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.


View our June 2023 Newsletter

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 precisely 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.

Community 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 from community and city-wide perspectives. Neighbourhood and community-wide public engagement, consultation and input are critical components 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.

A survey is currently open to seek public input following an in-person public open house that took place on Feb. 7. The display boards from the meeting can be viewed under the "Important Documents" tab on the right side of the page. Should you want to email the study team directly, here are the questions to consider.

The City will also continue to accept any general questions or feedback via EngageSTC, with the question-and-answer feature below, or contact one of the project team members listed on the right.

Neighbourhood Advisory Committee

The City is looking for interested members of the public to get involved in the Study by applying to become part of the Neighbourhood Advisory Committee.

The Neighbourhood Advisory Committee will be established to help guide, review and provide input into Study components. The composition of the Committee will be localized to the Study Area and area of influence, and will include the following:

  • One to two landowner representatives from the Ontario Street north corridor, being the portion of the Study Area located north of Carlton Street.
  • One to two landowner representatives from the Ontario Street south corridor, being the portion of the Study Area located south of Pleasant Avenue.
  • Three to four residents of the area bounded by Twelve Mile Creek, the QEW, Geneva Street and Welland Avenue, including one representative from each of the Haig and Fitzgerald Neighbourhood Associations.
  • Two St. Patrick's Ward 4 Councillors.

The role of the Committee is to speak and provide input on behalf of landowner and resident interests in the study area, and area of influence, and engage in the review and evaluation of study components. The Neighbourhood Advisory Committee is expected to meet with the Project Team on a quarterly or as-needed basis.

For more information on how to apply, please visit the project website: Ontario Street Corridor Secondary Plan Neighbourhood Advisory Committee - St. Catharines (stcatharines.ca)

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.


View our June 2023 Newsletter

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 precisely 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.

Community 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 from community and city-wide perspectives. Neighbourhood and community-wide public engagement, consultation and input are critical components 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.

A survey is currently open to seek public input following an in-person public open house that took place on Feb. 7. The display boards from the meeting can be viewed under the "Important Documents" tab on the right side of the page. Should you want to email the study team directly, here are the questions to consider.

The City will also continue to accept any general questions or feedback via EngageSTC, with the question-and-answer feature below, or contact one of the project team members listed on the right.

Neighbourhood Advisory Committee

The City is looking for interested members of the public to get involved in the Study by applying to become part of the Neighbourhood Advisory Committee.

The Neighbourhood Advisory Committee will be established to help guide, review and provide input into Study components. The composition of the Committee will be localized to the Study Area and area of influence, and will include the following:

  • One to two landowner representatives from the Ontario Street north corridor, being the portion of the Study Area located north of Carlton Street.
  • One to two landowner representatives from the Ontario Street south corridor, being the portion of the Study Area located south of Pleasant Avenue.
  • Three to four residents of the area bounded by Twelve Mile Creek, the QEW, Geneva Street and Welland Avenue, including one representative from each of the Haig and Fitzgerald Neighbourhood Associations.
  • Two St. Patrick's Ward 4 Councillors.

The role of the Committee is to speak and provide input on behalf of landowner and resident interests in the study area, and area of influence, and engage in the review and evaluation of study components. The Neighbourhood Advisory Committee is expected to meet with the Project Team on a quarterly or as-needed basis.

For more information on how to apply, please visit the project website: Ontario Street Corridor Secondary Plan Neighbourhood Advisory Committee - St. Catharines (stcatharines.ca)

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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    Could further protection for the green corridor within the study area running along 12 Mile Creek be put in place as a result of changing land use on the former GM lands?

    Aspen asked over 1 year ago

    Thank you for your comments. Yes, the Study will be considering the overall land use framework for the Ontario Street Corridor, including open space, parkland and recreational facilities. These items are core to the Guiding Principles / Objectives of the Study, discussed in the Terms of Reference (ToR). The ToR is available on the project website to view. The Project Team will be discussing the land use framework in future phases of the Study, which will include public engagement events. Please stay tuned for these opportunities to provide your input regarding parks and recreation policies.

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    Car traffic on Ontario Street between Welland and Carlton moves far too quickly, with no method to moderate speeds currently in use. There are no safe pedestrian crossings on that stretch despite the medium mixed use and high density residential zoning. As a pedestrian/cyclist living in the area, I believe pedestrian-activated crosswalks at Adie Place and at Beech Street would be well utilized by locals. Bumped out curbs at Lowell Avenue and Pleasant Avenue are another option which would assist in moderating traffic speeds. The bump-outs would also offer additional planting space for improved tree cover on the street. The stretch of Ontario Street between Carlton and the QEW, especially at the intersection of Ontario and Carlton, should include mixed use zoning rather than solely commercial. As a nexus of two major transit lines, Ontario and Carlton is a prime location for a high-density development which could include both residences and commercial outlets.

