Old Roads and Streets of Fairview

Submitted by Devonna Edwards

Original Road to the Dutch Village (Fairview)

The old road ran through what is now the Fairview Cemetery on Windsor Street. Today the original road is still there, it is located in the center of the cemetery and stops at the end of the cemetery.

Until 1766, the only way to reach the Dutch Village (Fairview) from Halifax was by a narrow well-beaten path that branched off at the southeast side of the North Blockhouse which was located in what is now Fairview Cemetery. The road ran south-southwest past Stanford’s Upper Pond (now railway tracks) and east of Little Deal Pond (once located on Joseph Howe Drive, near Bayers Road). It then swung west, leading into the center of the Dutch Village (Fairview) lots. It was closed as a public road by an Act of 1894. This ancient road was known as the Scott Road and occasionally as the Blockhouse Road. George Scott was the Captain of the 40th Regiment and may have superintended the construction of the road.

The German settlers petitioned for a new and shorter road to their settlement and as a result Bayers Road was continued from near the site of the Middle Blockhouse (Corner of Connaught and Bayers Road) till it joined the original road near Deal’s Little Pond, which today would be near the corner of Joseph Howe Avenue and Bayers Road. The road then became the principal highway to the Dutch Village (Fairview).

Old Windsor Road

In the Fairview area, the old road was located off Vimy Avenue near where Titus Street and Vimy Avenue join, it then ran along the high hills behind the old Tannery which in 1900 became the Rock Quarry (car dealership there now, fronting on the Bedford Highway) and continued along behind Mount Saint Vincent University.

Dutch Village Road The road’s name derives from the first settlers who were mostly “deutsch” being the German word for “German.” The original road ran from the Northwest Arm to the Bedford Basin. The road started out as just a path way that subsequently became a rough cart trail. The road from the Arm Bridge to the Dutch Village (Fairview) does not appear to have been regularly constructed until 1832. Around 1887, this thoroughfare was straightened, paved and called Dutch Village Road. Today only a small portion of the road is still called Dutch Village Road and that part is in Fairview which was once the heart of the little Dutch Village. The part of the road that was formerly called Dutch Village Road at the Northwest Arm is now called Joseph Howe Drive and this road continues down to the Fairview Overpass.

Geizer Hill Road

Road to St. Margaret’s Bay (known as the Chester Road) 1812.

The road ran from Geizer’s Hill (top of Main Avenue) in Fairview across the barren and came out near Six-Mile Lake. Here it joined the present St. Margaret’s Bay Road, very close to where Eight-Mile House once stood. Geizer Hill Road was the main thoroughfare until a new piece of road from Eight-Mile House to the head of the Northwest Arm was constructed in the mid-1800s. Geizer’s Hill or Geizer’s Mountain today known as Main Avenue. Geizer’s Road was named after Wilhelm Geizer who moved to the property at the top of hill. He purchased the property from a man named Gebhard and built a house there, around 1820.

Old King’s Road Between the Dutch Village lots and the proprietor’s wood lots on the top of the Hill (Geizer’s Hill) to the west, a road known as the King’s Road was planned running north and southward. It never opened and the only indications of its location are shown by the back fences of those properties and by its appearance on plans from 1763.

The Bicentennial Highway (The Bi-Highway)

Original the highway could be accessed from Dutch Village Road in Fairview, that part of the road is today called Westerwald Street and there is no longer an entrance to the Bicentennial Highway. Today the entrance to the Bicentennial is on Joseph Howe Drive, the other is from Bayers Road over the ramp and onto the Bicentennial. The Bicentennial Highway commemorated the 200th anniversary of the first meeting on Oct. 2, 1958 of the first elected legislative assembly in what is now Canada 1758-1958.

The Bi-Highway was started in 1958 when it stretched 23 kilometers from Dutch Village Road (Westerwald Street) to Lake Thomas at Fall River. It is the oldest section of controlled highway in Atlantic Canada. One side of School Avenue and part of Dutch Village Road properties were expropriated by the city in order to build the highway. Although the highway was opened for traffic earlier, the Bicentennial Highway officially opened on Sept. 19, 1963 by Lt. Governor Henry MacKeen.

In the beginning the highway was built as a two-lane highway, one lane in each direction, separated only by a painted centre line. In the late 1980s two additional lanes were built and now it had two lanes each way, separated by a “Jersey Barrier” which is a continuous concrete wall about 110cm. high placed between north bound and south bound lanes. In the 1960 the youths of Fairview took a special interest in the highway as in “Drag Racing.” Late at night many gathered there to partake in the car races. That sport continued for some time until the police caught on to their antics and put a stop to it.

Street Names in Fairview In 1953 many roads in Fairview were renamed because of mail delivery problems. They didn’t want to be confused with roads of the same name. Roads running north to south were to be known as Streets. Roads running east to west were to be known as Avenues.

