Construction causing growing pains in downtown Halifax
Published Friday, December 7, 2018 4:45PM AST
Last Updated Friday, December 7, 2018 5:01PM AST
If you've noticed a spike in buildings going up in Halifax's downtown you're not alone.
That construction comes with the frustration of closed sidewalks, one-lane streets, and even fewer parking spots.
But growth is good says Mayor Mike Savage.
Tell that to the guy who has to walk on the side of the road because a sidewalk is closed while abuilding remains under construction.
As you drive around Halifax's downtown, it’s a situation you’ll see is fairly common.
There’s a building going up on Clyde Street, one being finished across from the library, another on Sackville Street, several on Hollis Street, and on Brunswick Street, development has this street down to one lane.
Whether apartments or condos, retail space or office buildings, it feels like development in the downtown is everywhere, especially in the Spring Garden Road area.
Here’s the word on the street from a few Haligonians.
“We drove around probably 10, 15 minutes at least, with two of us looking, trying to find a spot, we found one that's only 30 minutes … no good if you have an appointment. It's very difficult in Halifax, down this end especially.”
“Of course there's more buildings going up and we hope that that will lead to foot traffic and not so many cars, but look, everyone has a car.”
“Just from the time the library was built, and now seeing all this other construction, it sort of becomes a street that you want to avoid. On the other hand, it's also a street that has everything that you want, so it's six of one, half-a-dozen of the other.”
There was a boom of building permits in 2013 with 32 in the downtown region. That number remains high according to the Downtown Halifax Business Commission.
“In terms of the actual numbers of building permits, I think this is actually the highest year we've ever had,” said Paul MacKinnon, executive director Downtown Halifax Business Commission.
And with that development, also comes some frustration.
“They say ‘I'm not going to come back downtown till it's all done.’ or people are saying ‘no, development’s great and lets not even complain about it,’” MacKinnon said. “I think it's finding that middle balance for you know, what are the challenges? A big one is people not known where to park.”
The city is working on an app that will show you, in real time, where parking spots are available.
“We recognize there's inconvenience and our job is to try and manage it as well as we can but in a growing city there will be construction and construction means that there will be some inconvenience for sure,” Savage said.
Growth may be good, but during the growing pains it also makes scoring a parking spot seem like finding gold.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Brown.