Argyle Street opens with a party after months of construction

After 21 weeks of construction, Halifax's Argyle Street is ready for a party.

The pedestrian-friendly street will sometimes be closed to vehicle traffic

The final paving stone will be officially installed Saturday. (CBC)

After 21 weeks of construction, Halifax's Argyle Street is ready for a party.

"[It will] really celebrate the businesses that have lived through this," said Jacob Ritchie, urban planner with Halifax Regional Municipality.   

The final paving stone will be officially installed Saturday when there will be live music, games and beer tents to mark Argyle's new look.

The wider sidewalks, paving stones and the curbless street are intended to make it more of a pedestrian zone.

"There's no question that the design and hopefully the way it's used will be a cue to people that this is really a space for people," said Paul MacKinnon, executive director of the Downtown Halifax Business Commission.

Jacob Ritchie, an urban planner with HRM, says the city didn't want to keep out all vehicle traffic on the newly designed street. (CBC )

The one-way street will start allowing vehicles on Tuesday evening. 

Ritchie says the city didn't want to keep out all traffic because some access is important to the bars, restaurants and theatres.

"This is a destination place," said Ritchie, "We wanted to make sure cars are welcome, but people will probably choose other streets if they are just driving through town."

But MacKinnon thinks the two blocks of Argyle could be regularly closed to traffic when next year's patio season gets underway.

The one-way street will start allowing vehicles on Nov. 7. (CBC)

"There is the intention to have a series of street closures, probably most weekends," said MacKinnon. "It's meant to be flexible."

Ritchie says the idea of pedestrian-first streets could spread to other areas of downtown Halifax.

"I think we are going to see more of that," he said.