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fenwick16
Apr 23, 2010, 11:56 AM
YMCA (South Park Street) development renderings by Michael Napier will be on display at the YMCA (South Park Street) on May 5 and May 6 for public viewing. This development will be through the HRMbyDesign guidelines (let's see how long the approval will take). According to HRMbyDesign guidelines this could be as high as 16 storeys. The plan includes re-development of the CBC building which can go as high as 8 storeys.

PS: The Birch Cove master-plan is being revised to allow Navid Saberi of United Gulf to build one taller building instead of two 12 storey buildings - as requested. I think this is a good idea. Saberi has also stated that the next project to proceed will be the texpark development (twisted sisters). So the Birch Cove project (on the China Town restaurant property) won't be proceeding in the immediate future). (source allnovascotia.com)

terrynorthend
Apr 23, 2010, 12:57 PM
Something for the Halifax Grain Towers??

http://www.emergingterrain.org/storedpotential/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/storedpotential01.jpg

Saw this today and was thinking about the possibilities for the grain towers in Halifax.



http://www.emergingterrain.org/storedpotential/

I've always thought they would make a great canvas for a massive mural. Especially since its one of the first things seen by arriving ships.

Jonovision
Apr 23, 2010, 2:55 PM
YMCA (South Park Street) development renderings by Michael Napier will be on display at the YMCA (South Park Street) on May 5 and May 6 for public viewing. This development will be through the HRMbyDesign guidelines (let's see how long the approval will take). According to HRMbyDesign guidelines this could be as high as 16 storeys. The plan includes re-development of the CBC building which can go as high as 8 storeys.

Great news. I was taking pics up on Citadel Hill the other day and wondering when this proposal would finally surface. I'm really excited. I love Michaels work.

someone123
Apr 24, 2010, 1:20 AM
I also tend to like his projects. They tend to be modern, clean looking, and appropriate to the materials used.

The CBC/YMCA site is interesting in that it really is at the "edge" of the downtown. There's nothing but public space surrounding that corner and it is at the terminus of Bell Road. South Park Street is starting to become more and more of a retail street, but I'm not sure there would be much pedestrian traffic up that way. It wouldn't be a bad spot for a nice restaurant or cafe with lots of outdoor tables since the sidewalk is nice and wide. That whole area has a great feel and is one of the city's highlights. It is similar to the waterfront, where there is a beneficial mix of businesses and public space.

I'd love to see a similar treatment given to the south side of Spring Garden Road across from the gardens as well as the periphery of the Commons.

fenwick16
Apr 24, 2010, 3:03 AM
Great news. I was taking pics up on Citadel Hill the other day and wondering when this proposal would finally surface. I'm really excited. I love Michaels work.

It is interesting that you stated this - "I was taking pics up on Citadel Hill the other day and wondering when this proposal would finally surface". I think the view from the Citadel of Southern Halifax is great. I wonder how many people prefer the view of the city from the Citadel versus how many go to see the harbour. Personally, I always hoped that the Citadel would be surrounded by modern highrises since in my mind this would make a great view frrom the Citadel (some people will think that I am sick - however I just like cities).

someone123
Apr 24, 2010, 3:56 AM
The best argument I think is that people who want harbour views without buildings can get them all over the province - pick a direction, drive an hour or two, and you will have a bunch of harbours with views unobstructed by buildings.

It's the cityscape in Halifax that is unique, and that is complemented by attractive new highrise buildings. One the United Gulf towers are built we'll actually have an improved view with glass towers instead of the Dartmouth refinery.

Jonovision
Apr 24, 2010, 2:41 PM
It is interesting that you stated this - "I was taking pics up on Citadel Hill the other day and wondering when this proposal would finally surface". I think the view from the Citadel of Southern Halifax is great. I wonder how many people prefer the view of the city from the Citadel versus how many go to see the harbour. Personally, I always hoped that the Citadel would be surrounded by modern highrises since in my mind this would make a great view frrom the Citadel (some people will think that I am sick - however I just like cities).

I do actually find the southern view from the Citadel to be more interesting. The topography in this city is very interesting and can only really be appreciated from up high.

Jonovision
Apr 24, 2010, 2:43 PM
I heard about this from a friend last week. Glad to hear its already moving forward. I was not aware of the meeting the article references though. I wonder if it was only for residents of Spring Garden Terrace.
From todays Herald.


Killam begins project with . . . Lego

Neighbours used toy blocks to help company design apartment building


By CHRIS LAMBIE

Business Editor

Building a $17.5-million apart ment in downtown Halifax likely won’t be child’s play for Atlantic Canada’s largest landlord.

But that’s how it started.

At a recent public meeting, a planner working for Killam Prop erties Inc. asked neighbours to use Lego to show what they’d like the 100-unit apartment building to look like. “Rather than coming and say ing, ‘This is our design,’ we want ed people to engage in what they viewed it as being," said Nick Pryce, a project manager with

Terrain Group Inc.

“We had Lego blocks to repre sent

units and said, ‘How would you build these on the site?’ " People came up with some re­markable ideas, including a tall nar row structure that allowed more sunlight into the building, Pryce said. “That’s not to say we’re going to go up with a big, tall tower, but it was one of the interesting analy ses that came out of the process." Killam already owns Spring Garden Terrace, which fronts on Spring Garden Road between Car leton and Summer streets.The plan is to construct another building on what is now a parking lot behind the existing structure, just south of Camp Hill Cemetery. The developer hasn’t decided whether the new building will be connected to Spring Garden Ter race, built in the early 1960s.

“I know it sounds crazy, but as a planner, I try to sort of engage the community in the design," Pryce said. “The residents actually identified challenges with join ing it to the existing building. So we’re probably looking at trying maybe to do it stand-alone."

Michael Napier Architecture is now coming up with a design for the building, he said.

“Part of the challenge that’s faced at the moment with trying to do development is people have a negativity toward the word den sity, which is probably a reflec tion of the post-World War era of planning and social housing that occurred, versus getting over the concept of it’s not density, it’s more about the design," Pryce said.

“You’ll never please everybody. But how can we do a design that stands up?"

He acknowledged some people who live in the area will likely op pose the new building.

But it will allow “more people to have and enjoy the opportuni ties that existing residents in the area have, which is the cafes, the shops, the access to public trans port, utilizing the parks in the area, walking versus being car dependant, being near the hospi tals, the universities. Those are all assets that we should be mak ing sure we capitalize on," Pryce said.

“It’s an excellent location," said Robert Richardson, Killam’s executive vice-president.

The company bought Spring Garden Terrace about five years ago. The longtime property buyer announced last month that it was planning to become a developer as well, issuing $44 million worth of new shares to pay for various projects.

“This would be our first devel opment in Halifax," Richardson said.

Spring Garden Terrace is 11 storeys high. But Killam doesn’t know yet how tall the new build­ing will be, he said.

“It really is open for discus sion," Richardson said. “The thing is, the additional hundred units is the number we’re work ing with in terms of a viable num ber on that site. There’s a real push by the city to increase densi ty on the peninsula. . . . All the amenities are here on the penin­sula. All the services for water and sewer are already here. We would be meeting one of their ob jectives with this."

(clambie@herald.ca)

someone123
Apr 24, 2010, 10:22 PM
Interesting. That is a good spot for a new building.

It's definitely true that it's best to present questions on how to design buildings to the public rather than ask whether or not they will be built. If you ask most people if they want a highrise next door they will mostly just say no and there won't be much productive dialog. If you ask for their suggestions, you can get concrete information to improve the development for everybody.

Jonovision
Apr 25, 2010, 3:32 AM
Interesting. That is a good spot for a new building.

It's definitely true that it's best to present questions on how to design buildings to the public rather than ask whether or not they will be built. If you ask most people if they want a highrise next door they will mostly just say no and there won't be much productive dialog. If you ask for their suggestions, you can get concrete information to improve the development for everybody.

Exactly! And I hope this and the process of the Fenwick Tower redevelopment are maybe signs of things to come. Maybe someday we will live in a city where all major projects are designed in part by the community.

Dmajackson
Apr 25, 2010, 1:28 PM
Mosque built via rock of faith
Muslims, barred from taking a traditional mortgage, get behind Halifax’s Ummah community centre
By BILL POWER Business Reporter
Sun. Apr 25 - 4:53 AM

THE BANK of Canada may be warning about higher interests ahead but the people behind one of Halifax’s more ambitious construction projects are unconcerned. They will finish their $6-million building without borrowing a penny.

Almost all of the Ummah Mosque and Community Centre, nearing completion in west-end Halifax, was constructed without the traditional sort of North American mortgage obtained by most businesses, institutions and individuals undertaking big construction jobs.

"In Islamic tradition, it is prohibited to deal with interest," said Hadi Salah, principal of the Maritime Muslim Academy. "This project is built mostly by fundraising and the community has been quite generous."

The academy is in a former school at 6225 Chebucto Rd. About 25,000 Muslims call Halifax and Nova Scotia home.

"Certainly, we have had lots of generous support from all around the province," said Salah. When the mosque and community centre opens to the public at the end of the year, it will be paid for. There will be no outstanding mortgage payments to worry about.

Of course, it has been slow going at times.

Salah said some portions of the project could only proceed as funds became available.

Supporters could not borrow money with expectations of paying down the debt later, which is the way many congregations and community organizations advance construction projects.

A single fundraising dinner for the project raised about $340,000. When young people were asked to donate the contents of their piggy banks to the project, they came up with $22,000.

It is the way community centres get built in the Muslim tradition.

"We have received very much support in so many fundraising efforts," Salah said.

"And we’re not finished yet. We still have another $2 million to go to complete construction."

The fundraising will continue on May 29 when supporters of the mosque and community centre and will host another Ummah Day.

Ummah translates as community and Salah said the community component of the project is important.

The province contributed $767,000 toward the construction cost of the gym, while a $10,000 municipal grant will be used to purchase athletic equipment.

Salah said the community centre will be open to Muslims and people of different faiths. The mosque will take up about one-third of the 25,000-square-foot complex, which includes a gymnasium, library and cafeteria.

