Freeman Station

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Councillor Adams appointed chair of 2018 Budget Committee

Town plans for continued inflation level tax increases

At the inaugural 2018 Budget Committee meeting on June 26, 2017, Councillor Tom Adams was appointed as Oakville’s budget chair for the tenth consecutive year. Councillor Adams holds his Master’s in Business Administration from McMaster University and is a former senior risk manager to one of Canada’s major financial institutions.

Oakville is committed to offering valued services and programs to residents and making strategic investments in community priorities. Each year the town’s budget is one of the most important tasks facing Town Council, who have directed staff to prepare a budget that keeps the overall tax increase in line with inflation. The target for 2018 has been set at an overall property tax increase of 1.8 per cent, including the town, Regional and educational shares of the property tax bill.

Key budget pressures outlined by Nancy Sully, deputy treasurer and director, Financial Planning, include $1.4 million to implement the increased minimum wage announced recently by the Province, and $1.3 million in costs related to growth in the town including the operation of new transit vehicles, the cost to maintain new parks and roads, as well as costs associated with operating the new Trafalgar Park Community Centre (redeveloped Oakville Arena) and a proposed library.

The town will be looking at transforming the way services are delivered in order to respond to budget pressures in 2019 and 2020 relating to Trafalgar Park and the opening of the Southeast Community Centre (on the former hospital lands), a new fire station in Palermo, as well as other funding needs. Council has directed staff to keep overall property tax increases in line with inflation in both 2019 and 2020.

“The town is at the point where we must move beyond simple cost containment measures to keep tax increases at the rate of inflation in future years,” said CAO Ray Green. “Council, staff and the community will need to work together to set priorities, and look for opportunities to transform the way we deliver services.”

Green recommended a comprehensive reshaping of the organization that will enable the town to meet the overall budget target set by Council and create a longer-term vision for the financial sustainability of town operations.

“Oakville is recognized as having the healthiest finances in Ontario, and keeping those finances strong and secure is a key part of Council’s vision to make Oakville the most livable town in Canada,” said Mayor Rob Burton. “Staff have made us aware of potential pressures on the horizon, and recommended we take proactive steps to address them. We are confident that taking early action will help assure the long-term health of Oakville’s finances.”

Staff noted that the 2018 budget documents would be released on November 21, 2017. Staff will present the Budget Committee with an overview of the proposed 2018 operating and capital budgets, including opportunities for potential savings or increased revenues. The Budget Committee will hear input from pubic delegations before making a recommendation on December 12, 2017 to Council. Final Council approval of the operating and capital budgets is scheduled for December 18, 2017.

“Our key focus for this budget is to meet our goal of keeping overall property tax increases in line with inflation, while building and renewing infrastructure and maintaining high quality services for the community,” Councillor Adams said. “Public input is a critical piece of our annual budget process and I look forward to engaging with residents over the next few months.”

For more information, access the staff report included in the June 26, 2017 Budget Committee meeting agenda or visit the 2018 Budget page.


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Councillor Adams appointed chair of 2018 Budget Committee

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

Outstanding volunteers honoured at 16th Annual Community Spirit Awards

Thursday, June 8, 2017 – for immediate release

Outstanding volunteers honoured at 16th Annual Community Spirit Awards

Oakville’s best and brightest volunteers were celebrated for their exemplary contributions to the community at the 16th Annual Community Spirit Awards held last night at Queen Elizabeth Park Community and Cultural Centre.

2017 Community Spirit Award recipients:

Bingo Rivera, Access Award sponsored by Access Abilities
William Smith, Arts Award sponsored by the Oakville Beaver
The Oakville Rotaract Club, Group Volunteer Award sponsored by the Town of Oakville
Mary Davidson, Heritage Award sponsored by Genworth Financial Canada
Jan Tingle, Individual Volunteer Award sponsored by Paradiso Restaurant
Peter Lowes, Senior Award sponsored by Chartwell Waterford Retirement Residence
Aiza Abid and Marica Pinnock, Youth Award sponsored by RBC Royal Bank

“On behalf of Council, I offer all the nominees and award recipients our sincere gratitude for your dedication, for inspiring others with your commitment, and for elevating the entire Oakville community with your spirit,” said Mayor Rob Burton.

