) had it, went to great lengths to change it and now are working to get it back again... It's amazing to see planning philosophies come full circle.

hokus83
Mar 11, 2015, 2:55 PM
I dont know why people on here think anyone would be walking out of the store with mattresses, where do you do that anywhere

OldDartmouthMark
Mar 11, 2015, 3:03 PM
I dont know why people on here think anyone would be walking out of the store with mattresses, where do you do that anywhere

Presumably they have a delivery service, and would have a temporary loading zone for DIYers. Doesn't seem like an insurmountable problem to me.

Ziobrop
Mar 11, 2015, 4:01 PM
I dont know why people on here think anyone would be walking out of the store with mattresses, where do you do that anywhere

SleepCountry doesnt stock matresses in the stores, they are just showrooms. they have a matress warehouse in burnside, and offer free delivery.

thats why they opened 4 or 5 stores at once.

hokus83
Mar 11, 2015, 4:53 PM
Presumably they have a delivery service, and would have a temporary loading zone for DIYers. Doesn't seem like an insurmountable problem to me.
SleepCountry doesnt stock matresses in the stores, they are just showrooms. they have a matress warehouse in burnside, and offer free delivery.

thats why they opened 4 or 5 stores at once.


that was my point

OldDartmouthMark
Mar 11, 2015, 5:55 PM
I dont know why people on here think anyone would be walking out of the store with mattresses, where do you do that anywhere

I can't see anywhere in the last 2 pages of this thread where somebody other than you mentioned walking out of the store with mattresses. Did I miss something?

I thought you were suggesting that it's foolish to have such a store downtown as it would force people to walk down the street carrying their mattress... or something like that.

I guess I missed whatever point you were trying to make. Sorry 'bout that.

counterfactual
Mar 11, 2015, 6:05 PM
that was my point

Did you mean me? I can't tell.

I appreciate that Sleep Country does deliveries. But the point of having it downtown, is so I can go there, view mattresses, test them out, and yes, then have them delivered, without having to head out to a business park or suburban mall.

You should be able to get everything you need by foot, downtown.

counterfactual
Mar 11, 2015, 6:07 PM
I'd like to see a more full-service downtown area with a wide range of stores beyond restaurants and boutiques. This has just started over the past few years with Pete's, Lululemon, Sleep Country, Urban Outfitters, etc. It would be good to have a full-scale hardware/housewares type store and maybe an electronics store. I could imagine these setting up in a new development like the Margaretta/Sister Site #2.

I'd love this too -- this is exactly what I'm thinking.

Pete's truly is a God send. And hopefully, as you say, a fuller range of service oriented retail shops open.

I'd love a Chapters, an urban format Futureshop (or similar), urban format Canadian Tire, around SGR/Barrington. Somewhere you can buy, as you say, housewares/hardware. It sucks having to walk all the way to Quinnpool, just to buy a proper broom or clothes hangers, for God sakes.

Keith P.
Mar 12, 2015, 1:46 PM
I'd love a Chapters, an urban format Futureshop (or similar), urban format Canadian Tire, around SGR/Barrington. Somewhere you can buy, as you say, housewares/hardware. It sucks having to walk all the way to Quinnpool, just to buy a proper broom or clothes hangers, for God sakes.

Chapters was proposed as a use for the old Memorial Library building during the charettes about the future of the SGR area 6-7 years ago. The howls of outrage from the local intelligentsia/CBC/library devotees were something to behold. They did not want Heather's evil empire in their neighborhood wreaking havoc on their beloved local booksellers like Frog Hollow. I'm sure the same would hold true if Future Shop or CTC proposed an urban format store. Anyone remember the outrage a few years ago when someone posted a joke "Coming Soon" sign on the then-empty lot where the library now sits saying that a Walmart was coming? The Birkenstock brigade that controls the district apparently only buy local and only patronize independent stores run by kindly old shopkeepers who sip tea between customer visits.

JET
Mar 12, 2015, 2:11 PM
Chapters was proposed as a use for the old Memorial Library building during the charettes about the future of the SGR area 6-7 years ago. The howls of outrage from the local intelligentsia/CBC/library devotees were something to behold. They did not want Heather's evil empire in their neighborhood wreaking havoc on their beloved local booksellers like Frog Hollow. I'm sure the same would hold true if Future Shop or CTC proposed an urban format store. Anyone remember the outrage a few years ago when someone posted a joke "Coming Soon" sign on the then-empty lot where the library now sits saying that a Walmart was coming? The Birkenstock brigade that controls the district apparently only buy local and only patronize independent stores run by kindly old shopkeepers who sip tea between customer visits.

