Throughout 2017, the city’s waterfront has seen a lot of change, some of it for the better as the Harbour Lands finally move toward being open for public enjoyment, while residents continue to protest the threat of development on a much-loved space of greenery further down the shoreline.
Here’s a look back at the year in news along Oshawa’s waterfront.
In a meeting that had councillors going until nearly last call, more than 200 residents filled the council chambers, including several newcomers to the city, shifting in from Toronto, former Oshawa city councillors and one young 12-year-old who urged council to save the city’s green space.
The pair of proposals in question were being put forward by Graywood Developments on lands owned by SO Development Inc. along Park Road South, south of Philip Murray Drive.
The first proposal, known as Block A, is a 1.12-hectare wedge of land directly on the corner of Phillip Murray and Park Road South. The application before council would see eight block townhouses, each as tall as three storeys, be constructed with a total of 56 dwellings and 132 parking spaces. The second, known as Block B, is a much larger proposal for a nearly 26-acre site sitting directly on the waterfront of Lake Ontario south of Renaissance Drive west of Park Road South. Block B could see 216 units erected on the site, including 184 single detached dwellings and 32 semi-detached units.
Following that initial meeting, thousands of residents signed a petition against the proposed projects, and the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority (CLOCA) raised serious questions about the information contained in the some of the developer’s environmental reports.
Months later, the proposals were revamped and scaled back, shaving off the number of units and making other changes requested by the public.
The final approval remains, as a final report is set to go before council sometime in 2018.
In July, the city began taking the first concrete steps toward opening the Harbour Lands up for public use.
Among the work that needed to be done, the city started with the installation of a soil cap to contain the contamination that exists on the site and keep it from coming to the surface or spreading further when the lands are eventually opened to the public.
The capping is part of the environmental work required by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change under its Certificate of Property Use (CPU), handed to the city in November, in order for the city to eventually develop the site.
The project work is being managed by XCG Consultants, who have been heavily involved with the harbour work since the city regained ownership of the property. Council approved the single-sourced contracted earlier this year with the project management costs of $314,500.
In total, the harbour lands rejuvenation has a budget of nearly $1.5 million.
The city has until October of 2018 to complete the work and reopen the lands to the public.
As part of the city’s redevelopment of the Harbour Lands, is the potential for a public marina to return to the Oshawa waterfront.
A marketing campaign, in attempt to draw potential investors to run the marina, was launched early in 2017 and included social media efforts, news releases and a YouTube video all geared around generating buzz for the project.
Now, the city is left with a pair of detailed applications, both of which have methods for making the vision of a full-service marina a reality.
The city is now in possession of proposals from the Oshawa Farewell Marina Consortium, a conglomerate of local business owners who have retained the Biglieri Group to create a detailed proposal, and a company by the name of Charming Panda Technology Inc.