What’s Happening.

Have you seen the proposals that developers Lawen and Rouvalis want for the area bounded by Spring Garden, Robie and College next to Carlton Street?

  • Four towers on less than a single city block - 30, 16, 26 and 20-storeys.

  • Up to twelve buildings, mostly heritage resources, to be demolished.

  • The towers will abut the western edge of Carlton Street, a unique early Victorian Landscape street designated heritage and recognised nationally.

The height and massing of these developments are truly monumental and precedent-setting. These are likely among the most colossal projects in Halifax to date, more than three-quarters the size of the Nova Centre.

To date, the two developments have been presented separately and without alternatives. We want to show their entire impact and that there are alternatives for this beautiful and only remaining historic neighbourhood on the Halifax Common.

We worry that these developments will set the mental and regulatory frame for future development on the peninsula.

aerial view of robie-spr garden from northwest2.JPG

Written requests by Heritage Trust in 2012 and in 2016 asked that this area be considered a conservation district. This seems logical. Of 44 properties in the four-block area, 20 are registered heritage properties. One of these is the former home of Margaret Marshall Saunders, Canada’s first best-selling author and top-selling book ever. Another 11 would qualify as heritage properties. These were ignored.

Present height restrictions of 35, 45 and 50 feet have been in place since the late 1980’s to protect the historic character of the neighbourhood, especially the properties adjacent to the “Early Victorian” Carlton Heritage Streetscape, recognised nationally as a rare example of the type. While minor variations of present height or mass might be considered, as proposed the Rouvalis and Lawen projects are tremendously out of scale with the neighbourhood.