Category Archives: ACTIVITIES

Fun things to do – Jane’s Walks etc.

Walk Around the Common – June 23/21 4-6pm

Join us for a Walk around the Common – June 23rd @4pm – to mark the 258th anniversary of the Halifax Common, a gift ‘to and for the use of the inhabitants of the town of Halifax as Commons, forever.”  We’re following the German tradition of a Grenzgang –when people walk around a property to check the borders and to protect it against intruders. We all need to become familiar with our collective Common and help protect it for future generations. Details below…

The North Common is about 20% or 1/5 of the 240 acre Halifax Common grant.(David Garrett)

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Happy 105th Birthday Jane Jacobs! – Six Ways to Celebrate…

Jane Jacobs (May 4, 1916-2006) was a Canadian-American urbanist who changed the way many people understand city planning and economics, and gave ordinary citizens the right to trust their own experiences and insights. In these COVID times FHC offers you 6 ways to vicariously experience or physically stroll about Halifax with or without a Jane’s Walk.
READ – Jane’s 1964 speech “A Great Unbalance” could be written for Halifax. As you read it consider the degraded Central Common Pool, the closed Centennial Pool, the languishing Halifax Memorial Library, the sold and privatized Bloomfield, St Pat’s Alexandra, St Pat’s & Halifax West schools lands, the +occupied+ Common lands at QEHS, CBC-TV and NS Museum. “We see the paradox of cities actually impoverishing themselves by capital improvements.” 
WATCH – Explore the Halifax Citadel and Our Colonizing History—From 2012 Alan Wilson historian, author and educator gives a bit of historical context to the Citadel Fortress, in a two-part video edited by Michael Lei. (~1 hour)
STROLL – Let’s go south, on the Common—Use notes provided by Blair Beed, well-known historian, author and tour guide, for a walk on the South Common starting at Sackville and Summer to University to South Park and back to Sackville at South Park. Along with history there’s also an expose of development on the South Common.  (~1 hour)
LISTEN –  The Camp Hill Cemetery – a 50 minute audio tour created by the Friends of the Public Gardens. It begins at the Summer Street entrance of Camp Hill Cemetery and explores the stories of some key historical figures that helped shape the history of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Download the tour before arriving or simply use your mobile data. 
WANDER – The Halifax Common Link has two nice loops in the interior of the Halifax Common linking the major green spaces in the heart of the city-especially the beauty of spring in the Public Gardens. Maps and info here: 
GRENZGANG – Walk the 4k boundary of the Halifax Common (1h) The 240 acres was granted to the inhabitants of the town of Halifax as Commons forever. We aren’t sure but clockwise seems to have more hills- The perimeter streets are Robie, South, South Park, Bell, Ahern, Cunard. Become familiar with this gift and help protect it for future generations. 

HRM Planning Information Meeting – Wednesday Dec 7th 19 proposals at 1 meeting

Please attend this important meeting and make comments on the 19 proposed developments…

The classic 3-storey Coburg Apartments, is an Edwardian-era building on the South Common that is under threat from the Two developers hope to erect 16 & 30 storey and 20 & 26 storey high-rises in the single block between Carlton, College, Robie and Spring Garden Road under debelopment agreement applications. targeted growth area- Spring Garden Road bounded by Robie, College, Summer Streets and Camp Hill Cemetery.

The classic 3-storey Coburg Apartments, an Edwardian-era building at Spring Garden and Robie, on the South Common,  is one of a dozen+ buildings that will be demolished by two developers if their plans for 16 & 30 storey and 20 & 26 storey high-rises in the single block between Carlton, College, Robie and Spring Garden Road are approved.

Most of the 19 proposals are for highrises that break existing height restrictions and are out-of -scale with neighbourhoods. They’ll cause dozens of affordable small-scale, mixed-use residential units, commercial spaces & historic houses to be demolished. This will harm Halifax’s Common in various ways. Examples are:

  • 13 storey on Robie, Cunard – Compton
  • 14 storey on Robie St, Pepperell – Shirley
  • 16 & 30 storey on Spring Garden Rd & Robie west of Carlton
  • 20 & 26 storey on College & Robie St west of Carlton

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Working with Nature, a Common Cause

Map of Halifax by Captain Charles Blaskowitz in 1784

Halifax Map by Captain Charles Blaskowitz in 1784

How can understanding former uses and natural features of the Halifax Common help us deal with contemporary concerns and future challenges?

