Posted 3.7.14 @ 8:5
Most downtowns across the GTA have been consumed by malls, franchises and fast food as far as the eye can see - but not Oakville. Oakville is one of the few cities in the area with a vibrant, thriving downtown area.
Year round you’ll find shoppers and strollers (and a few on Segways) walking along the storefronts and heritage buildings - and if it weren’t for hands clasping the smartphones and Tim’s cups, you’d wonder if you’d somehow traveled back in time.
And while that idyllic mainstream charm is much loved, it’s also much in need of an upgrade. The city of Oakville may be one of the most walkable cities in all of Ontario, but there are some major accessibility issues in major buildings like the Performing Arts Centre (built in 1967 before ramps were the norm) that need to be addressed.
A Tale of Two Studies
But what will make Oakville a happier, healthier place to live in this new millennium? That’s the very question that two complementary studies have been tasked with finding out!
One is a Downtown Cultural Hub study; this study will assess how to bring the best of the past forward, preserving culture and traditions of Oakville while opening the city up to further development and exploring new ways to enhance the city’s cultural vibrancy.
The other study is the Downtown Transportation and Streetscape study; this study is about figuring out how to meet the needs of a growing Oakville and their transportation needs - all while keeping the city a walking and cycle-friendly place. Promoting growth and health all at the same time can be very hard, especially when a city like Oakville is trying to change and grow.
But it’s not just about how to make the city more walking-friendly, it’s about creating an atmosphere that invites growth, innovation and more events, companies and ultimately residents to the city.
Mixed Use Development the Key
Balancing the past and the present is key, but culture needs room to grow. Making Oakville’s downtown functionally modern while preserving all the little things that makes Oakville great could take anywhere from $30 million to $100 million, but the city is confident it’ll be worth it.
The current theatre for example holds 500 people, Lakeshore Road needs to be rebuilt to meet modern demands and an old truck loading area is 3m wide - area that could be converted to pedestrian use and cafés instead.
The studies should be completed by July, and in 2015 the changes will begin; the structural changes to Lakeshore Road aren’t expected to begin until early to mid-2016.
As one of the most culturally diverse, walkable and sustainable communities in Southern Canada, Oakville has so much to offer! If you’re thinking about buying a home or you’re considering selling yours, give us a call today and see what the Goodale Miller Team can do for you.
The Goodale Miller Team is the #1 team in Canada for Century 21 11 years running. Specializing in Oakville luxury real estate including Lakefront homes, infill building lots, condominiums and more. For Oakville real estate news and more join our Facebook page today!