Opponents of excessive high-rise development in downtown Burlington welcomed the news that there is no provincial requirement for mobility hubs to be identified in municipal official plans, including Downtown Burlington. This in a letter from the Province. The province also agrees that the John Street bus terminal does not constitute a mobility hub. The letter states that the Region of Halton, working together with the City of Burlington, has the ability to remove the identification of a mobility hub and the Major Transit Station Area (MTSA) designation in Downtown Burlington. Previously the mobility hub designation was used to support plans for extra high-rise buildings that have been built or are underway in the city core.
The detailed Interim Control Bylaw study approved by Council in January, examined the role and function of the John Street bus terminal. The study concluded this terminal functions as an intercity bus transfer point and is not serviced by higher order or frequent transit as is expected for an MTSA as defined by the province.
A city release says the ICBL has helped the City of Burlington continue to work towards establishing a clear vision for the Burlington Downtown and around the Burlington GO Station which is another area where hi-rise intensification is being sought. The ruling came too late to stop a 23-storey, mixed-use building with residential units, along with office and commercial space, currently being built by Carriage Gate Homes on the northeast corner of Brant and James Streets, across from City Hall. It was that development that became a symbol of excessive intensification in the minds of some voters, and led to the wholesale turnover of mayor and council in the 2018 municipal election.
Photo courtesy of Burlington Gazette