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yal
Aug 18, 2017, 11:49 PM
OK, from the pic, it appears that he is a little older. He's a professor, does that make him wealthy? Does his financial status matter?

But really, I don't understand how his views would be considered NIMBY. He seems to have concerns about the loss of history and character of the entire city. Could you explain how this is NIMBY? Not questioning your views, but I really want to understand.

First of all, his background: http://www.smu.ca/research/profiles/faculty/Haiven98.html
We can dig into the salaries if they are public but I assure you he wasn't making minimum wage throughout his career. It is not hard to assume that he is an upper-middle class citizen.

Second, taking his background into consideration and the fact that he is the chair of the Schmidtville Stakeholder Steering Committee suggests that he is either living in Schmidtville or in the South End. We all know about the Schmidtville crowd right? It also takes some sort of financial maturity for people to make time to engage in projects like that. NIMBYism is not cheap.

Third, the fact that the developments he is shitting on are/were ALMOST all empty lots, mostly parking lots which were levelled decades ago like it was mentioned above. The only point I agree with him is the Elmswood building.

Let's go one by one:

The Cunard: Parking lot
The Vic: "which replaced the gorgeous old Victoria Hotel at Morris and Hollis, victim of demolition-by-neglect)" (his words). This is the gorgeous hotel he is talking about: https://www.google.ca/maps/@44.6419621,-63.56997,3a,75y,76.38h,94.1t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sTFl1YCPW1Q7TY0H5tDddrA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
The Roy: Probably one of the best buildings in that area. Bricks were falling off of it before the project.
The Alexander: Vacant Lot
The Mary Ann and The Margaretta: Parking Lot / Vacant Lot
"shamelessly sit on a part of Schmidtville that has been levelled." He is almost talking like it was levelled couple months ago to make way for these projects.
Robie and Quinpool Tower: A very ugly and outdated office building with a crumbling multilevel parking lot behind it.
Queen’s Marque: Parking Lot

Apart from his criticism, he doesn't give us any clue about what he would envision instead of those projects since almost all of them were empty lots.

If this is not NIMBYism, honestly I don't know what is. I hope I could explain my point of view :)

yal
Aug 18, 2017, 11:54 PM
He's a professor, does that make him wealthy?

I think I found an answer to that question :)

http://www.smu.ca/webfiles/Public%20Sector%20Compensation%20Disclosure%20Act%20[PDF]%20Fiscal%202016.pdf

OldDartmouthMark
Aug 19, 2017, 10:18 AM
First of all, his background: http://www.smu.ca/research/profiles/faculty/Haiven98.html
We can dig into the salaries if they are public but I assure you he wasn't making minimum wage throughout his career. It is not hard to assume that he is an upper-middle class citizen.

Again, I don't see the relevance of his financial status. Anyone has the potential to be considered NIMBY - it's a state of mind, not necessarily a sign of wealth. I'm sure that everybody who opposes development in their neighborhood is not wealthy, they just don't want change in their area, likely for a variety of reasons.

Second, taking his background into consideration and the fact that he is the chair of the Schmidtville Stakeholder Steering Committee suggests that he is either living in Schmidtville or in the South End. We all know about the Schmidtville crowd right? It also takes some sort of financial maturity for people to make time to engage in projects like that. NIMBYism is not cheap.

Yeah, I know there is resentment of the Schmidtville people on this forum. Perhaps justifiable in some cases, but the preservation of an old neighbourhood isn't necessarily a bad cause. Perhaps the motivation may be property value retention, but there's also the heritage aspect which makes it a reasonable assertion, IMHO.

Third, the fact that the developments he is shitting on are/were ALMOST all empty lots, mostly parking lots which were levelled decades ago like it was mentioned above. The only point I agree with him is the Elmswood building.

Let's go one by one:

The Cunard: Parking lot
The Vic: "which replaced the gorgeous old Victoria Hotel at Morris and Hollis, victim of demolition-by-neglect)" (his words). This is the gorgeous hotel he is talking about: https://www.google.ca/maps/@44.6419621,-63.56997,3a,75y,76.38h,94.1t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sTFl1YCPW1Q7TY0H5tDddrA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
The Roy: Probably one of the best buildings in that area. Bricks were falling off of it before the project.
The Alexander: Vacant Lot
The Mary Ann and The Margaretta: Parking Lot / Vacant Lot
"shamelessly sit on a part of Schmidtville that has been levelled." He is almost talking like it was levelled couple months ago to make way for these projects.
Robie and Quinpool Tower: A very ugly and outdated office building with a crumbling multilevel parking lot behind it.
Queen’s Marque: Parking Lot

Apart from his criticism, he doesn't give us any clue about what he would envision instead of those projects since almost all of them were empty lots.
If this is not NIMBYism, honestly I don't know what is. I hope I could explain my point of view :)


As mentioned, I agree with you on this one (with the exception of the old hotel on the VIC lot - I thought it had a lot of character and was actually an example somewhat unique within the area - it was allowed to be a little run down by the owners, but I would like to have seen it retained).

It's a weak argument for him to assert that buildings shouldn't have been built on empty lots, and it takes focus away from the point he was trying to make. It would have been much more effective to simply talk about cases where buildings were removed specifically to make way for new developments, and would have made his points much harder to refute, IMHO.

I still can't agree that this is purely a NIMBY motivation, since he can't possibly live in all the neighbourhoods where these buildings are being built. I would concede that the argument of not building on empty lots is anti-development, but I don't see NIMBY in it. And... I don't think that was the point of it all.

Thanks for responding to my questions and giving me the opportunity to present my views. It's a good exchange, I think. :tup:

Keith P.
Aug 19, 2017, 12:56 PM
I think I found an answer to that question :)

http://www.smu.ca/webfiles/Public%20Sector%20Compensation%20Disclosure%20Act%20[PDF]%20Fiscal%202016.pdf

Wow, there are more members of the Haiven clan on that payroll than Jesuits, I think. :uhh: Between him and wife Judy they are pulling in a quarter of a million a year not counting govt grants, book royalties, etc.

yal
Aug 19, 2017, 4:27 PM
Again, I don't see the relevance of his financial status. Anyone has the potential to be considered NIMBY - it's a state of mind, not necessarily a sign of wealth.

For some reason, I have the association on my mind that in the downtown/south-end neighborhoods, the anti-development "activism" we see is usually done by the wealthy elder residents. I am making a generalization, yes, but I don't think this is far from the truth for this particular region.

I still think Schmidtville type of NIMBYism is more for people that are in certain financial status and relatively wealthy. As a result, they have more time to dedicate to their cause and have more influence than your average NIMBY.

Drybrain
Aug 19, 2017, 6:08 PM
As mentioned, I agree with you on this one (with the exception of the old hotel on the VIC lot - I thought it had a lot of character and was actually an example somewhat unique within the area - it was allowed to be a little run down by the owners, but I would like to have seen it retained).

It's a weak argument for him to assert that buildings shouldn't have been built on empty lots, and it takes focus away from the point he was trying to make. It would have been much more effective to simply talk about cases where buildings were removed specifically to make way for new developments, and would have made his points much harder to refute, IMHO.


Yeah. I'm with him Mr. Haiven entirely on the loss of historic buildings. And as much as I like the Vic, the unique building on the corner would have been wonderful to preserve. Almost as much of a loss as the Elmwood.

But when he refers to something like the Vic as a "pile of undistinguished building elements" he loses credibility. (Likewise calling Queen's Marque "modernist".)

And what's wrong with invoking a bit of history by referring to a new building by a historic name? Absolutely nothing, except that he seems to think anything that's A: Large, or B: Contemporary in appearance somehow diminishes the city.

beyeas
Aug 19, 2017, 10:14 PM
If it is inappropriate to give more weight to someone's opinion because they have money, why is it appropriate to give it less?

Arguing that someone's opinion is wrong based on their social class etc is just as wrong an argument as basing it their race or gender. Frankly it is just a cheap way out rather than actually debating facts.

I think the author has some valid points that we need to figure out what built heritage we value and therefore wish to save long term. I also very much disagree with many of their other points, including that development/change is bad for this city, however none of my disagreement is based on his job or apparent wealth, but on factual disagreement.

yal
Aug 19, 2017, 11:42 PM
If it is inappropriate to give more weight to someone's opinion because they have money, why is it appropriate to give it less?

Arguing that someone's opinion is wrong based on their social class etc is just as wrong an argument as basing it their race or gender. Frankly it is just a cheap way out rather than actually debating facts.

I think the author has some valid points that we need to figure out what built heritage we value and therefore wish to save long term. I also very much disagree with many of their other points, including that development/change is bad for this city, however none of my disagreement is based on his job or apparent wealth, but on factual disagreement.

I merely made a statement about the social demographics of a certain group of activists. Where did I exactly argue his opinion is wrong based on his social class? I went through the developments one by one in my post. What facts am I missing?

You are absolutely twisting my arguments so you can "refute" my point. I think taking a statement and trying to turn it into and argument about class, race and gender is the cheap way out. And if you think the equation "wealth = influence" does not apply in that situation, you are very naive.

counterfactual
Aug 19, 2017, 11:44 PM
It's a weak argument for him to assert that buildings shouldn't have been built on empty lots, and it takes focus away from the point he was trying to make. It would have been much more effective to simply talk about cases where buildings were removed specifically to make way for new developments, and would have made his points much harder to refute, IMHO.

I still can't agree that this is purely a NIMBY motivation, since he can't possibly live in all the neighbourhoods where these buildings are being built. I would concede that the argument of not building on empty lots is anti-development, but I don't see NIMBY in it. And... I don't think that was the point of it all.

Thanks for responding to my questions and giving me the opportunity to present my views. It's a good exchange, I think. :tup:

I think you're being too generous, Mark. I don't think he's simply making a point about the loss of heritage in Halifax. If he were, there would be no need for him to exaggerate. There are several good recent examples, like the Doyle on SGR.

But the reason he has to exaggerate, obviously cynically hoping to capitalize on the ignorance of readers, is he's trying to establish a much broader and more significant claim: that new developments in the City are, literally, destroying it; this is a far more alarmist, apocryphal, and quite frankly, stupid claim. A total fabrication for which there is little evidence.

If you're wondering where I'm getting this, it's from the byline of the article:

Halifax is surely and inexorably being destroyed by rampant developers and an obliging council.

His final paragraph echoes this same Big Lie.

And I have to agree -- it's utter NIMBY garbage.

If he were simply wanting to preserve heritage, he'd offer constructive proposals, ways of developers and the heritage community to work together. Maybe policy changes to allow development to happen, and the benefits that come with it, along with preserving and protecting valuable heritage.

But he doesn't do anything like that. He clearly sees no value in development or change, or at least doesn't indicate so in the piece. Rather, his aim is clearly to demonize development and the "destruction" he claims it has wrought on the City.

This is not only NIMBY, it's cynical and based on ignorance and exaggeration by an professor emeritus who should know better.

I also don't mind pointing out that he's a former professor and no doubt would have fallen among the wealthiest 5% in Canada by income standards. He probably also owns property in Schmidtville.

Why is it relevant? Because it indicates there's a clear self-interest here, as is often with NIMBY property owners, which would provide another motive for his ludicrously over-the-top column, based on exaggeration and BS.

It's often the case that NIMBYism is pushed by wealthy property owners to stop new housing developments that would making housing more affordable for others, and potentially bring down related costs.

