Midtown Oakville: An Urban Growth Centre in the Making


By
Harold R. Watson
July 30, 2014

The Midtown Area is the area surrounding the Oakville Go Station and Trafalgar Road/QEW intersection. Midtown Oakville is bounded by: QEW to the north; Cornwall Road to the south; Cross Ave to the west; and Chartwell Road to the east.

In 2006 the province released a Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe. This is a 25-year plan that aims to identify how growth should occur within the region and setting future targets for population and employment. The Plan also designates specific areas for growth and development, called Urban Growth Centres. Midtown Oakville is designated as one of these Urban Growth Centres. As a result, the Midtown area is now the focus of growth and a transportation hub for the Town.

Subsequently, the Town of Oakville’s Official Plan (Livable Oakville), which was approved by the Ontario Municipal Board May 10, 2011, put in place specific policies for Midtown Oakville to reach the population target of 12,000 people and 8,000 jobs by 2031.

The Midtown EA

In order to be able to achieve these provincially mandated targets, the Town decided to undergo several studies to develop strategies for implementation. One of these studies is the Midtown Oakville Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (Midtown EA).

Commenced on June 13, 2012, the Town initiated the Midtown EA to help design a strategy to guide the development of the transportation and municipal storm water network to accommodate the anticipated growth. Three years later, on May 27, 2014, the Town of Oakville completed its Midtown EA. The results of this study and the proposed options were accepted by Council on May 27, 2014. The Proposed changes include:

  • A new North/South QEW crossing
  • Trafalgar Road interchange improvements
  • A new North/South QEW active transportation crossing
  • A new Cross Avenue extension across Trafalgar Road
  • Iroquois Shore Road widening
  • A new Royal Windsor Drive interchange
  • New East pedestrian connection – Crossing QEW
  • New West pedestrian connection – Crossing QEW

Part II Order

Shortly after the Town approved the proposed options in the Midtown EA, several property owners that were impacted by the proposal appealed to the Ministry of the Environment to make an Order under Part II of the Environmental Assessment Act (a Part II Order) for individual environmental assessments.

A Part II Order refers the matter to the Minister of Environment to review submissions from both the Town and the requestor and to determine if an individual environmental assessment for each of the requesting properties is necessary. The Town is required to determine if an individual environmental assessment will be required to deal with the issues raised by the requestor and make submissions to the Minister. At the same time, the Environmental Assessments and Approvals Branch has 45 days to review the information in the request and prepare a report for the Minister’s consideration. The Minister will then decide whether to deny the request, order that the matter be mediated, or issue a Part II Order, forcing the Town to complete an individual environmental assessment for each of the properties identified in the Part II Order.

This will delay the implementation of the Town’s Midtown EA recommendations. However, once the Part II Order has been decided, the Town will be proceeding with the detailed design and implementation of the proposed changes.

Midtown Official Plan Amendment & Zoning By-law Amendment

The recommendations from the Midtown EA also informed the recent official plan amendments and zoning by-law amendments for the Midtown area. On May 27, 2014, the Town also held a statutory public meeting to discuss the draft official plan amendments and zoning by-law amendments for the Midtown area. The Town is currently consulting with property owners and other stakeholders to finalize these drafts. The proposed official plan amendment and zoning by-law amendments are expected to be considered by Council for approval in early 2015. For information on Midtown official plan amendments and zoning by-law amendments, and to review a copy of the drafts, click here.

It is important for all property owners in the Midtown area to assess the impacts the proposed changes will have on their properties and businesses and take steps to protect their interests.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding these potential impacts to Speers Road property owners, please contact OMH lawyers Hal Watson or Simon Fung at 905-842-8030.