By John Swartz
Orillia council has a special meeting Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. to make extensions to the previously approved See You on the Patio program. Originally Mississaga Street was to be closed to vehicles only on Friday nights in July and August.
The economic recovery task force is recommending Saturday nights be included starting July 3 through to Labour Day weekend. The committee reports because the provincial phased reopening schedule only allows progression at 3 week intervals, restaurateurs and retailers are concerned with the delay and being able to open indoor restaurant service. Several restaurant owners have asked for the extension.
The committee also included a provision the general manager of environment and infrastructure services be allowed to approve any (other) road closings. So while Mississaga would be closed both nights from Albert to Front Streets, if demand is apparent Peter Street could be closed as well.
The Downtown Orillia Management Board initially supported closing the streets Saturday evenings only on portions where there are restaurants, but only until Phase 3 occurs. The task force said it might as well go the entire summer. The task force also let it be known the DOMB should share 50% of the cost for staffing and security, to which the DOMB then allocated $5,255. The DOMB previously budgeted for the annual Classic Car Show, and is redirecting money from that to the pedestrian mall.
While the actions, if approved, will directly benefit downtown merchants, the program is intended to be city-wide. An accompanying $15,000 budget increase to cover additional staff and marketing costs also includes $5,500 to hire additional entertainment, which conceivably could go to any businesses applying for those funds. The total budget will stand at $70,000 if this change is approved.
This meeting is public, however it is not available on Rogers TV. Video of the meeting will be available at a later time.
Waterfront Closed Session
Preceding the public meeting is a closed session. They will discuss the Waterfront Redevelopment project, specifically the sale of land. The agenda notes Leith Moore of Waverly Projects and George Dark of Urban Strategies will be attending.
Dark was the lead consultant for the Downtown Tomorrow Community Improvement Plan. Moore’s Waverly Projects is a developer with an emphasis on sustainable building. He has acted as a member of several provincial advisory panels. Waverly is currently building two mass timer residential developments in Toronto on Queen Street East and Bloor Street West.
While the City has not revealed which of two development proposals they are moving ahead with, the proposal from TPI Acquisitions is relying on mass timber construction. Mass Timber is an engineered wood support structure construction which has been recently introduced as an alternative to steel beam framing and allows for up to 15 stories of building height.
(Photo by Swartz – SUNonline/Orillia)
City of Orillia Waterfront Redevelopment Proposals