It's simple supply and demand. Stopping new development both preserves, and inflates, the monetary value of existing properties. We've seen this in major cities all over Canada. Halifax remains reasonable, but it won't be in the long term if NIMBYs like Haiven get their way.

He may truly believe the city is being destroyed; but the net result of his advocacy/NIMBYism is the preservation and inflation of the property values, and thus the investment, of those who own in these areas, and an increase in housing costs and cost of living for the rest of us.

yal
Aug 20, 2017, 4:49 AM
I also don't mind pointing out that he's a former professor and no doubt would have fallen among the wealthiest 5% in Canada by income standards. He probably also owns property in Schmidtville.

Why is it relevant? Because it indicates there's a clear self-interest here, as is often with NIMBY property owners, which would provide another motive for his ludicrously over-the-top column, based on exaggeration and BS.

It's often the case that NIMBYism is pushed by wealthy property owners to stop new housing developments that would making housing more affordable for others, and potentially bring down related costs.

It's simple supply and demand. Stopping new development both preserves, and inflates, the monetary value of existing properties. We've seen this in major cities all over Canada. Halifax remains reasonable, but it won't be in the long term if NIMBYs like Haiven get their way.



This is exactly why I brought up the wealth and NIMBYism in the South End. I think you put it together better than I did.

I would also like to point out that he is the very same person who wanted to "save the view of the Citadel Hill" from the library that did not exist couple years ago.

https://www.thecoast.ca/halifax/we-need-to-save-the-wow/Content?oid=5316813

musicman
Aug 20, 2017, 1:39 PM
OK, from the pic, it appears that he is a little older. He's a professor, does that make him wealthy? Does his financial status matter?

But really, I don't understand how his views would be considered NIMBY. He seems to have concerns about the loss of history and character of the entire city. Could you explain how this is NIMBY? Not questioning your views, but I really want to understand.

He is a nimby of the worst type. He lives in an area and does not want to see anything change in and around it. He is against some of the most affordable units going up on the paninsula, and sees all these new people moving into his neighbourhood as a threat.

Ironically he fought the new library and now hold his nimby meetings in "this lovely space" so yeah he is a nimby.

OldDartmouthMark
Aug 20, 2017, 1:58 PM
Many good points made here. Too many to address them all individually.

I can understand where you all are coming from, but I still have a problem with generalizing somebody's intentions based on their age or financial status. I don't know this man personally, maybe some of you do, so I will defer to your experience. I will always have a problem with generalizing about people - period.

I can understand the need for preservation of historic structures and neighbourhoods, but I couldn't give a damn about property values. I think the goal should be to make the city a great place to live, for everybody. If that means mixing historic areas with shiny new structures, then that's the best outcome. I think most people here would want this, so I'll leave it at that.

MonctonRad
Aug 20, 2017, 2:29 PM
Many good points made here. Too many to address them all individually.

I can understand where you all are coming from, but I still have a problem with generalizing somebody's intentions based on their age or financial status. I don't know this man personally, maybe some of you do, so I will defer to your experience. I will always have a problem with generalizing about people - period.

I can understand the need for preservation of historic structures and neighbourhoods, but I couldn't give a damn about property values. I think the goal should be to make the city a great place to live, for everybody. If that means mixing historic areas with shiny new structures, then that's the best outcome. I think most people here would want this, so I'll leave it at that.

Excellent post. I dislike NIMBY's (especially the BANANA variant) but historical preservationism has to be taken seriously. Sometimes that means entire streetscapes need to be preserved, despite the fact that not every building on that street is particularly historic or noteworthy. In most circumstances though, new construction is good, especially if alterations can be made in the design so that it fits into the context of the neighbourhood. Balance is necessary in these decisions, and this requires reasoned and thoughtful debate.

I also don't know this particular individual or have any real understanding of his history of activism, but it troubles me that some people have gone out of their way to publish his occupation and salary and then justify this as an indication of his character and motives. This is just plain wrong. If you want to vilify him, do so based on his actions, not because of who he is or where he comes from.

yal
Aug 20, 2017, 3:34 PM
I also don't know this particular individual or have any real understanding of his history of activism, but it troubles me that some people have gone out of their way to publish his occupation and salary and then justify this as an indication of his character and motives. This is just plain wrong. If you want to vilify him, do so based on his actions, not because of who he is or where he comes from.

All of the information disclosed above is public. I literally takes one Google search and couple of clicks to get it all. There is nothing to "publish" there.

His articles are "his actions". His background and who he is gives us clues about his possible future actions/motivations. This is particularly important when he has access to media outlets and can influence public opinion and development in particular regions.

Do you really think a person's background and who that person is, has no relationship with that person's actions and motives?

Also, criticism is not equal to vilification. This oversensitivity is killing me.

counterfactual
Aug 20, 2017, 11:07 PM
Excellent post. I dislike NIMBY's (especially the BANANA variant) but historical preservationism has to be taken seriously. Sometimes that means entire streetscapes need to be preserved, despite the fact that not every building on that street is particularly historic or noteworthy. In most circumstances though, new construction is good, especially if alterations can be made in the design so that it fits into the context of the neighbourhood. Balance is necessary in these decisions, and this requires reasoned and thoughtful debate.

I also don't know this particular individual or have any real understanding of his history of activism, but it troubles me that some people have gone out of their way to publish his occupation and salary and then justify this as an indication of his character and motives. This is just plain wrong. If you want to vilify him, do so based on his actions, not because of who he is or where he comes from.

I think it's been a pretty civil discussion with fair criticisms raised. No one has called him names or made false claims about him. And the only vilification in this discussion comes in the article itself-- which uses exaggeration and multiple caricatures of existing developments to demonize not only developers but also city politicians.

We've offered pretty measured criticism his ludicrous article and claims. And given his many exaggerations in it, it's fair to ask -- why? Why the exaggeration? Why the caricatures and inflated claims?

Mark responded in kind, thoughtfully, as he usually does. I disagree with Mark, but it's civil.

OldDartmouthMark
Aug 21, 2017, 4:20 PM
I think it's been a pretty civil discussion with fair criticisms raised. No one has called him names or made false claims about him. And the only vilification in this discussion comes in the article itself-- which uses exaggeration and multiple caricatures of existing developments to demonize not only developers but also city politicians.

We've offered pretty measured criticism his ludicrous article and claims. And given his many exaggerations in it, it's fair to ask -- why? Why the exaggeration? Why the caricatures and inflated claims?

Mark responded in kind, thoughtfully, as he usually does. I disagree with Mark, but it's civil.

Hey thanks for the good words. It is possible to disagree and yet keep the discussion fact-based and non-personal, and I appreciate that. It's something that's a little extraordinary in that even the current US president doesn't seem to be capable of it (:D).

As mentioned, I agree that many of the author's claims are baseless and definitely take away from his argument, and I've stated the aspects that I agree with, so we're all good there.

Not to beat a dead horse, but my comments regarding NIMBYism in this case were based on what I felt was the accepted definition of NIMBY. A couple of examples from a quick internet search:

not in my backyard: used to express opposition by local citizens to the locating in their neighborhood of a civic project, as a jail, garbage dump, or drug rehabilitation center, that, though needed by the larger community, is considered unsightly, dangerous, or likely to lead to decreased property values.

Source (http://www.dictionary.com/browse/nimby?s=t)

and

NIMBY (an acronym for the phrase "Not In My Back Yard"[1][2]), or Nimby,[3] is a pejorative characterization of opposition by residents to a proposal for a new development because it is close to them (or, in some cases, because the development involves controversial or potentially dangerous technology) often with the connotation that such residents believe that the developments are needed in society but should be further away. The residents are often called Nimbys, and their state of mind is called Nimbyism.

Source (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NIMBY)


Given that he was concerned about buildings being built throughout the city, and not just in 'his' neighborhood (wherever that is), I felt that the judgement of NIMBY wasn't appropriate. It is speculated that he lives in Schmidtville (I haven't seen any proof, other than being involved in the Schmidtville movement), so perhaps NIMBY applies to the Schmidtville case, but IMHO still not applicable to the other cases.

As somebody mentioned, BANANA may be more appropriate, but he doesn't seem to object to every development, just ones that he doesn't like.

It's interesting that NIMBY has taken on such a negative connotation - as in some cases it is not necessarily a bad thing - and is quite subjective based on the personal tastes/interests of an individual. For example, there have been many cases where a significant historical structure has been lost to replace it with mediocre architecture - local residents who oppose it may be considered NIMBY, but that viewpoint can change over the years once the majority realizes it as a loss, and perhaps understands that the building which replaced it didn't live up to expectations or somehow had a negative effect on the neighborhood.

That's all I feel I need to say about that topic.

Regarding the other issue I had, with relation to his income and/or placement in the 'pecking order' of our society, I agree that this can play into similar situations whereby the person uses their 'influence' to make things go to their particular preference, but again I think it is unfair to make that assumption. I don't mean to make too fine a point about it, but in some ways it seems to shadow the resentment between generations that I've seen way too many times on the internet (i.e. "Millennials" deriding the 'privileged' "Boomers" and vice versa). Maybe that's not the circumstance, but in any case I think we're bigger than that here.

Maybe I'm being "oversensitive"... :haha: It's OK, I can dial back the sensitivity, but then I get to be insensitive in my responses too... ;)

Keith P.
Aug 21, 2017, 7:38 PM
Given that he was concerned about buildings being built throughout the city, and not just in 'his' neighborhood (wherever that is), I felt that the judgement of NIMBY wasn't appropriate. It is speculated that he lives in Schmidtville (I haven't seen any proof, other than being involved in the Schmidtville movement), so perhaps NIMBY applies to the Schmidtville case, but IMHO still not applicable to the other cases.



Larry & Judy live on Morris St, in the Dresden Row/Birmingham St. area, so they're on the edge of Schmidtville.

OldDartmouthMark
Aug 21, 2017, 9:12 PM
Larry & Judy live on Morris St, in the Dresden Row/Birmingham St. area, so they're on the edge of Schmidtville.

Thanks Keith. Then I guess it applies for the Schmidtville case.

Jonovision
Aug 21, 2017, 11:06 PM
Not to curtail this great discussion but I have a few updates to share.

Dartmouth Sportsplex

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4369/36326111150_95d3f03756_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/Xm1Pgd)20170818_112840_HDR (https://flic.kr/p/Xm1Pgd) by Jonovision23 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/36229421@N02/), on Flickr

New Hilton Double Tree (Replacing old Holiday Inn)

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4361/36721763395_81b439b814_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/XWYCTD)20170818_112630 (https://flic.kr/p/XWYCTD) by Jonovision23 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/36229421@N02/), on Flickr

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4373/36721769705_30b8fe52e7_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/XWYELr)20170818_112445_HDR (https://flic.kr/p/XWYELr) by Jonovision23 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/36229421@N02/), on Flickr

The same developer who was working on the St Pats Rectory seen below has restored the Jesuits Centre a few doors down.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4434/36582984271_e987e335d9_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/XJHmG8)20170818_105936 (https://flic.kr/p/XJHmG8) by Jonovision23 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/36229421@N02/), on Flickr

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4415/36326360330_c4c15654f4_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/Xm36kq)20170818_110044 (https://flic.kr/p/Xm36kq) by Jonovision23 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/36229421@N02/), on Flickr

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4418/36721759805_f58447ac5a_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/XWYBPK)20170818_110026 (https://flic.kr/p/XWYBPK) by Jonovision23 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/36229421@N02/), on Flickr

yal
Aug 21, 2017, 11:37 PM
Larry & Judy live on Morris St, in the Dresden Row/Birmingham St. area, so they're on the edge of Schmidtville.

