Placemaking Projects In Halifax

PBJ Design is a placemaking organization that serves Halifax and communities across Nova Scotia. But what does that mean? Placemaking is a term used to describe projects that bring people together in a creative way. Placemaking projects create public spaces that promote people’s health, happiness, and well-being. We have been keeping an eye on all the coolest and most innovative placemaking projects in Halifax and we made a list of our 6 favourites! Take a look at some of Halifax’s best placemaking projects:

1.Waterfront Pianos 

Ever since 2015, Downtown Halifax has been able to enjoy the sound of music in the streets thanks to the #PlayMeHFX placemaking project. #PlayMeHFX uses pianos as a placemaking tool to promote community engagement. #PlayMeHFX was inspired by similar projects in cities such as Vancouver, London, and New York. Every year, you can see people stop to play, listen and take pictures. It provides a free creative outlet for the community while doubling as a unique art piece that beautifies the area.

Piano on the Halifax Waterfront

2. Waterfront Hammocks

What could be more relaxing than laying in a hammock by the ocean? Not much! That’s probably why Develop Nova Scotia had the brilliant idea to place hammocks along the Halifax waterfront for residents and visitors to enjoy. These hammocks add more than just a place to get comfortable, they also enhance the cultural and artistic identity of Halifax.

3. Stubborn Goat Glowing Mural 

Murals can act as a powerful placemaking tool. One of the most interesting murals in Halifax is the Stubborn Goat Glowing Mural. This mural, painted by Jake Seibert, is beautiful during the day time, but its glow is stunning under the moonlight! This mural funded by the Downtown Halifax Gritty To Pretty grants showcases a local artist’s beautiful painting both day and night, and inspires residents of Halifax to be creative.

4. Little Free Library 

Little Free Library was a placemaking project started by The Word On the Street, Halifax Book and Magazine Festival. It placed three little libraries around downtown Halifax where people could come to pick up and drop off books freely. Each library was beautifully painted to reflect the surrounding neighborhood. Projects like this provide the community with an opportunity to engage with the project by finding a good book to read or by leaving an old favourite for someone else to discover.

5. Pop-Up Markets

Another popular placemaking tool is pop-up markets. Pop-up markets are an example of tactical urbanism, which are inexpensive and temporary ways to re-energize an underutilized space. Examples of pop-up markets in Halifax include the North by Night market on Gottingen Street, and the Granville Mall Pop-Up Market. These spaces are often empty but by using events to activate the space, more people are drawn to the area which makes them more likely to return, engage with the space, and support local businesses!

Granville Mall, Halifax

6. The Wave

Finally, who could forget the Halifax Wave. The Wave is a statue that stands tall on the Halifax waterfront in the shape of a giant wave. The art was originally intended to entice a passersby to come interact with it by standing under the lip of the wave. Since then it has turned into a bit of a children’s playground where every year thousands of children climb up and slide back down– despite the “No Climbing” signs around it. The Halifax Wave is one of Halifax’s most notable placemaking projects because of how known and accepted it is in the community.


Know any other cool placemaking projects around Halifax? Shoot us a message by clicking here!