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Neighbourhood Shopping

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Obsolete no longer

Agricola's favourite record retailer weathers the gentrifying strip's ups and downs

Posted By on Thu, Mar 12, 2020 at 9:51 AM


After ten years on Agricola Street, Obsolete Records was booted from its ramshackle storefront last fall in the most anticlimactic way possible. “Someone was parking out back, and drove into some support beam,” says Obsolete owner Ian Fraser. “And the building’s owner decided to just tear it all down.” 

The news wasn’t a total surprise: plans were already afoot to build a five-storey apartment building on the site. The parking mishap was just the nail in the coffin. But though Obsolete has become a North End mainstay—with a selection skewing heavily to Fraser’s own tastes in indie rock, underground hip-hop, and other relatively niche genres and artists—the redevelopment nearly spelled its end. 

“I was in the same space for very close to a decade,” says Fraser, “and they never raised my rent. When I actually had to start looking, it was a shock to see how rent had gone up all around the neighbourhood.”

The relocation may have been a blessing in disguise, however. Brighter, cleaner and wheelchair-accessible, the new space, at 2855 Agricola Street, is also the first to be occupied in a new block of storefronts that aims to draw Agricola foot traffic farther north. And, says Fraser, “it feels like a real store, not an afterthought kind of space.”

Obsolete occupied the first of a two-phase development, and Fraser says a cafe is planned to open beside his story in the spring or summer. “It looks like this is going to turn into a great little niche area,” says Fraser, “a new little hub of commerce.”

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Friday, November 27, 2015

This weekend = local holiday shopping bonanaza

Craft fairs everywhere

Posted By on Fri, Nov 27, 2015 at 2:19 PM

Halifax Lights Holiday Market <3
  • Halifax Lights Holiday Market <3

Whether you're knocking items off your shopping list or merely looking for busy sidewalks dressed in holiday style—this weekend your options are endless and endlessly awesome. With handmade markets everywhere you turn, and a pop-up circuit that's popping off it's fitting that Shop The Neighbourhood (a national event aimed at celebrating local, indie business) touches down in Halifax on Saturday. So, where do you begin?

Halifax Lights Holiday Market is back for another weekend of twinkling goodness in the form of music, snacks, shopping deals and one-of-a-kind gifts. Historic Properties has never looked so good. Find all of the vendors and a schedule of events here.

Tonight from 6 to 9pm, the ladies at Big Pony (2168 Gottingen Street) present Holidaze a pop-up shop of spilling over with ceramics, jewellery, paper goods, art, beauty and t-shirts. Guaranteed good times.

After kicking into gear last night, Wish Book—a pop-up shopping spot curated by Maggie MacCormick and Hannah and Sarah Sears— continues at FRED (2606 Agricola Street) until December 12. Clothing, decor, jewellery and other beautiful creations, local and otherwise, have turned the salon's former gallery space into a shop we wish was full-time.

The NSCAD Holiday Pop-Up welcomes shoppers to gather 'round the university's Fountain Campus (1870 Hollis Street, 1873, 1877 and 1879 Granville Street) today and tomorrow to find treasures from students and alum. Textiles, prints, photos, stationery and more are on sale tonight 4-9pm and Saturday 9am-5pm.

Over at King's Wharf, the Dartmouth Makers' Market returns with 47 artists who'll be selling their wares Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 5pm. It's free y'all.

Wreaths! The Flower Shop will have 'em at the North by Night Market
  • Wreaths! The Flower Shop will have 'em at the North by Night Market

The beloved North by Night Market has cooked up a holiday edition, this time at 2500 Agricola Street (Chapman Autobody's parking lot) from 4-8pm on Saturday. A beer garden, food trucks, local artisans and more food are on the roster, Facebook says over 5,000 people are attending...maybe they should just shut down the street?

Speaking of Agricola Street, Makenew (2468 Agricola Street) is hosting its own Holiday Love shopping event from 12-8pm. Deals, sales and tax free shopping.

Today through Sunday the Dalplex Christmas Craft Market (6260 South Street) welcomes the masses to shop, eat, mingle and enjoy live music. A weekend pass is $10, child supervision is $5 and the massive vendor list is here.

Pretties from Pro Skate's Holiday Handmade Sale this Saturday
  • Pretties from Pro Skate's Holiday Handmade Sale this Saturday

Pro Skates presents another serving of its Holiday Handmade Sale, welcoming great local makers Drifter Goods, swinej and Melody Hillman Ceramics into the shop, alongside all of its regularly scheduled great stuff, from 8am-4pm on Saturday.

Sunday at 10am, the World Trade and Convention Centre (1800 Argyle Street) hosts a craft fair newb—the Wintergreen Craft and Gift Fair! After much popularity with the New Brunswick version of this show, it's setting up pop-up shop in Halifax, with over 100 vendors (most of which are selling handmade goods).

