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Granville Mall Streetscape

1854 - 1895 Granville Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3J, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1981/10/27

Detial of windows on upper storeys of building on south side of mall, Granville Mall Streetscape, Halifax, 2005.; Heritage Division, NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2005
Window Detail
General view of south side of Granville Mall Streetscape, Halifax, 2005.; Heritage Division, NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2005
General View
Granville Mall Streetscape, view from the Cogswell Interchange Ramp towards Duke Street,  Halifax, Nova Scotia, 2000.; HRM Planning and Development Services, Heritage Property Program, 2000
Street Elevation

Other Name(s)

Granville Mall Streetscape
Thomson & Co.
Split Crow Building
Granville Street Mall

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1864/01/01 to 1875/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/08/10

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Granville Mall Streetscape features seventeen four storey Italianate stone buildings that exemplify the 1870s commercial prominence of Halifax. This pedestrian mall includes the buildings on both sides of one block Granville Street between Duke Street and the Cogswell Interchange Ramp located in Downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia near the Halifax Harbour. The heritage designation applies only to the buildings and the land they occupy and does not include the pedestrian space in the centre of the mall.

Heritage Value

Granville Mall Streetscape is valued for its association with the commercial history of Halifax. Originally designed for the pedestrian and horse and cart traffic, Granville Mall Streetscape has regained its quaintness through its removal of modern automobile access. This section of Granville Street was at the heart of the nineteenth and early twentieth century economic activity. Some of the enterprises included drygood stores that dealt in fabrics, clothing, and accessories. The close proximity to the Halifax Harbour also played importance to the bustling trade business on the street. Presently it remains a focus of economic and educational enterprises, housing much of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, pubs and shops.

Architecturally, Granville Mall Streetscape is a unique landmark valued as an example of seventeen Italianate style buildings that combine elements of other styles. Architect William Thomas oversaw the design of the buildings on this street. His firm was one of the largest architectural firms in Canada in the 1850s. Each building within the block is unique in design, however the overall look of the street is quite cohesive. The Mall encompasses common roof lines, building materials, floor heights, and a symmetrical horizontal design. Each building commands its own attention and compliments its adjoining or opposite structure. The building height and the width of the street allow for a human element to flourish, sun to penetrate the street, and the ability to see the skyline. The buildings offer a vast array of windows, decorative stonework, and variations in columns and cornices.

Source: HRM Heritage File: Granville Mall, found at HRM Planning and Development Services, 6960 Mumford Road, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of Granville Mall Streetscape relate to its mix of Italianate, Romanesque, Gothic and Norman styles and include:

- four storeys;
- stone, brick and stucco structures;
- sculptured window heads over windows and doors;
- common roof line with end buildings having a hipped roof;
- variety of window styles with varying amounts of decorative detailing;
- paired semi-circular headed windows with narrow framing;
- variety of cornices;
- string courses between floors;
- columns with capital;
- quoin corners;
- arches and dentils on the façade;
- roof balustrades and cresting;
- symmetrical horizontal design;
- similar floor heights;
- variety of decorative elements keeping with the era of the buildings.



Nova Scotia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (NS)

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act

Recognition Type

Municipally Registered Property

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type


Post-Secondary Institution


Commerce / Commercial Services
Office or Office Building

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

HRM Planning and Development Services, 6960 Mumford Road, Halifax, NS B3L 4P1

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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