Elements of the approved design plan for the new Cogswell District are showcased below.
This plan addresses accessibility, public art and commemorative features, parks and open spaces, multi-use paths, streetscapes, and a transit hub for the new neighborhood. It also details the construction phases for the project.
Significant public feedback was used to inform the 90 per cent construction design, approved by Regional Council on February 26, 2019. A series of public engagement initiatives contributed to the evolution of the Cogswell District design plan.
As part of the municipality’s engagement program from August-October 2018, residents contributed roughly 100 ideas about parks, plazas, streetscapes, greenways, public art, and commemoration of history within the area. Nearly 80 per cent of these comments and ideas were incorporated, either fully or partially, into the approved design.
More details regarding the approved design plan can be accessed by viewing the presentation to Regional Council and staff report.
To access background details, reports, presentations and plans - as well as insights gathered from public engagement to date - visit the online engagement portal for the Cogswell District project.
Overview: Approved Design Plan
One of the most significant changes included in the 90 per cent construction design plan is the conversion of the southern roundabout (contemplated in the 60 per cent design plan) to a three-leg intersection. This change was influenced by the Gehl report, and will accomplish a number of key objectives including improving walkability in the area for pedestrians, and making transit services more efficient.
The project’s pre-construction phase, which started in mid-September, is expected to last three months. Fully mobilized construction began in winter 2022. The construction phase of the project is expected to take up to four years to complete.
Construction of three by-pass roads is currently underway and targeted for completion in Fall 2022. Residents will be provided advanced notice regarding impacts to traffic, to allow for proper route planning.
Construction of three by-pass roads is targeted for completion in Fall 2022. By-pass roads 1 and 2 are expected to be complete in Fall 2022, at which time modified routes will be in place. By-pass road #3 is in place.
By-pass roads #1 and #2 will modify north-south traffic through the construction site, while by-pass road #3 will modify east-west traffic. These by-pass roads are necessary to enable construction zones to be set up within the project site.
The municipality remains committed to timely communications throughout this project. Road closure and detour information will be shared with residents on halifax.ca, through public service announcements, municipal social media channels, digital and print advertising and a new mobile app, which will launch in the coming months.
Key elements of 90 per cent construction design plan
- Staff are working closely with the Rick Hansen Foundation on the review of design elements in the 90% plan to determine requirements to meet the target of Gold Designation for the new neighbourhood.
- Four key connections to the Waterfront are highlighted in the 90% plan with enhanced entrances, plazas and pedestrian linkages.
- The redeveloping commercial district on Gottingen Street is connected via Cogswell Street and Barrington Street to the commercial centre downtown, mending the gap left by the interchange and creating continuous corridors of pedestrian-oriented retail. New pedestrian linkages are provided between the Halifax ferry terminal and Historic Properties and the transit hub through Granville Park.
- A multi-use path connects to the existing trail along Barrington Street north of the development through Poplar Park to Cogswell Street. Future opportunities may include conversion of part of the trail to a new street that connects to Albemarle Street.
- A pedestrian greenway with separated bike lanes connects existing active transportation routes at Barrington Street north of the roundabout, Brunswick Street south of Cogswell Street and Lower Water / Hollis Streets, creating a continuous active transportation network from north to south and east-west. Future improvements to Cogswell Street will complete the network to the Halifax Commons and the AT network west of the downtown.
- East-west connectivity is greatly improved through new pedestrian connections with crosswalks in several locations where there is no current connection, including:
- Along the waterfront at Historic Properties, Bells Lane, Upper Water Street and Barrington Street, and Cornwallis Street through the roundabout.
- An improved access with a plaza, stairway and elevator connecting Barrington Street to Upper Water Street through Granville Park.
- A new park in the former location of Hurd's Lane connects the multi-use trail to Barrington Street.
- Street improvements along Proctor Street and Cornwallis Street enhance connectivity to the North End neighbourhood.
- The extension of Granville Mall along its historic route through Granville Park to Bells Lane.
Art & Commemoration | Cultural and Interpretive Features
- Public engagement indicated a strong desire for interpretive and commemorative features to celebrate the history of the neighbourhood and its residents.
- The commemoration approach is organized as a series of “moments” throughout the community, aligned along streets, the greenways and through parks spaces, allowing residents and visitors to stop and enjoy the unique history, character and culture of the city.
- Key opportunities for commemoration include stories regarding the former neighbourhood, urban renewal, the interchange and resulting displacement of residents; the existing working wharf, DND and the former waterfront; the story of the African Nova Scotian community, with celebration of their history and culture; recognition the new community is sited on the ancestral lands of the Mi’kmaw, with recognition of their stories and celebration of culture; recognition of newcomers strengthening diversity in our community; incorporation of nature, urban agriculture and local plant communities into the streetscapes and parks; celebration of sustainability including Low Impact Development measures incorporated into the design, the district energy system and water treatment plant.
- Details regarding the specific art and commemoration ideas continue to be developed and confirmed. The Cogswell team will continue to work with the African Nova Scotian community, Mi’kmaw community, other community groups, and municipal staff to finalize the details of commemoration and public art opportunities in the District.
- Once direction is obtained from Regional Council on the 90% design, staff will commence the necessary processes to determine the official street and park names within the District.
Parks & Open Space
- The new community introduces new park space, urban plazas and greenways for the benefit of existing and future residents and visitors. Names provided are temporary, as each park will be named through a formal naming process.