Development of Former NS Home for Colored Children: An Application by Akoma Holdings Incorporated

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Akoma Holdings Inc. wishes to develop the former Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children (NSHCC) property located along Highway 7 in Westphal to enable a mix of housing, economic and recreational opportunities for the community. Akoma Holding’s immediate focus is renovating the former NSHCC at 18 Wilfred Jackson Way to include a seniors gym, café, salon focused on clients of African descent, and offices, and enabling a seniors housing project adjacent to the former Home. The current zoning of the property does not allow for the proposed uses, so Akoma Holdings is going through a planning process to change the policies and zoning applicable to the NSHCC site.

The file reference number for this application is Case 21875.




Current Status: Case 21875 which focuses on the portion of Akoma's development proposal toward Highway 7 has been approved. Other phases of Akoma's development plans, which were not approved in Case 21875, are being considered through the Regional Plan Review project.

View the staff report for Case 21875 with proposed changes to the planning documents to allow the development of a portion of the former Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children property toward Highway 7 and near Giberson Drive. A virtual public hearing (hearing begins at 5:03:30) was held and Regional Council approved Case 21875 on May 4, 2021. The changes to the planning documents for Case 21875 were subsequently approved by the Province and came into effect on June 5, 2021.

Proposal Details

Akoma Holdings submitted to HRM plans and documents in support of their proposal. Akoma Holding’s proposal is being considered through two planning projects, each of which requires a decision of Regional Council: (1) Case 21875 focuses on Akoma’s immediate development goals including reuse of the former Home, seniors housing and other uses within a portion of the site along Highway 7 and adjacent to Giberson Drive; and (2) Case 22257 is the second review of the Regional Plan which will consider the development of the remaining lands. The first report that proceeded to Regional Council for their approval was for Case 21875. Case 22257 is ongoing, view more information about this project.

Virtual Public Meeting

An online public information meeting was held on October 21, 2020. At this meeting, municipal planning staff and Akoma Holdings Inc. presented information about the proposal and answered questions from the public. View the video recording of this meeting. A summary of the meeting minutes including responses to most of the questions asked during the meeting is also available.

Municipal planning staff received guidance and advice from the HRM African Nova Scotian Affairs and Integration Office (ANSAIO), African Nova Scotian Affairs Provincial Department (ANSA), Akoma Board, Victims of Institutionalized Child Exploitation Society (VOICES), Nova Scotia Decade for People of African Descent (NSDPAD), and African United Baptist Association of Nova Scotia (AUBA) in an effort to develop an inclusive public engagement program for Akoma Holdings’ proposal. Due to Covid-19 and social distancing requirements, staff may collect feedback online or by phone.

Please note that the role of VOICES, NSDPAD, the Akoma Board and the AUBA in the planning process is to help staff share information with the public. The assistance received by these four community groups does not equate their support for the development proposal itself. These groups have not all been part of developing the plans for the subject property. The plans have been submitted by the applicant, Akoma Holdings Incorporated.


Akoma Holdings Inc. wishes to develop the former Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children (NSHCC) property located along Highway 7 in Westphal to enable a mix of housing, economic and recreational opportunities for the community. Akoma Holding’s immediate focus is renovating the former NSHCC at 18 Wilfred Jackson Way to include a seniors gym, café, salon focused on clients of African descent, and offices, and enabling a seniors housing project adjacent to the former Home. The current zoning of the property does not allow for the proposed uses, so Akoma Holdings is going through a planning process to change the policies and zoning applicable to the NSHCC site.

The file reference number for this application is Case 21875.




Current Status: Case 21875 which focuses on the portion of Akoma's development proposal toward Highway 7 has been approved. Other phases of Akoma's development plans, which were not approved in Case 21875, are being considered through the Regional Plan Review project.

View the staff report for Case 21875 with proposed changes to the planning documents to allow the development of a portion of the former Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children property toward Highway 7 and near Giberson Drive. A virtual public hearing (hearing begins at 5:03:30) was held and Regional Council approved Case 21875 on May 4, 2021. The changes to the planning documents for Case 21875 were subsequently approved by the Province and came into effect on June 5, 2021.

Proposal Details

Akoma Holdings submitted to HRM plans and documents in support of their proposal. Akoma Holding’s proposal is being considered through two planning projects, each of which requires a decision of Regional Council: (1) Case 21875 focuses on Akoma’s immediate development goals including reuse of the former Home, seniors housing and other uses within a portion of the site along Highway 7 and adjacent to Giberson Drive; and (2) Case 22257 is the second review of the Regional Plan which will consider the development of the remaining lands. The first report that proceeded to Regional Council for their approval was for Case 21875. Case 22257 is ongoing, view more information about this project.

Virtual Public Meeting

An online public information meeting was held on October 21, 2020. At this meeting, municipal planning staff and Akoma Holdings Inc. presented information about the proposal and answered questions from the public. View the video recording of this meeting. A summary of the meeting minutes including responses to most of the questions asked during the meeting is also available.

Municipal planning staff received guidance and advice from the HRM African Nova Scotian Affairs and Integration Office (ANSAIO), African Nova Scotian Affairs Provincial Department (ANSA), Akoma Board, Victims of Institutionalized Child Exploitation Society (VOICES), Nova Scotia Decade for People of African Descent (NSDPAD), and African United Baptist Association of Nova Scotia (AUBA) in an effort to develop an inclusive public engagement program for Akoma Holdings’ proposal. Due to Covid-19 and social distancing requirements, staff may collect feedback online or by phone.

Please note that the role of VOICES, NSDPAD, the Akoma Board and the AUBA in the planning process is to help staff share information with the public. The assistance received by these four community groups does not equate their support for the development proposal itself. These groups have not all been part of developing the plans for the subject property. The plans have been submitted by the applicant, Akoma Holdings Incorporated.


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Page last updated: 09 August 2021, 13:34