I had that gut feeling that they would be living around Schmidtville. My gut was right I guess :D

OldDartmouthMark
Aug 22, 2017, 12:18 PM
I had that gut feeling that they would be living around Schmidtville. My gut was right I guess :D

Which reinforces the point I was trying to make. Until Keith introduced the facts, your entire argument was based on speculation and some apparent bias you have against older people who are well-off. The point appears to have been lost or glossed over, not to mention the broader discussion regarding NIMBYism, etc. etc.

Oh well, no worries. I was hoping to have a better discussion about it, but it's all good. There were some good points brought to the table and I appreciate that. :tup:

beyeas
Aug 22, 2017, 12:34 PM
My point in all this has more to do with generalizations.

If this author makes their financial status, profession, or personal property part of their argument, then it is fair game to criticize if appropriate. If they raise it as an argument, then that argument should be open to criticism. However, generalizations that state that "those people" always think this way or that way are frankly useless and tired replacements for actual rationale debate. Enough with generalizations already. It adds nothing to the actual discussion, other than the fact that we as humans seem to be wired to want to blame those other people over there for problems (See Brexit, Trump, etc) rather than simply addressing the actual issues at hand. It is easier to generalize than it is to debate the facts.

Whether or not the author is correct or incorrect should therefore be debated based on nothing but the facts presented. What the author "might" think or be motivated by is nothing more the hearsay and doesn't add in any substantive way to the debate. Stick to the facts. Yes NIMBYs/BANANAs exist, but what matters far more is whether or not there is merit to some, all or none of the arguments actually presented. There is a good reason why generalizations and hearsay are legally inadmissible arguments!

This forum is at its best when all of us discuss the merits of varying views and bring interesting perspectives and viewpoints to arguments, and is at its worst when it descends into snarky finger pointing and generalizations.

OldDartmouthMark
Aug 22, 2017, 1:04 PM
My point in all this has more to do with generalizations.

If this author makes their financial status, profession, or personal property part of their argument, then it is fair game to criticize if appropriate. If they raise it as an argument, then that argument should be open to criticism. However, generalizations that state that "those people" always think this way or that way are frankly useless and tired replacements for actual rationale debate. Enough with generalizations already. It adds nothing to the actual discussion, other than the fact that we as humans seem to be wired to want to blame those other people over there for problems (See Brexit, Trump, etc) rather than simply addressing the actual issues at hand. It is easier to generalize than it is to debate the facts.

Whether or not the author is correct or incorrect should therefore be debated based on nothing but the facts presented. What the author "might" think or be motivated by is nothing more the hearsay and doesn't add in any substantive way to the debate. Stick to the facts. Yes NIMBYs/BANANAs exist, but what matters far more is whether or not there is merit to some, all or none of the arguments actually presented. There is a good reason why generalizations and hearsay are legally inadmissible arguments!

This forum is at its best when all of us discuss the merits of varying views and bring interesting perspectives and viewpoints to arguments, and is at its worst when it descends into snarky finger pointing and generalizations.

Stated much more eloquently than I could ever hope to. Thanks!

Jonovision
Aug 22, 2017, 9:55 PM
Renovations and an addition coming to the Cornwallis Street Baptist Church.
https://www.halifax.ca/sites/default/files/documents/city-hall/regional-council/170815rc1451.pdf

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4442/35908744244_2d723030bb_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/WH8GC5)Cornwallis 1 (https://flic.kr/p/WH8GC5) by Jonovision23 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/36229421@N02/), on Flickr

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4363/36573280182_d3f2935fd6_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/XHRC1f)Cornwallis 2 (https://flic.kr/p/XHRC1f) by Jonovision23 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/36229421@N02/), on Flickr

Jonovision
Aug 22, 2017, 9:57 PM
A lot of work happening on the interior for Bell Lofts over in downtown Dartmouth.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4424/35888497754_182801c816_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/WFkW3E)2017-08-21_08-04-22 (https://flic.kr/p/WFkW3E) by Jonovision23 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/36229421@N02/), on Flickr

Keith P.
Aug 23, 2017, 3:27 AM
So, Bob Bjerke is out as head of HRM's Planning dept:

https://www.thecoast.ca/RealityBites/archives/2017/08/22/chief-planning-director-bob-bjerke-exits-city-hall?utm_content=buffer09e61&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

I predicted this when he was hired IIRC.

What this means for the much-ballyhooed Centre Plan remains to be seen.

someone123
Aug 23, 2017, 3:52 AM
Whether or not the author is correct or incorrect should therefore be debated based on nothing but the facts presented. What the author "might" think or be motivated by is nothing more the hearsay and doesn't add in any substantive way to the debate. Stick to the facts. Yes NIMBYs/BANANAs exist, but what matters far more is whether or not there is merit to some, all or none of the arguments actually presented.

I agree that ad hominem attacks are fallacious and don't add to the debate. However, there's something to be said for the social situation in Halifax and the fact that we see a group of wealthy homeowner NIMBYs who have a disproportionate voice in the media, while poorer people for the most part are rarely heard from, or tend not to formulate responses that are proportional to their needs and desires. The people who can't move to a city because they can't afford to aren't heard from at all.

I dislike these articles because they are so negative and polarizing, and come from such a narrow perspective. Halifax could do a lot better when it comes to preserving its character while allowing for new development, but there is a trade-off that Mr. Haiven doesn't talk about at all, nor does he seem to have any appreciation for modern architecture. The article seems to suggest that just about any new development is bad. That's an opinion that only works for somebody who already has wealth and privilege. The rest get to visit as tourists I guess, if they can afford it.

Another problem is that there tends to be a balkanized group of poverty advocates who don't think in economic terms and see new market-rate development as being at odds with their idea of "affordable housing". They've become misguided allies of NIMBYs, and advocate for policies that aren't aligned well with their cause. Some others are just anti-capitalists and think that they will help poor people by trying to get in the way of anybody who's making money. I think this is also misguided.

IanWatson
Aug 23, 2017, 11:57 AM
So, Bob Bjerke is out as head of HRM's Planning dept:

https://www.thecoast.ca/RealityBites/archives/2017/08/22/chief-planning-director-bob-bjerke-exits-city-hall?utm_content=buffer09e61&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

I predicted this when he was hired IIRC.

What this means for the much-ballyhooed Centre Plan remains to be seen.

I wonder even more what it means for the departmental reorg. It's been two years of pain as planners got shuffled and hired, with the promise that all the pieces will fall into place and things will be much better and more efficient. Things seemed like they were just starting to come together in the past couple of months... hopefully whoever fills Bjerke's shoes has the wisdom to see the reorg through to completion rather than try to blow it all up and put their own stamp on it.

robotropolis
Aug 23, 2017, 2:56 PM
I agree that ad hominem attacks are fallacious and don't add to the debate. However, there's something to be said for the social situation in Halifax and the fact that we see a group of wealthy homeowner NIMBYs who have a disproportionate voice in the media, while poorer people for the most part are rarely heard from, or tend not to formulate responses that are proportional to their needs and desires. The people who can't move to a city because they can't afford to aren't heard from at all.

Agree completely. It's a lot easier to be a NIMBY when you got yours (detached house with a yard) and are living the sweet life taking up a disproportionate amount of space in downtown. I hated how hyperbolic this article was and how near-hysterically he listed every building height (EIGHT STORIES) as though we are all supposed to despise anything over two stories. If that's your flavour there are a million heritage-rich small towns to welcome you in this province.

Remember that survey that said that only TWO PERCENT of people disapproved of more development in their neighbourhood? Yet these 2 percenter yahoos get 98% of the media coverage. Part of the reason being that they've got a lot of social/cultural capital to throw around.
http://www.metronews.ca/news/halifax/2016/12/20/new-study-suggests-halifax-residents-like-development.html

That said yes, I think preserving our heritage makes sense and I think the all-or-nothing attitude perpetuated by the trust/heritage groups is probably making things worse by encouraging either 100% preservation (IMO often unreasonably so) or knockdown.

counterfactual
Aug 24, 2017, 3:40 AM
My point in all this has more to do with generalizations.

If this author makes their financial status, profession, or personal property part of their argument, then it is fair game to criticize if appropriate. If they raise it as an argument, then that argument should be open to criticism. However, generalizations that state that "those people" always think this way or that way are frankly useless and tired replacements for actual rationale debate. Enough with generalizations already. It adds nothing to the actual discussion, other than the fact that we as humans seem to be wired to want to blame those other people over there for problems (See Brexit, Trump, etc) rather than simply addressing the actual issues at hand. It is easier to generalize than it is to debate the facts.

Whether or not the author is correct or incorrect should therefore be debated based on nothing but the facts presented. What the author "might" think or be motivated by is nothing more the hearsay and doesn't add in any substantive way to the debate. Stick to the facts. Yes NIMBYs/BANANAs exist, but what matters far more is whether or not there is merit to some, all or none of the arguments actually presented. There is a good reason why generalizations and hearsay are legally inadmissible arguments!

This forum is at its best when all of us discuss the merits of varying views and bring interesting perspectives and viewpoints to arguments, and is at its worst when it descends into snarky finger pointing and generalizations.

I'm sorry but I think you're missing the point entirely. Let me quote someone123, who puts it far better than I could:

I agree that ad hominem attacks are fallacious and don't add to the debate. However, there's something to be said for the social situation in Halifax and the fact that we see a group of wealthy homeowner NIMBYs who have a disproportionate voice in the media, while poorer people for the most part are rarely heard from, or tend not to formulate responses that are proportional to their needs and desires. The people who can't move to a city because they can't afford to aren't heard from at all.

I dislike these articles because they are so negative and polarizing, and come from such a narrow perspective. Halifax could do a lot better when it comes to preserving its character while allowing for new development, but there is a trade-off that Mr. Haiven doesn't talk about at all, nor does he seem to have any appreciation for modern architecture. The article seems to suggest that just about any new development is bad. That's an opinion that only works for somebody who already has wealth and privilege. The rest get to visit as tourists I guess, if they can afford it.

Another problem is that there tends to be a balkanized group of poverty advocates who don't think in economic terms and see new market-rate development as being at odds with their idea of "affordable housing". They've become misguided allies of NIMBYs, and advocate for policies that aren't aligned well with their cause. Some others are just anti-capitalists and think that they will help poor people by trying to get in the way of anybody who's making money. I think this is also misguided.

Precisely.

Pointing out Haivan's privileged status had nothing to do with ad hominem attacks; it had everything to do to point to the broader social, political, and economic context in which his exaggerated, polarizing, and quite frankly, ludicrous claims were being made.

It may not be central to the debate, and the claims Haivan makes, but it's certainly a valid point to raise in the discussion.

counterfactual
Aug 24, 2017, 3:48 AM
Hey thanks for the good words. It is possible to disagree and yet keep the discussion fact-based and non-personal, and I appreciate that. It's something that's a little extraordinary in that even the current US president doesn't seem to be capable of it (:D).

As mentioned, I agree that many of the author's claims are baseless and definitely take away from his argument, and I've stated the aspects that I agree with, so we're all good there.

Not to beat a dead horse, but my comments regarding NIMBYism in this case were based on what I felt was the accepted definition of NIMBY. A couple of examples from a quick internet search:



Source (http://www.dictionary.com/browse/nimby?s=t)

and



Source (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NIMBY)


Given that he was concerned about buildings being built throughout the city, and not just in 'his' neighborhood (wherever that is), I felt that the judgement of NIMBY wasn't appropriate. It is speculated that he lives in Schmidtville (I haven't seen any proof, other than being involved in the Schmidtville movement), so perhaps NIMBY applies to the Schmidtville case, but IMHO still not applicable to the other cases.

