E-News May 2019

Dartmouth waterfront during Tall Ships


Develop NS and Alderney’s Wharf: One of the projects I have been working on is making better use of the wharf at Ferry Terminal Park. The wharf was managed by Alderney Landing for many years, but Alderney Landing is primarily a cultural hub, not a marine operator. The wharf was never a great fit for Alderney’s expertise (theatre, market, gallery, events), but there really wasn’t anyone else to manage it. As part of the new operating agreement between Alderney and HRM, Alderney has relinquished the wharf, which has allowed HRM to enter into a new agreement with Develop Nova Scotia (formerly Waterfront Development). Develop NS already has a well-established dock program on the Halifax side of the Harbour and the new agreement will allow them to incorporate Dartmouth’s wharf into their operations. More details will be forthcoming soon, but I’m excited about the possibilities of having Develop NS involved in activating Dartmouth’s waterfront this season.

I want to thank the the board at Alderney Landing for recognizing the opportunity here. Not every community board would be agreeable to giving up part of their operations to another party, even when it makes sense. These sorts of conversations can be tricky! The board at Alderney Landing though recognized right way that Develop NS is expert in marine operations, and that the change would be good for Dartmouth. I’m impressed with their willingness to look at the big picture. They truly have Dartmouth’s best interests at heart.

Chadwick Street, Dartmouth

Chadwick Street Rebuild: One of the projects that I’m really excited about in this year’s capital budget is the redesign of Chadwick Street. Chadwick was built without sidewalks and, unfortunately, the street elevation makes it hard to add one after the fact because of the slopes involved and the proximity of houses to the street. The lack of a sidewalk means pedestrians have little choice, but to walk on the road. Never an ideal situation, but especially so on Chadwick because of the blind crest hill halfway up. HRM’s solution is one that wouldn’t have been considered in the past, the street will be narrowed and a sidewalk will be added on the north side in space that is currently part of the road. The trade-off is that parking will be restricted on the north side in the future, but the narrower street will have slower traffic, and the sidewalk will make the street much safer for pedestrians.

Back in the winter, HRM hosted a public information meeting to get feedback from the residents on the redesign and the trade-offs involved. The response was, for the most part, very positive and HRM is moving forward with the project. The tender was awarded to Eric Whebbys on May 2. The work will take several months to complete as it’s a total rebuild of the existing street so it’s going to be a messy summer on Chadwick. The end result will be a much safer, and slower street though and will be well worth the short-term inconvenience.

Centre Plan: The long talked about Centre Plan’s Package A is winding its way through City Hall’s various committees. If all goes according to schedule, the new rules will become binding by July 30 when Regional Council is expected to schedule a public hearing on adopting the new plan.

The Centre Plan will set the framework for development the urban core by clearly identifying where growth will happen and what form it will take. The goal is to provide certainty and predictability for everyone, something that is sorely lacking right now.

There will still likely be some amendments to the Plan before it’s truly finalized by Council. At Community Planning and Economic Development Standing Committee the other day, motions were passed asking staff to consider feedback from Develop NS regarding Dartmouth Cove, whether the plan needs a separate design manual, whether development agreements should still be an option for large sites (over 1 hectare), and whether a new community council should be created to hear appeals of development officer decisions. Also, at Harbour East, I advanced a bunch of minor edits to the zoning and urban structure map for Dartmouth. Below is the complete list of amendments I put forward by area. It looks like a long list, but it really amounts to small tweaks, not fundamental revisions. If there is anything in my list you want to take a closer look at it, I would suggest doing so in conjunction with the Centre Plan’s interactive map available here so that it makes some sense.

Downtown Dartmouth:

  • Remove Downtown zone from portion of 221 Portland fronting on Pleasant Street
  • Add 12 and 14 Queen Street to Alderney precinct with a GFAR of 6.25
  • Reduce height 21 Albert Street from 20 meters to 17 meters
  • Vacant HRM owned lot at Alderney (portion of PID 40938110) should reflect potential property lines as identified in the November 22, 2016 HRM report with same zoning and gfar as adjacent PID 40506875

Dartmouth North

  • Remove higher order residential zone for 203, 207, 209, 211, 211 ½, 213, 215, 217, 219 and 221 Windmill
  • Add corridor zone to 390, 396, 398, 400, 406 Windmill Road with a height limit of 20 meters
  • Add higher order residential zone for 1 and 3 Fernhill
  • Delete higher order residential zone for PID 40175887 and adjacent harbour infill

