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  #401  
Old Posted Sep 7, 2021, 1:22 AM
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Originally Posted by someone123 View Post
to make the saint john cma like the halifax cma:

- add thousands of square km of wilderness northeast of town to the cma
- population goes up by 5,000
- watch people in fredericton argue that saint john has a fake inflated metro population and is in fact the smaller city
lol
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  #402  
Old Posted Sep 7, 2021, 1:50 AM
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Nope, Saint John would still only have 130 k
I was kidding, obviously. The population of the Southern NB tri-city region is between 430-450k.
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  #403  
Old Posted Sep 7, 2021, 5:48 AM
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Originally Posted by NewIreland View Post
Exactly! HRM boundaries are huge... CMA boundaries are massive! Saint John's population is only 130k but if the CMA was as big as Halifax's it would be 425k
The CMA for Halifax is 5,496.31 km². Saint John is 3,362.95 km². East Hants is roughly a 30 minute drive from downtown (just did this drive today). Both Moncton and Fredericton are at least double that from SJ. Where did you get that number from?
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  #404  
Old Posted Sep 7, 2021, 12:40 PM
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I am curious about how much the reputation of NS and its self image are changing.

When I lived there it had a rural reputation and apparent self image. Often the issues of the day would focus on small towns around the province, sometimes to an absurd degree, and people seemed allergic to admitting that the central part of the province is focal in any way. I also got the impression a lot of people in NS viewed the city not as its own entity but in terms of how it served the rural areas (as a place to shop, a place for centralized services, etc., not a place with its own economic base). Often there would be implicit reasoning that something in Halifax was for but one part of NS.
This is still certainly the case for many, but I do think it's changing. Then again, I'm in the Halifax bubble, so my perspective is skewed.

One thing these density maps of the province show for me is that even though a lot of people see the province as "rural," the large majority of people live in or near just a few areas. Of course these areas are still rural in nature, but not the way a lot of people think. i.e., this is not a province of people scattered hither and thither among among tiny coastal villages and farms. Half of us live in one metro area, and most of the rest live in a handful of population clusters focused on large-ish (relative to NS) towns. Most of which also have traditional town centres.
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  #405  
Old Posted Sep 7, 2021, 3:59 PM
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Of course these areas are still rural in nature, but not the way a lot of people think. i.e., this is not a province of people scattered hither and thither among among tiny coastal villages and farms. Half of us live in one metro area, and most of the rest live in a handful of population clusters focused on large-ish (relative to NS) towns. Most of which also have traditional town centres.
If you lived in Hammonds Plains in 1850 you were half a day's oxcart ride away from the city. The effort level was similar to driving to Sydney today. If you live in the general vicinity of Truro in 2021 you probably have a car, a suburban retail centre within a 10 minute drive or so, a town centre within 20 minutes, an international airport within about a 40 min drive, and regional amenities like large hospitals and universities within about an hour. The way people think about this doesn't seem to have kept up with the changes.

I don't hear people in NS talk much about the notion of a "Golden Horseshoe" or "Lower Mainland" of NS. But there is such a thing. It's central NS. Halifax + Hants + Kings + Colchester + Lunenburg. Not much of this area is "rural" in any meaningful sense in 2021.
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  #406  
Old Posted Sep 7, 2021, 4:10 PM
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There's definitely a changing perception of Halifax becoming an actually-big city. In my recent trip I visited a friend of mine living in a new condo/apartment and I think just the design and the background of other buildings out the window made it feel very Toronto in a way. Maybe it was the cramped layout or everything in the building being in English & Chinese.

It's an aside, and I had nowhere good to mention it, but Halifax feels bigger than Ottawa. Ottawa's sprawl is soul-sucking, but it really feels like Halifax's downtown core and central areas are more proper big city than Canada's capital. Moving around the peninsula, taking a bridge over to Dartmouth...felt more big city than winding around Ottawa avenues. Two cents.
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  #407  
Old Posted Sep 7, 2021, 4:24 PM
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I think part of what's going on is that what we think of as "city" stuff is very specific and a tiny portion of what most North American metropolitan areas offer. When there are a bunch of million-plus areas that are 98% suburban it's not hard for a 500,000 person area to match that 2%. In Halifax the geography also encourages certain areas to develop more.