Najah Attig, an expert in Islamic financial traditions who teaches at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, said many Canadian financial institutions are learning about how the purchase of a new home or other business transactions are handled in ways that allow people of Muslim faith to participate with a clear conscience.

In recent years, more financial institutions have learned how to prepare Sharia-compliant mortgages, in which the lending institution retains title as the homebuyer makes payments that lead to ownership. "In Islamic tradition, the financial institution is truly a partner is the process," said Attig.

( bpower@herald.ca )

JET
Apr 26, 2010, 2:54 PM
It's the cityscape in Halifax that is unique, and that is complemented by attractive new highrise buildings. One the United Gulf towers are built we'll actually have an improved view with glass towers instead of the Dartmouth refinery.[/QUOTE]

Sounds like you're not fond of the refinery view. :)

Jonovision
Apr 26, 2010, 4:35 PM
I went to a recital in the Conservatory the other day and got a nice close up view of the new Mosque. I really like it. A good mixture of glass and brick with some very nice detailing. I also like that you can now see the two domes from the top of Citadel Hill.

terrynorthend
Apr 27, 2010, 1:15 AM
I went to a recital in the Conservatory the other day and got a nice close up view of the new Mosque. I really like it. A good mixture of glass and brick with some very nice detailing. I also like that you can now see the two domes from the top of Citadel Hill.

I have a nice view of it from my bedroom window :) very nice building.

sdm
Apr 27, 2010, 12:16 PM
How much are we paying for NFB redevelopment?

By ROGER TAYLOR Business Columnist
Tue. Apr 27 - 4:53 AM

The owners of the former National Film Board property on Barrington Street in Halifax are getting help from taxpayers to redevelop their building.

But just how much help is alarming some people.

Only a façade has remained at 1572 Barrington St. since a 1991 fire destroyed the structure built in the 1880s as the home of the St. Mary’s Young Men’s Total Abstinence and Benevolent Society.

The crumbling façade, supported by steel girders, has become a favourite spot for graffiti artists and litterbugs and is probably the ugliest blight on historic Barrington Street.

So it’s a good thing that the location is about to be revived.

Businessmen Chris Tzaneteas and Costa Elles, partners in Eat It Two Entertainment — owner of Opa Greek Taverna, the Argyle Bar and Grill, and Mosaic, all on Argyle Street, and a new bar that will soon replace Seven on Grafton Street — plan to spend about $8 million on a new six-storey building that will front on Barrington Street and extend back to sit on top of the Argyle.

I wasn’t able to contact either Tzaneteas or Elles on Monday, but according to an earlier report, they want to create 50 apartments above commercial space. The apartments might be known as the Lofts at the NFB.

But only the part of the building fronting on Barrington Street is eligible for funding under heritage conservation incentives.

Tzaneteas described the situation this way in an earlier story: "In our particular case, they’ve drawn a line down the middle of the property and they’ve said that only the portion on Barrington Street qualifies."

Meanwhile, in a report sent to council last week, staff acknowledged that the estimated amount of incentive for which the NFB property would be eligible is higher than what other downtown projects of comparable size might get "due to the scope and the construction work and the recommended forgiveness of the $175,950 cost of the façade stabilization."

City staff wrote that the high incentive is a reasonable premium to pay to ensure that the NFB project moves ahead, especially considering the city will benefit from the added tax money it will get when the structure is completed.

Nonetheless, staff want the incentive capped.

"To ensure that adequate funds are available for other future restoration and renovation projects in the district, staff recommend that the level of incentive for the NFB project be capped at $700,000, depending on the final cost estimates for the project."

At least one major taxpayer in downtown Halifax says he’s concerned that too much money is going to one project.

Property developer and landlord Louis Reznick told me that the heritage grants were designed for the preservation of old buildings, not for new construction.

With only the façade of the original building remaining, Reznick wonders why regional council would consider incentives for anything beyond helping to reintegrate the façade into the new structure.

Reznick, who owns several well-known buildings downtown, says his company is entitled to a heritage grant to fix up the façade of the former Sam the Record Man store and tax credits for work it does to the old building but not for a planned addition on top.

In the meantime, I’m not sure if the heritage incentive is enough to get construction on Tzaneteas and Elles’s apartment building started by this summer.

Jonovision
Apr 27, 2010, 12:55 PM
It's kind of ironic that after so many years of people bashing and complaining about new modern developments, the first time we start to see some good heritage redevelopment in the downtown it is slammed.

sdm
Apr 27, 2010, 1:08 PM
It's kind of ironic that after so many years of people bashing and complaining about new modern developments, the first time we start to see some good heritage redevelopment in the downtown it is slammed.

Yeah i don't get this either.

DigitalNinja
Apr 27, 2010, 1:38 PM
Me either.

And I don't think that price is to bad to get rid of an eye sore.

Keith P.
Apr 27, 2010, 1:54 PM
This is not "heritage redevelopment". It is a taxpayer subsidy for facadism of a structure that should have been demolished nearly 20 years ago. It retains none of the heritage aspects of the original property except the facade. It is a very poor use of taxpayer funds.

hali_toones
Apr 27, 2010, 3:21 PM
I have no problem with this. Can it be assumed that this site has been paying property tax since the fire? If so, I think you can credit some of that back to the owner/developer.


If this property gets redeveloped plenty of the heritage types will be crowing about... lets give it to them.

someone123
Apr 27, 2010, 9:08 PM
It is kind of a weird situation. In practical terms I would say that it is clearly worth having the city spend $700,000 or so in order to deal with a site that has been a problem for over 15 years.

I hope the project gets going soon because the site looks absolutely awful.

someone123
Apr 28, 2010, 5:12 AM
Allnovascotia is reporting that TAO is moving to the Freemasons' Hall on Barrington from Bayers Lake.

Is anything in the old Junk and Foibles spot?

Barrington has a fair amount of momentum right now. If this continues, maybe it'll be a viable street again. It kind of needs everything to come together at more or less the same time so that there's enough going on to make it a worthwhile destination. Hopefully we'll see work begin on the Sam the Record Man buildings and NFB and more new retail tenants.

Not sure what the Keith Building's status is.

sdm
Apr 28, 2010, 11:31 AM
Proposed Barrington Street development starting to take shape

By ROGER TAYLOR Business Columnist
Wed. Apr 28 - 4:53 AM






Restaurateur and developer Chris Tzaneteas is betting Halifax’s historic Barrington Street is about to make a comeback.

He may soon become the new owner of the Tip Top Tailors building at 1592 Barrington St.. He has an accepted offer on the building after an earlier deal to sell to another purchaser fell apart. Tzaneteas told me Tuesday, if everything goes as planned, he should be able to take ownership of the property in June.

Tzaneteas and his business partner, Costa Elles, own Eat It Two Entertainment, which operates a number of restaurants and bars: Opa Greek Taverna, The Argyle Bar and Grill, and Mosaic Social Dining, all on Argyle Street. And opening on May 6, a new bar called G Lounge in the spot once occupied by Seven Wine Bar and Restaurant on Grafton Street.

The G stands for Grafton, he says.

On Tuesday, I wrote about the Tzaneteas and Elles’ plan to build a new apartment building at 1572 Barrington St., formerly known as the St. Mary’s Young Men’s Total Abstinence and Benevolent Society Hall, and more recently, the Halifax home of the National Film Board of Canada, until the building was destroyed by fire in 1991.

However, Tzaneteas says the project is much larger than first thought. Now, $15 million will be spent to create an 88,000-square-foot, 52-unit apartment complex, with 18,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor.

And it will involve two historic buildings, not just one.

The plan now includes the Farquhar Building at 1558 Barrington St., at the corner with Blowers Street, he says, which is currently known for the Venus Pizza shop.

Both the NFB building and the Farquhar building will be linked by building around the Brander Morris Building at 1566 Barrington St., which is owned by Halifax landlord and developer Louis Reznick, who has expressed concern about his neighbour’s development plans.

While Reznick has complained that Tzaneteas and Elles may have been getting too much of the heritage funding, provided as an incentive for maintaining the historic character of Barrington Street, Tzaneteas says he’s not receiving any more than any other property owner on the street.

"We’re talking about $100,000 maximum for each one (of the buildings), for the restoration of the facade. The rest of the money is in tax credits, which means the taxpayers are not out any money at all. It’s money that the city is not currently collecting."

In total, Tzaneteas says he will receive about $500,000 in grants and tax credits and the forgiving of a $175,000 loan from the city, which dates back to 1991 and was used to pay for steel beams erected to support the facade of the burned-out building.

Tzaneteas says there was always an agreement between the city and the previous owner to forgive that $175,000 when the property redeveloped. So when he and his partner acquired the property about five years ago that agreement came with the deal.

"We’re talking about a development that will be very positive for the downtown. We’re talking about infrastructure that already exists. It’s already policed . . . streets are cleaned, it’s already snowplowed; I could go on and on about the benefits of development in the downtown."

Tzaneteas says the plans for the building have been completed and he has applied for a pre-development permit from the city. If things go as planned, the earliest construction will begin is October.

( rtaylor@herald.ca)

fenwick16
Apr 28, 2010, 11:56 AM
This development just keeps getting better and better. $15 million should build quite a significant complex. Having 18,000 square feet of retail is another plus.

beyeas
Apr 28, 2010, 12:18 PM
Allnovascotia is reporting that TAO is moving to the Freemasons' Hall on Barrington from Bayers Lake.

Is anything in the old Junk and Foibles spot?

Barrington has a fair amount of momentum right now. If this continues, maybe it'll be a viable street again. It kind of needs everything to come together at more or less the same time so that there's enough going on to make it a worthwhile destination. Hopefully we'll see work begin on the Sam the Record Man buildings and NFB and more new retail tenants.

Not sure what the Keith Building's status is.

Gotta say, the idea of a business moving FROM Bayers to Barrington makes me smile. And TAO is exactly the sort of small business who I think could do quick well in the downtown/southend.

halifaxboyns
Apr 28, 2010, 6:49 PM
Gotta say, the idea of a business moving FROM Bayers to Barrington makes me smile. And TAO is exactly the sort of small business who I think could do quick well in the downtown/southend.