Wyse Road

  • Reduce height for higher order residential zoned lands 24, 28, 32, 34, 36, 38 Dawson and 17, 19 Faulkner from 20 meters to 17 meters
  • Reduce height for 2 and 4 Symonds from 26 meters to 20 meters
  • Reduce height for PID 41368655 and 1 Richmond Street from 26 meters to 20 meters
  • Remove higher order zone for 36 Hester

Sullivan’s Pond

  • Reduce height for 1 Oak from 26 meters to 20 meters
  • Increase height for 55 Crichton Avenue from 11 meters to 20 meters

Victoria Road

  • Remove corridor zone for 33, 35 Frances Street and 211, 213, 215, 217, 219, 221, 223, 225 and 229 Victoria Road


  • Remove higher order zone for portion of PID 41113887 that is zoned R-1 (portion that wasn’t rezoned as part of case 21552)
  • Consider 28 Viridian Drive as potential higher order residential with a height limit of 14 meters

Grahams Grove

  • Remove corridor zone for 5 Glenwood Avenue

Portland Corridor

  • Reduce height for 8A and 8 Lakefront to 14 meters
  • Remove corridor zone for 393, 395, 397, 401 Portland Street, 5 and 1 Joffre Street
  • Remove corridor zone for 402, 404, 406, 408, 410, 412, 414 Portland Street, and 4 Gaston Road

Pleasant Corridor

  • Increase height for 2 Renfrew and 269 Pleasant to 20 meters
  • Add corridor zone for 8 Renfrew with a height of 14 meters
  • Add corridor zone for PID 40181547 (Acadia Street) with a height of 20 meters
  • Remove corridor zone for 11 A Renfrew
  • Reduce height for 9 Renfrew to 11 meters
  • Remove corridor zone for 7 Chadwick
  • Reduce height for 5 Chadwick from 20 meters to 11 meters
  • Reduce height for 4 Chadwick and PID 40265696 from 20 meters to 11 meters
  • Reduce height for portion of PID 247049 fronting on Marvin from 20 meters to 11 meters
  • Reduce height for 173 Pleasant from 20 meters to 17 meters
  • Reduce height for 175, 177, 179 Pleasant, 3 and 13 Southdale from 20 meters to 17 meters
  • Increase height for Maplehurst apartments PID 05045916, PID 130450, PID 130468, PID 05045827 to 20 meters
Back of the Findlay Centre where a basketball net could be placed. Photo Maura Donovan

Findlay Basketball Net: A reoccurring ask of me is to return a basketball net to the Findlay Community Centre years ago, but it was removed years ago and there really isn’t aren’t any basketball nets anywhere in Downtown Dartmouth. I have been discussing this with staff and we were looking at, potentially, converting the barely used tennis courts on Pine Street to a basketball court A new manager, however, recently took over at the Findlay Community Centre who is keen to take a second look at the Findlay option. If doable, I think this would be the better option since a net at the Findlay was what the neighbourhood kids were actually asking for. If you have any feedback on the idea of returning basketball to the Findlay, you can email the Centre’s manager Scott Penton at pentons@halifax.ca. Scotty was hoping to have any expressions of support or concern by May 24.

Sullivan’s Pond Geese: As anyone who has been down to the Pond lately can attest, the spring season saw more geese come back from Hope for Wildlife’s than went out in the fall. Four geese were donated to HRM last year and the two flocks spent the winter together at Hope for Wildlife. Social structure with geese though is more complicated than it appears and as soon as the flock hit the pond they split again. So if you’re at the Pond, you’ll frequently see two flocks, one of the remaining originals and one made up of the four newbies.

The number of geese might increase shortly again as one of the new arrivals is sitting on a clutch. It takes geese around 30 days to hatch so, if the eggs were fertilized, than we could have goslings in the Pond in next few weeks. I’m hopeful of a happy outcome. If you’re down at the Pond and spot the goose on her nest, please respect her space and keep your distance. There is an element of self-preservation in that ask as well as the gander can be territorial in defending his mate.

Nesting goose at Sullivan’s Pond (shot from a distance with zoom)

Street Closure Notification Tool: HRM is opening up data on street closures to the general public with the launch of RoadWorks, an online map that shows all street closures in effect during the next seven days. The maps data shows the street or sidewalk affected, and the expected duration. For example, right now you can see that my block of Tulip Street is planning a street party. Hope it doesn’t rain!

RoadWorks won’t include emergency closures so if a water main bursts and Alderney Drive has to be shutdown for repairs, that won’t appear on the map. For now, it’s scheduled closures 7 days out only. You can peruse RoadWorks on HRM’s website here.

