Ontario Street Corridor Secondary Plan Study

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The City is launching a land use study of the Ontario Street corridor from the QEW in the north to Welland Avenue in the south, leading into the downtown core. Watch our short video to learn more about the secondary plan study.


Background

In May 2017, driven by the closure of the long-standing auto manufacturing use at 282 and 285 Ontario Street (referred to by many as the former GM lands), Council directed staff to evaluate alternative use permissions on those lands for future residential and mixed-use development. Most of the existing buildings on the properties have now been removed, and it is now a 20-hectare (50-acre) brownfield re-development site in the middle of the City.

Reflecting the historical use of the lands, the properties have long been designated employment in the City’s Official Plan. Changing use permissions requires an amendment to the Official Plan.

Based on a 2019 city-wide land needs assessment (LNA) City Council and the Region of Niagara approved an amendment to the City of St. Catharines’ Official Plan — Official Plan Amendment 26 (OPA 26) — to re-designate the lands at 282 and 285 Ontario Street in 2021.

Among other matters, OPA 26:

  • re-designates the lands at 282 and 285 Ontario Street for future residential and mixed-use development opportunities
  • requires that the subject lands are to be planned for future development through the creation and approval of a secondary plan

The LNA and OPA 26 represent the completion of the first two key planning components necessary to plan for future alternative uses on the subject lands. The next step is to undertake a secondary plan study to more specifically identify and evaluate land use opportunities, permissions, policies, and implementation strategies to guide future development; and the creation of a secondary plan for the subject lands.

Secondary Plan Study

On May 30, 2022, Council endorsed terms of reference to undertake the Ontario Street Corridor Secondary Plan Study. The study terms of reference, included in the Important Documents section on this page, identifies study area boundaries and key elements of the study, including context, planning framework, guiding principles and objectives, study management, public engagement, deliverables, and timeline. It is estimated that the study will take approximately two and a half years to complete.

Public Engagement

The historical use of the study lands has helped shape the economic, social, cultural and environmental fabric of the city, and the future use of the lands will also do so for generations to come. The study cannot just be looked at in isolation of the immediate area, and must also be evaluated on community and city-wide perspectives.

Neighbourhood and community-wide public engagement, consultation and input is a critical component in the success of the study. The project team welcomes and encourages any and all public review and input into the study exercise and development of a recommended secondary plan.

Read the Terms of Reference

The City is launching a land use study of the Ontario Street corridor from the QEW in the north to Welland Avenue in the south, leading into the downtown core. Watch our short video to learn more about the secondary plan study.


Background

In May 2017, driven by the closure of the long-standing auto manufacturing use at 282 and 285 Ontario Street (referred to by many as the former GM lands), Council directed staff to evaluate alternative use permissions on those lands for future residential and mixed-use development. Most of the existing buildings on the properties have now been removed, and it is now a 20-hectare (50-acre) brownfield re-development site in the middle of the City.

Reflecting the historical use of the lands, the properties have long been designated employment in the City’s Official Plan. Changing use permissions requires an amendment to the Official Plan.

Based on a 2019 city-wide land needs assessment (LNA) City Council and the Region of Niagara approved an amendment to the City of St. Catharines’ Official Plan — Official Plan Amendment 26 (OPA 26) — to re-designate the lands at 282 and 285 Ontario Street in 2021.

Among other matters, OPA 26:

  • re-designates the lands at 282 and 285 Ontario Street for future residential and mixed-use development opportunities
  • requires that the subject lands are to be planned for future development through the creation and approval of a secondary plan

The LNA and OPA 26 represent the completion of the first two key planning components necessary to plan for future alternative uses on the subject lands. The next step is to undertake a secondary plan study to more specifically identify and evaluate land use opportunities, permissions, policies, and implementation strategies to guide future development; and the creation of a secondary plan for the subject lands.

Secondary Plan Study

On May 30, 2022, Council endorsed terms of reference to undertake the Ontario Street Corridor Secondary Plan Study. The study terms of reference, included in the Important Documents section on this page, identifies study area boundaries and key elements of the study, including context, planning framework, guiding principles and objectives, study management, public engagement, deliverables, and timeline. It is estimated that the study will take approximately two and a half years to complete.

Public Engagement

The historical use of the study lands has helped shape the economic, social, cultural and environmental fabric of the city, and the future use of the lands will also do so for generations to come. The study cannot just be looked at in isolation of the immediate area, and must also be evaluated on community and city-wide perspectives.

Neighbourhood and community-wide public engagement, consultation and input is a critical component in the success of the study. The project team welcomes and encourages any and all public review and input into the study exercise and development of a recommended secondary plan.

Read the Terms of Reference

Questions, comments and input

There will be many opportunities for public engagement and input throughout the study process. Feel free to also provide any comments and input on the study, or to ask the project team any questions or clarifications in the form below. 

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    I hope Ontario street gets a protected bicycle lane or any bike lane. I would hope that it gets more trees for shade while walking.

    TylerPelletier asked 2 months ago

    Thank you for sharing your expectations for the Ontario Street Corridor.  The provision of boulevard trees and bike lanes/protected bike lanes may be contemplated in this Study as they align with several guiding principles, as summarized below: 

    • complete streets, and a connected, cohesive, compatible, integrated, accessible, multi-modal, and useable built and open space network, and public realm
    • greening
    • design initiatives to engage Ontario Street as a major gateway into the City and downtown

    You can review the full list of Guiding Principles/Objectives in the Terms of Reference, located on the Important Documents tab. 

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    Is it possible to speed up the process by dividing the overall site into parcels which may have different levels of investigation and study. For instance if there are areas that are known to be suitable for only low density residential can they be completed in advance of more contentious parcels such as lands adjacent to the water. I would think the owner could then sell off parcels where the land value is established to experienced developers.

    frank on Carlton asked 2 months ago

    Thank you for your questions and comments!

    It is possible to sever (divide) the lands of 282, 285 Ontario Street into different parcels. The parcels may require different types and scales of remediation activity as deemed required by qualified persons. Those options are at the land owners' discretion. 

Page last updated: 31 May 2022, 01:12 PM