Don't know what you're on about Keith. Everyone knows that small independent businesses are never threatened by big business. Afterall, beloved local booksellers like Frog Hollow are still going strong, are they not? :uhh:

JET
Mar 12, 2015, 2:13 PM
https://froghollowbooks.wordpress.com/ Well, it was six years ago, afterall. Anyone can misremember.

Drybrain
Mar 12, 2015, 3:06 PM
I think what's going into the old library is better than a Chapters/Indigo, but to be honest, I'd be perfectly happy with the latter too. It's a destination store for the local area. I'm pretty sure it'd be able to co-exist with Bookmark, since that's the only non-used indie bookseller left in town and they have a loyal client base.

A Walmart would be a whole other thing though--that really does have no place on a street like SGR, or anywhere nearby.

Keith P.
Mar 12, 2015, 3:36 PM
https://froghollowbooks.wordpress.com/ Well, it was six years ago, afterall. Anyone can misremember.

No misremember. They were specifically mentioned which was why I used the reference. You got a problem with that?

Keith P.
Mar 12, 2015, 3:37 PM
I think what's going into the old library is better than a Chapters/Indigo, but to be honest, I'd be perfectly happy with the latter too. It's a destination store for the local area. I'm pretty sure it'd be able to co-exist with Bookmark, since that's the only non-used indie bookseller left in town and they have a loyal client base

Do we know what is going there? I hadn't heard.

A Walmart would be a whole other thing though--that really does have no place on a street like SGR, or anywhere nearby.

Why?

Drybrain
Mar 12, 2015, 4:17 PM
Do we know what is going there? I hadn't heard.



Why?

A large-format, all-in-one, low-budget retail destination like that really would be bad for neighbouring businesses... It's a suburban business model and really should stay out of urban neighbourhoods. I'm having a hard time thinking of any urban Walmarts or anything like that anywhere else...

As for the old library, isn't it pretty much a done deal that Volta Labs is going in there? Unless I missed something...

But city staff lifted their weird objection to leasing the building to Volta in favour of making the whole area a park, so their should be details coming soon about some kind of city/Volta partnership on renovating and repurposing the building.

JET
Mar 12, 2015, 4:57 PM
No misremember. They were specifically mentioned which was why I used the reference. You got a problem with that?

Sounds like the "local intelligentsia/CBC/library devotees" were correct and the prophecy they were concerned about came true. Chapters continues to chug along, and Frog Hollow is no more. Even lefties get it right sometimes.

beyeas
Mar 12, 2015, 5:14 PM
I guess by definition, anyone not part of the “intelligentsia” (said in my best sneering voice possible) are the un-intelligentsia?

We all know the entire un-intelligentsia class are generally the disaffected right-wing, unable to move past the “good old” days when old white men ruled the earth, so they complain instead, often to tiny groups of Tea Party supporters, while avoiding at all costs independent bookstores and libraries that everyone knows are rife with Killer Stairs that are likely to wreak havoc with their hip replacement.

Given how packed the library is every time I am there, it is apparent that Halifax is full of granola munching commies.

hokus83
Mar 12, 2015, 5:40 PM
A large-format, all-in-one, low-budget retail destination like that really would be bad for neighbouring businesses... It's a suburban business model and really should stay out of urban neighbourhoods. I'm having a hard time thinking of any urban Walmarts or anything like that anywhere else...

As for the old library, isn't it pretty much a done deal that Volta Labs is going in there? Unless I missed something...

But city staff lifted their weird objection to leasing the building to Volta in favour of making the whole area a park, so their should be details coming soon about some kind of city/Volta partnership on renovating and repurposing the building.


Down Town business were booming when we had a Eaton's in the heart of the city, I dont shop at wall mart but I'm in disagreement that big box stores in cities are bad for small business, people are going to pick and chose where they want to shop regardless of where they are located and a large group of people going to buy Object A from wall mart or another big store would be more likely to buy object B from a neighbouring small business

Drybrain
Mar 12, 2015, 5:53 PM
Down Town business were booming when we had a Eaton's in the heart of the city, I don't shop at wall mart but I'm in disagreement that big box stores in cities are bad for small business, people are going to pick and chose where they want to shop regardless of where they are located and a large group of people going to buy Object A from wall mart or another big store would be more likely to buy object B from a neighbouring small business

I don't think the comparison works exactly--department stores are more limited in scope than a place like Walmart, where you can get everything from underpants to TVs to groceries to school supplies to books under one roof. People who live near SGR aren't going to drive out to Walmart on Mumford Road to pick up a litre of milk. If it's around the corner, they might.

