Downtown Oakville Cultural Hub – Update

Centennial Square
Downtown Oakville Cultural Hub – Update

About the Author

Gisele Shaw

Gisele Shaw

Gisele Shaw is the Manager of Corporate Communication for the town of Oakville since 2002. Prior to working for the town she worked for Halton Region as a communications specialist. She is a graduate of Humber College.

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Last November, Council directed staff to provide more information on three areas:

  1. Town-wide public opinion on the cultural hub
  2. Feedback on issues from the Downtown Oakville Growth Area official plan review (OP Review)
  3. Feedback on a program to get private sector input, including market sounding

Staff will be reporting back to Council at Planning and Development Council on November 1, 2016 with the results of this additional research.

In addition, two other significant changes in the external environment have also significantly impacted scope of this project since November 2015:

  1. To date, infrastructure funding programs have not provided the opportunity for the desired scale of federal-provincial contributions
  2. Council passed a motion in March 2016 that the town would not sell Centennial Square lands or air rights which reduced the land value that the town could bring to the table to help finance the project

As a result of all of the above factors, staff is proposing a new scalable and incremental approach to move forward with the DCH that will balance public expectations with the financial resources available for the project. This new approach is outlined in the November 1, 2016 staff report.

Based on what is known today, the following is a potential timeline for the development of this incremental plan for the DCH. More specific timelines will be introduced as work progresses. Council approval will be required to move forward on any specific project.

Phase 1 (2017-2020)

a. Complete OP review process to fully understand height limits and options
b. Undertake theatre feasibility study with design concepts which will help to inform Council on practical, cost efficient options for the theatre with an optimum schedule going forward
c. Identify new plan for the downtown library based on needs identified through the Library strategic plan
d. Identify relationship between Harbours Master Plan and potential new riverfront park
e. Determine how to achieve a riverfront park and outdoor event space as early as possible
f. Identify potential opportunities for the redevelopment of the fire hall, post office, lot 2 site to generate revenue to support DCH projects
g. Identify opportunities for the incremental implementation of the art gallery, parking spaces, digital hub space in the downtown
h. Tear down old fire hall and begin process to define redevelopment of the
site

Phase 2 (2020-2024)

i. Create downtown riverfront park (parkland and event space) on broader Centennial Square site – explore opportunities for funding through Parkland Reserve
j. Identify potential theatre renovations to meet short-term needs, and potential theatre redevelopment plan to meet longer-term needs
k. Implement the new downtown library plan
l. Realize potential revenue from redevelopment to fund DCH projects

Individuals who wish to appear before Planning and Development Council as a delegate at the November 1, 2016 meeting may register in person at the meeting, in advance by emailing townclerk@oakville.ca or calling 905-815-6015. For those who cannot attend the meetings, they are streamed live on YouTube.

Oakville Centre

If you would like to attend the meeting and have any accessibility needs please email townclerk@oakville.ca or 905-815-6015 or fill out the accessible online feedback form.

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