Chris Mei, television host of the Weather Network, was the emcee for the evening, entertaining the audience while sponsors handed out the awards. Each recipient received a one-of-a-kind award created by local illustrator, designer and portrait artist Emily Soden.

Since 2002, Oakville’s Community Spirit Awards have recognized individuals and groups for their outstanding contributions to the community.

Visit the Community Spirit Awards page for more information about the awards and this year’s recipients.


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Outstanding volunteers honoured at 16th Annual Community Spirit Awards

Council endorses Rogers Hometown Hockey event in downtown Oakville

Tuesday, May 30, 2017 – for immediate release

Council endorses Rogers Hometown Hockey event in downtown Oakville

Staff receives green light to proceed with plans for outdoor celebration in December 2017

Oakville hockey fans of all ages will have a chance to showcase their love of the game when the Rogers Hometown Hockey celebration comes to town this winter.

Town Council authorized staff to sign a letter of agreement with the Hometown Hockey event organizers that will see the outdoor festival visit Downtown Oakville during a weekend in December. The date will be confirmed once the NHL schedule is released in June.

Rogers Hometown Hockey is a two-day festival that celebrates Canada’s passion for hockey with a weekend of free outdoor activities. The festival will feature games, interactive experiences, and live entertainment for the whole family culminating with an outdoor viewing party of an NHL game broadcast live from the Sportsnet Mobile Studio with Ron MacLean and co-host Tara Slone.

“This event is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate hockey in Oakville, attract thousands of people downtown during the Christmas shopping season, and showcase our town to a national audience,” said Mayor Rob Burton.

Council also approved $96,000 in funding to cover costs associated with hosting the event such as marketing, parking, police, site security and a transit shuttle service.

Staff is working with the Hometown Hockey production team to confirm which area in downtown Oakville is most suitable for the event site. The event dates and location will be announced later this summer.


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Council endorses Rogers Hometown Hockey event in downtown Oakville

Urban Structure Review: How will Oakville accommodate growth?

Have your say on draft Official Plan Amendments on May 30

Following extensive study and a series of public open houses, the town now has draft Official Plan Amendments that would see a newly revised Urban Structure section introduced into Town of Oakville’s Official Plan – the Livable Oakville Plan. The draft amendments would provide a framework for how the town will accommodate growth, while protecting greenspaces and established neighbourhoods from development pressure. Members of the public are invited to provide input into the amendments at one of two information meetings scheduled on May 30.

“It’s vital the town has a comprehensive urban structure in its official plan because it gives us a high level look at where new growth will be focused. It sets out the basis for making planning decisions about where we live, work and play,” said Mayor Burton “Feedback from our community has helped staff prepare the draft amendments in front of us. Before they go to Council for final approval, I encourage you to review them and share your comments.”

To connect with community members, the town will be hosting two public information meetings at Town Hall on Tuesday, May 30 where participants can provide feedback on the draft Official Plan Amendments. There is an afternoon session from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. and an evening session from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The draft Official Plan Amendments would introduce a new Section 3 – Urban Structure and a corresponding detailed map A1 into the Livable Oakville Plan. These new sections would describe the importance and purpose of a town-wide urban structure and the major elements of that urban structure. The amendments would ultimately provide a framework for how the town will accommodate growth and establish the basis for official plan policy and for making planning decisions. The amendment would also introduce, under Part F – Implementation, criteria for evaluating site-specific official plan amendments and their potential impacts on the town’s urban structure. In addition to being incorporated into the Livable Oakville Plan, the draft amendments also provide for revisions to the North Oakville East and West Secondary Plans to align them with the changes to the Livable Oakville Plan.

