Action Plan for Oakville
Vibrant Downtown Centres
A healthy and vibrant Oakville is made up of residents who not only live in Oakville but also feel a strong sense of identity with the Town.
Our downtowns have historically contributed to that health and vibrancy of Oakville by serving as the vital crossroads where residents, workers and visitors convene, concentrating multiple layers of activity that generate a critical level of support for arts, retail, restaurants, recreation, social convening and community building.
Experiences across North America and even next door in Burlington and Port Credit have demonstrated the importance of fostering downtowns as well-rounded mixed-use districts. These centres of unique activity have a broad appeal and regional drawing power that makes them the healthy heart of a vibrant community.
Unfortunately, Oakville’s Downtown core has experienced 12 years of political mismanagement and neglect. Despite spirited efforts of many citizens and retailers, our Downtown is a ghost of what it once was.
As Mayor, I will make revitalizing Oakville’s Downtown, Kerr Street and Bronte Villages a priority.
Addressing Downtown & Bronte Village’s Chronic Parking Problems
Oakville residents have been talking – and complaining – about the parking situation in Downtown Oakville for over a decade. More recently, in Bronte Village, towing became a critical issue. As Mayor I will champion solving Oakville’s persistent parking problems and Bronte Village’s towing crisis as a Town priority.
Free Downtown WiFi & Smart Available Parking Spot Locator App
I will use my position on Council to gain the support needed to have free WiFi installed in the Downtown as part of the upcoming Downtown streetscape renovations and instruct town planners to determine the best way to do the same in other Town centres.
Find available parking spots on your smart phone anytime. With WiFi-enabled downtowns, I will champion smart parking technology (called “smart parking pucks”) to be installed so people can find the closest available parking spot through an app on their smart phones. Not only is this a great convenience for people visiting Downtown, eliminating the frustration and barrier of finding parking, but will also reduce the congestion of vehicles circling in search of parking. Stratford is an example of a community already benefiting from smart parking puck technology.
Enable Business Improvement Area Boards to Bring People Back
I will give the Business Improvement Area Boards greater say in revitalization efforts, including enabling them to steer investments in activities, and showcase events that draw people back to our downtowns.
Help Downtown Through Two-Year Upheaval
Oakville’s Downtown is already suffering. The situation will get even worse when the Town tears up Lakeshore Boulevard to renovate the Downtown streetscape. For two years, parking will be even harder to find and pedestrian foot traffic, which shops and restaurants depend on, will plummet. There is a real risk our Downtown could pass the tipping point with large-scale closures. Our Downtown needs immediate help and a solid plan moving forward. As Mayor, I will work with the Business Improvement Area Board, members, local citizens and Council to find reasonable solutions to help minimize the impact of construction, keep people coming downtown and help them through this perilous time.
Make Attracting Visitors a Priority Again
Attracting visitors has been de-prioritized in Oakville and we all suffer as a result. Visitors contribute to the vibrancy and economic well-being of a community – enabling communities to support infrastructure and arts programming they wouldn’t be able to afford on their own. I will work through Council to make attracting visitors to Oakville a strategic and economic priority for the Town again. I will also ask Council to restore a balanced and fair approach to licensing local Bed and Breakfasts.
Boutique Hotel in Downtown
When people in Oakville have friends, family and visitors in Oakville can they put them up in a downtown hotel that complements our Town and its beauty? Attracting a hotel for Oakville in the trend of the beautiful boutique hotels that are popping up across North America and the world would help attract people to Oakville and offer welcome accommodation for residents’ invited guests. As Mayor, I would work through Council to instruct the Town Planning Committee to find the best way to attract a Hotel that builds on the character and appeal of our Town.
Attract Employers and Jobs to Downtowns
Flourishing downtowns need people to not just live and play there, but also to work. As Mayor I will champion economic development to attract more professional, high tech, office workers and employers to locate in our downtown centres.