It doesn't really matter what any of us feel about the effects of big-box on small business--there's hard data, in the form of real-world examples, of where big-box shopping has decimated retail districts in small communities. Urban neighbourhoods in larger cities are analogous.

worldlyhaligonian
Mar 12, 2015, 6:58 PM
I think at this point, Halifax just needs businesses downtown that last.

A grocery store in Scotia Square would be huge.

I get what both sides are saying on the retail debate (i.e. local vs not)... but I think that is the challenge of survival. Some of those bookstores referenced had very snotty staff that basically looked down on people... and talk about some sticker shock! There is no reason to support something just because its someone local who owns it. By the same token, look at Target's failure... they obviously did not understand their customer either.

In the end, if people want your product + service combination... you'll last. Its not up to anybody to feel obligated to support something, especially if some of the local businesses feel like a clubhouse instead of being inviting. The success of Pete's is likely due to walking a fine line of being local but also run like a business with friendly staff.

hokus83
Mar 12, 2015, 7:17 PM
Mayor was calling for more density and development in Downtown Dartmouth today http://globalnews.ca/video/1878457/halifax-mayor-sees-calls-for-more-development-in-dartmouth?hootPostID=6d2f757c4fd6a811891217a6da652243

beyeas
Mar 12, 2015, 7:21 PM
By Melissa Mancini, CBC News Posted: Mar 12, 2015 3:09 PM AT Last Updated: Mar 12, 2015 3:09 PM AT


Council will be cutting traffic lanes on Argyle Street in downtown Halifax to make way for a pedestrian thoroughfare as part of a trial.

The street, a popular nightspot with many bars and restaurants and home of Neptune Theatre, currently has one lane for cars to drive down. The pilot project, approved by council earlier this week, will make the section of Argyle between Blowers and Sackville streets pedestrian-only.
...

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/argyle-street-pedestrian-thoroughfare-approved-by-council-1.2992439

Keith P.
Mar 12, 2015, 8:49 PM
Given how packed the library is every time I am there, it is apparent that Halifax is full of granola munching commies.

A commie clubhouse perhaps? Not too surprising. Since they are always talking about "the struggle" perhaps that is why the Killer Stairs TM Regd. get such a warm reception from them.

counterfactual
Mar 13, 2015, 4:07 AM
Chapters was proposed as a use for the old Memorial Library building during the charettes about the future of the SGR area 6-7 years ago. The howls of outrage from the local intelligentsia/CBC/library devotees were something to behold. They did not want Heather's evil empire in their neighborhood wreaking havoc on their beloved local booksellers like Frog Hollow. I'm sure the same would hold true if Future Shop or CTC proposed an urban format store. Anyone remember the outrage a few years ago when someone posted a joke "Coming Soon" sign on the then-empty lot where the library now sits saying that a Walmart was coming? The Birkenstock brigade that controls the district apparently only buy local and only patronize independent stores run by kindly old shopkeepers who sip tea between customer visits.

I do think there is a conservative shortsightedness in Halifax, about attracting large national or international retailers downtown, out of concern for local indie businesses. Those are important, but if no local and independent businesses are actually providing the goods and services that are needed, we need to attract, invite, promote, national retailers to move in and do so.

I'm not fan of a Walmart downtown. But urban formatted shops for big box retailers is probably the future for those stores once Amazon kills all the big box parks.

(There is no reason to shop at a place like Dartmouth Crossing, when there's Amazon. It beats on pricing, and now delivery is so quick.)

counterfactual
Mar 13, 2015, 4:08 AM
A large-format, all-in-one, low-budget retail destination like that really would be bad for neighbouring businesses... It's a suburban business model and really should stay out of urban neighbourhoods. I'm having a hard time thinking of any urban Walmarts or anything like that anywhere else...

As for the old library, isn't it pretty much a done deal that Volta Labs is going in there? Unless I missed something...

But city staff lifted their weird objection to leasing the building to Volta in favour of making the whole area a park, so their should be details coming soon about some kind of city/Volta partnership on renovating and repurposing the building.

