🗞 The saga of Otago Drive

Who cares about a speed hump? Plus, an icebreaker arrives in Halifax Harbour.

Good morning,

Wow, what a ride the past month has been. I’ve been talking about this piece in my newsletter and various places on the internet for the past few weeks, but now the time for talking is over and the time for reading is here. I have just finished a very, very deep dive into a speed hump on Otago Drive. It’s a new speed hump, it showed up this summer, and in my reading of the city’s strategic priorities, it shouldn’t have. Naturally, I needed to figure out why.

This led me down so, so many different rabbit holes. I talked to transportation engineers in the Netherlands (over the internet), I spent a whole day scouring historic budget documents, and most importantly, I spent a lot of time moving through this city, thinking about what I was learning.

Ultimately, I learned it’s hard to tell a story about a speed hump because they are very mundane and boring. So instead, I decided to tell the story about the investigation into a speed hump, as we take a ride on a bike through a cold winter’s night.

I hope you enjoy it,


☀️ Today’s weather: Partly cloudy with a 30% chance of flurries. A high of 0C and a low of -6C (feeling like -9C with the wind chill).

🚗 Driving in the city today? Check out the current traffic conditions and ongoing road closures.


The saga of Otago Drive: Who cares about a speed hump?

📸 The Coast

COP28, the latest edition of the UN’s international conference to combat the climate emergency, starts later today in Dubai. And in Halifax, The Coast is publishing the first piece in a three-part series about a speed bump on a minor road in Cole Harbour. These two events are literally a world apart, but they’re connected as surely as the words “global” and “heating.”

As Matt Stickland describes above, in the introduction to this newsletter, the story started with a question that’s utterly typical for his role as The Coast’s reporter on city hall: Why did they build a speed bump on Otago Drive? But the answer Matt gives isn’t typical at all. He uses the arrival of a bit of asphalt to tell a moving, deeply personal story about living in a city that’s abdicated its spirit to better serve the automobile.

Maybe you’ve never been to Otago Drive, couldn’t place it on a map, don’t think you care about it even a little bit. That’s cool. The feature Matt’s written is an example of narrative nonfiction that uses second-person narration to turn a speed bump into a microcosm of Halifax, with a past that shapes the future, and a future that its leaders haven’t been able to face. In other words, it’s a really good piece of journalism that’s also an entertaining read.

And the way it ties together changing communities, political decision-making and bureaucratic misdirection, the saga of a speed bump ends up explaining a lot about what’s really going on when they’re discussing the end of the world in Dubai.

Read part one today, and get ready for more on Thursday and Friday.

Need to know

💲 Halifax residents could be facing a potential 9.7% increase in property taxes to make up for the city’s $68.7 million revenue shortfall.

🏥 A new long-term care facility, Hillside Pines Home for Special Care, will open in Bridgewater sometime in 2029, adding 96 long-term care rooms to the South Shore.

💛 Enjoy December with 24 days of unique taste experiences! Lakrids Advent Calendars from Bon Appetit’s “Best Advent Calendars for Food Lovers” are at Frabjous Delights!*

🏠 New housing developments for Bedford have been approved by the province and the HRM. Find more details here.

🎷 TD Halifax Jazz Festival is excited to present you with this year's Evergreen Stage series at the Halifax Waterfront from Nov 25 to Dec 17.*

*Sponsored Post


Save on seats - Sale extended

It’s that time of year to save with Air Transat’s biggest deals. You can snag seats starting at $399 for flights from Halifax Stanfield International airport to the USA or the South. And guess what: they decided to extend the Black Friday sale until December 5! Whether it’s for your annual Florida trip with the fam or a relaxing tropical holiday in Cuba, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic or Mexico, you’re bound to find the flight you need. There are 100,000 seats to choose from, after all!

Make sure to book soon for travel by June 30, 2024. Check out Air Transat’s Black Friday offers today.