    Jeff from Louisa St asked over 1 year ago

    Thank you for your comments. Yes, the Study will review the existing conditions of the Study Area and identify opportunities for improvements. This includes developing policies for the land use framework, supporting transit and active transportation, promoting public realm and open space enhancements, as well as identifying improvements for transportation infrastructure among other objectives.

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    Hoping for improved walkability, a nice courtyards, and better utilization of the area for affordable housing. This area is begging for 3 story apartments that are not tiny shoe boxes.

    RB64 asked over 1 year ago

    Thank you for your comment. The Study will be considering a land use framework for the Study Area to support complete, walkable communities that offer a range of built forms and uses, including a range of residential typologies. The Plan may consider strategies relating to attainable and/or affordable housing.

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    Are street cars being considered as part of the complete streets initiative? Turning Ontario Street and Welland Ave both into RPT corridors would make cross-city trips more intuitive.

    Nathan asked over 1 year ago

    Thank you for your comments. At this time staff are not investigating the feasibility of street cars or light rail transit as part of the Study. However, the Study will include an assessment of the transportation and mobility networks and are anticipated to include recommendations for how to make the corridor more transit-supportive.

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    Is there access to 12 Mile Creek from behind one of the old GM properties? Did the 'footprint' of this property include lands abutting the creek? If yes, can some sort of public access such as a board walk running along the creek, behind other properties adjacent to the old GM plant, be considered in this plan?

    DP asked over 1 year ago

    Thank you for your comment. The former GM lands (282-285 Ontario Street) abut the Twelve Mile Creek. These lands are currently privately owned, therefore allowing public access to this portion of the Creek would be at the landowner's discretion at this time. Through the Secondary Plan Study we will be evaluating the feasibility of improved trails and connections along the Twelve Mile Creek.

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    Looks like a great idea. Please make sure Ontario Street cross-section reflects the new land-uses including cyclist / pedestrian accommodation and left turn lanes (maybe a road diet to 3-lane cross-section or widening to 5-lane cross-section is required).

    Connor.macisaac asked about 1 year ago

    Thank you for your comments. The Study will include a review of the existing conditions of the Study Area and identify opportunities for improvements. This includes developing policies for the land use framework, supporting transit and active transportation, promoting public realm and open space enhancements, as well as identifying improvements for transportation infrastructure among other objectives.

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    Why are there no plans to develop a paved bike/ walking path along the ravine. If the ravine side were to be rezoned R3/c2 we could see condos and ravine side restaurants developed thus increasing the cities tax base

    Jason Shackleton asked about 1 year ago

    Thank you for your comment. Through the Study we will be evaluating the feasibility of trail improvements along Twelve Mile Creek and how future development might be better integrated with this great asset.

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    Is there any planning for a Carlton st. Bridge to Martindale. As if fourth Ave Bridge ever goes it will be traffic chaos. St. Paul already can't handle any traffic. And with go transit coming that Bridge is severely underbuilt

    Jason Shackleton asked about 1 year ago

    Thank you for your comments. The City's Transportation Master Plan (TMP) has identified a Twelve Mile Creek crossing from Carlton Street to Martindale Road as a focus area for future assessment. Staff note that both Carlton Street and Martindale Road are Regional Roads, therefore this would be a Region-led initiative should it be pursued. The Ontario Street Corridor Secondary Plan Study will also review the feasibility of a bridge crossing at this location.

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    Since there may be problems with the soil safety at the former G.M. site, has there been any thought on the possibility of making that area an amusement park (in the manner of Canada's Wonderland, or such as that ) ... probably not to that degree, but something that would not be constantly accessed by the same people. Just a thought.

    pdowan asked about 1 year ago

    Thank you for your comments. Prior to the redevelopment of any lands that contain potential contaminant to a more sensitive use, there will need to be environmental assessment studies and/or environmental remediation works if deemed necessary. Recreational uses can be considered as a land use option through the future community vision exercise.

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    Please, please make it affordable housing community for our aging population! It's drastically needed...

    TP asked about 1 year ago

    Thank you for your comment. The Study will be considering a land use framework for the Study Area to support complete communities to better serve the community for all life stages. This includes considering strategies that support a range of residential typologies, as well as more attainable and/or affordable housing options.

Page last updated: 24 Jul 2023, 08:13 AM