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How about a Trailer Park Boys museum in Cole Harbour?

HRM is asking for ideas for the former site of the Halifax County Rehabilitation Centre

3 min read
Film set
caption The set of Chapelwaite, a television show filmed on the grounds of the Halifax County Rehabilitation Centre in Cole Harbour.
Preet Bhogal

A Cole Harbour resident thinks the former site of the Halifax County Rehabilitation Centre is an ideal spot for a museum honouring a famous television show that was filmed there.

The site off Bissett Road in Cole Harbour has been declared a municipal park, and last week Halifax Regional Municipality launched the public engagement stage of planning. This first stage involves a survey asking residents what amenities or features they would like to see.

Colin MacEachern, a teacher at Auburn Drive High School, suggests a “small museum” dedicated to the Trailer Park Boys, similar to the World Peace Pavilion in Dartmouth. It’s an outdoor monument on the waterfront with exhibits behind glass.

“It doesn’t have to be anything over the top. Nothing too expensive,” MacEachern said in an interview. Cole Harbour regularly celebrates NHL stars Sidney Crosby and Nathan MacKinnon, he said, and the stars of the Trailer Park Boys are “just as big, only it’s in the arts.”

The origins of the Rehab Centre, as it was known, date back to 1887 when it was called the Poors’ Farm. The centre operated on the site from 1941 until it was closed in 2002. The abandoned site became a popular spot for film shoots and urban explorers. The building burned down in 2010 and was demolished soon afterwards.

The original run of the Trailer Park Boys, most of which was filmed on the Rehab lands, aired from 2001 until 2008. Created by and starring people from Cole Harbour, the show is an ongoing international success. The franchise has expanded to include spinoffs, three feature films and an animated series.

Cole Harbour trail
caption A new trail built on the site of the former Halifax County Rehabilitation Centre in Cole Harbour.

MacEachern started an online petition and plans to submit it to city staff as part of the public engagement process.

He said his idea is not as offbeat as it may seem. He mentioned Molly’s Reach restaurant from The Beachcombers, another classic Canadian television show that aired on CBC from 1972 until 1990. It was a fictional restaurant in the show but became a real one due to the success of the show. More recently, Goodwood, Ont., became a tourist destination after the success of Schitt’s Creek, which was filmed there.

There are other suggestions for the former Rehab lands listed on the survey. These include a dog park, a request for more bike lanes in the area, and a garden that takes advantage of the view.

Around 16 acres of the 20-acre site has been designated for the park, with the remaining four acres declared surplus. According to the municipality, some of it is already zoned for residential but might be used for other purposes.

This year, the Rehab lands site was again used as a set for a television show. Chapelwaite is based on a Stephen King story and is expected to air sometime next year.

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About the author

Preet Bhogal

Preet Bhogal is a journalist in Halifax and has a dog named Cole. He writes about politics, health, and social justice issues.

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  1. M

    Matt Grant

    I have a simple idea for an exhibit. Now that weed it legal and all...Picture this: In Edmonton there is this giant baseball bat located at 97st and 118 ave. It measures at 15.2 meters long. An exhibit that the public can move. Well do this but with a 15.2 meter joint with a big orange light on the top.
  2. M


    Honestly it’ll be one more stop for tourists (local tourists?) - and one that isn’t from the last century. Set up a small replica (seriously, it won’t cost much), charge a small fee, sell some memorabilia, raise some money for the community and have a plan on how to invest back into the community.
  3. J

    Jack Whitewolf

    Tho I'm from the US and my wife and I loved the Trailer Park Boys. My Wife passed to the next life 7 years ago but she always wanted to visit where they were made. I truly believe this would be a Great Honor to the Boy's and the community as well as the late great Mr Leahy who is so sadly missed so sadly missed. I say Mr Leahy because that is who he will always be to me. So It is a great concept and I hope before my time comes I will finally have the greatest of Honor to visit Cole harbor. Sending Peace, Blessings and Great Love to the Boy's, the People of Cole Harbor and The people 0f Halifax. Jack Whitewolf
  4. K

    Kevin Beatham

    Cool,looks like somebody is letting the liquor do the thinking.
  5. R


    Why not install affordable shed homes like Bubble's and maybe also have one be a museum.
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