Oakville sets up Special Committee for continuing development of Midtown Oakville policies
Thursday, May 25, 2023
Online survey extended to June 30
Work on the town’s most comprehensive urban growth centre project continues. Following public input on the proposed Midtown Oakville Official Plan Amendment (OPA), Town Council decided to set up a Special Committee to review all feedback and delve into more analysis before finalizing the policies for this critical project before the end of this year.
More than 1,000 individuals, including residents, businesses, resident associations, developers, and community organizations provided detailed input on Midtown Oakville through a series of robust engagements that took place during May 2023, including an open house, online survey, delegations at public meetings, email responses and more.
At a Special Planning and Development Council meeting held on May 23, 2023, Council passed a resolution for the proposed Midtown Oakville OPA to be reviewed by a Special Committee of Council. The Special Committee will report back to Town Council before the end of 2023 following additional public consultations, third-party reviews, study of best practices for Major Transit Station Areas (MTSAs), climate change initiatives, relevant master plans, population forecasts, and a detailed review of the infrastructure requirements, timelines and commitments sought from the Province of Ontario, Metrolinx and other key stakeholders.
The planning for Midtown Oakville began in 1999 and the vision for creating a vibrant urban community has been maintained since then. The policies are being updated in the town’s Livable Oakville Plan (Official Plan) in response to recent provincial legislative changes arising from Bills 109 and 23, including the provincial housing pledge. This will provide greater certainty for Council decision making about infrastructure, development applications, and other aspects to make Midtown Oakville a transit-supportive and complete community.
Key facts about Midtown Oakville
During the public engagement opportunities, town staff provided more clarity and analysis on key areas of the proposed OPA, including:
Density in the right place: Medium to high density buildings will be in Midtown Oakville as it is a Major Transit Station Area (MTSA) located close to the second busiest station on the GO network. MTSAs are required to follow provincial requirements for accommodating people and jobs in a manner to enable high frequency transit; increase opportunities for walking, other forms of active transportation and transit; and reduce reliance on cars for frequent trips.
Phased development: Based on provincial requirements, Midtown Oakville will see a minimum of 20,600 people and jobs combined (people residing and/or working). Based on the population trend and growth estimates, Midtown Oakville will grow progressively over time with approximately 68,000 people and jobs anticipated for 2081 depending on factors that include market forces.
Diverse options: Similar to MTSA projects in Markham, Vaughan, Innisfil and more, the policies for Midtown Oakville use Floor Space Index (FSI) to allow for variety in building shape, form and height. In conjunction with other policies, this enables a range of housing options, unit sizes and amenities to accommodate families. FSI is a tool that finds a balance between enabling economic development and ensuring sufficient elements are provided to create a complete community.
Prioritizing public transit: Buildings with higher densities will be located in proximity to higher order transit, north of the GO rail for easier access to rail and bus connections and a focus on pedestrian-oriented streets. Buildings with lesser densities will be located south of the rail line as they are closer to more mature neighbourhoods, while still being well connected to the GO station by a short bus, walk or bicycle ride. This arrangement will also support the town’s commitment to addressing climate change.
Density and infrastructure go hand in hand: The urban design for Midtown Oakville is purposeful and will ensure a high standard of architectural quality and provision of community spaces, public squares, art and culture features, walkable streets and more.
Members of the public can continue to provide their comments through the online survey extended until June 30, 2023. More details about Midtown Oakville, including the conceptual illustrations and presentations are available on the Midtown Oakville Growth Area Review webpage.
“I would like to recognize and thank our engaged community for the unprecedented level of civic engagement, constructive input and involvement seen recently for Midtown Oakville. Council and staff look forward to the recommendations of the newly set up Special Committee as we finalize the policies for this exciting project. Working together with our community, we have an opportunity to make Midtown Oakville the most vibrant and livable urban growth centre in Ontario.”