Home of Halifax’s first black doctor becomes heritage property Pipa News


Home of Halifax’s first black doctor becomes heritage property

A motion to register a home that once belonged to Halifax’s first black doctor as a heritage site has been passed unanimously by the regional council.

Dr. Clement Ligoure was the editor of Nova Scotia’s first black newspaper, the Atlantic Advocate, treated survivors of the 1917 Halifax explosion, and co-founded the No. 2 Construction Battalion – Canada’s only all-black unit to serve during World War I.

The proposal to protect Ligoure’s former home and clinic on North Street with heritage status was tabled last year and was discussed by the regional council on Tuesday afternoon.

Peggy Cameron filed for protection for the house, saying it is still at risk of demolition as the city plans to widen nearby Robie Street.

Citizens were not allowed to speak to the council because the application did not come from the current homeowner, who happens to be a developer.

The developer was not present at the heritage hearing on Tuesday afternoon.

However, count. Lindell Smith said he spoke to the developer who said there was no intention to demolish the house. Smith added that it is outside of Halifax’s transportation reserve, so the city wouldn’t demolish it either.

The motion to register the property passed with 16 votes yes and zero votes no.

About a dozen people gathered outside Halifax City Hall Tuesday morning before the decision, including Sharon Brown Ross, a member of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission.

“It is important to have recognition and visibility of our history, heritage and contributions to Halifax and Nova Scotia in general,” said Brown Ross.

In a letter of support to Cameron, Brown Ross said Ligoure was denied hospital privileges when he arrived in Halifax, which is why he established a private clinic in his home.

George Elliott Clarke, a former Parliamentary Poet Laureate, also wrote a letter of support for Cameron, saying a heritage designation would help preserve a little-known but important part of Halifax’s history.

With files from The Canadian Press