Port of Halifax Annual Report 2021

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Annual Report 2021


Infrastructure, Planning, and Real Estate

National Trade Corridors Funding


In June of 2019, the federal government committed $47.5 million to the Halifax Port Authority and the Halifax Regional Municipality for two key infrastructure projects under the National Trade Corridors Fund. The HPA, HRM and other partners will match the federal government’s contribution, for a total of $95 million in funding for these two projects that will help create jobs in our city while supporting economic growth, improving the fluidity and performance of the transport system to increase the value and volume of goods exported from Canada, and improving the sustainability of the Port’s operations. Additional National Trade Corridors Funding for Halifax was announced in December 2021, with $7 million allocated toward the construction of a new Marine Container Examination Facility.

These initiatives align with local goals and objectives, address feedback from key interested parties and the public, and support the long-term strategic vision for the Port. They are expected to have important economic and employment benefits for the region by creating an estimated 880 jobs during construction.

Rail Solution Project

The HPA has been working with our partners to reduce the number of Port-related container trucks moving through downtown Halifax. We continued the planning, modelling, and design work on the National Trade Corridors Funding Rail Solution Project. Our goal is to grow the Atlantic Gateway through new and improved rail infrastructure which will enable the Port to handle the projected increases in container volumes in the next 10+ years. And by creating a more efficient and sustainable way of moving and handling cargo, we will reduce container traffic through the downtown core.

Through 2021, we continued to work with CN and the terminal operator to develop improved rail infrastructure in the South End. The goal of the National Trade Corridors Funding Rail Solution is to maximize efficiency across the entire marine and rail network in Halifax which includes both terminals and the various rail assets.

The Rail Solution Project will:

  • Limit the impacts of port activity and infrastructure on downtown Halifax residents by aiming to reduce port-related truck traffic by up to 75%
  • Help port supply chain members handle more cargo more quickly, and in a cost-effective manner
  • Meet Canadian market demand and provide a predictable supply chain for Asia and Europe
  • Enhance the integration of the Port’s landside operations, avoiding costly vessel delays and berth congestion
  • Enhance the integration of the Port’s landside operations (four berths), avoiding costly vessel delays and berth congestion
  • Increase terminal efficiencies and container storage capacities

This project includes the addition of significant rail infrastructure, the acquisition of two new rail-mounted cranes to load and unload containers more quickly and efficiently at PSA Halifax Atlantic Hub, and a second truck gate and two new Rubber Tire Gantry cranes at PSA Halifax Fairview Cove.

Windsor Street
Exchange Project

The second project, led by HRM, will provide infrastructure upgrades to the Windsor Street Exchange. Located in the northern Halifax peninsula, the Windsor Street Exchange is one of the city’s main arteries that provides access to the Port and CN’s Halifax Intermodal Terminal. This project includes realigning the Bedford Highway, upgrading Lady Hammond Road, and installing new traffic signals to improve traffic flow. These upgrades will reduce traffic congestion, improve safety, and increase the reliability and efficiency for all motorists. HPA is currently in the planning and consultation phase of this project, having held public engagement sessions in April/May and again in October/November of 2021. The design process is scheduled to begin in 2024 and take two years to complete.

The substantial reduction of Port-related trucks on downtown streets in the short-to-medium term is a top priority for the Halifax Port Authority.

Port of Halifax

Marine Container Examination Facility

Port of Halifax

When containers arrive at the Port of Halifax from other parts the world, they need to undergo rapid and reliable inspection by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to ensure that the goods shipped in those containers are not a risk to the health, safety, or security of Canadians. The location of the facility that carries out this work can be a significant factor in the efficiency of that process.

The current Marine Container Examination Facility is located at a temporary facility in Burnside Industrial Park, across the harbour from HPA’s container terminals. This means that when CBSA selects containers to inspect, those containers are trucked to Burnside, inspected by CBSA, and then trucked back to the terminal before being picked up by customers.

Design planning of this new facility is underway. It will be built on port land that is adjacent to PSA Halifax Fairview Cove – a location that will have significant positive impact on operations related to CBSA’s work. It will provide increased safety, security and efficiency to the process of maintaining international operations at the Port. It will reduce truck movements through downtown Halifax, across the MacKay Bridge and through Burnside. And it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by cutting down the time trucks spend idling at terminal gates, waiting in traffic and crossing the Mackay Bridge to Burnside.

The federal government committed $7 million toward this project, with the HPA contributing $8 million, for a total of $15 million in project funding. It is expected that the new Marine Container Examination Facility will be built and ready for operations in 2024.