As somebody mentioned, BANANA may be more appropriate, but he doesn't seem to object to every development, just ones that he doesn't like.

It's interesting that NIMBY has taken on such a negative connotation - as in some cases it is not necessarily a bad thing - and is quite subjective based on the personal tastes/interests of an individual. For example, there have been many cases where a significant historical structure has been lost to replace it with mediocre architecture - local residents who oppose it may be considered NIMBY, but that viewpoint can change over the years once the majority realizes it as a loss, and perhaps understands that the building which replaced it didn't live up to expectations or somehow had a negative effect on the neighborhood.

That's all I feel I need to say about that topic.


This is fair, Mark, I sometimes use NIMBY in a broader more colloquial sense-- that is people who are simply opposing development in the city for personal/subjective reasons detached from the overall good of the city and people living here. The "backyard" here is, literally, the entire city.

Maybe BANANA is more technically accurate, but I think Haivan fits my above noted broader definition fine. :)

Regarding the other issue I had, with relation to his income and/or placement in the 'pecking order' of our society, I agree that this can play into similar situations whereby the person uses their 'influence' to make things go to their particular preference, but again I think it is unfair to make that assumption. I don't mean to make too fine a point about it, but in some ways it seems to shadow the resentment between generations that I've seen way too many times on the internet (i.e. "Millennials" deriding the 'privileged' "Boomers" and vice versa). Maybe that's not the circumstance, but in any case I think we're bigger than that here.

Maybe I'm being "oversensitive"... :haha: It's OK, I can dial back the sensitivity, but then I get to be insensitive in my responses too... ;)

I don't want to make the point about generational conflict, because there are plenty of younger NIMBYs/BANANAs in the city for sure. The NIMBY is strong across generations and age groups in Halifax. :)

I think it just happens that retirees get more media attention, and thus our attention, as they simply have more time on their hands to write polarizing screeds to The Coast or to bring frivolous lawsuits against developments. :shrug:

OldDartmouthMark
Aug 24, 2017, 4:16 AM
This is fair, Mark, I sometimes use NIMBY in a broader more colloquial sense-- that is people who are simply opposing development in the city for personal/subjective reasons detached from the overall good of the city and people living here. The "backyard" here is, literally, the entire city.

Maybe BANANA is more technically accurate, but I think Haivan fits my above noted broader definition fine. :)



I don't want to make the point about generational conflict, because there are plenty of younger NIMBYs/BANANAs in the city for sure. The NIMBY is strong across generations and age groups in Halifax. :)

I think it just happens that retirees get more media attention, and thus our attention, as they simply have more time on their hands to write polarizing screeds to The Coast or to bring frivolous lawsuits against developments. :shrug:

Well stated, and understood. :tup:

OldDartmouthMark
Aug 24, 2017, 4:19 AM
Not to curtail this great discussion but I have a few updates to share.

*snip*

The same developer who was working on the St Pats Rectory seen below has restored the Jesuits Centre a few doors down.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4434/36582984271_e987e335d9_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/XJHmG8)20170818_105936 (https://flic.kr/p/XJHmG8) by Jonovision23 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/36229421@N02/), on Flickr

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4415/36326360330_c4c15654f4_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/Xm36kq)20170818_110044 (https://flic.kr/p/Xm36kq) by Jonovision23 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/36229421@N02/), on Flickr

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4418/36721759805_f58447ac5a_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/XWYBPK)20170818_110026 (https://flic.kr/p/XWYBPK) by Jonovision23 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/36229421@N02/), on Flickr

Thanks for posting this. I've seen it in person and it looks great! I think they do nice work.

Jonovision
Aug 28, 2017, 4:57 PM
Topped out on Dresden Rowe.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4432/36062777413_fc8e75d6c1_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/WWKajn)20170826_160639 (https://flic.kr/p/WWKajn) by Jonovision23 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/36229421@N02/), on Flickr

Jonovision
Aug 28, 2017, 4:59 PM
Was taking a stroll in the North End the other day.

New public art at the commons.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4395/36062779183_a135daa1e6_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/WWKaQT)20170826_154913 (https://flic.kr/p/WWKaQT) by Jonovision23 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/36229421@N02/), on Flickr

The office building that was once home to the Q Lofts sales centre has been reclad.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4392/36062780573_4717ffca75_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/WWKbfR)20170826_154514 (https://flic.kr/p/WWKbfR) by Jonovision23 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/36229421@N02/), on Flickr

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4366/36871149295_f895b0c08a_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/Ybbh7B)20170826_154433 (https://flic.kr/p/Ybbh7B) by Jonovision23 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/36229421@N02/), on Flickr

Lots of great upgrades coming to Fort Needham Park.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4394/36731455451_85e6c3e81f_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/XXQj14)20170826_141057 (https://flic.kr/p/XXQj14) by Jonovision23 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/36229421@N02/), on Flickr

Jstaleness
Aug 30, 2017, 5:06 PM
^ Now they just need to get a permit to blow a hole through the Irving Shipyard expansion that blocks the view of the harbour.

Keith P.
Aug 31, 2017, 12:34 AM
Odd that the newish office (?) building on Agricola and West would be reclad so soon after being built.

IanWatson
Aug 31, 2017, 11:03 AM
Odd that the newish office (?) building on Agricola and West would be reclad so soon after being built.

Yeah, someone (a law firm, I believe) is spending a lot of money for aesthetics. I'm happy they're doing it though; the old cladding was way "business park" and not at all "Agricola". Good on them, I suppose.

robotropolis
Aug 31, 2017, 12:29 PM
According to Halifax Retales (on facebook) the Oxford theatre building has been sold to developers and Oxford will be coming down.

https://www.facebook.com/HalifaxReTales/posts/1869114039781786

Agree the change to the building on Agricola looks SO much better (built by B. D. Stevens Limited). Did they build that brown concrete building on Willow and Agricola? It could use a makeover IMO.

https://goo.gl/maps/S2Lm9VD3XmC2

Drybrain
Aug 31, 2017, 1:15 PM
According to Halifax Retales (on facebook) the Oxford theatre building has been sold to developers and Oxford will be coming down.

https://www.facebook.com/HalifaxReTales/posts/1869114039781786

Agree the change to the building on Agricola looks SO much better (built by B. D. Stevens Limited). Did they build that brown concrete building on Willow and Agricola? It could use a makeover IMO.

https://goo.gl/maps/S2Lm9VD3XmC2

Doesn't say for sure that it'll be torn down. Who knows, the Nahas family is involved in restaurants and other stuff, not just development. There's a Herald article (http://thechronicleherald.ca/artslife/1499135-oxford-theatre-to-close-sept.-13) that suggest they're looking at multiple uses for the space, and doesn't mention demolition. So that sounds positive, though I'm not sure how you turn a building that basically consists of one big room into offices or residential. Maybe a big retail space of some kind.

But yes, it seems very possible that demolition could be in the cards. Which would suck; this is the last single-screen cinema in the city, and it's not like it's some obsolete business model. Neighbourhood cinemas survive and thrive in cities all over the country. In fact, if the building is torn down, Halifax will be the only Canadian city of eight that I've lived in that doesn't have a neighbourhood theatre.

beyeas
Aug 31, 2017, 3:27 PM
Doesn't say for sure that it'll be torn down. Who knows, the Nahas family is involved in restaurants and other stuff, not just development. There's a Herald article (http://thechronicleherald.ca/artslife/1499135-oxford-theatre-to-close-sept.-13) that suggest they're looking at multiple uses for the space, and doesn't mention demolition. So that sounds positive, though I'm not sure how you turn a building that basically consists of one big room into offices or residential. Maybe a big retail space of some kind.

But yes, it seems very possible that demolition could be in the cards. Which would suck; this is the last single-screen cinema in the city, and it's not like it's some obsolete business model. Neighbourhood cinemas survive and thrive in cities all over the country. In fact, if the building is torn down, Halifax will be the only Canadian city of eight that I've lived in that doesn't have a neighbourhood theatre.

That royally sucks. I loved having that theatre there, and in many ways Quinpool was a great location for it as it sort of suited the odd vibe of the street.

MonctonRad
Aug 31, 2017, 4:08 PM
Yes, the Oxford is a great theatre. I have fond memories of catching the odd movie there when I lived in Halifax going to Dalhousie. :(

beyeas
Sep 1, 2017, 5:18 PM
I might have missed it, but what is the project that is proposed for South Park and & Victoria? I was walking up South Park this morning and noticed development notices posted, but didn't have the time to stop and look.

counterfactual
Sep 2, 2017, 7:09 PM
Doesn't say for sure that it'll be torn down. Who knows, the Nahas family is involved in restaurants and other stuff, not just development. There's a Herald article (http://thechronicleherald.ca/artslife/1499135-oxford-theatre-to-close-sept.-13) that suggest they're looking at multiple uses for the space, and doesn't mention demolition. So that sounds positive, though I'm not sure how you turn a building that basically consists of one big room into offices or residential. Maybe a big retail space of some kind.

But yes, it seems very possible that demolition could be in the cards. Which would suck; this is the last single-screen cinema in the city, and it's not like it's some obsolete business model. Neighbourhood cinemas survive and thrive in cities all over the country. In fact, if the building is torn down, Halifax will be the only Canadian city of eight that I've lived in that doesn't have a neighbourhood theatre.

I'm really disheartened by this news about The Oxford.

I hope they come up with a use that preserves the space, and allows for public access, but hard to see what that might be.

We're now also ONE move theatre away from having zero movie theatres downtown. Park Lane and nowhere else.

I don't understand why they didn't try a different business model; you can't keep an old theatre like The Oxford in business playing films in there made for IMAX.

I wish Paramount/Famous Players were also more visionary -- see Bloor Cinema in Toronto, when the then owners turned down developer proposals until someone came along willing to keep it running as a threatre:

http://www.hotdocscinema.ca/responsive/content/history

Drybrain
Sep 2, 2017, 7:51 PM
I wish Paramount/Famous Players were also more visionary -- see Bloor Cinema in Toronto, when the then owners turned down developer proposals until someone came along willing to keep it running as a threatre:

http://www.hotdocscinema.ca/responsive/content/history

I always thought it was odd that the Oxford was a Cineplex property. Never made sense, and made this kind of thing much more likely. Halifax is about to become the only Canadian city I've lived in (or can even think of) without a neighbourhood cinema like this.

If it's turned into some kind of venue or publicly accessible space, and the building (and art-deco interior) is retained, this could turn out well, or even for the best. But that seems very up in the air right now.

Dmajackson
Sep 3, 2017, 5:02 PM
I might have missed it, but what is the project that is proposed for South Park and & Victoria? I was walking up South Park this morning and noticed development notices posted, but didn't have the time to stop and look.

It's an expansion of the existing building onto the two houses to the north. It will also bring the ground floor up to the sidewalk;

Case 20159 - South Park & Victoria (https://www.halifax.ca/sites/default/files/documents/business/planning-development/applications/20159_VictoriaSouthPark%20Application%20Details_Redacted.pdf)

counterfactual
Sep 3, 2017, 6:18 PM
I always thought it was odd that the Oxford was a Cineplex property. Never made sense, and made this kind of thing much more likely. Halifax is about to become the only Canadian city I've lived in (or can even think of) without a neighbourhood cinema like this.

