This was a quote someone said to me after the Peterborough and the Kawarthas Association of Realtors Land Planning Session recently. The session was three hours of information from our City and County of Peterborough planners, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, and an update on the VIA Rail proposal.
There are a couple of major projects that will open up Peterborough to a whole new audience - the completion of the 407 and a successful VIA Rail project - both of which recognized by City Planner Keith Hetherington and County Planner Brian Weir.
So what is coming that will kick the Peterborough area up a notch? Here are just a few projects:
- The urban park at Louis Street (park name still to be determined)
- The makeover of Bethune Street from Dublin to Townsend (that’s 12 city blocks, if you are counting)
- There are projects in the works for more housing options downtown (at least three, plus the Ashburnham Realty build in East City)
- There are new neighbourhoods on the map for the north end of the city and the south east (just under 4,000 units are in various stages of approval)
- In the County, Weir mentioned just over 1,900 units spread out amongst Otonabee-South Monaghan, Norwood, Lakefield, and Millbrook
- The County completed on an active transportation master plan, which examined how the County could encourage more people-powered movement. 134 projects were identified. They will be brought forward over a number of years
- The Trent Research and Innovation Park, a joint project between the City and Trent University aimed at drawing in businesses in the clean tech field using environmentally conscious design principles
- Continuation of several Central Area Redevelopment programs (façade, 2nd and 3rd floors, brownfields, etc). To date, a municipal investment of $600,000 has ignited private sector investment of $1.5 million
- A new arena facility in Millbrook
Peterborough website – peterborough.ca.
He also acknowledged, in various ways, the kind of community Peterborough is and the activities that residents are involved in from camping to kayaking to boating to outdoor activities. It was a statement that set a positive tone, reemphasized the city motto of our connection to nature, and underscored the importance of the culture of our community in the planning process.
The projects above do not come without their challenges and in many cases the issue is around parking. The City is currently in the midst of a parking study to capture the current inventory and predict demand. The study is expected to conclude in June of this year.
On the housing front, we heard that Peterborough is in the midst of a seller’s market and that the city was in a similar position in 2002. Olga Golozub from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation said that with a shorter supply the price of housing goes up, but at the same it also drives the market and developers to build more units.
In the recent Ontario Economic Report, the Economic Outlook for the Peterborough CMA predicted the median house price for Peterborough would rise to $300,000 in 2017, up from $280,000 in 2016.
Do you hear that train a comin’? Tony Smith of Shining Waters Railway updated the group on the status of the VIA Rail passenger service proposal saying that there is a lot of work going on to ensure all communities along the line are aware of the project. Letters of support have been coming in and are critical to promoting the project as one that is beneficial to our community.
With more people poised to live, work and visit our area, now is the time to put our best #TeamPTBO foot forward.