E-News May 2024

Participatory Budget 2018 at the Findlay Community Centre


Participatory Budgeting Returns
Participatory budgeting is returning to District 5! On May 30th, you will have the opportunity to have a direct say in how $50,000 of our district’s capital funds are spent. Each Council district in HRM has a $94,000 a year capital fund. District funds are managed by the area Councillor and can be spent on municipal projects or awarded to non-profit groups seeking capital funding. In 2017, 2018, and 2019, I held participatory budgeting sessions to give the wider Dartmouth community a say in how $50,000 of District 5’s funds were spent. COVID derailed participatory budgeting for the last few years, but the time is now right for it to make a return to Dartmouth.

If you haven’t attended a participatory budgeting session before, the way it works is eligible community groups set up science fair style and then residents circulate to check out the projects and decide which ones to vote for. Everyone who lives in District 5, including kids, is eligible to vote. Examples of some past groups that received funding through participatory budgeting include the paddling clubs, North Woodside Community Centre, Back to Our Roots Farm, Back to the Sea Society, Maritime Pollinators, and the Dartmouth Crossing Speed Skating Club.

The immediate task is for interested non-profits to apply. The maximum possible award is $10,000. To ensure that people don’t vote for a project that turns out to be ineligible, applications must be submitted and vetted in advance. Funding must be clearly a capital expense (no ongoing operating expenses permitted). For your non-profit to be considered, you must be either located in District 5 or have some clear ties to District 5. Being located in District 5 is self-explanatory. Having clear ties is a bit fuzzier. An example of a group with strong ties to District 5 that received funding in the past would be the Dartmouth Crossing Speed Skating Club, which operates out of the 4 Pad in Burnside. The Club’s homebase is geographically very close to District 5, and a lot of the membership comes from District 5. The Club passed the test of being reasonably connected to District 5 without being physically located in the district.

Besides the funding, past feedback from non-profits, even those that weren’t successful, is that the experience of getting in a room with some of the most engaged folks in District 5 had value in itself. All of the participating non-profits came away with more community awareness of their activities and, in some cases, new volunteers and program participants.

To be part of District 5’s 2024 Participatory Budget, projects must be submitted by end of day on May 22. For more information and to submit a project, please reach out to my constituency coordinator Michelle Egan by email at michelle.egan@halifax.ca or by phone at 902-233-8364.

Harbour Trail in Dartmouth Cove

Infilling Dartmouth Cove
Transport Canada has, unfortunately, given approval to a numbered company (4197847) with ties to Atlantic Road Construction and Paving to infill a water lot in Dartmouth Cove. This approval was given despite opposition from the community, COVE, and HRM. Transport opted to go ahead anyway. It’s a huge setback for saving Dartmouth Cove and very disappointing.

In my time as Councillor, I have always tried to be upfront about what’s going on and why. That approach puts me in a bind here as I also try not to pick fights with colleagues in other orders of government. Unfortunately, there is no way to discuss the Dartmouth Cove infilling application without addressing what our MP, Darren Fisher, keeps suggesting: that the infilling application could be stopped if only HRM were to make bylaw changes. Unfortunately, it’s nowhere near that easy. Fisher’s position is simplistic and inaccurate and, in my opinion, is more about shifting political blame.

First, it’s important to know that HRM has no jurisdiction in the Harbour. The Harbour is the responsibility of the federal government. It’s the feds that approve or reject applications for infill. The feds, however, have usually limited what they consider when assessing infill to federal responsibilities, primarily fish habitat and navigable waters. The result is a gap since that very narrow federal perspective doesn’t take into account planning or any other broader community concerns. The feds have been traditionally reluctant to allow municipalities to fill the gap for fear that municipal land-use controls could interfere with port activities. Attempts to extend municipal jurisdiction have been fought all the way to the Supreme Court, such as the LaFarge case in Vancouver (Vancouver lost).

