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‘We’re going to keep at it right until the bitter end’: protesters rally as demolition begins for Honda expansion

‘Homes Not Hondas’ rally as demolition begins
WATCH: Protesters against an expansion by Colonial Honda in Halifax's north end held a rally in a bid to stop the company from further demolishing area homes. Rebecca Lau reports.

Neighbours and community members held a show of solidarity on Saturday in a bid to save more than a dozen north end Halifax homes as the wrecking ball draws near.

Protesters lined the sidewalk along Robie Street to show how far the Colonial Honda expansion project will reach.

The dealership’s owner, Steele Auto Group, has purchased 19 homes in the area and plans to demolish them to create more parking spaces for inventory and servicing.

“A lot of people don’t understand how many properties are at play here. We’re talking about a lot,” said Andrea Ritchie, who lives in the area.

“It’s a large swath of land that will be surface parking lot — that is currently homes and businesses.”

On Friday, a small group of protesters gathered to watch as demolition began on the first of the homes on Fern Lane.

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The properties are zoned for commercial development and demolition permits were granted by the city.

Colonial Honda’s manager, Tim Peacock, says the project is going ahead and slated to be complete by the end of October.

“We respect that there has been some opposition and we respect that they’ve voiced that – absolutely,” Peacock said.

“The property is zoned commercial and that is the intended use of the property but at the end of the day, we want to have the best looking property on Robie Street and we think that when it is completed, that the community will be satisfied with the result.”

However, residents and community groups say they are not giving up and are holding on to hope the company will have a change of heart.

“A lot of damage has been done and trust has been broken but it’s not too late to save some of the homes here,” said Mark Butler, the policy director with the Ecology Action Centre, which has their offices in the midst of the development.

“That’s why people are out and we’re going to keep at it right until the bitter end.”

 

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