That is awesome news! Spring Garden has always remained strong and Quinpool has been iffy, but still holding on okay. Gottingen and Barrington have been on life support or given the perverbial "He's dead Jim" from doctor McCoy (sorry, I met Leonard Nimoy in Vulcan on the weekend, I couldn't help it).

Now all we need to go (after getting the businesses there) is get some more residential density into downtown to promote people to walk around and explore the businesses there and they should do well!

someone123
Apr 28, 2010, 8:37 PM
I wonder if the building on Blowers next to the Farquhar Building will be included in the redevelopment?

The cost breakdown for NFB looks pretty reasonable. It's mostly tax breaks, except for a small amount of money for facade improvements, something that directly benefits the public. I'm not sure failing to recover $175,000 spent in the mid-90s to stabilize the facade counts as "funding" - it seems like this was a bit of a pipe dream back then, and maybe something necessary to get it funded through council. Whether or not it was a good decision is beside the point now.

Barrington was bad back in the 90s but a couple of years ago it was doing relatively well, and it was generally on the upswing since about 2000. I think a lot of the recent fall backward has been somewhat artificial since many of the vacancies are due to redevelopment or buildings changing hands. It's not a depressed street, it's a fairly attractive street but one where people were holding off on investment because of the promise of future funding. There are still people willing to spend a lot of money there, which is a good sign.

kph06
Apr 29, 2010, 10:43 AM
Interesting interview from The Coast with Louis Reznick about Barrington Street. Source: The Coast (http://www.thecoast.ca/RealityBites/archives/2010/04/27/coast-exclusive-interview-with-louis-reznick)

Coast exclusive: interview with Louis Reznick
Major Barrington Street owner lays out plans for the Roy, Sam the Record Man and Ginger’s Tavern buildings, and discusses his vision for downtown Halifax.
Posted by Carsten Knox on Tue, Apr 27, 2010 at 3:16 PM

As Coast special issues editor and Shoptalk reporter Carsten Knox was preparing for this week’s Shoplocal issue, which will concentrate on Barrington Street, he caught up with property baron Louis Reznick, who owns the Roy Building, the Morris Tea building, the former Sam the Record Man and Ginger’s Tavern buildings, and the buildings housing Freak Lunchbox and Attica. Reznick granted Knox this exclusive interview.

Q. What is your vision for Barrington Street?

A. Well, it’s not a vision, really. It’s a belief that the current trend will continue. The current trend is that the retailers of the past will continue to exit. We would hope that they stay, but I think that the downtown, as in most major cities, is undergoing a huge change.

What you see in other cities is more people moving and living downtown. I believe that will happen in Halifax. The reason it hasn’t happened so far is there’s nowhere for them to live. The new planning strategy, the new MPS [Municipal Planning Strategy], calls for residential downtown. The planners had anticipated that happening, you had the Twisted Sisters approved, I think there was one or two around the Keith’s Brewery approved. You had two or three buildings approved for people to start moving downtown, and they probably would have had they been built. You keep on blaming planners and you keep on blaming the city, but it’s really developers are to blame. They’ve knocked down buildings and proposed developments and not gone on to do them. Without people you don’t have the wherewithal to have the new types of businesses, back to the vision. I envision people coming downtown.


Today’s entertainment is going out for dinner, looking at books, looking at magazines, travel agencies, more service types businesses and mercantile, retail type stores. If you’re going to have retail, they’re the type of stores that people want to spend time in. More for home furnishings, maybe lifestyle type store, maybe even car dealerships, Vespa dealerships, bicycle shops, sporting shops, those kinds of things. Shoe stores, clothing stores, I don’t believe…listen, I would love for those stores to come down to Barrington Street, I’d be the first to want to rent them space. I just don’t believe that’s in the cards. If you go shopping for retail items, if you want a pair of shoes, you want to go to a place where they have four or five shoe stores. You’re not going to get that on Barrington Street anymore, the rents are too high.
And that’s another thing, you have stores that are leaving, because their business model doesn’t work on Barrington Street anymore, like a Carsand Mosher. It’s clear. So they leave and they demand a high, high price for their building, as they should... but they leave a store that’s a mess. It’s got a leaky roof, it’s got windows with seals that are broken, they are terrible buildings. The city has gone forward with grants and tax incentives to do this, and yet it’s hundreds of thousands of dollars to fix those stores, plus the cost of the building itself. So you can’t then go ahead and renovate the building and rent it to a store that’s going to sell greeting cards. They’re just not going to make enough money to pay that rent. So, you’re going to have to have more creative-type stores that are able to make a living and pay the rent and attract other people to Barrington Street. A perfect example is Freak Lunchbox: It’s doing well with tourists and the people who work downtown, it’s a destination. People will come down and bring the kids. And then they tried to do the Peepshow Girly Boutique. They’re imaginative, creative entrepreneurs, but they found it difficult to make a go of it. I think they had a good go, I think they were doing rather well, maybe not up to their expectations. But they did do business there. I think the problem is you need other retailers to come downtown to buy a pair of jeans and then go somewhere else to buy a hair band, or who knows what else.

So, I think there’s not a vision so much as a hope that businesses will come downtown. You have offices downtown, there are places that are needed for those working people to use. And when you have residential so you have the same amount of people down there during the day as you do at night, then businesses can survive. Businesses don’t survive on 9-5 anymore. And transportation is great on Barrington Street. If the convention centre comes along, hopefully, you’ve got the Citadel up above and the water down below, centre ice, right? There’s no question it will continue. Is it having a bump in the road? Most certainly. Not because of people like me, not because of individual store owners, it’s just a change. It’s sort of in a midlife crisis, but not of its own accord. It needs a residential base to move forward in this era. Otherwise, the price of gas, the lack of parking, which isn’t special to Halifax, you want people living in Halifax who can walk and ride their bicycles to these stores, which will come once you have people who will shop in them. But you can’t have stores come and hope that people will just show up at their doorstep.

In the meantime there are a lot of people who would like to work downtown. There are a lot of stores that will survive in the present state with the amount of foot traffic on Barrington Street. The cultural side of things, the arts are downtown, the museums are downtown, NSCAD, the waterfront. It’s not like nothing is happening.

It’s not only the residential developers who haven’t put their best foot forward. You’ve got little shopkeepers who are doing their best to keep their store tidy and whatever, but there are some who haven’t done anything to their business in a long, long time. Sitting on their property, which is their right, they run their businesses and watch their real estate appreciate, but they’re not really changing their businesses. There’s a lot of things that in a perfect world could happen quicker. You’ve got the library that’s going to be built in the next few years on Spring Garden. The cultural hub is and always will be downtown. People will come. The problem is we don’t want to rely on tourists, we want people living downtown. By we, I mean everybody: the planners that plan for it, the city needs it.

The city, for all its good intentions, they have landscape and street furniture plans for Barrington, which should have been done. Make the streetscape a little more presentable, maybe some green and benches. There are other things that can be done and are in the cards. Unfortunately they have priorities for the money… they take from the downtown but don’t want to put back. All the tax that comes out of the downtown is enormous, and what is it they put back, a few dollars in grants? Their grant money is really our grant money. We do a renovation and the next thing that happens our taxes go up tremendously, and they get even more taxes than what they give us in grants. That’s a vicious circle for downtown developers and entrepreneurs.

[B]Q. What are your plans for the Roy building? You submitted reconstruction plans for the building that could go either commercial office space or residential, but lately we’ve heard that you’ve decided on a residential building. Also, we’ve had conflicting reports about the present tenants in the building---some say they’re being evicted, but others, new renters, tell us they’ve been promised a year in the Roy building.

A. I wouldn’t say anybody’s been guaranteed to be there a year. I don’t do the rentals, but I doubt very much. I won’t say factually, but I certainly hope it won’t be a year. It will be an office building. We’ll leave the residential on Barrington to Medjuck [editor’s note: Frank Medjuck has applied to rebuild the old Eaton’s department store (present day Discovery Centre) building as a 20-storey apartment building.]

You’ve got to realize, the new plan calls for a maximum height of six storeys. Which won’t allow for a lot of the buildings to be redeveloped to six storeys given the very nature of the buildings. You can look at the one being planned for the NFB space. Even if they do the planned development and even if it works out the way they’re proposing it, that entails Barrington Street and some space over on top of Argyle buildings. I think that calls for 40 or 50 units. That’s a huge piece for Barrington Street. There is nothing where you can get big buildings on Barrington Street. To do a little apartment with four or five suites in it, that’s fine, but that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about condo buildings, 200-suiters. Like the Keith’s property or the Twisted Sisters. That’s what you need. You need affordable downtown development, not a few apartments here and there on top of a storefront. That’s good but it isn’t going to solve the need. You need good density to support park infrastructure, maybe a couple schools, NSCAD, which would gobble up 100 or 200 lower cost units. Louis Lawen [developer of the Trillium building on Spring Garden Road] doing buildings as far as I understand… he rents them up as soon as they’re built. The desire is there and the need for big residential.

The Roy could be a good spot for residential, the problem being it’s just too expensive. I don’t think the numbers work for residential. The market is there. I would love to do a residential building, if the means were there, if an affordable piece of land was there. And I could do it. I’m not a residential guy, anyway. I’ve done it; it’s just not something I’m into. We like building, owning and managing our properties. With residential, you sell them and you’re done. I’m not a cookie-cutter type of guy. We’re busy with what we’re doing. You’ve got a bunch of good residential developers in town. Hopefully those opportunities will come up. Not to say if a good deal came up I wouldn’t do it!

