Former Hospital Site Project takes big step forward

Council endorses site master plan as well as base funding and amenities for community centre

The redevelopment project of the former Oakville-Trafalgar Memorial Hospital lands took a significant step forward at a Special Meeting last night when Town Council endorsed an overall master plan for the lands as well as the some programming and features for the Southeast Oakville Community Centre that is planned for the site.

“It is important for Council that our plan for the hospital lands reflect the needs and wishes of local residents,” said Mayor Burton. “We appreciate the thoughtful insight provided by community members throughout this consultation process, which has helped staff draft a plan that Council can fully support.”

Recently, residents from across Oakville were invited to share their thoughts on three proposed land use concepts for the overall site at a community workshop and through an online discussion forum. All three land use concepts include a community centre, a park and residential development but the arrangement was slightly different in each option.

While the feedback received was extensive both in person and online, there was no clear consensus on one particular option. However, certain themes and a common concept of establishing distinct districts did emerge with a residential district in the north, a civic district with a community centre and park in the middle, and a seniors-oriented housing district in the south.

With that in mind, the Council-endorsed former Oakville-Trafalgar Hospital Site Master Plan includes:

A residential area that complements the existing neighbourhood and maintains the character of the community as intended in the official plan.
A civic area that consolidates the community centre and parkland along Reynolds Street since it is the busiest street bounding the site, and allows the park space to be open, follow the principles of safe-park design and be highly accessible. The town also wants to explore the creation of a visible civic square in the area around the former high school. With Council’s approval of the master plan, exploration for re-use of the building will be required.
A seniors-oriented housing area that gives options for residents to down-size to smaller, more manageable properties or dwelling units without the need to leave the community. The area could range from independent seniors-living to assisted-care. Further discussions with members of the community and stakeholders will be needed to help define these opportunities.

The final master plan was also fully endorsed at last night’s meeting by the resident associations in Ward 3.

“What residents made clear during the consultation process is that the former hospital and high school played a critical role in anchoring and contributing to the neighbouring community’s identity,” added Mayor Rob Burton. “As such, the final master plan reflects the idea of maintaining that legacy for years to come.”

At last night’s meeting, Council also approved the following enhancements for the new Southeast Community Centre on the site expansion of the single gym to a double gym ($470,000); therapeutic warm-water pool ($2,740,000); fitness centre ($2,550,000) and; an indoor walking track ($1,800,000). These features are in addition to the amenities already planned for the community centre: indoor pool (to replace Centennial Pool), multi-purpose rooms and space for intergenerational programming.

A financial overview on the project was also received by Council which estimates the cost for entire project, including demolition, parking garage enhancements and community centre development, to be approximately $54 million. Town reserves are a primary funding source for this project. The sale of lands not used for a community centre or park is intended to replenish funding used from the reserve. This strategy is one way to ensure sufficient funding for other large, long term projects across the town in the future.

Moving ahead, the demolition contractors will begin site preparation this summer. The overall demolition and site remediation will take approximately 12 months to complete. The architectural/general contractor team responsible for the community centre will be selected in early July. The process of design will begin shortly afterwards. The development of the new community centre will begin in late 2018 with an opening scheduled for fall 2020.

A number of Planning Act approvals will also be necessary in order for the redevelopment of the site to proceed including official plan and zoning amendments, and draft plan of subdivision/site plan approvals. Amendments to the town’s Official Plan and Zoning By-law will be subject to the statutory planning process and a public meeting is expected in the fall with proposed Official Plan updates by the end of 2017.

The town plans on engaging with the public later this fall on the project including progress on the demolition work and next steps regarding the design of the community centre design and potential uses of the park.

Check out the June 27 Special Council Agenda for detail, including staff reports. For more information and to sign up for the town’s newsletter.


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Former Hospital Site Project takes big step forward

Complete the #MyOakville questionnaire for a chance to win!

Thursday, April 6, 2017 – for immediate release

Complete the #MyOakville questionnaire for a chance to win!

Community input part of strategy to increase access to Recreation and Culture services

The Town of Oakville is asking for the community’s help to ensure everyone has access to recreation and culture opportunities. Residents are invited to share their experiences and suggestions by completing the #MyOakville questionnaire for a chance to win one of three $100 Recreation and Culture program credits.

“As the demographics of Oakville shift, so will the need for more diverse and accessible recreational and cultural opportunities,” said Mayor Rob Burton. “We look to residents to provide input so we can continue to provide high-quality services and programs that meet their needs.”

