A number of online services will be unavailable on December 4 from 9 to 10 p.m. as we perform scheduled maintenance. Thank you for understanding.
The purpose of this online event was to share current information on Midtown-related transportation and urban design matters. The questions asked by attendees are organized below by topic. Some questions were edited for clarity.
Midtown is currently home to about 900 residents and 3,000 jobs.
Midtown Oakville is a provincially-designated urban growth centre. Since 2006, the town has been required to plan for Midtown to achieve a minimum density target of 200 residents and jobs combined per hectare by 2031. This works out to be a minimum of 20,600 residents and jobs.
Through Regional Official Plan Amendment 48 (ROPA 48), Halton Region has provided a target proportion of 65% residents and 35% jobs for Midtown. This would equate to about 13,400 residents and 7,200 jobs.
We do not currently have an estimate of how far beyond the minimum requirement Midtown might yield by 2051.
In addition to being the town's urban growth centre, the area around the Oakville GO station is a major transit station area (MTSA). According to the Province's Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, "Major transit station areas generally are defined as the area within an approximate 500 to 800 metre radius of a transit station, representing about a 10-minute walk." The Growth Plan requires Halton Region and the town to undertake detailed planning for Midtown Oakville to support planned service levels on the Lakeshore West rail corridor. This planning for Midtown Oakville is to include a minimum density target of 200 residents and jobs combined per hectare incorporating a diverse mix of uses including additional residential units.
Through the Midtown Oakville Growth Area Review, the official plan policies for Midtown are being updated to further support the creation of a complete urban community. Midtown is being planned as a dynamic urban destination where people embrace healthy, active lifestyles by living, working and playing in a vibrant, walkable, mixed-use neighbourhood, connected to the rest of Oakville by pedestrian, cycling, transit and street networks.
Halton Region determined the existing boundary of Midtown Oakville in consultation with the town and Province, as required by the Growth Plan. This boundary was recently confirmed, with slight adjustments, through Halton Region’s adoption of Regional Official Plan Amendment 48 (ROPA 48). Cornwall Road is the southern boundary.
We do not currently have an estimated average number of persons per unit for apartments in 2051. The 2016 Census revealed that the average household size for an apartment in Oakville was 1.7 persons. The results of the 2021 Census are expected in early 2022. We continue to plan for a variety of household sizes.
A draft official plan amendment (OPA) proposing updated policies for Midtown Oakville has been released for public comment. Changes to the existing building height policies are needed to address recent changes to Ontario's Planning Act, and meet overall community design objectives.
Within the Urban Core designation, the draft OPA proposes building heights from eight to 20 storeys with the potential to exceed the maximum height in return for the provision of local roads, office uses, and/or aboveground structured parking. Where a proposed development is able to maximize these density transfer opportunities in accordance with the proposed policies, it may be possible to achieve a building height of up to 38 storeys. This would not be possible on all sites within the Urban Core designation.
In other land use designations and in certain locations a minimum building height of two storeys may be permitted.
Staff continue to consider comments received on the draft OPA. Revisions to the draft OPA, including changes to permitted building heights, may be made prior to a final recommendation to Council.
Midtown will redevelop gradually over time as landowners decide to redevelop their properties in accordance with the Livable Oakville Plan. For the most part, existing buildings and structures may remain – and existing uses may continue to operate – as long as the current owners wish. New development may need to accommodate existing buildings and land uses nearby.
Through the Midtown Oakville Growth Area Review, we will also consider whether any minor modifications to the approved future transportation network may be appropriate to reduce impacts to existing properties and uses.
The four local school boards are responsible for forecasting student numbers and planning to accommodate them. There may be space for Midtown students to be accommodated at existing schools in surrounding neighbourhoods where declining enrolment is otherwise projected.
We expect to further engage with the public later this year regarding the advancement of Midtown Oakville.
The transportation system planned for Midtown balances the road network, transit, and active transportation to support the creation of a mixed-use, multi-modal urban community oriented towards transit. The road design builds on the existing networks and continues to evolve based on ongoing analysis and technical input.
One of the town's main strategies for managing traffic growth is to shift our modal split away from vehicle trips as much as possible. The infrastructure improvements planned for Midtown will make walking, cycling and transit options more attractive to help achieve this shift.
Lyons Lane does not form part of the future local road network for Midtown established in the Livable Oakville Plan. Geotechnical work is currently underway to determine whether Lyons Lane will be maintained for vehicle use. The option to convert Lyons Lane to a multi-use trail dedicated solely to active transportation is also under consideration.
Increased traffic congestion is an issue town-wide, not just in Midtown. Through the development review process we are promoting improvements that make walking, cycling and transit options more attractive to help achieve a modal shift away from vehicle trips. We also constantly review existing operations to maximize the efficiency of our transportation system through techniques such as traffic signal timing adjustments.
The planned widening of Chartwell Road to four lanes is between the North Service Road and Cornwall Road.