The feds haven’t been completely uncooperative though. Over on the Northwest Arm, HRM recently started to regulate infill because Transport Canada agreed to work with HRM. The solution on the Arm is that Transport Canada will issue permits that include a condition requiring applicants conform to HRM bylaws. Without the feds making their permits conditional, HRM’s attempt to control infill would be on very shaky ground. HRM can regulate infill in the Northwest Arm because the feds are actively allowing HRM to do so. This is what working together looks like.

Northwest Arm. Photo: Doug Kerr, Flickr

Unfortunately, federal cooperation in Dartmouth Cove has been missing in action. What’s been going on is the feds are saying yes/maybe in public while saying no in private and through their actions. On the Northwest Arm, the feds were an enthusiastic and interested partner. They worked closely with HRM to time approvals with the introduction of HRM’s bylaw and even held their own consultation, which included hiring a facilitator, leading discussions, soliciting feedback, and organizing meetings and workshops (details on the federally led Northwest Arm initiative here).

There was a willingness to work with HRM and others on the Northwest Arm, but in Dartmouth Cove, none of that willingness has existed. The feds didn’t hold any public meetings or workshops nor did our MP push for them. There was no direction from the Minister to engage with anyone, and at the staff level, the answer has been consistently no. From HRM’s staff report on the topic in November:

To date, staff of the department (federal) have only committed to a conditional approval process under the Canadian Navigable Waters Act applying with respect to water lot infilling activities over the Northwest Arm


However, Transport Canada has made no commitments to extend this limited jurisdiction recognition to the rest of the Halifax Harbour, including the Bedford Basin. The reason being that, unlike the Northwest Arm, the rest of the Halifax Harbour has commercial, industrial, port, and military activity, and is also a recognized receiving body for pyritic slate disposal. These activities and uses are consistent with the nature and purposes for the designation of Halifax by Canada as one of the five leading National Ports

The feds knew of HRM’s concerns and opposition around Dartmouth Cove. Besides the staff discussions, Council passed more than one motion, and made a formal submission to the Minister and Transport Canada that you can read here. For our MP to suggest that the feds are willing to work with HRM given all of this is ridiculous. If the feds were open to working with HRM why did they unilaterally approve the application? Why did they ignore all the feedback from HRM and the community? Why didn’t they hold their own meetings like they did for the Arm? Is Dartmouth not as important? Why were their staff uncooperative? The only trace of federal willingness to work with HRM on this issue was our MP’s words and a maybe letter from the Minister, which is why it’s easy to conclude that this has been more about politics than a true willingness to work together. You don’t work together by acting unilaterally and then suggesting someone else should fix your mistake.

So what now? There has been some suggestion in legal circles that HRM could regulate infill without federal cooperation. Unfortunately, HRM’s legal department has reviewed and that’s not the case. HRM even secured a third-party opinion from a retired Supreme Court Justice, Arthur Lebel. The conclusion is that a unilateral attempt to regulate infill would be near impossible for HRM to defend. The legal situation becomes even worse now that Transport Canada has given its approval since it allows the proponents to also argue that their application is now grandfathered (planning bylaws aren’t retroactive). We need federal cooperation to be able to realistically defend an HRM infill bylaw, and we needed it before they approved the application.

The proponents do still need to secure Fisheries and Oceans approval, but that seems unlikely to be refused. It’s still worth writing DFO, but Transport Canada is where all the broader discussions around the Northwest Arm took place. Transport Canada’s mandate is narrow, but DFO’s is even narrower.

Reading the tea leaves, it seems unlikely that the Dartmouth Cove infill application will be stopped at the approval stage so what we’re left with are practical considerations, mainly can the proponents actually access the site to carry out the work? HRM has reviewed the legal status of the end of Maitland Street and once Maitland crosses the CN tracks, it’s not a public street, it’s just HRM-owned property. HRM isn’t obligated to allow access over that parcel of land. The proponents could still, theoretically, reach the infill location from the other side through the Province’s Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship (COVE), but that would require Provincial permission. If both the Province and HRM say no, even if all the federal approvals are in place, there might be no practical way for the proponents to get there (although barging in the material would still be a possibility).

