Quarterly project updates

An aerial photo of the Cogswell District, facing northwest.

Spring 2023
Last updated: May 3, 2023

  • Underground infrastructure, such as vaults, manholes and catchbasins, continued to be installed through the winter.
  • Another retaining wall removal was completed during the winter. 
  • Crews continue to move soil from the south end of the project area to the north end. The soil is being repurposed to build up the future roundabout.
  • Re-grading of Granville Mall and the installation of underground services in this area has been substantially completed. The installation of hard landscaping components is underway, including a stage, and planters. 
  • Hard landscaping has begun in front of Baton Rouge Restaurant, including the installation of a new patio surface, steps, and a walkway.
  • Installation of a raised bike lane and sidewalk, and landscaping, will be completed along the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel and Historic Properties.
  • Installation of underground services continue up the future Proctor Street, including water, storm, sewer, and power.
  • Installation of Halifax Water infrastructure down Cogswell Street will proceed. 
  • Installation of underground services along new re-aligned Barrington Street will proceed, including storm, sewer, water, district energy system, electrical, communication and gas.
View of the Cogswell District. An excavator tears down a ramp.

Winter 2023

Last updated February 9, 2023

  • Effective December 2022 three detour roads are now open. The detour roads allow traffic to move safely throughout the Cogswell District while construction is underway.  Detour roads 1 and 2 were built to facilitate the movement of north and southbound traffic, while Detour Road 3 modifies an existing roadway to facilitate east and westbound traffic. With the opening of the three detour roads, revised traffic patterns will remain in place for at least the next 18 months.
  • With the detour roads in place, crews are able to work in large out of right-of-way work zones and continue to safely dismantle the Cogswell Interchange.
  • Two new temporary intersections have been constructed to help vehicles and pedestrians travel safely through the site.  
  • A temporary multi-use path (MUP) has been installed along the new detour roads connecting the Barrington Greenway to Lower Water and Hollis streets in the Cogswell District. The MUP provides additional mobility options and improves the connection to the All Ages and Abilities bikeway network in the Regional Centre. In addition to the temporary MUP, a new pedestrian crossing has been installed in front of the Baton Rouge restaurant, facilitating a safe crossing on Lower Water and Hollis streets.  
  • The Cogswell District mobile application has launched and is available for download on iOS and Android. The app is designed to help residents navigate through the Cogswell District using various modes of transportation. In addition to the navigation function, the app hosts information about the project, social media updates, progress photos, as well as three time-lapse cameras that capture different views of the Cogswell District. 
  • Crews have successfully dismantled the first ramp of the project.  
  • With the closure of Valour Way, crews continue to move material from the south end of the project area to the north end. These materials will be repurposed to build up the future roundabout. 
  • Underground servicing is ongoing and construction of Granville Park has begun.
  • Underground infrastructure, such as vaults, manholes and catchbasins, continue to be installed through the winter as the weather allows.
View of the Cogswell District. Excavators work on detour roads 1 and 2.

Fall 2022

Last updated: November 16, 2022

  • Effective November 14, 2022, the primary travel lanes running north and south through the Cogswell Interchange, from Barrington Street south of Cornwallis Street, will be closed to facilitate the removal of rock, install services, and adjust grades along Barrington Street to enable connection of by-pass road 1. Detour routes for this period can be found here. By-pass road 1 is scheduled to open mid-December.
  • By-pass road 2 will open on November 14, 2022, to facilitate detour movement as a result of the Barrington / Cornwallis Street intersection reconfiguration.
  • The Cogswell District mobile application is expected to launch in early November. The app is designed to help residents navigate through the Cogswell District using various modes of transportation. In addition to the navigation function, the app hosts information about the project, social media updates, progress photos, as well as three time-lapse cameras that capture different views of the Cogswell District.
  • The installation of major underground infrastructure is complete on Upper Water Street in the vicinity of HMCS Scotian. Connection services to Proctor Street, a new cross street, are complete. Crews will be finalizing alteration of the grades on Upper Water Street in this area to address current and future flooding.
  • A new storm outfall has been installed across the lands of HMCS Scotian. Reinstatement of the HMCS parking lot, fence, and retaining wall will be completed soon.
  • Installation of water services and new underground power infrastructure between Granville Mall and Upper Water Street near the Baton Rouge restaurant will be completed. Access to the north end of Granville Mall has been closed to enable installation of these services.
  • A Multi-Use Path (MUP) will be constructed in concert with Detour Road 1, connecting the Barrington Greenway to Upper Water Street at Casino N.S. Cyclists will have the option of using Upper Water Street in mixed traffic or continue on the Waterfront boardwalk to make connections to the Hollis and Lower Water Street protected bike lanes. The MUP is scheduled to open mid-December.
  • The entrance arch and amphitheater area in Granville Mall will be removed to make way for the beginning of construction of Granville Park.
  • Crews continue to move material from the south end of the project area to the north end. These materials will be repurposed to build up the future roundabout and grading.
  • The Cogswell District mobile app was launched on Wednesday, November 16. 
A view of the Cogswell District, with Purdy's Towers, Barrington and Hollis streets in view.