No. However, there is a new QEW/Highway 403 crossing planned east of Eighth Line, connecting Iroquois Shore Road and Royal Windsor Drive.
The proposed cross-section of Iroquois Shore Road includes four lanes of traffic, a sidewalk on one side and a multi-use trail on the other as well as on-road bike lanes. The proposed extension of Iroquois Shore Road over the QEW/Highway 403 to connect with Royal Windsor Drive will be a separate project.
The infrastructure improvements planned for Midtown will make walking, cycling and transit options more attractive to help achieve a modal shift away from vehicle trips. We also continue to work with our partners at Oakville Transit, Halton Region and Metrolinx to make transit an attractive option.
Through the Midtown Oakville Growth Area Review, we will also consider whether any minor modifications to the approved future transportation network may be appropriate to improve overall connectivity for all modes of transportation.
The town's Active Transportation Master Plan contains a town-wide plan to provide a network of facilities for pedestrians and cyclists. We continue to work towards this ultimate plan by annually building pedestrian and cycling facilities through our Capital Program.
The existing and proposed official plan policies for Midtown enable reduced or maximum parking standards to be considered through implementing zoning. The town's ongoing Urban Mobility Strategy and Parking Strategy projects will inform the parking standards that will be applied in Midtown. Development proponents may also justify reduced parking standards through transportation and parking demand management studies submitted in support of zoning by-law amendment applications.
We are constantly inspecting and maintaining cycling facilities in accordance with the Provincial Minimum Maintenance Standards. If you have a particular concern, please contact Service Oakville so that staff may respond.
The safety of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists is of primary importance for the operation of existing facilities as well as planned improvements within Midtown. Our plans are to ensure that walking and cycling are attractive options year-round.
The town's winter maintenance levels of service exceed the provincially mandated Minimum Maintenance Standards. If you have a particular concern at any time of the year, please contact Service Oakville so that staff may respond.
The pedestrian links identified in the Midtown Oakville EA refer to two grade-separated, active transportation crossings of the QEW — one west of Trafalgar Road and one east of Trafalgar Road. It is anticipated that the crossings and associated pathways will be provided within public right-of-ways. These active transportation crossings will provide pedestrians and cyclists with alternatives for crossing the QEW and improved access to transit.
Traffic signals across town operate in various modes and operational characteristics. The need to push a button to receive a walk signal varies from intersection to intersection. If you have a concern regarding the operation of a particular traffic signal, please contact Service Oakville so that staff can respond.
Roadway design that prioritizes active transportation routes, on-street convenience parking, and boulevards that balance public and private interests and activities, can provide a solid framework upon which to build connections and places that support a multitude of community uses and users.
Specific programming for future public spaces has not been determined. The official plan policies and urban design direction for urban squares will foster a high degree of flexibility in the design and activation of these spaces so they can accommodate multiple programming opportunities that extend from day into evening and year-round.
The recently rehabilitated Lakeshore Road East through Downtown Oakville is a good example of how broader boulevards, cohesive streetscape elements and convenience on-street parking creates a desirable environment to live, work, shop and play. This street accommodates various modes of travel and the transition between modes (from a driver to a pedestrian). It also balances public and private interests, and reinforces place-making.
In realizing these desired spaces and places, the public realm will be a composition of both public and private lands. It will be a blending of holdings that will be experienced as connected and accessible to all.
The largest public land contribution to the public realm will be the network of roadways and boulevards throughout Midtown. This will be the connective tissue, designed for people, and supported by a variety of adjacent open spaces on public and private lands (e.g., forecourts, pocket courts, urban commons, transit plaza, multi-use trails).
Upon completion of the town-wide Parks and Open Space Strategy, the locations, types and sizes of required parks and open spaces will be included in the plan for Midtown. They may be publicly owned (e.g., on lands owned by the town, Region or Metrolinx) or privately owned public spaces (POPS).
Design Direction 3.1.42 of the Livable by Design Manual for Tall and Mid-Rise Buildings (and 3.2.19 for Low-Rise Buildings) states:
Incorporate cladding materials that include brick, stone, metal, glass, wood, and in-situ concrete of high architectural quality. Incorporate high quality stucco only as an accent material. Incorporate spandrel materials only in circumstances where clear and transparent vision glass is not a viable option due to privacy concerns. Vinyl siding, plastic, plywood, concrete block, tinted and mirrored glass, and metal siding are strongly discouraged. The use of local materials is encouraged.
Typically, low-rise buildings are one to five storeys in height, mid-rise buildings are six to twelve storeys in height, and tall buildings are greater than twelve storeys.
There may be opportunities for blended or flexible streets in certain locations and contexts in Midtown, depending on the intended uses/users of the spaces and the degree of flexibility required. The vision for a highly pedestrianized environment will be realized through the creation of a public realm that blends public and private lands that are designed for people-based movement, gathering, playing and hosting events.
