The Irish formed an identifiable group in early Halifax. This population was transient and mostly engaged in fishing and only a handful were more permanent residents. These fisherfolk erected their cabins in an area stretching south of the town palisade, and lying conveniently alongside the harbour as far as the logically named South Street. The English referred to that district as “Irish Town”.
Signs are installed at the intersections of Bishop Street with Lower Water Street and Hollis Street, and at the intersections of Hollis Street and Terminal Road, South Street and Morris Street.
In November 2013—in time for Remembrance Day—new street signs were installed in Westmount subdivision to honour the 10 servicemen after whom the streets are named. The street sign blades included a poppy and read “Lest We Forget.” They were mounted on top of the existing street signs.
The property now known as Westmount subdivision was turned over to the City of Halifax by the Canadian Army after the Second World War. The first sod on the 302 unit Westmount subdivision was turned in March 1948. At that time, an on-site factory was established in the former army drill hall to pre-cut construction materials on a mass scale. All units were built from four basic designs.
A unique feature of the subdivision was the layout of the houses. Wartime servicemen’s huts in the area were demolished during the construction of the subdivision and some materials from the demolition were used in the construction. Second World War veterans were given the first chance to purchase the homes. A Halifax architect and army veteran J. Philip Dumaresq was appointed by the city planner to develop the subdivision. As a veteran, Dumaresq lobbied to have all streets named after local service personnel that made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
The streets in Westmount bear the following names:
Doug Smith Drive, in memory of Flying Officer Douglas Archibald Smith, born 1914. An excellent pilot, and an instructor, he was posted to Beaufort Torpedo Squadron in the Italian theatre. He was shot down and injured, becoming a prisoner of war in December 1941 and later died of his wounds.
Edward Arab Avenue, in memory of Lieutenant Edward Francis Arab, born in 1915, a grandson of some of the first Lebanese settlers to Halifax who arrived in 1890. He graduated from Dalhousie University law school and practised until he enlisted in the army. He was wounded in the leg, recovered, and was killed in the Battle of the Scheldt Estuary, Holland, the day he rejoined his unit, 25 October 1944, at the age of 29 years.
George Dauphinee Avenue appears to be named in memory of two veterans: Flying Officer George Dauphinee, RCAF, and Lieutenant George Dauphinee, Royal Canadian Armoured Corps. George Alfred Osborne Dauphinee died 16 March 1945 over Germany, age 24 years. George Wharton Dauphinee enlisted in 1939 and transferred to the Royal Canadians Dragoons, RCAC, and killed in Italy, 31 October 1944.
Jack Fergusson Avenue, in memory of Pilot Officer John Drummond Fergusson who joined the RCAF in 1940 and served with 407 Demon Squadron after arriving overseas in 1941. His plane crashed in the English Channel and the crew was killed on 30 April 1943; only two bodies were recovered. He was 22 years old.
Lloyd Fox Avenue, in memory of Gunner Lloyd Fox, 6th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery, 6th Brigade, 2nd Canadian Infantry Division. He was killed in action on 13 August 1944, age 21 years.
Peter Lowe Avenue, in memory of Captain Peter Innes Lowe, 1st Halifax Coast Brigade, RCA who served with the British Expeditionary Force in France and was evacuated from Dunkirk. Serving with the Royal Artillery in Libya, he was wounded, recovered and volunteered for the 32nd Mountain Artillery of the Indian Army, part of the 14th Army in Burma. He was killed on 6 October 1944, age 29 years.
Ralph Devlin Drive, is named in memory of Corporal Ralph William Devlin, Royal Canadian Corps of Signals. He was killed in Sicily, 19 July 1943, just nine days after landing, age 23 years.
Robert Murphy Drive, in memory of Pilot Officer Robert Wakely David Murphy, born in 1922, who was in pre-med studies at Dalhousie when he enlisted in the RCAF. He became an air bomber with 343 Squadron and was first listed as missing in action over Germany, but later his family was informed he had been killed on 1 November 1944.
William Hunt Avenue, in memory of Lieutenant William Gordon Hunt. In England he joined the 1st Battalion Worcestershire regiment as a"Canloan" officer. In France, he became a prisoner of the Germans for four days but escaped. He was wounded by a mine, lost his right foot, and injured his left leg. He died of his wounds on 7 November 1944 at 29 years of age.
Schmidtville (Schmidt’s Ville) was one of the first suburbs established outside of the town of Halifax’s fortified fences. Today, it stands as a largely intact area of architectural character. It is a tangible link to the early social and economic life of the city and a living, active record of the community and its residents
Signs are installed at the intersections of Clyde Street with Queen St, Birmingham Street, Dresden Row and Brenton Street, and the intersections of Morris Street with Birmingham Street, Dresden Row and Brenton Street.