Walking Tour of Halifax
July 2007 - under construction
Spring Garden Road
- LegislatureBuilding: after many years of lobbying, this is where sexual orientation was added to the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act in 1989. Domestic partnership registration (including same-sex couples) became available in 2001. The Supreme Court of Nova Scotia ruled in 2004 that same-sex marriage would be legal.
- GreenLantern Building - really a community centre, including residences, in the '70s.
- The Turret
- The Pacific Building: what was for decades the ApolloBath was built as Halifax's YMCA in 1911!
- The Marble Building (1672 & 1674 Barrington Street) built in 1896 by rumoured gay businessman GeorgeWright, is a registered municipal heritage building.
- Several homes for the GayLine
- Several bars at 1537 Barrington St (complete list on GayBars)
- ReflectionsCabaret (former, on Barrington itself, now on Salter) maybe include the story of ReflectionsHellsAngels
- The Brewery, home to ZzhivagosBar
- ParadiseRestaurant, CafeQuelqueChose, the StonewallTavern and several bars on Hollis Street
- ForrestHouse (operated by the YWCA on Barrington near the corner of South.) Need some history on this - what was it?
- The WaverleyInn : in the fall of 1882, when OscarWilde came to lecture in Halifax, he stayed at the Waverley Inn, still there at 1266 Barrington Street. Prospective guests can book his very room. The Inn is still decorated in high Victorian style.
- JuryRoom: around 1974 or 1975. The Jury Room was a bar on the corner of Argyle Street, above where the Press Gang is now. It was a gay hangout, and decided to exclude this "undesirable" clientele. People the management decided were gay were not served, and were told to leave. About 30 people set up a picket line in front of their door : it may have been only one night. All the participants were invited back to The Turret afterwards.
- The MOVE offices on Argyle (where the liquor dome is now) and on Gottingen (vacant lot corner of Gottingen and Cornwallis). MOVEment for Citizen's Voice and Action hosted dozens of activist organisations in the mid to late 1970s, including GAE and APPLE.
- Public Gardens
- CBC building at the corner of South Park and Sackville Streets (former civic address was 100 Sackville Street): for many years CBC refused to take Public Service announcements coming from GAE/GALA: these would be for workshops or other special events. RobinMetcalfe (and I suppose others) convinced the Dalhousie Gazette to lead a NATION WIDE BOYCOTT of CBC advertising by university student papers until, many years later, they fnally changed their position. This was an amazing thing, because CBC ads were a very good source of revenue for the impoverished university presses, but they gave it up for gay/lesbian rights. There was a small picket in front of the building once, but really the boycott is the important thing. Photos etc. on the CBC page.
- CitadelHill: Until 1906, this was a garrison not of the Canadian, but of the British, Army. It overlooked a harbour defended by ships of the Royal Navy. Although the traditions of the Royal Navy are famously "rum, sodomy, and the lash," official commitment to the first and last of these options was decidedly more enthusiastic than to the middle. In fact, military personnel engaging in homosexual conduct in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries might receive sentences ranging from dishonorable discharge, through hundreds of lashes, to hanging (examples specific to Halifax are unknown). It seems ironic, then, that Citadel Hill has long been the most famous/notorious gay men's cruising area in Halifax.
- CampHillCemetery -- notorious outdoor cruising area, now closed in the evenings after the 1988-11-05 Murder.
- Propeller Beer -- brewers of Queer Beer and long time location of WormwoodsDogAndMonkeyCinema
- History of bars upstairs at 2104 Gottingen St -- RainbowRoom, EagleHalifax, ToolBoxEast and finally MenzBar.
- The fascinating swirl of theatres, clubs and bars at 2112 Gottingen Street
- The confusing dance of ClubNrg, ClubVortex, Diamonds, and BlueMoon up and down the street.
- MenzBar & SeaDogsSauna
- InsightCafe: occult, wiccan supplies, Tarot, palm readings... and a coffee shop
- Current establishments:
- 2100 Block where activist RaymondTaavel was murdered
- MortonHouse, and AIDS hospice created in 1988
- East Corner of the commons: MargotDurling's "Chosen Family" sculpture.
Driving south from downtown:
- SouthHouse has been, off and on (depending it seems on its constituents), a centre for events.
- UniversalistUnitarianChurch, early meeting place for G.A.E. and home of Safe Harbour and the CourageRoundup for many years
- South Park & Morris: 19th century development by GeorgeWright
- Point Pleasant Park (little queer content here - except for the Shakespeare By The Sea thespians)
Driving north of North St:
- RadclyffeHall at Macara & Isleville Streets: It had long been the Gay Alliance for Equality's (GAE's) ambition to own a community centre, and for some years a portion of membership fees to the first Rumours Club was set aside for the purpose. At last we took the plunge and purchased a house, which was named for early twentieth-century British novelist Radclyffe Hall, author of the much-censored lesbian novel The Well of Loneliness. // The ground floor of the house was a commmunity centre : it was used for meetings of GAE and other gay-related organizations, for workshops, for alcohol-free social events, and one summer for a youth outreach project with two part-time employees. One of the events held was the first (and I believe only) Halifax gay/lesbian commmunity observance of Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom ha-Shoah), looking back to lesbians and gays persescuted by the Nazis. A Gay/Lesbian-friendly AA group met at Radclyffe Hall, paying a small rent as it is their policy not to accept free meeting spaces. The Gayline also operated out of the building. // Upstairs was an apartment, whose tenants looked after cleaning, snow removal, etc in return for reduced rent.
- Gay HoldFastCafe
When the second Rumours on Gottingen Street was purchased, Radclyffe Hall was sold and the proceeds applied to the mortgage.
- Much in the women's community happened in the North End: many events (i.e., lesbian conferences, women's dances, meetings, Pandora's office were held at VeithHouse (corner of Veith and Young near Barrington)
- TheChurch on North Street was a venue for dances & theatre
- For a while, Black Street appeared to be a bastion of lesbian living, although not nearly so much so now.
Locations To Add
(ideas from LynnMurphy, March 7, 2016)
- homes of various AIDS-related organizations
- place where Pride Parade now ends (various routes over the years. Good ending spot for the tour, too.)
- Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management (where GAE/GALA records are kept - I could do a writeup on this. Perhaps NSARM could be motivated to do a display during Pride Week.)
- churches : first affirming church? first lesbian-gay wedding? But lots of weddings before this took place in living rooms and were not registered anywhere.
- Dal SUB - home of Atlantic Canada's first LGBT radio show (??) - still broadcasting? JaneKansas may know more.
- remember a morning protest at the gates of Stadacona? Or was it the shipyard? But I forget what it was about....
- NeptuneTheatre: gay plays / plays by LGBT playwrights. BrydenMacDonald will know - I think they have staged one of his.
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