If it's turned into some kind of venue or publicly accessible space, and the building (and art-deco interior) is retained, this could turn out well, or even for the best. But that seems very up in the air right now.

I wish some local celebrities with some extra cash, who have benefited over the years from The Oxford-- like the Trailer Park Boys who debuted several movies/shows there-- gets involved. I mean, it'd be great as an independent filmoire space, a central location for local film docs, film festival offerings, etc.

I don't know. What do you do with a former movie theatre to keep it publicly accessible? Turn it into a stage for shows/plays?

I actually think the location on Quinpool hurt the theatre; if it were closer to SGR/Barrington, I feel like it would more likely have survived. I know the Paramount was on Barrington and it didn't survive, but that was only because it was destroyed during the insane demolitions in the 1990s.

Colin May
Sep 4, 2017, 12:13 AM
It's an expansion of the existing building onto the two houses to the north. It will also bring the ground floor up to the sidewalk;

Case 20159 - South Park & Victoria (https://www.halifax.ca/sites/default/files/documents/business/planning-development/applications/20159_VictoriaSouthPark%20Application%20Details_Redacted.pdf)
The plans are dated August 2015.
Why has it taken so long get to a public notification ?
Hello Mr Bjerke, is this why you were fired ?

Keith P.
Sep 4, 2017, 11:34 AM
I wish some local celebrities with some extra cash, who have benefited over the years from The Oxford-- like the Trailer Park Boys who debuted several movies/shows there-- gets involved. I mean, it'd be great as an independent filmoire space, a central location for local film docs, film festival offerings, etc.

I don't know. What do you do with a former movie theatre to keep it publicly accessible? Turn it into a stage for shows/plays?

I actually think the location on Quinpool hurt the theatre; if it were closer to SGR/Barrington, I feel like it would more likely have survived. I know the Paramount was on Barrington and it didn't survive, but that was only because it was destroyed during the insane demolitions in the 1990s.


The first thing you need to do is find a way for such a facility to stop losing money. Apparently the Oxford has been doing that for some time which is what led to its closure.

The Paramount wasn't demolished, or at least the building wasn't. It still stands on Barrington. It was probably also a big money-loser.

counterfactual
Sep 4, 2017, 4:52 PM
The first thing you need to do is find a way for such a facility to stop losing money. Apparently the Oxford has been doing that for some time which is what led to its closure.

The Paramount wasn't demolished, or at least the building wasn't. It still stands on Barrington. It was probably also a big money-loser.

Yes, I agree, you need to find a different business model; a single small screen model is not going to make money if you're playing films there meant for IMAX and huge screen theatres out in Bayers Lake.

You'd look to Bloor Cinema's money making model in Toronto, which is a combo of providing viewing for all other kinds of film content you can't get at the bigger theatres-- you reduce the ticket price and then show film fest stuff, hotdocs, local documentaries/content, and also regular monthly viewing for movie/campy/cult classics, like Casablanca, Plan 9, Dazed and Confused, Princess Bride, Citizen Kane, 2001: Space Odyssey, Apocalypse Now, The Godfather, Lawrence of Arabia, Indiana Jones franchise, etc, etc.

You can also reduce the ticket price because licensing for showings of older films like this is a lot cheaper than showing the latest Hollywood flicks coming out.

When living in Toronto, I'd hit Bloor Cinema several times a month with friends to take in classic flicks like that - fun to do as a group, and the ticket prices were very modest. Like $4 to take in Casablanca after work, plus popcorn was also cheap too, like $2.50 for a medium, I think. Problem for the Oxford is its location in this sense-- Bloor Cinema would get a lot of walk-ins, or walk-bys; sitting in prime pedestrian/student zone on Bloor near U of T. Oxford is on Quinpool and not really a prime place to walk to for most students living in the South End near Dalhousie/SMU.

I think the Paramount's building is still there, but believe the actual theatre inside was gutted and torn out.

Drybrain
Sep 5, 2017, 12:01 AM
The Princess in Edmonton; the Plaza and Globe in Calgary; The Revue and Royal and Bloor and Fox and more in Toronto. And on and on. Every city has single-screen cinemas; the notion that they can't make money seems on its face false.

I doubt Cineplex was losing money on it, even. The balance sheet probably came out better selling it, so they did. It doesn't mean that running a cinema like this is financially impossible.

Keith P.
Sep 5, 2017, 12:20 PM
The Princess in Edmonton; the Plaza and Globe in Calgary; The Revue and Royal and Bloor and Fox and more in Toronto. And on and on. Every city has single-screen cinemas; the notion that they can't make money seems on its face false.

I doubt Cineplex was losing money on it, even. The balance sheet probably came out better selling it, so they did. It doesn't mean that running a cinema like this is financially impossible.

Postings elsewhere from current and former staff would tend to belie that notion. Audiences were generally small to nonexistent, the building required almost the same staffing level as multiplex theatres, and the heating bill in the winter was apparently massive.

OldDartmouthMark
Sep 5, 2017, 5:49 PM
The Oxford will be a real loss to Halifax, IMHO. The last of its kind and certainly a well-preserved example of art deco, a style that has taken many hits in Halifax over the past few years (CBC bldg., Maritime Life/BMO building, Zellers/Discovery Ctr building for example).

Seeing a movie at the Oxford was like stepping into another time - an era when going to a movie was a special event. Beautiful decor, comfy seats, the balcony... heck, even the bathrooms were kinda neat.

Now, like many of Halifax's historical structures, it is about to fade into memories and photographs. Future generations of Haligonians will only be able to imagine what it would be like to see a movie in one of these old theatres.

When I first heard about this, I was kinda shocked and dismayed, yet not really surprised. I have driven by the Oxford many times over the past year and have noticed that the movie selection has been less than inspiring, and not really in keeping with the type of entertainment that would draw people to this theatre. Kinda like it has been forgotten or not really understood by the owners, and I guess, mismanaged to some extent.

The part that is surprising to me is how Halifax, which is becoming larger and more urban every year, hasn't seen its way to do something with this theatre before this. I've happened upon older theatres which have been restored and upgraded in small towns basically in the middle of nowhere, like The Grand (http://grandonline.org/about/a-grand-history/) in Ellsworth Maine, and just last week The Regent (http://www.theregenttheatre.org/about-the-regent/) in Picton, Ontario. In each case I was drawn to the glow of neon beckoning passers-by to come to the theatre and be entertained.

http://www.mainenightout.com/pictures/profile/cropped-corey-pelletier-ellsworth-me-112.jpg http://www.mainenightout.com/maine/ellsworth/maine-nightlife/the-grand-auditorium

https://i.cbc.ca/1.1873792.1380575268!/fileImage/httpImage/image.JPG_gen/derivatives/16x9_620/regent.JPG http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/news/paul-wilson-movie-house-rescue-a-model-for-hamilton-1.1873745

Now these two examples are ones that I just happened to haphazardly stumble upon in my travels. I'm sure there are several more out there. A similar story exists around the Acadia Theatre in Wolfville, NS. http://acadiacinema.coop/

It seems the common point for these old theatres are that non-profit organizations were able to obtain the theatres and raise funds to have them restored, repaired and expanded to allow them to host live theatre and musical events in addition to screening movies.

It appears to be too late for the Oxford, so perhaps this is a waste of typing, but I could envision the Oxford being used for offbeat/classic movies as mentioned in several posts above, but also a place for live music and theatre productions.

I think Halifax could use an additional music venue for acts that are best experienced in a more intimate setting. The Carleton is a great venue, but it's small. The Marquee is vibrant as well, but there's no seating. The Cohn is a nice place but is larger (and likely more expensive to book) - so I could see the Oxford filling a spot that has no competitors in its size range.

Additionally, The Neptune Theatre is a great downtown venue, but maybe a place like The Oxford could fill a gap for amateur theatre as well as having an option for people in the central area of Halifax, not far from the universities.

It seems like a shame that there has been no vision to preserve the Oxford, and that it will likely be converted to some uninspiring office or residential project, or even more likely just torn down - because, well, you know - it happens more often than not around here.

Reminds me of the case of the old Capitol Theatre, which was torn down in 1974 to make way for the slab of concrete that we know as the Maritime Centre. That one would have been nice to have around today as it was quite elegant on the inside.

https://www.facebook.com/novascotiaarchives/photos/pcb.10154702085835816/10154702083295816/?type=3

http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/12220

https://novascotia.ca/archives/images/EastCoastPort/200904826.jpg

https://novascotia.ca/archives/EastCoastPort/archives.asp?ID=44

Sounds like the Oxford will just be one more loss in Halifax to add to the list of photographs and memories...

https://novascotia.ca/archives/images/NSIS/11367.jpg

https://novascotia.ca/archives/NSIS/archives.asp?ID=1024

ns_kid
Sep 6, 2017, 11:18 AM
Postings elsewhere from current and former staff would tend to belie that notion. Audiences were generally small to nonexistent, the building required almost the same staffing level as multiplex theatres, and the heating bill in the winter was apparently massive.

In fact the property was a moneymaker for Cineplex with strong rental income from long-term tenants. Which is why it was attractive to a buyer. As for the auditorium, it was an okay performer for a single screen property, but Cineplex is not in that business and insiders predicted Oxford's fate was sealed when Empire sold it. Even so, Cineplex spent over $100,000 three years ago when it replaced the 35mm projector with digital projection and sound. (A major commitment, since it required moving the equipment by crane through the roof.)

Audience numbers were respectable, depending on titles of course. Many popular titles performed well. During Maudie's run in the spring, Oxford was one of the top grossing screens in the chain. As for staffing costs, these were minimal. Oxford was essentially an extra Park Lane screen, and they shared management and staff. Most nights, only two people staffed the Oxford, with one supervising, taking tickets, acting as projectionist and general floater; the other selling tickets and food from the concession stand.

I don't object to Cineplex choosing to divest itself of properties that don't fit its business model but I do fault them for making no apparent attempt to find a buyer that would maintain the property as a theatre. (Incidentally, my understanding is that the Oxford's original stage is still in place behind the screen.) Of course, any continued use of the property as a cinema would be a potential competitive threat to Cineplex.

As others have pointed out, this leaves only Park Lane on the the peninsula and I would say its long-term future is very much in doubt. Its patronage is weak, despite its proximity to the universities and a growing residential population. The subterranean complex is dark and univiting and all but invisible from the street. I thought Cineplex had a great opportunity to move its downtown screens to Nova Centre but they've shown no inclination to invest in downtown Halifax. Aside from converting all projection rooms to digital, they've made no improvements at Park Lane.

By the way, there is also a plan to install new VIP cinemas in Bayers Lake. This has been a money-maker for Cineplex elsewhere, providing extra-roomy seating and at-your-seat food and beverage service for a premium price. But it will mean an overall loss of one or two auditoriums at Bayers Lake, further reducing the number of screens in Halifax.

IanMacDonald
Sep 6, 2017, 12:29 PM
Even so, Cineplex spent over $100,000 three years ago when it replaced the 35mm projector with digital projection and sound. (A major commitment, since it required moving the equipment by crane through the roof.)




So, I've been lurking forever, but felt compelled to finally join in as the Oxford is very close to my heart. I worked there for about 5 years, something like 4 of them as manager/projectionist.

Cineplex did not replace the 35mm projector. That was a project undertaken by Empire before they were sold. The sound received minimal upgrades at the same time and the seating was replaced with newer rocker chairs.