There are some bigger-city-feeling changes I've noticed in Halifax:

- Higher land/space costs and buildings and businesses get packed in more tightly in the urban core.
- New building quality is better and designs are more urban.
- Enough holes have filled in that there are now areas of many blocks to walk around in with ~0 major holes. To me, gaps like the parking lots just south of Spring Garden Road used to make the city feel small. In the best urban areas you can walk in any direction and find interesting stuff.
- There are more random highrises scattered around the metro and they are more impressive looking.
- More immigration and more of a mix of people/businesses from a wider range of places.
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  #408  
Old Posted Sep 7, 2021, 7:22 PM
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  #409  
Old Posted Sep 7, 2021, 8:35 PM
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Originally Posted by NewIreland View Post
I was kidding, obviously. The population of the Southern NB tri-city region is between 430-450k.
For sure!

Halifax, Dartmouth, and Bedford amalgamated with Halifax county creating the HRM.. So if Saint John amalgamated with Saint John County it wouldn't have much more than 130,000 (:

Last edited by Haliguy; Sep 7, 2021 at 8:56 PM.
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  #410  
Old Posted Sep 8, 2021, 12:52 AM
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This basically tells the current story of Halifax's super-charged growth...

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The great Toronto exodus continues

Lured by jobs, cheaper accommodation, better access to nature and safer streets, Toronto’s artists and culture workers are leaving the province

BY GLENN SUMI
Aug 26, 2021

https://nowtoronto.com/lifestyle/the...odus-continues



Last year, I wrote a NOW cover story about how, six months into the pandemic, many creative people were leaving Toronto for smaller towns. Unemployment was high, the eviction moratorium had ended and everything that made the city so great – restaurants, culture, festivals and sports – had been put on pause.

A year and a couple more lockdowns later, the same exodus is continuing. But instead of relocating to towns in Ontario – places where they could easily travel, if need be, into Toronto – a new crop of people is leaving the province altogether for other cities: Halifax, Vancouver, Calgary.

A city is partly defined by its artists and culture workers. But the fact that life as we know it has been put on hold has forced many of those creative types to look for other things: a better work/life balance, greater access to nature, a more sustainable way of life.

“We’re paying the same amount for a two-bedroom apartment here that we were for a one bedroom in Toronto,” says Nancy Kenny, a Toronto writer, actor and producer who left for Halifax in July.

“And we have so much more space. Outside, there is water everywhere. The beaches are amazing.”

Holly Meyer-Dymny, a theatre and film designer, and her partner Kevin Olson, a theatre stage manager, moved to Halifax almost a year ago after having Toronto as a base nearly all their lives. And they agree the proximity to nature is a big plus.

“We’re really, really close to the woods,” says Meyer-Dymny. “In Toronto you have to drive two or three hours to get to some kind of substantial hike. From where we are right now, we’re a four-minute drive to downtown. Within 10 minutes, I can be at two massive provincial parks and a sea wall.”

Halifax and Dartmouth area realtor Chris Peters estimates Royal LePage Atlantic has sold about a third of its properties to folks from Ontario. One of the obvious draws is the affordability – the cost of a house in Halifax is approximately $460,000, about half what you’d currently pay in Toronto.

Peters, who moved to Nova Scotia from Toronto in 2004, currently lives with his wife in Eastern Passage, a small fishing community just outside Dartmouth.

“Dartmouth has been called the city of lakes, because wherever you are, you’re not more than five minutes away from a body of water – a lake or the ocean,” he says. “You also have kilometres of various natural pathways and trails.”

