Maritime Centre Redesign

Site Plan Approval Application

Maritime Centre is home to the Atlantic region’s rapidly expanding pre-eminent tech start-up hub.   Anchored by the leadership of Volta Labs which is currently scaling up to 60,000 square feet of space, some of the most exciting businesses, new ideas, job creation and innovations are coming from within the Maritime Centre’s walls daily. Volta is tripling in size to become the cornerstone of the innovation district in Halifax.  This new purpose-built space will be a true super hub for the technology industry to work and connect in Downtown Halifax.

Last fall (2016) SLATE’s team of planners and architects at WSP and A49 presented a preliminary schematic design package to Halifax’s Design Review Committee (DRC) for their consideration.

As the process of review has evolved, DRC and City staff provided helpful feedback and our team has made a number of design amendments and improvements.  We look forward to engaging with the public and stakeholders through the City of Halifax’s process of public consultation in the coming weeks.

The Maritime Centre redesign brings new light to a bright corner in Halifax, refreshing the façade of this iconic downtown building by enhancing the streetscape, and as importantly, incorporating new wind mitigation measures to improve the sidewalk comfort for the thousands of pedestrians that walk past the building every week. The new Barrington Street entranceway design also enhances the building’s visual connection with Spring Garden Road.

Central to supporting this important project is the needed garage expansion, which will enable 100 new parking spaces. The project redesign and investment being made by SLATE hinges on the added parking space, an asset that is also needed in this growing area of downtown Halifax. An exit-only garage doorway is incorporated into the Salter and Granville Street side of the building.  The traffic study confirms this design aspect will not have any significant impact on the traffic performance of streets or intersections near the site.

Design Rational Package

Key design features include:

  • The project has two view termini: one at the end of Spring Garden Road and a second at the end of Granville at Salter Street.  The design creates an improved connection at the end of Spring Garden Road with a contemporary archway terminating the view.  A new design for the Granville Street terminus is a significant improvement on the existing condition, providing increased alignment with the S-1 View terminus Guideline using architectural treatment with strong vertical expression aligned to the view axis. The proposed new design addresses the Granville View Terminus by balancing the restrictions of renovating the existing building which requires a garage entrance and incorporates an improvement to the view terminus where there is presently none.
  • A completely redesigned entrance pavilion will bring more natural light inside the building on the main floors, energizing businesses and visitors.
  • Thoughtfully designed entrances will increase access and invite people into the space. Refreshed seating areas will ensure a comfortable and enjoyable visitor experience.
  • A Unique coloured glass will complement the stained glass of our neighbour, St. Matthew’s United Church, respectful of its historic place in our community.
  • Creating a streetscape design that is in keeping with the historic scale of retail activity of our neighbours along Barrington Street


Past Updates:

#16 – Dear Tenants of the Maritime Centre:

Commencing on Tuesday January 11th, 2022 installation of the new steel frame work for the ceiling will take place in the Lobby and Elevator corridor.  With this being said foot traffic will be directed to the Mezzanine level to access elevators for both the low and high rise offices. This work will take continue for the remainder of the week (January 11 – 14th)

#15 – Effective May 1, 2021: Major milestones that have been completed:

The first Concrete slab pour for the podium level (new elevation) was completed April 29, 2021.  Floor tile has been completed for the B1 up to the vestibule with the vestibule being completed the weekend of May 8th. Interior finishes and new flooring for the high and low rise elevators have been completed.  The structure of the New Salter Entrance and retail spaces have been completed.  The addition of 100 parking spaces on the B2 Level has been completed.

With these milestones work still must continue and we have been advised that commencing Monday May 3rd RKO will be on site to start the prep for steel installation on the face of the existing building along Barrington Street.  This work will consist of hammer/core drilling into the existing façade and may at time cause noise and vibration along the south facing walls of the building.  This work will continue throughout the day and anticipated timeline is scheduled for two (2) weeks weather permitting.

Effective Tuesday, December 8th, 2020 the accessible entrance door will be relocated to the new temporary entrance located on the corner of Salter and Barrington Street.  This is taking place due to the installation of the new overhead garage door.  Please take in consideration that installation is also weather dependent.

Effective November 26, 2020, access to the Maritime Centre via the main entrance will no longer be accessible.