Pretty sure Volta Labs thing is a go. It's going to be announced jointly with City / Province. But I think they're laying some groundwork first. They probably have decided to do interior upgrades/rebuild before launching/announcing.

OldDartmouthMark
Mar 13, 2015, 1:50 PM
I'm not fan of a Walmart downtown. But urban formatted shops for big box retailers is probably the future for those stores once Amazon kills all the big box parks.

This.

worldlyhaligonian
Mar 13, 2015, 11:08 PM
This.

While I would like to see this, I think that if gas prices stay low... people will continue to drive their SUVs to the nearby biz parks (close to their rural/suburban homes).

Its going to take a big cultural shift... which will happen over time. We have to realize that most of the areas beyond the cores of Halifax, Bedford and Dartmouth are populated by those who are not big fans of urban environments (may actually fear them, i.e. false beliefs about crime) and are oftentimes from other parts of the province or maritimes.

OldDartmouthMark
Mar 13, 2015, 11:34 PM
While I would like to see this, I think that if gas prices stay low... people will continue to drive their SUVs to the nearby biz parks (close to their rural/suburban homes).

Its going to take a big cultural shift... which will happen over time. We have to realize that most of the areas beyond the cores of Halifax, Bedford and Dartmouth are populated by those who are not big fans of urban environments (may actually fear them, i.e. false beliefs about crime) and are oftentimes from other parts of the province or maritimes.

I should qualify my remark. I don't think downtown urban shopping will (or necessarily should) replace big box suburban shopping, as I think there is a place for both (think: Ikea). Also, given the perception of downtown traffic congestion and lack of parking, people in the suburbs will likely not come downtown to shop, unless there is a unique experience there.

However, in my perfect world, there would be less of those big box suburban stores, supplanted by smaller format downtown stores to service downtown, urban residents. The downtown residential experience should be that you never have to leave the downtown unless you have a need to buy something only carried by warehouse/box stores (i.e. Ikea).

My personal dislike for large format box stores will have little to do with how the actual market works, but I do think that they can live symbiotically with smaller-format stores in the downtown.

And, FWIW, research that I've read suggests that higher gas prices is not a major factor in the amount that people choose to drive, so I wouldn't rely on that as a factor.

I've likely made that clear as mud...

worldlyhaligonian
Mar 14, 2015, 5:14 AM
I should qualify my remark. I don't think downtown urban shopping will (or necessarily should) replace big box suburban shopping, as I think there is a place for both (think: Ikea). Also, given the perception of downtown traffic congestion and lack of parking, people in the suburbs will likely not come downtown to shop, unless there is a unique experience there.

However, in my perfect world, there would be less of those big box suburban stores, supplanted by smaller format downtown stores to service downtown, urban residents. The downtown residential experience should be that you never have to leave the downtown unless you have a need to buy something only carried by warehouse/box stores (i.e. Ikea).

My personal dislike for large format box stores will have little to do with how the actual market works, but I do think that they can live symbiotically with smaller-format stores in the downtown.

And, FWIW, research that I've read suggests that higher gas prices is not a major factor in the amount that people choose to drive, so I wouldn't rely on that as a factor.

I've likely made that clear as mud...

Lol, I agree! Maybe the question is how we can get people out of cars... a decent LRT system would help. Also, there should be more disincentives to live far from the core.

counterfactual
Mar 14, 2015, 2:50 PM
While I would like to see this, I think that if gas prices stay low... people will continue to drive their SUVs to the nearby biz parks (close to their rural/suburban homes).

Its going to take a big cultural shift... which will happen over time. We have to realize that most of the areas beyond the cores of Halifax, Bedford and Dartmouth are populated by those who are not big fans of urban environments (may actually fear them, i.e. false beliefs about crime) and are oftentimes from other parts of the province or maritimes.

I think this is probably right, but I think if convenience or lack of hassle is what is driving consumer preference here for big box, why would people pack up their kids into SUVs, pay the gas (even if cheaper than it could be), if you could get all you need in big box from the comfort of your home? You could be spending quality time with kids after making the order?

I don't think Amazon will absolutely kill all big box, but it will significantly reduce the number and scope of these parks, I believe.