The questionnaire asks residents how often they visit the town’s Recreation and Culture facilities, what type of activities, events and programs they are interested in, as well as what barriers limit their participation such as affordability, time constraints, availability of public transit, or general lack of awareness of what the town offers.

“Although there is a high demand for our programs and services, there is also a significant population that is not accessing the opportunities we provide,” said Nina de Vaal, director of Recreation and Culture. “Our goal is to better understand the barriers residents are facing so that we can develop a plan for the future that includes everyone.”

In addition to the questionnaire, the town’s community development specialists will interview people at various events and locations this spring. Residents are also invited to check out the #MyOakville videos, share ideas and vote on others on the Idea Forum, or connect with the town on social media using #MyOakville.

Visit our #MyOakville page for more information and to complete the questionnaire.


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Complete the #MyOakville questionnaire for a chance to win!

Oakville’s 2017 Citizen Survey shows overall satisfaction at 81 per cent

The results of the 2017 Citizen Survey are in! According to the results of the survey conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights, 81 per cent of residents are happy with their municipal government. The town conducts a survey every two years to track overall citizen satisfaction with town performance, identify emerging issues, and help set strategic priorities for the future.

“Feedback from our residents is our most valuable measure of success and we always welcome the opinions of our community,” Mayor Rob Burton said. “We’re encouraged by the positive results of this survey and will use this feedback to guide our efforts toward making Oakville an even more livable, thriving and vibrant town.”

During his presentation to Council, Craig Worden, executive vice-president of Public Affairs for Pollara Strategic Insights noted the town’s consistently high marks in overall satisfaction. “Oakville residents continue to express high satisfaction with their municipal government, the services it provides, and the town attributes that it manages.”

Residents were asked to rate specific town services as well as key attributes of the town. Overall satisfaction with key town attributes was 85 per cent, while overall satisfaction with town services was high at 89 per cent.

The highest levels of satisfaction with town attributes were feelings of belonging and safety (95 per cent), overall appearance of the community (88 per cent), and information provided to residents (84 per cent). The survey results also showed that 10 out of 12 services received satisfaction ratings over 80 per cent; with parks and green spaces (93 per cent), library services (88 per cent) and recreation fields and facilities (88 per cent) rounding out the top three. Satisfaction with winter road and sidewalk maintenance went up markedly this year to 81 per cent (from 74 per cent in the 2015).

To assist the town with prioritizing policies and plans, residents were asked to identify which priority they would like to see the town focus on the most. Residents indicated that the most important priorities are managing and controlling growth in Oakville (62 per cent) and the town’s natural environment (58 per cent). Ease of travelling and governing and managing the town both came in at third (45 per cent), followed by recreation and cultural programs (42 per cent) and economic growth (41 per cent).

When asked about the top issues facing the community today, residents identified urban sprawl and development, traffic and congestion and affordable housing as the top three. While affordable housing was significantly more important in 2017 than in previous years, the importance of taxes continued its steady decline.

Other survey highlights include that when it comes to interacting with the town, 85 per cent of residents expressed overall satisfaction with their customer service experience, remaining strong since 2015 and 2013 levels, up seven per cent from 2011. Eighty-seven per cent of residents also said that service was provided in a timely manner. Online communications also continues to grow in popularity among residents, with 73 per cent identifying oakville.ca as the preferred way of finding town information.

“Council will continue to focus on controlling growth, providing exceptional services and investing in high-quality infrastructure, all while giving residents the best value for their tax dollars,” said Mayor Burton. “The results of this survey show that residents and Council are on the same page in our efforts to make Oakville the most livable town in Canada.”

In January, Pollara Strategic Insights conducted a 20-minute phone survey, where a random sample of 805 residents were asked for their feedback and opinions about their community. In addition to the phone survey, 400 online surveys were completed, and 28 ideas were generated on the town’s Idea Forum on oakville.ca. This is the eighth citizen survey conducted by Oakville.

Current and past survey results are available on the Citizen Surveys page.


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Oakville’s 2017 Citizen Survey shows overall satisfaction at 81 per cent

Council hears update on Glen Abbey Golf Course

Appeal of the town’s interim control by-law set to begin on January 30, 2017

Mayor Rob Burton convened a special meeting of Council on January 23, 2017, for Council and the public to receive an update from Planning and Legal staff on current matters related to the Glen Abbey Golf Course. Key issues discussed included the upcoming January 30, 2017 Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) hearing on Clublink’s appeal of the town’s interim control by-law, an update on key town studies underway, as well as the status of the proposed development application submitted by ClubLink on November 10, 2016.