It's also worth noting that the projection equipment was not moved through the roof by crane. It was assembled in the projection booth. The electrical for the building and the exterior had substantial work done on them in 2012 - while still owned by Empire.

Park Lane's attendance (from my understanding, I've been gone for 3 years now) are of little consequence. The theatre has found it very lucrative to rent space to Dalhouse to hold classes there. The attendance is rarely good, but in the short-term at least Park Lane is safe.

eastcoastal
Sep 6, 2017, 4:46 PM
...
Park Lane's attendance (from my understanding, I've been gone for 3 years now) are of little consequence. The theatre has found it very lucrative to rent space to Dalhouse to hold classes there. The attendance is rarely good, but in the short-term at least Park Lane is safe.

I had understood that the theatre was used for Dalhousie Engineering classes. If that is the case, we might expect that the completion of the new IDEA building, with its new learning environments, to reduce that revenue stream.

OldDartmouthMark
Sep 6, 2017, 6:31 PM
Interesting points and info in the posts above. Thanks, Ian, for coming out of the shadows to give us your input. I would like to learn more 'insider info' about this historic theatre, if you would be so kind as to share it with us. :tup:

I find it strange and interesting that Nanco Group would purchase the property while still not being sure as to what they want to do with it. Perhaps they are just holding their cards close to their chest? Makes me wonder if there's a possibility that it could continue as a theatre/entertainment venue at least until they come up with a definite plan...

...would really rather see it saved long-term, though.

IanMacDonald
Sep 6, 2017, 6:46 PM
I had understood that the theatre was used for Dalhousie Engineering classes. If that is the case, we might expect that the completion of the new IDEA building, with its new learning environments, to reduce that revenue stream.

While the first ones there were exclusively engineering classes, I was under the impression that they had since branched out slightly and were doing more classes there as Dalhousie has found this to be a very useful solution to their need for classrooms. I expect it will hurt the business of renting the theatre but I'm out of the loop now so I'm not clear on if that is for sure the case.

Interesting points and info in the posts above. Thanks, Ian, for coming out of the shadows to give us your input. I would like to learn more 'insider info' about this historic theatre, if you would be so kind as to share it with us. :tup:

I find it strange and interesting that Nanco Group would purchase the property while still not being sure as to what they want to do with it. Perhaps they are just holding their cards close to their chest? Makes me wonder if there's a possibility that it could continue as a theatre/entertainment venue at least until they come up with a definite plan...

...would really rather see it saved long-term, though.

Happy to share what I know! I was at the Oxford for a few years around the 75th Anniversary (which was almost forgotten, then slightly bungled by Empire) I believe that Nanco also own the KOD next door, so I suspect that the two properties will be developed together.

I'd love to see the Oxford be kept open as an entertainment venue in some capacity but as it is now it can easily wind up being a money pit and requires extensive upgrades. The washrooms are inadequate for even moderate amounts of business and the theatre while technically accessible to wheelchairs, is essentially inaccessible other than a side door that can only be opened from the inside.

Drybrain
Sep 6, 2017, 8:59 PM
It's really indicative of the state of the city that this whole conversation is predicated on the assumption that the building will be redeveloped. In most cities, when a local property developer buys a historic theatre space, the question is "what are they going to turn the space into?" In Halifax, we just assume demolition is the endgame. Halifax is unusual in that. In virtually no other city I can think of would that be the immediate assumption, nor would it be the likely end result. But, this is Halifax.

OldDartmouthMark
Sep 6, 2017, 9:37 PM
Happy to share what I know! I was at the Oxford for a few years around the 75th Anniversary (which was almost forgotten, then slightly bungled by Empire) I believe that Nanco also own the KOD next door, so I suspect that the two properties will be developed together.

I'd love to see the Oxford be kept open as an entertainment venue in some capacity but as it is now it can easily wind up being a money pit and requires extensive upgrades. The washrooms are inadequate for even moderate amounts of business and the theatre while technically accessible to wheelchairs, is essentially inaccessible other than a side door that can only be opened from the inside.

I think these are items that could be overcome but you're right that it would require some cash flow. It's interesting that as mentioned in my previous post that there seems to be a move to restore and upgrade theatres in smaller, more rural areas but not so much in Halifax. Though as Drybrain mentioned maybe it's more a Halifax thing than an urban vs rural thing.

One would think, owning adjacent properties that combined redevelopment is the plan, unfortunately. Wasn't the Quinpool KOD one of the first donair establishments in Halifax? If so here's an opportunity to wipe out two local landmarks in one fell swoop. :rolleyes:

Regarding the Oxford, how much of the decor is original? I remember when the interior was renovated a number of years ago, but can't remember if the original stuff was restored or newer items added in the style of the era.

Being from Dartmouth, I tended to go to the Mayfair on Portland St. or the one on Dundas when I was a kid, but did go to the Paramount, the Oxford, sometimes the Casino, and of course the Scotia Square cinemas in the late seventies/early eighties. I don't recall ever going to the Capitol as I was fairly young when it was torn down. With the exception of the Capitol, I think the Oxford was the nicest of them that I recall.

counterfactual
Sep 6, 2017, 10:48 PM
The Oxford will be a real loss to Halifax, IMHO. The last of its kind and certainly a well-preserved example of art deco, a style that has taken many hits in Halifax over the past few years (CBC bldg., Maritime Life/BMO building, Zellers/Discovery Ctr building for example).

Seeing a movie at the Oxford was like stepping into another time - an era when going to a movie was a special event. Beautiful decor, comfy seats, the balcony... heck, even the bathrooms were kinda neat.

Now, like many of Halifax's historical structures, it is about to fade into memories and photographs. Future generations of Haligonians will only be able to imagine what it would be like to see a movie in one of these old theatres.

When I first heard about this, I was kinda shocked and dismayed, yet not really surprised. I have driven by the Oxford many times over the past year and have noticed that the movie selection has been less than inspiring, and not really in keeping with the type of entertainment that would draw people to this theatre. Kinda like it has been forgotten or not really understood by the owners, and I guess, mismanaged to some extent.

The part that is surprising to me is how Halifax, which is becoming larger and more urban every year, hasn't seen its way to do something with this theatre before this. I've happened upon older theatres which have been restored and upgraded in small towns basically in the middle of nowhere, like The Grand (http://grandonline.org/about/a-grand-history/) in Ellsworth Maine, and just last week The Regent (http://www.theregenttheatre.org/about-the-regent/) in Picton, Ontario. In each case I was drawn to the glow of neon beckoning passers-by to come to the theatre and be entertained.

http://www.mainenightout.com/pictures/profile/cropped-corey-pelletier-ellsworth-me-112.jpg http://www.mainenightout.com/maine/ellsworth/maine-nightlife/the-grand-auditorium

https://i.cbc.ca/1.1873792.1380575268!/fileImage/httpImage/image.JPG_gen/derivatives/16x9_620/regent.JPG http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/news/paul-wilson-movie-house-rescue-a-model-for-hamilton-1.1873745

Now these two examples are ones that I just happened to haphazardly stumble upon in my travels. I'm sure there are several more out there. A similar story exists around the Acadia Theatre in Wolfville, NS. http://acadiacinema.coop/

It seems the common point for these old theatres are that non-profit organizations were able to obtain the theatres and raise funds to have them restored, repaired and expanded to allow them to host live theatre and musical events in addition to screening movies.

It appears to be too late for the Oxford, so perhaps this is a waste of typing, but I could envision the Oxford being used for offbeat/classic movies as mentioned in several posts above, but also a place for live music and theatre productions.

I think Halifax could use an additional music venue for acts that are best experienced in a more intimate setting. The Carleton is a great venue, but it's small. The Marquee is vibrant as well, but there's no seating. The Cohn is a nice place but is larger (and likely more expensive to book) - so I could see the Oxford filling a spot that has no competitors in its size range.

Additionally, The Neptune Theatre is a great downtown venue, but maybe a place like The Oxford could fill a gap for amateur theatre as well as having an option for people in the central area of Halifax, not far from the universities.

It seems like a shame that there has been no vision to preserve the Oxford, and that it will likely be converted to some uninspiring office or residential project, or even more likely just torn down - because, well, you know - it happens more often than not around here.

Reminds me of the case of the old Capitol Theatre, which was torn down in 1974 to make way for the slab of concrete that we know as the Maritime Centre. That one would have been nice to have around today as it was quite elegant on the inside.

https://www.facebook.com/novascotiaarchives/photos/pcb.10154702085835816/10154702083295816/?type=3

http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/12220

https://novascotia.ca/archives/images/EastCoastPort/200904826.jpg

https://novascotia.ca/archives/EastCoastPort/archives.asp?ID=44

Sounds like the Oxford will just be one more loss in Halifax to add to the list of photographs and memories...

https://novascotia.ca/archives/images/NSIS/11367.jpg

https://novascotia.ca/archives/NSIS/archives.asp?ID=1024

Lovely post Mark, I really, truly, hope there's still time (and hope) left for Oxford.

Maybe the public outcry might change the plans?

counterfactual
Sep 6, 2017, 10:50 PM
In fact the property was a moneymaker for Cineplex with strong rental income from long-term tenants. Which is why it was attractive to a buyer. As for the auditorium, it was an okay performer for a single screen property, but Cineplex is not in that business and insiders predicted Oxford's fate was sealed when Empire sold it. Even so, Cineplex spent over $100,000 three years ago when it replaced the 35mm projector with digital projection and sound. (A major commitment, since it required moving the equipment by crane through the roof.)

Audience numbers were respectable, depending on titles of course. Many popular titles performed well. During Maudie's run in the spring, Oxford was one of the top grossing screens in the chain. As for staffing costs, these were minimal. Oxford was essentially an extra Park Lane screen, and they shared management and staff. Most nights, only two people staffed the Oxford, with one supervising, taking tickets, acting as projectionist and general floater; the other selling tickets and food from the concession stand.

I don't object to Cineplex choosing to divest itself of properties that don't fit its business model but I do fault them for making no apparent attempt to find a buyer that would maintain the property as a theatre. (Incidentally, my understanding is that the Oxford's original stage is still in place behind the screen.) Of course, any continued use of the property as a cinema would be a potential competitive threat to Cineplex.

As others have pointed out, this leaves only Park Lane on the the peninsula and I would say its long-term future is very much in doubt. Its patronage is weak, despite its proximity to the universities and a growing residential population. The subterranean complex is dark and univiting and all but invisible from the street. I thought Cineplex had a great opportunity to move its downtown screens to Nova Centre but they've shown no inclination to invest in downtown Halifax. Aside from converting all projection rooms to digital, they've made no improvements at Park Lane.

By the way, there is also a plan to install new VIP cinemas in Bayers Lake. This has been a money-maker for Cineplex elsewhere, providing extra-roomy seating and at-your-seat food and beverage service for a premium price. But it will mean an overall loss of one or two auditoriums at Bayers Lake, further reducing the number of screens in Halifax.

Fantastic post. They SHOULD have tried to find a new buyer, and when they couldn't, gone public to see if a public/private partnership could be struck up.

Keith P.
Sep 7, 2017, 12:45 AM
Fantastic post. They SHOULD have tried to find a new buyer, and when they couldn't, gone public to see if a public/private partnership could be struck up.

Except that, as was later pointed out by someone who actually worked there, most of the stuff stated was at variance with the reality.

Mark's commentary about old theaters being renovated and operating in small towns is more of an urban/rural thing I suspect. There is little to no pressure to redevelop these properties in small towns, and when they are reopened as a restored theater they likely do decent business because they are in a small town - what else is there to do? The Oxford often played to a near-empty house.