Port of Halifax



In 2020, the Halifax Port Authority established a planning team to begin the process of mapping out our next 50 years. In 2021, the team got to work, undertaking a series of studies, reviews and consultations, while creating planning documents that identify goals for guidance and growth. From there, the Halifax Port Authority Master Plan 2070 was initiated to look at port planning, and identify benchmarks that will trigger expansion projects to ensure the long-term viability of the Port.

The Master Plan will direct development in a way that will capture the full potential of containerized cargo and cruise markets – the key drivers of port-related growth – over the next 50 years. It will promote the development of infrastructure in a way that is transparent and integrated into the needs of the surrounding community, municipality and province.We are preparing now to ensure our assets are ready for where the industry is going, not just where it’s at today.

The objectives of the Port Master Plan 2070 are:

  • to provide guidance for future asset development while supporting sustainable growth in the marine industry
  • to shift business models to position the HPA as a strategic partner in port management by introducing value-added services and developing customer-focused operation practices to remain competitive
  • to identify measurable benchmarks that will need to be achieved before infrastructure expansion is necessary
  • to provide a clear path for near-term and long-term asset planning, with the ability to shift priorities as future demand approaches without excess capital expenditure
  • to support asset optimization before expansion to secure future sustainable investment
  • to balance port operations against the impact on the surrounding communities
  • to ensure sustainable growth for our One Port City by collaboratively working on solutions with external interested parties

Our Planning Team continues to work on the HPA Master Plan 2070, working toward completion date of Q2 2022.

Collaborative and Future-Focused Planning: We know that truck traffic is a concern for those who live, work, and play in downtown Halifax. As our population increases and e-commerce spurs growth in international trade, the demand for the Port’s services will expand. To ensure sustainable growth for our one port city, we are working collaboratively with our partners on solutions.

Our vision for the future includes expanding our cargo and cruise infrastructure and reducing the number of trucks on the streets of downtown Halifax.

Captain Allan Gray
President and CEO, Halifax Port Authority

Port of Halifax

Real Estate


In addition to our cargo and cruise responsibilities, the Halifax Port Authority manages the assets of the crown through revenue generation and re-investment in infrastructure to create economic growth for the region. We manage 265 acres of federally-owned marine industrial land that includes cargo handling facilities, container terminals, cruise ship facilities, the Halifax Grain Elevator, and several other non-cargo facilities. We also manage and/or operate a number of properties that make up Halifax’s Seaport District.

Over the past 15 years, the Halifax Seaport District has been transformed from a collection of old warehouses to a vibrant area, home to a diverse array of local artisans, retailers, cafés, galleries, offices that include the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, Garrison Brewing, the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design Port Campus and the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market.

The PIER at the Seaport

In January of 2021, we announced the next steps in the transformation of our historic Halifax Seaport District. The PIER – short for Port Innovation, Engagement and Research –was conceived as Canada’s very first living lab for transportation, supply chain and logistics – a collaborative space operating within Shed 20 where people and organizations of all shapes and sizes come together to create innovative solutions and explore new technologies.

By November, the PIER was open for business – home to six Founding Partners, one Industry Partner, five Resident Members and 16 Ecosystem Members, with additional partners and members expected to join as this innovative workspace develops and its projects gain traction.

In addition to The PIER, Shed 20 is now home to a selection of retail and food-service businesses. Latte-Da Coffee and Northern Watters Knitwear & Tartan Shop are among the storefront retail businesses that round out this innovative space and complement the other exciting things happening at the Seaport.

Port of Halifax

We are committed to continuously upgrading our services and innovating every aspect of our business. The PIER creates a collaborative space that will allow us to work with like-minded companies.

Jan Van Mossevelde
Chief Executive Officer, PSA Halifax

Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market


In 2021, the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market vendors made the short move from Shed 20 to Pavilion 22 within the historic Halifax Seaport District. This indoor location, a temporary home for the Seaport Market, was intended for use during the winter months when Pavilion 22 was not in use by arriving cruise guests, with adjacent open-air outdoor space to be used during warmer months.

When space in Pavilion 23 (the former Cunard Centre) became available, the HPA Real Estate Department engaged with Seaport Market vendors to find out if there was interest in creating a permanent year-round indoor home for the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market. Vendors overwhelmingly supported the idea.

The new space will give the Market approximately 18,000 sq ft of Pavilion 23. “We are now working with a designer to create a welcoming and engaging environment that will serve as a weekend farmers’ market and an event space during the week.” said Nick Garside, HPA’s Director of Real Estate. While renovations take place, the Market will remain at Pavilion 22, with an opening date slated for early summer of 2022.

Over its 270+ year history, the Halifax Farmers’ Market has grown and thrived in several sites across Halifax. With this latest move, the Market returned to fundamentals – great weekend vendors selling their own produce and products to loyal customers that come from all around the city to enjoy the dynamic atmosphere of our well-known market.

Port of Halifax
Port of Halifax