Gottingen Street Timeline

Fetched from March 21, 2018. Author unknown.

The following is an outline of events that happened along Gottingen Street – construction of buildings, events involving persons, major events, disasters, etc. This is not meant to be a complete list of events but is as comprehensive as possible.

1756 – The Little Dutch Church is built on the corner of Brunswick and Gerrish streets on the corner of a lot of land which would be used by early German settlers as a cemetery. (This is the second oldest building in Halifax)

1761 – The Little Dutch Church is consecrated as the Church of St. George

April 6, 1764 – residents of the “North Suburb” make application to the Governor and his council to name the community. “Upon application of the people, the north suburbs of Halifax were called Gottingen.”

1800 – Construction begins and ends on a larger St. George’s church located at the corner of Brunswick and Cornwallis streets known locally as “the Round Church”

1820s – few houses along Gottingen street which ran alongside Creighton’s and Maynard’s fields. One house at the corner of Gottingen and Gerrish street was dubbed locally as the North Pole.

1821 (ca.) – Bellevue Cottage, a private residence and registered heritage property, is constructed on Gottingen Street.

1846 – the African Methodist Episcopal Church is constructed and opened on the corner of Falkland Street and Gottingen Street.

1867 – The North Baptist Church is constructed on Gottingen Street between Falkland and Cornwallis streets.

1870 – Military Hospital on the corner of Gottingen and Cogswell streets is constructed to replace the hospital that had burned in 1866.

1877 (ca.) – Fernbank, a private residence and registered heritage property, is constructed at 2698 Gottingen street.

1885 – Victoria Hall, or the Homes for Old Ladies, opens on Gottingen Street. Founded in 1860 as a non-profit-organization to assist older women with affordable rent.

1890 – the north end branch of the People’s Bank opens on Gottingen street

1891 – The North End has its own newspaper called The Northern Light

1891 – People’s Photographic Studios is located on Gottingen street

September 1, 1891 – The Gottingen street branch of the street railway is formally opened it is said that “there was great exultation in the hearts of Northenders because now the horse cars would run up the hills instead of leaving them at the foot of the mountain. Only those who for years have bent their backs to the task of climbing the almost perpendicular ascent to the high places of this hilly city can appreciate the luxury of leaving their burden at the bottom of the hill when they step into the car bound for Cunard and Robie Streets”

1894 (ca.) – Leo Fultz constructs his house located at 2438 Gottingen, a registered heritage property.

1895 – The Institute for the Deaf and the Dumb is constructed on Gottingen Street. This large brick building replaced a wooden structure on the site that had been the home of the school since about 1857. The total cost was $50,000

1913 – Architect Sidney P. Dumaresq is commissioned by the Royal Bank of Canada to design its building on Gottingen Street. (plans are held at the Royal Bank of Canada Archives in Montreal).

1915 – Architect Sidney P. Dumaresq is commissioned by Dr. Ferguson R. Little to design his offices at 84-86 Gottingen Street. This building is now the site of Menz Bar.

December 6, 1917 – the collision of the IMO and Mont Blanc leads to the largest man-made explosion prior to the Atomic explosion at Hiroshima – referred to as the “Halifax Explosion”.

February 19, 1919 & 20 – Two nights of rioting took place along Gottingen Street and other parts of the North End primarily targeting businesses owned by Chinese and/or non-British residents. The rioters were primarily ex-serviceman returning from WWI and was fueled by alcohol.

1937 – Marcus Garvey, the leader of the United Negro Improvement Association, visited Africville and gave a very important speech to the local community at the African Methodist Church. Subsquently in the 1970s singer Bob Marley referenced the speech given in Halifax in his song “Redemption Song”.

May 7, 1945 & 8 – The VE Day riots take place throughout Halifax and impact various businesses along Gottingen Street. The picture below is of people carrying stolen merchandize outside of Ralph Purcell’s Tailor shop and Walker’s Barber on Gottingen.

Gottingen Street - Ralph Purcells Barber Shop - VE Day Riots 1945

April 29, 1948The Vogue Theatre opens on Gottingen Street being the first movie theatre to open up on this street. Built on the site of the North Baptist Church.

1955 – The African Methodist Episcopal Church on the corner of Falkland and Gottingen is closed after operating as a church for 110 years. The building is either demolished or moved from the location.

1964 – The Halifax City Regional Library Board received $100,000 from the Halifax Relief Commission to commemorate the tragedy of the 1917 Halifax Explosion. With city council’s support, a library branch was built in memory of the 2000 victims of the explosion. The library is called the Halifax North Memorial Public Library.

May 7, 1966 – Uniacke Square was opened. It was built to house the displaced Africville community whose roots go back to refugees of the War of 1812, the Underground Railroad and American Civil War

1970 – Northwood Manor is constructed and opened on the corner of Gottingen and North streets on the site of the former residence of Martin P. Black. The building’s sister building, Northwood Towers, was constructed three years earlier in 1967.

1972 – The Vogue theatre closes and is re-opened as the Eve, an adult movie theatre.

1972 – The Halifax Police relocates their main headquarters from the Old Halifax Market building on Albermarle Street to a new buildings located at the corner of Gottingen and Rainnie Drive on the former site of old Garrison buildings.

September 17, 1973 – The Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre opens it doors in Halifax

1987 – The Gay and Lesbian Association (GALA) opened up their community space and night club Rumors in the old Vogue Theatre building.

1994-6-02 – fire destroys St. George’s Church, the round church. The church was rebuilt for a cost of $4.6 million.

1995 – [[Rumors?]] closes and the Gay and Lesbian Association (GALA) cease to exist.

February, 2003 – a large structural fire occurs mid-morning destroying all of the buildings at the corner of Gottingen Street and Falkland Street – consisting of four houses containing multiple apartments and a number of small businesses.

June, 2006 June – The City of Halifax renames a stretch of Gerrish Street between Gottingen and Maynard Streets after Buddy Delmare Daye. Daye was involved in local community development in the North End. In 1971 he became Manager of the Nova Scotia Legislature and in 1990 was elevated to Sargeant-at-Arms the first African Nova Scotian to hold this position. He was also Director of the Black United Front

2012 – Global Television renovates the former Vogue Theatre building and opens its Nova Scotia studios on Gottingen Street.

April 17, 2012 – local activist Raymond Taavel is beaten to death outside of Menz Bar. Taavel was involved in the local LGBTQI community and had in previous years chaired the Halifax Pride Committee and Parade amongst many other events throughout his time in Halifax. The day following his death a large crowd of over 1000 people gathered outside of the bar to pay their respects and to “take back” the street from the violence that had occurred the night before.

2013 – Victoria Hall closes and is sold to a developer. The residents are removed to Northwood Manor at the corner of Gottingen and North Street.