News / Halifax

Halifax business owners hope to make Spring Garden Road 'destination area again'

Business owners, planners and concerned citizens met recently discuss what they would like the Spring Garden Road area to look like in the future.

Pedestrians cross the street Monday on Spring Garden Road.

Jeff Harper/Metro

Pedestrians cross the street Monday on Spring Garden Road.

Business owners on one of Halifax’s busiest streets are looking to revamp the area, bringing in bigger sidewalks, brighter streets and potentially turning Spring Garden Road into a one-way street.

Business owners, planners and concerned citizens gathered at the Dalhousie School of Planning Exhibition Hall on Spring Garden on Friday to discuss what they would like the area to look like.

“It was an opportunity for the community to come together and talk about how we can, and should, make Spring Garden a destination area again,” Juanita Spencer, executive director of the Spring Garden Area Business Association, said Monday.

The meeting was an opportunity for the community to plan for the future, with some long-term ideas being thrown around for a full streetscaping project, said Spencer.

This project would see electrical wires moved underground, sidewalks widened and decorative lighting installed to brighten up the area.

“We very much would like to see this happen in the Spring Garden area,” she said.

Additionally, there have been some more controversial ideas being thrown around, such as turning Spring Garden Road into a one-way street. The one-way would see Dresden Row having one lane of traffic going south, while Birmingham Street would see traffic going north.

The changes would all have to be funded by the city, but due to the budget for these type of projects being depleted, no major changes will be happening anytime soon.

In 2009, there was some talk of redesigning the area, but a consensus wasn’t reached, and the city’s money was spent elsewhere. That's why Spencer and others are preparing now, so when the funding is there they will be ready.

“We would like to have a coordinated effort; I think that really only happens through discussion,” she said.

Kurt Bulger of Jennifer’s of Nova Scotia, a high-end souvenir shop, was at the meeting. He is feeling optimistic, but is a little disappointed at some of the ideas discussed.

“Somebody wanted to do hopscotch on the sidewalks,” Bulger said Monday.

Bulger went to the meeting to seriously focus on a vision for the area, not to be organizing hopscotch games, he said.

“Like any of these events, you’ll agree with some of the things said and you’ll be puzzled about the other ones.”  

Bulger does want to continue the process, but at a higher level, with more reasonable ideas.

“Let’s keep these things obtainable; you’re not going to have a zoo in the middle of Spring Garden Road,” he said. “that’s not going to happen.”