Former Oakville Hospital Site Project moves into the next phase

Barbara Wilson,
Former Oakville Hospital Site Project moves into the next phase

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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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At a Special Meeting on Tuesday, May 2, 2017, 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, 2017 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, 2017 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.

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