“We need to build a shared understanding with the community of the complex issues surrounding the future of the Glen Abbey Golf Course site,” Mayor Burton said. “While the status of the town’s interim control by-law will be determined at the OMB, the town is still moving forward with the studies that will help us to better understand this property. We look forward to hearing from the public, the applicant and community stakeholders when these studies are brought forward to Council later this spring.”

The three studies that the town proposed to complete during the timeframe provided by the interim control by-law are:

An Urban Structure Review
A Land Use Economic and Impact Analysis Study, and
A Cultural Heritage Landscape Assessment of Glen Abbey Golf Course

Staff indicated that good progress is being made on all studies and that the draft results are expected to be presented to Council during spring 2017. It is anticipated that the implementation of the studies may then require further official plan and zoning by-law amendments and/or other implementation tools.

The town’s Director of Planning, Mark Simeoni, also updated Council on the status of ClubLink’s November 10, 2016 submission for an Official Plan amendment, a Zoning By-law amendment and a Plan of Subdivision to permit redevelopment of the Glen Abbey Golf Course property including 3,200 residential units, 121,000 square feet of new office and retail space and 32.47 hectares of natural heritage system.

Mr. Simeoni noted that the town had determined that the application was incomplete given it did not contain all of the information required by the town and ClubLink was advised of this decision on December 8, 2016. As a result, on December 12, 2016, ClubLink requested that the OMB hear a motion to determine the completeness of their application. The OMB has not yet set a date for the hearing of this motion.

Members of Council sought clarification from staff on the differences between the Glen Abbey and Saw Whet golf courses within the Livable Oakville Official Plan. Commissioner of Community Development Jane Clohecy noted that the site-specific Official Plan policies designating Saw Whet as an area of potential future growth do not exist for Glen Abbey.

“We appreciate the clarification from staff on the differences between Glen Abbey and Saw Whet within Oakville’s Official Plan,” said Mayor Burton. “All of this information is critical to understanding the process and purpose behind the three studies staff are currently undertaking.”

Mayor Burton went on to remind the audience that under the provincial Planning Act, members of Council cannot take a position on an application until all of the relevant information is presented to Council.

Town Solicitor Doug Carr further noted that the upcoming January 30, 2017 OMB hearing will only be considering issues related to ClubLink’s appeal of the town’s interim control by-law (2016-024) that was passed on February 1, 2016, and the one year by-law extension (2016-115) that was passed on November 1, 2016. The hearing will take place in the Trafalgar Room at Town Hall and members of the public are welcome to attend. Only those individuals and groups already registered as parties or participants may speak at the hearing.

For updates and background information on all of the issues related to Glen Abbey, or to review the January 23, 2017, meeting, visit the town’s Glen Abbey Information page.


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Oakville Council to introduce new ward boundaries and increase Council size

Thursday, November 3, 2016 – for immediate release

Oakville Council to introduce new ward boundaries and increase Council size

By-laws will be considered at the November 14, 2016 Council meeting

At its upcoming meeting on November 14, Council will review proposed By-law 2016-109, a by-law to increase Oakville’s ward boundaries from six to seven, with adjustments to be made to all existing ward boundaries, except Ward 3. The new Ward 7 captures neighbourhoods north of Dundas Street with Burlington as the boundary to the west, and Eighth Line as the boundary to the east. Council will also review proposed By-law 2016-110, to increase the size of Town Council from its current composition of 13 (12 councillors, plus Mayor) to 15 (14 councillors, plus Mayor). If approved, these changes will be in place for the 2018 municipal election.

“The proposed changes to the town’s ward system are focused on Council’s commitment to ensure fair and effective representation for our residents both at the local and regional levels,” Mayor Rob Burton said. “As Oakville’s population continues to grow, expanding our wards is the right thing to do for our community.”

Residents are encouraged to review the proposed seven-ward boundary map by visiting the Ward Boundary page. Questions and comments can be sent to the Clerk’s department by emailing wardboundary@oakville.ca or by mail to:

Town of Oakville – Clerk’s department
1225 Trafalgar Road
Oakville ON L6H 0H3


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Oakville Council to introduce new ward boundaries and increase Council size

Town to strengthen private tree protection by-law

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 – for immediate release

Town to strengthen private tree protection by-law

New guidelines address need for canopy conservation in Oakville

Oakville’s tree canopy received a significant boost on October 17, 2016, as Council voted to amend the town’s private tree protection by-law in an effort to curb the unnecessary removal of healthy trees. The changes mean that property owners who wish to remove a private tree will require a permit and may also be required to plant a new tree on their property.

