The [Re]Presenting Halifax series revisits historical and contemporary maps, diagrams and other interpretive readings of the Halifax region. See my first post for the full aims of this project and more information about contributing to the series.
HALIFAX – This is a continuation of last week’s post about waterfront redevelopment. Similar to the plans presented last week, this post focuses on a plan commissioned for the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission during the early 1970s.
Dubbed Harbour Plaza, this 1971 urban redevelopment plan reimagines the Dartmouth waterfront and ferry terminal. In contrast to the plans for Halifax revealed at the same time, this plan presents the redesign of the ferry terminal as a strategic urban project meant to reactivate the surrounding area. While this proposal never materialized, it shares some similar features to the new ferry terminal and Alderney Landing complex.
The 1971 plan consists of the main ferry terminal, including two levels of underground parking, a covered rail corridor, covered terrace and exit to ferry, two levels of office space, as well as a potential 6- to 8-storey narrow tower addition to meet future demand for office space. A large hotel is also proposed for the block bordered by Alderney Drive, Queen Street and Ochterloney Street. The proposal specifically states the objective of the City of Dartmouth to revitalize the entire waterfront area. This project represented a first phase — a strategic mixed-use transit node — that would prepare the area for future intensification of a prime piece of waterfront land. So, what happened?