School Avenue Named as such because of a little school house located there. The school house went by two different names through the years, the Dutch Village School or Central Armdale School. For example in the Might’s City Directory in 1933, it was listed as Central Armdale School and in 1935 it was listed as the Dutch Village School.

Melrose Avenue

Sunnybrae Avenue Said to be named as such by Katherine Deal who lived with her husband Harry at the corner of Dutch Village Road and Bayers Road. At one time it was called Olympic Avenue.

Central Avenue It was the first paved street in 1958. The street was probably named because it was in the center of the village. At one time it was called Glendale Avenue.

Rosedale Avenue

Frederick Avenue Edith Deal said that when she was young, people from the area called it “Peanut Avenue” but she didn’t know why.

Rufus Avenue

Possibly named after Rufus Bayers, who was a son-in-law of Titus Smith (the Dutch Village Philosopher). Rufus’s son is buried in Titus Smith Park (once a burial ground) or if could be named after Lantz Rufus who had a house in the area.

Coronation Avenue Once known as Hyland Avenue, after a prospector called Dick Hyland. He dug mines all over the Fairview area looking for gold. The bottom of this street was also known as “Saw Dust Road” because of a saw mill that was once located there. The top of Coronation was called “Boggy Hill” and was very swampy. Edith (Keeler) Deal who lived on the farm at the bottom of the street used to take cows to pasture up Coronation Avenue.

Val Street Located off Coronation Avenue near the bottom of the street.

Flint Street Once called First Street.

Borden Street Was known earlier as Second Street.

Skeena Street Known at one time as Third Street.

Cross Street A very short street that starts at Central Avenue , crosses over Sunnybrae Avenue and ends on Melrose Avenue.

Alex Street Earlier called Murry Street.

>Hillcrest Street Once known as High Street.

Kingsmere Court Located off Main Avenue.

Willett Street Located from Lacewood Drive over to Melrose Avenue.

Sybyl Court Located off Willett Street.

Simcoe Place Located off Willett Street.

Apollo Court Located off Willett Street.

Gesner Street Probably named after Abraham Gesner, the inventor of the Kerosene Lamp. Born and raised in Cornwallis, Nova Scotia. He lived at one time in Sackville, Nova Scotia and he also lived in New Brunswick and the United States. He is buried in Camp Hill Cemetery in Halifax. There is a mistake on his tombstone that said he was an American, he was not!

Keystone Court Located off Gesner Street, near the top of Sunnybrae Avenue.

Alma Crescent This short road was once part of the old Dutch Village Road. It runs from McFatridge Road to Titus Street.

McFatridge Road Named after William McFatridge, born in 1883 and died in 1956. He owned a roofing business and had property on McFatridge Road where he stored his gravel. The locals called it the gravel pit and it was still there in the 1950s, children from the area climbed a tree on to the flat roof of the old gravel pit building and jumped into the gravel. It was great fun until the gravel dwindled and the jump became far too steep. His son, who was also called William, was born in 1926, later he took over his father’s business called McFatridge Roofing Construction Ltd. Today a large apartment building stands on the site.

Clayder Lane Located off Joseph Howe Drive, just down from Dutch Village Road.

Birch Street Once known as Deal Street and Parker Street.

Andrew Street Located off Dutch Village Road, named after Andrew Deal.

Percy Street Located off Andrew Street and Dutch Village Road, named after Percy Deal. Andrew and Percy were brothers who owned a business on Dutch Village Road called Webb Spark Engineering Ltd.

Deal Street Located off Dutch Village Road, it was named after Levi Deal who owned a farm on Dutch Village Road called Deal’s Farm, after that it became known as Keeler’s Farm. The first Halifax West High School was built on the property where the farm once stood. Today an apartment complex called The Boss occupies the site.

Supreme Court Located off Dutch Village Road, in the new complex called Boss Plaza.

Evans Avenue At one time the road went down to the Bedford Highway.

Bond Street Named after an early settler, Robert Bond who was given a land grant there.

Vimy Avenue Earlier known as Bedford Street, because at one time the street went down to the Bedford Highway. Titus Smith tombstone is located near the street and the Centennial Arena.

Ford Street Once known as the Duke of York Street.

Main Avenue Once known as the Duke of Kent Street. Further up the road it was called Geizer’s Mountain or Geizer’s Hill. It also had the nic-name of Lightning Hill because in the winter, the children from the area would sleigh down the hill as quick as lightning. Today the top of Main Avenue is now extended and is called Washmill Lake Drive.

Mandaville Court Located off upper Main Avenue.

Veronica Drive Located off upper Main Avenue

Convoy Avenue

Ashdale Avenue Only ever went to Birch Street.

Adelaide Avenue At one time it was called West Street.

Titus Street Named after Titus Smith (the Dutch Village Philosopher), the street extendes from Dutch Village Road to Vimy Avenue. Titus Smith Park is located on the street.

Randall Park It was a 5,000,000 housing scheme for Fairview, a 27 acre subdivision which was given approval on September 16, 1964. It covered a section of land between Main Avenue and Clayton Park.