#14 – Effective November 26, 2020 – Maritime Centre will have New Emergency Exits – click here for image

  •  The South stairwell that used to exit onto the podium will now exit onto Barrington Street through the new temporary scaffolding beside the church.
  • The center stairwell that used to exit onto the front podium will now exit into the lobby behind the security desk and people will be directed to the North stairwell to the B1 level and follow the exit signs to the new Barrington Street/Salter Street entrance with the final exiting path through a temporary scaffolded hoarding.
  • The three doors at the front entrance from Barrington Street will be closed and people will have to exit through the North stairwell to the B1 level following the exit signs to the new Barrington Street/Salter Street entrance with the final exiting path through a temporary hoarding.

#13 – We have reached an exciting milestone in the Redevelopment of the Maritime Centre. The Mechanical Modifications for both the low and high rise elevators have been completed.  All elevators are now back in service effective Monday, October 26, 2020.

The next phase of this project (Initializing the Destination Dispatch System) is scheduled to take place this upcoming weekend (Oct 31 – Nov 1).  As we briefly outlined in an email that was distributed in the early stages of the project (04/09/2019) the new dispatching system will incorporate a touch screen indicator that will direct you to the proper elevator.  All eight (8) elevators are now labeled alphabetically (A – H).

Once you press your desired floor on the Dispatching Display, it will instantly direct you to the elevator (A-H) that will get you to your floor in the most efficient manner.

For more information in regards to this new system please refer to the AGILE brochure for your convenience. In addition, please visit the following link for tips and trick on how to best utilize the system –

We are excited to see this project, the first of many, wrapping up at Maritime Centre in the near future. Should you have any questions or experience any issues with the new system please do not hesitate to contact the building management office.

#12 – Installation of new steel beams and clip will be taking place on the B1 level during the week of July 6.  Hammer Drilling will be heard between the hours of 7:00 am and 9:00 am; Noon – 1:00 pm; and 4:30 pm to 9:30 pm.

– Please be advised that we will be closing the accessible entrance on the B1 level Friday June 5th, 2020 at 11:30am to pour concrete.  While this is taking place we will open the entrance to the left of the existing entrance for use.  These doors will be secured open and a clear, marked safe path of fenced in travel will be in place for the day and the regular accessible entrance will re-open on Saturday morning.

– Exterior demolition on the Salter/Barrington corner has commenced. There will be noise during the day. It is expected this will take in the order of four (4) days to complete. We are exploring options to work on the weekend as well.

***Effective January 2, 2020, Barrier Free access to the Maritime Centre will be available from the new Barrington Street temporary ramp. Please click here for details.

#11 – We will be removing the finishes in the elevator lobby this Saturday and Sunday (May 23/24) and will have the elevators off. We will have the service elevator and shuttle elevators on so anyone in this weekend will be able to use them. The lobby will be back in normal service on late Sunday evening.

–  We will be starting demo Friday, May 15th 2020 on the B1 level at the Barrier Free entrance and will be closing this area off while this is taking place to address the obvious safety concerns for the people entering the building.  We will have this area re-opened again by the end of the day.  Understanding that this is the only accessible entrance, please be advised that we will have someone posted at the entrance and exit to address anyone who may require assistance to safely enter the building.

#10 – Here are the updates for March & April, 2020

– Removal of the B2 to B1 escalators has commenced.  B1 to Lobby escalators have been taken out of service and decommissioning has commenced.

– High rise elevator car #3 is has been returned to service the week of March 16, 2020.

– The new Sheraton Four Points Hotel access on B1 level, adjacent Niche, has been completed.

#9 – Here are the major changes affecting building operations for the weeks of February 17 & 24, 2020:

– Construction of temporary hoarding walls throughout the building have been  completed.

– Removal of the B2 to B1 escalators has commenced.  B1 to Lobby escalators have been taken out of service and decommissioning has commenced.

– External demolition was scheduled to commence the week of February 11, 2020.  This has been delayed due to issues with HRM street light removal.  Exterior demolition may commence the week of February 24, 2020.  More information will follow as it becomes available.

– High rise elevator car #3 is expected to be returned to service the week of February 24, 2020 once it receives a final adjustements that were identified during the iNS Department of Labour & Advanced Education inspection.  Please keep in mind that this elevator may require minor adjustments during the initial weeks of service.

– The new Sheraton Four Points Hotel access on B1 level, adjacent Niche, will be completed the week of February 24, 2020.

