A youth outreach organization in Halifax says they're surprised and disappointed to learn their favourite pizza place considers their new north-end location too dangerous to deliver to.
Leave Out ViolencE — also known as LOVE Nova Scotia — recently moved from its old space at 1657 Barrington St. to a new location at 2171 Gottingen St. just north of Cornwallis Street.
In the past, the group regularly ordered food for the youth members from Pizza Pizza on Grafton Street, but when organizers called from their new headquarters they got an unexpected answer.
“There's no delivery in that area,” said a Pizza Pizza employee who answered the phone when contacted by Leave Out ViolencE. “It's a safety issue. Something happened to one of their drivers on that street, so none of their drivers want to go there anymore.
"It's a no-go area.”
Sarah MacLaren, the executive director of Leave Out ViolencE Nova Scotia, said the group has spent well over $1,000 at the Grafton Street location.
"They delivered to our Barrington Street location for over a year, always pleasant, a good relationship," she said.
MacLaren said the minor inconvenience has implications for a whole neighbourhood.
“The reason that it matters is because of dignity, frankly,” she said.
“I think that dignity is something that can be chipped away at in little small ways that most of us would think are irrelevant, but cumulatively those are the types of things that eventually marginalize people.”
North end stigma
CBC News ordered pizza from four other pizzerias to 2171 Gottingen St. They all made the trip.
“I don't find it dangerous,” said Chris Hood with Domino's Pizza. “You respect them, they respect you. It’s that simple."
“You see the cops right there. They're around,” said Chris Campbell with Dimitris Pizza. “I find it a nice artsy area.”
The chair of the North End Business Association said attitudes about the north-end Halifax need to change.
“The people that tell you they're afraid of Gottingen are the same ones that will say, 'I've never been there.’ So this stigma and these kinds of issues need to go away,” said Michelle Strum.
“People need to look at themselves before they make these kinds of decisions and actually experience what is happening down here which is an amazing sense of community and a beautiful place to live.”
Pizza Pizza is owned locally by the Grafton Connor Group. A spokesperson called the delivery issue a misunderstanding and — despite what Leave Out ViolencE was told on the phone, twice — said Gottingen Street is not off limits because of safety.
Pizza Pizza said the issue is a traffic problem because the drivers can't make the one-kilometre trip without risking the company's 40-minute delivery guarantee.