1. Is the concept plan the final version?
No. The concept plan that was presented for feedback presents one manner in which the Halifax Common can be rebalanced for all uses. The concept plan is not a final version, and no decisions have been made. Given public feedback, further changes to the Halifax Common Master Plan may be made.
2. What are the next steps for the Halifax Common Master Plan?
Next steps for the Halifax Common Master Plan will be determined by assessing the feedback from the recent survey and public consultation. The schedule associated with the project envisioned a return of the Halifax Common Master Plan to Regional Council in late Fall 2019.
3. Will there be an opportunity for more public feedback?
Individual submissions can be made to staff, with contact information as noted on Shape Your City. The need for any additional engagement will be assessed once we have reviewed the latest round of public consultation.
4. How soon would we see changes to the Halifax Common?
The Halifax Common Master Plan is to serve as a blueprint for future improvements to the entire Common, both in the short term and the long term. With this in mind, the aquatic facility has been identified as a early need of focus and attention.
5. Why is there an early focus on the outdoor pool area?
The Halifax Long-Term Aquatic Strategy, approved by Regional Council on May 14, 2019, recommends a recapitalization priority should be placed on the replacement of the Halifax Common Outdoor Aquatic Area.
The Halifax Common has a long history of providing outdoor water play dating back to the original egg pond. The outdoor community pool area, including the splash pad and Pavilion building, is at the end of its lifecycle and in poor overall condition. With an outdated design it does not meet the functional and accessible needs for all users. However, it is the only outdoor pool on the Halifax peninsula providing free (no cost) access to swimming lessons and open swims. Despite its condition, the outdoor pool is heavily used for learn-to-swim and open swim programs in the summer.
We will be seeking public feedback on the new concept design for the outdoor pool, splash pad and Pavilion multi-purpose building. Recommendations will be brought forward for Regional Council’s considerations as part of the Halifax Common Master Plan.
6. What is happening with the Common Roots Urban Farm?
The Urban Farm is moving this spring to Bi-Hi Park on Bayers Road, Halifax. The farm and community gardens were previously located on provincial land beside the Halifax Infirmary Hospital. They are being relocated to make way for the new QEII Hospital expansion and Cancer Care facility.
For more information on the Hospital expansion, please see the QEII New Generation Master Plan here [https://healthredevelopment.novascotia.ca/updates/qeii-new-generation-master-plan]
7. What is happening with the CBC property?
The Province has acquired the CBC property and respects the importance of the Halifax Common. They will be working with the municipality on plans for this site and the QEII redevelopment project. As planning progresses, long-term uses and decisions regarding renovating or demolishing the building will be made.
Preliminary planning has identified options for the building’s potential use in the short term including swing space, site office space, mock up areas, etc. that would support QEII redevelopment activities. No clinical services offered at the QEII Health Sciences Centre will be relocated to this building.
8. What is happening with the Wanderers Grounds?
Regional Council has directed the municipality to enter into a three-year rental agreement with Sports & Entertainment Atlantic (SEA) for the use of the Wanderers Grounds for the Canadian Premier League soccer games in 2019, 2020 and 2021. The Wanderers Grounds is the home field for the HFX Wanderers Football Club, the professional soccer club that competes in the new Canadian Premier League. Their first home game was held on May 4, 2019 to a sold-out crowd.
In 2018, the Wanderers Grounds were home to seven sporting events, hosted by SEA. These included several international level events, including a sell-out soccer match between the US Senior Men’s rugby team playing against Canada’s Senior Men’s team.
The sport field was recapitalized in 2016-17 to bring it up to competition standards as premiere natural turf field designed for local and international soccer, rugby, and other compatible community sporting events. With the installation of modular bleachers, the site can host sporting events for 5,000 – 7,000 spectators.
Neighbouring user groups on the Wanderers Grounds include the Halifax Junior Bengal Lancers and the Halifax Wanderers Lawn Bowls. The site also includes the Parks works depot and horticulture greenhouses as well as the Power House Youth Centre located in the recently restored heritage building that was once the residence of Richard Power, the Public Garden’s first superintendent.