The Big Build

Shannon Park in Dartmouth set to be razed and rebuilt

One day very soon, heavy equipment will roll onto a site along Halifax Harbour and begin one of the biggest reconstruction projects Nova Scotia has ever seen.

Once a Mi'kmaq community, then a military community, the waterfront site is seeking its new identity

Dartmouth's Gary Brinton shared this drone tour of Shannon Park in 2015. 11:50

The Shannon Park neighbourhood of Dartmouth, N.S., has paved roads, dozens of apartment buildings, schools, churches and even a multi-purpose centre, all with gorgeous views of Halifax Harbour.

The only thing it doesn't have is people. 

One day very soon, heavy equipment will roll onto the site along Halifax Harbour and begin one of the biggest reconstruction projects Nova Scotia has ever seen.

Shannon Park occupies nearly 40 hectares of prime real estate in one of Canada's great cities.  

But the place is a mess.  

In its prime, it was a thriving military community home to hundreds of people. Long before that, there was a Mi'kmaq settlement there called Turtle Grove, sometimes called Turtle Cove.

CBC Nova Scotia took an in-depth look at the area's past, present and future. 

What you need to know

Big plans for the Big Build

The wider community

The last military families moved away 13 years ago.

Now, the apartment blocks sit empty with shattered windows. A chain-link fence keeps would-be visitors out.

All of that is about to change.

'A very enticing' piece of land

The mayor of the Halifax Regional Municipality, Mike Savage, has called Shannon Park "a very enticing, useful, valuable" piece of land with "a multitude of potential uses."

In 2016, the abandoned buildings will disappear.  

What comes next? That's where you come in. Community consultation has been underway for several months, and it's time to have your say. 

  • What will your grandchildren see when they walk along the waterfront?
  • What can we afford to do?
  • Is there anything we absolutely shouldn't do?

This week, CBC Nova Scotia is focusing on the past, the present and the potential futures of Shannon Park.

We're calling our project The Big Build.

We welcome your comments below, on Twitter, or by email at

The Canada Lands Company owns the area outlined in yellow and Millbrook First Nations the area outlined in red. The inset yellow area is owned by the Halifax Regional School Board. (Original courtesy of Canada Lands Company)


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