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  #1481  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2023, 11:03 AM
Saul Goode Saul Goode is offline
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Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
A few random memories of my own taken from that shot:

Dartmouth Memorial Rink... I was at the Bill Lynch Shows on Nantucket (where McDonald's is currently located) when that burned down in the mid 1970s (can't remember the exact year at the moment)
Pretty sure it was 74. I was shooting hoops in a friend's driveway in Crichton Park and we saw huge clouds of black smoke billowing above the trees at Brightwood. We thought it might be DHS going up, which would have finished our school year early. Hopped on our bikes and zipped over in time to see some of the building collapse. Spectacular fire (as was St. Peter's Church - very memorable fire.) I left a lot of good memories in that rink.

Quote:
Fairley and Stevens on the left, Beacon Pontiac on the right
Don't forget The Old Mill!

Quote:
The original House of Mei Mei restaurant (?)
Remember the Three Bears drive-in that was there first?

Last edited by Saul Goode; Mar 31, 2023 at 11:30 AM.
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  #1482  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2023, 12:08 PM
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Keith P. Keith P. is offline
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Originally Posted by Saul Goode View Post
Some good points there, I'll grant you. But let's see how it all plays out.

Regardless, I think your $10M+ estimate is fantasy.
I stumbled across a lengthy post on the subject of the Doubletree conversion on FB with many comments from those who were already housed there - apparently several floors of the place had already been taken over by DCS or some other govt agency some time ago to house people. The details of it and what went on would make your hair stand on end. Even worse, there were also comments from paying guests who stayed there without knowing that the place was partly a shelter already. Let's just say they did not have a good experience unless they were there for the smoking and shooting up of drugs or in search of an escort for some entertainment. Even better was the account of one homeless client who described her weekly delivery of supplies from DCS or whatever agency was contracted to do that. The goody box included booze and weed for her week's enjoyment. Apparently the deal also included being able to have a guest reside with you which made life even more spicy. The other thing mentioned by several was that the entire hotel staff received pink slips when the conversion was complete, so they are now out of work and have lost both income and benefits after in many cases decades of employment there. Cripes, what a disaster. There is no problem govt cannot make even worse.
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  #1483  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2023, 12:18 PM
Saul Goode Saul Goode is offline
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
I stumbled across a lengthy post on the subject of the Doubletree conversion on FB with many comments from those who were already housed there - apparently several floors of the place had already been taken over by DCS or some other govt agency some time ago to house people. The details of it and what went on would make your hair stand on end. Even worse, there were also comments from paying guests who stayed there without knowing that the place was partly a shelter already. Let's just say they did not have a good experience unless they were there for the smoking and shooting up of drugs or in search of an escort for some entertainment. Even better was the account of one homeless client who described her weekly delivery of supplies from DCS or whatever agency was contracted to do that. The goody box included booze and weed for her week's enjoyment. Apparently the deal also included being able to have a guest reside with you which made life even more spicy. The other thing mentioned by several was that the entire hotel staff received pink slips when the conversion was complete, so they are now out of work and have lost both income and benefits after in many cases decades of employment there. Cripes, what a disaster. There is no problem govt cannot make even worse.
For sure.

I don't think there was ever any doubt that if the owner intends to operate it as a hotel again at some point, it'll need a complete makeover.

The $10M-ish spent a few years ago included a lot of structural stuff, including breaking up and hauling out ton after ton of concrete, as well as new finishes for every room. No matter what the current occupants do, the same costly structural demo and other structural work won't be necessary.
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  #1484  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2023, 1:33 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Originally Posted by Saul Goode View Post
Pretty sure it was 74. I was shooting hoops in a friend's driveway in Crichton Park and we saw huge clouds of black smoke billowing above the trees at Brightwood. We thought it might be DHS going up, which would have finished our school year early. Hopped on our bikes and zipped over in time to see some of the building collapse. Spectacular fire (as was St. Peter's Church - very memorable fire.) I left a lot of good memories in that rink.



Don't forget The Old Mill!



Remember the Three Bears drive-in that was there first?
Yes, 1974 sounds right to me as well.

I was going to mention the Old Mill, and also the VW? dealership above Fairley's.