On The Coast


Live Art Dance presents Lydia Zimmer

The Devil’s Intervals: A contemporary dance and circus piece inspired by dark nursery rhymes, builds a magical and eery world. A haunted house peeled open, the work is brought to life through vignettes danced by thirteen dancers of Nova Scotia’s newest dance company, Zimmerdans. Get your tickets HERE! 

In other news

💨 Monday’s wind storm devastatingly destroyed a significant number of tents at Grand Parade and other unhoused encampments around the HRM. CTV has the story.

🚑 A 39-year-old man is in hospital with life-threatening injuries after being hit by a vehicle on Spring Avenue and Dorothea Drive in Dartmouth Monday night.

🧠 A new poll shows just how much of a toll the increase in inflation is having on the mental health of Canadians. Learn what “inflation isolation” is here.

💦 Businesses located in downtown Halifax’s Scotia Square are struggling to recoup after a pipe burst over the weekend, leaving 20 spaces with significant damage.

📉 According to Stats Canada, the country’s life expectancy fell to 81.3 years in 2022 from 2021’s 82.3.

🙋 Out of the Cold Halifax is looking for volunteers during the holiday season to cook pies and turkey at home, donate pickles and sweets, and help prep dishes on Christmas Day for its community dinner.

🧒 Some Cole Harbour parents are frantically looking for childcare now that Connexions, a before- and after-school care program, announced it would be shutting down as of December 22. The program’s landlord claims the program owes over $255,000 in rent.


Don't miss the NSCAD Winter Makers' Market

Holiday shopping just got easier with the highly anticipated NSCAD Winter Makers’ Market! This event is happening on Saturday, December 2nd, from 11AM to 5PM, at NSCAD's Port Campus, 1107 Marginal Rd. Support over 50 NSCAD students who will be showcasing and selling their original artworks, ceramics, jewelry and more.


A Coast Guard icebreaker arrives in Halifax Harbour this week

📸 Canadian Coast Guard

What’s an icebreaker doing at the Richmond Terminal? And what does rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs have to do with a Korean-owned container ship arriving in Halifax? Did Portuguese explorer Magellan truly “FAFO,” as they say these days?

Coast reporter Martin Bauman wades into the waters for this week’s harbour report, which includes one enormous container ship arriving in port later this week.

🤝 Now hiring

Hiring? Reply back and let us know!

Sure things

Looking for something to do this week? Check out these Coast picks:

🗓 Spring Garden Open Street: Spring Garden Road’s Open Street is happening this Friday. The street will be transformed into a winter wonderland with a holiday market, photo opportunities and free hot chocolate stations. If you need to drive in, free parking will also be available at certain locations, check out the list here. | Dec. 1 | 5-9pm | Free.

🗓 Neptune Theatre’s A Christmas Carol: Neptune Theatre’s annual A Christmas Carol show premieres this week, kicking off its 20th anniversary run. Grab your tickets and watch this Christmas classic come to life on stage. | Nov. 30-Dec. 30 | Tuesday to Friday 7:30 pm, Saturday and Sunday 2 pm & 7:30 pm | $38-$75.

🗓 Climate Pop-Up event: Want to learn more on how to promote sustainability and climate action? Everyone Everyday is hosting a climate pop-up at 2169 Gottingen Street led by three climate experts who will be sharing their knowledge. | Dec. 2 | 2-5pm | Free.

Find more Halifax events in The Coast listings

Shop talk

🍩 Vandal Doughnut’s owner Zoe Boosey spoke to CTV about the doughnut shop’s upcoming expansion to Dartmouth.

🍕 🍺 Yeah Yeahs Pizza will be moving into a shared taproom and pizza shop with 2 Crows Brewing on Oxford Street. The Coast’s Martin Bauman spoke with Yeah Yeahs’ co-owner about the move. 

Celebrate this

🎂 Luke’s Small Goods on Agricola is turning 2 tomorrow! The shop will be giving out free cake, dropping new merch and cooking up special subs to mark the occasion. Luke’s is open from 8am to 6pm on Thursday.

That’s it!

Thanks for reading The Coast Daily today ❤️ 

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