October 26, 2017 8:13 pm
Updated: October 27, 2017 7:57 pm

New Dartmouth trail to Halifax Harbour lookout opens briefly for dedication ceremony

WATCH ABOVE: Shannon Park’s Canada 150 Trail isn’t finished yet, but the hope is to fully open it before the winter. Steve Silva reports.

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A new, unfinished trail in Dartmouth’s Shannon Park neighbourhood opened for about two hours as part of a dedication ceremony on Thursday.

The Canada 150 Trail, about one kilometre in length, connects the area around Shannon Park Elementary School to among other places, the Halifax Harbour lookout near the MacKay Bridge.

“We’ve been calling it a turning point,” said Chris Millier, director of real estate for the Canada Lands Company (CLC), regarding the event.

READ MORE: Shannon Park trail, Halifax Harbour lookout planned to open this fall

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The semi-circular lookout, which is wheelchair accessible, is called Norris Point. Visitors can see a different harbour bridge on either side.

The trail will be closed during the winter due to “public safety” reasons. Millier said the area hasn’t been open to public access for decades, and the hope is to open the trail for public access daily between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. before the winter.

Further planned work on the trail includes replacing the lookout’s internal wood railing with a metal version akin to the external one and installing interpretive panels.

“We probably have two or three weeks’ worth of work to clean things up,” Millier said.

The company owns 86 acres of land in the area, including the aforementioned school. It has prepared a preferred development concept and presented it to the municipal government. Once that’s approved, detailed engineering can begin, he said.

READ MORE: Halifax pitches abandoned military site for Amazon campus in declassified report

The area was brought up as a potential site of a new Amazon headquarters in a pitch by the municipal government.

“We had a meeting with the team that put it all together,” said Halifax Mayor Mike Savage. “I’ve seen the bid and it’s spectacular, and obviously, we’re a long shot, but whatever it does, it’s going to help us build this city and I think that was the main purpose.”

Millier said CLC has proposed about 3,000 residential units at the site, which would bring an expected 6,000 to 8,000 people, built over 10 to 15 years depending on market demand.

Millbrook First Nation Chief Bob Gloade said the community previously resided in the Shannon Park area before the Halifax Explosion.

“This development is significant to our community,” he said. “It has a cultural and historical significance to our community and to our people, and that’s why we’re looking at reclaiming back some of the land and looking at some development.”

Canada Lands Company will be the master developer and will build the new roads and infrastructure. Those lands will then be sold to other developers for construction of buildings.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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