Schmidtville

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Neighbourhood

Introduction
Welcome to Schmidtville!

This unique and historic neighbourhood of Halifax is situated in the heart of the city. A place where diversity, culture, history, and commerce all meet to blend into a neighbourhood which has survived 200 years of change. Walking through Schmidtville one can experience the charm of Victorian and Georgian architecture while being able to shop on the busiest street east of Montreal. Schmidtville is a place where students, families and many cultural groups live, work and play. Walking in Schmidtville is walking through time in the modern age. Schmidtville endures time because of its flexibility to change even in its name, which was originally Schmidt’s Ville. But above all it is a great neighbourhood because for all who live here Schmidtville is home and there is no place better to call home.

Events and Festivals

Throughout the year many events take place. Many walking tours can be taken throughout most of the year.

History

Schmidtville has a history that stands out amongst other neighbourhoods in Canada. Schmidtville can trace its routes back to the beginnings of Canada and of Halifax. Beginning as a simple pasture field bought by James Pedley in 1781 from Richard Bulkeley ( First Justice of Nova Scotia), Schmidtville has now become the center of Halifax. Upon James Pedley’s death his daughter Elizabeth Pedley-Schmidt inherited the land. Elizabeth married Capt. Wilhelm Christian Schmidt of the Royal Artillery. Capt. Schmidt fought for the British in the American Revolution. After Capt. Schmidt’s death Elizabeth began in 1831 to subdivide the land into lots for sale. One could argue this was the first case in Canada of a woman land developer. Many of the most wealthiest of day began to buy the lots and this trend continued into Victorian times. The most noted developer of Victorian times was George Wright, a victim of the Titanic. Mr. Wright created Nova Scotia’s first utopian developments here in Schmidtville. He was a great believer in affordable housing and human rights.

The history of Schmidtville is one of change beginning with the aftermath of the 1917 Halifax Explosion many of the buildings had floors/extensions added to help with the demand for housing. The early to mid twentieth century was not kind to the area seeing many of the houses fall into decay and leading to half of the original neighbourhood to be demolished for parking lots. This was part due to centralizing commerce onto the main street of Spring Garden Road. However, people have recognized the character and location of Schmidtville and much is being done to bring the neighbourhood into the twenty first century.

Presently, Schmidtville is in the process of becoming Halifax’s first residential-mixed use neighbourhood to have the designation as a Heritage Conservation District. This is the web link –http://shapeyourcityhalifax.ca/schmidtville

The heritage value of Schmidtville is not only in the Georgian and Victorian buildings but in the people that live here.  Some families have lived in Schmidtville for over 50, even over 100 years. It is a community full of character and history, which enriches the lives of all who live and visit the neighbourhood.
Please watch the video made by The Friends of Schmidtville to learn more.

Development

Schmidtville at present is experiencing mass change in and around the neighbourhood. Some of Halifax’s most expensive developments are occurring here. Halifax’s new state of the art Central Library is right next door on the corner Queen St. and Spring Garden Road. This is a 50 million dollar new public facility. Web link http://www.halifaxcentrallibrary.ca/

In the center north of the neighbourhood two nine storey luxury mixed-use buildings are being constructed, which have a value of over 70 million dollars. Web links http://bit.ly/1N5iN5H
and http://bit.ly/1IN3jwY

Accessibility
Schmidtville can be accessed by car, public transit, biking and walking. The neighbourhood is easy to navigate being on a grid layout, so come and check it out!

Demographics

Who lives in Schmidtville now and in the past are people from every walk of life! Students, seniors, ethnic backgrounds Irish, German, Jewish Greek, Italian, English and Scot. Schmidtville has facilities for all in and around it. There is Spencer House a community seniors and daycare center. Next door to Spencer House is St. Mary’s Elementary School. Schmidtville offers students access to numerous educational institutions as it is situated between Several universities Dalhousie, St. Mary’s and School of Architecture and Design. For the young at heart Schmidtville is surrounded by bars, restaurants and its own liquor store, which there has been one on the same street since Victorian times. For adults there are the shops and malls of Spring Garden Rd.

Map

http://shapeyourcityhalifax.ca/schmidtville/photos/1684

 

Video