We need innovative ways of encouraging more housing and density. This will create more affordable housing while maintaining the character of our neighbourhoods.
Like most Canadian cities, St. Catharines struggles with ensuring residents and newcomers can find housing that is not only affordable but also meets their needs to lead healthy, happy and productive lives.
By 2043, our population will grow by approximately 33,000 people. So, we must increase our housing supply. The only choice we have is how we do that.
The challenge? Encouraging more development and density while maintaining the character of our incredible neighbourhoods. But! This can be done. The city of Melbourne, Australia did it by encouraging five to eight-storey developments on lands surrounding transportation hubs, activity centres and grey fields. This strategy meant they could double their population and achieve their goal of being a net-zero city.
Closer to home, Welland’s Warbler Place Urban Village being built beside the Seaway Mall, is a great example. This development will feature a variety of housing types, shapes and sizes from stacked towns to condos within walking distance to shopping, entertainment and transit.
We are currently developing the Ontario Street Secondary Plan. With this tool, we can re-envision this major gateway into our ward and city. Through community consultation, we will create a vision that includes more mixed use, affordability, better adaptability and active transportation networks in this area. This will, then, achieve our goal of balancing more development while maintaining the character of what we already have.