The greatest town that was a city

KATY JEAN tellkatyjean@gmail.com @katynotie Katy Jean is a writer and tweeter based in Dartmouth. When not typing away she enjoys chasing after her little boy Vincent, and eating spicy noodles.

2022-05-11T07:00:00.0000000Z

2022-05-11T07:00:00.0000000Z

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Dartmouth. City of Lakes. The Darkside. Ponamogoatitjg. Home. She has as many names as sorts of people. This township that was a city is my favourite place in the world. Dartmouth has roads that can break a car, the lakes aren't always fit to swim in the summer, and the housing prices have gone higher than the clouds from the smokestacks, but the view is free and what a beautiful view we have. We have lakes. We are the (former) city of them. There are 25 lakes in our area, which give us a place to sit and reflect. A place to spend time fishing, to throw rocks, to swim. The lakes give us perspective and direction. If you're ever lost in Dartmouth, start walking or driving until you find a lake. You will know exactly where you are in no time. We have Shubie Park, just a bus trip away, that features a historic canal with remnants of stone houses of builders from long ago. A park with a path with birds that will land on you, making you feel like you're Snow White without the roommates. An off-leash dog area for both dog owners and wish-theywere dog owners alike. How lucky are we to have an accessible park for everyone? From The Darkside, we gaze upon the lights of Halifax. We appreciate the harbour that divides us while wondering what is so ‘Halifax' about it when it's half of us. Their lights shine upon it, impose upon it, but Dartmouth doesn't need to. We know we're here. There's Sullivan's Pond. A cute little park where people feed the ducks (you're not supposed to feed the ducks, but if your want exceeds your will, please choose bird seed over bread.) Sullivan's Pond is home to the both beloved and absolutely despised Dartmouth geese. I believe the geese reflect Dartmouth's residents. They're beautiful and they're to be appreciated but never provoked. I could go on about Dartmouth's icons. I could continue about the icons that have been, like Penhorn Mall, The Old Mill or old lots and fields that we have traded for more Dartmouthians. These places of nostalgia that we have loved do not need a memorial; they instead have towers dedicated to marking their former existence and birth into folklore and then filled with people I'm sure would've loved them. Dartmouth is of and for all. It didn't start with the Alderney and it doesn't end there. Our history is part of Mi'kma'ki, Ponamogoatitjg, the Tomcod Ground or Salmon Place. Crichton Park in Black history was The Avenue, with its own church and own community. Prince Albert Road along Lake Banook, or Panuk in Mi'kmaw language (Panuk meaning ‘the opening') was called The Road to Preston on former maps. Dartmouth's history is everyone's and its future is for the same. I share this place called home with many. I share it with people in thick damp flannels that smell of nicotine. I share it with pressed suits in BMWs. I share my home with those without one, with couch surfers getting by, with old Dartmouth families who have lived in the same two bedroom north end house since the 1960s. I even share a home with those who have penthouses. They're no better or worse than the damp flannels. We are all Dartmouthians. Anyone is worthy to join us. Everyone can call her home.

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