We have a great plan with The Roy. That building will fit into the conservation district that’s now been legislated into the HRM. We have a great plan looking forward to the office building. Yes, it’s taller that what the new plans call for and that’s why it was grandfathered into the old municipal planning strategy. If it were to be passed we would build it right away. Just think of another 100,000 square feet of office space, bringing more people standing at bus stops during the day. At night, what would go into the base of that tower, there are six floors. It will be a structure that to all appearances would be like The Roy. We’re planning health clubs in there. All these workers downtown, don’t you think they want a gym to go to at night? Or a good yoga place with showers and proper facilities? Places where you can lounge and dine or just dessert, read something or hang around, like an Indigo Books. The gym won’t come without a bookstore, the bookstore won’t come without a coffee shop, but if I have that social structure, which we have called for with some venue space, maybe some galleries in it. There’s your cultural heritage in so far as usage is concerned. Heritage isn’t just a vision of an old building sitting there, heritage is cultural also. How about people just wanting to come stay on Barrington Street? The guy who leaves work at 5 o’clock, is he in a rush to get home? He might stick around for a couple hours if he’s got a place to go. It’s an important and integral part to the puzzle. Just because it’s not going to be residential and just because it’s not going to be an old, broken-down building doesn’t mean it doesn’t fit onto the street. There’s some real historic merit to having certain usages on that street that can’t be there because you don’t have the space for it. The old buildings can’t accommodate the types of buildings that people need today to do the things people need on Barrington and downtown.

Q. What about the Sam the Record Man and Ginger’s Tavern buildings?

A. We have lots of interest. Going back to the Roy, we have great hope that a lot of our tenants will stay with us. We haven’t closed yet [on the Carsand Mosher Building], we’ve contracted to buy it, which has 5,000 square feet of office space there. Sam’s is going to have another 15,000 square feet of office space. First dibs will go to our existing tenants. With Sam’s we are quite confident that as the space is finished it will be filled.

Q. Will tenants’ rent go up?

A. We’ll work it out. Renovations are a moving target. It’s quite, quite expensive. The expected increase for the most part would be common area costs, the cost of maintaining the space, taxes, but having said that, costs that we’re eating on a building like The Roy. You can eat off the floors, the building is immaculate. Outside, the brick is balding, the windows aren’t being replaced. There aren’t two windows that look the same. And it’s not what we’ve done, we bought it in anticipation of renovating it or having to do something major to it. As it turns out, it was too major to do anything, which is why we went for redevelopment. But if you’re looking at paying more, we try and keep within a range. The market can only bear so much. We’re not going to be attracting the Stewart McKelvey law firms into our buildings. So the partnerships we create with our tenants, we know the kinds of rent they can afford and we try to build to accommodate for them. Well try to keep them in line.

Q. What about your other downtown properties?

A. The Morris Tea Building---it’s a heritage building. We’ve been working on it for a year. It’ll be ready this fall. We do have tenants for it. We’ve done 14 projects, unbeknownst to a lot of people. We finished one on Gottingen last year. We just keep motoring along. I think our tenants, for the most part, are happy. We carry a lot on our shoulders for a lot of things that other people are doing. I think we’re doing a really good job, and we’re trying our best, that’s for sure. We encourage everyone to take pride in the street. If we have an opportunity come up and it works, that’s our business. Our business is owning and managing real estate. To do that you have to have tenants, and those tenants we consider our partners. And we’ve got a tremendous bunch of tenants. I can almost call them friends. I can almost walk into buildings and know most of them. And I’m not there, so my staff of course knows them all. And it’s great. We’ve built up a great relationship. I love the creativity, there’s a great undercurrent in Halifax. In the 10 years I’ve been there, more of the college grads are staying. You can definitely feel the youth, and that vibe. I just enjoy it. It’s got a great cultural slant to it, and a warmth. A small town feel, big town assets.

Jonovision
Apr 29, 2010, 6:53 PM
A very strange article. I don't know if its the editing or Reznick himself. His thoughts are all over the place and seem to not always make sense. And I don't know if he really even answered any of the questions. And then it stated that Louis Lowen was constructing the Trillium. Not true. Very strange indeed. I can see why it wasn't printed.

DigitalNinja
Apr 29, 2010, 8:11 PM
From what I read of the Coast... The majority of their articles are biased, writing style sucks, or the editing sucks.

someone123
Apr 29, 2010, 8:24 PM
The Discovery Centre is also not in the old Eaton's building, it's in the old Zeller's building.

I think there are some good points in there about costs and the trade-offs that developers have to evaluate. It does sound a bit scattered but that's normal if you let somebody talk at length after a very open-ended question.

I agree that it's not a very well-written article, and yeah, the quality of writing in The Coast is for the most part pretty poor.

terrynorthend
Apr 29, 2010, 10:17 PM
The Discovery Centre is also not in the old Eaton's building, it's in the old Zeller's building.



And I think the proposal is down to 16 stories now, not 20.

someone123
Apr 29, 2010, 10:23 PM
And I think the proposal is down to 16 stories now, not 20.

Yep. As I mentioned in that project thread, I was not so thrilled with it initially but I am looking forward to seeing revised renderings.

Reznick has a good point about how putting a few dozen apartments here or there is not going to help Barrington. The street needs thousands of new residents nearby to turn it into a busy, viable shopping district, something that most people seem to want it to be. It's very true that simply renovating storefronts is not going to do it - you need the local economy to serve and right now it's not there for Barrington Street. Gottingen has the same structural problem which is rapidly being solved, not through window dressing but by bringing in lots of new people and new money.

fenwick16
Apr 30, 2010, 6:24 AM
Yep. As I mentioned in that project thread, I was not so thrilled with it initially but I am looking forward to seeing revised renderings.

Reznick has a good point about how putting a few dozen apartments here or there is not going to help Barrington. The street needs thousands of new residents nearby to turn it into a busy, viable shopping district, something that most people seem to want it to be. It's very true that simply renovating storefronts is not going to do it - you need the local economy to serve and right now it's not there for Barrington Street. Gottingen has the same structural problem which is rapidly being solved, not through window dressing but by bringing in lots of new people and new money.

Hopefully Halifax residents will accept this - that having a vibrant city means allowing higher density in order to justify high land prices downtown. Otherwise major developments will be forced to locate in the suburbs. If you look at Toronto, most of the condos going up in the downtown core are in the 30 - 50 storey range. In Halifax this might translate to 10 - 20 floors (this is purely a subjective view). However, I realize that Barrington Street is worth preserving (hopefully it will be feasible for development at low building height and density). I think that building heights should have been allowed to be higher in other downtown areas - then the additional property tax could have been used to subsidize Barrington Street.

fenwick16
Apr 30, 2010, 12:45 PM
According to the allnovascotia.com, Dalhousie University is planning to build a new $30 -$35 million dollar residence for about 300 students. It should be complete by September 2012 and be on LeMarchant.

beyeas
Apr 30, 2010, 12:47 PM
According to the allnovascotia.com, Dalhousie University is planning to build a new $30 -$35 million dollar residence for about 300 students. It should be complete by September 2012 and be on LeMarchant.

Hmm... I wonder where on LeMarchant? I can't think of any empty lots, so maybe they are taking down some of the "homes" that they own and had converted to office space.

hoser111
Apr 30, 2010, 1:36 PM
I caught the tail end of a news snippet the other night that was talking about Dal and mentioned a $30M price tag that also included a new sports facility to replace Dalplex....perhaps this is part of the same.

fenwick16
Apr 30, 2010, 1:51 PM
I caught the tail end of a news snippet the other night that was talking about Dal and mentioned a $30M price tag that also included a new sports facility to replace Dalplex....perhaps this is part of the same.

It is described in more detail in this report (http://campusplan.dal.ca/Files/Report_Sept_2009.pdf) on page 24 (of 206 pages). It will be 6 floors of 30,000 square feet per floor with the first 2 floors being offices and student services.

beyeas
Apr 30, 2010, 2:34 PM
It is described in more detail in this report (http://campusplan.dal.ca/Files/Report_Sept_2009.pdf) on page 24 (of 206 pages). It will be 6 floors of 30,000 square feet per floor with the first 2 floors being offices and student services.

Ahhh ok.

This is where it is going:
http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=rf5dm99q0rrk&scene=43569442&lvl=2&sty=b

worldlyhaligonian
May 2, 2010, 3:47 PM
Anybody have any picture updates or phototours that they can upload??

I'm out of province for the next 6 months and am dying for some updates on the Trillium, NSP, Vic, etc

fenwick16
May 2, 2010, 4:03 PM
Anybody have any picture updates or phototours that they can upload??

I'm out of province for the next 6 months and am dying for some updates on the Trillium, NSP, Vic, etc

I am not in the Halifax area, however, here are a couple of webcam sites with good steaming views of the waterfront with the NS Power building, and you can see the Vic crane also. If the Salter Street and United Gulf projects go ahead then these will give daily progress images.

http://www.halifaxwebcam.ca/live/index.php?CURRENT_CAM=bishopslanding&SET_CAM=bishopslanding (this has several different views)

http://www.nspower.ca/en/home/community/lowerwaterstreetrelocation/default.aspx (this has three different views of the NS Power building - click one of the images at the bottom)

Dmajackson
May 2, 2010, 4:04 PM
Anybody have any picture updates or phototours that they can upload??

I'm out of province for the next 6 months and am dying for some updates on the Trillium, NSP, Vic, etc

I've being edging to see some updates too. I only ever have time at night to go in town ...

Hopefully somebody else has a camera because the last four weeks have been horrible for me and it doesn't look like I'll have time for at least a couple of weeks.

worldlyhaligonian
May 2, 2010, 5:00 PM
I am not in the Halifax area, however, here are a couple of webcam sites with good steaming views of the waterfront with the NS Power building, and you can see the Vic crane also. If the Salter Street and United Gulf projects go ahead then these will give daily progress images.

http://www.halifaxwebcam.ca/live/index.php?CURRENT_CAM=bishopslanding&SET_CAM=bishopslanding (this has several different views)

http://www.nspower.ca/en/home/community/lowerwaterstreetrelocation/default.aspx (this has three different views of the NS Power building - click one of the images at the bottom)

Thanks... forgot about the halifaxwebcam one!

worldlyhaligonian
May 2, 2010, 5:10 PM
I've being edging to see some updates too. I only ever have time at night to go in town ...

Hopefully somebody else has a camera because the last four weeks have been horrible for me and it doesn't look like I'll have time for at least a couple of weeks.

There probably hasn't been much progress, but I'm itching for updates too!

Jonovision
May 3, 2010, 3:10 AM
You are all in luck! I was around taking some pics downtown today. So please check the project threads. Here are a few that do not have respective threads.

