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Midtown Oakville - Our Concerns

OLRA Board and residents have been following the progress of proposed Midtown Oakville plans including the Midtown Official Plan Amendment (OPA) and have significant concerns with the options that have been presented by the Town Planners and Consultants to date, and the trajectory of the Midtown Official Plan Amendment.


We ask that you:

  • Review this material and related links and become familiar with the issue.

  • If you agree with our position and recommendations, email your Town officials (instructions below).

  • Plan to attend the Midtown Oakville Update meeting on Tuesday, January 30th @ 6:30 PM in the Town Hall Council Chamber. Support those who will speak or speak yourself. Everyone will have an opportunity to participate, as the audience is also polled for comments during the meeting.

  • Stay tuned for more information and plan to attend the next public meeting in February.

  • Plan to attend the March Special Planning and Development Meeting for the formal introduction of a new Official Plan Amendment that will be tabled for Council consideration.

 

The matter is becoming urgent as within weeks this plan will become embedded in the Town’s official plan and will act as a template for developer applications to build these unrealistically tall and high-density towers.

Background

With Oakville’s population expected to double by 2051, there is a need for the Town of Oakville to create more livable spaces for people of all ages and income levels and purposefully plan how our municipality grows. Several areas of growth in Oakville are envisioned in the Livable Oakville plan including Midtown Oakville.  As a key growth area, Midtown is intended to be a complete community that will focus on people and where they can live, work, and play in walkable, mixed-use neighbourhoods.


In November 2023 the planning consultants presented three concept plans that were similar in that they all would see an estimated 60,000 to 61,000 residents and 18,000 to 19,000 jobs in midtown by 2051. That equals approximately 790-800 people & jobs/hectare or 79,000-80,000 people & jobs per sq. km in a dense series of 40-plus story towers.


For comparison: Downtown Vancouver, the densest downtown area in Canada, had 18,837 inhabitants per sq. km in 2021. Manhattan, one of the most densely populated locations in the world, in the 2020 census had 28,154 residents per sq. km. Our planners are proposing three times the density of Manhattan. We know this sounds “unbelievable”, but these are the proposed statistics and plans presented by the planners and consultants. It is time to act!


The Midtown Oakville website provides essential information on what will be Oakville’s biggest development project - it explains why Oakville is being asked to develop Midtown as a Strategic Growth Area, what is currently proposed, and why current plans are unacceptable.


Our Current View

Growth in Oakville and Ontario is inevitable and important but must be planned and led by the Town, not developers. To be clear:

We are supportive of responsible growth for Midtown and other areas, consistent with the size of land available and ensuring livability for the community and areas surrounding it.

We have serious concerns with the options that have been presented to date and the trajectory of the Midtown Official Plan Amendment. We believe that the best way to understand this issue is to visualize what achieving the mandated population will look like, given different scales and diversity of housing, and to discuss with Town staff and developers at the upcoming January 30th Midtown Oakville Update Meeting. 


We share our current position in the following key points and ask you to consider these as you build your own opinion and share them with Town councillors and staff (instructions and draft email below).

  • We would like to see multiple options presented on January 30th via three-dimensional renderings with a clear explanation of height and density, public realm amenities, and road networks.  

  • We would like to see options that meet but do not exceed the 2051 provincially mandated growth numbers; and options that optimize the livability of the land available for development in Midtown.

  • We would like to see options that keep building heights to an average of 20 stories in Midtown with a maximum population density in any sq. km not to exceed 20,000 per sq. km.

  • We would like to see an integration of a variety of “missing middle” building styles, such as mid-rise and 5-6-story mansion blocks.

  • The transition area from single-family residential to the south of Cornwall Road must be considered. This means significantly lower building heights south of the train tracks. Taller buildings should be located to the north, along the QEW corridor

  • We understand the need to accommodate population growth to 2051 and beyond. To ensure responsible growth, this should be clearly delineated as growth that would be permitted by way of an amendment to the current plan later. This will allow time for planning of other potential growth areas within Oakville eg. Speers Road, Bronte GO, Oakville Place, and Town Hall. 

  • We would like to see a comprehensive, overall depiction of how all our growth areas will work together to accommodate population growth in a sustainable, liveable way. 

  • The OPA must show how Oakville will provide affordable housing and by what measure this is defined.

  • The OPA must address Green Building and Green Energy plans for Midtown. 

  • The OPA should demonstrate the use of all municipal tools available to us to ensure we optimize opportunities for energy reduction, stormwater, and grey-water strategies.

 

The Ask

Residents’ engagement in this discussion and planning is critical. Our Councillors need your support.  They need you to make your views known so that the Council, with our support, can influence the plan and subsequent decisions to ensure our town becomes a truly liveable, sustainable, and affordable place for all who will live here.

 

Please consider all or some of the below:

  • Use this template to send an email to Town officials before January 10th.

  • Plan to attend the Midtown Oakville Update meeting on Tuesday, January 30th @ 6:30 PM in the Town Hall Council Chamber. Support those who will speak or speak yourself. Everyone will have an opportunity to participate, as the audience is also polled for comments during the meeting.

  • Stay tuned for more information including further meetings/discussions in February and March. Specifically, the February Public information meeting (dates to be confirmed) requires your voice and feedback.

 

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