Clock Youtube 1Revitalizing Downtown Dartmouth

After several difficult decades, Downtown Dartmouth is thriving again. It went into decline after people and business moved to the suburbs in the 1960s. The last decade has been much kinder though as people rediscover everything that Downtown has to offer. A new generation of business owners and residents have brought new life to our Downtown. This has created both opportunities and challenges. It’s a story that is shared by cities all across North America.

Downtown Dartmouth Daytime 2a John Liddard
Downtown Dartmouth

We need to seize the opportunity and continue Downtown Dartmouth’s revitalization. We need to provide amenities and services to support our growing community and ensure that the right plans are in place to guide development. A thriving Downtown Dartmouth is an asset for our community and the municipality as a whole. Downtown Dartmouth is a special place with a bright future and, with the right leadership, it can be even better.



For Downtown to thrive, we need to provide places that can draw people. Alderney Landing with the library, market and theater and the playground at Ferry Terminal Park bring a lot of life to our Downtown. There is the the potential to do even more.

• Daylight as much as possible of Sawmill River to create an attractive promenade and park
• Complete the Canal Greenway Park and include space for kids
• Take advantage of the lack of through traffic on Portland Street to create a more enjoyable pedestrian experience (streetscaping improvements)
• A new heritage museum near Alderney Landing

The other Sawmill River in Yonkers NY. Daylighted in 2011
The other Sawmill River in Yonkers NY. Daylighted in 2011
Crowds enjoying Portland Street during Switch
Crowds enjoying Portland Street during Switch Dartmouth in 2015



Downtown Dartmouth also needs good municipal services. The biggest existing gap is on the transportation side. Downtown needs fast, frequent and reliable transit and good active transportation connections to make it accessible.

• Fast, frequent and reliable transit connections to make Downtown accessible
• Keep the extended ferry service after the Big Lift is finished
• Connect the Harbour Trail to the Lake Banook/Shubie and Shearwater trails


New development is an opportunity and a challenge for Downtown Dartmouth. Development brings new residents and businesses, but, if it’s not well managed, it could do real harm. Modern buildings can fit in if they’re well designed and we can build a more inclusive community. We need a good plan.

• Ensure new development fits Portland Street’s pattern of narrow shops
• Keep HRM staff at Alderney Gate to support Downtown business
• Affordable housing to protect Downtown’s diverse community (inclusive zoning, density bonusing, support for non-profits)
• Continue to grow the Downtown population

The Vic on Hollis reflects its neighbourhood at street level
The Vic on Hollis reflects its neighbourhood by stepping back height and using different materials at street level
Portland Streets Rhythm of Narrow Shops
Portland Street’s rhythm of narrow shops is an attractive scale for pedestrians that is worth protecting


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