By Haley Ryan - Metro Halifax
HALIFAX - Halifax‚Äôs renaissance era is coming to an end.
© Metro Halifax photo
Catherine Nathanson stands inside her store, Renaissance, on Barrington Street. It will be shutting its doors this September.
On Monday, the Renaissance Clothing Co. on Barrington Street announced it would be closing its doors in September for good.
‚ÄúIt was a personal choice to retire,‚ÄĚ said Renaissance owner Catherine Nathanson, who started the business with her late husband, Brian, in 1983.
Nathanson said there‚Äôs been a lot that‚Äôs changed in her 30 years on Barrington Street, ‚Äútoo much to say in a few minutes,‚ÄĚ but she‚Äôs had a ‚Äúreally wonderful time‚ÄĚ at that location.
She said the downtown core is ‚Äúthe heart of Halifax,‚ÄĚ because it‚Äôs where most tourists come when they arrive in Halifax, and out-of-town visitors end up wandering around the area as well.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs the first place that a lot of people see,‚ÄĚ Nathanson said.
Many locals see Barrington Street as a difficult place to thrive, with high rent and in need of a revitalization.
But Nathanson is loyal to the neighbourhood, and says downtown critics ‚Äúdon‚Äôt understand.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúUnfortunately a lot of people are going to make the wrong judgments,‚ÄĚ Nathanson said about the closure. ‚Äú(But) having been on the street as long as I have been, I‚Äôve seen what the street can do.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúA lot of us have survived down here for 30 years,‚ÄĚ she said.
Nathanson mentioned Chives, Attica, and FireWorks Gallery as local businesses who have done well on Barrington Street and made a great support network.
‚ÄúI love the people downtown. It was a tough choice ‚Ä¶ but time to say goodbye,‚ÄĚ Nathanson said.
Nathanson, who owns the 1549 Barrington St. property, said she hasn‚Äôt sold the business to anyone and doesn‚Äôt have any plans for converting the space yet, or what she‚Äôll do next.
‚ÄúI‚Äôll have a chance to breathe, I think,‚ÄĚ Nathanson laughed.