Four years ago, a draft proposal was put together for the Northend of Sydney. Its goal was to look ahead to 2024, and work to bring that vision to reality. Included in that proposal were some possibilities for the future development of George Street:
When Governor J. F. W. DesBarres developed a plan for Sydney shortly after its founding in 1785, one of the most prominent features in the plan was “Great George Street”. This wide, impressive street was intended to be the main thoroughfare in this new town whose street layout was patterned after
that of the City of Bath in England. In subsequent years some aspects of the original town plan disappeared and the word “great’ was eventually dropped from “George Street”. The street itself remains, however, and is still notable for its remarkable width, which at 72 feet from curb to curb along much of its length, is one of the widest streets in Nova Scotia. Because George Street is such an important and historic feature of both the North End and the downtown areas of Sydney, it is appropriate that it be given some special recognition in the planning process.
In 2002, a planning report for downtown Sydney prepared by a Halifax consultant recommended that the portion of the street within the downtown undergo a major upgrading including establishing bike lanes and a treed boulevard in the centre. The idea of a landscaped boulevard in the middle of George Street was discussed as part of the North End public participation program, but no consensus was reached on the wisdom of moving forward with it. There was general agreement, however, that the improvements to the street could have a significant positive impact on the image of the North End, and that further study, in consultation with the neighbourhood, should take place.
The complete 2006 draft planning strategy for the Northend can be viewed here.