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Monday, April 2, 2012

Paws@Home will pet sit for you

Take a worry-free vacation while vet assistant pet assists

Posted By on Mon, Apr 2, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Nicole Pettipas runs Paws@Home, a local, in-home pet sitting business. She caters to pet owners living in the Halifax, Clayton Park and Bedford areas who may have to be away from their pets while on vacation. Pettipas is a veterinarian assistant and has been running Paws@Home since June 2010. She considers herself a "pet sitting ninja;" after coming back from vacation, you won't even know that she was there. She makes sure to be unobtrusive in people’s homes and keeps to owners’ schedules. “You’re on vacation,” she says, “not me. I’m there to look after your pet.” While Paws@Home doesn’t have an official slogan, Pettipas jokes, “I don’t look in your underwear drawers!”

To book an appointment, contact Pettipas at 499-5602 or visit Paws@Home's Facebook page.
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Quantum Frontier's Cans for Comics

North end comic store will provide discount for food

Posted By on Mon, Apr 2, 2012 at 4:00 AM

Until April 16, if bring 10 non-perishable food items into Quantum Frontier (3087A Robie Street, 446-8233) you'll receive up to a 20 percent discount on any purchase.

SMALL PRINT: Magic not incl. in promotion, Mr. Noodles not accepted and only an additional 10 percent (5 cans) discount for account holders.
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Monday, March 26, 2012

Little Mysteries celebrates its 17th birthday

Spiritual, holistic bookstore and treasure trove offers deals

Posted By on Mon, Mar 26, 2012 at 4:00 AM

Little Mysteries Books (1663 Barrington Street, 423-1313) will be celebrating its 17th birthday on Saturday, March 31 and Sunday, April 1. Everything in the shop will be Draw For Your Discount, or 20 to 50 percent off---depending on your luck---and there will be a draw for a gift basket of treats and treasures, including a reading with the Little Mysteries in-house psychic, Kelliena.
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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Help Argyle Fine Art find its signs!

There are just some bad people in this world

Posted By on Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 5:22 PM

Someone has taken the Argyle Fine Art (1559 Barrington Street, Unit 102, 425-9456) signs. You know the ones, well-designed sandwich boards that have always alerted pedestrians that one of the city's finest art galleries is right there. Three of the signs have gone in the past 24 hours. This is a premeditated sign stealer they're dealing with.

For more information on the theft, click here.
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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

House Warmings to close

Historic Brewery market business leaves with retirement sale

Posted By on Tue, Mar 6, 2012 at 4:00 AM

Pat Donahoe has been running House Warmings (Historic Brewery Market, 1496 Lower Water Street, 425-1777) for 15 years. Closing it feels the way she felt when her kids went off to university. But, she's decided this is the best time to retire.

The store will stay open probably until the end of April, with everything in the store at least 20 percent off. Even the cash desk and the register is on sale. Lamps are 40 percent off, some items as much as 65 percent off.

Check out this cool item. It's a Big Schnozzzz, a wall-mounted Easter Island Tissue holder, regularly $24 now $19.
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Monday, February 20, 2012

Del Sol Big Sale

Get deals down on Marginal

Posted By on Mon, Feb 20, 2012 at 11:14 AM

The locally owned franchise of Del Sol (1099 Marginal Road, 429-2261) offering warm-weather accessories and clothes that change colour in the sun, is a must-visit destination in advance of any Caribbean vacations. As it happens, until the end of February, the store is offering 50 percent off all stock.
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Monday, February 13, 2012

Back Pages closes on Saturday

Another quality used bookstore bites the dust

Posted By on Mon, Feb 13, 2012 at 2:54 PM

As we reported in early January, stalwart local used bookstore Back Pages (1526 Queen Street, 423-4750) is closing. The last day will be Saturday, February 18. We wish owner Michael Norris all the best and thank him for his service to Halifax's literate.
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Sunday, February 12, 2012

ArtPort Gallery provides local art to air travellers

Art at the airport turns out to be a great idea

Posted By on Sun, Feb 12, 2012 at 4:00 AM

ArtPort Gallery is a gallery located at the Robert L. Stanfield International Airport. In operation for seven years, it's owned by Donna Mancini, who runs the place like a co-op; there's always one of the 11 artists represented working at the gallery. Mancini is one of them, offering her multimedia work alongside original watercolour, acrylic and oil paintings and reproductions. "There's a lot of return business" as travellers come and go, explains Mancini, who is happy with how well the business has done through the years. "I'm not in it to make money, but it gives the artists a place to show and sell their work." Open 364 days a year, from 8:30 am to 7pm (8pm in the summer), you can find the ArtPort across from the Air Canada check-in counter.
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Friday, January 20, 2012

More Silicon Hali

Other local digital wizards

Posted By on Fri, Jan 20, 2012 at 4:00 AM

A couple of weeks ago The Coast ran a story called Silicon Hali, offering profiles od a number of the digital software designers here in Nova Scotia. Of course, there were plenty of others that we might have mentioned given a little more space.

