Category Archives: BACKGROUND

Historical info. Policies that affect the Commons. Research papers. Informative documents.

The Halifax Common – Unlock The Potential

The People's Common

It’s the People’s Common

Join the Friends in championing the Halifax Common. Your enthusiasm about caring for the heart and lungs of Halifax- 240 acres of public open space – already has strong roots in the 1994 Halifax Common Plan.  Help make sure the North, Central, South Commons’ vibrancy, beauty and identity continue to strengthen our neighborhoods, our common connections to each other and remain for all to enjoy.
The 235 acres of common land that King George III granted in 1763 “for the use of the inhabitants of the Town of Halifax forever,” includes all the land bordered by Robie and North/South Park Streets between Cunard and South Streets.  Originally the predominant uses were as a military ground, for public grazing & wood, and as public open space.
Over the next two and a half centuries, public institutions were added to the Common as these were seen as appropriate public uses.  Today much of this land is occupied by Continue reading

The 1994 Halifax Common Plan

1763 Land Grant as recorded by Jonathan Belcer and found in Nova Scotia Land Grants, Old Book 3, Grant #77, p.166-168
In 1994, after public uproar over paving part of the Common for the Grand Prix road races, Halifax City Council adopted the Halifax Common Plan after a successful and meaningful public consultation. It promised…

Section 2.1:The amount of public open space in the Halifax Common will not be decreased.
Section 3.1:The amount of land owned by the City of Halifax will not be decreased.
Section 3.2: The city will seek to increase the amount of land under city ownership through recapture of lands.

The original Common boundaries were outlined in red on this map from 1898. Here we show it in green.






2006 HRM call for plan review of 1994 Plan
1994 Halifax Common Plan on HRM website
2006 HRM call for staff update


Article The Right to the Common – by Katie McKay

from: SPACING ATLANTICguach-ptg_common

HALIFAX – Last Wednesday January 20th, HRM staff presented the plan “Improvements to the North Common” [PDF] to a full house, where there were more people in attendance than there were chairs. The presentation of the plan lasted an hour, and although only 30 minutes was set aside for input from the public, the question period ended up continuing for over an hour and a half, until only a handful of people were left in the room.

In this new century, we are facing a different kind of threat to public space— not one of disuse, but of patterns of design and management that exclude some people and reduce social and cultural diversity… to read more download pdf