The Citadel Halifax Hotel

Are you one of many people looking for information about the old Citadel Halifax Hotel in downtown Halifax?


At Citadel Halifax Makeover, we’re dedicated to presenting up-to-date information about the current Citadel Halifax Hotel redevelopment and construction project, currently due for completion next year.


We understand that many people need a comprehensive resource for such an important event that’s happening downtown in real time. We’ve made sure to include as much information as possible to ensure you get ‘the scoop’ about the ongoing redevelopment of the Citadel Halifax Hotel.


Travelers, visitors and residents of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada will soon have two new hotels and an apartment complex at the former site of the Citadel Halifax Hotel as early as mid-2014.


About the Citadel Halifax Hotel


General information about Citadel Halifax Hotel


Located on Brunswick Street in Halifax, the former Citadel Halifax Hotel lied adjacent to the World Trade and Convention center located within the city. The buildings associated with the Citadel Halifax Hotel were connected by a covered walkway to the nearby Casino Nova Scotia, offering contemporary facilities alongside its on-site restaurant.


The hotel also featured an indoor pool and an advanced fitness center with strength and cardio training equipment. Alongside the fitness and restaurant options, the facilities also hosted free wired high speed Internet access. According to user anecdotes, however, the facilities didn’t carry free Wi-Fi, due to technical limitations.


People who stayed at the Citadel Halifax Hotel were able to access the front desk on a 24/7 basis. They also had fresh to weekly and daily newspapers, the restaurant and a fully-stocked bar. There were also facilities for disabled guests, in addition to heating for the colder months.


The native restaurant and lounge served up the best of Canadian comfort food for dinner, lunch and breakfast. To add to its cozy atmosphere, there was a fireplace for guests to relax and lounge around, particularly if they got a drink from the bar.


Additional services at the former Citadel Halifax Hotel included room service, dry cleaning and fax/photocopying for business guests. On-site public parking was also available in its nearby designation location, though standard parking fees applied to non-guests.


Brief history


The Citadel Halifax Hotel was originally built in 1963, first established as the Citadel Inn. In just a few years, during the year 1974, the first renovations on the building were performed. These renovations included the addition of the Executive Tower, which added an additional 98 guestrooms to the hotel.


During 1980, three more floors were added to the original section of the hotel. This upgrade added another 71 rooms to the hotel as it was.


In the following decades, the Citadel Halifax Hotel remained as one of the central facilities of travel accommodations in the downtown Halifax area, right up until its proposed redevelopment was established as early as 2011.


The closing


The SilverBirch Hotel & Resorts Citadel Halifax Hotel closed in 2012, upon CEO Steve Giblin stating that the 1963 property ‘required a full scale multimillion dollar renovation.’


At the time, Giblin commented that ‘they had looked at what they could do with the property, which made them realize that the entire hotel needed a comprehensive update.’


This comprehensive update was described as ‘taking out a lot of the existing facilities and re-configuring the entire site.’ Due to the scale and nature of the entire project, the Citadel Halifax Hotel was eventually closed.


According to Gilbin at the time, the renovated hotel was expected to become ‘completely different’ than the former Citadel Halifax Hotel. One proposed change involved taking out the surrounding parking lots and making better use of the resultant space around the property.


The Citadel Halifax Hotel officially closed in January 2012, with its redevelopment process expected to take at least a year and a half to complete. As of now, the project is expected to finish in mid-2014, originally pushed up from mid-2013.


The redevelopment project


The Citadel Halifax Hotel, located on Brunswick Street in Halifax’s downtown area, is now under redevelopment. The Citadel Halifax Hotel redevelopment project started to offer visitors a fresh experience during their stay, in addition providing more modern and fresh enhancements to the downtown landscape of the city.


The former building complex is expected to be transformed into a ‘mixed use facility that will feature two new hotels, a residential building with an integrated restaurant and retail space.’ The ‘makeover,’ focused on sustainability, activity and the people of Halifax, will add to the already vibrant downtown Halifax core. It’s also expected to positively impact the surrounding area.


The proposed redevelopment upgrades are currently adhere to HRMByDesign guidelines and, at the same time, balance their integration with local heritage assets and contemporary architecture.



Citadel Halifax Hotel Redevelopment – Time Lapse, May 2013



Redeveloping The Citadel Halifax Hotel


Design attributes


According to the current HRMByDesign guidelines, the buildings will follow the established vision for the North Gateway, in addition to the zoning restrictions that include surrounding street setbacks and view planes.


The introduction of the redesigned retail and restaurant of Brunswick and Cogswell streets is expected to reintroduce pedestrian-centered street level activities in the area.


The exterior materials, such as stone, brick and curtain wall glazing, will help integrate the new buildings with the surrounding area and buildings.


The new buildings are also expected to redefine the surrounding streets, featuring attractive and ultimately interesting design elements at street level. In addition, the new surrounding area will feature safer weather-reinforced sidewalks for pedestrians. These sidewalks will be designed in a way to easily allow pedestrians to access retail and dining buildings.


The appearance of the new buildings will add to the number of already existing modern hotel accommodations within Halifax. It’s also expected to provide more newer residential rental options within the surrounding downtown area.


The main goal of the entire redevelopment project revolves around presenting newer options for the people and visiting residents of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Besides providing more retail and hotel accommodation options for people, the Citadel Halifax Hotel redevelopment will provide a better working environment for new and returning staff.