At our last Council meeting, Council approved a motion directing HRM’s CAO to write the Province to assess what the Provincial position is on allowing access over their lands. With little support from the feds, this issue seems to be increasingly a practical rather than legal one. It’s not a great situation to be in, it would have been better to have had willingness to work together from Transport Canada, but there still might be a chance to save Dartmouth Cove from becoming an unplanned dump site if both the Province and HRM refuse to provide access.

Tents along the Banook Trail last year

The situation around homelessness in HRM is once again worsening. A few months ago, there was more shelter space available than there were people living outside and so HRM closed a few encampment sites: Victoria Park, Grand Parade and Geary Street. The encampment closures were met with skepticism from folks who assumed it would all end in another confrontation like what happened at the old Library in 2021. That isn’t how things played out though. HRM has learned a lot over the last few years and was able to close the encampments without arrests or confrontations. A lot of the folks who were sheltering at the closed encampments took advantage of some of the options being offered, but not everyone did. The result was more people indoors, but also an increase in the population at the remaining designated sites (University Avenue, Barrington Greenway, Green Road) and at a few undesignated locations.

Unfortunately, Provincial projects that HRM was hoping to see completed early this year are delayed while at the same time the homeless population is rising. The result is we are falling back into a situation where there isn’t space available. HRM is still expecting the Province to set up 81 pallet shelters here in HRM, but that won’t happen until mid to late summer at the earliest (promised last year initially). Similarly, the tiny home community in Sackville is delayed and won’t be ready until the fall. 902 Man Up’s new transition centre on Main Street in Westphal will open in a few weeks, which will help free up some shelter space, but it won’t be enough. There are at least 250 new spaces coming this year, but they mostly won’t be available until late summer/fall at the earliest. People are once again being forced to live outside. The shortage of space is particularly problematic for youth, couples, and folks dealing with alcoholism.

While HRM doesn’t control or provide shelters or supportive housing, HRM is responsible for almost all of the public space in the municipality. The lack of available shelter space is once again putting the municipality in a bind since it’s impossible for the municipality to ignore people sheltering in our parks. The Province has the jurisdiction and the money, HRM has the immediate problem.

Sheltering outside is awful for the those who have to do it, and it’s also problematic for neighbours and other people who use our public spaces. Across the country, the courts have found that, in the absence of alternatives, people have a charter protected right to shelter in public spaces, which means that HRM can’t move someone unless we can provide an alternative option. People need to be allowed to exist somewhere!

The result is that HRM is once again facing the difficult choice of whether to designate additional public spaces. The choice isn’t no one sheltering outside or enabling outdoor sheltering with designated sites, the actual choice is should HRM try to minimize the harms by directing folks who have no choice but to live outside to specific locations where some services and supports are available or should HRM largely just let people shelter wherever they want. In a society as wealthy as ours, it’s ridiculous that this is the choice it boils down to. We need new public housing and supportive housing. To be fair to the Province, they have made some significant investments over the last year and more is coming, but that doesn’t change the situation in here and now.

I expect HRM will need to designate new locations, but Council might refuse to do that for philosophical and political reasons, which will instead leave encampment locations pretty much completely up to the people living outside. Time will tell where Council lands on that question. If you do note new tent sites popping up, please call 311 so that an outreach worker can check on the situation and see what help HRM can offer.

Ferry Disruptions
It hasn’t been a good month for the ferry. Last week ferry service from Alderney to Downtown Halifax was disrupted three times due to being short staffed. The ferry service is short three people right now and there is no real flexibility left in the system to handle any other absences. When one of the remaining staff calls in sick, the only option is to cancel service. That’s a really unacceptable situation. If we expect people to leave their car at home or even forgo buying a car entirely, transit needs to be reliable. The ferry is generally the most reliable transit option in HRM (it’s never caught in traffic and rarely gets cancelled due to weather), but that reliability wasn’t the case last week. I’m sorry about that. I have been meeting with Transit on this issue and will continue to follow and push for a resolution to this situation and a plan to make sure it doesn’t reoccur in the future.