#8 –  Temporary construction hoarding around the escalators from B2 – B1 and B1 – Lobby will be constructed the week of January 27, 2020.  Once the hoarding is in place, the only interior public access from B1 – Lobby will be via the parking garage shuttle elevators. (A layout plan will be linked in the coming days);

– Removal of the existing escalators will commence as soon as the temporary construction hoarding has been completed;

– The Salter Street/Barrington Street entrance will be closed to public access on Tuesday, January 21, 2020;

– Exterior demolition at the corner of Salter Street and Barrington Street is scheduled to commence mid-next week. Although every reasonable effort will be made to minimize the noise, some noise should be anticipated;

– Hangers for the T-Bar ceiling will be started on the 14th floor next week. These will be installed with a Hilti powder actuated gun. Every effort will be made to limit the noise to the period before 8:00 AM, between 11:30 AM and 1:00PM and after 5:00PM.  If any Tenant has a special concern regarding the period between 11:30 AM and 1:00PM, they should advise Colliers and we will do our best to accommodate them.

#7 –  There has been a change of location of the Maritime Centre’s barrier free access point, from what was described in the notice we sent out on Friday, December 11th.  The change was a direct result of HRM not removing the existing streetlight fixture from the middle of the construction slip lane (see attached). HRM has indicated that they hope to have this issue resolved this week.  A barrier free access point was/has been provided at the upper Salter Street entrance (click here to see attached plan) corner of Salter and Barrington.  In addition, the building has also made arrangements for those individuals requiring it, to access the building through the Hotel.  The drop off and pick up point is on Hollis Street at the corner of Salter.  Should anyone require the use of this access, please contact building management.

This barrier free access point will remain in place until the alternative barrier free access point on B1 (old Niche Patio) has been completed.  72 Hours (business days) notice will be given to Tenants in advance of moving the barrier free access.  Barrier free hardware will be installed on the doors from the old Niche Patio area prior to closing the upper Salter Street barrier free access and moving the barrier free access point.

Further, the North stairs exit to the exterior of the building has been blocked and signage has now been posted. During an evacuation of the Maritime Center, North staircase route has been redirected to the lobby area.

In addition, you may have already noticed over the past week, work has commenced on the expansion of the parkade.  Please accept this email as notice that as of Wednesday, December 18th, 2019 the Traffic Flow of the parkade will be modified. We have attached the plans outlining the traffic flow modification.  Please click here.

J. Mason Contracting Ltd. will have a person available on Wednesday, December 18, 2019 and Thursday December 19, 2019 to ensure the implementation of these traffic control measures goes as smoothly as possible.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact our office at 902-429-3210.

#6 – We have just been given approval from the HRM to begin Phase I of the Maritime Centre redevelopment.  Phase I of the redevelopment will commence on Sunday, December 1st, 2019.  Phase I of the redevelopment will consist of demolition and construction of a new building entrance at the corner of Salter Street and Barrington Street.  The beginning stages of Phase I will include taking the corner of Salter Street and Barrington Street entrance out of commission. There will be NO public access permitted at the former corner of Salter Street and Barrington Street entrance during the duration of Phase I.

The lower Salter Street entrance will only remain open until a new accessible ramp is installed off of Barrington Street on what has up until recently been the Niche Patio.  Going forward, the new temporary accessible entrance to the building will be the entrance on the B1 Level adjacent to the old Niche and Four Points Conference Centre. 

Temporary traffic control will be in place this Sunday, December 1st, 2019 at 7:00AM and concrete jersey barriers will start to be installed between 7:00AM and 7:30AM. Fence and scaffolding installation will follow shortly there after. Fencing will be completed this Sunday but scaffolding will require a second day, Monday December 2nd, 2019 to finish the build. This will require the sidewalk on the East side of Barrington Street to be closed between Salter Street and the main entrance to the Maritime Center but access will be maintained through the main doors. These vehicle and pedestrian control measures can be found on the attached diagram.

 Phase I is expected to take several months to complete.  Further details on Schedule will be made available as construction progresses.

 Should you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact building management .

#5 – WE ARE A GO! Slate will commence construction of the redevelopment Q4-2019.  The schedule of events will be provided in near future.

Elevator Modernization project is ongoing.  All of the operating elevator cabs have been tested and have been passed by the Dept. of Labour.

A description of the Destination Dispatch system we are implementing can be found here: as well as some tips on how to best operate the system:

#4 – The elevator cabs will be getting a face lift and the operation of the elevators will be modified to a destination dispatch system.  This will eliminate the need to go down to the lobby from one of the upper floors in order to go back up to one of the lower floors and vice versa.  As a result, we will have the two high rise elevators shut down for two weeks.  We will update if this is going to take any longer as we progress along. We currently have the block wall removed on the 10th floor behind the hoarding and will be installing the 2 steel frames for the elevator doors followed by re-instating the block work before removing the hoarding.

