The City is currently in the process of drafting a new Official Plan that will guide our community growth until 2046. Given the development stress Westboro is already facing, the Westboro Community Association is preparing a response to the Plan, which is why we are reaching out to you today. Send us your input by March 10, 2021. We will incorporate your comments with our own and forward one document to the City by the March 12 deadline.
Residents of Westboro may not be aware of the extent to which the City plans to increase the density of our community. To help you focus on the sections of the plan that effect our neighbourhood, here is a summary of the areas of concern and the particular sections of the draft Plan that you should read in order to form an opinion.
To respond to future challenges related to climate change and the imperative to plan urban areas that are more environmentally sustainable and less focused on private cars, the City is proposing to substantially increase the level of intensification in inner/urban areas, particularly Westboro. The type of infill development this new Plan is proposing can be seen right now in the new zoning proposed for the Westboro Infill Study. This study will result in zoning that will allow intensification in a designated area of Westboro that will include up to three-storey, multi-dwelling developments on neighbourhood streets.
This new Official Plan espouses the concept of “New Urbanism,” which basically says that instead of a city being laid out into different sectors to live, shop and work, all these activities should be done within a “15-minute neighbourhood”: you work, play, shop and access services all within a 15-minute walk of where you live. Hand-in-hand with this are transit options that reduce our dependence on cars. We estimate that at least 75% of Westboro can be considered as a 15-minute neighbourhood . This together with our close access to LRT will mean that under the proposed plan, higher levels of intensification will be encouraged in Westboro.
Transects, Overlays, Hubs and Corridors
Westboro started out as a suburban district and was laid out as such: single family homes on big lots with trees, a few town homes and low rise apartments; shopping, business and commercial buildings on Richmond, Carling and Scott Streets. Although there has been quite a bit of intensification over the years, the City now wants Westboro to move from a suburban expression to a fully urban one, meaning they want to see many more multi-unit dwellings such as townhomes, triplexes and apartment buildings. The City’s goal is to have 80 dwelling units per hectare of land compared to our current density of what we think is approximately 30-40 dwelling units per hectare.
The City has designated Westboro as an “Inner Urban Transect” with a “Transforming Neighbourhood Overlay.” It has designated certain streets as Mainstreet Corridors and Minor Corridors that will allow mixed use, multi-storey buildings:
WHAT SECTIONS TO READ
Read the Plan:
- Section 2 Strategic Directions
- Section 3: Growth Management Framework
- Section 5: Transects – especially 5.2 Inner Urban Transect and 5.6 Overlays
- Section 6: Urban Designations – especially 6.2 and 6.3
- Read Map Schedule B2 which shows the Transect/Overlay for Westboro here.
There are other sections that deal with many other important issues such as greenspace, the environment, gender equity, accessibility and much more.
Read Councillor Leiper’s blog on this subject here.
Send your comments to us at firstname.lastname@example.org by March 10, 2021. Let’s work together to make sure our voices are heard.