Affordable Access Programs: HRM has three main affordable programs aimed to help low-income residents: the Low Income Transit Pass Program, the Recreation Access Program, and the Property Tax Exemption and Deferral Program. The Low Income Transit Pass Program allows residents to purchase a transit pass at half price. This is a separate program from the X-Pass that provides all income assistance recipients with free transit access. It basically picks-up where the X-Pass leaves off. The Recreation Access Program provides up to 100% payment for recreation programming, while the Property Tax program helps homeowners pay their property taxes via payment plan or by deferring to a later date (for low-income seniors property taxes are often deferred until they’re ready to sell their home).

HRM use to require people to apply to each affordable program individually, but the municipality has now consolidated the application process into one Affordable Access submission. As of May 21, residents will no longer need to prove their low-income status several times over to benefit from HRM’s programs. For details on the new consolidated Affordable Access application, visit HRM’s website here. Applications to Affordable Access can be submitted starting May 21.

One additional note, the Zatzman Sportsplex provides a number of pay what you can memberships. To access pay what you can at the Sportsplex, all that’s needed is referral from a case worker.

Spring Tree Planting: Every year HRM plants 100s of street trees as part of the municipalities Urban Forestry Program. Trees are desirable for lots of reasons including beautification, carbon storage, stormwater management, traffic calming, moderating the urban heat island effect, and creating habitat for wildlife. They’re virtually the only municipal asset that becomes more valuable as time goes on. The spring planting tender was issued just a few weeks ago and in District 5, planting will take place on several streets including Gaston, Joffre, Green Village Lane (about to be a lot greener), Portland, Prince Arthur, Hastings, Esson, Hershey, Milverton, Dustan, Newcastle, Hazelhurst, Esdaile, Howe, Windmill, Woodland, Charles, Lawnsdale, Lancaster, Albro Lake, and Boland. HRM will also be doing some isolated tree replacements scattered throughout other streets in District 5. For a complete list of planned street tree locations, checkout the tender documents online here.

Volunteers Cleaning Up the CN Tracks

Community Clean-Ups: It’s the season for community clean-ups. This year, there has been a change in the Province’s largest clean-up program, the Great Nova Scotia Pick-Me-Up. After 30 years of managing the Pick-Me-Up, the Clean Foundation is passing the torch to the Adopt-a-Highway Program. The Pick-Me-Up has been around since 1988 and provides volunteers with supplies to clean-up their neighbourhoods. The change isn’t expected to change anything fundamentally about the program. Details for the Pick-Me-Up can be found online here.

I did want to take a moment to think all the folks who have been out already cleaning up. Harbourview, Pleasant/Woodside, and Southdale have all organized neighbourhood clean-ups. The Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission and CN recently cooperated as well to close the tracks for a few hours so that volunteers could clean up all the wind-blown debris that had accumulated around Alderney. Special thanks to CN for co-operating to make that happen. The larger Downtown Dartmouth clean up will take place in June (see events below). Many thanks to everyone who pitches in, whether as part of an organized clean up or not, to keep Dartmouth looking its best.

Sawmill River Project Award: The Sawmill River Project has received a lot of attention in Dartmouth and from around the country. The project that took the once-buried Sawmill River and brought it back above ground has been awarded the 2019 Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in Engineering. The annual award is given out to a team, company, government, or consortium of professional engineers to recognize excellence. I’m so pleased with results of the daylighting project and I’m glad to see the team being recognized for their work. I can’t wait to see Phase 2 under construction (tentatively 2021).

Public Consultation:

Transitions Stakeholders Consultation
Wedneday May 22, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Fairbanks Centre
54 Locks Road, Shubie Park

Come shape the future direction of interpretation at the Shubenacadie Canal as the Commission launches their new project, Transitions. How can the past inform our present and how history, culture and the natural environment combine to shape our future? The project is about research, partnerships and pilot projects related to the evolving Shubenacadie Waterway. Project findings will be represented in new exhibits and interactive displays at the Fairbanks Interpretive Centre.

Wyse Road (old Tim Horton’s site)
Thursday May 23, 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Dartmouth Seniors Service Centre,

45 Ochterloney Street
Application by Teal Architects and Planners on behalf of the owner of the former Tim Hortons at the corner of Wyse Road and Dawson Street to rezone from R2 and C2 to General Commercial and to enter into a development agreement to permit a 12 storey mixed-use building. For more information, visit the Planning Department’s website here.

