Villages of Seven Lakes, Nova Scotia

Nestled in the eastern shore region of the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) lies the well-established community of Porters Lake, where residents mainly commute to jobs in Dartmouth, Burnside Industrial Park or Downtown Halifax. With a population of just over 3,200 in 2011, the town was built around the 19-kilometre lake it was named after. Boating and fishing are rite of passage, the surrounding forests and numerous lakes within and near the lands long considered public property. 

Greener living coming to Porter’s Lake

Development and conservation, strange but workable bedfellows according to developer Gail Penney, executive director of Penney Group.

She’s hopeful that by using innovative techniques, 60 per cent of the land in The Villages of Seven Lakes project, which is currently under construction, will be preserved.

“It’s a 634 acre, conservation-designed community,” Penney said at the Tim Hortons in Porters Lake. “People in this area wanted to have people who work in the Eastern Shore also be able to live here.”

Penney said young people in the community have few options for housing. She’s hoping Seven Lakes will become a destination for a variety of homebuyers.

“The first aspect of conservation design is looking at the land and determining what aspects need to be protected,” she said. “We’re building nature reserves and putting our houses around that, clustered together, creating little villages.”

The Villages of Seven Lakes Puts Conservation First

PORTERS LAKE, NS, July 11, 2014 /CNW/ - Land developer and conservationist Gail Penney is speaking today with planners from across Canada about why more home buyers want to live in low-impact conservation designed neighbourhoods.

As the largest conservation community in Atlantic Canada, The Villages of Seven Lakes is attracting widespread attention from across Canada, and on Friday, July 11, Gail Penney, President of Seven Lakes Developments, and Jeffry Haggett, Urban and Rural Planner with WSP Canada (Halifax) speaking at the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) Conference in Fredericton, NB.

NS: The Villages of Seven Lakes puts conservation first

Nova Scotia land developer and conservationist Gail Penney is speaking with planners from across Canada about why more home buyers want to live in low-impact conservation designed neighbourhoods.

Phase 1 begins at Seven Lakes in Porters Lake area

Construction begins next week on a model home for the first phase of the Seven Lakes development in the Porters Lake area.

“Our roads are 80 per cent built. We have one (model home) starting next week and one starting two weeks later,” said Gail Penney, executive director of the Penney Group.

Seven Lakes Experience Centre Grand Opening

The Seven Lakes Experience Centre in Porters Lake officially opened last month with a ribbon cutting and media breakfast event. MLA Kevin Murphy and Councillor David Hendsbee were on hand with Seven Lakes Developer, Gail Penney to cut the ribbon to mark the occasion. Guests from the business community came out to welcome Seven Lakes and many took the opportunity to take a guided tour of the site. Seven Lakes is designed with a sustainable philosophy which aligns with the environmental priorities of the province. The Seven Lakes Staff at the new Experience Centre will answer all of your questions about this exciting new development. Visit them at 5193 Hwy. 7 in Porters Lake.

Uncommon developer, unique plan

I mean it when I tell you there is a new HRM development underway that is unlike any other. To begin with, the developer is unlike any I have spoken with before.

Yes, after writing about real estate and development for more than 12 years, I have met the most elusive of land developers — a woman.

There is a story and half in that fact, and also in the story of how Gail Penney became a land developer and conservationist, after the tender age of 45 —which is a fascinating tale for another time.