Case 24359: 2537-2539 Agricola Street



Application by EcoGreen Homes on behalf of a property owner, requesting to enter into a heritage development agreement on lands at 2537-2359 Agricola Street, Halifax (PIDs 00169516, 00169508) to permit a 30 unit, 27.3 metre (8-storey), mixed-use addition to the registered heritage property.

The applicant has applied to enter into a development agreement on the property to permit a 30 unit, 27.3-metre (8-storey), mixed-use addition to the registered heritage property. This development agreement is being sought in accordance with Policy CHR-7 of the Regional Centre Secondary Municipal Planning Strategy (SMPS), which permits Council to consider a development agreement on any lot containing a registered heritage building to encourage the conservation and adaptive re-use of registered heritage buildings.

Heritage Significance
2539 Agricola Street, Halifax, also known as the Open Mic House, was registered as a municipal heritage property in 2020. The property contains a two-storey wooden building which is a highly representative example of the late Victorian Plain (Halifax Box) style, designed and constructed by an unknown builder between 1900 and 1905. Historically, Open Mic House served as middle- and working-class housing for most of its existence, but from 2008 to 2016 it served as a local music venue, gaining substantial cultural significance, as well as its colloquial name of “Open Mic House”.


The applicant is proposing the construction of a mixed-use addition to the Open Mic House containing 30 residential units, 383 square metres of commercial space including a ground-level piazza and a second-storey balcony, one level of underground parking with 10 spaces (2 of which are accessible), and bicycle parking for 18 bicycles (also underground). A key element of the proposal is the restoration and continued use of the registered heritage building. The rear half of the registered heritage building will be removed to accommodate the mixed-use addition and the front half will be fully restored and used as commercial space. The commercial component of this mixed-use development is proposed to include a restaurant use, and the applicant notes their intention to restore the Open Mic House’s culturally significant function as a local music venue.

If approved, the development agreement would allow the property owner to: 

  •    Create a 27.3-metre, mixed-use building in addition to the existing Open Mic House, which will be altered and restored for new use.

If approved, the development agreement may require the property owner to rehabilitate the registered heritage building at 2539 Agricola Street to its original form and design, and to follow specific building control parameters for the mixed-use addition, which will include such controls as height, mass, architectural design, lot coverage, and others. 

The applicant’s proposal also requires a separate heritage application which staff are processing concurrently. This type of application is required by the Nova Scotia Heritage Property Act when significant changes are proposed to a registered heritage property. The substantial alterations must be reviewed by HRM’s Heritage Advisory Committee and approved by Regional Council.

Both applications must be approved before the applicant can pursue the proposed development.


Development agreements are discretionary applications, meaning that they require the approval of Community Council to proceed. Staff are currently collecting public feedback and will ultimately prepare a recommendation for Regional Council to consider. Before Regional Council can make any decision about the proposal, details of the proposal shall be published to the municipal website, a sign shall be posted on-site, a mail-out shall be sent to residents within a 250ft radius of the site, and a public hearing shall be held. The mail-outs will be distributed in May 2023.

Staff are simultaneously processing an application to substantially alter the Open Mic House. In accordance with the Nova Scotia Heritage Property Act, a substantial alteration application must be reviewed by the Heritage Advisory Committee and approved by Regional Council before any registered heritage property is substantially altered.   


This application is currently in the public consultation stage. We are inviting questions and comments on the proposal. We wish to hear from you! Public feedback will be collected through the municipal website, as well as through the sign posted on-site and the mail-outs, which will both include the contact information of the planner assigned to this case. Following public consultation, HRM staff will draft the Development Agreement and write a staff report for review by the Heritage Advisory Committee and Community Council. Should Community Council wish to consider the proposal, a public hearing will be scheduled. Please monitor this website for further details.  

Documents Submitted for Evaluation

The applicant has submitted plans and studies required by municipal staff to properly evaluate the application. The details of this application may change before consideration or approval by Community Council. Updates or changes to the application will be posted on this website. 

A – Elevations
B – Renderings
C – Site Plan 
D – Heritage Impact Statement 
E – Heritage Registration Staff Report

Contact Information

For further information, please contact:

Carter Beaupre-McPhee

Heritage Planning Researcher

Regional Planning

Telephone: 902.719.9604

Mailing Address

HRM Planning Applications

PO Box: 1749,


Nova Scotia,

B3J 3A5

Attention: Carter Beaupre-McPhee (Please identify the Case # and address)