“Oakville’s tree canopy is a community asset, and Council is committed to protecting and enhancing it wherever possible,” said Mayor Rob Burton. “Thanks to considerable public input, improvements to the by-law will ensure we continue towards our 40 per cent canopy coverage goal and create an even cleaner, greener Oakville.”

Under the revised by-law, any tree 15 centimetres diameter at breast height (dbh) and above to be removed from private property is required to have a permit and payment of the applicable fee. In addition, any healthy tree above 15 centimetres dbh removed from private property must be replaced.

The Private Tree Protection By-law 2008-156 was adopted by Council in 2008 to support a greener community and a healthier environment as set out in the Livable Oakville Plan. It allowed property owners to remove a limited number of trees between 20 centimetres dbh and 76 centimetres dbh through a notification process and without permit.

“While the town’s tree canopy is threatened by invasive pests such as Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) and extreme weather, a significant amount of healthy trees are being removed through the current notification process and it does not encourage replanting to compensate for the loss,” said Chris Mark, director, Parks and Open Space. “The new permit process will respect homeowners’ desire to make home and landscaping improvements, but will encourage them to do so in an environmentally responsible manner,”

Pending Budget Committee approval in December, staff will present the revised private tree protection by-law to Council for final approval in early 2017.

For more information, visit the private tree protection page.


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New online public engagement hub makes it easier to get involved with the town

Wednesday, September 21, 2016 – for immediate release

New online public engagement hub makes it easier to get involved with the town

Thanks to feedback and input from Oakville residents, business owners, and community groups, the town has introduced a new public engagement hub to make it easier for our community to share input and get involved in town projects.

Now available on oakville.ca, the hub features current and upcoming engagement opportunities such as public meetings, open houses, surveys, and events. It also provides quick links to additional online information and services including the Council calendar, town e-newsletter sign up page, Oakville mobile app, and social media channels.

“Connecting with our residents on the issues that matter to them is essential to developing and delivering high-quality services,” said Mayor Rob Burton. “By bringing together all the information residents need to engage with the town all in one place, we’re making it easier than ever to stay connected.”

The creation of the new hub follows the town’s public engagement campaign that launched in the spring. The purpose of the campaign was to collect feedback from the public about the different ways they like to be informed and engaged with the town. Over a three-month period, the town reached out to the community through various online, print, and in person approaches.

“We’re always looking for new, innovative ways to improve livability in Oakville,” said Mayor Burton. “The new engagement hub is just the first step. The feedback we’ve received from residents has been tremendously helpful in identifying new ways to connect with our residents.”

The town interacts with the community on hundreds of projects, studies, initiatives, services and programs every year. Whether we’re creating a new park, looking for feedback on a road improvement study, finding ways to enhance service delivery or customer experience in our facilities, public input supports the town’s efforts to achieve its vision to be the most livable town in Canada.

Residents are encouraged to visit the public engagement hub on a regular basis to access the latest news on our public engagement opportunities.

A report will be presented to Council on the town’s updated public engagement strategy later this fall. Learn more about the town’s commitment to public engagement.


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Town begins 2016 ash tree treatment program

Tuesday, June 7, 2016 – for immediate release

Town begins 2016 ash tree treatment program

Look for green ribbons on treated trees

The town continues to take action against the invasive Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). Beginning this week, municipal ash trees on streets and in parks which continue to qualify for treatment are being injected with the bio insecticide TreeAzin® to protect them against the insect’s damaging effects. Select treated trees will be adorned with a green ribbon.

“Maintaining a healthy urban forest is vital to Oakville’s livability and sustainability,” said Mayor Rob Burton. “Using best forest management practices, the town is assuring a healthy, thriving tree canopy for today and years to come.”

TreeAzin is a natural and safe bio-insecticide derived from the seeds of the neem tree, and provides up to two years of protection against EAB before it must be reapplied. This is the fourth treatment for many of the trees in this year’s program.

“According to the most up-to-date research results, the EAB infestation has reached extreme levels in Oakville and is now at its peak. All ash trees are under stress from the insect, but by continuing to treat the trees within the treatment program our goal is to have these beautiful trees lining our streets after the EAB population has died out,” said Jalil Hashemi, acting manager, Forestry.

The town’s EAB monitoring program suggests the EAB population will start to decline as all of the town’s ash trees will either be protected or will have died, leaving the insect with no food source. EAB larvae kill ash trees by eating the soft tissue under the tree’s bark, preventing nutrients from reaching the canopy. TreeAzin inhibits the feeding and growth of the larvae.