More jobs

Access to nature is one thing. But what about access to jobs, especially in the creative industries?

In Toronto, Kenny, a Fringe circuit veteran, workshopped a new play this year at Theatre Passe Muraille and took part in a reading of a new play at the Tarragon. With theatres closed, she pivoted to more TV and film, auditioning for commercials and one-line parts in TV.

“In Halifax, with all the series shooting here, I’m auditioning for series regular roles, stuff that’s a lot juicier and more interesting,” she says. “Two casting directors here know who I am and regularly call me in to audition.”

Before their move, both Meyer-Dymny and Olson had worked in theatre in the Maritimes. And while some of their contracts had to be postponed or cancelled because of the pandemic, they can both easily pivot to film and television.

The Halifax TV and film industry is booming. Peters says one of the reasons why so many shows are taped there is because of the location variety: you have quick access to downtown areas but also rural areas and fishing villages.

Meyer-Dymny and Olson say there was a wonderful community spirit around following COVID-19 protocols.

“You felt the community pulling together, there was this real collective spirit,” says Meyer-Dymny. That’s in contrast to her Toronto neighbourhood of Little Italy, where she was scared of walking around Trinity Bellwoods Park and the neighbouring cafes because they were so crowded.

Halifax-based Kenny is enthusiastic about the Halifax and Maritimes performing arts scene. The day before I talked to her and her partner, set designer Wes Babcock, she took in a play called Good Grief, about a non-binary child and their two gay uncles. Before the pandemic, Neptune Theatre featured the first trans and the first non-binary performer on a stage at a regional Canadian theatre.

A place to start something

“Halifax is the kind of place where you can come and have an idea and start something,” says Babcock, who is starting graduate work in architecture at Dalhousie this fall.

“There’s enough people, and the community is vibrant enough to make it take off. Toronto has 10 of everything and three of those things might be good. Halifax has maybe one of everything. Not all of those things will be good, but there’s enough of them that you’ll be happy. And if you really need something, you’ll go to the one that’s like not so great.”
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  #411  
Old Posted Sep 8, 2021, 1:29 AM
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Originally Posted by someone123 View Post
If you lived in Hammonds Plains in 1850 you were half a day's oxcart ride away from the city. The effort level was similar to driving to Sydney today. If you live in the general vicinity of Truro in 2021 you probably have a car, a suburban retail centre within a 10 minute drive or so, a town centre within 20 minutes, an international airport within about a 40 min drive, and regional amenities like large hospitals and universities within about an hour. The way people think about this doesn't seem to have kept up with the changes.

I don't hear people in NS talk much about the notion of a "Golden Horseshoe" or "Lower Mainland" of NS. But there is such a thing. It's central NS. Halifax + Hants + Kings + Colchester + Lunenburg. Not much of this area is "rural" in any meaningful sense in 2021.
You always have the best analysis on the forum!
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  #412  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2021, 1:39 PM
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Nova Scotia is on the verge of cracking 1,000,000!

Stats Canada updated their population clock:



https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/...018005-eng.htm

Last edited by q12; Sep 29, 2021 at 2:20 PM.
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  #413  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2021, 3:02 PM
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It's an aside, and I had nowhere good to mention it, but Halifax feels bigger than Ottawa. Ottawa's sprawl is soul-sucking, but it really feels like Halifax's downtown core and central areas are more proper big city than Canada's capital. Moving around the peninsula, taking a bridge over to Dartmouth...felt more big city than winding around Ottawa avenues. Two cents.
I think that's probably more an issue of familiarity. In my experience, the more familiar I am with a place the smaller it seems, I think because knowing exactly where the limits of the place are make the limits seem more concrete and therefore restrictive, while still having unfamiliar places to explore gives a sense of a wealth of possibilities. Also, I can walk/drive around an unfamiliar city and pass through or near areas I've already been in without realizing it since it takes time for them to become familiar. So it can seem like I'm still experiencing new areas when I'm actually not.

