Nova Scotia

2 NHL-size rinks proposed for Halifax Forum renos, cost pegged at up to $86M

Redeveloping the Halifax Forum could almost $86 million, says a new Halifax city council staff report. The latest analysis suggests two ice surfaces are needed, not the three discussed in earlier proposals. 

Main rink at facility would would be renovated to preserve its heritage

The cost of the the Halifax Forum renovations is being projected at between $70.9 million and $85.9 million. (+VG Architects)

Redeveloping the Halifax Forum could almost $86 million, says a new Halifax city council staff report.

The latest analysis suggests two ice surfaces are needed, not the three discussed in earlier proposals. The two ice surfaces would be NHL size and replace the ones currently at the complex.

The main ice surface — called the Halifax Forum — was built in 1927 and is a registered heritage property. It would be renovated to preserve its heritage aspects and would have seating for 2,900 people, while the smaller Civic Centre arena would have 220 seats.

The two rinks would be connected via a concourse. There would be a two-level parking structure on the north side of the property, as well as a multipurpose event space measuring 8,000 square feet. Park space is envisioned for the south end of the site.

The best-case price for the project is $70.9 million, while $85.9 million is the projected maximum because of the unknowns associated with heritage restoration, says the report.

The Halifax Forum arena would be renovated to preserve its heritage aspects and would be able to seat 2,900 people. (+VG Architects)

An alternative to demolish the Forum and build a replica would cost $69.7 million. The price tag for a standard two-rink facility is $63.8 million. Neither alternative is being recommended.

In a letter to planners, the Halifax Forum Community Association, which operates the current facility, calls for the multipurpose space to be expanded to 12,000 square feet. It said if the space is not increased, the association could lose more than $270,000 in rental revenues annually.

A larger multipurpose space "would better serve our diverse offering of cultural, community, recreational and social activities," wrote George Findlay, the chair of the association's board.

The Civic Centre arena would be NHL size and have seating for 220 people. (+VG Architects)

Halifax council will debate the Forum project on Tuesday.

If a plan is approved, construction could begin in 2021 and take four years.

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