If you’ve ever spent time in downtown Halifax, chances are you have seen Mike Armstrong, walking the city’s streets and ducking in and out of restaurants selling roses out of a bucket.

Every day of the week, every month of the year, for 17 years, Armstrong has sold roses in the city, making the best of an event that drastically changed his life.

When he was in his 20s, he suffered a terrible accident, falling 12 storeys into a rock quarry. His heart stopped for 30 seconds and he was in a coma for three months.

Doctors said he would never walk again, but Armstrong was determined to prove them wrong.

“I felt that if I said ‘I quit, that’s it, I am done,’ then I’d be done forever and I wasn’t ready to give up,” he says.

Too proud to beg for money, he started selling flowers on the streets of Halifax and in some of the city’s eateries, such as Le Bistro by Liz, where staff have framed a photo of their favourite salesman.

“It shows what kind of man he is that he’s out there selling his roses and nothing keeps him down,” says restaurant owner Liz Ingram-Chambers.

Known for his sense of style and humour, Armstrong attracts many customers and friends, but he says some are quick to judge because of his appearance.

“Because of my mobility issues and the way I speak, people think I am loaded,” says Armstrong, who walks with a limp and a cane.

But he maintains a positive attitude and has even won awards for being an entrepreneur. His friends say they appreciate his perseverance.

“It is just his strength of character,” says Elizabeth Verhoog. “To go through an accident like he did and to be able to walk again and just the fact that he’s got that confidence, more confidence than a lot of able-bodied people do.”

“I smile at the prospect of going to work,” he says. “I am happy.”

With files from CTV Atlantic's Kelland Sundahl