Randall Development Ltd. was formed to oversee the project. Two local companies backing the housing scheme were Stevens and Fiske Construction Limited and J. Bert MacDonald and Sons Limited. It was planned to have sixty per cent single family homes and the remainder, two to six storey apartment blocks. The houses were factory built in Halifax and assembled on the site. Also of Fairview, principals involved were Aubrey and Gordon MacDonald and William Stevens and John R. Fiske.
Glenforest Drive is the start of Clayton Park.

Randall Avenue Named after Randall MacDonald, son of Bert and Lillian MacDonald. Bert MacDonald owned a large amount of property in the area. Randall died on February 10, 1953

Gordon Avenue Named after Gordon MacDonald, son of Bert and Lillian MacDonald.

Berts Drive Named after Bert MacDonald who owned a house on Main Avenue called “Briar Cote”. He also owned a farm with many acres of land, from Titus Street up to what is now called Dunbrack Street.

On Berts Drive there once stood an old barn that Bert had moved from Halifax to Fairview. The barn was said to be over 200 years old, in later years an extension was added to the barn and the MacDonald family used it for their office. It is now demolished and townhouses and an apartment building in the back of the townhouses now occupy the site. Bert also owned the Trailer Court on Main Avenue. In the early years the MacDonald family used this piece of land as a pasture and a potato garden. During World War 11, the area was used by the government for ammunition storage. Steel Quonset huts were built for this purpose and to conceal the ammunition from the enemy surveillance airplanes. The ammunition was moved out just before the 1945 blast at Magazine Hill on the Bedford Basin in Dartmouth, where ammunition for the forces was stored.

The Trailer Court Located on Main Avenue.

Listed streets in the Trailer Court:

Glenda Crescent Named after Essie (MacDonald) and Neil MacQuarrie’s daughter, Glenda. She was struck by a car and killed while walking down Bayers Road with her boyfriend, who was also killed.

General Avenue

Homeward Avenue

Shamrock Drive

Shasta Lane

In 2007 Evans Avenue Connector was now called Smart Street.

Smart Street Possibly named after the Smart family who owned a Service Station and Dance Hall on Dutch Village Road (that part of the road now called Joseph Howe Drive) near the Fairview Overpass.

Gebhardt Street The street was named after a family with that name who owned property on Main Avenue in the early years. A portion of Gebhardt Street is now called Fiske Street.

Fiske Street Named after John Fiske, who owned a construction company and helped build Randall Park.

Plymouth Street Located off Evans Avenue.

Dawn Street Located off Evans Avenue.

Maple Street It is a short street that starts at Main Avenue and crosses over to Ashdale Avenue.

Westerwald Street In 2002 a short dead-end street that was for a long time part of Dutch Village Road was now called Westerwald Street. The street is located at the bottom of Melrose Avenue and ends at the start of Dutch Village Road, going into Fairview. When the street was still known as part of the Dutch Village Road, before it was called Westerwald, it branched off to the start of the Bicentennial Highway before the overpass was built. Westerwald was one of the names given to the Dutch Village by the early German settlers.

Dunbrack Street Just a small portion of the street runs to the back of Fairview across Main Avenue until it meets the North West Arm Drive Highway.

Washmill Lake Drive It is a new road that starts at the top of Main Avenue (Geizer’s Hill) and goes into Bayers Lake Park. Probably named after Washmill Pond, which is another name for Deal’s Pond in Fairview.

Richard Deal secured the contract with the military to wash large quantities of grey military blankets and sheets around 1885. Since large numbers of soldiers were stationed through the years in Halifax, operating the wash mill was a huge undertaking. The blankets were trucked to the mill, pushed through holes in a big wheel and then swirled about in the water until clean. Hundreds of blankets were hung over fences and bushes or laid out flat on the grass to dry in the sun. Richard’s son, William also operated the mill.

Other new streets off Washmill Lake Drive which is on Geizer’s Hill or Mountain- Fairview

Kraal Terrace

Vitalla Court

Bently Drive

Sophia Street

Salzbury Place

Grandhaven Blvdl.

Lauderdale Court

Ramsbrook Court

Abercrombie Lane

Howe Avenue

The road went from Bayers Road, north to the Dutch Village Road. Today renamed Joseph Howe Drive.

If anyone can add to why a street was named as such, please let us know by emailing us at,

dedwards@ns.sympatico.ca

The Mystery Wall

Located in Bayers Lake Park.

The area was granted to early settlers of the Dutch Village (Fairview). They lived in the area before moving down closer to the Dutch Village Road, which was not known by such at the time because it was just a dirt path. According to the original land grants, names such as John Diel (Deal), Frederick Kohl and many others owned property by Bayers lake down to the present day Dutch Village Road. Stating this fact, why wasn’t that part of Bayers Lake Park claimed as Upper Fairview when Bayers Lake Business Park was built?