Summer 2022

Last updated: September 13

  • Crews continue to remove or relocate existing underground services, install new underground services, modify grades, remove soil, and prepare road sub-beds to facilitate completion of by-pass roads 1 and 2, which are expected to be open in late Fall 2022.
  • Vehicular movement through the interchange has been modified with adjustments to the location of the north and southbound lanes and the closure of the Barrington Street to Hollis Street ramp. Crews will begin to tear down this ramp and retaining wall in the coming weeks.
  • New underground infrastructure has been installed on Upper Water Street near HMCS Scotian in the north and the Marriott Harbourfront Hotel in the south. This includes new storm, sanitary and water pipes along with new underground power infrastructure, removal of overhead power poles and wires, and the relocation of a gas line. Temporary power and water services have been provided to abutting properties to facilitate this work.
  • Work in the vicinity of the Marriott Harbourfront Hotel has been completed with modifications to the hotel entrance/ exit, installation of a new sidewalk and curb reflecting the future alignment of Upper Water Street in that area, and completion of landscaping.
  • Work at the Department of National Defence parking lot has been completed. Crews are modifying the grade in this area to blend in with the future roundabout that will be built as well as the revised connection of Valour Way.
  • Crews are raising the grade on Upper Water Street in the vicinity of HMCS Scotian to prevent future flooding in this area.
  • Crews continue to move material from the south end of the project area to the north end. These materials will be repurposed to build up the future roundabout and grading.
A crane in the Cogswell District.

Spring 2022

  • Work continues on the construction of by-pass roads 1 and 2, which will establish large work zones within the project area and provide alternate vehicular and pedestrian routes through the site. The by-pass roads are expected to be completed in Fall 2022. 
  • Vehicular movement through the interchange has been modified with the closure of two ramps, the closure of northbound lanes within the main portion of the interchange and modification of the centreline to maintain two-way traffic, the closure of the south side of Cogswell Street and the conversion of north side of Cogswell Street to two-way traffic.
  • Planning is underway for a temporary extension of the Barrington multi-use path (MUP) to provide enhanced active transportation through the construction zone. The final leg of the MUP (between Upper Water Street and Hollis bike lane) is still under review. The MUP will open with by-pass roads 1 and 2.
  • By-pass road 3 has been implemented. New pedestrian routes are in place and express bus routes have been relocated to Duke Street from Albemarle.
  • New underground services (sanitary, storm, power) have been installed on Upper Water Street  near HMCS Scotian, along with district energy pipe and lateral pipes.
  • As part of the social benefits program outlined in the construction tender, Dexter has engaged two community liaisons from the African Nova Scotian and Mi’kmaw communities to help with the development and implementation of the Workforce and Supplier Diversity plan. 
  • A Social Benefits Advisory Committee, representing five equity seeking groups, has been established to help Dexter and the Cogswell District project team in the development and implementation of the plans.

