In January/February, the reImagining project team hosted a series of engagement opportunities designed to gain community input into two proposed concepts for the site, as well as to get feedback on building styles. In all, more than 600 people participated in Phase 2, generating 386 ideas.
Most of the Phase 2 feedback was focused in five key areas:
Housing: Almost all respondents offered feedback on housing issues, ranging from the number of units the development should have to what the houses should look like.
Commercial development: There was more support in Phase 2 for commercial (mixed-use) development, with most participants expressing the need for more commercial development along Centre Street, considering the potential of future transit upgrades.
Traffic: Due to the high vehicle congestion during peak hours already present on surround arterial and collector roads, traffic is a contentious issue. Neighbours also worry about how grade, signalization and pedestrian crossing will be configured.
Stormwater management: In spring and summer months, residents have historically seen vast amounts of water pooling in the former golf course site and on the adjacent 4th street. The location of overland and underground water run-off post-development is of particular interest to the community.
Open space: Many expressed stories of settling in the area because of the proximity to the golf course and its green space. Several participants expressed concern about losing the benefit of living in close proximity to this bio-diverse area, as well as losing current vistas.
(click on the graphic below to enlarge)
Of the two proposed designs, residents overwhelmingly preferred Concept A, with 91% choosing this concept. The accessible green space found in Concept A was seen as a way of having the project benefit the community as a whole, and the linear pathway system was considered to be a key asset of this concept.
A full copy of the Phase 2 What We Heard report is available for download here.