North End Halifax Real Estate
In recent years, the North End has become a popular destination for Halifax’s growing university population. As the prices of apartments closer to Dalhousie University and Saint Mary’s University continue to rise, and as the cost of transportation has fallen due to the introduction of the U-pass, students are finding cheaper accommodations in the North End. This has spawned a thriving artistic community, with many painters, musicians and writers being lured to this colourful section of the city.
However, the North End is often linked to issues of crime and poverty. Its historic reputation as a largely blue collar, African Canadian, working class area remains in the minds of much of the local population, especially the older citizens. Hugh MacLennan, in his 1941 novel of the Halifax Explosion, Barometer Rising described the North End as having always been “Catholic and poor”. Land use has been defined by the proximity of the CFB Halifaxnaval base and various adjunct facilities, as well as the Halifax Shipyard, the devastation of the 1917 explosion, all of which contributed to a now-aging stock of residential and commercial buildings that are typically smaller and of lower assessed value than other areas in the metropolitan region. Socio-economically, the devastation of the explosion and the military and industrial concentration in the neighbourhood saw a flight of the middle class to other exclusively residential undevastated neighbourhoods during the early 20th century, leading to a decline in the reputation of the North End.
A perceived media bias against the North End, and media confusion over boundaries, continues to generate controversy among residents, who believe they are targeted for racial and/or socio-economic reasons. Low rent in the smaller residential and commercial properties had contributed to a trend toward gentrification in recent decades, often spearheaded by artistic, cultural and activist organizations. The recent housing boom of the early 21st century has again re-valued property on the Halifax peninsula.
The area has become home to organizations such as Bloomfield Centre, North By North End, Grainery Food Co-Op, the Anchor Archive Zine Library, Turnstile Pottery Cooperative, Nova Scotia Youth Project, and the North End Community Gardening Association. Plans are now under way for the redevelopment of Bloomfield Centre.