Changes Coming for Halifax Transit

Halifax Transit is currently in the process of undergoing significant changes to become more efficient and easier to use.
Some of the changes include faster commutes during rush hour, investing in the most used routes as well as the introduction of new routes and retiring others.
Before implementing these changes, Halifax Transit wants your input. Take a brief survey online and answer a few questions about the current transit system.
For more information, to review the proposed plan and take the survey, visit their website maketransitbetter.ca.

Spring Garden Area Business Association Partnering with Canadian Cancer Society for Daffodil Month

This April, the Spring Garden Area Business Association will be partnering with the Nova Scotia Division of the Canadian Cancer Society to help raise funds and awareness for their national fundraising drive – Daffodil Month.
Daffodil Month is a time when Canadians show their support for cancer patients, caregivers, survivors and loved ones touched by cancer. Funds are raised through the purchase of fresh cut daffodils and daffodil pins. Another way to participate in Daffodil Month is by decorating your store front window with the colour yellow which helps raise awareness about the month.
Last year, several of the Spring Garden Area Business Association members participated in Daffodil Month and it would be great to have members involved again.
If you would like to participate in Daffodil Month, and intend on purchasing flowers or a pin box,  please confirm by March 3rd by emailing rachel@springgardenarea.com or calling at 1.902.423.3751.

Property Valuation Services Corporation (PVSC) presentation cancelled

Due to the incoming weather the Property Valuation Services Corporation (PVSC) presentation that was scheduled for tomorrow Friday, February 13th has been cancelled.
Once we have confirmed a new date we will let you know.
If you have any questions, please contact the Spring Garden Area Business Association by email at info@springardenarea.com or by phone at 1.902.423.3751.

The Impact of Winter Storms on the Halifax Area

Winter storms leave many Halifax business owners out in the cold

Many businesses across Halifax are trying to recuperate after a rash of winter storms swept across the region this past week.
Gordon Stewart, Executive Director of the Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia, says winter storms, like any extreme weather, throws everything off for business owners, but are an especially “double-edged sword,” for restaurants.
He said oftentimes those restaurants that are fully licensed and serve more than two meals per day, will open right after the worst of a storm just to try and make up for the monies lost.
“A bad weather day is a big loss day without question,” he explained on Friday.
However, for Juanita Spencer who is the Executive Director of the Spring Garden Business Association, the main problem for businesses in the downtown core boils down to inaccessibility of sidewalks and roadways, not to mention the unreliability of transit after a big storm.
Since most of the area’s retailers and restaurants depend on foot traffic, she said unplowed roads or flooded, slushy sidewalks deters people from travelling downtown.
Other types of business also felt the economic squeeze from the recent storms. Kate MacAdam owns her own private chiropractic practice on Quinpool Road and said bad weather means dealing with appointment cancellations and shuffling around patients, trying to make up for lost time.
“It’s always safety first,” MacAdam said Friday, explaining that many of the people her clinic serves are simply unable to shovel themselves out after a big storm due to previous injuries and can’t risk the icy trek.
Those people unable to walk, drive or use transit would also find themselves struggling to get a cab, according to the Brian Herman, who is the manager of Casino Taxi.
Since all of the company’s nearly 375 fleet are independently owned and insured by the drivers, a substantial number will say it’s simply not worth the risk of driving when it’s slippery and will pull their cars from the roads.
“If you’re a cab driver and you get in an accident and you’re off the road for a couple weeks, you’ve lost your source of income,” he explained on Friday.
With anywhere between 75 to 100 fewer cabs in service, wait times sky rocket and getting a hold of a taxi dispatch operator feels nearly impossible, added Herman.
For example, he said on Friday around 9 a.m., “there were rides that were taking up 50 minutes in an area that on a normal day would take 5.”

Relief in site: Environment Canada forecasts say no big storms for near future

A meteorologist with Environment Canada says Haligonians can breathe a sigh of relief as there are no winter storms in the forecast anytime soon.
Tracey Talbot said there will be mix of sun and cloud over the weekend, with some flurries on Saturday afternoon and daytime temperature around -5 degrees.
Starting Sunday evening and into Monday, she said there will be some snow, but not to worry because it’s only predicted to be between 5 to 10 centimetres.
“Nothing like we’ve seen over the last few days,” Talbot assured on Friday.
She also explained that people can look forward to warmer temperatures beginning next week in -1 or -2 degree range, which is average for this time of year, although it’s been a few degrees colder as of late.
To view the original article from Metro News click here.

Executive Director Juanita Spencer says Spring Garden Area is on the upswing

Changes in the air for Halifax’s Spring Garden Road as two businesses close shop

Despite two small businesses closing up shop on Spring Garden Road, the executive director of the area’s business commission believes the district is on the upswing.
Juanita Spencer said it’s disappointing to see Chapel Hill jewelry shop, located on the corner of Brunswick, and Maritime Frame-It, which has called the street home for nearly 50 years, call it quits, but doesn’t believe closures will become a trend.
“It is a sad reality of retail business everywhere,” she explained Wednesday. “Businesses, they come and go for many reasons.”
She said the shopping district, which has been experiencing a slump for around 15 years, is in transition, naming a new condominium development and central library as two positive changes.
“Spring Garden is a dynamic area,” she explained, saying “the time is right,” to get back on track to become one of the city’s must-see destinations.
She said the association is currently working with the city to try and curb the area’s high property taxes, which are a problem facing many small business owners. There are also plans to beautify the sidewalks and overall streetscape, she added.
Gunnar Gunnarsson is the manager of Cintamani, a winter clothing store that opened its doors more than a year ago across from the now-closing Maritime Frame-It.
He explained that business is steady all year round, but more must still be done to draw residents out of the malls and onto the street, such as more festivals and concerts.
“The downtown community, it’s mostly university kids and they’re not going to spend all their money on shopping,” he explained. “They need to get something so the families that live on the outskirts of Halifax, in Bedford and Dartmouth want to come down Spring Garden Road.”
Local businesses along Spring Garden Road are applauding the new Halifax Central Library for helping liven up the downtown streetscape.
Matt Macisaac, general manager of Krave Burger, said he was amazed to see droves of people out and about on the library’s opening day, and believes the impressive new building bolsters business for everyone in the area.
“They not only knocked it out of the park, they kicked it out of the city. That library is gorgeous,” said Kurt Bulger, one of the owners of Jennifer’s Nova Scotia explained Wednesday.
Although the library is not the be-all and end-all of the district, he said it’s a crucial step in the right direction.
“There’s lots of foot traffic, you just got to get the people through your doors,” Macisaac said.
To view the original article from Metro News click here.