A proposal for development project in Stratford, between Queen Street and Trow Avenue on the north side of Ontario Street, has turned out to be contentious

Update: An Oct. 26, 2021 Stratford Beacon Herald article is entitled: “Contentious Ontario Street development back on track.”

Click here to access the City of Stratford video of the Oct. 25, 2021 Heritage and Planning meeting >


Click here to access the City of Stratford video of the Sept. 27, 2021 Heritage and Planning meeting >

Here’s a link to a Sept. 30, 2021 Stratford Beacon Herald news report about the meeting >

A proposal for a development project in Stratford, between Queen Street and Trow Avenue on the north side of Ontario Street, has been referred back to planning staff. The proposed development site is a short distance south of Stratford’s Festival Theatre.

The referral, at a Sept. 27, 2021 online meeting of the Heritage and Planning Committee, was the outcome of presentations from several community-based sources, who among other things noted that the proposed height of the project was a major concern.

A major point that the presenters, all of whom were knowledgeable and well-prepared, made was that development that is aligned with the Official Plan is the ideal form of development.

I was impressed with the fact that presenters were each allotted 10 minutes to say their piece. In the city where I used to live, speakers at typical land use hearings (such as committee of adjustment meetings) have only five minutes to speak up and be heard; 10 minutes is by far a better length of time to get your point across.

Many factors naturally come into play, when a given community develops a framework for determining how much speaking time can be allotted to presenters at meetings.

A consistent theme from the above-noted committee meeting concerned the desirability of development of character guidelines, specific to the City of Stratford, to assist in a practical way with decision making when development proposals come forward in future.

It’s an ideal situation where land use decisions are based on specific guidelines, aligned with the Official Plan, developed in accordance with a systematic, deliberate set of procedures, with input from as many sources as possible.

Details related to how best to go about setting up such guidelines are available from many sources including the neighbourhood of Long Branch in Toronto:

Re: 90 Ash Toronto Local Appeal Body (TLAB) decision – refusal

Click here for previous posts at this website regarding Long Branch Character Guidelines >

Land use history of Stratford

Some previous posts regarding key land use decisions in the local history of Stratford include:

Stratford, Ontario: Canada’s cultural tourism destination

The above-noted post underlines that community-driven efforts over a century ago to save the parklands along the Avon River played a key role in setting into place the conditions required for the launch, on July 13, 1953, of the Stratford Festival.

An additional post discusses a successful community effort to ensure that concerns of area residents were closely taken into account in more recent times with regard to development of a former industrial site on Ballantyne Avenue:

The R.M. Ballantyne Ltd. textile plant was built by a thread company, which ran into financial difficulties, and was first occupied by a motor company which built a bus, that startled the horses

Agenda for Sept. 27, 2021 meeting regarding Ontario Street proposal

The information below is from a PDF document which outlines the agenda for the Sept. 27, 2021 meeting of the Planning and Heritage Committee.

Planning Report, Official Plan Amendment Application OPA01-20 and 6 – 95

Zone Change Amendment Z06-20, 370-396 Ontario Street (PLA21-018)

Following presentation of the staff report, the following have requested to address the Committee with respect to this matter:

  • Emily Elliott, MHBC, representing the applicant
  • Gary Annandale, Queen Trow Development
  • James Battle, Festival Area Ratepayers Association
  • Nancy Smith, Turkstra Mazza Associates
  • Robert Ritz
  • Marcus Letourneau, Managing Principal for LHC | Heritage Planning and Archaeology

A number of people (names are listed in the agenda) have submitted written comments regarding the topic at hand. A number of proposed motions are also included in the document.

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