What's in a name? Some Dartmouth residents upset over IKEA Halifax
Published Thursday, August 24, 2017 12:19PM ADT
While many Maritimers are anxiously awaiting the opening of IKEA next month, some Dartmouth residents are expressing their anger over the store’s name.
The Swedish retail giant is calling the store IKEA Halifax, even though it’s technically located in Dartmouth. That has some residents concerned that their community name is becoming lost.
“I think it should be called Dartmouth. It’s in Dartmouth,” said one local resident.
Bruce Hetherington agrees. The former municipal councillor says the past two Halifax Regional Municipality councils have been trying to put Halifax first and other communities second.
“This council and this mayor, and the last council but the same mayor, are trying to brand everything Halifax, and I don’t think that’s doing Halifax justice, it’s not doing certainly Dartmouth or Bedford [justice],” says Hetherington.
He says the latest insult is naming the new Dartmouth Crossing store IKEA Halifax. He’s also concerned it will be confusing for tourists who want to visit the store.
“I can guarantee you that if people from Toronto fly into the Stanfield Airport, take a cab into Halifax looking for IKEA, they’re going to have to cross the bridge and come over to Dartmouth because it’s not in Halifax,” says Hetherington.
But not everyone thinks it’s an issue.
“I think that the list of things that are way more important than this is so long that I just don’t care, and I don’t think anyone should care,” said one Dartmouth resident.
City officials say they have no jurisdiction over the naming of a private business, so the decision to name the store IKEA Halifax came from the company itself.
“When we decided on the name of our new IKEA store, we chose Halifax as it will be a destination that we hope will draw residents from the Halifax Regional Municipality, the province of Nova Scotia and beyond,” said Stephanie Harnett of IKEA Canada.
Over the past few years, concerns were raised about the size of the font on some municipal signs, with the word “Halifax” appearing larger than the name of the local community. Deputy Mayor Steve Craig says the font size was fixed, but that things must be kept in perspective.
“We have a Dartmouth General Hospital, I believe it’s in Woodside if I’m not mistaken,” says Craig. “We have the Halifax International Airport, which is in Enfield. We have a Boston Pizza here in Lower Sackville.”
Craig says a sense of community comes with personal experience and recorded history, among other things, and that the communities’ names and sense of pride will never disappear.
IKEA Halifax is set to open on Sept. 27.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Ron Shaw