The Morse Tea Building

http://inlinethumb57.webshots.com/16760/2687297660096709958S600x600Q85.jpg (http://outdoors.webshots.com/photo/2687297660096709958xyiDeN)

The reclad for the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. You can notice in these pics that a second row of scaffolding was added a few weeks ago. Apparently when they took down the old cladding they found that the walls were not entirely sound without it. So this new part of the scaffolding is actually holding up the walls in places. I find the new cladding to be quite attractive.

http://inlinethumb31.webshots.com/46686/2211123310096709958S600x600Q85.jpg (http://outdoors.webshots.com/photo/2211123310096709958hmfxHE)

http://inlinethumb51.webshots.com/11506/2162788520096709958S600x600Q85.jpg (http://outdoors.webshots.com/photo/2162788520096709958kpdwxB)

The work being done to renovate all the balconies on Park Vic. Some of the balconies appear to be in horrible shape. Some are just a mesh of rebar now.

http://inlinethumb07.webshots.com/44294/2464460720096709958S600x600Q85.jpg (http://outdoors.webshots.com/photo/2464460720096709958iYMTiP)

http://inlinethumb43.webshots.com/18282/2522994300096709958S600x600Q85.jpg (http://outdoors.webshots.com/photo/2522994300096709958QAmDRB)

fenwick16
May 4, 2010, 7:07 AM
YMCA (South Park Street) development renderings by Michael Napier will be on display at the YMCA (South Park Street) on May 5 and May 6 for public viewing. This development will be through the HRMbyDesign guidelines (let's see how long the approval will take). According to HRMbyDesign guidelines this could be as high as 16 storeys. The plan includes re-development of the CBC building which can go as high as 8 storeys.


Will anyone be going to this open house at the South Street YMCA to see the renderings? It will be on display on May 5 and 6 during the evening for the general public (7 PM to 9 PM) and during the day for members (http://www.ymcahrm.ns.ca/). I would go myself but I am in Ontario and have been for a long time. I am very interested in seeing it. Maybe someone could take a picture if allowed and then post it. I would really appreciate it.

-Harlington-
May 4, 2010, 3:51 PM
Multicultural Festival leaving Dartmouth for Halifax

By PAT LEE Staff Reporter
Tue. May 4 - 11:20 AM
After 25 years on the Dartmouth waterfront, the Nova Scotia Multicultural Festival is picking up stakes and moving to Halifax.

Normally held around the end of June at Alderney Landing, this year the three-day event will run from July 2-4 at the Halifax Seaport.
Organizer Heather Ritchie said the move was necessary as the navy has 100th anniversary plans set for the end of June and festival planners feared their event would get lost in the shuffle.

“It’s just a scheduling conflict,” she said. “Just for this year we’re trying a new venue and we’ll see how it goes.”

Laura Crouse of Alderney Landing said the news, delivered to them about a month ago, was a shock.

“It was a surprise,” she said. “It was a big deal when we heard.”

As far as she knows, festival organizers did not discuss alternate dates to try to keep the event in Dartmouth. Crouse said their facility is booked each year for Canada Day concerts, but the festival could have been held the following weekend.

She said they’re hopeful the festival will be back on the Dartmouth waterfront next year.

Coun. Gloria McCluskey fears the move will be permanent.

Jonovision
May 5, 2010, 4:59 AM
Will anyone be going to this open house at the South Street YMCA to see the renderings? It will be on display on May 5 and 6 during the evening for the general public (7 PM to 9 PM) and during the day for members (http://www.ymcahrm.ns.ca/). I would go myself but I am in Ontario and have been for a long time. I am very interested in seeing it. Maybe someone could take a picture if allowed and then post it. I would really appreciate it.

I'm assuming it will be in the paper sometime this week. I'm hoping to get over in the afternoon to see it though if I can.

Dmajackson
May 5, 2010, 11:44 AM
Church gets OK for seniors complex
By BILL POWER Business Reporter
Wed. May 5 - 4:53 AM

It appears the way has been cleared for the Anglican Church in Halifax to build an eight-storey seniors care facility in downtown Halifax.


In a decision released Tuesday, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal quashed efforts by the city to block the project, slated for the corner of Martello and College streets.


The city initially denied the church’s building permit application to construct a 150-unit complex in April 2009 because its development officer felt the project would be too residential and therefore not allowed in an institutional zone.

The church appealed the decision to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board, arguing that the residential component of the project would be dedicated to the institutionalized care of its residents.

The board, in a decision released last October, sided with the church and rejected the city’s position, saying the project met the requirements of an institutional zone. It ordered the municipality to issue a permit.

The city appealed the board’s decision because it felt the board had made a reviewable error by ordering the issuance of a building permit.

Writing on behalf of the Appeal Court, Justice Joel Fichaud rejected the city’s position. He said the Utility and Review Board’s decision did not misinterpret the city’s land use bylaw and "involved no reviewable error."

( bpower@herald.ca )

Jstaleness
May 7, 2010, 1:07 AM
From cbcnews.ca

No political will to reduce number of councillors, Coun. Tim Outhit complains

Efforts to revamp the Halifax regional council could be in trouble.

One member of the eight-person committee set up to recommend reforms has resigned and another is questioning whether any change is possible.

A review has been underway since 2009.

Bedford Coun. Tim Outhit, who was the vice-chairman of the committee, said he stepped down because he doesn't see any political will to significantly reduce the number of councillors.

Outhit believes council should comprise between 15 and 18 districts, down from the current 23. He said a smaller council would be more efficient and effective.

"You would have the council acting more like a board of directors, where you would come together to deal with the big issues," he said.

But he said many of his municipal colleagues are not willing to endorse the cuts.

"We basically have councillors there voting to some extent on their own future, which is protectionist and a little bit of parochial thinking," he said.

Coun. Reg Rankin said he also has doubts about the process.

"You know, it's a curious thing to put us in charge of this exercise – councillors," he said. "It's certainly in their interests, a number of them, to maintain their jobs, maintain the status quo."

The committee will make a recommendation to the council by the end of June. A final proposal on district boundaries and council size will be submitted to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board by the end of the year.

The board will then make a decision in time for municipal elections in 2012.

There have been two other reviews in the past eight years, but the regional council has maintained the status quo of 23 districts.

DigitalNinja
May 7, 2010, 1:40 AM
This issue should be a public vote. After all we are supposed to be the heads of this company :P If the public wanted them cut down, then they would and a decision would be made on who to cut.

Dmajackson
May 8, 2010, 9:40 PM
Just a quick shot from last night;

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4065/4589563493_e53945aca8_b.jpg

phrenic
May 13, 2010, 10:21 PM
Anybody hear about the old One World Cafe lot on Agricola? I'm told work will begin on a 3-story office building there in the next few months.

someone123
May 13, 2010, 10:40 PM
Is that the "Artists' Society" and HCAP building on Google streetview (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=2412+Agricola+St,+Halifax,+NS+B3K+4C2,+Canada&sll=44.653045,-63.59028&sspn=0.011357,0.026157&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=2412+Agricola+St,+Halifax,+Halifax+County,+Nova+Scotia+B3K+4C2,+Canada&ll=44.653024,-63.59024&spn=0.011357,0.026157&t=h&z=16&layer=c&cbll=44.653125,-63.590366&panoid=AIjkDKOL6uAlNzZ8UmdBiw&cbp=12,268.47,,0,-6.53)?

The latest boardwalk section looks nice. Funny thing is I remember hearing "longest continuous boardwalk" claims long before this chunk and the Salter part were ever finished.

phrenic
May 13, 2010, 11:04 PM
Is that the "Artists' Society" and HCAP building on Google streetview (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=2412+Agricola+St,+Halifax,+NS+B3K+4C2,+Canada&sll=44.653045,-63.59028&sspn=0.011357,0.026157&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=2412+Agricola+St,+Halifax,+Halifax+County,+Nova+Scotia+B3K+4C2,+Canada&ll=44.653024,-63.59024&spn=0.011357,0.026157&t=h&z=16&layer=c&cbll=44.653125,-63.590366&panoid=AIjkDKOL6uAlNzZ8UmdBiw&cbp=12,268.47,,0,-6.53)

Yes.

ScovaNotian
May 13, 2010, 11:11 PM
The latest boardwalk section looks nice. Funny thing is I remember hearing "longest continuous boardwalk" claims long before this chunk and the Salter part were ever finished.
Googling it, it's never been true anyway. The world's longest boardwalk opened on June 26 1870 in Atlantic City, New Jersey and currently runs 4 1/2 miles in length. (http://thelongestlistofthelongeststuffatthelongestdomainnameatlonglast.com/long365.html)

someone123
May 14, 2010, 12:44 AM
That's not surprising, although the waterfront in Halifax is genuinely pretty long now - about 3 km. It would be nice if it went all the way to Point Pleasant Park.

The "second largest harbour" in the world claim is another one that seems suspect - how do you even measure such a thing?

DigitalNinja
May 14, 2010, 2:39 AM
Halifax is the second largest harbour, but there is never a statement of how that is found out. Whether through total water, or area.

worldlyhaligonian
May 14, 2010, 3:13 AM
Halifax is the second largest harbour, but there is never a statement of how that is found out. Whether through total water, or area.

I believe the stat is world's second largest natural harbour and I believe its measured by volume of water.

JET
May 14, 2010, 12:59 PM
I believe the stat is world's second largest natural harbour and I believe its measured by volume of water.

Also listed as the largest ice-free port.
http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/halifax/index-eng.php

fenwick16
May 14, 2010, 2:23 PM
Also listed as the largest ice-free port.
http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/halifax/index-eng.php

I don't want to be picky, but isn't the Sydney Australia harbour the biggest? If so, I think that it would be ice free.

JET
May 14, 2010, 5:11 PM
I don't want to be picky, but isn't the Sydney Australia harbour the biggest? If so, I think that it would be ice free.

