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The Beginning of the End – Shannon Park Scheduled for Demolition

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Workers have begun preliminary efforts as plans to demolish the former PMQ buildings of Shannon Park, established in 1949 and located in Dartmouth near the Mackay Bridge.

The Park was originally home to Halifax DND personnel until the announcement of the realty rationalization plan in 2001. DND personnel started leaving the Park for new housing soon afterwards and were fully cleared by 2003.

Canada Lands Company say they bought nearly 82 acres of Shannon Park from DND in 2014. The area of the Park is approximately 96.5 acres according to CLC. Many former residents of Shannon Park may recall a large water front coverage, playgrounds and recreational buildings including a CANEX, swimming pool and arcade. The area had some forested areas and access to neighboring Wallace Heights which was also home to military PMQ’s around the same time frame changed to civilian housing in the 90’s. With the exception of a school, the recreational buildings have been abandoned since the early 2000’s, with the final building of the area, a skating rink, only recently closing it’s doors.

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According to CLC, “Canada Lands will act as master land developer in the redevelopment of the property, and in this role will: undertake public consultation; prepare a redevelopment plan; make application and gain municipal planning approval; install roads and services (in phases, as appropriate); and market and sell services lots or blocks to builders (in phases, as appropriate).” – Quote from shannonpark.ca / CLC

Shannon Park has been the topic of many discussions over the years on what to do with the property, with various ideas debated in City Hall for years. One of the more constant topics for use of the property has been a new sporting arena, at one time boasted to expand Halifax’s ability to bring in various major sporting events as well as a constant public use venue.

During the time of closure, fenced off from the public, the buildings have been seen slowly crumbling, windows smashed and the loss of two churches (one church from fire years ago and another torn down). Deer and various other wildlife are sometimes seen in the area, known to wander through B.I.O. and area. Through the fence you can clearly see decayed and crumbling playgrounds and clotheslines in unkempt fields that used to be busy environments for residents. In comparison, the former Wallace Heights PMQ’s have continued to operate privately as Ocean Breeze Estates, housing hundreds of families.

CLC has provided the following approximate timelines for the work that has been done and has yet to begin.

April 2015 – Initial Public Information Meeting
June 2015 – 2nd Public Meeting – Ideas Fair
Summer 2015 – Environmental Investigation
Fall 2015 – 3rd Public Meeting – Development Options
Fall 2015 – Commence Phase Demolition
Winter 2016 – 4th Public Meeting – Draft Plan
Spring 2016 – Anticipated submission to HRM for municipal approvals
Spring 2018 – Commencement of construction
Spring 2019 – Land sales

We will continue to follow the progress made at Shannon Park and continue updating. At the time of the photographs being taken of workers arriving on scene, several vehicles with former residents came by to see the area, stopping to talk and share a few memories.

Information Source: shannonpark.ca / Canada Lands Company

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