Nova Scotia

Halifax police respond to dummies 'dining' at Quinpool Road eatery

When Halifax police responded to a call saying that a Quinpool Road restaurant was serving dine-in customers during the current lockdown — they discovered mannequins.

Mannequins were being used to block off tables to ensure distancing prior to the lockdown

The owner of the Ardmore Tea Room said he was using the mannequins prior to the lockdown to block tables to ensure physical distancing. (Vernon Ramesar/CBC)

The owner of the Ardmore Tea Room in Halifax had a surprise Thursday morning when he saw police looking in the window of his restaurant. 

Officers were responding to a call about people eating in the dining room of the restaurant, breaking the current COVID-19 lockdown rules in Nova Scotia that only allow for takeout.

The owner, Mike Cormier, said what the caller must have seen were the mannequins he has been using for over a year to block off certain tables and ensure physical distancing in the restaurant. 

"[The mannequins] are just here ... for fun, right? Because it's been a long year," Cormier said. 

Halifax Regional Police have encouraged the public to call in complaints about rule breakers, and help enforce COVID-19 restrictions. Officers in Halifax issued two dozen violation tickets last weekend.

Cormier said he understands people may be on edge and trying to help, but they should be sure of a given situation before making that call to police. 

"If you're gonna call the police on someone, you probably want to make sure why you're calling the police and that ... you're not wasting their time," Cormier said. "They're busy, they've got better things to do than come look at mannequins."

Halifax Regional Police spokesperson Const. John MacLeod confirmed that officers responded to a call at the Ardmore Tearoom at around 10 a.m. Thursday.

He said in an email that officers will continue to respond to calls about potential COVID-19 rule violations, and "evaluate on a case-by-case basis."

MacLeod said it is important for everyone to continue to educate themselves on changing public health measures. 

Cormier said once the police realized the call was about mannequins, they left the scene and did not enter the restaurant.

Officers responded to a call that said people were dining at the popular Quinpool Road restaurant in violation of restrictions. (Vernon Ramesar/CBC)

He said his restaurant has been closed to dine-in service since the lockdown measures were put in place in Halifax last week. Although it's not the same, he said takeout business has been fairly steady.

Cormier said his mannequins are now famous thanks to social media, and he intends to make the best of the situation. 

"I'll probably auction them off and give all the proceeds to the food bank when this is done."


Nicola Seguin is a multi-platform reporter based in Kjipuktuk (Halifax). If you have a story idea, email her at