Drybrain
Sep 7, 2017, 2:25 PM
Except that, as was later pointed out by someone who actually worked there, most of the stuff stated was at variance with the reality.

Mark's commentary about old theaters being renovated and operating in small towns is more of an urban/rural thing I suspect. There is little to no pressure to redevelop these properties in small towns, and when they are reopened as a restored theater they likely do decent business because they are in a small town - what else is there to do? The Oxford often played to a near-empty house.

But this happens all the time in larger cities as well. The Bloor in Toronto underwent a huge reno several years ago. The Royal and Revue cinemas too, to a lesser degree. Ottawa's Bytowne Cinema in 2013 was renovated and renewed.

There's this idea floating around that this was inevitable, like the Oxford was some living anachronism. Somehow people commenting on this have missed the fact that virtually every city in the country has at least one of these screens, usually more than one.

If the Oxford was playing to empty rooms, it wasn't not because the business model of small cinemas doesn't work, but because of something unique to that cinema, or that owner (i.e., Cineplex).

IanWatson
Sep 7, 2017, 2:29 PM
Last spring I was driving to Ontario and stopped in Montpellier, Vermont. We were tired out and wanted to veg, so we went to a movie. We found this really cool independent, single-screen theatre. They served wine and craft beer. It was one of the most memorable experiences of the trip. I feel like a licensed theatre could be big in Halifax.

ns_kid
Sep 7, 2017, 4:27 PM
So, I've been lurking forever, but felt compelled to finally join in as the Oxford is very close to my heart. I worked there for about 5 years, something like 4 of them as manager/projectionist.

Cineplex did not replace the 35mm projector. That was a project undertaken by Empire before they were sold. The sound received minimal upgrades at the same time and the seating was replaced with newer rocker chairs.

It's also worth noting that the projection equipment was not moved through the roof by crane. It was assembled in the projection booth. The electrical for the building and the exterior had substantial work done on them in 2012 - while still owned by Empire.

Park Lane's attendance (from my understanding, I've been gone for 3 years now) are of little consequence. The theatre has found it very lucrative to rent space to Dalhouse to hold classes there. The attendance is rarely good, but in the short-term at least Park Lane is safe.

Thanks for the correction, Ian. My memory fails again. I believe the digital conversion was completed in March of 2012 and the Cineplex buy-out was not until June of 2013.

Rather than join the crowds for the nostalgic look back I'm hoping to see Wind River, the last first-run film at the Oxford, tonight. I still remember my first visit to the Oxford as a kid to see The Railway Children (1970, with a young Jenny Agutter, later the love interest in American Werewolf in London).

But, if you're looking for a treat, tickets are still available for City Lights (1931, Chaplin) next Tuesday afternoon. If you've never seen a classic, fully restored silent on the big screen, you may find it a revelation. Roger Ebert called the beautiful final scene between Chaplin and Virginia Cherrill one of the great emotional moments in cinema. I saw City Lights a couple of years ago at Dartmouth Crossing. There were two of us in the auditorium. I hope it finds a warmer audience at the Oxford.

counterfactual
Sep 7, 2017, 8:36 PM
Thanks for the correction, Ian. My memory fails again. I believe the digital conversion was completed in March of 2012 and the Cineplex buy-out was not until June of 2013.

Rather than join the crowds for the nostalgic look back I'm hoping to see Wind River, the last first-run film at the Oxford, tonight. I still remember my first visit to the Oxford as a kid to see The Railway Children (1970, with a young Jenny Agutter, later the love interest in American Werewolf in London).

But, if you're looking for a treat, tickets are still available for City Lights (1931, Chaplin) next Tuesday afternoon. If you've never seen a classic, fully restored silent on the big screen, you may find it a revelation. Roger Ebert called the beautiful final scene between Chaplin and Virginia Cherrill one of the great emotional moments in cinema. I saw City Lights a couple of years ago at Dartmouth Crossing. There were two of us in the auditorium. I hope it finds a warmer audience at the Oxford.

I love City Lights. Brilliant film. Chaplin was a genius.

OldDartmouthMark
Sep 8, 2017, 2:20 PM
Lovely post Mark, I really, truly, hope there's still time (and hope) left for Oxford.

Maybe the public outcry might change the plans?

The optimist in me is hoping for it, but the realist tells me it's probably too late.

In thinking about this a little more, I'm somewhat resentful that Cineplex didn't reveal their intentions to the public before entering into a deal to sell it, to perhaps give others an opportunity to save this theatre for the community.

I realize that it's "good business" for Cineplex to get the most return on their investment and thus score the highest price in the sale, but I can't help but think they should have some respect for the community in which they operate and consider the significance of the Oxford before putting it on the chopping block for "whatever" to happen to it. Then, if there were no takers at least it could be sold with a clear conscience.

I know that business doesn't have any obligation to look after the community's interests, but I guess it's the cut-throat aspect of the business culture I've witnessed over the years that has left me with a lower level of respect for the business world than I have for most other professions... :shrug:

Jonovision
Sep 8, 2017, 10:14 PM
All of the glazing and some of the support structures have been removed from the pool at 1881 Brunswick Street.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4420/36274888134_0c6a71c0a0_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/XguhrL)20170908_160750 (https://flic.kr/p/XguhrL) by Jonovision23 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/36229421@N02/), on Flickr

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4403/36968627311_004e1d8f6d_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/YjMSW4)20170908_160824 (https://flic.kr/p/YjMSW4) by Jonovision23 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/36229421@N02/), on Flickr

Empire
Sep 8, 2017, 11:45 PM
But this happens all the time in larger cities as well. The Bloor in Toronto underwent a huge reno several years ago. The Royal and Revue cinemas too, to a lesser degree. Ottawa's Bytowne Cinema in 2013 was renovated and renewed.

There's this idea floating around that this was inevitable, like the Oxford was some living anachronism. Somehow people commenting on this have missed the fact that virtually every city in the country has at least one of these screens, usually more than one.

If the Oxford was playing to empty rooms, it wasn't not because the business model of small cinemas doesn't work, but because of something unique to that cinema, or that owner (i.e., Cineplex).

Saw Taj Mahal at the Camden Opera House in Maine a few years ago. But this is an area that has respect for architecture and heritage. They see value in promoting what others don't have and at the same time preserving such venues for their own enjoyment. Halifax has it wrong and has had it wrong for years. Currently on the chopping block are the Oxford Theatre and the Elmwood hotel on South St. We are ripping the soul from this city for six storey, butt ugly, plastic sided, commercial/residential half empty buildings. The city should offer to buy back the Elmwood and the Oxford Theatre at a generous price.

Here is the type of building we would demolish:
http://camdenoperahouse.com/

Jstaleness
Sep 11, 2017, 1:27 PM
Last spring I was driving to Ontario and stopped in Montpellier, Vermont. We were tired out and wanted to veg, so we went to a movie. We found this really cool independent, single-screen theatre. They served wine and craft beer. It was one of the most memorable experiences of the trip. I feel like a licensed theatre could be big in Halifax.

I have to agree. This type of setting would be something I would put my money into. I am a supporter of local craft and to be able to enjoy it while watching a movie would be so much fun.

hokus83
Sep 11, 2017, 9:06 PM
Hey if Woflville can make a independent, single-screen theatre work I don't see why Halifax shouldn't be able to.

OldDartmouthMark
Sep 11, 2017, 10:09 PM
Hey if Woflville can make a independent, single-screen theatre work I don't see why Halifax shouldn't be able to.

Those are my thoughts on it. The only difference was a surprise deal done in secrecy, IMHO.

I understand Keith's point about rural theatres, but think about what the Oxford has going for it:
- Well loved vintage theatre, the only one of its kind left in Halifax.
- Large population to draw from.
- An active arts/music community in the area.
- A strong local craft beer, wine, cider industry to draw from (if this aspect were added).

There has been comments made that it wasn't supported by the community, but really I see it as its potential market being misread, or just ignored, by its former owners - then it was sold and closure announced post-sale, without an option being given to any group that might want to make a go at continuing its use as a theatre.

If marketed properly, I can see no reason why it wouldn't succeed in such a function.

Regarding development, there are many other opportunities to develop properties in the area, so why not spare the last single screen art deco theatre and build the glass box elsewhere?

OldDartmouthMark
Sep 18, 2017, 5:41 PM
It appears that there is an online petition in an attempt to save the Oxford Theatre, if anybody is interested:

https://www.change.org/p/nanco-group-save-the-halifax-oxford-theatre

RoshanMcG
Sep 18, 2017, 8:15 PM
There was a sign up at the former Northcliffe pool on Dunbrack saying that a Maronite Church (Our Lady of Lebanon) would be located there.

Phalanx
Sep 19, 2017, 10:58 AM
It appears that there is an online petition in an attempt to save the Oxford Theatre, if anybody is interested:

https://www.change.org/p/nanco-group-save-the-halifax-oxford-theatre

I signed it last week. There was an update email a few days ago indicating that Norman Nahas isn't necessarily opposed to the idea of having it continue as a theatre, the problem is that there was a non-compete clause in the purchase agreement. Cineplex doesn't want it operating as a theatre, so pressure would need to be applied to Cineplex as well to get them to change their position.

OldDartmouthMark
Sep 19, 2017, 3:25 PM
Ah, that would also explain why Cineplex did the deal quickly and quietly without giving the community a chance to step in and save it. Fargen bastages! ;)

One would think that they wouldn't object to it being used for live performances and maybe even vintage, non-mainstream movies that they wouldn't be featuring in their theatres anyhow?

I've been attending the Atlantic film festival this week and it strikes me that there are a lot of good amateur and non-mainstream movies that you would otherwise never get a chance to see, that could be shown at the Oxford throughout the year without threatening Cineplex's market of formula/hollywood (read action hero/car crashes and explosions, etc.) movies that they would normally feature at their venues.

Maybe there's some hope, but it sounds like it might depend on how open Cineplex is to that type of dialogue. It might just be a standard contract that they use when selling off venues that might be modifiable for special cases (?). For those in the know, how has it worked for the old theatres that have been saved in larger cities?

Drybrain
Sep 19, 2017, 4:06 PM
Maybe there's some hope, but it sounds like it might depend on how open Cineplex is to that type of dialogue. It might just be a standard contract that they use when selling off venues that might be modifiable for special cases (?). For those in the know, how has it worked for the old theatres that have been saved in larger cities?

I'm not aware of any Cineplex-level chain ever having owned one of these small cinemas in any other city. They're usually independently run, or owned by a smaller chain that specializes in small theatres. So dealing with a non-compete clause like this seems like a situation unique to the Oxford.

I can't imagine Cineplex would have any say-so when it comes to repurposing it as a venue/performance space in general, however.

Querce
Sep 19, 2017, 7:17 PM
I'm pretty sure it was mentioned on Halifax Retales that the sale included that the site couldn't be used as a theatre

Empire
Sep 19, 2017, 10:20 PM
I signed it last week. There was an update email a few days ago indicating that Norman Nahas isn't necessarily opposed to the idea of having it continue as a theatre, the problem is that there was a non-compete clause in the purchase agreement. Cineplex doesn't want it operating as a theatre, so pressure would need to be applied to Cineplex as well to get them to change their position.

Maybe the city can kick in and help operate the theatre as the Oxford Theatre and release Cineplex from their obligations.

