Recently, Halifax newspaper The Chronicle Herald posted an article about the upcoming move of Reflections Cabaret — a popular watering hole that caters to a diverse clientele, including the queer community — from Sackville St to Gottingen St.
The cabaret, which is open until 3:30am, is slated to move to the former Marquee/Paragon space, which has sat idle for a little less than a year now. The area in which the bar would operate is undergoing many changes, including new businesses and residences. Across the street from the building are locally based businesses, as well as a rehabilitation centre. Kitty-corner to the space is a residential area.
The move has a lot of people excited, including some residents who are trying to stop the move from happening. In Nova Scotia, before a bar can open, there is an application process where the public can voice their support for as well as grievances against the opening of the space. In this case, neighbours on both sides seem to be making their cases known.
There have been bars on Gottingen St and in the area for years, some of them are located directly in the residential area. I have lived in various Halifax locales, including right in the middle of the downtown core and in the area near where Reflections plans to move. I was keenly aware of the fact that I was (or would be) surrounded by bars and businesses that would create or promote foot traffic in the area. But I made a conscious choice to live there. Granted, I was renting, not owning, so moving out would be easier. I could sympathize with the residents if all of a sudden a large commercial space was created in the area in which I lived. But this isn’t all of a sudden. There has been a bar there for years and years and years. Just because the last bar closed in that space doesn’t mean someone won’t try to make a go of it, nor should you complain if you live in an area where such businesses are zoned. You chose where to make your bed; sleep in it.
The aforementioned public hearing on the matter will be held on Nov 29 in the review board offices at 1601 Lower Water St. It will be interesting to see who and what people have to say about it.
In other news, there will be a discussion around trans rights happening at the Scotia Bank Room at King’s College. The evening will include discussions about “gender, trans issues, cis-privilege, other aspects of our identities and lives that intersect with gender in how we navigate and think about bathrooms as public space,” according to the Facebook event page. You can find out more here.