It's interesting to look at these bumped threads and see some of the changes that have happened over the past year and a half or so. SekishikiMeikaiHa just posted a great construction update for the Morse's Teas block for example:
Most of the run-down looking buildings in this photo thread are development sites. The old Sam the Record Man buildings are becoming offices, the Morse's Teas has a ground-floor restaurant now, and next door an office building is going up. Some of these sites sat empty or half-demolished while developers waited for approval. Some of the fault lies with the city and some lies with the landlords (and, understandably, commercial tenants want long-term leases), but in any case the process is very wasteful. Another difference between Halifax and some other cities is that you often see ugly chain-link fence or nothing at all instead of hoardings and advertisements for the new buildings.