Keith P.
Sep 20, 2017, 11:07 AM
Maybe the city can kick in and help operate the theatre as the Oxford Theatre and release Cineplex from their obligations.

Uh, no.

IanWatson
Sep 20, 2017, 11:51 AM
I'm pretty sure it was mentioned on Halifax Retales that the sale included that the site couldn't be used as a theatre

Yes. This is the same thing Empire (Sobeys) does when they sell land. The former Sobeys on Pleasant Street in Dartmouth and the former Sobeys on Gottingen (where Velo Lofts is going up now) both had contractual restrictions that prevent any new owners from putting up a grocery store or drug store without the approval of Empire.

IanMacDonald
Sep 20, 2017, 12:31 PM
There is an open house on potential replacement sites for the Mumford Transit Terminal today at 2pm and again at 6pm at St. Agnes Parish Hall.

http://www.shapeyourcityhalifax.ca/mumford-terminal/key_dates

OldDartmouthMark
Sep 20, 2017, 2:30 PM
Maybe the city can kick in and help operate the theatre as the Oxford Theatre and release Cineplex from their obligations.

I don't think it has much to do with Cineplex's obligations, in fact their only obligation in this case was to get some return on their investment by cutting a less-profitable venue.

I believe the reason for the clause is to prevent the theatre from being used in a manner that would compete with their existing theatres. Although, intuitively one can surmise that they would not have sold the facility if it were able to generate attendance numbers that would actually constitute competition for their existing theatres.

To me it seems like a standard clause that would be relevant in the sale of a multi-theatre complex that had the capability of stealing audience from their other complexes, rather than an old single-theatre facility. Probably the type of situation whereby they use a standard contract for all their sales and if nobody objects to the clause being in the agreement, it stays in there. The purchaser would likely not negotiate this point if their intention is to develop the property into offices or residential.

FWIW, I don't think the city would be the best operators in this case. I truly believe the best case would have been a group with a passion to preserve the theatre and support the arts community to take over operation of The Oxford (as has been the case in other theatres mentioned in this thread). That said, I suspect it won't or can't happen, as the purchasers appear to have bought the place in order to develop, not preserve.

The optimist in me maintains a glimmer of hope, but I would be surprised if it actually happened. More likely status quo for Halifax - tear it down or façade it, put up a shiny glass box. Eventually the people who actually remember attending the theatre will die off, and it will remain for future generations to see in online photo archives.

Drybrain
Sep 20, 2017, 6:15 PM
FWIW, I don't think the city would be the best operators in this case. I truly believe the best case would have been a group with a passion to preserve the theatre and support the arts community to take over operation of The Oxford (as has been the case in other theatres mentioned in this thread). That said, I suspect it won't or can't happen, as the purchasers appear to have bought the place in order to develop, not preserve.

The optimist in me maintains a glimmer of hope, but I would be surprised if it actually happened. More likely status quo for Halifax - tear it down or façade it, put up a shiny glass box. Eventually the people who actually remember attending the theatre will die off, and it will remain for future generations to see in online photo archives.

Given what Norman Nahas has said so far, and the low height limit here, I'm optimistic that his plans are still being developed, and that the space can be preserved and put to some public use. But I agree, I'd be very surprised to see it simply returned to being a regular cinema with daily screenings.

Dmajackson
Sep 20, 2017, 6:47 PM
No details available yet. This is attached to the backside of Lion's Head Tavern. It is approximately 1/3 of the block with frontage on Young and Demone Streets.

http://68.media.tumblr.com/2f03cc8c0b24bceac8b271cdb1e786e0/tumblr_owldeagAfW1tvjdq8o1_540.jpg
Halifax Developments Blog (Photo by David Jackson) (http://urbanhalifax.tumblr.com/)

robotropolis
Sep 20, 2017, 7:19 PM
Sorry if someone posted about this previously, how do we feel about these 3-D pavers on the Argyle Street redevelopment?

http://i.imgur.com/vvyF0ol.jpg

Ps I can't resize my img?

OldDartmouthMark
Sep 20, 2017, 7:40 PM
I like the look of the pavers though I haven't walked on them yet. Do you have any concerns?

For sizing the photos, if you upload and host them on imgur, you can resize them after uploading. Otherwise most basic photo editing software has a resizing function.

Empire
Sep 20, 2017, 11:45 PM
Unfortunately the strip of black ribbed pavers will be broken and/or ripped up by snow plowing. The streets look good though and have adequate drainage which is essential for our freeze/thaw - snow/rain cycles.

counterfactual
Sep 21, 2017, 3:51 AM
I don't think it has much to do with Cineplex's obligations, in fact their only obligation in this case was to get some return on their investment by cutting a less-profitable venue.

I believe the reason for the clause is to prevent the theatre from being used in a manner that would compete with their existing theatres. Although, intuitively one can surmise that they would not have sold the facility if it were able to generate attendance numbers that would actually constitute competition for their existing theatres.

To me it seems like a standard clause that would be relevant in the sale of a multi-theatre complex that had the capability of stealing audience from their other complexes, rather than an old single-theatre facility. Probably the type of situation whereby they use a standard contract for all their sales and if nobody objects to the clause being in the agreement, it stays in there. The purchaser would likely not negotiate this point if their intention is to develop the property into offices or residential.

FWIW, I don't think the city would be the best operators in this case. I truly believe the best case would have been a group with a passion to preserve the theatre and support the arts community to take over operation of The Oxford (as has been the case in other theatres mentioned in this thread). That said, I suspect it won't or can't happen, as the purchasers appear to have bought the place in order to develop, not preserve.

The optimist in me maintains a glimmer of hope, but I would be surprised if it actually happened. More likely status quo for Halifax - tear it down or façade it, put up a shiny glass box. Eventually the people who actually remember attending the theatre will die off, and it will remain for future generations to see in online photo archives.

I think this is pretty vile what Cineplex has done. My understanding is that Empire, when selling to Cineplex, included a requirement they had to run the Oxford theatre for a certain number of years.

All they did was run out the clock and not only sell ASAP, but also put in this disgusting anti-competitive clause.

IMHO, this clause however would not kill use of the Oxford as a theatre. That clause is what a lawyer might all a term in restraint of trade, and would be read narrowly by a judge.

So, if the Oxford re-opened as a different kind of film theatre-- not directly in competition with Cineplex, I think it would be fine.

Imagine Cineplex's PR troubles if they decided to sue. I'd boycott the hell out of their garbage theatres all over HRM.

OldDartmouthMark
Sep 21, 2017, 12:22 PM
I think this is pretty vile what Cineplex has done. My understanding is that Empire, when selling to Cineplex, included a requirement they had to run the Oxford theatre for a certain number of years.

All they did was run out the clock and not only sell ASAP, but also put in this disgusting anti-competitive clause.

IMHO, this clause however would not kill use of the Oxford as a theatre. That clause is what a lawyer might all a term in restraint of trade, and would be read narrowly by a judge.

So, if the Oxford re-opened as a different kind of film theatre-- not directly in competition with Cineplex, I think it would be fine.

Imagine Cineplex's PR troubles if they decided to sue. I'd boycott the hell out of their garbage theatres all over HRM.

Hmmm... very interesting.

Maybe there is a glimmer of hope? Mostly depends on the current owner, though.

Jonovision
Sep 21, 2017, 4:20 PM
I like the look of the pavers though I haven't walked on them yet. Do you have any concerns?

For sizing the photos, if you upload and host them on imgur, you can resize them after uploading. Otherwise most basic photo editing software has a resizing function.

I actually walked down a line of them this morning. They are hard on the feet. That being said, they are 10 inches of an entire road so I am not too concerned. I think it is important to have some texture that changes from the sidewalk area to the shared area and this does a good job at it. It is a very big contrast both in colour and texture to the rest of the surfaces. Good for those with disabilities and it looks much better then those big bumpy pads that are put at some crossings.

I should hope that as far as snow clearing goes the city would buy a different machine specific for these three blocks that won't harm the pavers.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4442/37196979942_ddd52c80ee_c.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/YEYfdo)20170921_071525 (https://flic.kr/p/YEYfdo) by Jonovision23 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/36229421@N02/), on Flickr

robotropolis
Sep 21, 2017, 6:38 PM
I like the look of the pavers though I haven't walked on them yet. Do you have any concerns?

For sizing the photos, if you upload and host them on imgur, you can resize them after uploading. Otherwise most basic photo editing software has a resizing function.

Man I even downloaded the imgur APP and found out you can't resize except on desktop. Done now.

I like the look, they're maybe a little trip-hazard-y in my view (not too bad), and I worry about them getting alllllll torn up by the snow plows. Maybe the city will have some snowblowers like they do in Montreal?

http://construction-and-excavation.com.s3.amazonaws.com/1431.jpg

OldDartmouthMark
Sep 22, 2017, 9:26 PM
Man I even downloaded the imgur APP and found out you can't resize except on desktop. Done now.

I like the look, they're maybe a little trip-hazard-y in my view (not too bad), and I worry about them getting alllllll torn up by the snow plows. Maybe the city will have some snowblowers like they do in Montreal?



Oops... I rarely do anything more complicated than reading and posting on the phone, so I do any photo editing on the desktop only. Usually I just use photo editing software anyhow (Graphic Converter).

I guess we'll see how they hold up after this winter. Sad to say, it's just a few short months away!

Jonovision
Sep 23, 2017, 3:33 PM
There was a notice in the paper today for an information meeting Oct 4 at the forum regarding a new proposal from WM Fares for a 14 storey apartment at Young and Demone. There is no information on the Halifax website yet though. anyone know anything about this one?

Keith P.
Sep 23, 2017, 3:43 PM
There was a notice in the paper today for an information meeting Oct 4 at the forum regarding a new proposal from WM Fares for a 14 storey apartment at Young and Demone. There is no information on the Halifax website yet though. anyone know anything about this one?

I heard rumblings that the Lion's Head site was in play, so maybe that's it?

Dmajackson
Sep 23, 2017, 4:34 PM
There was a notice in the paper today for an information meeting Oct 4 at the forum regarding a new proposal from WM Fares for a 14 storey apartment at Young and Demone. There is no information on the Halifax website yet though. anyone know anything about this one?

I shared the photo of the sign abive but it got buried quickly under other posts. :)

It is for the Lion's Head Tavern site and the recently demolished lot to the east.

http://68.media.tumblr.com/ec8f70555820f96d3120942c8ee80ecb/tumblr_owldeagAfW1tvjdq8o2_540.png
Explore HRM hosted by Halifax Developments Blog)

teddifax
Sep 23, 2017, 7:34 PM
AHA, I always wondered about the Lions Head, sorry to see it go, maybe it will come back as a tenant in the new building...

Ziobrop
Sep 26, 2017, 4:49 PM
No details available yet. This is attached to the backside of Lion's Head Tavern. It is approximately 1/3 of the block with frontage on Young and Demone Streets.

http://68.media.tumblr.com/2f03cc8c0b24bceac8b271cdb1e786e0/tumblr_owldeagAfW1tvjdq8o1_540.jpg
Halifax Developments Blog (Photo by David Jackson) (http://urbanhalifax.tumblr.com/)

kid of the owner of lions head married a fares. New lions head on robie, with another point north like tower behind.

Jonovision
Sep 26, 2017, 4:51 PM
A great renovation wrapping up in Schmidtville.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4355/23481271498_198f7194f1_c.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/BLXDWA)20170925_142945 (https://flic.kr/p/BLXDWA) by Jonovision23 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/36229421@N02/), on Flickr