E-News August 2019


We’re very much into the dog days of Summer now so it’s a relatively short newsletter this time around.

Portland Street: Back in July’s e-news, I referenced a project that I have been working on: the coming arrival of street trees in portable planters on Portland Street. Well, they were installed last night. Portland’s five lonely street trees have been joined by 10 more. The idea behind the planters is to add trees to Portland now, instead of having to wait for a future major street recapitalization project to include silva cells. The planters are a weathered steel which means they’re very durable and will develop a red rust look that should fit in fairly well against the existing black planters and street lights. I’m very pleased with this creative approach to providing greenery. As an added bonus, the trees are ivory silk lilacs so they will flower in early summer, adding white flowers and their distinctive aroma to Portland Street. Many thanks to HRM staff that worked with me on this outside the box approach.

Finishing touches on Portland Street’s bright new mural

Still with Portland Street, the Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission’s new mural is nearly complete. The neon mural is near the corner of Portland and Victoria and the Commission will be throwing a party to celebrate switching on the neon lights tonight from 7:00 – 9:00. Many thanks to the Business Commission for their investment in public art and light!

So the week ends with a greener and brighter Portland Street! Good examples of low-cost tactical urbanism at work to improve our public spaces. HRM will follow up in the fall with some repairs to deteriorating brick work and the one planter on King Street that has a sizable chunk of concrete missing.

Pedestrians and Prince Albert/Glenwood: HRM is modifying the approved sidewalk closure in front of the Prince Albert/Glenwood hotel project. The expectation was that pedestrians would cross at Needs and then cross back at the Superstore. Not surprisingly, that route is too long and no one does that. Instead, people are walking on Prince Albert, which is creating a safety hazard. These sorts of things really need to work with human nature, not against it. I have been pushing this issue with staff and I’m pleased to report that a temporary sidewalk will be created instead. Implementation has dragged on a bit, but the expectation is that it’ll be in place today. Thank you to everyone who raised this issue. The pictures were helpful in making the point.

Canines for Clean Water: One of the recommendations in the recently completed Pollution Control Study at Lake Banook was for HRM to undertake a public education effort concerning the impact of pet waste on our lakes. The problem is that, when it rains, any waste laying around washes into our lakes, leading to high bacterial counts and beach closures. So HRM is launching Canines for Clean Water. The campaign invites dog owners to pledge to keep their dogs on-leash, except for in designated areas, to scoop up pet waste and dispose of it in the garbage, and avoid contact with wildlife. There will be more to come on implementing efforts to make Banook and Micmac cleaner when the Pollution Control Study makes its way to Council. For more information on Canines for Clean Water, visit HRM’s website here.

Northbrook Playground: The installation of a new playground at Northbrook Park is nearly complete. Work has been stalled just short of the finish line after it was discovered that part of the newly ordered playground equipment was missing. It was left out at the factory! Basically HRM opened the box and a piece wasn’t there (it doesn’t just happen to household shoppers). Shipping a replacement climbing wall has been expedited and is expected to arrive today. If we get the missing piece as planned, the hope is that the new Northbrook playground will open next week.

Fairbanks-Geary Steps: Work is getting underway to replace the steps that run from the end of Fairbanks Street to St. Paul’s Cemetery and Geary Street. HRM looked at the possibility of replacing the steps with some sort of switchback pathway built into the hill to reduce both long-term maintenance costs and fire risk, but the site is a very challenging one with steep grades. HRM ultimately concluded that the best option was to replace the existing steps as is so no big design changes coming. The new set of steps will have the same multi-platform design. The pathway will be closed until the new steps are ready at the end of September.

Extended Producer Responsibility: The Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities has released its Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) proposal. The proposal asks the Province to ensure that industry contributes towards the recycling of packaging and printed paper that they generate. Small businesses and newspapers, registered charities, and businesses with a single storefront would be exempt. Most Canadian provinces already have some form of EPR, but Nova Scotia doesn’t. EPR is one of the NSFM’s five priority areas stemming from the NSFM’s 2018 conference and is something that has come up many times at Council so I wanted to highlight NSFM’s proposal.

Diggstown: You might run into film crews in Downtown Dartmouth over the next little while. The CBC legal drama, Diggstown, was renewed for a second season and has been filming all around Downtown. If you haven’t watched Diggstown before, it’s a great show that is actually set here. Dartmouth being Dartmouth on the big screen, with some story telling license taken of course (the Sterns Building isn’t open to Halifax Legal Aid). You can watch season 1 online here.

Vacation: Just a quick note that I’ll be away the last week of August on vacation. It’s typically the slowest week of the summer and I have taken it off each year to recharge by fully disconnecting from the grid. During that time, if you need assistance you can always call 311 or get in touch with my constituency coordinator Jenn Weagle at weaglej@halifax.ca

Council Updates:

To keep you informed about what is going on at Council, I’m writing a regular blog after each meeting. Each of my entries is about what I saw as noteworthy from a District 5 perspective and my views on the issues. We might not always agree, but I think it’s important to provide a record of how I voted and why.

