E-Newsletter March 2018


World Canoe Championship:
The big breaking news this week is that Canoe Kayak Canada and our local Atlantic Division have been successful in landing the 2022 World Canoe Sprint Championship for Lake Banook. The Worlds are coming to Dartmouth! This will be Dartmouth’s third time hosting the event, which could draw as many as 10,000 spectators. My congratulations to everyone who worked so hard to make the bid a success. The bid includes upgrades to the judge’s tower and other facilities on Lake Banook. There will no doubt also be infrastructure implications for the park spaces around the Lake. I look forward to working with all involved to make sure we put our best foot forward in 2022. If you haven’t seen it, checkout the bid’s Come Paddle With Us video

LAST CALL Community Grants Program 2018-2019
The deadline for HRM’s Community Grants Program is fast-approaching. Registered non-profits must have their applications for 2018/2019 grants in by March 31. For more information checkout the Program Guidebook at www.halifax.ca/business/doing-business-halifax/community-grants.

For general inquiries or assistance with completing an application please contact the Grants & Contributions Office at (902)490-7310 or email nonprofitgrants@halifax.ca. Grants staff are happy to help.

Bell Lofts by Abbott and Brown Architects

Bell Lofts
I have had a few questions about what the new building under construction on Wentworth Street opposite Founders Corner is and how it was permitted as-of-right given its height? Bell Lofts is a new residential/commercial development designed by Abbott and Brown Architects. The Downtown Dartmouth Plan allows as-of-right buildings of five storeys or 70 feet in height, whichever comes first. Roof lines that don’t add more livable space, however, don’t count towards the height calculation. Bell Lofts goes up to 70 feet and then has a very distinctive pitched roof above that. The roof line combined with the fact that it’s at the top of Downtown’s small hill makes it much more visible than most building its size would be.

I like the originality of the design. A refreshing break from the sameness of so much modern architecture. When finished Bell Lofts will have turned a dead-space into homes and livened up the street with new commercial at street-level. It’s the kind of project we need more of Downtown.

Penhorn Mall
Still with development activities, I have been getting lots of questions about what’s happening at Penhorn Mall. Penhorn’s owner, Crombie, is in the midst of taking down most of the old Sears store in preparation for redeveloping the site with as-of-right commercial. It’ll be similar in flavour to what has been built next door with the Sobeys and strip mall. Crombie doesn’t need Council’s approval for that, the zoning already permits the use.

The bigger discussion on Penhorn Mall will come later if Crombie eventually decides to proceed with residential development on the property. The draft Centre Plan has a specific section about Penhorn’s future. The draft proposes to bring forward the visioning process that was carried out in 2009-2012 as the direction to guide future development. This would mean shorter residential buildings around the edges adjacent to Manor Park, larger buildings towards the middle, and a park connection to link Brownlow Park and Penhorn Lake. You can read about what the Centre Plan has to in store for Penhorn here (page 131 has the most detail).

Mayfair Theatre Portland Street, 1967. Photo: HRM Municipal Archives

Portland Street 1967
HRM’s Municipal Archives has been digitizing their collection and an extensive selection of Dartmouth photos has recently been uploaded. The former City of Dartmouth’s planning office systematically photographed every building on Portland in the fall of 1967 between Wentworth and Prince Albert. They went up one side and then down the other. You can step back in time and walk along Portland Street as it appeared more than 50 years on Municipal Archives flickr page here or browse the larger online collection here.

NS Power Fast Charging Station Concept. Photo: NS Power

Electric Vehicle Fast-Charging Network
Nova Scotia Power is moving ahead with plans to install Nova Scotia’s first electric vehicle fast-charging network. This spring, Nova Scotia Power will install a network of 12 Level 3 fast chargers from Yarmouth to Sydney. Capable of recharging an electric vehicle in 15-30 minutes, the charger network will make owning an electric vehicle a more viable option in Nova Scotia. The initiative will also enable NS Power to study the effects of electric vehicle fast chargers on the power system. Natural Resources Canada will provide funding towards the installation of the network. For more information on electric vehicles in Nova Scotia visit www.nspower.ca/ev.

HRM is also looking at what role it might play in enabling the switch to electric. Councillor Karstin requested a staff report late in 2017 on how HRM could encourage the installation of charging stations so the question will come to Council at some point in the future.

Smoke Detectors
Following a fatal house fire in Lower Sackville earlier this month, Halifax Fire is reminding everyone about the importance of working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

In new construction, the building code requires working smoke alarms in each bedroom, on each level, and that all the alarms are linked. The building code though isn’t retroactive, which means that few older homes would be that well covered. In the Lower Sackville fire there was one working smoke detector and fire investigators believe that if there had been more, the outcome could have been different.