It seems to depend on where one looks. I've read that Halifax is the largest or second largest natural harbour, and largest or second largest ice free harbour. It no doubt depends on the def'n used; eg area of surface water, volume of water, and then there is the question of depth. Maybe ice free only applies to harbours located in parts of the world where water freezes? JET

spaustin
May 14, 2010, 5:20 PM
I remember reading up on this after running into someone on a sim city forum who claimed that Poole, England has the 2nd largest natural harbour. In a nutshell, Sydney Australia is pretty much undisputed as #1. The #2 spot is contentious though because it's more dependent on how you measure and phrase the question. Other claimiants, mainly from the UK, for #2 are Poole, Falmouth, Coruna, Rio de Janiero, Milford and Cork. Judging by the internet, Halifax and Poole seem to be the most credible, but we just might care more than the rest. At the end of the day it's a meaningless debate. We and the other claimants have big harbours. Isn't that enough?

fenwick16
May 14, 2010, 5:44 PM
I remember reading up on this after running into someone on a sim city forum who claimed that Poole, England has the 2nd largest natural harbour. In a nutshell, Sydney Australia is pretty much undisputed as #1. The #2 spot is contentious though because it's more dependent on how you measure and phrase the question. Other claimiants, mainly from the UK, for #2 are Poole, Falmouth, Coruna, Rio de Janiero, Milford and Cork. Judging by the internet, Halifax and Poole seem to be the most credible, but we just might care more than the rest. At the end of the day it's a meaningless debate. We and the other claimants have big harbours. Isn't that enough?

I don't think anyone takes it too seriously. I am not sure how one can exactly define a harbour. If a harbour is directly on the ocean then I would think that would be the largest (basically the entire ocean - my thinking is very simplistic regarding this subject since I don't know the technical definition of a harbour).

Subjects like the world's tallest skyscraper are much easier to define.

JET
May 14, 2010, 6:56 PM
I remember reading up on this after running into someone on a sim city forum who claimed that Poole, England has the 2nd largest natural harbour. In a nutshell, Sydney Australia is pretty much undisputed as #1. The #2 spot is contentious though because it's more dependent on how you measure and phrase the question. Other claimiants, mainly from the UK, for #2 are Poole, Falmouth, Coruna, Rio de Janiero, Milford and Cork. Judging by the internet, Halifax and Poole seem to be the most credible, but we just might care more than the rest. At the end of the day it's a meaningless debate. We and the other claimants have big harbours. Isn't that enough?

Well yeah, but isn't comparing size what life's all about? :)

q12
May 14, 2010, 11:37 PM
http://media.metronews.topscms.com/images/59/56/98b5e3a54428a8bc64cb61b58d83.jpeg
Metro Halifax News
14 May 2010 12:22
The CityThink survey sampled 500 residents in HRM last month and carries a margin of error of 4.4 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

1. Do you think HRM’s development policies …
• Favour development — 42%
• Inhibit development — 39%
• Neither favour nor inhibit development — 8%
• Don’t know — 10%
• Refused to answer — 1%

2. Do you think HRM’s development policies …
• Place too much emphasis on heritage preservation — 30%
• Appropriately balance the interests of heritage preservation and development — 44%
• Place insufficient emphasis on heritage preservation — 22%

3. Thinking back over the past 12 months, how would you describe HRM’s growth? Would you say HRM has grown a lot, some, a little or not at all?
• A lot — 25%
• Some — 40%
• A little — 24%
• Not at all — 9%
• Don’t know — 2%

4. How willing would you be to pay higher municipal taxes in order to make HRM more environmentally friendly? Would you be very willing, somewhat willing, somewhat unwilling or very unwilling?
• Very willing — 8%
• Somewhat willing — 45%
• Somewhat unwilling — 21%
• Very unwilling — 25%
• Don’t know — 1%

5. HRM needs a new, large outdoor sports stadium.
• Completely agree — 28%
• Mostly agree — 32%
• Neutral — 2%
• Mostly disagree — 24%
• Completely disagree — 12%
• Don’t know — 2%

http://www.metronews.ca/halifax/local/article/526119--results-from-the-citythink-survey-on-the-topic-of-hrm-development


Middle ground on heritage preservation
ALEX BOUTILIER
14 May 2010 12:34

Ryan Taplin/Metro Halifax
Fewer than half of the respondents to the new CityThink poll feel HRM development policies have struck the right balance between heritage preservation and development.
It’s an old and contentious debate for HRM politicians, developers and civic-minded Haligonians.

But despite strong opinions held on either side, nearly half of HRM residents feel a proper balance has been struck between heritage preservation and development.

Thirty per cent of respondents in the CityThink survey feel too much emphasis is placed on heritage preservation in HRM. Another 22 per cent feel too little attention is being paid to preserving the centuries-old buildings in the city.

But the poll, conducted by Bristol Omnifacts Research for Metro Halifax and the Greater Halifax Partnership, found 44 per cent feel the balance between the two is about right.

Craig Wight, senior vice-president of research at Bristol Omnifacts, said the relatively even split makes it difficult to make clear statements about the issue. But Wight said it also suggests a middle-of-the-road approach.

“It argues for a middle ground ... and also suggests that whatever I decide to do as a council, I’m going to have a lot of opposition,” said Wight.

“And I think we’ve probably seen that over a number of years, where development got a group out saying, ‘No, I don’t want this, we’ve got to protect heritage,’ and another group saying, ‘No, we’ve protected enough heritage, we need to develop.’”

The issue of heritage preservation has come to the fore in the debates over the proposed trade centre building in downtown Halifax. Proponents for the development say it will be a boon for the downtown core, stimulating a rejuvenation of the area and adding increased tax revenues to city coffers.

But a vocal group of detractors argue the complex will block the sight lines from Citadel Hill, taking away from the enjoyment of residents and tourists alike.

Phil Pacey, Halifax representative for the Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia, said he thinks the numbers reflect that council is doing a reasonably good job at balancing the interests of both sides.

“To a large extent, they are,” he said. “There are a lot of things they’re doing very well.”

CityThink sampled 500 residents of HRM last month, and the survey carries a margin of error of 4.4 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

Keith P.
May 15, 2010, 12:04 AM
If Phil Pacey and the HT are for it, then I'm against it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtMV44yoXZ0

Dmajackson
May 15, 2010, 2:52 PM
Big Gottingen Street News: Backpackers hostel, Alteregos cafe poised for major expansion
Owner Michelle Strum to buy Darrells Pool building, team with The Hub
Posted by Tim Bousquet on Wed, May 12, 2010 at 4:18 PM

There's yet more big news on Gottingen Street, as a stalwart business owner prepares to take on a major expansion
Two weeks ago we reported on plans to build two 100+ unit low-income apartment buildings on Gottingen Street, one on the site of the former Diamonds bar, the other at the much-neglected Mitchell's Environmental Treasures building.

Between the two sits Alteregos Coffee Shop and Halifax Backpackers hostel (2193 Gottingen Street), both owned by Michelle Strum. Most business owners would be horrified by the prospect of major construction taking place on either side of her, but Strum seems entirely nonplussed. "I've been dealing with that building for five years," she says of the rat-infested, roof-collapsing MET building. "Sure, we'll have a down-time of construction, but after that things will be better than ever."

More surprisingly still, Strum is making a major investment in Gottingen Street: She is buying the former Darrells Pool building, four doors down at 2171 Gottingen. Barring some unexpected turn of events, that sale should be finalized July 31.

Her plan is to use the upstairs of the Darrells building to expand Backpackers' bed count from 36 to 60. That includes a few private rooms but the hostel will "stay really budget," says Strum. With 4,500 square feet on each of the two Darrells floors, Strum can get the increase in bed space and also eliminate the boarding space now on the first floor of the existing Backpackers building. That in turn will free up space to expand Alteregos, “and especially the kitchen,” she says---a much needed opening up of a tight retail space.

The first floor of the Darrells building, which will be leased to The Hub for meeting space.

As for the first floor of the Darrells building, Strum has reached agreement to lease it to The Hub (1673 Barrington Street), which will use the space to host meetings of from 30 to 60 people. “Meeting space is in short supply,” says Joanne Macrae of The Hub; “we now have to turn away groups larger than 30.” Typically, those larger groups include non-profit organizations and start-up businesses that now rent meeting space from hotels, but the new Gottingen Street locale will provide a low-cost alternative that allows greater flexibility for the groups. "They want a nice, but unsophisticated space, where they can decide on their own caterer," says Macrae.
There’s a synergy between Backpackers, Alteregos and The Hub, as groups from out-of-town on a limited budget need both inexpensive accomodations and meeting space. Strum mentions as an example the NDP Youth convention that recently came to Halifax---that group had to stay at several locations scattered around town and find meeting space where they could; after the purchase of Darrells, such a group can stay at the hostel and meet downstairs.

Strum is a breath of fresh air in a business community that often seems straight-jacketed by old ways of doing business.

It's telling that as other downtown businesses ask for $100 million or more in taxpayer money to attract high-end conventions to town, Strum is tackling the lower-end convention and travel business on her own dime, using a regular bank loan to finance the purchase of Darrells, and doing the renovation work herself.

And her support for Gottingen Street is both wide and deep. She has committed to staying on the street---"We've become a Gottingen institution, and we want to grow with it," she says.

More, she has committed to helping, and not displacing, the struggling community around her businesses. Strum hires from within the community, typically through the Youth Empowerment Project's mentoring program. "Mentoring is my thing," she says, "and this expansion will actually let me step back a little bit from the day-to-day operation and concentrate on mentoring." She now has about eight employees; post-expansion she envisions hiring an additional 10 to 15.

Likewise, although they're still working out details, Strum and McCrae hope to use some of the street frontage of the Darrells building for some business incubation space. "Someone is making something they think they can sell, but they can't fill a whole store, so they'll be able to rent shelf space, or a wall," explains Strum. "We can hire someone to work that space, too. It's mentoring around employment, but also mentoring for entrepreneurship."

Strum and Mcrae plan to move quickly. After they take possession of the Darrells building in August, they'll immediately start renovating it, with hopes of making the Backpackers move by March of next year.

