Halifax Forum Renovation

Project Overview 

This project involves the replacement of the aging skating and multiuse facilities of the Halifax Forum. After nearly 100 years, the Halifax Forum has reached the end of its useful life and the time has come to replace this facility with significant upgrades. 

Through this project we will create a more accessible facility for all ages and abilities. This will include spaces for wheelchair users to watch and roll, careful attention to grade changes, universal washrooms, updated locker rooms, more gender-neutral spaces and a rink fully equipped for sledge hockey.  

The renovated facility aims to be much more energy efficient by having on-site power generation, using state-of-the-art energy capture and storage equipment, along with utilizing new ice plant technology. It will also include better connection to local streets, biking and walking infrastructure. 

Project Status  

The Request for Supplier Qualifications (RFSQ) is expected to be released to the construction market in March 2024. The RFSQ will create a shortlist of qualified proponents who will apply to a detailed Request for Proposal (RFP). The highest scoring RFP will determine the successful team of designers and builders who will work on this project. 

Project Timeline 

The tendering and design phases will take place from 2024 to 2026. Construction is expected to begin in 2026 and be completed by 2030. 

Public Consultation 

Public consultation took place in April and May 2022 to assess community support and values for the proposed renovation of the Halifax Forum facility.  

This included a survey with the opportunity to engage through a web portal, email, phone and an in-person open house. The material presented included directions and concept plans. In addition, the Halifax Forum Community Association (HFCA) was engaged regarding their building program needs for multipurpose space, input into approach for the market sounding and the overall site plan options for the Forum complex. The HFCA will provide input on design decisions. 


The Halifax Forum has been an indoor arena since 1927, having previously been the site of the Nova Scotia Exhibition Grounds. Over its history, facilities have been added and the building has evolved into the current configuration. The Forum was registered as a heritage building in 2003 and had a Heritage Impact Assessment in 2019. The heritage component of this redevelopment adds complexity to the project which will extend the timeline and increase cost. 


On-site parking will be available for the new facility, with the exact number to be determined in the detailed design. 

Solar panels and electrical vehicle charge stations  

Both solar panels and electrical vehicle charge stations are expected in the new facility, with the details to be determined in the detailed design. 

Does this mean that the project will happen? 

Halifax Regional Council will need to approve the construction costs, expected in 2026. If the costs are approved by Regional Council, the construction phase will proceed.


How much will the renovation cost? 

As outlined in the May 29, 2023 staff report, the project is budgeted at $110 million.

What is the project timeline?

The Halifax Forum redevelopment will be a multiyear project. The design and construction phases each will take years to complete due to the size and complexity of the project, along with the heritage components. 

How will the project be funded?

This project will be funded solely by the Halifax Regional Municipality.

How will the redeveloped arena limit its energy use?

The redeveloped Forum and Civic arenas will be developed with environmental sustainability in mind. Careful design and review of the building envelope will be taken to mitigate energy losses and minimize the load on mechanical systems. Sustainable options for the ice plant are being optioned and novel energy storage and redistribution systems will be implemented to minimize energy waste at the facility. Finally onsite power generation is planned. These measures will mitigate Green House Gas (GHG) production while lowering operational costs.  

What accessibility features will the redeveloped forum have?

The redeveloped arena will be accessible to all ages and abilities. This includes accessible features such as accessible parking, careful attention to grades, facility features, inclusive shared spaces, better transit inclusion and set-up for sledge hockey.

What facility components will be included in the renovated Halifax Forum?

The redeveloped facility will include two rinks, change rooms and multipurpose spaces. In these early stages of the project, details of additional facilities have not yet been finalized.

How many ice surfaces will the renovated Halifax Forum include?

Two National Hockey League (NHL)-sized rinks.

How much seating will be at each of the ice surfaces?

In these early stages of the project, these details have not yet been finalized.

How many parking spaces will be on-site?

In these early stages of the project, these details have not yet been finalized. More information will be provided when it is available.

How will access to the Halifax Forum be improved for large events?

To ensure better access to the site at large events, a traffic study will be undertaken to identify solutions to move large amounts of people in and out of the arena in an efficient manner. The study will be integrated into the design and layout of the facility along with improved integration with the expanding active transit network along with purpose-built pickup and drop-off infrastructure.

What resulted from the public consultation that took place in spring 2022?

A staff report was presented to Regional Council on May 29, 2023 as part of the Halifax Forum redevelopment project.