Special Report | Cogswell Interchange

The Road to the Future

It's time for the citizens of Halifax to think big.

What do you want to see on this tract of land?
How should it serve the people of this city?

After years of reports and consultations, this is the closest the Halifax Regional Municipality has come to reimagining the downtown core.

What's there now?

Courtesy of Halifax Regional Municipality.

Quick Facts
Total available land: 5.9 to 6.7 hectares (14.7 to 16.5 acres)
Roads: 2.4 to 3.3 hectares (5.9 to 8.1 acres)
Developable land: 2.3 to 2.8 hectares (5.8 to 7.0 acres)

What's the vision?

In his first speech to the Halifax Chamber of Commerce as the mayor of the Halifax Regional Municipality, Mike Savage identified a focus on revitalizing the downtown core — a process he said should start with the Cogswell Interchange.

Two days after that speech in December 2012, the Halifax Regional Municipality awarded a contract for a technical analysis of the Cogswell Interchange site to Ekistics Planning & Design, a firm based in Dartmouth. Their job is not to decide what should replace the Cogswell Interchange, but rather to advise on how to approach its removal and phase in development.

Ekistics Planning & Design won the contract for $156,324.71 and presented its report to an executive committee of the Halifax regional council in April 2014.

What are some options?

In 2000, the Halifax Regional Municipality commissioned Vaughan Engineering Ltd. to study the Cogswell Interchange and discuss design alternatives, traffic impacts and planning issues. The main question was whether essential traffic and roadway services could be provided with a road network on one level, rather than the multiple levels of the interchange. The engineering firm presented its report the following year, along with 10 road concepts. Of these 10 concepts, the four illustrated here were selected for further traffic analysis.

The complete document is available here.

What do citizens want?

In 2000, the Downtown Halifax Business Commission hired Bernie Smith to consult on a new vision for the area of the Cogswell Interchange. He presented several possibilities for the space, including a high-end hotel, a performance space and an aquarium. Smith, who is now the executive director of the North End Business Association, shares his thoughts on what should happen in the area:

Bernie Smith identified these priorities for the Cogswell Interchange in a presentation he gave the Downtown Halifax Business Commission.

What have previous reports concluded?

The Halifax Regional Municipality has commissioned numerous reports on various aspects of redesigning the Cogswell Interchange. Here are three possible street plans from those reports:

Courtesy of Halifax Regional Municipality

What's Next?

Citizens in the Halifax Regional Municipality had a chance to voice their opinions on what should happen to the Cogswell Interchange at a public forum hosted by the Strategic Urban Partnership.

The event — called The Cogswell Shake-up — happened on May 16.

The Halifax Regional Municipality, which is part of the Strategic Urban Partnership, will be providing basic information to inform the event and plans to send several representatives. The municipality has already said it will incorporate the ideas resulting from the forum into the Halifax Regional Municipality's future decisions regarding the Cogswell Interchange.


Stephanie Domet, the host of Mainstreet, speaks with Andy Fillmore and Joanne Macrae of the Strategic Urban Partnership.

Reporter Pam Berman looks at what will be involved in dismantling the interchange and redeveloping what the city is now calling the Cogswell Precinct.

Cogswell Interchange Forum

On March 27th, CBC Mainstreet hosted a forum on the challenges and opportunities for developing the 16 acres of land.

Cogswell Interchange Frame

Your Opinions

Do you have an idea for what the Cogswell Interchange could look like?
Or feedback on what's been proposed? We want your opinions.

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