The cost of installing smoke alarms can be a barrier for some, which is why HRM has a program called Alarmed and Ready. Applicants to Alarmed and Ready who are struggling financially will be provided smoke or carbon monoxide alarms. You can call 311 to place a request.

With the recent daylight savings time shift, it’s also a good reminder to check the batteries and the expiry date on existing detectors. The National Fire Protection Association recommends alarms be replaced every 10 years.

Public Consultation:

Centre Plan Package A
The Centre Plan’s first set of draft land use policies and regulations have been released for public discussion. Package A focuses on the aeras where the most growth is expected to happen: Centres, Corridors, Higher Order Residential and Future Growth Nodes. In Dartmouth, that’s Pleasant Street by the old Sobeys, Portland Street by Maynard Lake, Grahams Grove, Wyse Road, Penhorn Mall, Highfield, Shannon Park, and Victoria Road near Albro Lake.

A number of engagement sessions for both the public and industry have been scheduled over the next few months, including these Open House sessions in Dartmouth:

  • March 22, 2018 @ 6:00-8:00 pm – NSCC Ivany (Waterfront) Campus, 80 Mawiomi Place, Dartmouth (Cancelled due to inclement weather, will be rescheduled)
  • March 28, 2018 @ 1:00-3:00 pm & 6:00-8:00 pm – Mic Mac Aquatic Club, 192 Prince Albert Road, Dartmouth
  • April 5, 2018 @ 1:00-3:00 pm (lobby) & 6:00-8:00 pm (multi-purpose room), Dartmouth North Community Centre, 105 Highfield Park Drive, Dartmouth.

In addition to engagement sessions, the Centre Plan Storefront is open at 5161 George St. (the corner of George and Hollis streets) in Downtown Halifax. Planning staff will be on site to answer questions about Centre Plan Package A weekdays between 9:30 and 5:00. Please note, the storefront will be closed during public engagement sessions and hours are subject to staff availability.

Aquatic Strategy
HRM is seeking public input in developing an aquatics strategy. There is a short online survey on important issues related to indoor and outdoor community pools, competition aquatic facilities, supervised beaches, and splash pads (Dartmouth Splash Pad!)

The survey can be found at www.halifax.ca/surveys, and will be available until Monday, April 30.

Hollis/Lower Water Street Bike Lanes
HRM is also seeking feedback on the implementation of all ages and abilities bike lanes in Downtown Halifax. HRM is reviewing options for the introduction of protected bike lanes on Hollis Street, Upper Water Street, Lower Water Street, George Street, and Terminal Road.

For more information or to provide feedback online, visit shapeyourcityhalifax.ca/shape-your-city-halifax.

Smart Cities Challenge
HRM is participating in the federal government’s Smart Cities Challenge. The winning municipality will receive $50 million towards addressing a specific issue. HRM’s bid is focussing on improving access to affordable healthy food. As many as one in seven people in HRM suffer from food insecurity, with seniors, low income families, newcomers, people with disabilities and single parents facing the most difficulties. HRM is working with the Halifax Partnership, United Way and others to submit an application by April 24.

For more information, and to participate in the citizen survey, visit smartcitieshfx.ca.

Council Updates:

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 February 27
At this meeting we looked at the proposed Lake Banook Pollution Control Study, Council Code of Conduct complaints, alcohol on Argyle Street and naming rights for the Dartmouth 4-Pad. You can read my take here.

Council Update February 28
An important Budget Committee meeting where Council got its first look at the overall direction for the 2018 budget. All that remains to be done is decide on the options list items (coming up on Wednesday March 28). You can read my take here.

Council Update March 6
The Integrated Mobility Plan put to the test on bike and bus lanes. Also the sale of the Bowles rink. You can read about it here.

Council Update March 20
The Willow Tree development (Quinpool and Robie) returns to Council, Ceasefire funding, Halifax Water’s 2018/2019 Business Plan and zoning in the Woodside Industrial Park. You can read my take here.


Atlantic Master Gardeners – Container Gardening
Tuesday, March 27, 2018 –  7:00 pm
Alderney Gate Public Library, 60 Alderney Drive, Dartmouth
Would you like to grow flowers, vegetables, and herbs, but have limited space? You can actually get a significant amount of produce from containers gardens. This lecture will share what type of containers you can use, what soil and plants can be put in them, and how to look after them. Come out and learn the basics and beyond of container gardening.

