Posts tagged ‘New’

Old Post Office to Become New Library Multi-Use Building

If you believe that Emily the ghost haunts the Old Galt Post Office, she is about to get a lot more company as city council approved the purchase of the building Monday night.

In putting the motion forward, Coun. Pam Wolf called the vacant landmark one of the finest examples of architecture in Cambridge.

“It’s fitting the city becomes its owner.”

The city plans to pay the $950,000 purchase price from the city’s industrial land reserve fund and then turn the vacant building into a library.

In an interview, chief librarian Greg Hayton said plans had been in place to expand the Queen’s Square Library in 2014. However, those plans were pushed back to 2016 due to budget considerations. In addition, land would have had to be expropriated. Funding will be used at the old post office.

In passing the motion, council has also directed staff to put funds into the 2013 operating and capital budget for consideration during next year’s budget process so the building can be temporarily mothballed.

Hayton said the planned expansion would have added up to 14,000 square feet to the Queen’s Square branch, which is roughly the same size as the old post office.

The building was built in 1885 as the Galt Customs House and Post Office. It was designed by Thomas Fuller, who was also responsible for design of the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa.

Hayton said preliminary plans for the building includes a teen-oriented library on the first floor of the building, along with a small restaurant – which will be operated by the building’s current owners, the company which owns the Cambridge Mill restaurant.

The second floor of the building is earmarked to become a family-oriented library, while the third floor will be a digital lab, Hayton said.

“We’ll have further developed the plans by the time it goes to budget,” said Hayton.

Renovations for interior and exterior work is estimated at $6 million – higher than the $5.4 million currently identified for expansion at Queen’s Square Library branch.

However, in addition to city funding, Mayor Doug Craig said the project’s public/private partnership has a good chance of receiving grants from the provincial and federal government.

As for Emily the ghost?

“I’m sure we have a library card on file for her someplace,” said Hayton.



October 1, 2012 at 7:41 pm Leave a comment

Raucous Crowd Out Against Development

More than 300 show up to oppose Foodland

A planner is urging members of North Dumfries Township Council to take a hard look at an application for commercial rezoning on Northumberland Street from a local standpoint.

Mark Dorfman, a planner with more than 45 years experience in the public and private sectors, said it shouldn’t only matter whether a new Foodland fits within the “guidelines” of provincial and regional planning documents and that it won’t remain an orphan along the “spine” of Ayr, if approved.

He urged council members to consider the implications of future commercial development along this thoroughfare of a village that is expected to grow substantially in coming years.

“For this reason alone, this development is premature,” he added. “It’s not a sound design objective in a residential setting.”

Dorfman was retained on behalf of a citizens’ group that opposes the development of a new, 26,000-square-foot Foodland on properties currently zoned residential, across from the Broom Street intersection.

Residents of Ayr are concerned about traffic safety and their quality of life, which will be interrupted by delivery trucks, car alarms, doors slamming, running motors and exhaust fumes. Above all, they say it’s simply the wrong place to put a grocery store.

More than 300 people showed up to a public meeting Monday evening at the North Dumfries Community Complex. Some lined the back wall of the MacNeil Room due to limited seating.

North Dumfries Mayor Rob Deutschmann put his gavel to use several times and at one point threatened to shut down the meeting due to a raucous response from the crowd assembled in opposition.

Victor Labreche, a planner on behalf of the development team, pointed out that a 500-metre radius surrounding the proposed grocery store is currently comprised of 45 per cent industrial land and 40 per cent residential.

The radius includes an elementary school and a curling rink. The grocery store would result in a more “complete community” and reduce vehicular traffic going to and from the village’s core, he argued.

The plan is to relocate the existing Foodland in the village’s core into a larger building offering full service and more products, as well as an LCBO agency store.

But residents appearing as delegations don’t go along with the proposal on the two-lane road, even despite the implementation of a 25m left-hand turn lane for southbound traffic – a measure they say would do little to improve traffic flow at certain times of the day when a railway line ties up commuters of the bedroom community.

Christina Dorian resides across the street from where the development could be situated and also envisions a McDonald’s and a gas station next door if a commercial precedent is set.

Residents say they aren’t against having a new grocery store, but would rather see commercial development clustered to the north in the vicinity of Greenfield Road that is surrounded by vacant industrial land.

North Dumfries planning consultant Steve Jefferson noted that provincial planning policies can restrict municipalities from using land designated industrial for commercial purposes.

He expects that recommendations pertaining to the proposed grocery store could come before council in the next two months.

“Let’s do this right and update our official plan for the future,” said James Dol, a main organizer behind the Save Our Community group.

Dol presented the mayor with a petition with more than 1,000 signatures.

Many people, both young and not so young, urged councillors to think of the future.

A 14-year-old girl asked decision makers to imagine growing up in Ayr 20 years from now.

“In math they say you can’t add apples and oranges together because you get the wrong answer,” she said. “There are many other places we could put this grocery store.”


October 1, 2012 at 7:20 pm Leave a comment

House Construction Down In August

New residential construction in the Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo area decreased in August compared to the same month of 2011, according to preliminary data released today by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

Construction began on 93 homes, down from the 451 units started in August 2011.

Starts in August were at the lowest level for any month in more than three years. Builders started 71 single-detached homes in August, down from the 97 homes started a year ago. No apartments were started, compared to the 336 units started in August 2011. Townhouse starts increased to 22 units, from the 16.



October 1, 2012 at 7:01 pm Leave a comment

Fairway Road Extension and New Bridge Over The Grand River

Construction is planned for 2010 to extend Fairway Road from Zeller Drive in Kitchener to Fountain Street and Kossuth Road in Cambridge. The new four lane road will have two lanes of traffic in each direction, bicycle lanes,  and sidewalks on both sides. There will also be roundabouts placed at either end. In addtion, a four-span bridge, with no piers in the water, will be built over the Grand River. It will feature scenic lookouts, custom architectural details, and connections to the Walter Bean Trail. Construction is expected to be completed in 2012 to the tune of approximately $54 million.

$54 million? I wonder what the cost per kilometre would work out to be…??

Source: Region News

January 28, 2010 at 10:16 pm 1 comment

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


blog information

  • 70,554 hits