“The Africville portion of Campbell Road will always be an industrial district and it is desirable that industrial operations should be assisted in any way that is not prejudicial to the interests of the public; in fact, we may be obliged in the future to consider the interest of the industry first.”
– Minutes of the Halifax City Council, December 9, 1915, p. 211
In the late 19th century, Africville faced a growing population along with the encroachment of industry: a large oil plant/storage complex, a bone-mill plant manufacturing fertilizer, a cotton factory and a rolling mill/nail factory, two slaughterhouses, a port facility handling coal, a tar factory, a shoe plant where leather was tanned, several stone crushing industries and a foundry – most of which came into the area long after Africville was first settled.
In addition, there were a lot of vacant lands owned by the city, railroads, Rockhead Prison (1853), “night-soil” disposal pits for the city, the Infectious Diseases Hospital (1870s) and the Trachoma Hospital (1905).
The building of the railroad through the Africville area resulted in the acquisition of some Africville land (1850s, 1912, 1940s), with at least five Africville properties being expropriated in the second of these relocations (1912) and more again at the onset of World War Two.
Like today, the railroad made Africville a desirable industrial area. The city would soon see the benefit for its own agenda.