Winter 2022

We’ve officially entered Phase I of construction, with preparation underway to build By-pass roads 1 and 2. With construction underway, lane drops and road closures are in place throughout the project area, and more are expected as the project ramps up. All construction impacts are being communicated to residents via halifax.ca/news and social media channels. By-pass roads 1 and 2 are expected to be complete in Fall 2022, at which time modified routes will be in place. Underground pre-work has begun on Upper Water Street. A new gas line was completed and preparation is underway for new sanitary and storm sewer lines. A lay-down site has been established for the temporary storage and receipt of construction materials as well as contractor construction trailers. The municipality has acquired a small parcel of land from the Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation to enable the project’s design plans. The Cogswell District project team has welcomed three new members to support project growth and momentum. The municipality hosted an event in early November to gear up for the Cogswell District project. To watch a recording of the event, please visit this webpage.


Fall 2021 Update

During the September 14, 2021 Regional Council meeting, the construction tender was awarded to Dexter Construction Limited. The project will now enter the pre-construction phase, which is expected to last three months. Once pre-construction activities are completed, equipment and labour will be fully mobilized. The project is scheduled to begin the construction phase in winter 2022. 

Spring/Summer 2021

The construction tender for the Cogswell District construction project closed on June 2, 2021. The bids were reviewed and a recommendation report for Regional Council was presented in August 2021.

Winter 2021

The Halifax Regional Municipality has entered into a land exchange agreement with Crombie REIT (Crombie) to facilitate the development of Granville Park, a new Transit Hub and the planned Proctor Street as part of the Cogswell District project. The agreement includes the municipal acquisition of a large parcel of Crombie-owned land at the end of Granville Street (between Barrington and Hollis Streets) and three small parcels of land in exchange for a newly-created parcel of municipally-owned land where the Cogswell Interchange now stands. The land exchange allows the municipality to complete a number of signature design pieces at the south end of the Cogswell District, anchored by the planned Granville Park. It also provides Crombie with a comparable development opportunity within one of the biggest city-building projects in the history of Halifax.


Fall 2020
The three bidding proponents, approved in the fall of 2018 under a Request for Qualifications (RFQ), confirmed their continued interest in the project as well as their compliance with the terms of the original pre-qualification criteria.


Summer 2020
In May, Halifax Water’s application to establish a District Energy System (DES) utility was approved by the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board.

The Municipal Planning Strategy/Land Use By-law Amendments process for Cogswell will resume following completion of the Centre Plan “Package B” initiative and will include a discussion of affordable housing.

Staff will be engaging with the Mi’kmaw and African Nova Scotian communities as well as construction industry associations to determine what is desired and can practically be achieved in this regard. Engagement with the African Nova Scotian and Mi'kmaw communities will also recommence on the Art and Commemoration Program for the Cogswell District.


Spring 2020
The Cogswell project team continued negotiations for required parcels of land. 

In August, By-law D-500 Respecting District Energy was approved by Regional Council. The by-law is applicable to only the Cogswell District currently. It makes connection to the system mandatory for all development within the district. The District Energy System (DES)  supports the goals of set out in HalifACT.

With the adoption of the Rapid Transit Strategy in July, transit-only lanes within the project between Upper Water Street intersection and the Valour Way roundabout have been included in the project. The curb lanes will be designated for transit-only use. An adjustment to the Barrington Greenway, by removing one of the treed medians, was necessary to accommodate this change.

A Purchase and Sale Agreement and Construction Agreement was signed with the Department of National Defence (DND) for lands required to construct the Valour Way roundabout. Negotiations with Crombie REIT for lands required to construct Granville Park, the Transit Hub, and a portion of Proctor Street were in progress.

Winter 2020
Given the size and scope of this multi-year project, significant due diligence must be completed prior to issuing the construction tender. An extensive review process by multiple municipal departments was required, as well as engagement with external partners and agencies to help ensure the project proceeds as smoothly as possible.

Staff worked to finalize land negotiations.



Spring 2019
Significant public engagement informed the approved design plan for the Cogswell District. 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. The target is to complete the process well in advance of the sale of the first development block.

More information: Strategy for upcoming public engagement.

Mid-Winter 2019
On February 26, 2019 Regional Council approved the 90% construction design plan and gave direction to proceed with tendering construction services for the project.

View presentation to Regional Council and staff report.

The approved design plan addresses public realm elements including accessibility, public art and commemorative features, parks and open spaces, multi-use paths, streetscapes, and a transit hub for the new neighbourhood. It also details the phases for construction of the project.

