In less than a week up to 40 tall ships will sail into Halifax Harbour, marking the start of the biggest event in Halifax this summer. More than 700,000 people are expected to visit the waterfront for Tall Ships Challenge 2004 -- A Salute to l'Acadie, from July 29 to Aug. 2.
"We are expecting many visitors to the downtown core for the tall ships festivities, and we want people to know that although it will be busy, we are ready," said Eric Thomson, chair of the Waterfront Development Corporation. "In order to accommodate the increased pedestrian traffic and entertainment tents that will be set up on the waterfront, there will be a number of street closures and parking bans in place. We are reminding people that a few provisions may have to be made to travel plans, and to expect a great time."
Lower Water Street, between George and Salter streets, and Prince and Sackville streets (at Bedford Row) will be closed from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Thursday, July 29 and Friday, July 30. These streets will remain closed on Saturday, July 31, Sunday, Aug. 1, and Monday, Aug. 2 between 8 a.m. and 2 a.m. Northbound traffic on Lower Water Street will be detoured left onto Morris Street, except local traffic. Parking will not be permitted in many of the waterfront parking lots (monthly parkers are asked to please check with the property managers), and parking will be limited at meters in the downtown area.
"We are encouraging everyone to use the public transportation system available in Halifax Regional Municipality," said Lori Patterson, Metro Transit, public affairs manager. "Metro Transit will be offering enhanced bus and ferry services over the five- day event. It makes a lot of sense to take advantage of the park and ride locations all around metro."
There will be 13 park and ride locations available during Tall Ships Challenge 2004, most of which will be free. Scheduled bus service will be supplemented with extra buses as needed, and ferry service will operate 24 hours a day.
Up-to-date information on transportation, parking, street closures and other general information relating to Tall Ships Challenge 2004 is available on the Halifax Regional Municipality website at www.halifax.ca/tallships2004 , or by calling Halifax Regional Municipality's Customer Call Centre at 902-490-4000. More information about the Tall Ships Challenge 2004 is available on the province's website at www.novascotia.com/tallships and on CBC's website at www.cbc.ca/tallships2004 .