Halifax development at Oxford and North Streets faces more concern

Residents near the corner of North and Oxford Streets in Halifax aren’t impressed with a revised plan that sees a proposed building project grow by two storeys in height compared to the developer's original plan.

Building was originally proposed to the city at 7 storeys with 75 units

Mythos Developments Ltd. has increased its proposed building at the corner of North and Oxford Streets from seven to nine storeys, a difference of 25 apartment units (City of Halifax)

Residents near the corner of North and Oxford Streets in Halifax aren't impressed with a revised plan that sees the height of a proposed building project grow by two storeys compared to the developer's original plan. 

Mythos Developments Ltd., the company behind the project, is facing some blowback in its decision to increase the height of the building from seven storeys with 75 units to nine storeys with 106 units. 

Nearby neighbours were already concerned the project wouldn't suit the area. 

"He [the architect] addressed some of the aesthetic concerns, but not the height or the density or the mass," said resident Joan Fraser, who lives across the street.

Blend with neighbourhood

Two buildings — a duplex and Ardmore Hall, the former St. Theresa Convent — would be razed to make way for the project. 

Fraser says she's not opposed to the city's goal of having more people live in the city centre, but wants new projects to easily blend in with the look of the neighbourhood.

She says the company owns a four-storey building on Inglis Street that would be more suited for the North and Oxford Street area than the nine-storey alternative being proposed.

"That's the kind of thing we're looking for," she said. 

The development should be delayed, Fraser said, until new planning rules for the city centre are adopted. 

Public engagement

Over 100 people gathered for a public engagement meeting Monday night to discuss the revised plan. 

Fraser says many people spoke up, adding that the architect was in an awkward position having to defend the new design contracted by the developer. 

"I think what many people were very, almost insulted by, was the fact that a seven-storey building was not recommended and the developer came back with a nine-storey building. And as someone said, this is a bit of smoke and mirrors." 

Concerns about foot and vehicle traffic congestion in the neighbourhood worries residents, Fraser said. Many families with children live near the proposed development and already have trouble safely using crosswalks at North and Oxford Streets. 

Fraser says the building's increased height also causes visibility issues for traffic.

"Shadows was a big one. And the architect didn't have good information on the shadows but, there were people in the room who knew and understood about shadows that they would go out far, far more extensively than had been shown in the pictures." 


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