To learn more come & hear guest speaker Kevin Hooper Tuesday April 12, 6:45 pm – 7:45 pm
Room 301, Halifax Central Library, Spring Garden Road
A refreshments break at 8:45 pm will be followed by FHC AGM at ~ 8 pm.

Details: Kevin Hooper investigates the Halifax Common’s social and environmental history and makes the case for reintroducing functioning wetland ecosystems to deal with the challenges facing conventional stormwater management.
Among other topics this presentation will detail; the near complete loss of historical watercourses on the Halifax Peninsula; the evolution of the Halifax Common from 1749-2016; the critical role of wetlands in nature; and, the innovative ways that engineered wetlands are being applied for the purposes of sustainable stormwater management.

Bio: Kevin Hooper, B.A., M.U.R.P., originally from Moncton, N.B.,  has lived and worked in Halifax since 2006.  Following an undergraduate degree in the social sciences Kevin did a Masters in Urban and Rural Planning at Dalhousie University with a focus on environmental conservation, social equity, and community design.  He has contributed as a research assistant on several projects relating to climate change adaptation for small communities and currently works as a planning consultant.
He is the father of three young children and the very lucky partner of the most wonderful woman in the world.



Be Neighbourly, CBC-YMCA Is Already Twice the Allowed Height (7 vs. 14+ storeys)

CBC YMCA site got broke HRMbyDesign rules

The CBC YMCA development broke HRMbyDesign rules when the height was doubled from 7 to +14-storeys. The Design Review Committee chair, Alan Parish resigned because the Mayor and council ignored the DRC recommendations to not approve the building.

Is development polarizing Halifax because developers always want and get more? A Jan 10  CBC response article correctly points out the FHC position that city staff should be applauded, not bashed for turning down the requset for 14 more amendments from the CBC-Y site developer, Mr Spatz. His development is already double what’s permitted under HRMbyDesign regulations. Its +14-storeys (49m) not the allowed 7-storeys (23m).  That permission was despite the 2011 Design Review Committee Report that recommended against the development because it broke the new 2009 HRMbyDesign regulations. The DRC chair Mr. Alan Parish resigned as a result of their recommendation being ignored. A 2012 FHC Letter details rules that are broken.

The Design Review Committee seems like their agenda is too full to understand the implications of their decisions. The Thursday, January 14th meeting will cover three big items including the CBC-YMCA, Brenton Street and Doyle Block the View from the library proposals. One meeting is hardly enough time to really think about what kind of city we’re going to end up with.

Write to:
The Design Review Committee
c/o Sherryll Murphy – and
Mayor Savage –

Come for a Walk on the Common Link – October 24, 2015

You are invited by the recently formed Common Link Association to join us for a walk along a newly proposed ‘Common Link.’  This route is designed to connect the green spaces and blue vistas through the heart of Halifax.  Please come and support our efforts to create and promote a continuous, easy-access loop through the existing trails within the Halifax Common (including Victoria Park, the Public Gardens and North Common) as well as the Citadel.  This walk is free and open to all.  Bring friends.

A greenway in the heart of the city.

A greenway in the heart of the city.

When? 10 am Saturday, Oct 24th, 2015
Rain date: 10 am Sunday, Oct 25th, 2015
Where? Victoria Park at Spring Garden Road/South Park St. by Robbie Burns Statue Statue.
Why? To enjoy and promote the creation of The Common Link, a continuous loop trail.
Who? Walking enthusiasts and all others who are interested.
How long? Approximately 1.5h.

Membership:   Should you wish to be a part of the initiative to develop The Common Link you are invited to start the process by becoming a Common Link Association member.
Please RSVP if you plan to join us, by sending an email to and writing ‘CONFIRMED’ in the subject line so we know numbers in advance.