Citadel Halifax Hotel’s redevelopment is also expected to contribute more property taxes to Halifax (an estimated $1.6 million CAD), in addition to HST (about $2 million CAD) and Hotel Room Levies (estimated at $200,000 CAD).


Ultimately, the redevelopment project will promote downtown Halifax as an ideal location for retail leisure, hotel accommodations and residency.



Citadel Halifax Hotel Redevelopment – Time Lapse, June 2013



The Resultant Benefits From The Project


Citadel Halifax Hotel’s redevelopment is proposed to ‘integrate history, commitment and sustainability to the community, and at the same time, provide a better visitor and residential experience’ for the people of Halifax. The project is important to the city of Halifax, due to the city’s growing need to better serve the growing community and its visitors.


The new site is expected, in fact, to attract travelers on business trips, tourists and new residents to the downtown Halifax area. The prospective addition of more property taxes, HST and Hotel Room Levies (2 percent) will also benefit the local economy more than current operations will.


The new Citadel Halifax Hotel will feature a total of 316 rooms across two different hotels; the new site will also feature an apartment building with about 130 units. In addition to the hotel and residential units, the site will feature a restaurant, conference facilities and an entire retail space.


Although the old building is known as the Citadel Halifax Hotel, there’s currently no concrete decision to keep the name as-is. As of now, the naming scheme of the new hotel is being researched, in addition to the ongoing consideration of potential hotel partners, including the expectant Hilton Worldwide.


The new site of the Citadel Halifax Hotel is currently on schedule to open in mid-2014.



Citadel Halifax Hotel Redevelopment – Time Lapse, July 2013



Concerns Surrounding The Citadel Halifax Hotel Redevelopment


Although the redevelopment of Citadel Halifax Hotel is mainly seen as a benefit to the current community, some residents may assume that the ‘footprint’ of the construction and other associated activity will negatively impact the downtown and surrounding Halifax area.


The Citadel Hill view planes, as an example, will be protected throughout the construction process. The proposed buildings and towers will comply with the zoning restrictions of the area. As a result, the views from the new hotel will be preserved, allowing the buildings and towers to comply with zoning guidelines and allow visitors and residents a view of the city.


The environmental impact during the construction and operation of the project is expected to be carefully handled and maintain, according to SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts long-standing commitment to protecting the environment.


The Halifax site will use sustainable materials, including using green roofing as a key design feature for the new buildings. The driveways and parking lots are also expected to be converted into pedestrian friendly walk ways.


All in all, the new buildings are expected to be designed and constructed for the purpose of increasing the area’s environmentally-based performance, while fostering a much healthier working environment.


Securing A Partner In Hilton Brands


As mentioned earlier, the former Citadel Halifax Hotel didn’t have either a name or a hotel partner, though now, that proposed ‘dilemma’ has a solution.


In January 2012, upon the closing of the establishment, a proposal listed the Hampton Inn and the Homewood Suites as a possible replacement for the former Citadel Halifax Hotel.


Since then, SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts has secured a partnership with the famous Hilton Worldwide, effectively bringing Nova Scotia’s first dual-brand hotel to downtown Halifax.


The new ‘dual-brand hotel’ is a response to SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts’ desire to build an extended-stay hotel and a business-transient hotel.


The Hampton Inn portion of the dual-hotel prospect is expected to house individual business travelers, while the Homewood Suites will treat tourists and other visitors to full suite units with complete kitchens and bathrooms, equipped enough to allow people to stay for longer than three days.


The Hilton-SilverBirch agreement essentially marks Hilton’s return to the Halifax market after more than a decade. A site plan for the new site to host two 13-story hotels, featuring 159 and 119 rooms, in addition to a 17-story apartment building with at least 153 apartment units was approved by the Halifax Regional Municipality that March.


In May, however, a revised plan was eventually submitted to the city. The revised plan added in an additional two story to the existing two hotel buildings, establishing the current total of 316 units between each building. At the time, the plan amendment was under pending municipal approval.


The entirety of the redevelopment project is handed and designed by the Chamberlain Architect Services Ltd. of Burlington, Ontario. As mentioned earlier, the new site will feature a 7,000 square foot restaurant that will reside on the ground floor of the main apartment building.


The dual hotels will have ground floors dedicated to commercial and retail establishments, in addition to a conference center extending 9,000 square feet. No retail tenants are confirmed at this time, as SilverBirch continues to find suitable brand partners for the new site.


Both hotels, in fact, are expected to share their amenities. They are, however, expected to have separate identities, lobbies and entrances. The separate identities will help prevent consumer confusion and, ultimately, promote the business and leisure culture reinforced by the Hilton-SilverBirch duel hotel structure.


The hotels, according to CEO Giblin, are ‘expected to maintain an 80 percent occupancy rate, bringing at least 300 people to the downtown area on a daily basis.’ The projected atmosphere for the place is expected to stimulate activity in the downtown Halifax streetscape.


The abundance of commercial retail shops, including coffee shops, will eventually help bring people in and ‘really keep the corner active during all times throughout the day and night.’


The demolition and construction work for the hotel officially began early 2012. The project has successfully continued throughout 2012 and 2013, expected to complete wrap up by mid-2014.


SilverBirch also expects to recycle as much of the material used throughout the redevelopment, even stating that they plan to ‘recycle as much as 80 percent of materials that were removed from the older hotel.’



Citadel Halifax Hotel Redevelopment – Time Lapse, August 2013