Upper Hammonds Plains will benefit from renovations to create inclusive recreation space for youth 

News release

An artist’s rendition shows what the renovated games room and half-size basketball court will look like at the future Elizabeth Mantley Youth Recreation and Arts Centre.

July 13, 2022 · Upper Hammonds Plains, Nova Scotia · Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

Canadian cities and towns flourish when they have community public spaces to promote social interaction and physical activity and provide access to recreational programs and facilities. These amenities are integral to the overall well-being of individuals, families and communities. Our economic recovery is closely linked to the vitality of our local communities and their shared spaces.

Today, the Honourable Lena Metlege Diab, Member of Parliament for Halifax West, announced an investment of $88,669 through the Canada Community Revitalization Fund (CCRF) for the Upper Hammonds Plains Community Development Association. The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA.

This support will allow the organization to proceed with phase two of converting a historic former fire hall into the Elizabeth Mantley Youth Recreation and Art Centre. Renovations will include installing flooring, lighting, a new kitchen, a games room and dining hall, a gathering space, and a half-sized indoor basketball court. The new centre will provide positive and inclusive space for youth in the area who have faced historical barriers to recreation program participation.

The CCRF was launched in June 2021. The Fund provides $500 million over two years to Canada’s regional development agencies (RDAs) to invest in shared and inclusive public spaces. As public health restrictions ease, the Government of Canada remains committed to investing in shared spaces to make them safer, greener and more accessible. This in turn will stimulate local economies, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for Canadians.


“Strong, vibrant communities in Nova Scotia are a critical part of a robust and inclusive economic recovery. Investing in shared public spaces like the Elizabeth Mantley Youth and Recreation Arts Centre in Upper Hammonds Plains helps revitalize local economies, boosts tourism, creates jobs, and gives residents a place to come together safely.”
-       The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA

"I’m so pleased that the Government of Canada is funding this important project in the historic African Nova Scotian community of Upper Hammonds Plains. The Elizabeth Mantley Arts and Recreation Centre is going to be a place to honour history, build connections, and shape the future. This project is being done by the community, for the community, and I applaud all the volunteers for their hard work."
-     The Honourable Lena Metlege Diab, Member of Parliament for Halifax West 

"As a fire station, this building helped protect our community. Now, our community is going to be able to protect this historic place, while updating it to create a safe space for our youth. The mission of the Elizabeth Mantley Arts and Recreation Centre is giving back, and we're thankful to have the Government of Canada as a partner in our work."
-     Gina Jones-Wilson, President of the Upper Hammonds Plains Community Development Association

Quick facts

  • The mission of the Upper Hammonds Plains Community Development Association is to create a space for youth to express themselves and develop through creative arts and recreational activities. 

  • Youth will learn about the history of the first former all-Black volunteer fire department in Canada once housed in the building and the contributions of their ancestors who provide examples of citizenship and leadership. Program offerings at the centre will include leadership for girls, academic enrichment and tutoring; basketball, baseball, table tennis and other sports; engineering for children with Lego League programs and summer day camps. 

  • CCRF funding will support two major streams of activity:
    o   adapt community spaces and assets so that they may be used safely in accordance with local public health guidelines,
    o   build or improve community spaces to encourage Canadians to re-engage in, and explore their communities and regions. 

  • Eligible recipients will include not-for-profit organizations; rural, municipal or regional governments; Indigenous groups and communities; and public sector bodies that provide municipal-type infrastructure. 

  • Priority may be given to projects that encourage the participation of underrepresented groups and take into consideration the unique challenges of rural and remote communities. 

  • For more information on the application process, eligibility criteria and eligible expenses, or to apply for the CCRF, reach out to your regional development agency.

  • Canada’s regional development agencies are continuing to deliver targeted support for economic recovery in the region. Application intake is open through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency for the Canada Community Revitalization Fund, Jobs and Growth Fund, Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative and Tourism Relief Fund.

Associated links


Catherine Mounier-Desrochers
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Official Languages
and of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Lauren Sinclair
Communications Director
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Gina Jones-Wilson
President, Upper Hammonds Plains Community Development Association

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