The town also wants to remind residents they can take action to mitigate the impact of EAB. Forestry staff say watering your treated municipal ash tree helps the tree uptake the insecticide more readily, providing added protection. In addition, residents are encouraged to remove any dead ash trees on their own property and help contribute to the town’s tree canopy by replacing with a new native tree.

Municipal street and park ash trees that did not qualify for treatment are being removed for public safety and replaced with trees of different species. Select trees marked for removal will be identified by a red ribbon.

For more information, visit the Trees and Woodlands page.


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Town highlights accessibility during National Access Awareness Week

Tuesday, May 31, 2016 – for immediate release

Town highlights accessibility during National Access Awareness Week

The Town of Oakville is committed to accessibility and inclusion for residents of all abilities. In celebration of this commitment, Mayor Rob Burton proclaimed May 29 to June 4 National Access Awareness Week in Oakville.

“As a town, it is our job to remove barriers preventing everyone from fully participating in the community,” Mayor Rob Burton said. “Offering accessible programs, services and facilities is an essential part of making Oakville the most livable town in Canada.”

National Access Awareness Week is dedicated to encouraging Canadians to think about the barriers people with disabilities face, and to find ways to help remove them. Highlights of the town’s commitment to promoting inclusion and reducing barriers include:

Development of the New Oakville Universal Design Standards for town facilities, mandatory for all construction projects at the town. The standard is recognized by the province as best-practice in barrier-free design and has been adopted by a number of municipalities in Ontario.
Enhancements to town facilities include power door openers, accessible washrooms, accessible parking spots, cane detectable warning surfaces, accessible counters at service desks, accessible front lobby seating, and new directional signage at Town Hall. Town community centres offer accessible showers and change areas and arenas feature accessible viewing areas and barrier-free paths.
All Oakville Transit buses feature low-floors to better support patrons with mobility issues and offer visual and verbal announcements of direction, destination, and next major stop.
Specialized recreation programs for persons with disabilities are offered in various facilities such as yoga “younique”, clay classes and summer camp one-on-one support programs.
New and redeveloped playgrounds include accessible play equipment, accessible washrooms (where available), and clear space to allow children, caregivers and those using mobility devices to play and move freely.
Audit of the town’s existing 255 kilometres of trail facilities will be completed in 2016 to develop a strategy for accessibility improvements.
Online accessibility improvements include website upgrades, development of mobile apps for Oakville and Oakville Transit, and moving all video content to YouTube.
The town’s full-time Accessibility Coordinator promotes accessibility and provides advice to departments on how to remove and prevent barriers.

The town’s Accessibility Advisory Committee is committed to improving and promoting accessibility, and takes part in local events such as the Halton Community Resource Fair, Pan Am torch relay event and Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) 10th anniversary to support awareness and collaboration.

Visit the accessibility page to learn more about the town’s multi-year accessibility plan and ongoing work to make it easier for people of all abilities to participate in the community.


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Town celebrates 25th Annual Earth Week Clean Up by recognizing volunteers

Tuesday, May 3, 2016 – for immediate release

Town celebrates 25th Annual Earth Week Clean Up by recognizing volunteers

Volunteers who participated in Oakville’s 25th annual Earth Week Clean Up received special recognition from the Town of Oakville on Saturday, April 23, 2016.

At a celebration event hosted by the Parks and Open Space department, Mayor Rob Burton presented each volunteer site coordinator with a framed certificate of recognition and a pin for their ongoing efforts to keep Oakville beautiful.

“This event would not be possible without the dedication and commitment of the volunteers who participate year after year,” said Mayor Burton. “Thank you for taking pride in your community and for doing such an incredible job keeping Oakville clean and beautiful.”

More than 1,000 people participated in this year’s event with a record turnout at many of the 47 clean-up sites. Volunteers removed 4,600 kilograms of waste including 850 kilograms of recyclable metal.

The town is a long-time sponsor of the Earth Week Clean Up event organized by the Oakville Community Centre for Peace, Ecology and Human Rights (OCCPEHR). Stephen Dankowich, executive director of OCCPEHR was also recognized for his ongoing personal commitment to protecting the natural environment.

Following the clean-up volunteers, sponsors and organizers gathered at Town Hall to enjoy a pizza lunch generously donated by Rohit Girotra of Panago Pizza on Cornwall Road.

Along with sponsoring the Earth Week Clean up, the town also offers a Park Ambassador program that provides residents and businesses with an opportunity to help maintain the beauty of Oakville’s parks and trails. For more information visit the Park Ambassador page.


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Town celebrates 25th Annual Earth Week Clean Up by recognizing volunteers