Shrinking Halifax Common turns 250
Advocates urge city to stop parcelling park
The Halifax Common will celebrate its 250th anniversary this year and advocates are using the occasion to fight off any more plans to shrink the public space.
The commons, as they are commonly known in Halifax, were established as pasture land for the public.
In 1763, the green space extended all the way to South Street. But, over time, parts of the Common have been parcelled off.
"Back in the 1800s when they built the school for the blind there was apparently quite a hullabaloo over using common land," said Beverley Miller, co-chair of the Friends of the Halifax Common group.
She said more recently the city traded the former Queen Elizabeth High School land to the province for future hospital use.
Miller said she thinks the city should halt the shrinkage and pay more attention to certain parts of the park.
"If you look at the benches, the few benches in the north Common, they are pretty battered and the walkways are all bunged up," she said.
This week city staff are recommending a $20,000 grant to help the group put on a three-day-long celebration in early October.
The province and Ottawa have already agreed to contribute $55,000.
The event will include art and photography installations, theatre performances, public lectures, poetry presentations, drumming, yoga and guided walks.