Eastern Passage community design

A new transit-oriented community in Eastern Passage can be a model for sustainable, walkable suburban development everywhere.

Today, people want more than just a nice home. They want to live in a great community.

Like many cities in Canada, Halifax is facing a housing crisis. For decades, small towns and suburbs have been built as low-density, car-dependent neighbourhoods, which often lack public spaces and transit connections. In Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia, we’re planning and designing a new, healthy, transit-oriented, complete community — one that we hope can be a model for sustainable, walkable suburban development everywhere. 

In this new development, we plan to provide a mix of modestly sized rental units and attainable homes for first-time owners, while creating an inclusive community that will offer more homes near transit, will support young families, and will enable the elderly to age in place. We designed the community around three main public spaces — a village square, a common green, and an oceanside patio — to build a destination that’s truly wonderful to walk, sit, and spend time outside in. 

The new community, temporarily called Blue Ocean Estates, is planned for what is currently a vacant lot in Eastern Passage, with waterfront views of the Atlantic. It will include walking and cycling connections to nearby amenities and transit, and enough commercial space for three to four small businesses. Above all, it will be built using a traditional Nova Scotian style of architecture, and is designed to fit seamlessly in with surrounding neighbourhoods.

This project is a partnership between Happy Cities and Heliopolis Holdings, a Halifax-based development firm. To help bring this vision to life, Happy Cities is leading the public engagement, master planning, and urban design of the project, in addition to offering development consulting services. Our team has been involved every step of the way, helping the developer navigate and see this project through various approval stages, while ensuring that the new community reflects the multiple aspirations of the City, local community members and stakeholders. The engineering lead on this project is Design Point, based in Bedford, Nova Scotia.

The development is currently in the approvals stage.

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