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Historic Halifax home makes move across the city

Staff writers
January 28, 2013 — Have you ever had to move when it’s raining? Or how about during a snowstorm? In Halifax, a team of workers was tasked with moving a historic building across the city in January. The weather had to be perfect for Saturday's move.

Morris House was originally built as a surveyor's house
Morris House was originally built as a surveyor's house

Moving something as big as a house through city streets in the middle of winter is a daunting task, and as you can imagine, it’s one that’s heavily dependent on the weather. 

Morris House, which was originally built as a surveyor's office by one of Halifax's founders moved to a new location over the weekend. The city plans to renovate the home and turn it into affordable housing for young adults. 

Getting it to its new location at the corner of Creighton and Charles streets however, was a challenge.

Workers had to maneuver the historic Morris House around obstacles like power lines through the overnight hours. The frigid temperatures also made for a cold week’s work. 

“You try to dress warm and you try to keep your trucks and equipment plugged in to keep them so they’ll start early in the mornings and what not," says Sheldon Rushton with S. Rushton Construction Ltd. "We found the nights, working, moving at night is a cold part of the day to do it."

House was donated to Metro Non-Profit Housing Association
House was donated to Metro Non-Profit Housing Association

Despite the cold air, workers say the weather couldn't have turned out better for the move.

“If there’d been heavy rain that would have been a problem as well because the movers basically need traction to be able to move a building like this,” says Philip Pacey with the Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia. 

The house is the city’s oldest commercial building and will undergo an estimated $700,000 worth of repairs and upgrades before it welcomes tenants. 

“The building was originally built 249 years ago, built right on Hollis Street, and it was moved a couple of times out of the way of development proposals,” says Pacey.

Morris House was set to be demolished in 2009, but it was saved because of its historical value.

With files from The Canadian Press

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