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The Halifax Urban Greenway

Map showing Greenway alignment

The Halifax Urban Greenway is a concept for a multi-use trail in peninsular Halifax, closely following the Canadian National Railway alignment from the Chain of lakes Trail on Joseph Howe Drive to Point Pleasant Park.

To date, a one-kilometre section along Beaufort Avenue between South Street and Marlborough Woods/Roxton Road has been completed.

The CN Railway Cut

Working railway alignments are usually a source of industrial blight, to be avoided at all costs. However, any line servicing the Ocean Terminals on Halifax Harbour in the South End required a massive cut through the bedrock to get a train from sea level on Bedford Basin to sea level on Halifax Harbour.

With a depressed rail line, vegetation could survive and grow. Today, a river of greenery flows through the city along the railway. The vegetation and continuous tree canopy is a haven for birds, wildflowers and other flora and fauna.

Project Benefits

Green space and natural habitat running through the city will be preserved. People from the city and beyond will be able to walk, bike and jog the trail. There will be newly created parkland.

The Greenway will link public parks and water access points to the Northwest Arm. The map at right shows the location of these.

Major destinations along the cut are Dalhousie University, Saint Mary's University and Point Pleasant Park. Someday the Greenway will link up to other trails heading through the Port of Halifax and along the waterfront on its south-eastern end and towards Bedford Basin on its north-western end.

The Halifax Urban Greenway Association

The Halifax Urban Greenway Association (HUGA) is a community organization that has been set up to work with HRM, the universities, volunteers, business, corporations, and foundations to plan for the preservation of the Greenway and its development for public access.

Families on the Phase One trail on Beaufort Avenue.

This is an exciting project for metro, promising great benefits. HUGA's original concept plan for the Chebucto Road to Point Pleasant Park portion of the Greenway, including the full text, photos, drawings and maps is available for download.

Click for larger image

The map above shows Phase One covering the length of Beaufort Avenue. The projected Phase Two extends to Saint Mary's University and a new pedestrian bridge across the rail cut to Pinehill Drive.(Click on image for larger map.)


This planning and preliminary design study lays out the future connections to Pine Hill Drive in the south and to Jubilee Road in the north.

HRM staff has been tasked in the coming months with designing the active transportation trail to the south through HRM and Saint Mary's University lands. An exit to Rogers Drive is proposed, with the active transportation bridge to Pine Hill Drive left for an upcoming phase of the route.

Trail construction is expected in 2020 or 2021.

2017 Preliminary Design and Implementation Plan

This planning and design study will address the connection between the existing Phase One along Beaufort Avenue and the Chain of Lakes Trail on Joseph Howe Drive. North of Quinpool Road, it is anticipated that the connection will be on existing streets as a bike route only. Work must be completed by March 1, 2018.

RFP letter to pre-qualified consultant firms:

March 13, 2014 - HUGA Presents Heritage Walk Interpretative Panels

The first four interpretative panels of the Halifax Urban Greenway Heritage Walk were installed yesterday, as described in the accompanying "The Halifax Urban Greenway" Facebok page post. The web pages with additional resources supplementing the panels can be reached from:

January, 2013 - HRM Issues RFP for Design of South-End Pedestrian Bridge

HRM has issued a Request for Proposal for the design of two bridges over the CN rail cut as part of the Halifax Urban Greenway - one from the rear of Saint Mary's University to Pine Hill Drive; the other next to the SuperStore on Joseph Howe Drive.

From the RFP: "Our objective is to have the five active transportation bridges tendered in late 2014 with construction completed during 2015. To the degree practical, these bridges should make use of panels salvaged from the Macdonald Bridge redecking project."

Go to the "Reports" page to download the extracts from the RFP, including map and aerial photos, plus the bridge decking feasibility study.

April 2012, SNC Lavalin - Options Analysis and Functional Design: Potential Links between HUGA and COLTA Trails

Excerpts from this recent HRM-commissioned study show how future commuting and recreational cyclists may be able to take "short-cuts" to get onto the Halifax Urban Greenway. See "Reports"


HUGA held its Official Opening for Phase One of the Halifax Urban Greenway at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 26th, at the parkette at the corner of Beaufort Avenue and South Street. Despite the threat of showers, none arrived.

The officials present to cut the ribbon to open the trail were Senator Stephen Greene, MLA Leonard Preyra, and Councillor Sue Uteck. Sam Bruce of the 33rd Halifax Pipe Band piped in the official party.

The HRM Police horse Sarge and an HRM Fire Department crew were on hand to help celebrate the event.

A light lunch was catered by Extreme Pita, complemented with coffee, tea and pastry from Barrington Tim Horton's and two large cakes decorated with the HUGA logo.

To view a photo album chronicling the event, please bring up the "photos" section of the HUGA Facebook page, accessed by clicking on "The Halifax Urban Grreenway" in the like box below. Please show your support for the Greenway by adding your name to the "likes" on our Facebook page.

You can download the one-page flyer highlighting the event that was distributed throughout the neighbourhood surrounding the trail prior to the event in this PDF file.

Phase Two Resources

Design Study for Marlborough Woods to Saint Mary's University section - an under-graduate thesis by Dalhousie Bachelor of Community Design student Jessica Wagner (May 3, 2007)

The design drawing for the new bridge over the railway cut is now available (May 16, 2006)..

"Why a Bridge ?: The Evolution of the Greenway Concept" and accompanying map "Rejected Southern Alignment Map" - why the Greenway is the way it is, on our "Reports" page.

Saint Mary's University Campus Master Plan - "The South Campus and The Oaks" - the Greenway is described and shown in relation to present and future campus buildings.

The Overall Vision

The Long-Term Vision - the complete Greenway concept, from Point Pleasant Park to the Fairview Cemetery

Copyright 2019, Halifax Urban Greenway Association