This dynamite photo exhibit just opened at the Museum of Natural History in Halifax NS. My friend Peggy Cameron, a photographer and an activist in Halifax, took photos of more than 100 houses slated for the wrecking ball once this city enacts its Centre Plan. The Centre Plan allows for buildings of up to 6 storeys all along Robie St. in midtown Halifax. Halifax’s Planning Dept calls Robie a “corridor” meaning it is supposed to function as a thoroughfare.
Peggy photographed every house now standing on Robie Street from South St. to North St. Her exhibit is a goodbye tip of the hat to homes in many styles from 19th century artisans’ narrow homes to more lavish three-storey wood shingled side-by-side duplexes. By photographing these homes and a few businesses along the street, she demonstrates that the city ‘fathers’ (and I mean that) could care less about preserving built heritage, or retaining affordable housing, or defending a human-sized streetscape.
By raising the height along this “corridor” to 6 storeys, the developers who have bought up many of these lovely old houses can demolish them and put up glass and concrete boxes. For ordinary people who still own these homes, they will be pressured to destroy their character homes and follow the lead of developers — if only to make money from multi-suite rentals. A whole neighbourhood is literally on the chopping block.
And who in Halifax– besides Peggy — will fight back?
If you’re in Halifax, go see Peggy’s show, on till the end of October.