Intensifying the Urban Growth Centre in Brantford, Ontario: Opportunities and Possibilities
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In 2005 the Places to Grow Act was enacted by the Government of Ontario. From this Act, the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GPGGH) was created and implemented in 2006 to guide development within the Greater Golden Horseshoe under existing planning frameworks. One of the major tools of the GPGGH was the establishment of Urban Growth Centre’s (UGC’s) which are delineated urban areas deemed appropriate for significant intensification. Three density target classifications were established for the identified UGC’s under the GPGGH. These classifications prescribed specific gross combined density targets for each identified UGC. This report examined the UGC in the City of Brantford, Ontario which is targeted to achieve a gross combined density of 150 residents and jobs per hectare by 2031. The UGC in Brantford is approximately 110 hectares and contains the entire downtown core and immediate surrounding area. The purpose of this report was to determine if the current municipal policies in the City of Brantford, and the physical UGC site itself, are conducive to meeting the gross density target of 150 residents and jobs per hectare as stipulated in the GPGGH. Through an examination of Municipal documents such as A Master Plan for Downtown Brantford, the official Zoning Bylaw, An Analysis of Intensification Potential in the City of Brantford and the City of Brantford Growth Management Strategy as well as onsite field visits, the required growth needed to meet the density target was determined and areas of potential new development were identified as well as buildings that could be adaptively reused. A build out analysis was then conducted to determine the potential future gross density in the UGC using SketchUp. The build-out analysis determined that the UGC has a potential to achieve a gross density of 116 residents and jobs per gross hectare by 2031. This would not achieve the GPGGH density target. The major recommendation to help overcome this shortfall in potential future density is to amend the Zoning Bylaw to increase maximum allowable building heights and reduce parking requirements in the UGC.