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A Love Letter: Remembering the Quinpool McDonald’s

The infamous fast food joint closed for good on Saturday, Jan. 27

The iconic McDonald’s on Quinpool Road, a late-night haunt for many Haligonians since 1981, served its final meal on Saturday, Jan. 27 at 4 a.m. 

The location closed after more than four decades of operation, marking a significant change for the community, specifically for the young and budget-conscious. 

Rachel Donnelly is in her third year at Dalhousie. Sporting a McDonald’s T-shirt, Donnelly described the closure as “devastating.” She and her friends gathered for a final meal at the fast food joint in the afternoon of Friday, Jan. 26. They shared their favourite Quinpool McDonald’s memories over burgers and fries. 

“My fondest memories were coming here late at night or hungover and being a bit silly,” Donnelly said. “The employees have always been very lovely.”

Third-year Dalhousie student Jakob Riozman sat eating with Donnelly. For him, the restaurant was more than just a place to socialize. 

“I once spent four hours here when I didn’t have any food at my house. It was great, so relaxing,” he said.

Third-year Dalhousie student Ezra Cole said he was blindsided by the closure. 

“I’m here all the time. It’s immensely unfortunate that it’s some of the most affordable food in the area,” he said. “And it’s one of the closest restaurants to me. And it also happens to be the only restaurant that’s open 24-7.”

The Quinpool McDonald’s location is so beloved by Donnelly and many others in the community because of its nostalgic atmosphere.

“When I eat here, I feel like I’ve been teleported back in time,” said Donnelly.

According to Global News, this location remained largely unrenovated since the 1990s, and was more than just a fast food outlet; it was a cultural landmark. Its distinct green diner booths, retro lamps and the notable mural of the Halifax Public Gardens by artist R.W. LeFresne reflect an earlier era. 

The community has rallied behind the iconic mural in attempts to save it. A “save the mural” petition, started by Andrew Neville, has gathered 511 signatures as of Wednesday, Feb. 11 with a goal of 1,000 signatures. 

The building that held the McDonald’s is set to be demolished to make room for an apartment complex.

 While the location’s staff declined to comment, franchise owner Mark Nelson said in an email on Friday, Jan. 26 that a new location at 6304 Quinpool Road will be open in the spring.

“I am so proud to be part of this community and my team and I are overwhelmed by the support and love we are receiving today,” said Nelson in the email. 

As a parting gesture to guests who visited the shuttered McDonald’s on its final day, employees handed out coupons for free coffee that will be valid at the new location. 

The closure leaves a gap in the local late-night food scene, causing students like Donnelly to turn to their cupboards for late-night snacks.

“I guess it’s canned soup from now on,” she said.


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