Puppet Shows – The Easter Bunny’s Assistant
Wednesday, March 28 – 9:45 – 10:15 am
Alderney Gate Public Library, Dartmouth
The Easter Bunny has a new assistant, but the assistant isn’t quite what you might expect. Group registration required. Tickets given out 30 minutes before.

Downtown Parking from Utility to Mobility – Andy Hill
Wednesday, March 28 – 7:00 pm
Spatz Theatre, Citadel High, Halifax
As part of the Parking Strategy Roadmap, HRM is hosting a public lecture by visiting expert Andy Hill. Hill is Director of Consulting Services at DESMAN Design Management based in Boston. Drawing on his experience from other cities in North America, Hill will share his thoughts on how the Municipality can play a more active role as coordinator and collaborator. His presentation will also touch on how the principles of HRM’s recent Integrated Mobility Plan will lead to a more holistic perspective, which embraces parking as part of an overall mobility strategy.

Easter Fun in Downtown Dartmouth
Saturday, March 31, 2018
Downtown Dartmouth is taking a break from the Easter Egg Hunt this year, but there are several kid-friendly events taking place:

  1. Free greeting card making at The Trainyard General Store from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Suitable for all ages of children through to adult
  2. Free family activities at the Alderney Farmers’ Market from 8 am to 1 pm.
  3. Free Bunny Love Art exhibit at The Dart Gallery – see bunny themed artworks in various media. Huxley the resident bunny might even make a guest appearance.

For more information, and some great promotional deals at Downtown Dartmouth shops, visit http://downtowndartmouth.ca/index.php/events1/easter-weekend-events-in-downtown-dartmouth/

Transitions – Contemporary Textile Art Show by SAQA Atlantic Region
Wednesday, March 28 to April 29, 2018
Craig Gallery, Alderney Landing, Dartmouth
Every life, every city, every human interaction undergoes change; combine this with nature’s changing seasons and landscapes, and a plethora of transitional episodes occur. With a combination of fabrics and threads, along with embellishments in lace, embroidery floss, wool, and found items, including dyeing, painting, colouring or stamping, the artists have hand-stitched or machine quilted their interpretation of the theme ‘Transitions.’ The Transitions exhibition shows some of the finest textile art in Atlantic Canada, including interesting and unusual use of fibre.

Dartmouth Players – Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
April 5-21, 2018
Dartmouth Players Theatre, 33 Crichton Avenue, Dartmouth
Two minor characters from the play ‘Hamlet’ stumble around unaware of their scripted lives and unable to deviate from them. Rosencrantz is an erudite comedy, punning, far-fetched, leaping from depth to dizziness. The play has remained in almost continuous production somewhere in the world ever since.

For ticket and show information: http://dartmouthplayers.ns.ca/

Change of Step presents East Coast Celtic
Saturday, April 7, 2018 – 7:30 pm
Alderney Landing Theatre, 2 Ochterloney Street, Dartmouth
Dream it. Dance it. Live it. With a modern take on traditional highland dancing, Change of Step celebrates the lively music that inspires them to dance in a new theatrical dance production, East Coast Celtic. Together, with world-renowned Cape Breton musicians Dawn and Margie Beaton, Mac Morin and Kenneth MacKenzie, Change of Step, shines a spotlight on the rich traditions of Canada’s East Coast culture and music through an innovative, youthful lens.

For ticket and show information:  http://www.alderneylanding.com/events/index.html

Paint Night at the Dartmouth Seniors Service Centre – Spring Dragonfly
Thursday, April 26, 2018 – 6:30 – 9:00 pm
The Dartmouth Seniors Service Centre, 45 Ochterloney Street, Dartmouth
$25 for members / $35 for non-members
Let your inner artist come to life! No painting experience necessary.  Paints, brushes, aprons, canvases and light refreshments provided.

Mother’s Day Tea at Evergreen, hosted by Claudia Chender, MLA
Saturday, May 12 – 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Dartmouth Heritage Museum
Mother’s Day Tea at Evergreen House. The menu includes freshly made sandwiches, scones and cookies from Karyn’s Cookies & Treats, and, of course, piping hot tea. Guests will be treated to music from siblings, Alistair and Lydia Maksym, and their mother, Jennifer Publicover. They will offer guests an enjoyable and eclectic mix of classical music, traditional music, and jazz.

No charge for the event, but space is limited. Please RSVP to Grace at chenderoutreach@gmail.com or 902-406-2301.

To learn more about the Dartmouth Heritage Museum at http://www.dartmouthheritagemuseum.ns.ca/