History

Building on the value of the waterfront since 1976

The province of Nova Scotia has always recognized the value of its spectacular waterfront spaces. In 1976, the Waterfront Development Corporation took on the task to create experiences and opportunities and invest in infrastructure at the water’s edge. The Corporation began with a focus on the Halifax Harbour, but in July, 2018, Develop Nova Scotia was formed with a new pan-provincial mandate to develop strategic economic infrastructure to support inclusive economic growth in Nova Scotia. In December 2022, Nova Scotia Lands Inc., Develop Nova Scotia, and the Healthcare Infrastructure Renewal group combine to become Build Nova Scotia.This means that the legislation that governs this new Crown corporation is now in force, made official by a proclamation on order by the Governor in Council.

Build Nova Scotia oversees opportunities to transform our province’s lands and properties in ways that drive our economy forward and improve quality of life for all Nova Scotians. This includes managing the addition and renewal of infrastructure that keeps Nova Scotians healthy, connected, and thriving no matter where they live.

A thriving community is a powerful thing. And for our communities to reach their full potential, they need partnership, support, and platforms for growth. Build Nova Scotia believes that by working together, we can ensure the projects and places that matter most to Nova Scotians are brought to life in ways that improve our home and enrich our lives.

A brief history of the Halifax waterfront

The waterfront has always been the historical core of commercial and naval Halifax: a bustling working harbour in a growing city. The post-WWI downturn in traditional waterfront activity was followed by containerized shipping growth, which led to property deterioration as businesses moved elsewhere in the harbour. Over this same period, Halifax declined as a fishing port. In 1960, a Harbourfront Highway proposal was replaced by a community that was looking for a more progressive strategy for their waterfront. To view an in-depth look at the history of the Halifax waterfront, click here.

Waterfront Development is born

Three levels of government came together to develop a plan that would generate economic and social property on the waterfront. The committee became a Crown Corporation with the mandate to redevelop and revitalize the lands surrounding Halifax Harbour (and any other lands designated by its shareholder, the Province of Nova Scotia), and was named Waterfront Development Corporation. Since 1976, Waterfront Development has worked with partners on a number of key development projects, including Marriott Harbourfront and the award-winning Bishop’s Landing in Halifax. Today, Build Nova Scotia has a province-wide mandate with the same basic principles to capitalize on Nova Scotia’s wealth of waterfront assets, and ensure residents, visitors and entrepreneurs have access to the spaces in a well-planned and inclusive manner. See Projects.

News

Evergreen Market Vendor Opportunity

Apply to be a vendor at the 2024 Evergreen Festival vendor market!…

Apply to be a vendor at the 2024 Evergreen Festival vendor market!

Newly Constructed Helipad Reopens at Cape Breton Regional Hospital

The newly constructed helipad has opened at Cape Breton Regional Hospital in Sydney, Nova Scotia.

The newly constructed helipad has opened at Cape Breton Regional Hospital in Sydney, Nova Scotia.

QEII Halifax Infirmary Expansion Project Underway

Work has started on the QEII Halifax Infirmary Expansion Project with heavy equipment, site trailers and fencing now in place. Construction of a new e…

Work has started on the QEII Halifax Infirmary Expansion Project with heavy equipment, site trailers and fencing now in place. Construction of a new emergency department entrance and renovations to the ambulance entryway will start first.

Mill Cove Ferry Will Navigate Nova Scotians from Bedford to Downtown Halifax

People who live in and around the Halifax area will have a new, environmentally friendly, high-speed ferry service for travel between Bedford and down…

People who live in and around the Halifax area will have a new, environmentally friendly, high-speed ferry service for travel between Bedford and downtown Halifax.

Site Preparation Set to Start for New Healthcare Facility

Nova Scotians are one step closer to having better access to the healthcare they need with site preparation about to begin for the acute care tower at…

Nova Scotians are one step closer to having better access to the healthcare they need with site preparation about to begin for the acute care tower at the QEII Health Sciences Centre’s Halifax Infirmary site.

New Public Spaces at Cunard

More space to play is coming to the Halifax waterfront.

More space to play is coming to the Halifax waterfront.

Bayers Lake Community Outpatient Centre Opens

Nova Scotians will receive more care, faster at the new Bayers Lake Community Outpatient Centre.

Nova Scotians will receive more care, faster at the new Bayers Lake Community Outpatient Centre.

Province Taking Action to Bring Cell Service to All Nova Scotians

The Province is taking action to make sure all Nova Scotians have access to cellular service, no matter where they live or travel.

The Province is taking action to make sure all Nova Scotians have access to cellular service, no matter where they live or travel.

Halifax to Host ROCKWOOL Canada Sail Grand Prix

Build Nova Scotia is thrilled to announce that the Halifax Harbour will be the location of the ROCKWOOL Canada Sail Grand Prix!…

Build Nova Scotia is thrilled to announce that the Halifax Harbour will be the location of the ROCKWOOL Canada Sail Grand Prix!

Halifax Waterfront Food and Beverage Business Opportunity

Build Nova Scotia is seeking a morning-focused food and beverage operator for the perfect location on the Halifax waterfront!…

Build Nova Scotia is seeking a morning-focused food and beverage operator for the perfect location on the Halifax waterfront!