Tue, 04 Oct 2016
Following extensive public consultation, Council approved a traditional furniture style for downtown Oakville at the October 3, 2016, meeting, taking the town one step further towards revitalizing Lakeshore Road. Choosing the individual furniture pieces will be part of the next round of public consultation happening later this fall.
"Council appreciates the way the community had a strong preference for a traditional style of street furniture that could support and reinforce our town's regard for preserving and complementing our heritage," Mayor Rob Burton said.
In September 2016, the town invited residents to select, in-person or online, a preferred style — traditional, contemporary or classic — for the streetscape furnishings (streetlights, benches, bike rings and bollards) for downtown Oakville as part of the Lakeshore Road East Reconstruction and Streetscape Project. Each style was designed to complement the downtown heritage district.
In an effort to connect with residents from across town, staff were at seven high-traffic events/locations including the Downtown Oakville Farmers’ Market, Sixteen Mile Sports Complex and other town community centres. Photos of each furniture style — traditional, contemporary and classic — were on display for review and then residents chose the style they liked best. An online photo library and voting option was also available from September 8 to 23, 2016.
In total, 1,431 persons participated and 867 (60.5%) preferred traditional; 264 (18.5%) contemporary; and 300 (21%) classic furniture. The Downtown BIA also did its own internal survey of its members which resulted in a preference for the traditional style.
With a furniture style now chosen, the next step is to select the individual furniture pieces that work best for downtown Oakville. That decision will be part of the next round of public consultation happening later this fall with a preferred suite of traditional furniture pieces going to Council for approval in early 2017. Staff will also be reporting to Heritage Committee on the traditional furnishing options.
Once finalized, the new streetscape materials and furnishings will be used as part of the Lakeshore Road Reconstruction and Streetscape Project slated to start in 2019, and for other streets in downtown Oakville as they are reconstructed in the future. The new curbs and pavers, approved by Council in July, will be included when the town undertakes to rehabilitate the Lakeshore Road Bridge at Sixteen Mile Creek starting in early 2017, including the roadway approaches between Navy Street and Forsythe Street.
Following extensive public consultation through the Downtown Transportation and Streetscape Study (DTS) a contemporary furniture theme was chosen in 2015, over traditional and classical, to complement the historic buildings in the streetscape yet remain a reflection of the current time. However, when specific contemporary furniture pieces were presented to the public this past March and June there was significant concern and opposition about the theme choice. Desire to maximize a flexible (curbless) design of the Lakeshore Road East configuration was also discussed at these meetings as a topic for consideration.
In July 2016, Town Council passed a motion directing staff to recommence a public engagement process with traditional, classical and contemporary furniture options — streetlights, benches, bike rings and bollards — for the Lakeshore Road East Reconstruction and Streetscape Project. In the meantime, staff are moving forward with incorporating the garbage/recycling stations as well as the granite pavers and curbs into the streetscape design as presented to the public this past March and June.
The motion also called on staff to develop options for Lakeshore Road that would provide, in whole or in part, a flexible (curbless) street. Staff are expected to report back on both items in early 2017.
For more information visit the Lakeshore Road Reconstruction Project page.