Pleasant Street (corner Chadwick and Pleasant)
Thursday June 13, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
North Woodside Community Centre, 

230 Pleasant Street
Application by M&K Golden Developments to rezone 5 Chadwick Street from R2 to R3 and enter into a development agreement to permit a seven storey multi-unit building on the corner of Chadwick and Pleasant. For more information, visit the Planning Department’s website here.

Sea King/Lancaster/Woodland
Wednesday June 19, 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Dartmouth North Community Centre, 

105 Highfield Park Drive
Application by WSP Canada on behalf of the property owner to rezone 20 Sea King Drive from R1 to TH (Townhouse) to enable a senior’s housing development. For more information, visit the Planning Department’s website here.

Council Update:

To keep you better 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, April 28 and May 2: Rezoning for First Baptist lands at Lancaster/Woodland, landlord registry, Hollis Street bike lane, and Burnside Expressway. Read about it here

Council Update, April 16: Prince Albert/Glenwood hotel, Budget 2019, and redesigning Spring Garden Road. Read about it here

Council Update, April 2: Weed control and the Sullivan’s Pond model yachts, public wi-fi expansion, and wifi on transit. Read about it here

Council Update, March 26: A new Parks building for Grahams Grove in 2021, municipal alcohol policy and the Park Avenue Oven, and development fee waiver for affordable housing. Read about it here.


Oathill Lake Society Weeding
Wednesdays, May 22 – July 3, 1:00 – 3:00 pm
Greenspace around Oathill Lake
Come join the Oathill Lake Society on Wednesdays as they work to control invasive species threatening the environment around Oathill Lake. Japanese knotweed, multiflora rose, and English ivy. This light gardening work is a good way to meet friends and neighbours who help take care of this special park. For more information, contact the Oathill Lake Society

Dartmout Heritage Museum Society Annual General Meeting
Wednesday, May 22, 6:00 pm
Dartmouth Seniors Service Centre,

45 Ochterloney Street 
The Dartmouth Heritage Museum Society AGM will take place on Wednesday at the Dartmouth Seniors Service Centre. After the formal Society business, local historian David Jones will be giving a talk on Dartmouth’s lost, but not forgotten, Fort Clarence. All are welcome.

Wyndrock Quintet Concert
Wednesday, May 22, 7:00 – 8:00 pm
Alderney Gate Library

The popular Wyndrock Quintet will be returning to Alderney for a free concert with a colourful variety of music selections.

Ocean Connector Seafloor Habitat Mapping
Thursday, May 23, 4:00 – 6:00 pm
Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship,

27 Parker Street 
On May 23, Dr. Craig Brown, NSCC Research Scientist, will take the stage to discuss seafloor habitat mapping, and how advances in ocean technology and big-data are creating solutions to a global challenge .

Grace United Plant and Bake Sale/Flea Market
Saturday, May 25, 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
70 King Street 
Grace United will be holding their annual sale this Saturday. Perennial plants (Canada Post parking lot), New-to-You (Upper Hall with some large items outside) and Bake Sale (Upper Hall). Come early for best selection of plants and baked goods.

Sea Turtle Information Booth
Saturday, May 25, 10:30 am – 2:00 pm
Alderney Gate Library 
Did you know that there are sea turtles found right here off the coast of Nova Scotia? Drop by the Canadian Sea Turtle Network’s informational booth at the library to learn about the biology of these amazing animals, including the enormous leatherback sea turtle. Discover cool turtle specimens and hear the amazing story of the scientists and fishermen in Nova Scotia that work together to study and conserve these animals.

My Week on Welfare Screening
Wednesday, May 29, 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Dartmouth Serniors Service Centre,
45 Ochterloney Street
The Benefits Reform Action Group is hosting a free screening of Jackie Torren’s My Week on Welfare. The screening will be followed by a discussion involving the audience, people currently dealing with the welfare system, and advocates fighting for reform.

Dartmouth Horticultural Society Plant Sale
Saturday, June 1, 9:00 – 11:00 am
Churchill Academy,
5 Crichton Avenue
Come join the expert gardeners of the Dartmouth Horticultural Society for their annual plant sale. The sale will include garden plants, some house plants, books, decorative pots, bird feeders, tools, etc. Everything you need to keep busy creating something beautiful in the yard this year!

Hawthorn Elementary Spring Fair
Saturday, June 1, 10:00 am – noon
10 Hawthorn Street
Celebrate Spring with games, raffle baskets, cake walk, bouncy castle, guessing jars and much, much more. Admission is $1. Tickets are 50 cents each. Lots of fun for everyone.

