December 6: “Love This Town,” Joel Plaskett


Youth= early 90s =Halifax, for me. It’s where I was on December 6, 1989, the day nine women were shot at Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique. It’s where I was when the Berlin wall fell, when the Soviet Union ceased to exist, when the line in the sand was crossed, when the Charlottetown accord failed, and, sadly, where I was when the Blue Jays won their first world series.

It’s where I learned that cowering under a store awning doesn’t work when it’s rainy all day long. It’s where I fell in love for the first time, and also where I returned when I was heartbroken.

I recently encountered the show “Portlandia” and the delightful song in the first episode, the “Dream of the 90s.” I had a very nineties nineties, especially the first half in Halifax. A friend recently described the post-university year we spent, separately, in Vancouver as “a kind of exile from Halifax.” That’s certainly how it felt.

Halifax always felt like an optimistic place to me, where if there was something you wanted to do there was probably a niche for you to do it in. In a new article in the Chronicle-Herald , Brent Toderian, former chief planner of Vancouver, says, “Halifax is well-positioned to become a model for the other mid-sized Canadian cities — not just for ‘coolness’ but more importantly for well-designed, smart, sustainable city-making.”

Love that town? Absolutely. And wish it well, just like any other past love.