I visited Ottawa for the first time in 2015, and as someone familiar with Halifax I didn't find Ottawa seemed especially large but it didn't seem smaller either. The downtown core seems larger and denser and there are more grand historic buildings. On the other hand, Parliament hill itself seems a bit empty and grassy. Space can be used to create a sense of scale and grandeur (something Washington seems to be good at) but in this case it just seemed like a big front lawn, maybe something suitable for a university campus.

But yes, crossing the bridges in Halifax is definitely a more urbane experience. I drove across one bridge in Ottawa and back across another and the only thing I remember is one of them had one of those metal grate decks that make the buzzing sound under the tires.
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  #414  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2021, 4:21 PM
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I visited Ottawa for the first time in 2015, and as someone familiar with Halifax I didn't find Ottawa seemed especially large but it didn't seem smaller either. The downtown core seems larger and denser and there are more grand historic buildings.
I think one factor against Ottawa, which is happening more in Halifax, is that downtown is mostly a blob of office buildings of similar height. It would feel more impressive if it had a few taller towers and some gaps. Federal office buildings are also not exactly the most vibrancy-inducing developments out there. I also realize there are areas outside of downtown Ottawa with stuff, whether we're talking about street-oriented activity or highrises.

FWIW I have thought of the "big 3" as being a clear tier above size and vibrancy wise (although I'm not really sure I'd place #1 and #3 on the same tier, and there's a growing gap between #1 and #2 now.. so Canada has more like 1 city in tier 1, 1 in tier 1.5, and 1 in tier 2). As far as overall urban experience goes I don't really think Halifax is significantly far behind the Alberta cities or Ottawa. I have not been to Winnipeg. Ottawa is in the same rough ballpark. And Quebec City is probably #1 in this pack. Transit is of course a mitigating factor here. And Ottawa now has a nice transit system.

Comparing Halifax and Quebec City is pretty interesting since they're both old but have completely different development styles. I think Halifax may have a number of urban core areas that overtake any particular part of Quebec City in vibrancy, but Quebec City has a level of historic preservation far beyond Halifax. If I had to pick I'd probably rather have Quebec City style preservation in Halifax than what Halifax ended up with. But I think the mixed urban fabric along Barrington etc. is interesting and I think areas like the North End will eventually have quite high population densities.
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  #415  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2021, 2:05 PM
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  #416  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2021, 4:14 PM
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Looks like everyone is moving to the coasts!
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  #417  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2021, 4:18 PM
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Looks like everyone is moving to the coasts!
Especially the flatlanders.
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  #418  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2021, 2:29 AM
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An article in Wednesday's Chronicle Herald on the housing crisis, "HRM ready to increase supply", notes that there are 4,010 units currently under construction in HRM and 19,000 units already have approvals.
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  #419  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2021, 3:07 PM
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T the

That map is quite stark.

If the CMA is being expanded, I’ll be interested to see if Stats Can also redefines the population centre (formerly known as urban area) of Halifax as more than the 90 sq km that it was defined as in the 2016 Census. It had the population of the urbanized area around the harbour (Halifax-Dartmouth-Bedford-Sackville) as just 316K, which made it sound as if another 85 k were “out in the country”.

This map does not support that so it seems clear that the 90 km sq boundary needs to be expanded - due to sprawl of course, and maybe due to projects that have filled in some of the gaps (Larry Uteck for example), etc.


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Halifax's population has likely passed 480,000 people as of September 1st, this includes East Hants which has been added to Halifax's CMA estimates in 2021.

Nova Scotia's population estimate is currently 990,700, only 9,300 people away from 1,000,000!

Halifax's CMA also closing in quickly on becoming 50% of the province's total population.


Last edited by Half-Axed; Oct 21, 2021 at 3:22 PM.
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  #420  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2021, 4:45 PM
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Posted Nov 1, 2021, 6:41 PM
Looks like we are on track to hit 1,000,000 sometime during December, 2021!

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