Silvers Hill Mural
Do you remember the heart and peace symbol that were spray-painted on the concrete bleachers on Silvers Hill last summer? Well, I’m pleased to share that staff are working on a public art project for this location. The heart and peace sign were removed last year as part of the clean-up for the Canoe and Kayak Championship. After they were scrubbed off, I heard from many residents who missed these recognizable symbols. There were folks who took their kids up Silvers Hill for pictures, people who got engaged standing in the heart, and many who said they just made them smile. What goes up on the bleachers next hasn’t been decided, but it will be professionally done. Staff were out gathering input during Switch and are still collecting ideas. If you any thoughts or suggestions as to what you would like to see on the bleachers, you can contact Darren Hirtle at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s make it beautiful again.
Bikes on the Ferry
If you followed the news last week, you may have heard that Council is considering new rules for bikes on the ferry. The new rules proposed by Transit would ban segways and limit the number of bikes to the number of racks. On the new ferry’s this would mean a limit of six cyclists per crossing, two of which could have trailers in tow. The big problem with Transit’s recommendation was that it didn’t come with any supporting data. Transit was essentially asking Council to adopt rules without any information as to how many passengers would be affected by the proposed change or how often the ferry is actually full. I’m not a member of the Transportation Standing Committee, but I was very glad that Councillor Nicoll successfully put forward a motion on my behalf to defer a decision until a proper ridership count can be done. The question of bikes on the ferry will come back to Council at a future date. With any luck, the whole issue will be moot after the Big Lift concludes this fall.
Sullivan’s Pond Concerts
The Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission is refocussing their programming budget on the immediate Downtown core. This mean more activity on Portland Street and in Ferry Terminal Park, but it also means that the summer concert series that the DDBC has sponsored at Sullivan’s Pond will not proceed this year. I thank the DDBC for all of the years that they have provided music in the park.
The Sullivan’s Pond Bandstand is currently booked by HRM for a Canada Day and Natal Day concert, but is otherwise available. Fees for booking the bandstand for special events range from $44.5 for small bookings to $96 for larger special events. I would like to see the Bandstand put to use for more than one occasion this summer. If you’re part of a music group that would like to play in the Bandstand, let me know. I have some limited cash available from District 5’s discretionary fund that I would be happy to use to offset the HRM fee and animate the park. You can check the scheduling of the Bandstand by calling 3-1-1.
Green Bins Weekly Collection
Summer weekly green cart collection will begin in July. Weekly collection helps to fight odour and animal issues that can come with having organics sit for long periods in hot temperatures. You can find out your collection schedule here.
Halifax Transit Fleet Fully Accessible
Halifax Transit has recently celebrated a major milestone, a 100% accessible bus fleet. The last of the old non-accessible buses have been retired and now all buses are able to accommodate passengers in mobility devices. In addition, Transit has recently completed the installation of automated stop announcements, which has made it much easier for those with visual impairments to use the system. For more information on the Halifax Transit system and its newest features visit their website.
Pets Left in Parked Vehicles
With the warm weather upon us, Halifax Regional Police are reminding citizens to not leave their pets unattended in parked vehicles. On a sunny day, even with the windows open, a parked vehicle can quickly become very hot and present potentially fatal conditions for pets left inside. If you see an animal in immediate distress, call 9-1-1 and take directions from the operator. A summary offence ticket for leaving an animal unattended in a motor vehicle in conditions that could cause distress carries a fine of $697.50.
Recreation Program Registration
Summer program registration has begun! Check out our Spring/Summer Program Guide for details on programs available for all ages.
Ferry Naming Complete
Halifax Transit’s newest harbour ferries will be named Vincent Coleman and Rita Joe after another ferry naming context concluded.
Vincent Coleman is a well-known hero for his bravery and selflessness during the Halifax Explosion on December 6th, 1917. Vince was a train dispatcher who stayed behind to warn an inbound train about the impending explosion that would take his life.
Rita Joe is known as the Poet Laureate of the Mi’kmaq people. She used her writing to teach others about her culture and her people and she was recognized for her work by being inducted into the Order of Canada in 1989 and was called to the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada in 1992.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to participate in the Ferry Naming Contest. The Vincent Coleman is expected to arrive in the fall, and Rita Joe will be joining the fleet in Summer 2018.
Transit wins CUTA Award
Congratulations to Halifax Transit team who recently won a Marketing and Communications award from the Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA). Halifax Transit won the award for their Bus Trackers viral YouTube video, which helped introduce the new real-time tracking system. To learn more see Transit’s website.