I recall my parents mentioning the Three Bears, but I have no specific memories of it. I remember they said there were people dancing on the roof or something like that? Presumably some promotion, but I chuckle a little now because they framed it like that meant it was some drug haven or something... "these young people of today"...
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  #1485  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2023, 2:07 PM
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Keith P. Keith P. is offline
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Originally Posted by Saul Goode View Post
No matter what the current occupants do, the same costly structural demo and other structural work won't be necessary.
Unless they burn it down entirely.

No idea if this is accurate, but one of the comments in that long FB thread mentioned that the homeless modular units across from the Avery on Alderney have already been at least partially wrecked and cannot be occupied.
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  #1486  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2023, 2:11 PM
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Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post

I recall my parents mentioning the Three Bears, but I have no specific memories of it. I remember they said there were people dancing on the roof or something like that? Presumably some promotion, but I chuckle a little now because they framed it like that meant it was some drug haven or something... "these young people of today"...
My memory is that The Three Bears were the first occupants of the 1960s building constructed on that site but that they were a spectacular failure and did not last very long. We used to drive by there fairly regularly and seldom saw any customers parked out front. Mei Mei took over from them and lasted a lot longer.
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  #1487  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2023, 4:42 PM
Saul Goode Saul Goode is offline
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
My memory is that The Three Bears were the first occupants of the 1960s building constructed on that site but that they were a spectacular failure and did not last very long. We used to drive by there fairly regularly and seldom saw any customers parked out front. Mei Mei took over from them and lasted a lot longer.
That squares perfectly with my memory. I'm pretty sure the building was purpose-built for them. It's hazy, but I definitely recall "life-size" (if "life-size" means anything with reference to fictional characters) fiberglass/plastic Mama, Papa and Baby Bear figures in the drive-thru lane which you spoke into to order. I have an even hazier (i.e., possibly false) memory of CJCH's Murray MacIvor ("Fire Chief Murray") doing the enthusiastic voice-over for their TV ads.

I don't think we ever ate there, but were frequently in the area. As you say, the business didn't last long, but those plastic bears stood there looking forlorn for a few more years before Mei Mei moved in.

Last edited by Saul Goode; Mar 31, 2023 at 5:13 PM.
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  #1488  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2023, 4:46 PM
Saul Goode Saul Goode is offline
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Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
Yes, 1974 sounds right to me as well.

I was going to mention the Old Mill, and also the VW? dealership above Fairley's.
Yes - Hillcrest VW. Eventually became "[Someone's] Autohaus" before VW eventually departed the site.

Quote:
I recall my parents mentioning the Three Bears, but I have no specific memories of it. I remember they said there were people dancing on the roof or something like that? Presumably some promotion, but I chuckle a little now because they framed it like that meant it was some drug haven or something... "these young people of today"...
Can't say I remember that, but it would definitely fit with their overall promotional scheme.

Last edited by Saul Goode; Mar 31, 2023 at 5:13 PM.
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  #1489  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2023, 6:17 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
My memory is that The Three Bears were the first occupants of the 1960s building constructed on that site but that they were a spectacular failure and did not last very long. We used to drive by there fairly regularly and seldom saw any customers parked out front. Mei Mei took over from them and lasted a lot longer.
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Originally Posted by Saul Goode View Post
That squares perfectly with my memory. I'm pretty sure the building was purpose-built for them. It's hazy, but I definitely recall "life-size" (if "life-size" means anything with reference to fictional characters) fiberglass/plastic Mama, Papa and Baby Bear figures in the drive-thru lane which you spoke into to order. I have an even hazier (i.e., possibly false) memory of CJCH's Murray MacIvor ("Fire Chief Murray") doing the enthusiastic voice-over for their TV ads.

I don't think we ever ate there, but were frequently in the area. As you say, the business didn't last long, but those plastic bears stood there looking forlorn for a few more years before Mei Mei moved in.
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Originally Posted by Saul Goode View Post
Can't say I remember that, but it would definitely fit with their overall promotional scheme.
Interesting, and once the site is developed it will probably only be known as "Tim Horton corner" or something like that.