Dartmouth General Foundation 
Lobster Dinner and Auction
Saturday, June 1, 5:00 pm
Zatzman Sportsplex
This ‘down-east’ feast takes place on the first Saturday in June. It’s a chance to meet with old friends, make new ones, enjoy the best Maritime Lobsters all in support of the Dartmouth General. You never know what you might find! Tickets are $125 and can be purchased here.

Walk for Arthritis
Sunday, June 2, 8:30 – 9:30 am
Oval, Halifax Common 
The Arthritis Society’s 10th annual Walk for Arthritis will take place on Sunday June 2nd. Registration for this fundraiser starts at 8:30. For more information and to register visit the Arthritis Society website here.

Switch Dartmouth
Sunday, June 2, 12:00 – 4:00 pm
Portland Street – Prince Albert Road,
Downtown Dartmouth
The biggest street party of the year returns to Portland Street June 2. Thousands of people of all ages will take over Portland Street and Prince Albert Road from Alderney Landing to Sullivan’s Pond. Switch is a celebration of active transportation, sustainable living and community. Music, entertainment, live demos, bouncy castles, food and lots more.

A Musical Evening with Tomi Allen
Tuesday, June 4, 7:00 – 8:15 pm
Alderney Gate Library
Visit the library for a free evening of music with Tomi Allen. Allen’s music is a melting pot of genres blending global grooves with hazy 70s beach vibes. His music draws on a wide variety of influences including classic rock, reggae, blues, latin, funk, flamenco, jazz, african and old school R&B.

Mayor’s Bike Ride
Thursday, June 6, 3:00 – 5:00 pm
Acadia Park, Sackville
650 Sackville Drive
Come join Mayor Savage, Regional Councillors, HRM staff and members of the public for a community bike ride in celebration of Bike Week. This year’s ride will go from Acadia Park along the Little Sackville River Greenway before returning to Acadia Park. Reception to follow the ride. For a full listing of Bike Week events visit HRM’s website here.

Downtown Dartmouth Clean-Up
Friday, June 7, 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
163 Portland Street
Join the Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission for their annual Clean-Up Party where teams, families and individuals get together to tidy up all over Downtown Dartmouth. It’s a clean-up, it’s a community gathering, it’s fun. The DDBC will provide bags, pizza and some door prizes. RSVP to info@downtowndartmouth.ca

Touch Tank Hut 2019 Opening
Saturday, June 8, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Alderney Landing
Back to the Sea’s Touch Tank is returning to Alderney Landing for another season on World Oceans Day. They’ll be face painting and shell crafts. Admission is by donation for the day.

World Wide Knit in Public Day
Saturday, June 8, 2:30 – 4:00 pm
Alderney Gate Library
Knitters of the world unite! Bring your knitting and enjoy World Wide Knit in Public Day at the Library. Coffee and tea will be provided.

North Woodside Community Centre Annual General Meeting
Sunday, June 9, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
230 Pleasant Street 
Come support the North Woodside Community Centre and learn about their successful year. All are welcome.

Rotary Club of Dartmouth 2019 Spring Classic
Thursday June 13, 6:00 – 10:00 pm
Brightwood Golf and Country Club

Join more than 300 business and community leaders for the Rotary Club of Dartmouth’s annual spring classic. This reception and dinner includes door prizes and is one of the Club’s major fundraising events to support their activities. Cost is $150 – $195.

New Apostolic Church Father’s Day Breakfast
Saturday, June 15, 9:30 – 11:00 am
151 Joffre Street,

Pancake breakfast in support of Feed Nova Scotia.

Canoe to the Sea
Sunday, June 16, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Snow Community Centre to Senobe

$50 (father’s paddling with kids and senior’s free)
The Canoe to the Sea race will take place on Father’s Day this year. This is your chance to paddle the historic Shubenacadie Canal through five lakes with portage assistants and safety boats on hand. The 20 km race will be followed by pasta dinner at Senobe Aquatic Club. In honour of father’s day, dads paddling with kids are free. Shuttle available. For more information contact Allan Billard allanbillard@gmail.com

Cancer Survivors Garden Party and Auction
Thursday, June 20, 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Alderney Landing Rotunda and Theatre

Come support the Cancer Survivors Daffodil Garden planned for the Dartmouth waterfront by attending a Garden Party and Auction at Alderney Landing. Tickets are free, but limited. RSVP on Facebook here. For information about the project, checkout the HRM staff report from when this project was before Council here.


  1. Thanks for the update, Sam. I assume the time here should be 9:30am-2pm?

    Sea Turtle Information Booth
    Saturday, May 25, 19:30 am – 2:00 pm
    Alderney Gate Library

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