News / Halifax

HRM launches public talks on how to improve the downtowns in both Halifax, Dartmouth

Downtown Halifax has been a hot topic of discussion as developers and regional council focus on ways to rejuvenate the area, but Tim Rissesco is glad downtown Dartmouth will have its share of attention in a new improvement campaign.

On Thursday, HRM announced a series of public meetings called Downtown … I’m In. The meetings will be held Saturday, Feb.8 to capture ideas about creating a more vibrant downtown experience in Halifax and Dartmouth.

“It’s exciting. It’s good to have a council and a mayor that … see the downtowns as economic generators for the municipality,” said Rissesco, executive director for the Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission.

“That fires us up and energizes us, and keeps the momentum going forward.”

Rissesco said what downtown Dartmouth really needs is more people living and working in the area, as well as fun street events like Switch that bring crowds into the area.

He said Dartmouth already has lots of great infrastructure like the waterfront, multi-use trails, new independent shops as well as promising developments like King’s Wharf.

Although he has nothing against large shopping malls, Rissesco said it’s important to keep downtowns alive because they’re the “heart of a community.”

“It’s where the history is,” Rissesco said. “The downtown is what makes our city special.”

The Halifax event will be in the mezzanine level of Pete’s Frootique on Dresden Row and feature Charles Montgomery, a “downtown champion” and award-winning author of The Happy City.

Vancouver entrepreneur and restaurant owner, Mark Brand, will speak at the Dartmouth meeting in the Alderney Landing Farmers’ Market.

Both run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Metro Transit will provide free ferry service between 9:15 a.m. and 3:45 p.m to get people to and from the meetings.

Visit for more information.

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