Current engagement opportunities

Cogswell Storytelling Engagement Program 

The Halifax Regional Municipality invites residents to help guide the municipality’s approach to storytelling, public art and commemoration in the Cogswell District.  

The Cogswell Storytelling Engagement Program is an integral part of the Cogswell District project, as it will help identify the stories and histories of Indigenous, Mi’kmaw, and African Nova Scotian/African Descent communities that should be told in the area. Regional Council directed staff to engage these communities to recognize their lived history and unique ties to the Cogswell area.   

For more information, visit our website

Previous community engagement opportunities

Community engagement  has been and continues to be a cornerstone of the Cogswell District project. 

The most recent community engagement opportunities centered around land use policies, with an engagement period open from May 15 to June 15, 2024. For more details, visit our website

To access previous background details, reports, presentations and plans - as well as insights gathered from public engagement to date - visit the online engagement portal for the Cogswell District project.

Community engagement informed the approved design plan for the Cogswell District. Building on this, residents will be asked to provide input on planning policies, regulations, and design requirements for the area – including rules that will guide the design and use of buildings. The development of detailed land use policy is being reviewed and considered as part of the Municipal Planning Strategy and Land Use By-law amendment process. 


Numerous meetings were held with the Mi’kmaw and African Nova Scotian communities in the Spring and Fall of 2019. The focus of these meetings was to determine interest in engaging on public art and commemoration opportunities within the Cogswell project and to ascertain the appropriate conduits through which such engagement could occur.

Several African Nova Scotian and Mi’kmaw community groups were also engaged to discuss economic development opportunities associated with the project for their respective communities.

Municipal staff explored opportunities to include contract requirements in the tender that aim to achieve social benefits/impact in accordance with the provisions related to “Social Value” as set out in the revised Halifax Regional Municipal Procurement Policy. Those contract provisions include:

  • Developing a Workplace Development Plan aimed at achieving diversity within the construction workforce (with a target of 10% of all apprenticeships and 20% of all labour provided by individuals from equity seeking groups;
  • Developing a Supplier Diversity Plan aimed at promoting diversity for suppliers of the construction project (with a target of 10% of all subcontracts for goods and services going to businesses owned, managed and controlled by persons from equity seeking groups);
  • Appointing a Community Liaison to work with the contractor, the municipality and the community in the development and implement of these plans;
  • Establishing an Advisory Committee made up of members from the African Nova Scotian and Mi’kmaw communities, as well as other equity seeking groups, to work with staff and the contractor to oversee and support the development and implementation of those plans.

On March 14, 2019, hundreds of residents attended a showcase at Scotia Square hosted by the municipality’s Cogswell District project team. Visitors to the showcase viewed the approved design plan and learned about the extensive public input over the past five years has helped shape the Cogswell District design. 

Further to direction by Regional Council, staff will continue with public engagement efforts to finalize placemaking and commemoration aspects of the Cogswell District.


In the summer and fall of 2018, Cogswell District engagement focused on two topics: public spaces and urban design rules for new buildings. Engagement included: Nine pop-ups held throughout the Halifax region Key stakeholder engagement meetings with members of the African Nova Scotian and Mi’kmaw communities, as well as representatives from Shelter Nova Scotia

  • A three-day design charrette, including a site visit and expo event at Scotia Square
  • Online engagement including a survey, interactive engagement map, video, and social media


Cogswell project team conducted extensive outreach to a wide range of stakeholders including adjacent landowners, developers, special interest groups, utilities, and members of  the general public.

Seven public engagement sessions were held in April and May of 2018 to update and engage residents and stakeholders on the Cogswell District 60% design plan.

Input was sought on the public realm elements of the project like active transportation components, park and open spaces, elements of a proposed urban square, transit hub details and streetscape design details.

145 written comment cards were submitted by those who attended the series of seven engagement sessions and the Shape Your City online engagement portal received 2,100 visitors with 628 online survey submissions.

Thoughtful feedback from residents resulted in roughly 100 ideas about parks, plazas, streetscapes, greenways, public art, and commemoration of history within the area.


Cogswell project team hosted public information session at Casino Nova Scotia on Oct. 26, 2016 to mark the beginning of the detailed design phase of the Cogswell District.

Attendees were provided with a status update, an overview of where we go from here, and a chance to engage with project staff and key stakeholders on this important city-building initiative.


On May 16, 2013, an extensive public engagement program was hosted by Mayor Savage and the Strategic Urban Partnership coined the “Shake-Up”. From that program, a Shake-Up Report was compiled with 10 proposed key aspirational themes to guide the project going forward.

Using feedback gathered from the Cogswell Shake-Up, the Cogswell Lands Plan – an extensive redevelopment plan for the district – was created.