The town must consider how to accommodate required growth given that development in all areas of the town is underway or planned. Instead of developing outward, the town needed to determine the best approach for managing development within the town’s existing boundaries.

As part of the ongoing five-year Official Plan Review, the town initiated an Urban Structure Review on February 16, 2016.

Oakville’s Urban Structure Review was a town-wide examination of natural heritage and open space lands, as well as mixed use, residential, commercial and employment lands to see if changes are necessary to accommodate growth to 2041.

The review studied the role of existing and emerging growth areas such as Midtown Oakville, the Trafalgar Road Corridor and the area surrounding the Bronte GO Station; the preservation of stable residential areas and the protection of natural and cultural heritage; the relationship between growth areas and the delivery of municipal infrastructure; and criteria for evaluation of new growth areas. The Urban Structure Review was also one of three land use policy studies required to be completed under Interim Control By-law 2016-024 restricting land uses on the Glen Abbey Golf Course.

Following the May 30 public information meetings, a statutory public meeting for the draft Official Plan Amendments will be held June 12, 2017 in conjunction with the Council meeting at Town Hall. A decision meeting by Council on the recommended Official Plan Amendments is expected in the fall.

The public may view documents and background material at the Planning Services department at Town Hall between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, or on the town’s Official Plan Review pages on its website at oakville.ca.

An official plan is a legal document containing goals, objectives, and policies intended to guide land use, development and growth in a municipality. Oakville’s official plan is comprised of the Livable Oakville Plan and the North Oakville East and West Secondary Plans. The Planning Act requires a review of the official plan every five years. This is also called a municipal comprehensive review. For more information visit our Official Plan Review page.

Accessibility Requirements

Please advise Kirk Biggar, senior planner, one week before the meeting at 905-845-6601, ext. 3968 (TTY: 905-338-4200) or by email at kirk.biggar@oakville.ca if you have any accessibility needs.


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Urban Structure Review: How will Oakville accommodate growth?

OMB upholds Town’s Interim Control By-law regarding Glen Abbey

Thursday, May 11, 2017 – for immediate release

OMB upholds Town’s Interim Control By-law regarding Glen Abbey

The Ontario Municipal Board has rejected ClubLink’s appeal by upholding the town’s Interim Control By-law (ICBL) and its one year extension, concluding that the ICBL was appropriate and necessary. The Board’s decision noted that the town’s ICBL was based on a legitimate planning rationale, was enacted in good faith, and was in conformity with the Region of Halton Official Plan and the Provincial Growth Plan.

“Council is very pleased that the Board recognized that the magnitude of the Glen Abbey proposal and its potential for impact on the community warrant further study,” Mayor Burton said. “Our Livable Oakville Official Plan specifically identifies suitable growth areas in order to protect the character of our stable residential neighbourhoods and Council looks forward to hearing the results of the town’s studies.”

The OMB’s decision ensures the town will have sufficient time to complete its studies on the Glen Abbey property. Staff will be reporting to Council over the next month on all three studies. Any further work directed by Council as a result of the studies is expected to be completed before the ICBL expires on February 1, 2018.

Upcoming meeting dates are:

  1. Urban Structure Review

Livable Oakville Subcommittee, Town Hall, May 15, 1 p.m.
Public information meetings, Town Hall, May 30, 1:30 to 3:30 and 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Planning and Development Council, Town Hall, June 12, 7 p.m.

  1. Cultural Heritage Landscapes

Phase 2 reports for the high priority sites, including Glen Abbey, went to Heritage Oakville Advisory Committee on April 25
Planning and Development Council, Town Hall, May 15, 7p.m.

  1. Land Use Economic and Impact Analysis

Planning and Development Council, Town Hall, June 12, 7 p.m.

Members of the public are invited to attend these upcoming meetings. To register as a delegate to speak at the Planning and Development Council meetings, please call 905-815-6015 or email townclerk@oakville.ca by noon the day of the meeting.

