Tallest buildings the city planners want to permit are to be in the Upper Brant Precinct - ward Councillor doesn't see it the same way.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

January 12th, 2018


Part ten of a multi-part editorial feature on the precincts and mobility hub being planned for the downtown core

The Upper Brant Precinct is a new precinct, which serves as “the height peak” or the area of the tallest building permissions in the Downtown Mobility Hub. This precinct was created in response to public input around the preferred location of building height in the downtown and as a result of the precinct’s location within walking distance of the Burlington GO Station to accommodate a mixed-use pedestrian, cycling and transit oriented community close to higher order public transit.

Upper Brant precinct

The developers are far ahead of the thinking going on in the Planning department. Major projects are well advanced.

Draft Intention Statement:

The Upper Brant Precinct will accommodate the tallest developments within the Downtown Mobility Hub, where appropriate and compatible, along Brant Street between Prospect Street and Blairholm Avenue. Developments will generally achieve a height and density that reflects the precinct’s walking distance to higher-order transit at the Burlington GO Station and contributes to the creation of a transit, pedestrian and cycling oriented community that links the Downtown Mobility Hub and the Burlington GO Mobility Hub.

The key policy directions for the Upper Brant Precinct include a maximum building height of 25 storeys where appropriate and compatible, as well as several building design and performance measures. Future developments will be required to provide a mix of unit sizes, and attract a range of demographics and income levels to the Downtown. In addition, podium requirements, Transportation Demand Management measures and the mitigation of impacts on adjacent low and mid-rise development will be required.

Upper brant map 2

The two squares are land that has been assembled with plans to build well underway. The circle is where a significant add on is to be added to Brant Square.

The Upper Brant Precinct also includes a special policy area that is intended to recognize the existing shallow parcel depths of lands on the east side of Brant Street, just south of Ghent Avenue and their close proximity to the adjacent low density residential neighbourhood.

Draft Intention Statement for Special Policy Area:

Lands on the east side of Brant Street from south of Ghent Avenue to Blairholm Avenue will accommodate developments at a scale and height significantly less than that permitted throughout the precinct.

Brant Square looking north

Brant Square has had plans for a significant re-development of their property in the works for some time. The property to the immediate north has been assembled on both sides of the street with the developer ready to put shovels into the ground.

Developments will not exceed a modest mid-rise form in order to minimize potential impacts on the adjacent established residential neighborhood areas as a result of smaller parcel sizes and depths that exist in this section of the precinct.

The key policy directions for the Upper Brant Precinct Special Policy Area include a maximum building height of 7 storeys.

Meed Ward at kick off

Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward at her 2014 nomination meeting.

Ward 2 city Councillor Marianne Meed Ward has announced that she will be bringing a number of motions to a committee meeting on January 23rd.  Two of the nine motions she has outlined relate to the Upper Brant Precinct.

Meed Ward wants to:

Remove East side of Brant from Blairholm to Prospect and retain existing permissions

Remove West side of Brant from Blairholm to Olga and retain existing permissions

She said that “the proposed Upper Brant Precinct from Blairholm to Prospect (royal blue on the map) would allow heights of 25 storeys. Currently this area allows mixed use buildings of 6 storeys, although there are taller buildings on the West side of Brant and Ghent (up to 18 storeys).

On the east side of Brant there are low rises (4-6 storeys) and the area transitions to single family neighbourhoods. Though staff have proposed some restrictions to height in this area, based on lot depth, the east side of Brant should be eliminated entirely from this precinct.

Brant St north of Prospect is part of the Burlington GO mobility hub planning study, which will be discussed at a future committee meeting.

Part 1  Evolution of precincts and hubs

Part 2 Brant Main Street

Part 3 – Parks and promenades

Part 4 – Bates precinct

Part 5 – Cannery precinct

Part 6 Old Lakeshore Road

Part 7 Mid Rise precinct

Part 8 Tall buildings precinct

Part 9 Public service precinct

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6 comments to Tallest buildings the city planners want to permit are to be in the Upper Brant Precinct – ward Councillor doesn’t see it the same way.

  • Lynn Crosby

    Agree Penny. Certainly most of council can’t keep them straight. They seemed to not know what they’ve agreed to, even though they have a binder full of documents that you’d think they would have read. It’s helpful how Councillor Meed Ward is doing her best to educate us, and them.

  • joe gaetan

    In essence Ward 2 has been sliced and diced into teeny-weeny “precincts”. You hit the nail on the head the KISS principle went out the window as soon as we performed micro surgery on this ward. Hope someone develops a COB precinct app for Google Maps and Google Earth.

  • Why is it that we have to complete destroy the charm of our main streets to suit newcomers or those who wish to live downtown in condos. The reason people want to come to Burlington to live is because it is or was a small city, unlike Toronto or Mississauga, easy to get around, less traffic, etc.. Well now, our nightmare has begun- we are becoming Toronto, Mississauga look-alikes. If the reason we are now trading what was once charming and easy-to-live with for a hectic centre like the ones I mentioned for tax revenue- I say, go back to the budget committee and reorganize on a smaller scale. We don’t need new sources of tax revenue if we keep Burlington small. Oakville is not destroying their main street. They keep their condos in the north, where they won’t necessitate change in the lovely, old, established streets. Why does Burlington have to? As a long time resident of Burlington I have no wish to increase the population of either citizens or condos. Let’s live within our means without them.

    • “Why does Burlington have to?”

      We do not have to do anything. Our elected leaders by and large support this growth plan and have put it on hyper drive. I’d note that Oakville and Miltion are not near there Placed to Grow allocations. Gary Carr has said: Growth is not paying for Growth and unless the Province comes up with some kid fair funding, Halton will not be accepting any more intensification.

  • Susie

    What is very concerning is: when you read “plans to build are well underway with the developers”! With the “new Precinct Official Plan” just coming forward for all to view and give input on,, leaves one very suspicious as to what has already been put in place, with I’m sure not lower than 25 storeys, setting the standard for ongoing height levels. Another location: The Cannery (corner of Lakeshore and Brant), not yet brought forward for publics input, but already 99% decided as 22 storey with the developer and the City planners. Sneaky and scary business to say the least! Having public input after the fact tells me all these motions are just a waste of time and effort by the tax payers, with increases proposed to us for 4.19%!! Think we need to show our strength at the polls.

  • Penny

    Let’s make this process as confusing as possible. Who can keep all these “proposed” precincts straight, other than staff.

    I am a firm believer that if you don’t understand what is being proposed one needs to be very wary.