Posts tagged ‘City Hall’

New Buildings Would Replace the Former Hudson’s Building on Dundas Street in London

The latest housing and commercial project slated for Old East London is “a home run” for revitalization of the area, says its ward councillor. Along with other new housing projects on Dundas and Lyle streets, the redevelopment of the old Hudson’s store, a longtime commercial landmark, is just what the area needs, Steve Orser said. “What we are seeing is the actual revitalization of east London.”

The project at 637 Dundas St. E., consists of two buildings. Plans call for a three-storey building on Dundas and a nine-storey building behind it that will front on Marshall St. The Dundas St. building will have street-level shops. Overall, there will be 72 residential units, including some affordable units geared to seniors.

The plan by a numbered Ontario company goes to planning committee at city hall Monday where it is expected to win approval. The plan would then go to full council for approval. The large three-storey building on the site housed the Hudson’s store for decades. It closed in 1984 and was revamped and relaunched as Centretown Mall. For years it has been vacant.

Coun. Joni Baechler, chairperson of the planning committee, said the important aspect of the latest project is it shows “investors have a sense of confidence in the Old East Village area” east of Adelaide St. along Dundas St. She said some “minor tweaking” of the plan was needed and she expects a zoning change to make way for the development will sail through planning committee.

City hall has made a concerted effort to revive the area that has seen hard times in recent decades and a misguided move that saw Dundas realigned into an S curve to lure visitors. That costly move was undone years later to improve traffic flow and parking.

Ground has been broken for a 100-unit condominium project and for a 600-unit apartment building in the same area in recent months.

As in downtown, incentives relating to parking and development charges have been used by the city in a bid to bring residents to the area. In turn, city hall and local organizations hope the newcomers will bring back the area’s one-vibrant commercial vitality.


Now playing: Refused – Summerholidays vs. Punkroutine
via FoxyTunes


March 4, 2010 at 12:56 pm Leave a comment

The Rise of the Student Ghettos

Neighbourhoods around Fanshawe College and the University of Western Ontario are at risk of becoming student ghettos, city planners are warning.  The broader plan to improve neighbourhoods around Fanshawe and Western was approved by council in February 2008 and dubbed the near-campus neighbourhoods strategy.

Long-term residents are fleeing, leaving some streets almost entirely occupied by students and other temporary inhabitants who don’t own the homes, a change that threatens the viability of everything from local day cares to churches. The change in ownership has driven up prices of homes whose value are based on rental income, making it tougher for families to buy them. Too many properties have lost green spaces, are in poor repair and become the target of vandals. Previous efforts by city hall to limit changes have sometimes been quashed by provincial appointees on the Ontario Municipal Board.

City planners laid out proposals they hope would make a difference:

  • Reduce the maximum number of bedrooms in rental homes to three from five.
  • Require outdoor areas that can be enjoyed that are no less than three metres wide in any direction.
  • Require proponents of new single and semi-detached homes and those who want to add bedrooms to existing buildings to have their detailed plans subjected to scrutiny at city hall.


October 5, 2009 at 4:27 pm Leave a comment

Affordable Housing Forum

When designed with purpose and community-minded sensibilities, affordable housing can be the cornerstone of a vibrant neighbourhood, not a catalyst for deterioration. On May 13, 2009, Cambridge residents will get a chance to hear more about Cornerstone Initiative (an affordable housing project in Fernwood, British Columbia) at an affordable housing forum hosted by the City of Cambridge, the Cambridge Poverty Reduction Roundtable on Affordable Housing’s subcommittee and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. The forum will be held at the Cambridge Centre For the Arts at 60 Dickson St. in the Toyota Room, from 9 a. m. to 1 p. m.

For more information about the affordable housing forum, the planning council’s David Palmer by phone at 519-623-1713, extension 230 or by email at .

The event is free for everyone. Maybe the City of Kitchener should attend this? (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, here is a little news story to read: Cedar Hill Debauchary) 🙂


May 11, 2009 at 1:37 pm 1 comment

Have your say in Waterloo Region’s Official Plan update

Regional council will hold a public meeting on Tuesday May 12, 2009 to receive comment on the municipality’s draft official plan. Members of the public will be able to share their thoughts on the official plan, will set out policy objectives and land use planning in Waterloo Region for the next 20 years. The document will address growth in the area and take into account provincial policy and legislation affecting that growth. This is one of the last opportunities to comment on the plan, as the region must have a new official plan in place by June 16.

The meeting will begin at 5 p. m. on Tuesday. If there is a need, a second meeting will be held on Wednesday at the same time.


May 11, 2009 at 12:50 pm Leave a comment

Quote of the Day

Mayor Doug Craig

This quote comes from City of Cambridge Mayor Doug Craig on the topic of change within the Region of Waterloo:

[…] achieving success means daring to be different, “the challenge is the old ideas that anchor us to the past.”

I’m glad to hear that a politician finally realizes this idea.


February 21, 2009 at 4:26 pm Leave a comment

Cambridge’s New City Hall

Ok, so I’m a little late on the news front for this, but Cambridge’s new City Hall is truely jaw-dropping.


Interior view of Cambridges new City Hall

Interior view, including "living wall", of Cambridge's new City Hall

The new $30-million Cambridge City Hall is now officially the greenest city hall in Canada.


The Canada Green Building Council certified the structure with its gold LEED standard on July 31, 2008. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (more information can be found here: What is LEED?).


Cambridge’s City Hall building incorporates features of sustainable design and is the wave of the future in the field of architecture. The building has eco-friendly features such as a four-storey (110m2) “living wall” of tropical plants, which provides cleaner air. There is also a green roof and rain collection system used for toilets that will save two million litres of water a year. The city expects to save $150,000 a year in utility bills because 75 per cent of the light is natural and an atrium allows natural drafts to cool the building without turning on air conditioning. More than 3,000 plants were utilized for the new City Hall and the landscaping around the building is comprised exclusively of native or naturalized species which do not require irrigation.


And in other news… Guelph’s new City Hall looks like garbage.

Outside view of the new City Hall including the old City Hall on the left.

Outside view of the new City Hall including the old City Hall on the left.

Image: Daily Commercial News and Construction Record

September 23, 2008 at 12:08 pm Leave a comment

We are an urban design blog featuring news stories and ideas from London, Waterloo Region, and surrounding areas.


blog information

  • 70,554 hits