A former orphanage for black children in Nova Scotia has been renovated and reopened as a community hub and incubator for black businesses.

Kinney Place is located in the building that housed the former Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children, which opened in 1921.

The Halifax-area building sat vacant for several years after the orphanage closed in 1978 until Akuma Holdings Inc., a local black-led charity, began a restoration effort in 2016.

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Nova Scotia says investigation into abuse at Halifax orphanage is ongoing.

Acoma Board President Kathleen Mitchell says her organization recognizes the historic significance of the building, which was designated a municipal heritage site in August.

She says Kinney Place will increase the services available to the African Nova Scotian community and include areas of reflection and healing.

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The institution became a symbol of the province’s ongoing struggle with racism and discrimination when stories of neglect and abuse at the orphanage emerged from former residents, prompting a public inquiry and an apology from the prime minister.

“Today we reflect on the building’s past 101 years as we look to the future,” Mitchell said in a statement Sunday.

Kinney Place will include offices, a cafe and catering business and a hair salon and spa.

Click To Play Video: 'Nova Scotia Says Halifax Orphanage Abuse Probe Targets Work'

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Nova Scotia says investigation into abuse at Halifax orphanage is ongoing.

It also offers a gathering space for seniors and a studio for community members to rent for art classes, workshops or meetings.

The building also has additional space for business to lease.

Kinney Place is named after James Alexander Ross Kinney, founder and first superintendent of the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published on October 23, 2022.

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