The ICBL, originally passed on February 1, 2016 with a one-year extension, will now remain in effect up to January 31, 2018. Section 38 of the Planning Act (Ont.) permits a municipality to pass an ICBL for up to a year (with the right to extend the by-law for a further year) in order to complete a review or study of land use policies in the municipality.

For more information, review the summary of the decision on the Interim Control By-law page.


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OMB upholds Town’s Interim Control By-law regarding Glen Abbey

Town commissioning outdoor public art for Trafalgar Park Community Centre

Tuesday, May 2, 2017 – for immediate release

Town commissioning outdoor public art for Trafalgar Park Community Centre

Professional Canadian artists invited to submit Expressions of Interest by June 15

The Town of Oakville is looking for a professional artist to create a permanent outdoor public artwork as part of the redevelopment of Oakville Arena and Trafalgar Park. The successful artist will have their work featured at the north entrance of the redeveloped facility which will be renamed the Trafalgar Park Community Centre.

“Public art is accessible to everyone and reflects the vibrancy and richness of the Oakville community,” said Mayor Rob Burton. “This an exciting opportunity for an artist to create a unique piece of artwork that will live on in the community for years to come.”

Professional Canadian artists and artist-led teams are invited to submit Expressions of Interest by June 15, 2017. During stage one of the competition, applicants will be reviewed based on the merit of past work, professional qualifications and experience. In phase two shortlisted artists will be required to submit an artwork concept proposal and model.

The public art concept will be selected by an independent committee made up of visual arts professionals, community representatives and town staff. The project will be awarded in September, installed during the summer of 2018 and unveiled when the Trafalgar Park Community Centre opens to the public in September 2018.

Oakville Arena, located at 133 Rebecca Street, was originally built in 1950 and has served as a community hub for more than six decades. It’s also one of only four remaining arenas in Ontario with a distinctive wooden truss roof system designed by Norman Otto Hipel, an Ontario politician and builder who patented the roof system in 1928. Following extensive public consultation, Council approved a resident-supported plan to revitalize and expand the facility while maintaining its historical features.

The project will expand the existing Oakville Arena to a 65,500 square foot community centre while retaining the arena’s wooden roof trusses. The community centre will include an NHL-size ice pad, a seniors’ centre, public meeting space, fitness centre, full-size gymnasium, and an indoor running track. Trafalgar Park will feature a fully accessible playground with a shade structure, a double tennis court that will be converted into an artificial outdoor rink in the winter, and exterior washroom facilities.

For more information visit our Public Art and Exhibitions page.


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Town commissioning outdoor public art for Trafalgar Park Community Centre

Council moves Former Hospital Site Project into the next phase

Community Workshop on land use options scheduled for June 1

At a Special Meeting on Tuesday night concerning the redevelopment of the former Oakville-Trafalgar Memorial Hospital lands, Council approved the five-year review of the Parks, Recreation, Libraries Facilities Master Plan (Master Plan) and directed staff to report back on a parks and open space strategy to address issues and opportunities for future park acquisition. Council also received three staff reports on the former hospital site project including a financial overview, information on the new Southeast Oakville Community Centre, and proposed options for the overall site master plan.

Council gave staff the green light to seek public feedback on three land use options for the site. Staff will report back to Council on the results of the community consultation process at the June 27 Special Meeting of Council. Council also referred a final decision on the community centre’s base funding and program enhancements to the June 27 meeting and requested staff to report back on potential sponsorship opportunities for the centre.

“Oakville is one step closer to adding yet another community centre and even more parkland with the redevelopment of the former hospital site,” said Mayor Rob Burton. “Now, we’re looking for input from residents as we decide how best to arrange the parking garage, community centre, park and residential development on these lands.”

Residents from across Oakville are invited to share their feedback on the proposed land use concepts for the overall site at a June 1 community workshop. In the meantime, residents can also email their feedback to formerhospitalsite@oakville.ca. An online discussion forum will be coming out later in May.