Sawmill River Flyover
The Sawmill River project is out to tender. Halifax Water has posted the first of two contracts for the project on their website. The scope of the first contract is for the section from the intersection with Portland, Alderney, and Prince Albert (PAPA intersection) to King’s Wharf. What the work includes is extending Dundas Street into Dartmouth Cove via a new bridge, installing a new daylit channel with fish passage, park improvements in Martin’s Park, a multi-use trail, and cutting Mill Lane off from Alderney Drive. The second contract will follow later and will include the rest of the project scope from the PAPA intersection up to where work ended in 2017. Check out the visual below of how this mega-project will look when it’s finished (likely sometime in 2026).

Centre Plan Changes
At our last meeting, Council approved sending proposed changes to the Centre Plan and various suburban plans to a public hearing. The public hearing will take place on May 21 starting at 1:00 pm at City Hall. The goal of the proposed changes is to enable the construction of a lot more housing.

There are lots of reasons why building more housing hasn’t kept pace with population growth, from labour and supply shortages, to the building code, to interest rates. Overly restrictive planning rules is only a piece of the overall issue, but it’s the piece that municipalities have very direct control over. The federal government’s Housing Accelerator Program is designed to help reduce planning barriers by encouraging municipalities to make changes while also providing funding to help pay for it. HRM was already contemplating many changes and Council had already passed motions directing staff work when the federal program was released. The federal program has helped create extra urgency to the work.

In terms of what’s potentially changing, HRM was already in pretty good shape in terms of progressive planning thanks to all the work that was done to create the Centre Plan. The proposed changes don’t rewrite the Centre Plan. What is proposed is still very much true to the Centre Plan’s core structure: the higher density and lower density areas are still very much the same, and the Centre Plan’s design controls remain. What is proposed to change is that both high and low density areas will get a bit denser.

You might remember that when the proposed planning revisions were first released back in January, I did a deep dive into what it all means for District 5. You can read my original post here. Since January, there have been some changes made to the original proposal as a result of public submissions, further work by staff, and Council direction. I’ll try to summarize what it all broadly means for District 5, while drawing out some of the specific revisions from the original proposal.

Established Residential Zoning
The lowest density zoning in the Centre Plan is the established residential zone. Right now, the established residential zone designation is made up of ER-1, ER-2 and ER-3 zones. The number of units allowed under the current rules ranges from 2 – 4. If the proposed changes are approved, all ER-1 and ER-2 zones that aren’t in a potential heritage district will be rezoned to ER-3. The ER-3 zone and the unit count in the ER-3 zone will increase from four to eight units per lot. Whether a lot can actually have eight units, however, will depend on its size. The bigger the lot, the more potential units.

What this means in Dartmouth is that the lowest density areas, like Crichton Park and Manor Park, where large suburban style lots are the norm, 6-8 units could be doable. In areas like Russell and Chappell or older neighbourhoods close to Downtown Dartmouth, lot sizes are typically much smaller, allowing for 4-5 units rather than 6-8. There will of course be variability in neighbourhoods too and lot size isn’t everything. There are design controls layered on top of the unit count including lot coverage (50% on large lots can be built on), height limit (11 metres plus a pitched roof), and Council reinserted bedroom limits. This graphic prepared by HRM staff below shows the mix of gentle density housing types combined with design and lot coverage requirements in the revised ER-3 zones (click to enlarge)

For more details on the proposed changes to the established residential zone, check out this page prepared by the planning department and Councillor Mason’s blog.

Higher Density Zoning
Just like the established residential zones, the higher density zones have generally gained some additional development rights. A new future growth node was added in North Woodside near the intersection of Pleasant Street and the Circ, a new block of corridor zoning is proposed on Victoria Road, and a new stretch of corridor zoning on Windmill Road.

Based on a lot of public feedback from the Brightwood area, staff’s recommendation changed from allowing seven storeys on the Victoria Road corridor to five. Staff identified a more detailed look at Victoria Road as a future possible planning project and that Killam may seek a site-specific development agreement for Victoria Gardens at the corner of Boland and Victoria (policy for properties greater than 1 hectare).

