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Greenway-Related Press Coverage and Releases

Southender Magazine

HUGA - Realizing a Dream
By Leonard Preyra June, 2012

CBC Radio One Information Morning

Interview on Halifax Urban Greenway
By Nina Corfu Thurs., May 24, 2012

Metro Halifax

“Labour of love” for Halifax’s Urban Greenway
By Jennifer Taplin Wed., May 9, 2012

Halifax Chronicle-Herald

Residents favour narrower trails
By AMY PUGSLEY FRASER City Hall Reporter Thu. Nov 20, 2008 - 4:47 AM

Halifax Chronicle-Herald

To pave or not to pave: Cycling enthusiast wants asphalt to be used on trail rather than crusher-dust
By KRISTEN LIPSCOMBE Staff Reporter Tue. May 6, 2008 - 5:49 AM

Halifax Chronicle-Herald

Group hopes meeting tonight will pave way for crusher dust trail
By AMY PUGSLEY FRASER City Hall Reporter Mon. May 5, 2008 - 5:24 AM

The Southender
April 2008

H.U.G: A Legacy Project
By Leonard Preyra, MLA, Halifax Citadel

The Coast
Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Happy trails: Mike Fleury likes trailblazers
By Mike Fleury

The Halifax Urban Greenway is quite possibly one of the nicest projects you've never heard of.

Essentially, the Greenway involves two parallel trails—a three-metre-wide trail reserved for cyclists, skateboarders and other non-motorized wheels, and a one-metre-wide walking path—that would follow the edge of the Halifax peninsula. The Urban Greenway would connect Chebucto Road to Point Pleasant Park, but it's designed to link to a much larger multi-use trail system that would encircle the peninsula—picture a trail from the Armdale Rotary circling around to the Harbourfront, and you get the idea.

Following a path cut by CN rail, the Greenway would take advantage of a belt of green space that has been preserved on either side of the rail line, several dozen feet above the tracks.

It's the kind of public trail that Halifax is lacking, and desperately needs. The Greenway concept was first proposed in 2002 and was met with a mostly positive response.

So, why haven't you heard of it? And, more importantly, why isn't such a fantastic project already framing the city? Well, the thing about progress is, it's slow. Over the past five years, the Greenway has been in and out of the news—securing funds, securing land, tweaking the exact route.

Fortunately, this past week, the Greenway received a significant boost—the province and the feds agreed to commit $600,000 towards the project. According to Kevin Conley, an HRM parks manager, that commitment means that at least part of the Greenway will actually be built in the coming year.

"It's not exactly finalized, but this should allow us to build from South Street to near Saint Mary's."

The next major step would be constructing a pedestrian bridge to connect the section of the trail near Saint Mary's University to Pine Hill and then to continue the trail up to Point Pleasant Park and beyond.

Mark Poirier is the president of the Halifax Urban Greenway Association: He's been talking about the Greenway since 2000. After so much talk, finally breaking ground on the trail is an exciting prospect.

"It's long overdue," he says. "For five or six years we were just looking at a vision and some parts were still quite vague. We would say, "Oh, I guess it will connect up with something, but I don't know what.' Now, we're starting to get an idea of how it's going to connect at either end."

The $600,000 does not mean a network of multi-use trails will appear in Halifax overnight—Poirier estimates that the proposed footbridge connecting SMU to Pine Hill will cost $300,000. And as the trail spreads further across the city, the planning gets more ambitious.

"The major challenge in the northern part of the route, for example, is how to get past Quinpool Road," explains Poirier. "There's been work on a concept study on the engineering of how to get underneath Quinpool—that's a bit off yet, but it would be the most expensive trail project in Nova Scotia, however they end up doing it."

If passing underneath Quinpool seems a bit far-fetched, fair enough—but in the meantime, completing any section of the Greenway is a step in the right direction.

"I live on the peninsula, and when we'd go biking as a family, we'd load our bikes into the car and drive out to Musquodoboit Harbour," says Conley. "This trail seems like the right thing."

Halifax Chronicle-Herald
Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Province, feds to pony up for trails, rec centres

Ottawa and Nova Scotia will contribute $5.4 million toward construction of two new recreation centres and improvements to four hiking trails in Halifax Regional Municipality.

"We?ve been waiting a long time and our perseverance has paid off," Mayor Peter Kelly said Tuesday as details of the deal were announced at the Fairbanks Centre in Dartmouth. The cash is coming from the Canada-Nova Scotia Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund.

New recreation centres on Prospect Road and in Fall River, getting about $1.7 and $1 million respectively, will receive the biggest portion of the cash.

More than 100,000 people in the Fall River and Prospect areas will have access to the two centres. Each will include a full-sized gym, fitness centre, multi-purpose space and meeting rooms.

Cash will also be provided for trail upgrades that include a Bedford Highway bikeway, Shubie Canal trail, Dartmouth harbourfront trail and the Halifax urban greenway.

Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay said the cash is in no way connected to Halifax?s failed Commonwealth Games bid.

"This is money that makes up Nova Scotia?s share of infrastructure dollars that came out of the last budget," said Mr. MacKay, the minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.

Jamie Muir, the minister responsible for Service Nova Scotia and municipal relations, said the funding announcements will excite many local volunteers.

"The two community centres and the trails will encourage sports and recreation among residents of all ages," he said.

Volunteers were indeed cheering in Fall River area, said Cheryl Newcombe, who chairs the community group planning construction of the Gordon R. Snow Community Centre.

"This has been in the hopper for quite a while, so there will be considerable excitement about the project moving ahead," she said.

Ms. Newcombe said tenders will go out quickly for construction of the complex, to be built on the Fall River Road near Georges P. Vanier Junior High School. Halifax Regional Municipality promised the project $1 million last year.

The centre will feature assorted progressive environmental and design features, including natural light for the gym and other areas.

"We would certainly hope to have the doors open and the building in use by October of 2008," she said.

Sidebar - Projects getting funding

Shubie Canal trail: Providing a 200-metre connector on the trail, described as a vital link for the emerging Shubie Canal system. It will complete a link between the new Tittle Bridge area and the trail on the other side of Micmac Boulevard. The $257,000 cost will be shared equally by Ottawa and the province.

Bedford Highway bikeway: A bicycle-friendly route along Bedford Highway from Southgate Drive to Meadowbrook Drive and along Hammonds Plains Road to Highway 102. The $235,000 cost will be shared equally by Ottawa and the province.

Dartmouth harbourfront trail: A 300-metre portion of the Dartmouth harbourfront trail between Tupper Street and Ferry Road will cost $352,000, which will be shared equally by the two governments.

Halifax urban greenway: A two-kilometre trail will be built along Beaufort Avenue, Franklyn Street and Pinehill Drive to Point Pleasant Park. The $600,000 cost will be shared equally by Ottawa and the province.

Recreation centre in Fall River: A 26,000-square-foot recreation centre will be built that will include a full-sized gym and other amenities. Ottawa will chip in $280,350, while the province will contribute $1.7 million.

Community centre in Prospect: A 20,000-square-foot complex on Prospect Road will be built. The $2-million cost will be shared equally by the two levels of government.

Halifax Daily News
Sunday, January 16, 2005

South-end greenway one step closer
By Shaune MacKinlay

City hall is calling for proposals to build an urban trail along the railway tracks in Halifax's deep south end. Construction could begin as council approves the expenditure.

A proposed urban-trail system following the leafy CN rail cut through Halifax's south end is taking some baby steps.

Halifax Regional Municipality has issued a request for proposals for design consultants for a 2.5-kilometre stretch of the greenway from South Street to Point Pleasant Park and Young Avenue. Proposals are due Jan. 24.

The design work does not mean the long talked-about trails for cyclists and pedestrians are a go, said city project manager Kevin Conley.

"It remains to be seen," he said. "It's in the capital budget yet to be approved by council for this coming year to construct the trail."

Once designed, construction could begin as soon as money becomes available, he said.

Design and construction of the first phase are estimated at $750,000. The second phase, which would extend from South Street, following the top of the east side of the railway cut to the lower end of Chebucto Road near the Armdale Rotary, is not being recommended this year.

Mark Poirier, president of the Halifax Urban Greenway Association, said he's pleased to see some work move ahead, but the plan still has its obstacles, including CN Rail ownership of a key piece of land on Beaufort Avenue.

Poirier said it's uncertain whether CN will part with the land.

"Whether we're going to see anything this year is always an open question," he said, adding he hopes a portion of the gas-tax dollars from the federal government will be used for the project.

CN spokesman Mark Hallman could not comment in detail on the greenway proposal, but he said the company has to protect its freight operations. "In terms of real estate, we don't negotiate publicly or discuss that issue publicly," he said. South End Councillor Sue Uteck said she hopes a well designed trail will be acceptable to homeowners.

Trail can't come too soon - Halifax Daily News, June 12, 2004 (adapted from Daily News website)

Trail-along-tracks proposal unveiled - Halifax Chronicle-Herald, October 16, 2002 (adapted from Herald website)

"Trail proposal may put Halifax on right track"

Halifax Chronicle-Herald, January 17, 2000, Page A1

Summary: An HRM staff proposal, part of the Halifax Parklands Strategy, calls for a pedestrian and bicycle path parallel to the railway tracks that run around the peninsula and end at the waterfront. Planner Marcus Garnet says HRM would acquire much of the land lining the tracks from CN Rail. However, he says there is no funding committed to the project. Mayor Fitzgerald and South End Residents Association president Hugh Pullen strongly support the idea.

Copyright © 2013, Halifax Urban Greenway Association