Staff have been directed by Council to proceed with issuing the deconstruction and construction tender.

Council also directed staff to continue with public engagement to finalize placemaking and commemoration aspects of the Cogswell District. In particular, focus will be placed on completing ongoing engagement with the Mi'kmaw and African Nova Scotian communities. Staff will return to Council with a report regarding timeline, phasing construction to align with other street recapitalization projects, and options to fund the Cogswell Greenway including potential use of development charges on adjacent development sites.

Early Winter 2019
In addition to undertaking a robust public engagement initiative in the summer and fall of 2018, municipal staff participated in an external review process in partnership with the Downtown Halifax Business Commission, Development Nova Scotia and 13 other key stakeholders. The Cogswell project team and WSP worked with Gehl, an urban design firm, and the stakeholder group for several months on a review of the approved 60 per cent design concept. The primary objective was to identify potential improvements to the design for the Cogswell District, specifically regarding public realm and building design.

The Gehl report was released to the public on Feb. 5, 2019 by the stakeholder group.

As staff worked to complete the 90 per cent design, the recommendations of the Gehl report were considered along with the public input captured in FBM’s Engagement Report.

It is anticipated the staff report regarding the 90 percent design will be presented to Regional Council in February. The staff report will contain details regarding staff’s review of the Gehl recommendations and those that have been included in the design. Further comment on any details in the Gehl report or the 90 per cent design cannot be shared publicly in advance of it being presented to, and deliberated by, Regional Council.


Summer/ Fall 2018
At the direction of Regional Council, staff engaged in a collaborative public engagement initiative to inform the 90 per cent design plan. From August through October 2018, input was sought on two topics: public spaces and urban design rules for new buildings in the Cogswell District.

Thoughtful feedback from residents resulted in roughly 100 ideas about parks, plazas, streetscapes, greenways, public art, and commemoration of history within the area. Residents also provided input on building designs, which will help inform next steps with future engagement regarding the Municipal Planning Strategy (MPS) and Land Use By-laws (LUB) associated with Cogswell District.

All ideas and feedback are summarized in the Engagement Report prepared by Fowler, Bauld & Mitchell (FBM).

Spring 2018
Regional Council approved the 60 per cent design plan on June 5, 2018.

Design details focused on parks and open spaces:

Active transportation (AT) – bikeway and multi-use trail
Streetscapes – street trees, sidewalks, linear plaza, street furniture and street lights Enhanced transit hub

A three-phased construction plan has been developed which maintains key north-south and east-west connections through the project site during all phases of construction. Traffic analysis associated with the phasing plan will be completed for the 60 per cent decision. Significant efforts will be made to help mitigate traffic congestion throughout the Cogswell corridor during construction. At this time, it is anticipated that the project will not require alternate traffic routes beyond the project boundary during any phase of construction.

Tentative agreements have been reached with Halifax Water and the Department of National Defense regarding land acquisitions necessary to implement the Cogswell District plan. Negotiations continue with Crombie REIT Limited regarding property to enable development of Granville Square – the large urban square at the south end of the district. Design details for Granville Square will be finalized following the conclusion of these negotiations. 

The 60 per cent design Concept Plan was presented as part of public engagement sessions held in April-May of 2018.

The 60 per cent design plan does not include details regarding building design. Land uses and building heights are governed by the existing DH-1 zoning. Amendments to the Downtown Halifax Zoning By-law will be considered in the coming months and will follow the standard planning amendment process including opportunities for public input. 


Summer 2017
The Cogswell Steering Committee approved the 30 per cent design development milestone for Cogswell Redevelopment Project on June 19, 2017 which confirmed the road network layout along with the location of the major design elements.

To date, design efforts have focused on urban design, open space, connectivity, development blocks, transit and alternative transportation. The approved 30 per cent design was developed in consultation with municipal staff from all key business units to ensure alignment with the objectives of key plans and strategies, including:

Integrated Mobility Plan
Goods Movement Study
Economic Growth Plan
Halifax Transit’s Moving Forward Together Plan
Downtown Halifax Secondary Municipal Planning Strategy (DHSMPS)
Centre Plan 
Urban Forestry Master Plan