The new Windmill Road Corridor zone was also revised and no longer runs all the way to the Macdonald Bridge, stopping at Jamieson Street instead. The Windmill Road change was made to respect the potential heritage district centred around Victoria Park. The housing between Jamieson and the Bridge will remain established residential. Consistent with the changes made on Victoria Road, the new Windmill Corridor was also reduced from seven storeys to five (seven would still be allowed after Albro Lake Road).

Windmill Road Corridor Zoning now stops at Jamieson

Staff also made a few modifications based on developer requests.

  • The building under construction on Viridian Drive will be allowed to go to six storeys rather than five
  • The vacant property at the corner of Thistle and Maple will be rezoned to higher order residential with a modest three storey height limit given its location in a future heritage district
  • Existing apartment and commercial buildings at 21 and 23 Gaston to be zoned higher order residential with a three storey height limit
  • Pizza Hut property (510 and 520 Portland Street) opposite Penhorn to be rezoned to Higher Order Residential Two with a height limit of 14 stories rather than the 7 permitted under its Corridor zoning

Council Revisions
Council also made a few Dartmouth specific edits at first reading. I directed that Ropewalk Lane off Wyse Road be zoned ER-3 instead of Corridor given that the Lane is already fully developed as townhouses, but mostly because I was concerned that major upzoning on the block would imperil the potential heritage building at 6-16 Ropewalk Lane. I understand that the old townhouses might be housing that was built for the Ropeworks. The Ropeworks factory is now all gone, but it’s influence on Dartmouth North was profound and shaped everything that is Dartmouth North. We should be careful about letting go of the few vestiges of built heritage connected to it. Staff will assess the heritage potential of the townhouses on Ropewalk Lane and the property can be rezoned in future if they turn out not to be worth protecting.

Old townhouses on Ropewalk Lane. A style that common in the United Kingdom but fairly unique here

Council also directed staff to rezone a single lot at the corner of Gaston and Macrae to Higher Order Residential (5 storeys). All of its neighbours on Gaston are already zoned HR-1, but this property seems to have been missed, probably because it has a Macrae address rather than a Gaston one. Council also added a site specific policy to allow for up to two more storeys through a future amendment to the existing development agreement for the approved building on the old Scotiabank property at the corner of Wyse and Nantucket

Minor correction to make the Higher Order Residential Zoning on Gaston extend to the natural break at the corner of Macrae
Two Additional Floors at Wyse and Nantucket

Council did maintain the proposed change in the higher density areas where density is controlled by a height limit (Higher Order Residential and Corridor zones) to measure height in storeys rather than metres. The change is expected to enable alternative construction modes such as wood that require more space per floor. Measuring in metres rather than storeys drives everyone to concrete construction since it minimizes the lost space between floors. Concrete will always provide the most space if height is measured in an absolute measure. Height limits (11 metres) would still apply in the Established Residential zones. In the highest density zones (Centre and Downtowns) the maximum upper limit of 40 storeys will still exist, but that will only really matter on a few sites since floor area ratio is the main control in these areas.

For more information on all of the proposed changes, check out HRM’s webpage here. If you wish to take part in the public hearing later this month, HRM has a guide available here.

Downtown Dartmouth Speed Limits
You might have noticed some new 40 km/hr speed limit signs in Downtown Dartmouth. HRM has received approval from the Province to lower the speed limit from the default 50 km/hr limit to 40 on Downtown Dartmouth’s streets. The following streets have been converted to 40 km/hr zones.

  • Park Avenue
  • Park Lane
  • Church Street
  • Edward Street
  • North Street
  • King Street
  • Queen Street
  • Portland Street (through the Downtown)
  • Wentworth Street
  • Dundas Street
  • Prince Street
  • Victoria Road – Ochterloney Street to Alderney Drive
  • Irishtown Road
  • Green Street

Signage is already in place. Please be respectful of the new limits.

