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Smith Victorian Streetscape

5214 - 5250 Smith Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3H, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1982/02/03

Elevation of streetscape, Smith Victorian Streetscape, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 2005.; Heritage Division, NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2005.
Front Elevation of Streetscape
Restored townhouses, Smith Victorian Streetscape, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 2005.; Heritage Division, NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2005.
Looking Towards Barrington Street
Looking down Smith Victorian Streetscape from Barrington Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 2005.; Heritage Division, NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2005.
Streetscape View from Barrington Street

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1875/01/01 to 1880/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/11/02

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Smith Victorian Streetscape consists of twelve townhouses in the Late Victorian Eclectic style. They are located on Smith Street in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The quiet, heavily treed street is one block long and until 1861 this area was known as Smith's Fields. The heritage designation applies to the buildings and the land they occupy.

Heritage Value

Smith Street is named for brothers Andrew and John Smith who operated a tannery at the end of the street where once Freshwater Brook was located. Fire destroyed the tannery in December 11, 1880 and was never rebuilt. Rapid development of the subdivided land occurred in the entire area following the death of John in 1861. On the south side of Smith Street twelve simple wooden townhouses were built and have since become distinctive for their uniform façades. In the mid 1970s the townhouses were restored and it 1975 the street received special mention at the Vincent Massey Awards for Excellence in the Urban Environment. Strangely, one hundred and nineteen years later on December 11, 1999 another fire on the street heavily damaged the last six townhouses on the street. Through tireless effort, restoration returned the unique character to the houses.

Smith Victorian Streetscape is valued for its Late Victorian Eclectic style townhouses. There are many examples of Late Victorian Eclectic style in Nova Scotia that vary in degree of decoration. These twelve townhouses are similar in character to each other but may differ in terms of architectural details, such as roof lines, and window and door surrounds. These differences add to the interest of the buildings. All of the townhouses, except for the end unit, have bay windows and side hall plan. The first six townhouses were not damaged in the fire and are more closely similar to each other than the six that were restored. However the difference is not noticeable upon first glance and the next five townhouses are very closely related in decoration and façade. The only noticeable difference among the units is the last unit which has a flat façade with central doorway and symmetrical appearance.

Source: HRM Heritage Property File: 5214 - 5250 Smith Street, Smith Victorian Streetscape, found at HRM Planning and Development Services, Heritage Property Program, 6960 Mumford Road, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of Smith Victorian Streetscape related to its Late Victorian Eclectic style and include:

- low pitched nearly flat roofs;
- dentils on bay windows and eaves;
- bracket trim boards;
- side hall plans;
- projecting façades;
- continuing cornices;
- transoms;
- wood clapboard and shingle siding;
- hooded windows.



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

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design
Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type


Multiple Dwelling


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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