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1. Grafton Street sale

Yesterday, the Halifax Examiner reported that the city had sold a one-block portion of Grafton Street to developer Joe Ramia for $1.9 million. That article is behind the Examiner’s pay wall and so available only to paid subscribers; click here to purchase a subscription.

To put the sale into context, $1.9 million represents just $76,000 for each of the 25 years of operation of the convention centre. That is minuscule compared to the city’s annual cost for the convention centre of $6.65 million.

The Grafton Street lot that was sold is 17,456 square feet. By comparison, the Twisted Sisters lot at 1591 Granville Street is just shy of 30,000 square feet, and assessed at $5.3 million. The Birks site on Barrington and George Streets, where councillors park their cars, is 13,252 square feet, and assessed at $2.65 million. But each of those lots is not a public street. Selling Grafton Street changes the city grid system and puts part of the public transportation system in private hands, forever.

Clearly, Grafton Street was under-valued.

2. Pro-Love

Allison Sparling, the coordinator of, has organized a clever response to the anti-abortion protestors who have been visiting Halifax the last few days. Rather than confront the protestors directly, creating the us-versus-them narrative the media typically use to frame stories, Sparling started a “pro-love” campaign, consisting of around 80 pro-choice activists and directed at women using family services.

“We’re standing in front of the hospital because we do expect some anti-choice people to be here, and as they’re going to try to shame people we want them to know that they are safe, we’re not judging them, and they are doing things that are routine and normal and completely OK.

3. Lyle Howe released on bail

There’s nothing unusual about a person being released on jail while he appeals his conviction, but this case sure makes the headlines.

4. Raymond Taavel memorial

The healing garden on Gottingen Street, which was built as a tribute to Taavel, will be dismantled in the next couple of weeks to make way for an affordable housing project, and people are trying to find an appropriate way to memorialize him.

5. Sailing

The International Association for Disabled Sailing World Championships start in Halifax today.


1. The Quantum Intersection

Tristan Cleveland finds wonder in the intersection of Chebucto Road and Windsor Street:

Remember the rule: there are no pedestrians when you are driving green-right-red-left-straight, but there are pedestrians when driving green-right-red-straight.

2. Politicians are human

That’s what Graham Steele says, anyway.

3. CETA is no good

CUPE president Danny Cavanagh gives some good reasons why we should reject the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union.

4. Sullivan’s Pond

David Jones remembers his schoolmates throwing rats at his grandmother.


No public meetings.

On this date in 1969, Prime Minister Trudeau opened the Canada Games in Halifax, putting us on the map. Before, Halifax was just a smudge out there in the ocean, next to a sea monster.

On Campus


Thesis defence, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (9:30am, Room 14-B2, Sir Charles Tupper Medical Building)—Masters student Adam Aitchison will defend his thesis, “Regulation of Programmed Cell Death and Lipid Droplet Formation by CTP: Phosphocholine Cytidylyltransferase Alpha (CCTα).”

Thesis defence, Chemistry (10am, Room 430, Goldberg Computer Science Building)—PhD candidate Adam Ruddy will defend his thesis, “Synthesis, Characterization, and Reactivity of Transition Metal Complexes Supported by Heteropolydentate Ligation.”

Thesis defence, Psychology and Neuroscience (10am, Room 3107, Mona Campbell Building)—PhD candidate Melissa Stewart will defend her thesis, “Implicit and Explicit Gambling Outcome Expectancies: Activation by Gambling Cue Exposure and Utility in Predicting Gambling Outcomes.”

Chemistry lecture (2:30pm, Room 226, Chemistry Building)—Christine Thomas, a prof at Brandeis University, will talk on “Applications Towards Sigma Bond Activation and Catalysis.” The talk is free, and refreshments will be served immediately before, at 2:15, in Room 225. The Chemistry Department always provide the best refreshments, is the recollection from my college days.

Daily Plug

It’s always darkest right before dawn, and this town is at its sleepiest right before the students show up. I’m trying to invent a new title to this section, and find some more material. Send me what you think I might find interesting. In the meanwhile, here’s some Drunk History, which is just like any given Thursday night at the Triangle.

In the harbour

(click on vessel names for pictures and more information about the ships)


Fusion, ro-ro cargo,, St. Pierre to Pier 36
Akademik Sergey Vavilov, research/survey vessel, to Pier 31


Atlantic Conveyor to Liverpool, England
Bahri Yanbu to Port Said
Fusion to St. Pierre
Oceanex Sanderling to St John’s

Of Note

Akademik Sergey Vavilov is a Finish-built, Russian-registered research vessel that offers adventure cruises into the Arctic. The cruises are offered by One Ocean Expeditions, and the Akademik Ioffe has been to Halifax in the past.


Assuming I survive this morning’s deluge, I’ll be on The Rick Howe Show today at 10:30am, along with Metro reporter Ruth Davenport.

Tim Bousquet

Tim Bousquet is the editor and publisher of the Halifax Examiner. Twitter @Tim_Bousquet Mastodon

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  1. Re – Raymond Taavel memorial: Affordable housing is one of those interesting concepts that always seems to fall short of the mark when it comes to maintaining affordability long into the future.

  2. Grafton Street should have been leased, and not sold… now and forevermore it is no longer a public.asset.