Spring Garden Road construction unearths old traces of tramcars
HALIFAX -- Spring Garden Road in Halifax has become a massive construction site.
According to Historian Blair Beed, something else is also taking place.
"We are getting a vast look at what the tramcar system was like," said Beed, who added trams were part of Halifax public transportation system beginning in the late 19th century until 1949.
Construction crews have unearthed long-ago paved-over rails and cobblestones that date back more than 100 years.
"Part of it is a lost era," said Beed.
At one time, dozens of tramcars clogged the downtown core.
"They had about 30 cars before the war," said Beed. "They added another 20 or 25 cars."
Over time, the old tramcars kept breaking down and were too expensive to maintain. Population growth, also added wear and tear.
"The number of people in wartime went from 9 million users to 31 million users during World War Two," said Beed.
A Halifax Regional Municipality spokesperson told CTV News, via email that the old tram rails and cobblestones "will all be safely disposed of."
Some passersby are grabbing old pieces as souvenirs.
"It brought back some memories," said business owner Kurt Bulger. "I have very vague memories of being down here with my father watching the tram cars go by. It brings back a bit of nostalgia."
Beed said the piles of rubble and rails, serve as a reminder of what the city looked like pre-1950.
He also said Halifax should bring the tramcars back.
"Wouldn't it be great if they had one line running somewhere in the city that we could get back on," said Beed, who added they would also be a tourist attraction and an acknowledgment of a long-forgotten chapter in history.