Council Update, August 13: The transit fares update, plus what’s going on with a potential active transportation connection between Bedford/Sackville and Burnside. Read about it here.

Council Update, July 30: A disappointing conclusion for the Prince Albert/Glenwood Hotel, a pilot project to try and address the Floating Yellow Heart in Little Albro Lake, tax relief for non-profits that lease space, and backyard fowl. Read about it here.


Neon Mural Lights Community Reveal Party
Friday, August 16, 7:00pm
Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission
163 Portland Street
Join the Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission for the reveal of the “Neon” Mural. The mural is really two works in one. A bold, colourful painted design by day that gets transformed into an entirely different mural at night thanks to neon-like LED-lights affixed to the wall. Come see the lights go on for the very first time. The Community Reveal Party is free and open to all ages. Friendly dogs on leash welcome. There will be a DJ spinning on site to set the mood, plus Cirque du Soleil’s Crystal promo truck will be set up in the parking lot giving out free snow cones and swag (while supplies last.)

Deep Water Churh Dartmouth Party at the Pond
Saturday, August 17, 11:00am – 3:00pm
Sullivan’s Pond
Join Deep Water Church as they partner with Feed Nova Scotia to throw a summer party at Sullivan’s Pond! Party @ the Pond will feature a food drive, bouncy castle, games, barbecue and more! Drop off boxes for the food drive will be available during the event at Sullivan’s Pond. Please consider donating a non-perishable food item when you attend.

Dartmouth Comic Arts Festival
Saturday, August 17 & Sunday, August 18
Alderney Landing
The Dartmouth Comics Art Fest (DCAF) is a 2-day free, all-ages event celebrating comics and cartooning. Come meet dozens of artists and vendors as they display and sell their wares at this annual event. For more information, visit the website here

Evergreen Fairy Tea
Saturday, August 17, 1:00 – 3:00pm (reoccurring every Saturday until August 31)
Dartmouth Heritage Museum
26 Newcastle Street
This year Evergreen will be hosting ‘Fairy Teas’ every Saturday from 1 – 3. Light refreshments will be served along with both black tea and herbal teas. There will be craft activities for children and those young at heart. Teas will be hosted downstairs in Evergreen. Depending on the weather, the back doors will be open and guests will be free to explore the back garden. Tickets are $2 per adult, children are free. Please call 902-464-2300 or email at info@dartmouthmuseum.ca to reserve a table.

Sullivan’s Pond Concert Series
Sunday, August 18, 2:00 – 4:00pm (reoccurring every Sunday until September 8)
Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission
Sullivan’s Pond Bandshell
The Downtown Dartmouth Sullivan’s Pond Concert Series sponsored by Weldon McInnis is well underway. Outdoor shows start at 2:00 every Sunday at the Sullivan’s Pond Bandshell. All concerts are free and suitable for all ages. Bring your own lawn chair. If conditions call for rain or high winds, check the Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission’s facebook page for cancellation info on the morning of each concert. Remaining concerts this summer are:

August 18 Quiet Hill
August 25 Farm Team
September 1 Ced, Marty & Dave
September 8 Thomas Stajcer

Life.School.House AGM
Sunday, August 18, 6:00 – 8:00pm
60 Queen Street
Life.School.House is building a non-traditional learning community that celebrates local wisdom, builds connections in community, and reinforces the social value of barter and exchange. A Cooperative Not-for-Profit, Life.School.House will be hosting their first Annual General Meeting on August 18. All are welcome to attend. A report will be presented on the impact of Life.School.House’s work over the last year, discussion will be held on strategic direction for the future, and their first board of directors will be elected. Childcare will be provided onsite if needed and potluck snacks are welcome. If you would like to know more about the behind the scenes magic that makes LSH tick, please attend!

TD Summer Reading Club End-of-Summer Carnival
Wednesday, August 21, 2:00 – 3:30pm
Alderney Gate Public Library
Celebrate the end of Summer, and the 2019 Summer Reading Club, with a carnival. Join the Library’s teen volunteers for fun and games. All ages welcome.

Dartmouth Lakes Town Hall Meeting
Thursday, August 22, 6:00 – 8:00pm
Mic Mac AAC
192 Prince Albert Road
MLAs Claudia Chender and Susan LeBlanc are hosting a Town Hall Meeting to discuss the health of Dartmouth Lakes. The Province has jurisdiction over lakes, but, so far, there hasn’t been a great deal of interest from the provincial government. HRM has been active in this area, completing a Pollution Control Study of Lake Banook, and we’re looking at bringing back the lake water monitoring program and trying out mats as a way to control the Floating Yellow Heart in Little Albro, but there are limits to how much HRM can do in an area that is primarily provincial jurisdiction. I appreciate the attention of Dartmouth’s MLAs on this issue and will be joining them at the town hall.