Keith P.
May 15, 2010, 6:00 PM
I read that article the other day and looked at the pictures. I would be shocked if that building meets any kind of building code. One wonders how much investment it will require to bring it up to code and allow the proposed uses. I stand by my view that the best thing that could happen to much of Gottingen is a bulldozer.

mcmcclassic
May 16, 2010, 6:00 AM
I'm living in Edmonton currently and the Edmonton Journal had an interesting article in it today- Albertans coming to NS for work :haha:


Nurses on slow track of 'roller-coaster'

Up-and-down demand for new grads bottoms out again in Alberta after health-care cuts

In June, Angela Espejo will pack her bags and head east to Halifax.

The new University of Alberta nursing graduate has found a job there with the Capital District Health Authority, paying between $55,000 and $65,000 a year, depending on shift differential and overtime.

There will be a new city to explore, one as different from her native Fort McMurray as chalk is from cheese. But Espejo, 24, is eager to make a new beginning there because she can follow her dream of being a nurse.

"For me it combines science with interacting with people," she says. "That is what drew me to nursing in the first place."

She does have one regret, however. Like most members of her graduating class, she couldn't find a job in her home province. The University of Alberta's nursing school in Edmonton is the largest in Canada; this year it will graduate almost 700 nurses. But provincial cutbacks to health-care funding in the wave of a global recession have meant there will be no new full-time nursing positions available in Alberta this year.

"The challenge for graduates this year is finding jobs," says Anita Molzahn, dean of the faculty of nursing at the U of A. "But people like me who have been in the profession for a long time have probably seen this rise-and-fall cycle at least three times during our careers.

"We also know it will happen again. I have to add that high school students entering nursing courses this fall will have better luck. They will probably emerge with degrees during a hiring spree."

That roller-coaster ride in the job market is just something nurses have to put up with, says Kaaren Neufeld, president of the Canadian Nurses Association. This year -- unlike the bleak period of health-care cutbacks in the 1990s -- it doesn't mean new graduates won't find full-time jobs.

Nova Scotia is hiring, and there are plenty of jobs in rural, remote and northern communities. In major centres, however, they might have to settle for part-time work at multiple hospitals and clinics.

"The nature of the profession right now is that new graduates usually have to relocate to find full-time work," she says. Yet, she says, "nursing holds an absolutely great future for young people."

Canada, like most countries, has a chronic shortage of nurses, and the situation is likely to get worse without government intervention.

The CNA estimates Canada currently has a shortfall of about 20,000 full-time nurses to meet existing need; that will grow to 30,000 by 2016 and to 50,000 by 2022 if current trends continue.

But those entering the profession today are certain of a rewarding career -- if they can live with that roller-coaster ride, Neufeld says.

"Most young people just have no idea of the breadth and scope of opportunity a nursing career offers. They still base their views on a narrow and outdated stereotype."

"Today they can be educators, managers, administrators, specialists, in a huge range of medical and health-care areas."

Nursing is about lifelong learning and acquiring new skills, says Cynthia Baker, executive director of the Canadian School of Nursing Schools, which represents the 91 institutions across Canada that grant nursing degrees.

She cites 2008 statistics that showed 1,059 nurses completed PhDs or master's degrees that year versus just 823 in 2004. In 2008, 9,113 nurses completed undergraduate degrees, compared with 5,000 in 2004.

"And we know the numbers are well up from 2008," she says. "In fact, one of the things we find is that in good economic times not only do numbers of young people applying for nursing schools increase, but the quality of those applicants rises."

And these are good times, say heads of nursing schools across the country. With the recession apparently behind us, applications to nursing schools outnumber seats available by at least four to one.

What new entrants in the job market can expect on graduation are reasonable salaries and a huge variety in careers.

Salaries are set by provincial contract and in most provinces start well above $52,000, plus shift differential and overtime. Clinical-nurse specialists can expect salaries just under $100,000 a year.

Espejo has no idea yet what job she will be doing in Halifax or where her career might lead.

"The only thing I know for sure is wherever my career heads I will always be a nurse. This is what I love."

worldlyhaligonian
May 16, 2010, 3:57 PM
The new University of Alberta nursing graduate has found a job there with the Capital District Health Authority, paying between $55,000 and $65,000 a year, depending on shift differential and overtime.

Salaries are set by provincial contract and in most provinces start well above $52,000, plus shift differential and overtime. Clinical-nurse specialists can expect salaries just under $100,000 a year.



WTF??? Talk about over paid... most jobs in Halifax don't pay close to 52,000 starting.


how much are the doctors making?

mcmcclassic
May 16, 2010, 5:26 PM
I don't think we want to know- based on how much these positions are being paid according to the Journal. It's interesting though to read and watch the news out here as Alberta is feeling the full brunt of this global recession, and jobs are being lost almost daily. I imagine a few of the people from NS and the East will start to trickle back in the next couple of years, maybe we can finally curb the outward migration trend that has plagued our end of the country for years.

worldlyhaligonian
May 16, 2010, 5:35 PM
I don't think we want to know- based on how much these positions are being paid according to the Journal. It's interesting though to read and watch the news out here as Alberta is feeling the full brunt of this global recession, and jobs are being lost almost daily. I imagine a few of the people from NS and the East will start to trickle back in the next couple of years, maybe we can finally curb the outward migration trend that has plagued our end of the country for years.

What worries me is that Alberta is such an unrealistic world (the wages for what people do are completely rediculous).

I bet unemployment rates will increase in NS as people come back because its hard enough to find a job as it is.

ZET
May 17, 2010, 12:17 AM
WTF??? Talk about over paid... most jobs in Halifax don't pay close to 52,000 starting.


how much are the doctors making?

Supply and demand. With a severe shortage of nurses, those in demand negotiate those salaries. With the shortage the base salary is only part of it:
http://www.ngnews.ca/News/Canada---World/2010-03-04/article-882790/Overtime-excess:-N.S.-officials-review-policies-after-nurse-paid-$140,000/1

"During 2008-09, the Cape Breton District Health Authority paid nearly $140,000 in overtime to a critical-care nurse who clocked approximately 1,500 extra hours that year." that's 30 extra hours/week on top of a full time job

The amount paid in overtime to that ONE nurse would pay for almost three starting nurses.

The other issue is: "Most young people just have no idea of the breadth and scope of opportunity a nursing career offers. They still base their views on a narrow and outdated stereotype." "Today they can be educators, managers, administrators, specialists, in a huge range of medical and health-care areas." lots of nurses not working with patients, but working in other positions. Hard to keep nurses in patient related jobs.
Lot of perks for new grads, but it's hard work and usually involves shift work.

worldlyhaligonian
May 18, 2010, 3:06 AM
The other issue is: "Most young people just have no idea of the breadth and scope of opportunity a nursing career offers. They still base their views on a narrow and outdated stereotype." "Today they can be educators, managers, administrators, specialists, in a huge range of medical and health-care areas." lots of nurses not working with patients, but working in other positions. Hard to keep nurses in patient related jobs.
Lot of perks for new grads, but it's hard work and usually involves shift work.

Wow wow wow wow... that isn't what I'm trying to say at all and I knew it would be perceived that way.

Honestly, I don't have a stereotype of the "breadth and depth" of the work and I'm sure many nurses are very hard working and highly educated. However, those salaries are clearly rediculous. I think they are more important than doctors, but I think the whole healthcare industry is a farce.


On another note, check out the library site:
http://halifaxcentrallibrary.ca/location.html

someone123
May 18, 2010, 3:21 AM
Allnovascotia is reporting that the Green Latern Building renovations are going to be delayed until next summer unless the city provides a building permit in the next couple of weeks.

A little disappointing since they've already gone through the motions of providing heritage funding and so on. The city moves at a truly glacial pace...

JET
May 18, 2010, 12:14 PM
Wow wow wow wow... that isn't what I'm trying to say at all and I knew it would be perceived that way.

Honestly, I don't have a stereotype of the "breadth and depth" of the work and I'm sure many nurses are very hard working and highly educated. However, those salaries are clearly rediculous. I think they are more important than doctors, but I think the whole healthcare industry is a farce.


On another note, check out the library site:
http://halifaxcentrallibrary.ca/location.html

It often seems like a farce to most folks until they need health care, then we appreciate what we have, even with the blemishes.

sdm
May 18, 2010, 12:24 PM
Allnovascotia is reporting that the Green Latern Building renovations are going to be delayed until next summer unless the city provides a building permit in the next couple of weeks.

A little disappointing since they've already gone through the motions of providing heritage funding and so on. The city moves at a truly glacial pace...

What then is the point of the incentive if they are not going to proceed quickly?

hfx_chris
May 18, 2010, 8:02 PM
However, those salaries are clearly rediculous.
$55k is considered ridiculous? Especially for health care?

:sly:

fenwick16
May 20, 2010, 2:30 AM
According to the allnovascotia.com, a 6 - 7 story building with ground floor retail, 2nd floor offices and residential on top is being considered for the Spring Garden Raod/South Park intersection next to the Dairy Queen (however, the Dairy Queen is not part of the project since the potential developer does not own the Dairy Queen). Possibly it would be an L shape including the lots at 5688 Spring Garden Road and 1485 South Park Street (owned by Gregory Arab). If the Dairy Queen becomes available it could be included (but currently the Dairy Queen owner isn't selling).

Barrington south
May 20, 2010, 3:29 AM
cool....the creation of the new downtown continues....sgr

someone123
May 20, 2010, 3:55 AM
I saw that. Great. In the story the owner of the DQ building says he wouldn't just sell it to a random person, but that he'd consider selling if a developer is trying to consolidate the block. Hopefully that's how it will work out.

mcmcclassic
May 20, 2010, 6:56 AM
If that corner with the DQ gets re-developed into something nice that whole area will look amazing.

someone123
May 20, 2010, 9:42 PM
Things like the DQ building are really what make Halifax feel kind of small and dumpy. Some of them are very charming but really they should be on their way out. I feel similar about, say, the Victoria Apartments at Hollis and Morris - they were interesting and it would have been nice to save them but the new building will be definite progress.

halifaxboyns
May 20, 2010, 10:04 PM
I wonder why they aren't going taller? Probably because of the fact the DQ buildling isn't in their plans - but if they were to get it; I'd say they should go higher. As I've pointed out before, if you look at this block its one of only two in the area not covered by the viewplanes. So there is a real change to get some nice tall buildings in the block.

sdm
May 20, 2010, 10:53 PM
i think it would be a huge mistake and a lack luster project without the DQ building and even some of the building headed south along south park street.

