, 2023-04-24 17:30:00,
Plans for a new Cole Harbour park would see an off-leash dog area, mountain bike trails and a disc golf course, but with no funds committed to the project it’s unclear when work could begin.
After two rounds of online surveys with residents, Halifax municipal staff came up with the Rehab Lands Park Plan as a roadmap for what the 20.4-hectare site of the former Halifax County Rehab Centre lands could look like. The area also once served as a set for the television show Trailer Park Boys.
Key features of the lands include frontage on Bissett Lake, hilltop views of the surrounding coastal area and wooded sections that would mostly be left natural. There would also be picnic areas, new trails, a meadow, a lake pier, and sledding hill.
“I was thrilled. I thought staff did a really good job at taking all of the concerns and the suggestions of the community, and they have created an amazing scope of activities and meditative options for people,” area Coun. Trish Purdy told CBC News Monday.
“The scenery is just breathtakingly beautiful no matter where you look.”
A meditation labyrinth is also in the plan, an idea which the report said came directly from the public as a way to allow reflection and introspection on the site’s history. The rehab centre was a psychiatric hospital operating from 1941 to 2002.
The city’s community planning and economic development standing committee met last Thursday to hear about the plans.
Former councillor and area MLA Lorelei Nicoll told the committee she’s in favour of the park plan moving ahead, saying she was happy to finally see progress years after she argued to keep the lands from being sold off for development.
Nicoll said back in 2016 when Halifax council declared the area as parkland, she often heard from former employees about the importance of honouring the “forgotten people” who had lived at the rehab centre.
Just two weeks before Const. Heidi Stevenson was killed by the gunman in the Nova Scotia mass shooting of April 2020, Nicoll said she heard from Stevenson about the property.
“She said, ‘In this…
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