Category Archives: ACTIVITIES

Fun things to do – Jane’s Walks etc.

HRM Planning Information Meeting – Wednesday Dec 7th 19 proposals at 1 meeting

Please attend this important meeting and make comments on the 19 proposed developments…

The classic 3-storey Coburg Apartments, is an Edwardian-era building on the South Common that is under threat from the Two developers hope to erect 16 & 30 storey and 20 & 26 storey high-rises in the single block between Carlton, College, Robie and Spring Garden Road under debelopment agreement applications. targeted growth area- Spring Garden Road bounded by Robie, College, Summer Streets and Camp Hill Cemetery.

The classic 3-storey Coburg Apartments, an Edwardian-era building at Spring Garden and Robie, on the South Common,  is one of a dozen+ buildings that will be demolished by two developers if their plans for 16 & 30 storey and 20 & 26 storey high-rises in the single block between Carlton, College, Robie and Spring Garden Road are approved.

Most of the 19 proposals are for highrises that break existing height restrictions and are out-of -scale with neighbourhoods. They’ll cause dozens of affordable small-scale, mixed-use residential units, commercial spaces & historic houses to be demolished. This will harm Halifax’s Common in various ways. Examples are:

  • 13 storey on Robie, Cunard – Compton
  • 14 storey on Robie St, Pepperell – Shirley
  • 16 & 30 storey on Spring Garden Rd & Robie west of Carlton
  • 20 & 26 storey on College & Robie St west of Carlton

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Working with Nature, a Common Cause

Map of Halifax by Captain Charles Blaskowitz in 1784

Halifax Map by Captain Charles Blaskowitz in 1784

How can understanding former uses and natural features of the Halifax Common help us deal with contemporary concerns and future challenges?

To learn more come & hear guest speaker Kevin Hooper Tuesday April 12, 6:45 pm – 7:45 pm
Room 301, Halifax Central Library, Spring Garden Road
A refreshments break at 8:45 pm will be followed by FHC AGM at ~ 8 pm.

Details: Kevin Hooper investigates the Halifax Common’s social and environmental history and makes the case for reintroducing functioning wetland ecosystems to deal with the challenges facing conventional stormwater management.
Among other topics this presentation will detail; the near complete loss of historical watercourses on the Halifax Peninsula; the evolution of the Halifax Common from 1749-2016; the critical role of wetlands in nature; and, the innovative ways that engineered wetlands are being applied for the purposes of sustainable stormwater management.

Bio: Kevin Hooper, B.A., M.U.R.P., originally from Moncton, N.B.,  has lived and worked in Halifax since 2006.  Following an undergraduate degree in the social sciences Kevin did a Masters in Urban and Rural Planning at Dalhousie University with a focus on environmental conservation, social equity, and community design.  He has contributed as a research assistant on several projects relating to climate change adaptation for small communities and currently works as a planning consultant.
He is the father of three young children and the very lucky partner of the most wonderful woman in the world.



Be Neighbourly, CBC-YMCA Is Already Twice the Allowed Height (7 vs. 14+ storeys)

CBC YMCA site got broke HRMbyDesign rules

The CBC YMCA development broke HRMbyDesign rules when the height was doubled from 7 to +14-storeys. The Design Review Committee chair, Alan Parish resigned because the Mayor and council ignored the DRC recommendations to not approve the building.

Is development polarizing Halifax because developers always want and get more? A Jan 10  CBC response article correctly points out the FHC position that city staff should be applauded, not bashed for turning down the requset for 14 more amendments from the CBC-Y site developer, Mr Spatz. His development is already double what’s permitted under HRMbyDesign regulations. Its +14-storeys (49m) not the allowed 7-storeys (23m).  That permission was despite the 2011 Design Review Committee Report that recommended against the development because it broke the new 2009 HRMbyDesign regulations. The DRC chair Mr. Alan Parish resigned as a result of their recommendation being ignored. A 2012 FHC Letter details rules that are broken.

The Design Review Committee seems like their agenda is too full to understand the implications of their decisions. The Thursday, January 14th meeting will cover three big items including the CBC-YMCA, Brenton Street and Doyle Block the View from the library proposals. One meeting is hardly enough time to really think about what kind of city we’re going to end up with.

Write to:
The Design Review Committee
c/o Sherryll Murphy – and
Mayor Savage –

Come for a Walk on the Common Link – October 24, 2015

You are invited by the recently formed Common Link Association to join us for a walk along a newly proposed ‘Common Link.’  This route is designed to connect the green spaces and blue vistas through the heart of Halifax.  Please come and support our efforts to create and promote a continuous, easy-access loop through the existing trails within the Halifax Common (including Victoria Park, the Public Gardens and North Common) as well as the Citadel.  This walk is free and open to all.  Bring friends.

A greenway in the heart of the city.

A greenway in the heart of the city.

When? 10 am Saturday, Oct 24th, 2015
Rain date: 10 am Sunday, Oct 25th, 2015
Where? Victoria Park at Spring Garden Road/South Park St. by Robbie Burns Statue Statue.
Why? To enjoy and promote the creation of The Common Link, a continuous loop trail.
Who? Walking enthusiasts and all others who are interested.
How long? Approximately 1.5h.

Membership:   Should you wish to be a part of the initiative to develop The Common Link you are invited to start the process by becoming a Common Link Association member.
Please RSVP if you plan to join us, by sending an email to and writing ‘CONFIRMED’ in the subject line so we know numbers in advance.

Residents say Armoyen’s 29-storeys is too tall for neighbourhood

shadows_feb-1_4pm_west_smallIt’s Deja view!
A 29-storey tower
one of  two developments proposed at the corner of Robie & Quinpool, next to  the Halifax Common and residential neighbourhoods west of Robie Street is too high according to 80+ attending a Sept 17th public meeting.  At just 20′ shorter than Fenwick Tower the building is potentially the second tallest building in Halifax but proposed for a site presently restricted to 145′.  Of 20+ citizens speaking only one person, representing the Quinpool Business Commission supported the proposal.  See CBC’s Coverage of the Public Meeting

View the developer’s drawings

Visit the Willow Tree Group website for a critical evaluation of these two projects.
Follow the Willow Tree Group on Twitter

St Pat’s High School Property – Public Meeting- Wed. Jul. 22

There’s a public  open house to review and comment on three preliminary design options for St Pat’s High School on Wed., July 22, 6:30 – 9 p.m., Halifax Forum, Multi-Purpose Room

Why is the public meeting on such short notice and in the middle of vacation season?

Why is the public meeting on such short notice and in the middle of vacation season?

Can’t make it? 
Ask questions or make comments at:

Our questions? …..
1. Why is this very important public consultation meeting being scheduled on such short notice and in the middle of prime vacation time?

2. What is the urgency to sell and re-develop the St Pat’s high school site with such haste that a final design will be selected by September?

3. This area has many highrise developments being proposed -isn’t their approval and the approval for a St Pat’s project in advance of the Centre Plan precluding what the Centre Plan will be able to do?

4. Halifax has taken 21 years to begin the process of developing an integrated master plan for the Halifax Common.  St Pat’s highschool is common land in that it belongs to the public.  According to the 2013 Stantec Report commissioned by the city there is adequate land to meet all of our projected population growth for the next twenty years.  Why doesn’t the city land bank the St Pat’s site as common land to compensate for the loss of over 200 acres of the Halifax Common’s public open space ?