I've heard there is some transactions of properties happening in this area, so something is bound to surface soon.:tup:

worldlyhaligonian
May 20, 2010, 11:17 PM
I'd like to see like a 14-16 story building similar in design to the Trillium with great groundfloor retail.


I can already hear the guised arguments against something there... something like: Not our Dairy Queen! Evil developers!

Dmajackson
May 20, 2010, 11:29 PM
I can already hear the guised arguments against something there... something like: Not our Dairy Queen! Evil developers!

Where are we going to get our ice cream cakes! :haha:

Seriously when the DQ in Bedford shut-down that was the biggest complaint.

fenwick16
May 21, 2010, 12:01 AM
According to the allnovascotia.com, a review committee has voted to reduce the HRM council size to 20 from 23. It still has to be approved by the full HRM council in 3 weeks time.

MonctonRad
May 21, 2010, 12:08 AM
I'd like to see like a 14-16 story building similar in design to the Trillium with great groundfloor retail.


I can already hear the guised arguments against something there... something like: Not our Dairy Queen! Evil developers!

Well, I'm not particularly going to try and defend the Spring Garden/South Park DQ (although I do have fond memories of that location) but sometimes it is the smaller businesses like this that contribute more to the character and feel of a neighbourhood than yet another monolithic cookie cutter high rise.

I'm certainly not anti development but outside of the densest downtown cores, moderation is best. There should be variety in our streetscapes........

Having said this, the Spring Garden/South Park intersection is one of the most important sites in the city and perhaps should have something more iconic than a shabby DQ. :D

mcmcclassic
May 21, 2010, 12:53 AM
I think they should put the DQ into the main level of a potential high-rise for the corner of sgr and south park

worldlyhaligonian
May 21, 2010, 1:37 AM
I think they should put the DQ into the main level of a potential high-rise for the corner of sgr and south park

For sure... especially one of those Orange Julius / DQ

Jonovision
May 21, 2010, 3:14 AM
Sounds great for Spring Garden. But I wonder if they are able to go higher. There are is an angle control implemented on Spring Garden to ensure it gets enough sunlight since it is the main shopping street. Hence Parklane having its tiered front. So I'm thinking if that was applied here you wouldn't be able to go much higher then 8 stories or so. Either way, the new building has to be of the best quality. It's such an important spot.

And also great news about council! I wish it could be cut down a bit more, but its at least a start.

Dmajackson
May 21, 2010, 4:27 AM
According to the deisgn manual these are the criterea for the SGR/South Park corner;

Pre Bonus Height - 39m (~12 residential storeys)
Post Bonus Height - 49m (~16 residential storeys)
Setback - 0-1.5m
Streetwall - 17m

There is also a clause that requires setbacks of .9m for every .6m in height after a height of 17m (for sunlight reasons I believe).

DigitalNinja
May 25, 2010, 9:51 PM
Can Halifax council actually shrink itself? Let’s hope so

By PAUL SCHNEIDEREIT
Tue. May 25 - 4:53 AM

Is Halifax regional council too big, too small or — currently with 23 councillors and a mayor — just right as it is?

Well, as anyone who’s ever served on a committee well knows, the bigger the group, the longer — and not necessarily better — the process.

So I guess the fact council’s boundary review committee last week actually recommended that council should be trimmed to just 20 members, plus the mayor, qualifies as good news.

Still seems way too big, to me.

To get a sense of how Halifax compared to other jurisdictions, I did some calculations based on stats for the 20 biggest municipalities in Canada. (The ratios I calculated by dividing population by council size, as best I could determine it.)

Based on the 2006 census, Halifax was 13th on that list in terms of overall population — but tied (with Ottawa) at fifth for the biggest city council, while placing fourth in ratio of fewest residents per councillor.

HRM, as it’s properly called by everyone except, oh, those who live here, other Nova Scotians and the rest of Canada, had 372,679 residents in 2006.

That left it well behind places like Toronto and Montreal, of course, along with Calgary (988,193), Ottawa (812,129), Edmonton (730,372), Mississauga (668,549), Winnipeg (633,451), Vancouver (578,041), Hamilton (504,559), Quebec City (491,142), Brampton (433,806) and Surrey, B.C. (394,976), and just ahead of Laval (368,709), London (352,395) and Markham (261,573). When you looked at council sizes, however, Halifax shot up the chart.

Including mayors, the biggest municipal councils can be found in Montreal (with an astounding 66), Toronto (45), Quebec City (38), Longueil, Que. (27), Halifax and Ottawa (both 24), Laval, (22) and Gatineau, Que. (18).

(Yes, Quebec seems to be fertile ground for big city governments.)

Behind Halifax were bigger municipalities like Calgary (15), Edmonton (13), Mississauga (12), Winnipeg (16), Vancouver (11), Hamilton (16), Brampton (11) and Surrey (9).

London, just slightly smaller than Halifax, has a council of 15, including the mayor.

If you break down council sizes by population, only Longueil (8,494), Quebec City (12,924) and Gatineau (13,451) have fewer residents per council member, including mayors, than Halifax (15,528), at least among the 20 largest municipalities in Canada.

Municipalities that are similar to Halifax, population-wise, have bigger ratios: Brampton (39,437), Surrey (43,886), Laval (16,759) and London (23,493).

Now, some argue that because HRM is among the largest municipalities in Canada in land size, council here needs to be bigger.

There’s merit to that point, no question; but when Edmonton, with twice as many people as Halifax, can get by with almost half the size of council, I’d say the facts still favour cutting here.

Though I don’t think they went far enough — 15 would make sense — I’m shocked the review committee recommended cutting some colleagues’ jobs at all.

Odder still was hearing HRM’s man of mystery, otherwise known as Mayor Peter Kelly, last week say that most people he’s heard from like things the way they are.

In fact, some, he said, want an even bigger council, because it would be more "effective."

Yes, I know there were many times during those cat bylaw debates that I pondered how quickly the whole issue could have been decided if only we’d had a half-dozen more councillors queuing up to share their tales of local homes overrun with kittens.

Funny, though, that the mayor was singing a different tune just a few months ago.

Back in January, Kelly, who’s chairing the boundary review committee, said in an interview he’d noted "a public appetite" for a smaller council.

"We have heard those underpinnings to go in that direction," Kelly told Herald city hall reporter Michael Lightstone.

When it comes to our fence-sitting mayor, it doesn’t get much clearer than that, does it?

Council decides on this next month, so if you’ve got some underpinnings to pass along to your councillor on the subject, don’t be shy.

( pauls@herald.ca)



A positive article in the Chronicle Herald about reducing council size.

someone123
May 25, 2010, 10:08 PM
The problem is that councillors do two different jobs - they deal with the public to address problems and they discuss issues in council. Having more councillors is good if you're calling in to complain about cats but bad if you want all of them to get together and reach a decision to do something.

The person making the executive decisions doesn't need to be the one handling day-to-day issues. The HRM could easily have a council of 7 or 9 people and it would be far more functional than it is now. It could also have elected "representatives" or bureaucrats to manage small-scale local spending.

hfx_chris
May 25, 2010, 10:09 PM
I wonder if I still have my Mayor Windsock image...

Keith P.
May 26, 2010, 1:25 AM
Wanderer's Club facelift coming soon
Last Updated: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 | 8:18 AM AT
CBC News

Construction on the Halifax Wanderers' Grounds dilapidated field house on Sackville Street should begin before the end of the summer, says the group dedicated to its restoration.

Wanderer's Amateur Athletic Club spokesman Tim Keddy said the project may go to tender in the next month or so, and they are still working toward a March 2011 completion date.

The project has been held up, he said, because the Halifax Regional Municipality, which owns the building, is working through toxic paint and mould issues.

The boarded up building is the former Navy League Dry Canteen, built in 1942. It sits on the site of the original Wanderer's Amateur Athletic Club, which was built in 1896.

The dilapidated building was slated for demolition in 2006, but the Halifax Rugby Club — which has leased a portion of the building since 2001 — approached the municipality with a plan to save it.

In 2009, the Halifax Rugby Football Club and the Halifax Tars Football Club created a registered non-profit society to save the building, and reverted to its original name, the Wanderer's Amateur Athletic Club.

Also in 2009, the building was designated a municipal heritage building.

Keddy said that when the restoration project is finished, the building will serve many purposes.

"It'll be kind of like the St. Mary's Boat Club kind of style place — a facility that the community can really use," he said, adding it could host weddings as well as sporting events.

Keddy said his group has already raised $200,000 towards the restoration project. They are now working to raise an additional $30,000 to buy equipment and furnishings, as well as set up a capital fund.

The Halifax Regional Municipality and Infrastructure Canada have committed another $700,000 to the project.

Keddy said his group wants to have the refurbished building finished as soon as possible.

"Obviously, the sooner the better in our minds and I think probably the same with the people in the community. It would be nice to see the building up and running," he said.

"That's a pretty marquee place for tourists, for visitors. You know, you've got the [Halifax] Public Gardens right there, so it's a pretty recognizable building and it would be really, I think, beneficial to everybody to have it looking like what it should be."

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/nova-scotia/story/2010/05/25/ns-wanderers-grounds-restoration.html#ixzz0oziDG6iv



This is totally outrageous -- $700,000 of taxpayer funds going to this?!? It is a totally unremarkable old building that received a bogus heritage designation last year, totally undeserved. When this is all done it will sit empty and unused 90% of the time and/or be used as a clubhouse by a small group of privileged individuals. No wonder HRM cries poor when they can waste money like this.

The best solution would be a runaway bulldozer aimed directly at it.

alps
May 26, 2010, 5:21 AM
Agreed, there is absolutely nothing architecturally significant about it, and it's so dilapidated it will require total reconstruction. :koko:

cormiermax
May 26, 2010, 5:54 AM
This is totally unacceptable, The hole Wanderers' Grounds block should have been re-developed years ago.