Canada Lands acquired approximately 34 hectares (86 acres) of this former military site in 2014 from the Department of National Defence (DND). The property includes a French immersion school. Large portions of the site have significant water frontage and offer a large, relatively flat area suitable for development. Steeper areas around the edge of the site offer views of the harbour.
Indigenous Services Canada retained approximately 3.6 hectares (nine acres) of the site for transfer to the Millbrook First Nation. Although Canada Lands is Shannon Park’s master land developer, the Company is working collaboratively with the Millbrook First Nation to redevelop the property.
In 2017, the company built the Canada 150 Trail and Lookout, a pedestrian pathway and boardwalk. The private trail is opened seasonally and provides visitors access to the Halifax Harbour and its beautiful views.
Canada Lands undertook an extensive public engagement process, which resulted in the preparation of a preferred development plan in 2016. More recently, Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) sought community feedback to finalize the plan and prepare a development agreement. The plan has been evolving during the HRM planning and consultative process, with a focus on creating a community that provides opportunities for mixed-use development. Although the majority of the plan will be focused on residential development, commercial and supporting professional services will be integrated. The final designs will ensure a mix of housing types and support public open space. The flow of the community will ensure pedestrian linkage throughout with strong connectivity to the future shoreline park. The development of the future parks will provide both active and passive green spaces. Public transit is also an integral part and consideration throughout.
In January 2023, Canada Lands Company concluded a development agreement with HRM that will govern how the site will be developed over about a decade. A public hearing was held on February 2, 2023 during which HRM council approved that agreement. With council support, Canada Lands will start fine-tuning details of the plan including design guidelines, detailed engineering as well as park space planning in cooperation with the HRM – while ensuring there is active community engagement along the way.
For more information, here is a link to the Halifax Community Council website.