It's already happening, actually.

counterfactual
Mar 14, 2015, 2:51 PM
I should qualify my remark. I don't think downtown urban shopping will (or necessarily should) replace big box suburban shopping, as I think there is a place for both (think: Ikea). Also, given the perception of downtown traffic congestion and lack of parking, people in the suburbs will likely not come downtown to shop, unless there is a unique experience there.

However, in my perfect world, there would be less of those big box suburban stores, supplanted by smaller format downtown stores to service downtown, urban residents. The downtown residential experience should be that you never have to leave the downtown unless you have a need to buy something only carried by warehouse/box stores (i.e. Ikea).

My personal dislike for large format box stores will have little to do with how the actual market works, but I do think that they can live symbiotically with smaller-format stores in the downtown.

And, FWIW, research that I've read suggests that higher gas prices is not a major factor in the amount that people choose to drive, so I wouldn't rely on that as a factor.

I've likely made that clear as mud...

Seems entirely clear to me. :)

I think Amazon/online retailers will help us get to where you envision... as per above, I think Amazon won't fully kill off big box, but will significantly reduce.

Drybrain
Mar 16, 2015, 2:13 PM
It looks like Phil Pacey got his tour of the Dennis. Pacey doesn't have much cred around here, I know, but he took along a local architect, David Garrett, who's done loads of local heritage-restoration work, include the Freemason's Hall, Espace, and currently the NFB site.

Basically, Garrett said that the building appears quite solid--one of the first steel-reinforced concrete buildings in the province, it was definitely built to last. The ceilings (after drop ceiling are removed) are nearly 11 feet high, and he's encouraging the province not to make any rushed decisions--which also implies that he believes the facade is not unfixable.

Frankly, I find a heritage architect's considered opinion more meaningful than the province's "it's beyond saving" rhetoric.

OldDartmouthMark
Mar 16, 2015, 4:08 PM
It looks like Phil Pacey got his tour of the Dennis. Pacey doesn't have much cred around here, I know, but he took along a local architect, David Garrett, who's done loads of local heritage-restoration work, include the Freemason's Hall, Espace, and currently the NFB site.

Basically, Garrett said that the building appears quite solid--one of the first steel-reinforced concrete buildings in the province, it was definitely built to last. The ceilings (after drop ceiling are removed) are nearly 11 feet high, and he's encouraging the province not to make any rushed decisions--which also implies that he believes the facade is not unfixable.

Frankly, I find a heritage architect's considered opinion more meaningful than the province's "it's beyond saving" rhetoric.

That sounds encouraging. Thanks for the report! :tup:

ILoveHalifax
Mar 16, 2015, 6:47 PM
Let's get the dozers in there before Pacey starts petitioning for Save the Dennis

OldDartmouthMark
Mar 16, 2015, 8:18 PM
Let's get the dozers in there before Pacey starts petitioning for Save the Dennis

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHkvD7-u7y8

Keith P.
Mar 16, 2015, 9:29 PM
Frankly, I find a heritage architect's considered opinion more meaningful than the province's "it's beyond saving" rhetoric.


Didn't other architects declare it beyond saving?

Drybrain
Mar 16, 2015, 10:02 PM
Didn't other architects declare it beyond saving?

No, a report commissioned by the government (possibly directed by said government to arrive at a that conclusion) recommended demolition, but didn't declare it beyond saving. The only person who's said that is Minister Kousoulis, who seems to maybe be softening on the issue as it becomes clear how strongly people feel about it.

ILoveHalifax
Mar 17, 2015, 1:20 AM
Look, if Pacey can find an architect to say the building is wonderful then all other opinions really don't matter, cause Pacey has never brought in biased experts before.

Drybrain
Mar 17, 2015, 1:29 AM
Look, if Pacey can find an architect to say the building is wonderful then all other opinions really don't matter, cause Pacey has never brought in biased experts before.

We're talking about David Garrett--he's a jury member for the Lt. Governor's Award for Architecture. He's been employed by Starfish, among many other developers and property owners, and has recently worked on Espace (http://www.halifax.ca/boardscom/drc/documents/Case15842ApplicationbyStarfishProperties.pdf), the NFB restoration, and the Freemason's Hall, among many others. There's hardly a more credible voice on these matters to be found in the province.

Colin May
Mar 17, 2015, 1:59 AM
Look, if Pacey can find an architect to say the building is wonderful then all other opinions really don't matter, cause Pacey has never brought in biased experts before.