The town does not currently have a design review panel. Staff has not proposed the creation of a peer review panel for development proposals in Midtown or other growth areas or special districts.
The planning and development tools being used by the town to achieve the Midtown vision are the same tools used in most other Ontario municipalities to realize their growth areas. From an urban design perspective, urban design direction and/or guideline documents will support the official plan policies, providing further detail and expectations for implementation.
The design direction for Midtown may be less standards-based than what has been applied in Mississauga's City Centre. Staff are investigating a performance-based approach to achieve the desired public realm, built form and site development outcomes.
The official plan policies, zoning regulations and urban design direction will specify and require the location, orientation and configuration of the retail/commercial units for new development in Midtown. The vision for Midtown includes the creation of a highly-pedestrianized urban environment with streetscapes that are animated by people, places and activities.
Through the town's planned urban structure, a significant amount of future population and employment growth is being directed to strategic growth nodes and corridors supported by transit. Midtown will be a compact, high density, urban community focused around the Oakville GO/VIA station with a very different character than most existing places in Oakville.
The existing and planned transit, transportation and active transportation networks will provide connections to, through and within Midtown. However, the QEW/Highway 403 and Sixteen Mile Creek Valley are significant physical barriers. Where there are opportunities to visually and physically integrate Midtown with the surrounding employment and residential areas – along Chartwell and Cornwall roads – the applicable official plan policies, zoning regulations and design direction will ensure appropriate built-form transition and suitable public realm treatments.
We expect that Midtown Oakville will redevelop over the next twenty to thirty years on a site-by-site basis. Infrastructure such as roads, water and wastewater services, and other utility networks will also be improved over time and coordinated with redevelopment as much as possible.
Midtown, like other parts of Oakville, will continue to evolve and will never truly be finished. The time it takes for Midtown to transform largely depends on the market and the extent that existing landowners are interested in pursuing redevelopment. The town, for its part, is planning for Midtown-related public infrastructure improvements in its capital budgets moving forward.
The town continues to have conversations with landowners and government partners who are keenly interested in advancing Midtown Oakville from vision to reality.
The town is motivated to facilitate redevelopment in all areas of Midtown. However, a key driver will be existing landowners' interest in redevelopment. Where this interest arises may influence the town's initial priorities for infrastructure improvements, particularly where the improvements may catalyze subsequent redevelopment in Midtown.
The roads in Midtown are under the jurisdiction of various levels of government: the town, Halton Region and the Province of Ontario. Oakville Council has the ability to prioritize and fund improvements on town roads so that they are built within the desired timeframe. For larger, more complex projects involving the Region and/or Province, it can take longer to negotiate the funding, delivery method and timing.
Midtown will redevelop gradually over time as landowners decide to redevelop their properties in accordance with the Livable Oakville Plan. For the most part, the land needed for the future transportation network will be acquired through the redevelopment process. Any other land acquisition needs will be determined through the detailed design of individual infrastructure projects that have received budget approval to advance.
There will be some land acquisition required in order to shift the Cross Avenue/Trafalgar Road intersection to the north. The precise extent of the land acquisition will be determined through the detailed design process.
The town is interested in pursuing future public-private partnerships in order to advance the vision for Midtown Oakville.
Metrolinx, like any other landowner, is not required to redevelop their properties in Midtown Oakville. The Livable Oakville Plan provides policies that enable redevelopment to occur but does not require it. Midtown will redevelop gradually over time as landowners decide to redevelop their properties in accordance with the Livable Oakville Plan.
Providing parking for GO customers continues to be a priority for Metrolinx. Should Metrolinx choose to redevelop some surface parking areas, they may provide new structured parking for GO customers (e.g., as part of a redevelopment), or relocate or reduce surface parking areas. The creation of a vibrant, urban community in Midtown helps to create ridership for Metrolinx.
Development-related fees (e.g., development charges and a potential new community benefits charge) will be collected from the development proponents in accordance with Provincial legislation and local by-laws. These fees will help to pay for the cost of infrastructure and community services. Should Metrolinx sell property for redevelopment, the purchaser – as the development proponent – would be required to pay all applicable development-related fees.
Changes to the town's parkland dedication by-law will be recommended once Council has endorsed the Parks and Open Space Strategy, which is currently underway.
Development in Midtown may increase the imperviousness of the area. This means that rain that falls in Midtown has limited opportunity to infiltrate into the ground after a storm resulting in potentially higher water flows to downstream creeks, such as the Lower Morrison Creek.
The Stormwater Management Report completed as part of the Midtown Oakville Class Environmental Assessment concludes that future development will need to meet specific stormwater management criteria that consider the existing conditions, such as providing on-site storage of storm water runoff.
The assessment anticipates that by meeting this on-site water storage criteria for Midtown, existing downstream erosion and flooding concerns will not be exacerbated, and in some cases improved, through the development of Midtown Oakville.
Geoff Abma, Senior Planner
905-845-6601, ext. 3034