While all three land use concepts include the community centre, a park and residential development, the arrangement is slightly different in each options. The concepts also adhere to a number of key principles derived from earlier public feedback and the town’s Official Plan such as placing the new community centre close to a park and the existing parking garage; incorporating a “green connection” for pedestrian access through the site; conserving heritage aspects of the former Oakville-Trafalgar High School (OTHS); protecting the Chimney Swift colony; as well as ensuring new development is compatible with the neighbouring community and consistent with the Livable Oakville Plan policies.

Council also heard from staff about several potential community centre enhancements that were identified during public consultation. The most frequently requested items and their potential costs include: expansion of the single gym to a double gym ($450,000); therapeutic warm-water pool ($2,340,000); fitness centre ($2,460,000) 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. Council referred the decision on the base funding and the optional program enhancements to the June 27 Special Meeting of Council.

While not recommended in the Master Plan, members of the Oakville Aquatics Club spoke at the meeting requesting a 50 meter pool for the community centre. Town Council asked they return to Council with financing associated with their request as well as fundraising potential.

Background

The former site of the Oakville-Trafalgar Memorial Hospital (OTMH) was part of the town’s overall 2013 South Central Public Lands Study (SCPLS) which reviewed a number of key sites owned by the town in south central Oakville (e.g. surplus school sites, Oakville Arena) and made recommendations about their future use, including recreation uses. The town is working with community partners to create a vibrant new community centre, park, and future residential areas site to meet the needs of Oakville residents.

This summer contractors will begin site preparation for the safe demolition of the former hospital and Helen Lawson buildings. The overall demolition and site remediation will take approximately 12 months to complete. Development of the new community centre will begin in late 2018 with an opening scheduled for fall 2020.

For more information and to sign up for email updates from the town, please visit our Former Hospital Site Project page.


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Council moves Former Hospital Site Project into the next phase

Town looking at short-term accommodation licensing in Oakville

Wednesday, May 3, 2017 – for immediate release

Town looking at short-term accommodation licensing in Oakville

Share your thoughts at May 9 Open House

How would you regulate short-term accommodation companies, like Airbnb? Community members are invited to an open house on Tuesday, May 9 to provide input into a proposed licensing bylaw.

Currently, short-term accommodations in Oakville are only allowed in properly zoned hotels and, bed and breakfasts. Despite that, nightly rentals offered through online platforms such as Airbnb, Flipkey and Homeaway are on the rise in improperly zoned areas of the town. At Council’s direction in the fall 2016, staff are studying short-term accommodation rentals in Oakville and how other municipalities are regulating it.

“Council wants to implement policy on short-term rentals that protects the livability and vitality of our communities,” said Mayor Rob Burton. “To do that effectively, we’re looking to residents to share with us their experience and insight into how this form of accommodation is affecting Oakville’s neighbourhoods.”

The town wants to consider both the needs of property owners, and residents of nearby short-term accommodations. During the open house residents can provide feedback on whether short-term accommodations should be permitted, and what rules and regulations they would like considered into a proposed by-law. Staff will be on hand to answer questions and gather comments.

A staff report to Council on September 25, 2017 will present the results of the public consultation process, information on the nature and impacts of the local short-term accommodation market, and recommendations on a proposed approach for short-term accommodation regulations for Oakville.

The May 9 open house takes place in the Black Box Room, Queen Elizabeth Park Community and Cultural Centre, 2309 Bridge Road. Residents can drop in any time between 6:30 and 8 p.m.

Anyone unable to attend the open house is encouraged to share their comments by completing the town’s online survey or email enforcementservices@oakville.ca.

Residents with accessibility needs who want to attend the open house are asked to contact Margaret Boswell by May 7 at 905-845-6601 ext. 3350 (TTY: 905-338-4200) or margaret.boswell@oakville.ca. If preferred, residents can fill in the online feedback form.

For more information, our Short Term Accommodation Licensing By-law Review page.


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Town looking at short-term accommodation licensing in Oakville