I shared my parents' comment only as a window into a 'day in the life', and how much more conservative peoples' views were back then. Today nobody would bat an eye over people (or people dressed up as bears, or whatever) dancing around like fools to promote a business. It would almost be expected.
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  #1490  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2023, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Saul Goode View Post
Yes - Hillcrest VW. Eventually became "[Someone's] Autohaus" before VW eventually departed the site.
No, Hillcrest was on Robie where Colonial Honda is now - Hillcrest moved north on Robie, just north of Young St. The Dartmouth VW dealer on Wyse was Glen Robertson.
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  #1491  
Old Posted Apr 1, 2023, 1:26 AM
Saul Goode Saul Goode is offline
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No, Hillcrest was on Robie where Colonial Honda is now - Hillcrest moved north on Robie, just north of Young St. The Dartmouth VW dealer on Wyse was Glen Robertson.
Damn. You're right, of course. That was a forehead-slapping moment...

What was I saying about false memories?
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  #1492  
Old Posted Apr 1, 2023, 4:41 AM
Dartguard Dartguard is offline
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Originally Posted by Saul Goode View Post
Damn. You're right, of course. That was a forehead-slapping moment...

What was I saying about false memories?
It happens to the best of Us and Saul you are among the best of us.
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  #1493  
Old Posted Apr 1, 2023, 1:41 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
No, Hillcrest was on Robie where Colonial Honda is now - Hillcrest moved north on Robie, just north of Young St. The Dartmouth VW dealer on Wyse was Glen Robertson.
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Originally Posted by Saul Goode View Post
Damn. You're right, of course. That was a forehead-slapping moment...

What was I saying about false memories?
At least you came up with a name, SG... I couldn't even recall whether it was a VW dealership in 1969. The name Drescher comes to mind... but perhaps that was the '80s? Or some other location? Or not a car dealership at all? I don't know.

Was there also a Volvo dealership on Wyse in the 1960s? I know there was one in the general area (maybe Windmill?), as my dad worked there before going to Beacon Pontiac sometime in the mid sixties.

BTW, I do recall the Beacon dealership switched from GM to Datsun (Nissan) from approx. 1971 to 1973, after which it became Chaisson Plymouth Chrysler until that dealership moved next to the Mackay bridge (and the name changed to Twin Cities), until finally becoming Dartmouth Dodge (I'm going to say in 1975 or 76?) until sometime in the 2000s. Now it's part of Sobey's parking lot. I haven't been in the area much in a while, but I was surprised to see that it appears the old used car building is still on site, or at least it was on Google maps in 2021.
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  #1494  
Old Posted Apr 1, 2023, 2:32 PM
Saul Goode Saul Goode is offline
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Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
At least you came up with a name, SG... I couldn't even recall whether it was a VW dealership in 1969. The name Drescher comes to mind... but perhaps that was the '80s? Or some other location? Or not a car dealership at all? I don't know.
Yes, Drescher Motors was definitely a successor to Robertson and was definitely there in the 80s.

Quote:
Was there also a Volvo dealership on Wyse in the 1960s? I know there was one in the general area (maybe Windmill?), as my dad worked there before going to Beacon Pontiac sometime in the mid sixties.
I'm drawing a blank on a Volvo dealership. Doesn't mean it wasn't there, just that my memory is...drawing a blank. Age sucks.

Quote:
BTW, I do recall the Beacon dealership switched from GM to Datsun (Nissan) from approx. 1971 to 1973
My memory of the Datsun dealership is of the early-mid 70s when it was Dickey Datsun, and at that point was (I think) also down on Windmill near the MacKay.
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  #1495  
Old Posted Apr 1, 2023, 2:37 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Speaking of the old Dartmouth Memorial Rink... we've covered the demise in 1974 (IIRC, it was during some special furniture sale being conducted in the rink?). I found some info on its opening in 1951 that some long-time Dartmouth residents may or may not find interesting (I did, but I'm easily amused).

Pic from 1969 posted previously:

Source

From the Town of Dartmouth's 1951 Annual Report:
Quote:
Dartmouth Rink Commission

A new era in the sports development of Dartmouth was herald-ed in 1951 with the official opening and operation of the Dartmouth Memorial Rink.

Authorized by vote of the ratepayers in 1950, the $175,000 structure, located virtually on the same site as the old Mar k-Cross arena, fills a long-felt need in the Town. Built of permanent type materials, including brick tile, and especially designed structural steel the new building came in for a terrific amount of use during the Spring of 1951, just after it opened, and during the Fall and Winter season to follow.