District 5 Volunteers

2024 Volunteer Award Winners
In April, HRM honoured over 100 volunteers from across the municipality at the annual volunteer awards. Volunteers bring a lot to our collective community and HRM’s volunteer awards are a way of celebrating that contribution and saying thank you to all the folks who help make our community an even better place to live. Amongst those honoured were six District 5 residents:

  • Katie Aucoin: Katie has volunteered in a lot of different ways over the years in the soccer world, and has coached hundreds of young players
  • Gillis Keddy: Gillis volunteers at the Salvation Army Centre of Hope kitchen to help ensure that some of our most vulnerable citizens receive nutritious meals
  • Paul Lewis: Paul and his two Border Collies, Grace and Angus, have been regular fixtures at our lakes where Paul puts Grace and Angus to work keeping the Canada Geese off the beaches. Paul was particularly busy last summer at Big Albro
  • Tim Olive: Very much a known face around the community, Tim was Executive Director of the Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission and an MLA. What you might not know is how busy Tim has been volunteering his time on various boards including Dartmouth Non-Profit Housing and Lake City Works.
  • Matthew Serieys: Matthew is a dedicated coach who has helped make soccer a rewarding experience for hundreds of kids
  • Kim Wallace: There is more to running Dartmouth United and United DFC than kids playing soccer. Behind the scenes Kim has been a force in strategic planning and policy development

Congratulations to all of this year’s volunteer award winners and thanks to everyone who volunteers in their community.

Shubenacadie Canal Commission Kayak Raffle
The Canal Commission kayak raffle is back. One lucky person will win two Quest 10 Riot Kayaks complete with paddles, PFDs, and marine safety kits. Funds raised go towards the Commission’s activities to celebrate the Shubenacadie Canal. Tickets are available here.

Public Consultation

Portland Street Planning
You might recall some public engagement around planning for a new transportation plan for Portland Street a few years ago. The project was put on hold due to competing priorities, but work is once again underway. The planning area extends from Bisset Road in Cole Harbour to the intersection of Portland, Alderney, Prince Albert (PAPA). The primary goal of the plan is to incorporate transit priority measures into this crucial corridor and future rapid transit route. HRM is also looking at options for cyclists and pedestrians. The Downtown “main street” blocks aren’t included as they’re a fundamentally different place with limited through traffic and no buses.

How Portland Street changes will vary as the street’s character varies considerably. How Portland Street functions around Five Corners is very different from Portland Valley and Cole Harbour. The next phase of the work will include specific design options. Details on the work done to date is available on HRM’s website here. Below are the opportunities to provide feedback

  • Survey: June 10 – 28
  • Public Open House 1
    Thursday, June 13, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
    Micmac Aquatic Club
  • Public Open House 2
    Monday, June 17, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
    Cole Harbour Place

The public open houses will be drop-in style with display boards and opportunities for discussion with staff.

M District Planning
The second round of public engagement has begun for redeveloping Mic Mac Mall. The Mall was designated as a future growth node in the Centre Plan. Future growth nodes are sites that have a lot of potential to accommodate new growth, but require more detailed site specific planning. The Mall is an ideal redevelopment site as it’s mostly parking lot, it has great transportation access to transit and highways, it’s already a commercial hub, and it’s in close proximity to services such as schools and parks. What still needs to be decided is what form redevelopment will take.

Since the initial round of public engagement, HRM staff and the developer have been working to refine the site plan. Here is a 3d view of the current revised plan:

Notable revisions include the removal of a pedestrian bridge over the Circ, and the addition of a new public park along Micmac Boulevard. A wide mid-rise building was originally identified for the proposed park space. That density has instead shifted to the north to take the form of an additional high-rise where Chapters is now. The lack of public open space to support the 1,000s of new residents who will live around Mic Mac Mall was something that I was concerned about and that came up in the public consultation. I’m happy to see some more thought being put into that.

Also new is a concept plan for Irving’s property (the old Kent).

The Irving property could have new residential fronting on Micmac Boulevard, a parkade to provide parking for the office workers and new residential development.