Harbourview Neighbourhood Yard Sale and Community Picnic
Saturday August 24, 9:00am – 1:00pm
Furness Park (corner of Fairbanks Street and Hare Lane)
The Harbourview Neighbourhood will be holding a neighbourhood yard sale and community picnic. Yard sale items will be found at homes all around the neighbourhood, and at Furness Park from 9-12. The sale will be followed by a community picnic in the park. Bring your lunch and a picnic blanket. Music and good company are free.

Super Saturdays: Library Mini Golf
Part of the TD Summer Reading Club
Saturday, August 24, 10:00am – 1:00pm
Alderney Gate Public Library
Super Saturdays is all about hands-on activities or experiences that will be fun for both kids and grown-ups alike. It’s a day to play games, unleash your inner artist, and experiment with technology. Library mini golf was so much fun last time, they’re bringing it back again. Join in for mini-golf all around the Library. Suitable for all ages.

Findlay Movie Night
Saturday, August 24, 8:00pm
The Findlay Movie Wall
Findlay Community Centre, 26 Elliot Street
Come see the movie Captain Underpants – The Epic Movie at the Findlay Movie Wall behind the Findlay Community Centre. This is a free, all ages event. Free popcorn while supplies last!

Switch Dartmouth New Date
Sunday, August 25, noon – 4:00pm
Portland Street/Prince Albert Road
The biggest street party of the year got rained out in June, and, now a new date has been set! Same route, same time, new date. Come out to Downtown Dartmouth to enjoy a wonderful afternoon of free fun for all ages – live music, bouncy castles, demonstrations, activities, etc. Specials and promos from Downtown Dartmouth businesses plus community BBQ’s and food trucks on site. For more details look for Switch Dartmouth New Date on social media.

Super Saturdays: Giant Games
Saturday, August 31, 10:00am – 1:00pm
Alderney Gate Public Library
Super Saturdays is all about hands-on activities or experiences that will be fun for both kids and grown-ups alike. It’s a day to play games, unleash your inner artist, and experiment with technology. Come to the Library to play giant versions of your favourite board games.

Jack Whiting Memorial Horseshoe Tournament
Saturday, September 7, 9:30am – 4:00pm
City of Lakes Horseshoe Pitchers Assoc.
Findlay Community Centre (Horseshoe Pits)
26 Elliot Street
City of Lakes Horseshoe Pitchers Association will be holding its Jack Whiting Memorial Tournament. Cost is $10 per player. Registration opens at 9:30am and the tournament starts at 10:00am. Please note: If you register for the Tournament you are expected to play the full event. Open to all ages and skill levels with advanced players partnering with beginners. Everyone is welcome to pitch or just hang out and cheer on the players. The rain date is Sunday, September 8th

Super Saturdays: Eye Dropper Art
Saturday, September 7, 10:00am – 1:00pm
Alderney Gate Public Library
Super Saturdays is all about hands-on activities or experiences that will be fun for both kids and grown-ups alike. It’s a day to play games, unleash your inner artist, and experiment with technology. Make unique artistic creations using eye droppers.

Dartmouth Crusaders Swim Club Open House
Monday September 9th to Friday September 13, 5:30pm – 6:30pm
Zatzman Sportsplex
The Dartmouth Crusaders Swim Club is holding an Open House the week of September 9th with free practices with their coaches. Meet other swimmers, meet other swim parents, learn about the team, and get some great swim tips from coaches. The Club wants to welcome new swimmers generally 8 years and older, at Swim Kids 7 or higher (or similar skill level) to the new season beginning in September. Younger swimmers interested in the Crusader Playground Program should be able to jump in deep water, fully submerge and blow bubbles unassisted and without a life jacket. 

Contact the Dartmouth Crusaders for more details: dartcrusaders@eastlink.ca or 902-469-8610

Walk for Seniors
Saturday, September 14, 9:00am – 1:00pm
Dartmouth Seniors Service Centre, 45 Ochterloney Street
Walk for Seniors is the major fundraising event for the Dartmouth Seniors Centre and is now in its 5th year. Funds raised support the valuable programs of the Centre and Meals on Wheels. Incredibly, Meals on Wheels delivers more than 30,000 meals annually. Keep Walk for Seniors top of mind by registering today! Gather pledges to help the Centre support our amazing community. Call 902-465-5578.

Fall Kickoff Open House at the Zatzman Sportsplex
Saturday, September 14, 11:00am – 3:00pm
Zatzman Sportsplex
While Jan. 1st marks a new *calendar* year, we all know the fresh, “new start” feeling that September brings. An opportunity to set new goals and try new things. It’s the perfect time for the Zatzman Sportsplex to hold another open house! Free swims, contests, activities in the gymnasium, a facility-wide scavenger hunt and more will make September 14 a day to remember at the Plex. More info and a full day schedule to come – but for now, save the date and plan to visit on the 14th to kick off fall, celebrate back-to-school, and try out the Sportsplex’s new programs and services.