My local P-9 school has been under threat of closure for over 25 years and the most recent threat had a staff and consultant appraisal of what is now a almost 60 year old building. The conclusion : close it - too costly to upgrade, blah,blah, blah.
A few years after that appraisal a new idea emerged : kick out the elementary kids and scatter them to 3 other schools, remodel and upgrade the building and bus in French Immersion kids and turn the school into a Jr High.
I had kept the documents from the original review of the building as well as subsequent documents, and I privately asked the maintenance boss at the end of a board meeting to reconcile the 'Tear it down' document with the new "Repair and upgrade' document and he said 'You know the game Colin, you've been through several of these exercises'.
HRM is a small town and no consultant will write a report that does not fit with the prevailing political attitude, unless he/she is planning on never getting another provincial or municipal contract.
The culture of denial is alive and well, it's all part of the boosterism movement.
If the province wants to tear down the Dennis building there are plenty of consultants who will write the supportive report.
If you want an honest appraisal just ask 3 outside non-national firms to prepare seperate reports.

counterfactual
Mar 17, 2015, 3:26 AM
NS Archives posted this photo on twitter today.

https://twitter.com/NS_Archives/status/577603321185185792

Anyone have any idea about these arches? Were they temporary? Or permanent? And if so, why the heck they're now gone? Look really unique.


https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CANqWopVEAAqKQB.jpg:large

Caption: Masonic Arch over Barrington St, #Halifax, celebrating the visit of the Prince of Wales http://bit.ly/1bbtMvx 1860

The Masonic Arch was one of many arches which spanned Halifax streets to celebrate the visit of H.R.M. the Prince of Wales to Halifax in 1860. The Masonic Arch is in front of Free Masons Hall, Barrington Street. (Hon. Alexander Keith, wearing a top hat, stands under the arch, and the spire of St. Matthew’s Church is faintly seen in the distance.) Masons Hall was the gathering point and meeting place for the Charitable Irish Society. A sketch of the Hall, showing the front facade just prior to being demolished, appeared in The Morning Chronicle, 14 October 1903, p. 3. The accompanying news story mentioned Free Masons Hall was the headquarters of the Irish Society as well as all the National Societies in earlier years. The Masons only occupied part of the main floor; the building was also used for hotel purposes and noted, "many brilliant balls and dinners" were held there.

someone123
Mar 17, 2015, 4:19 AM
It used to be pretty common to construct ceremonial arches over streets. I think they were mostly designed to be temporary though, and probably wouldn't have lasted very long.

Halifax did have a series of real archways around the waterfront, including at least one stone one around what is now Historic Properties (I've seen sketches of it but no photos). Here's one example:

https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/s720x720/1549308_689095317807318_57642628_n.jpg?oh=fe2ae9f7fc2d0564160fa2304b416f94&oe=55BADEF5&__gda__=1437865974_9aa72167223a903c74fbf6a0cccdcbdd
https://www.facebook.com/VintageHalifax/photos_stream

I think it would be nice if there were some small-scale infill on some of the waterfront lots that attempted to faithfully recreate some of these old buildings. The law courts and old ferry terminal would be one spot for this; basically it would be an extension of Historic Properties, ideally with a residential component.

ILoveHalifax
Mar 17, 2015, 11:39 AM
Irving had an arch at the foot of Sackville St leading to their offices. That is the only one I remember. It was there in the 50s.

OldDartmouthMark
Mar 17, 2015, 1:16 PM
NS Archives posted this photo on twitter today.

https://twitter.com/NS_Archives/status/577603321185185792

Anyone have any idea about these arches? Were they temporary? Or permanent? And if so, why the heck they're now gone? Look really unique.


https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CANqWopVEAAqKQB.jpg:large

Caption: Masonic Arch over Barrington St, #Halifax, celebrating the visit of the Prince of Wales http://bit.ly/1bbtMvx 1860

The Masonic Arch was one of many arches which spanned Halifax streets to celebrate the visit of H.R.M. the Prince of Wales to Halifax in 1860. The Masonic Arch is in front of Free Masons Hall, Barrington Street. (Hon. Alexander Keith, wearing a top hat, stands under the arch, and the spire of St. Matthew’s Church is faintly seen in the distance.) Masons Hall was the gathering point and meeting place for the Charitable Irish Society. A sketch of the Hall, showing the front facade just prior to being demolished, appeared in The Morning Chronicle, 14 October 1903, p. 3. The accompanying news story mentioned Free Masons Hall was the headquarters of the Irish Society as well as all the National Societies in earlier years. The Masons only occupied part of the main floor; the building was also used for hotel purposes and noted, "many brilliant balls and dinners" were held there.

