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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Monday Musing

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co-hosted by Veronica Simmonds

If coffee doesn’t quite spark your brain on Mondays, get your juices flowing with Spacing Atlantic’s musing of the week. We pose a question – you think, write, comment, share philosophies, facts, ideas or opinions. We will summarize the discussion and provide musings of our own. Don’t be shy! Comment away ..

Downtown Halifax has abundance of empty storefronts & spaces. How might we better use this space while it awaits development or more permanent occupancy?

photo by Hugh Pouliot



  1. Now that the Rock Garden will either close or change owners, musicians need more affordable rehearsal rooms. Starfish Properties could rent out the abundance of Barrington space to musicians and actors. Artists and photographers could also rent studio space.

  2. lots to be done – would appreciate dialogue on options

  3. I was totally going to say the same thing!!!

    Either that or street level, windowed Paintball gallery. 

    Actually, I think the latter would be awesome. 


    PRECAREis a simple and efficient instrument to strengthen urban creative initiatives by reusing abandoned buildings as workspaces. PRECARE facilitates the ‘intermediary use’ of abandoned buildings. It not only provides a solution for the need for workspaces in the creative sector, it also creates a positive dynamic in neighbourhoods suffering from abandoned real estate.

  5. Broken City Lab: Storefront Residencies for Social Innovation

    The Storefront Residencies for Social Innovation invites the radical re-imagining of the possibilities for economic stimulus and process-driven practice, situating those very possibilities in the heart of Windsor in vacant storefronts.

    Facilitated by Broken City Lab , the Storefront Residencies for Social Innovation will call on artists, writers, designers, entrepreneurs, not-for-profits, hobby shops, restauranteurs, librarians, musicians, architects, archivists, and other interested parties to occupy a space in downtown Windsor for up to one month in July 2010.

    The residencies will attempt to intervene with the everyday realities of skyrocketing vacancy rates, failing economic strategies, and a population of people who are continually losing hope for their city. (

  6. how about rousing some inspiration to fix up the deserted downtown core but getting development/design/city planning enthusiasts, halifax lovers or keeners in general to plan out how they think the neighborhood can be uplifted and then display the ideas in shop windows. downtown blueprints would vary in vision and creative perspective and may conjure up some pretty interesting perspectives and inspirations. it could totally be incorporated into the artist space in empty shop windows idea posted above.

  7. via “Christopher Harbourne” on facebook:

    If you want it filled, make the incentive to have it occupied better than leaving it empty. Sometimes the tax advantages are too great. Waiting for someone to pay huge rent can easily be worth it. From my looking at the empty storefront costs on Barrington, the cost heavily outweighs the benefit of being on Barrington, as it’s not considered a hot spot to be for retailers.

    Just my two cents.