#3 – The New Niche Lounge now open in their new premises.  Accessible via the entrance at the corner of Salter and Barrington Streets after hours.  Niche is offering a new breakfast & brunch menu as well as a new lunch and dinner menu.  Happy hour starts at 4 pm.  Take out available and they will deliver within the Maritime Centre between 11 am – 10 pm.  Niche is also offering a Grab & Go Coffee and Snack service from 9 am – 3 pm.

#2 – B-2 Level Food Court is closed as of July 1, 2018.  Dr. Daniel Tam Dentistry and Niche Lounge will remain open during construction.

#1 – Design Review Committee – March 8, 2018 – Case 21538

It is recommended that the Design Review Committee:
1. Approve the qualitative elements of the substantive site plan approval application for the commercial development on lands located at 1505 Barrington Street, Halifax, as contained in Attachment A, with the condition that:
a) the proposed garage door at Salter Street not be permitted unless additional distinctive architectural treatment is included to comply with Visual Terminus obligations in the Design Manual.

2. Accept the findings of the qualitative wind impact assessment, as contained in Attachment B

For further information please visit:


Who is the architect?

Craig Mosher, Partner at architecture49 has led the design of this project. The planning team is led by WSP Planning’s Jeffry Haggett.

How is the building design reducing the wind tunnel effect that has long been associated with this building?

Working with wind engineers, the cornice overhang on Salter and Barrington is designed as a lid that captures air flowing down the face of the building. It tends to force wind to break around the corners of the building at a higher level, not at sidewalk level. This measure improves wind velocities and provides a noticeable relief at street level compared to existing conditions.

What is the design inspiration?

We were careful to preserve and reference the original cast design, which is famous in office buildings across the country, but also add contemporary elements that ensure flow, access and interesting light elements.

How does this fit into the overall downtown landscape?

We consider this a continuation of the very positive design story that is happening in our city, which has obviously been very well established with the Halifax Central Library. Our number one objective is to create a space that offers access to the vibrancy and life that is happening in the city and generate interest in the building to make it a natural part of the downtown streetscape, and a corner that sees among the highest volume of pedestrian traffic in the city.

Are you concerned about impeding views or access?

Our design adheres to all parameters in this regard.

What happens if the parking lot exit on Salter at Granville is rejected by DRC and/or the city?

The project is bringing new energy and increased activity to the Maritime Centre. The additional parking and required vehicular exit on Salter is central element to the projects viability.

Why can’t the current entrance and exit on Hollis street work for the added parkers?

There is not enough room to thread a two way ramp through the existing structure resulting in the exit on Salter Street

Will the exit have an impact on the traffic on Salter?

The traffic study confirms this design aspect will not have any significant impact on the traffic performance of streets or intersections near the site.

How has the design team been encouraging more alternate active transportation?

Bike parking in the redevelopment has been expanded.  Twenty-five additional internal spots will be accessible from Hollis Street.

How will this project impact downtown traffic flow? Cause noise? Dust? Other impacts?

As with all renovation or construction projects, there will be temporary traffic considerations that will be planned for and managed.  We will work closely with the city officials, and in compliance with the city’s construction guidelines  to minimize any affects

How will this project impact nearby street parking?

It’s far too early in the process to know these details, but like all projects, we will make it a priority to cause as little disruption as possible.

When will the work start?

We’re planning to start construction once the design review process is complete, likely in early 2018.

When will the project be completed?

The project will take approximately 18 months to complete. Assuming a spring 2018 commencement it should be complete in the fall of 2019

Will leasing fees increase?

At this point, it’s too early to comment. We are focused on creating the most compelling commercial experience in the city, and early indicators of interest and tenant growth are positive.

What will happen to existing tenants?

Certainly with a change of this magnitude there will be some shifts and we think, for the better. We have already announced that we are moving Halifax Dance onto the main floor level of the building, providing expanded studio space and enhanced natural lighting for the students.  We continue to engage existing tenants to discuss the best options and use of space.

Who are the new tenants you are courting?

We are exploring a range of options for tenants who we consider unique and who are interested in this new opportunity/area.  We were thrilled to announce a few months ago that Volta Labs has committed to increased space to accommodate their growth trajectory.

Who are the new tenants you’ve secured, given this investment?

We can’t comment on this, given contractual constraints, but we’ll announce any important news, as we did with Halifax Dance and Volta, in the coming months.

Are you at all nervous about the commercial competition in the region/city?

On the contrary. We are making this investment because we understand the iconic nature of the building and its location. This renewal project will make it one of the most desired office spaces in the city.

1505 Barrington St, Halifax, NS B3J 3K5