Residential Property Tax Exemption Program
The Residential Property Tax Exemption Program is now open. This program is available for all residents who own their home and have a gross household income under $33,000. Applications have been mailed to all applicants who applied to the program last year and new applicants can fill out the form online or pick up an application at the Customer Service Centre at Alderney Gate. For more information visit the HRM website.
Sportsplex Renovations and Parking
The Dartmouth Sportsplex multi-million dollar revitalization project has begun. The rink and walking track will reopen in September, but the rest of the facility will be closed until the fall of 2018. Parking passes for transit users are still available. You can contact Michelle for more details. To get updates on the renovations and more information on what the new and improved Sportsplex will include, see their special Sportsplex Evolution website.
Park Oven Now Open
Stop by the Leighton Dillman Park on Thursdays 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. throughout the summer to check out the Park Oven. Bring a pizza-making kit from Stone Pizza or your own ingredients and experience making your pizza in the outdoor oven. Summer staff members will be there helping to host on Thursdays. For more information about the oven and the Park Avenue Community Oven society, check out their website.
Congratulations to Claudia Chender, Dartmouth South and Susan LeBlanc, Dartmouth North for their victories in the recent provincial election. Claudia and Susan have not been officially sworn in to service yet, but you can keep in touch with them by following them on social media. Claudia is on twitter here and facebook here. Susan’s facebook page is here and twitter is here. I look forward to working with both of them to make Dartmouth an even better place.
To keep you better informed about what is going on at Council, I’m writing a regular blog after each council meeting. Each of my entries is about what I saw as noteworthy from a District 5 perspective and my views on the issues. We might not always agree, but I think it’s important to provide a record of how I voted and why. Due to the fact many of us were travelling for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities conference, Council only met once since my last newsletter. Below is the summary. The next Council meetings will be on June 13 and June 20.
May 26, 2017
Council pay, accessible ramps and electronic voting. Write up here
Campaign Finance Public Consultations
In April 2016, the Province of Nova Scotia made an amendment to the Halifax Regional Municipal Charter to allow for more rigorous rules on how money is collected and spent by candidates in municipal elections. Regional Council has directed staff to consult the public on this issue before drafting a by-law for Council’s consideration. Public meetings are currently being held and an online survey is also available. For more information on the process and how to get involved, see the HRM website. Don’t forget to take a few minutes to complete the survey here.
Planning and Development Feedback Required
Planning & Development delivers services designed to build a municipality with a healthy, vibrant and sustainable future. They are responsible for regional and community planning, urban design, heritage planning, land development and regulation, infrastructure planning and growth analysis, transportation planning, parking strategy, energy and environmental management, licensing, compliance and building standards. The municipality is looking to improve the way we communicate on these important issues and we need your feedback. Please take a moment to complete this brief survey.
Green Network Plan Survey
The Halifax Green Network Plan is nearing the final phase of development and HRM is still seeking input. Please take a moment to complete this survey, and help shape the plan to protect our open land and water spaces for the future!
Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes Painting Exhibit
June 1st – June 30th
Keshan Goodman Library
Stop by the Keshan Goodman Library this month to check out some beautiful Plein Air paintings of the Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes. Commissioned by Canadian Association for Retired People (A New Vision of Aging), this exhibit is meant to raise public awareness concerning this proposed park and wilderness area.
Dartmouth Visual Arts Society Exhibition and Sale
June 7th – June 25th Tuesday – Friday 12:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Sunday 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
The Craig Gallery
It’s an all Dartmouth show at the Craig Gallery this month. The Dartmouth Visual Arts Society Exhibition and Sale is underway from June 7th – June 25th. The Dartmouth Visual Arts Society is an arts organization dedicated to supporting and promoting visual arts in our community. They host weekly studio groups, monthly workshops and exhibitions. This month’s annual show features works around the theme of “Water – Life’s Necessity” from several different local artists. For more information about the society, see their website.
Dartmouth Players Performance
June 8th – 24th
33 Crichton Ave
The Dartmouth Players will be performing Jake’s Women by Neil Simon from June 8th – 24th. Jake’s Women takes us inside the mind of Jake, a writer with writer’s block and a failing marriage as he tries to work out his issues by having an inner dialogue with all the women in his life. Tickets are only $17 ($14 for students and seniors). For more details, check out their website.
Dog Days of Dartmouth
June 12th – June 17th
The Dog Days of Dartmouth is an opportunity for Downtown businesses to connect with pet owners and promote Dartmouth as a pet-friendly and walkable destination. They will be facilitating a Tennis Ball Scavenger Hunt, a photo contest, a hot dog feast and a pooch party in the park. Many businesses in Downtown Dartmouth offer pet friendly patios and water bowls for thirsty kanines. Check out the facebook page for more information.