It looks like some version of a triumphal arch, of which there have been a few in Halifax. I don't know much about them, but I believe they were built as temporary structures for some type of celebration, usually celebrating the military's return after a victory. Here's one example:

http://www.halifax.ca/archives/BoerWarTriumphalArch.php

Boer War Triumphal Arch 1901

Plan of Dumaresq Triumphal Arch City of Halifax Plan # P-11-1427
City of Halifax Engineering and Works Plan # P-11-1427 Nov. 8, 1901

In the summer of 1902, Canadian Boer War volunteers returned to Canada through the port of Halifax after successfully aiding the British in the Boer defeat. The crowds that cheered on the volunteers' departure in 1899 celebrated the return of the first Canadian Contingent in 1901 with parades and concerts. The return of the remaining regiments at the war’s end was equally impressive: Halifax organized street celebrations, a parade and a triumphal arch in honour of the volunteer’s military successes, such as the battle of Paardeberg in 1900.

The displayed image is likely from an unsuccessful bid for the triumphal arch design -- either for celebrations in 1901 or in 1902. The plan is from prolific Halifax architectural firm, J.C. Dumaresq & Son. Received by the City Engineer 's Office on November 8th, 1901, this plan was one of several submitted by city architects, including Hebert E. Gates.

The Dumaresq plan was completed on linen and was painted to enhance the drawing’s effect. It is one of more than 30,000 plans from the City of Halifax Engineer's Office held at the Municipal Archives.

More information on the victory celebrations can be found in the minutes of The Special Committee on the Reception and Entertainment for the Second Canadian Contingent and the Committee for the Reception of the Second Contingent of Canadian Volunteers for Service in South Africa, [HRM Archives 102-1G].

See also the book Fortress Halifax: Portrait of a Garrison Town (2004) by Mike Parker. Nova Scotia Archives displays an image of the victory parade in their exhibit from the Notman Studio.


HRM Archives gratefully acknowledges financial support of the Government of Canada through Library and Archives Canada, and from Nova Scotia's Tourism, Culture and Heritage Provincial Archival Development Program, through Nova Scotia Archives.


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Archives Database:

OldDartmouthMark
Mar 17, 2015, 3:20 PM
There were a few more arches in the city as well:

http://novascotia.ca/archives/virtual/EastCoastPort/archives.asp?ID=1032

Irving Oil arch visible in this one:
http://novascotia.ca/archives/virtual/EastCoastPort/archives.asp?ID=384

This one's still there:
http://novascotia.ca/archives/virtual/Halifax/archives.asp?ID=74

This one shows two triumphal arches, one on Barrington and one at the entrance to the Grand Parade:
http://novascotia.ca/archives/virtual/Notman/archives.asp?ID=835

A Farewell Arch:
http://gencat1.eloquent-systems.com/webcat/systems/halifax/resource/6000_1038_5006285_1.jpg

Keith P.
Mar 17, 2015, 3:34 PM
There were a few more arches in the city as well:

Irving Oil arch visible in this one:
http://novascotia.ca/archives/virtual/EastCoastPort/archives.asp?ID=384


There is a virtually identical photo taken from the same spot in 1961 on the Chronicle-Herald shopping site.

I remember the taking down of that Irving building with the arch was quite controversial in the time (late '70s/early '80s). In retrospect it would have been better to preserve at least the arch feature with the view to the water. Instead we ended up with the rather ugly and unimpressive Maritime Museum building, the epitome of low-bid NS government architecture, and the barren parking lot/plaza to its south.

Ziobrop
Mar 17, 2015, 5:41 PM
There is a virtually identical photo taken from the same spot in 1961 on the Chronicle-Herald shopping site.

I remember the taking down of that Irving building with the arch was quite controversial in the time (late '70s/early '80s). In retrospect it would have been better to preserve at least the arch feature with the view to the water. Instead we ended up with the rather ugly and unimpressive Maritime Museum building, the epitome of low-bid NS government architecture, and the barren parking lot/plaza to its south.

What? arn't you against the library for being too extravagant, but now bemoaning the loss of this for the "Cheap" Taxpayer funded Museum? also your bemoaning the loss of something 30 years ago? isnt Summit place much better?

Keith, Are you feeling ok? your starting to sound like the HTNS