Where there was a robust all day public open house with phase 1, phase 2 public engagement is an online survey. You can complete the survey and review all the documents for Mic Mac Mall online here.

Slayter Street Bikeway
Wednesday, May 29, 2:00 – 4:00 pm and 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Zatzman Sportsplex

HRM is planning for an open house to discuss the design of Slayter Street. Slayter Street was identified as a local street bikeway in the Integrated Mobility Plan because it provides an important north/south connection. The idea behind local street bikeways is to divert through traffic and reduce vehicle speeds so that cars, bikes, and pedestrians can safely share the space. HRM implemented some interim measures on Slayter including curb extensions and speed tables, but the intent was always to return with a more comprehensive plan. That’s the work that’s underway now and HRM is also looking at how Slayter connects to other potential infrastructure in the area:

In addition to the in person drop-in session, HRM will also have an online survey available on Slayter Street that will go live at the end of May.

Council Update

To keep you informed about what is going on at Council, I’m writing a regular blog after Council meetings. 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. I’m a bit behind lately and haven’t had a chance to write up the most recent meetings, but here’s what happened January – March.

Council Update, March 5
Council initiates planning processes for the Dartmouth waterfront, and Lake Banook, plus planning for a new Aquatics Centre and how that relates to Centennial Pool. Read about it here.

Council Update, January 23
The marketing levy fiasco, a new agreement and funding for the Dartmouth Heritage Museum Society, additional funding for the street navigator program, and the full story behind the big fence on Woodland Avenue. Read about it here.


I’m going to be changing this section on tenders. It has been some work to put together and track (more than I anticipated) and it has become more of a burden after HRM changed up their procurement website. I’m not sure that sharing something like snow clearing contracts at the Bridge Terminal or office renovations at Alderney Gate is really of all that much interest. I’m going to refocus this section to highlight upcoming work that is likely to be relevant to the general public rather than on dollar amounts, closing dates, and contract awards. I haven’t decided exactly what this will look like yet.


Jane’s Walk
Saturday May 4
Sunday May 5

It’s the first weekend in May and that means it’s time for Jane’s Walk. Jane’s Walk is an international event in honour of the legendary urban thinker, Jane Jacobs. Jane’s Walks can be hosted by anyone as the core idea is that we all have something to offer in terms of knowledge and experience. Park walking tour, part conversation, walks touch on a variety of topics. This year’s event includes two Dartmouth walks: an alternative cemetery tour and a stroll through Shubie Park. For details and listings of all the Halifax side walks, visit Jane’s Walk website here.

Dartmouth High Prom Dance and Silent Auction
Saturday, May 4, 7:00 pm – midnight
Brightwood Golf and Country Club

There will be a dance and silent auction at Brightwood Golf and Country Club in support of the Dartmouth High Community Prom. Tickets are $20 at the door.


  1. Your comments on Dartmouth Cove are valid. You should talk to the Mayor. He and Darren Fisher are both neighbours and buddies. Maybe he can have some influence. With regard to the MicMac mall development I am wondering why the high rises are now 40 stories. They were supposed to be 30 stories and in the spring they were 36 now the latest review have them at 40. I do not understand why Council believes we need such height in a very basic neighborhood and why developers constantly get to change the City Centre plan. If it is so easy to change the plan why bother having it???

  2. It’s a sad time for those of us who live around Dartmouth Cove. I haven’t been convinced that the Mayor and our local Liberal MP, with their years of connection to Ottawa , could not have done something more. Our Mayor won’t be running again but I am sure Mr Fisher will be running as an MP or maybe as Mayor. I encourage people who live in the area to consider seriously, who can best represent us when the going gets tough.

  3. You cannot have this new housing on Victoria Road unless the traffic noise from these child minded drivers in their mufferless vehicle are dealt with , if present property owner cannot enjoy the use of their backyards or living rooms then how does HRM expect people to live in building next to this ridiculous level volume of noise of vehicles . Noise is a health hazard and its time HRM /HRP to be proactive and enforce the law

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