News / Halifax

'Take it up a notch:' public, business owners asked to help shape Halifax waterfront space

Waterfront Development is hosting sessions to gather ideas for the area between Sackville and Salter streets

The Halifax waterfront is enjoyed on a beautiful Monday afternoon.

Jeff Harper/Metro

The Halifax waterfront is enjoyed on a beautiful Monday afternoon.

Small businesses, new tables, better shade, live music and more food - these ideas and more could become reality on the Halifax waterfront through upcoming engagement sessions.

Waterfront Development is hosting a series of sessions this Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday to gather ideas on how to use the space behind Summit Place running down to the Salter Street area, in light of the need to move the colourful kiosks there from farther up the boardwalk due to the future Queen’s Marque project.

“We want to know how we can take it up a notch, and make it even more vital for local visitors, how to make this authentic, and how it can work better for a whole myriad of small business,” Peter Bigelow, senior planner for Waterfront Development, said Monday.

Bigelow said people can come to the 90-minute sessions at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and brainstorm, then take a walk to view the actual site and picture what could happen there.

The current kiosk leases run three years, and Bigelow said now is the opportunity for entrepreneurs to say whether they like the format or hope to see shorter or seasonal leases included, or even a market-style system where many people participate on a square.

Besides the importance of consulting the general public since it’s “their waterfront," Bigelow said, they are consulting with businesses who may like to set up there, as well as those currently in the area to see what they want to highlight or improve.

Samira Khodadoost, co-owner of Kayak Halifax on the waterfront, said Monday she'd love to have a “one-stop shop” adventure pavilion created of businesses handling kayaks, bikes, Segways and more.

Artists could also create large art pieces of sea creatures like otters and fish that visitors to the harbour might spot, Khodadoost said, or brighten up the light poles and wooden boardwalk with different colours.

“[Something] kind of fun, that would attract a lot of visitors so when they’re walking through they say ‘this is cool,’” she said.

“It adds up.”

A seating area with more stable umbrellas, extra green space, and better shade would be ideal, 19-year-old Ty Pratt said as she walked by the space Monday.

Bigelow said whatever goes into the space would be started by the end of the summer so it’s ready for next tourism season, and would likely last within five to 10 years before being reimagined as something more permanent.

The sessions are Wednesday at 1 p.m. & 6 p.m., and both Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.

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