Orléans Corridor Secondary Plan Study
Over the past year, you have probably heard me talk about or refer to the Orléans Corridor Study. In early March, we held the project’s first open house. We won’t be having the summer we expected, and I don’t want this project to lose its momentum. So, this newsletter is dedicated to the Orléans Corridor Secondary Plan Study – what it is, what it means, what my vision is, why you should participate and how you can participate. This is a bit of a longer read and it’s worth it. I want to make sure my goals and intentions are clear. This study, improving our community and preparing it for the future cannot be successful without your input.
What is the Study, anyway?
The Orléans Corridor Secondary Plan Study aims to replace two existing secondary plans in the Orléans Town Centre with new policies in the City’s Official Plan. The Official Plan provides a vision for the future growth of the city and a policy framework to guide the city’s physical development. Since the City encompasses a large area, secondary plans provide area-specific guidance. I saw a real opportunity to maximise the benefits of Stage 2 LRT by being proactive about permissible land use in the areas around the LRT stations in Orléans to maximise benefits for our community. Stage 2 LRT will be transformative for Orléans.
In the years ahead, we expect new communities to grow around those stations, transforming properties along the rail corridor as taller buildings and mixed-use neighbourhoods replace parking lots and low-rise commercial areas. I want to attract jobs, build more affordable housing and attract the amenities that we feel we have been missing in the east end. Currently, we lack rental options, places for our seniors to downsize into, employment opportunities close to home and, have limited amenities within walking distance of our homes. I look at this study as a way to start remedying this and to build a better community. We want to ensure future development results in livable, resilient, desirable neighbourhoods that support transit and provide the highest quality of life possible.
That’s great! But where is the “Orléans Corridor” exactly?
The corridor refers primarily to the 800m radius around each of the future LRT stations (Jeanne d’Arc, Orléans Blvd., Place d’Orléans and Trim). However, the whole study area does go a bit beyond that. The boundary to the north is Jeanne d’Arc Blvd N., and St. Joseph Blvd. to the south. To the east, the boundary is Youville Dr. and Vineyard Dr. (or the golf course and farmland next to the 174) and Trim Rd. to the west. Aging strip malls, large surface-level parking lots, inaccessible businesses and sprawling business parks with no residential options should become a thing of the past. There is a lot of underused land desperately calling for modernization in the corridor, especially Youville Dr., Place d’Orléans, Taylor Creek, and, St. Joseph Blvd. The areas currently occupied by large, cloverleaf highway ramps can also be improved by simplifying the on and off ramps in order to co-locate housing and employment space close to LRT stations, maximizing the utility of the land.