Friends of the Public Gardens fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Friends of the Public Gardens fonds

General material designation

  • Graphic material
  • Textual record
  • Object
  • Cartographic material
  • Moving images

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Reference code

CR34 (formerly known as MG 20, vol. 1900, 1952-1961 (textual material) and Nova Scotia Archives accession 1988-141 (graphic material))

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1974-1988, predominantly 1983-1985 (Creation)
    Friends of the Public Gardens

Physical description area

Physical description

2 m of textual records
40 photographs (b&w and col.): 30 10x15cm; 10 16x24cm
14 videocassettes: VHS: .5" T120
1 (object)

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Archival description area

Name of creator

Biographical history

The Friends of the Public Gardens was incorporated under the Societies Act as a non-profit organization on 2 February 1984. Its mandate is to "encourage and support the preservation, enhancement, and celebration of the Halifax Public Gardens...". It also aims to preserve and protect structures of historical and aesthetic significance in the immediate proximity of the gardens. Following its formation, the Friends ignited a public campaign against the building of a large condominium tower by United Equities opposite the Public Gardens which called for the demolition of the Victorian structure, Hart House. They took their case against the developer and the City of Halifax to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia in 1984 and 1985. Though initially successful, the organization ran out of funds with which to continue its campaign, and the United Equities project was eventually built. The Friends of the Public Gardens continues to fulfil its mandate by encouraging low-rise development, and promoting the gardens through publications and activities.

Custodial history

Donated in 1986 and 1988 by members of Friends of the Public Gardens to Nova Scotia Archives. Transferred to HRM Archives in 2011.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of records documenting the Friends of the Public Gardens' activities, focusing largely on its campaign against the United Equities condominium proposal. Fonds includes correspondence, reports, studies, briefs, video recordings, and newspaper clippings relating to the United Equities' project, 1974-1988; photocopies of letters from citizens, 1983-1987 and the 1983 petition to Halifax City Council regarding the Hart House site; and briefs, correspondence, affidavits, and other legal documents, 1984-1985. Also includes photographs depicting Hart House before and after demolition, the petition, houses on Summer Street, and members of the Friends; maps of the Public Gardens, and videocassettes depicting the group's demonstration activities, 1984-1985.

Notes area

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      Finding aids

      Box lists available at the Archives.

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      Physical description

      Object is a banner used in march against the destruction of Hart House, 1988

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      Accession area