Actual opening date of the beautiful new rink was slated for early in January but due to delays experienced in the installation of the freezing equipment this was held back until February when at a special ceremony Han. Geoffrey Stevens, M.L.A. officially tossed in the first puck to open operations.

Included among the varied activities to take place at the ice palace in 1951 were the operation of a large number of hockey leagues, ranging all the way from midgets and bantams up to the participation by the Chebuctos in the Valley Hockey League. Other promotions held at the rink included the Dartmouth Kiwanis Club’s Ice Follies show which promises to grow bigger each year, plus numerous public skating sessions, and rental of ice to private parties and firms. During the year every effort was made to insure provision of skating session and hockey time for the younger children and this is expected to increase annually through the efforts of such organizations as the Dartmouth Minor Hockey Association headed by Colenso Bowles.

Financially, during its first year of operation the Rink showed an operating profit of $142.48. This is before payment has been not in full operation during that period, this profit might not have operated only for a portion of a year, and the leagues, and such attractions which would bring money into the Rink coffers were not in full operation during that period this profit might not have. been as large as hoped for but this situation is expected to improve following a complete year’s operation. Rink Commission members were confident of a successful operation, especially if arrangements can be completed for a permanent type flooring to be laid over the brine pipes so that the Rink. building can be used for special money making attractions during the summer months. Arrangements are now underway in this regard.
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  #1496  
Old Posted Apr 1, 2023, 3:01 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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From the same 1951 annual report referenced above, I noticed this little tidbit about the 'temporary' small homes built to house the infux of people to the Halifax area during World War II. I've heard it referenced before but thought the details provided to be interesting:

Quote:
Two hundred and fourteen prefabricated houses were purchased from the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation at $1000 each and were permanized by placing concrete foundations under them and making ether repairs at an additional cost of approximately $1000 per house. These houses were offered first to the occupants and then to other citizens at $2800, $3000 and $3200, making low cost housing available to many. They will ultimately show a substantial profit to the Town.
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During 1951 the Town purchased 214 prefabricated houses in North Dartmouth from Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation and permanized them with the installation of permanent foundation walls and other minor improvements. These were then offered for sale, first to the original tenants and then to eligible purchasers as they became available. The buildings were sold at prices of $2800, $3000 and $3200, depending upon the size.
Source

A number of them can be seen in the upper right of the photo at the link:
https://7046.sydneyplus.com/archive/...9-618f86ec5dc7
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  #1497  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2023, 1:57 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Here's an overhead photo of the Cable Wharf area from sometime in the 1980s (according to the archives site).

Quite a few differences from then and now... no Summit Place. All of the former research buildings that later became a parking lot and now are mostly occupied by Queen's Marque, etc.

Also of note are the older buildings that had later been consumed by Founder's Square, creating the dead zone that we have today.

The boardwalk along the waterfront had not been built yet, so it was definitely less hospitable to visitors.



Source
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  #1498  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2023, 2:10 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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People enjoying some fries on a sunny day next to the old Spring Garden library, 1989.



Source

Another shot, same area.



Source
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  #1499  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2023, 2:39 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Construction of the Sheraton Hotel (now the Marriott Harbourfront) and what appears to be Purdy's Wharf Tower 1. The Archives date the photo as 1987, but both the hotel and tower opened in 1985. Therefore the actual year of this photo must be 1983 or 84.



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  #1500  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2023, 6:30 PM
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Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
Also of note are the older buildings that had later been consumed by Founder's Square, creating the dead zone that we have today.
I'm not sure exactly what the inside space looks like but Founder's Square seems like it might be one of the easier office complexes to fix. It still has the old facades and doorways, and I would guess that any lobby or mall-like space inside is probably not that commercially valuable these days. In the 80's that space probably filled up with print shops and drycleaners or whatever, but demand for those services has dropped.

Part of what's going on is probably just that this was a single-use office area without much activity out of normal business hours but that's changing as more residential is added. There's still the Ralston and Skye dead zone that isn't helping. It's possible a few thousand people could move into this area and then the Founder's Square frontage would be used for restaurants and shops (maybe just tiny ones if there isn't much space inside). Scotia Square on the other hand would need a major renovation.

Last edited by someone123; Apr 3, 2023 at 6:41 PM.
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