Who else is out there? Well, consider TeamSpace (teamspace.ca), a Bedford-based software solutions company specializing in Lotus Notes and Domino development. Or how about Medusa Medical (medusamedical.com), a company creating software for the healthcare industry, including the Siren ePCR Suite for paramedics, which helps them track a patient's condition and shares data with hospitals.

Or what about the people who brought us Swearport, an app that gives the user the ability to curse in more than 50 languages. The guys behind this innovative product are Mark Dennis and Lee Gancman, recent Dalhousie University graduates in Computer Science and Political Science, respectively.

The app was "recorded almost entirely in Canada from native speakers," explains Gancman. "In that sense this application, or at least the process of its creation, and the continuing efforts to add new languages, is a testament to Canadian multiculturalism."

Though they split their time between Ottawa and Toronto with their company DGML, Dennis and Gancman find themselves back in Halifax regularly. The Swearport---for more info go to swearport.com---was banned from the Apple iTunes store for "offensive content," but before that, it was number one on the Canadian entertainment chart for almost a month, selling more than 1,000 copies a day. "Since that time, however, we have moved to Android phones where we are trying to get exposure," Gancman says.

If you have an Android phone, click here for Swearport. It'll set you back $1.

And we must mention Twisted Oak Studios (twistedoakgames.com). They're a local company and a creator of 3D game apps including Zombie Wonderland and Reign of Steel, and are the hosts of Halifax Game Jam (halifaxgamejam.com), an annual event where the public is invited to learn how to make a game from scratch over the course of a weekend. This year's Game Jam takes place at The Hub (1673 Barrington Street, 2nd floor), March 2-4. More information on that closer to the date.

If you feel there are other app developers or webmasters in Nova Scotia deserving of attention, don't hesitate to comment on this story or get in touch.
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Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Message from Trinity Jewellers

Putting and end to moving rumours

Posted By on Thu, Jan 19, 2012 at 12:43 PM

Shoptalk received this message today from Trinity Jewellers (6226 Quinpool Road, 431-7900):

"We are writing to advise Shoptalk that despite ongoing rumours, Trinity Jewellers is not opening another shop in the new Trillium Building on South Park Street. We are happy with our Quinpool Rd. store location."
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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Armstrong Textiles and Perl Grey open house

Textiles and jewellery sale on Hollis

Posted By on Thu, Dec 15, 2011 at 12:43 PM

Lesley Armstrong of Armstrong Textiles and Adrienne Thomas of Perl Grey are hosting a joint open house this week to offer their gifty products, many of which will be "special holiday offerings." It takes place Friday, December 16 from 12-8pm and Saturday, December 17 from 8am-1pm at 1313 Hollis Street, just north of the corner of Morris.
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A Giant Robot towers over the holidays

Dartmouth comic emporium plans longer hours, Boxing Day sale

Posted By on Thu, Dec 15, 2011 at 4:00 AM

We know it's way too early to be thinking about December 26, but just so you know, Giant Robot Comics (114 Woodlawn Road, 404-8400), HRMs newest comic book outlet, is planning a sale for Boxing Day. Also, for those of you who need to fill your boots with comic-related goodness before then, from now until the holidays they'll be open until 8:30pm, Monday through Saturday.
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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Lost & Found Holiday Hang-ups Party on Friday

Art, gifts and music at Agricola Street boutique

Posted By on Tue, Dec 13, 2011 at 4:00 AM

Lost & Found (2383 Agricola Street, 446-5986) is having a holiday party to showcase cardboard trees, gift boxes and their Holiday Hang-ups fundraiser.

The Holiday Hang-ups Party takes place Friday, December 16, 7-10pm.

What to expect: B&B (Brenna Phillips and Bobbie Shedden) have handcrafted trees on display in the windows. The Holiday Hang-ups Fundraiser provides Christmas ornaments by local artists on the shop tree, with 25 percent of the profits from their sale going to The Christmas Daddies holiday campaign and 50 percent back to the artist. Expect food and beverages as well as live music, local musicians playing a selection of seasonal tunes.

Fun times are guaranteed.


Those snazzy B&B trees in the L&F window that have been stopping you in your tracks for weeks will be for sale tonight, along with the handcrafted ornaments from Susan Wolf, Claire Seringhaus, Gina Burgess, Celine Vatour and Helen Shedden to name a few (plus tattoo inspired decor from Lydia K and James Matthews.)

Fear not, Chuck. Lost & Found’s got your back.
  • Fear not, Chuck. Lost & Found’s got your back.

Carollers, there’ll be a drum kit and mics set up to let all your festive spirit out musically, just bring your own oboe, or whichever instrument you prefer.

And best of all?

Everything in the store will be 25% tonight at the par-tay. Can you say shopping around the Christmas tree?

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In Print This Week

Vol 28, No 3
November 12, 2020

Cover Gallery »

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