Southdale North Woodside Open House
June 15th 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Southdale North Woodside
It’s been 64 years since Southdale North-Woodside first opened, but all good things must end. The new Dartmouth South Academy opens in September and it’s time to say goodbye. The school band will provide entertainment from 6:00 p.m. – 6:35 p.m., then the history of the school will be celebrated through stories, memory books, speeches and a night of getting together with friends, parents, students and staff. Visit their facebook page for details.
Take Action Society Fundraisers
Support the great work the Take Action Society is doing with youth in Dartmouth North by getting involved with one of their upcoming fundraisers.
The Awake-A-Thon will take place on June 16th from 9:30 p.m. – 6:00 a.m. at the “Hub” of Community Connections. Participants will raise money and stay awake all night by participating in a variety of fun activities. To sponsor a member, contact the society at 902-209-1900.
You can also support Take Action by attending their first Car Wash and BBQ on June 24th from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at Farrell Hall. The cost is $5 per vehicle.
Scam Savvy: Fraud Fighter Workshop
June 20th 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Alderney Gate Library
The Alderney Gate Public Library are partnering with the Better Business Bureau to offer a Fraud Fighter workshop. From pyramid schemes to the CRA scam calls, this presentation runs through the Top 10 Scams that most frequently target Atlantic Canadians, and demonstrates how BBB’s online Scam Tracker can help you research, report, and prevent scams.
Canada’s 150th Choir Concert
June 24th 2:00 p.m.
The Dartmouth Seniors Centre
The Dartmouth Seniors Centre Choir will be celebrating Canada’s 150th Birthday with a special concert of Canadian songs inspired by Canada’s unique cultures from coast to coast. Tickets are $6 and can be purchased by contacting the centre at 902-465-5578 or at the door.
Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission Annual General Meeting
June 28th 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
The Wooden Monkey in Alderney Landing
The Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission will be hosting their annual general meeting where you can learn more about the business commission and what they are doing in our community. If you would like to get more involved, the DDBC is looking for a new board member. If you are interested in serving on the board, please complete a nomination form and plan to attend the AGM. For more information, see the DDBC website.
June 30th 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Portland Street, Ferry Terminal Park
Canada Day Eve will be busy in Downtown Dartmouth. The Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo performers are taking over Portland Street between Alderney Drive and King Street for an ARTStravaganza. Bands, acrobats and other performers will also perform in Ferry Terminal Park all evening, and the waterfront will be bursting with colour with the Boardwalk Artists. There will be a kids zone on Portland with bouncy castles, crafts and more. Check out the Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission website to find more.
June 30th – July 2nd
Grahams Grove Park
Canada Day weekend in Dartmouth will be truly epic as the Epic Canadian race enters its fifth year. This year’s event kicks off Friday evening with a 6.1 km race, followed by an outdoor concert by the Mellotones and fireworks over Lake Banook. More racing on both Saturday and Sunday. For complete details on everything Epic see their website.
Brunch, Browse and Buskers
Saturdays 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Every Saturday in July and August (except holiday weekends), Downtown Dartmouth is hosting a series of mini street festivals called Brunch, Browse and Buskers. Portland Street will be programmed from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. with live entertainment, children’s activities and more. Each week will have a different theme. Contact the Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission for more details.
Canada 150 Celebrations
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the founding of Canada. As part of a massive, countrywide Canada Day celebration, HRM will be hosting a series of free events.
Canada 150 celebrations will include a Canada Day Kick Off on June 24th at Dartmouth Crossing with live music, giveaways and cake. The free Dartmouth Pancake Breakfast will be hosted at Alderney Landing on Canada Day and there will be a free concert at Sullivan’s Pond featuring Canadian artists. A free shuttle service will also be offered to and from Halifax for the Maple Lodge Farms Family Fun Fest and Main Event Concert featuring DeadMau5.
Details regarding parking, transit and other municipal program and service level adjustments will be announced prior to Canada Day, Saturday, July 1. For more information and a complete list of events and schedules, visit this website, call 311, follow the municipality’s Civic Events on Twitter and on Facebook.
Alderney Gate Summer Reading Club Kick Off
July 4th 20:30 p.m.
Alderney Gate Library
Registration for the TD Summer Reading Club begins June 17th. The reading program challenges children to read during the summer and visit the library to collect rewards, and enter to win prizes. Join the Alderney Gate team to kick off the program by helping to create their special Canadian summer mural.