downtown revitalization

BACKGROUND

On December 5, 2013 at the Performing Arts Centre, the Town held the public launch of its Downtown Plan, http://www.oakville.ca/townhall/downtown-plan.html.  The theatre was packed – standing room only.  Mayor Burton (who was on stage the whole time and who acted both as the principal speaker and master-of-ceremonies) is very committed to this project.  Its essence is to leverage the complete overhaul of the Downtown road infrastructure, a 50-year reinvestment, so as to maximize the commercial and cultural value of Downtown to the Town at large. 

In addition to replacing or refurbishing essential street infrastructure (sewers, water, hydro, …), there will be beautified and upgraded amenities – wider sidewalks, larger under-street planters for trees (so that they can thrive), bike lanes, elimination of the one-way traffic system (to improve pedestrian movement), …, combined, when financing is available, with refurbished or brand-new cultural facilities (parkland and riverside access, central library, performing arts centre, gallery).

Council is totally committed to the idea that Downtown is the heart of Oakville.  In June 2014, it endorsed the following vision and objectives for the Downtown Plan:

Vision

To create an attractive, active, animated and vibrant downtown where people come together to live, meet, work, stay, interact and engage.
It will be the cultural, social and economic heart of our community where citizens and visitors can celebrate and experience the natural setting, heritage, culture and the arts.

Objectives

  • To contribute to an economically successful and vibrant Downtown
  • To create a cultural focus for the Town in the Downtown area
  • To provide facilities and infrastructure that meet existing and future needs
  • To protect and enhance the natural environmental and cultural heritage of Downtown
  • To develop solutions that are financially sustainable


CURRENT STATUS

The Lakeshore Bridge Rehabilitation over Sixteen Mile Creek was completed last year, and it is now a beautiful bridge.  All one-way streets have been converted to two-way traffic.  The Lakeshore Road Reconstruction and Streetscape Project, from Navy Street to Allan Street, has begun.  Work is currently proceeding on a block-by-block basis.

The current overall timetable for Downtown and related projects, approved by Council, can be found at: http://www.oakville.ca/assets/general%20-%20town%20hall/DowntownOakvilleArea-Timeline.pdf.


WANT TO GET INVOLVED?


If you would like to participate in TCRA’s engagement with the Town and the Downtown merchants on this file, please let us know.  We would be very glad of your help.


As you may imagine, it is hard to stay on top of the Downtown Plan.  It has huge implications for us.  For many of us, Downtown is part of the reason we live where we do. 

Contact Bob Brunini at bob.brunini@sympatico.ca, or 905-844-5121.