N.S. property owner pledges 10% of real estate sale to aid Ukraine

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N.S. property owner pledges percentage of sale to aid Ukraine
WATCH: The owner of a former Cape Breton restaurant has pledged to donate 10 per cent of the sale of the property to humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. Alicia Draus reports – Apr 10, 2022

A former restaurant in Cape Breton painted in yellow and blue is up for sale, and now the owner has decided to donate a portion of the proceeds to relief efforts in Ukraine.

The former All Aboard! restaurant in Cheticamp has been closed since 2017. In 2021, Nova Scotian Neal Livingston purchased the facility and renovated it. He freshened up the exterior paint, sticking with the original colours — yellow on the bottom, blue on the top.

READ MORE: Halifax-raised actor heading to Poland to help refugees fleeing Ukraine

During a recent visit of his property, Livingston had a realization.

“I went, ‘wow the building is the same colour as the Ukrainian flag,'” he said.

It was after that that he decided he would donate 10 per cent of the building’s sale to relief efforts for Ukraine.

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“I thought this is a really appropriate time to put my desires where the pocketbook is, so when the building sells, that’s what I’m going to be doing,” said Livingston.

Since the war in Ukraine began, over a thousand Ukrainian civilians have been killed. Millions of residents have been displaced from their homes, fleeing to neighbouring countries in Europe.

“I think like many people I’ve been glued to the media getting a sense of what’s going on in Ukraine, and I’m really horrified something like this could happen,” he said.

READ MORE: ‘It’s horrible’: N.S. man from Ukraine and the traumatizing stories he’s being told

Livingston says his own family are descended from people who fled Europe over a hundred years ago, and it makes the situation now hit home.

“Most of my family would have been dead if they stayed,” he said.

“I feel strongly that anything any of us can do the help rebuild [Ukraine], you know once the war stops,” he said. “Individually, we can’t stop the fighting obviously, but we can try to do what we can do.”

Livingston says he hopes that by sharing his decision, he can encourage other Nova Scotians and Canadians to do whatever they can to help.

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“I thought this is something that might create a greater awareness to help people donate,” he said.

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