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Halifax Playground Submarine

This project came into being when partners Halifax Port Authority, Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, and the Halifax Waterfront Development Corporation Limited hired Sue Sirrs of Outside! Planning and Design Studio to conduct consultation sessions with, among others, a group of aged 4 to 9 year-olds and their parents. Traditional playground builders weren’t able to come up with the signature playground that was required to replace the old one (a wooden tug) so when Tern Boat Works and I teamed up we developed the submarine chosen (below), and Todd Vassallo of Project Works Artistry designed and built the Octopus Wall that is now the backdrop of the playground.  Playground safety consultant Peter Kells was invaluable in ensuring all areas of the sub were safe for children to play on.

Here are some construction pictures of the Submarine and Octopus Wall.

Copyright 2001-2021 inclusive   McGowan Marine Design, Inc.

The Admiral christens “Subby”.

I thought of the perfect Gaelic toast: “let’s launch ‘ya”! (say it quickly)

What it’s all about:

a happy crew member

One of Bruce Thompson’s and Stefan Kirkpatrick’s (Tern Boat Works) helpful sketches.


epoxy/wood strip and fibreglass with solid fibreglass conning tower and fins.

Fitting the dome

Upper Deck


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