Water Street Enhancements

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Project Background

Water Street is among Halifax’s most prominent and historic streets. The corridor runs one-way northbound approximately 950m from Terminal Road to George Street. In addition to playing a key role in the regional roadway network, it is also a focal point for civic events, culture, and tourism. It is an important multimodal transportation corridor that currently accommodates over 12,000 vehicles and 5,000 pedestrians per day. It also serves multiple Halifax Transit bus routes, is a designated bicycle route, and serves as the primary northbound route for trucks departing the South End Container Terminal and moving through downtown Halifax.

What is Happening?

The Halifax Regional Municipality is currently completing a functional design for Water Street, from Terminal Road to the Cogswell Interchange. The project will develop a long-term vision for the corridor that will inform how it is reinstated as part of future street recapitalization projects as well as any development projects.

Why is this Project Happening?

Water Street is an important corridor in downtown Halifax, and has been identified for key improvements that will enhance how people use it to move within and through the area:

  • Water Street is designated as a 'Transit Priority Corridor' in the municipality's Integrated Mobility Plan (IMP) and Halifax Transit's Moving Forward Together Plan (MFTP).
  • It was recently approved by Halifax Regional Council as an 'All Ages and Abilities (AAA)' bicycle route.
  • Water Street is also an important pedestrian corridor, seeing considerable pedestrian activity including tourists exploring downtown Halifax, commuters accessing the harbour ferries, and downtown residents and workers going about their daily activities.
  • Current streetscaping features on Water Street are inconsistent and some features have deteriorated over time. Design guidelines for future reinstatement of the pedestrian right of way will be developed as part of the project.

Water Street presents many exciting opportunities as a signature street in downtown Halifax. However, given the many demands on the street, planning for its future presents some challenges. In an effort to consider the various possibilities in terms of multimodal accommodation, land use planning, and urban design, the municipality is undertaking a functional planning and design process for the Water Street corridor.

Project Background

Water Street is among Halifax’s most prominent and historic streets. The corridor runs one-way northbound approximately 950m from Terminal Road to George Street. In addition to playing a key role in the regional roadway network, it is also a focal point for civic events, culture, and tourism. It is an important multimodal transportation corridor that currently accommodates over 12,000 vehicles and 5,000 pedestrians per day. It also serves multiple Halifax Transit bus routes, is a designated bicycle route, and serves as the primary northbound route for trucks departing the South End Container Terminal and moving through downtown Halifax.

What is Happening?

The Halifax Regional Municipality is currently completing a functional design for Water Street, from Terminal Road to the Cogswell Interchange. The project will develop a long-term vision for the corridor that will inform how it is reinstated as part of future street recapitalization projects as well as any development projects.

Why is this Project Happening?

Water Street is an important corridor in downtown Halifax, and has been identified for key improvements that will enhance how people use it to move within and through the area:

  • Water Street is designated as a 'Transit Priority Corridor' in the municipality's Integrated Mobility Plan (IMP) and Halifax Transit's Moving Forward Together Plan (MFTP).
  • It was recently approved by Halifax Regional Council as an 'All Ages and Abilities (AAA)' bicycle route.
  • Water Street is also an important pedestrian corridor, seeing considerable pedestrian activity including tourists exploring downtown Halifax, commuters accessing the harbour ferries, and downtown residents and workers going about their daily activities.
  • Current streetscaping features on Water Street are inconsistent and some features have deteriorated over time. Design guidelines for future reinstatement of the pedestrian right of way will be developed as part of the project.

Water Street presents many exciting opportunities as a signature street in downtown Halifax. However, given the many demands on the street, planning for its future presents some challenges. In an effort to consider the various possibilities in terms of multimodal accommodation, land use planning, and urban design, the municipality is undertaking a functional planning and design process for the Water Street corridor.

  • What is Happening?

    The Halifax Regional Municipality is currently completing a functional design for Water Street, from Terminal Road to the Cogswell Interchange. The project will develop a long-term vision for the corridor that will inform how it is reinstated as part of future street recapitalization projects as well as any development projects.


    Why is this Project Happening?

    Water Street is an important corridor in downtown Halifax, and has been identified for key improvements that will enhance how people use it to move within and through the area:

    • Water Street is designated as a Transit Priority Corridor in the Integrated Mobility Plan (IMP) and Halifax Transit's Moving Forward Together Plan. 
    • It was recently approved by Halifax Regional Council as an "All Ages and Abilities (AAA)" bicycle route. 
    • Opportunities to improve the pedestrian experience on Water Street have been identified, recognizing its importance as one of the region's busiest streets for walking and rolling.

    With a narrow right-of-way in some areas, it will be challenging to accommodate the many improvements envisioned for the corridor. To inform the functional design for Water Street, the project team is reviewing curbside access (loading and deliveries) to better understand the needs of property owners and businesses in the area. This survey includes 23 questions and may take 5-10 minutes to complete. The survey will be open until 5:00 p.m. on Friday, December 4, 2020. Thank you for your time. 

    What's Next?

    • The project team will review information collected from this survey (December 2020)
    • Functional design options will be developed (Winter 2020)
    • Public & stakeholder engagement (Winter 2020)
    • Recommendation report to Regional Council with proposed design (Spring 2021)
    Take Survey
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