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Wed, 15 Apr 2015
The Downtown Plan moves into a new phase as Council approved the Streetscape Master Plan at its meeting April 13, 2015, and instructed staff to start the engineering design work for Lakeshore Road East, finalizing the Downtown Transportation and Streetscape Study.
“Council’s decision on Monday night is a critical step in the revitalization of Downtown Oakville,” said Mayor Rob Burton. “We were pleased to see the number of residents and business owners who participated so passionately in our public meetings. Their feedback will ensure we continue being the most livable town in Canada.”
In conjunction with the Downtown Plan, staff presented a feasibility study that looked at the cost of building a second parking garage on Church Street between George Street and Thomas Street where the town currently operates a municipal surface parking lot. The preliminary preferred option outlines a seven level garage (four above ground and three below) with 348 spaces and retail shops at street level at an estimated cost of $23 million. Council directed staff to proceed with a business review study to determine the ability of a new parking structure to attract both short term and long term patrons, to provide recommendations on how the town may ensure its success, and to review funding for a parking garage.
Staff also brought forward an update report on the Downtown Cultural Hub (DCH) which advised Council of the study progress and next steps which will include evaluation of the themes and the development of options to present to Council in September. The DCH team will hold the next community presentation on June 24, 2015.
“Over the last year, both the DTS and DCH teams have worked hard to ensure we reach our vision of a more vibrant and creative downtown centre for business and culture,” said Jane Clohecy, commissioner of Community Development. “Public engagement has been critical to realizing our goal and we will continue to work with residents and business owners as we move into the next phase of the Lakeshore Road reconstruction and the development of options for the cultural hub.”
The timing of the Lakeshore Road reconstruction will be determined through the long-term capital budget forecast to be completed this fall and confirmed as staff works through the engineering design phase of the project which will take about two years to complete. Staff will also present construction phasing alternatives to Council this fall. More public consultation will be necessary to assist staff in selecting street furnishings and materials.
Information on the Downtown Plan and the full study reports can be viewed on the Downtown Plan page.
The Downtown Plan is comprised of two studies — the Downtown Transportation and Streetscape and the Downtown Cultural Hub.
The Downtown Transportation and Streetscape Study will assess the current traffic and roadway conditions in downtown Oakville and create recommendations to enhance the roadways, beautify streets, improve pedestrian/cycle ways and revitalize the Towne Square, by introducing design standards as well as increasing connectivity, mobility and accessibility.
The Downtown Cultural Hub Study will explore opportunities to create a downtown cultural and performing arts space including: a performing arts centre, art gallery, library, outdoor program space, and indoor cultural space or digital hub that will become the cultural, social, and economic heart of our community.