2018 Progress Report
Another amazing year of growth for the Town of Carleton Place.
With projections and new housing builds on target with plenty of new business opportunities along with home investment and property values continuing to improve, the community is clearly open for business and well positioned for receiving anyone who is looking for a new place to call home.
Conveniently located minutes away from the nation’s capital, the Town of Carleton Place is a remarkably picturesque community with some amazing offerings not typical of most Eastern Ontario communities. With the Mississippi River flowing through the heart of town, beaches, festivals, first class manufacturing and technology businesses, leading edge green initiatives, and a forward growth agenda, the Municipality’s economy continues to be securely positioned for long-term growth and sustainability.
As the Mayor of Carleton Place, Louis Antonakos is pleased to state: “The Town of Carleton Place will experience another exciting year of growth, development and new initiatives in 2018. Our plan is to stay at the forefront as one of Ontario’s most livable towns. Realizing this means to continue planning in co-operation and consultation with residents and focusing on a framework that integrates the Town’s official plan into a comprehensive road-map for our community. We’re looking to the future with Carleton Place’s fiscal strengths in mind. We will continue to enhance our highly valued Town and County services while keeping our growth affordable.”
Our main challenges continue to relate to planning and managing the on-going successful growth of our community. Many of the larger employers in Town continue to plan on increasing their number of employees over the coming years while others are well positioned with their recently completed expansion plans.
Other challenges include senior staff succession planning and corporate planning around the on-going cuts in provincial government funding. Carleton Place and other municipalities have come to realise that the grants from the Province have diminished due to the continuing provincial deficits.
Special Note: The Town of Carleton Place has hired a new CAO: Diane Smithson, former Mississippi Mills chief administrative officer. Smithson will take over the reins in Carleton Place from long time CAO Paul Knowles, who is retiring, but will stay on in a supporting role as project manager for special projects. The transition for the new CAO is expected to take place in March, 2018.
Through the efforts of Staff and Council, we were able to keep the 2017 property tax increase under two per cent (2018 property tax increase will also be held under two per cent). Our Town continues to be viewed by other municipalities, and by the provincial government, as a well-run, fiscally responsible community with a strong infrastructure and sound financial and long-term asset management plan. It is these factors that give us the ability to handle the reductions in provincial grants and any unforeseen changes in provincial policies. This stability, this ability to move forward in a positive and safe manner, is a direct result of the diligent and dedicated work of Town Officials and Senior Staff.
In order to improve on the management and planning of Carleton Place, the Town will continue to focus on community engagement and communications.
We have a clear commitment to continue to improve communications and also improve the Town’s direction and commitment to openly provide information about programs, services and decisions.
This entails a more open approach of getting positive news out about the Town, focusing on a two-way communications dialogue with the community and managing issues in an efficient and timely fashion.
This communications approach protects our existing communications assets and marketing investments; enhances our relationship between constituents and local government; re-engages residents and vested parties in community problem solving; and ensures that everyone is going in the same direction, carrying the same messaging.
In the coming years, the new McNeely Avenue extension to Highway 15 will open hundreds of acres of valuable property slated for housing, parks and trails, schools and highway commercial development. Opposite this property and located just southwest of the Highway 15 – Captain A. Roy Brown Boulevard junction, is a 35-acre site identified for light industrial/business uses.
In 2017, the Town of Carleton Place planning department reviewed and approved an unprecedented number of planning applications from minor projects all the way to major subdivisions and other large apartment projects.
Two subdivision agreements were signed, one being Miller’s Crossing which holds 282 units and the other being Meadow Ridge Estates which boasts 442 units. This year Longwood Homes and Lepine Corporation were added to the list of developers in the area.
The King Street subdivision developed by Brigil Homes and approved at the later end of 2016, for 22 townhouse units, is now nearing completion. Brigil has also made application for their next phase of the subdivision along Munro Street.
High Gate subdivision located along Townline Road and High Street is also nearing completion with 92 out of the 112 units already constructed.
Jackson Ridge subdivision’s 149 units have begun construction with 24 units already built and occupied.
An application for a subdivision has been made to develop the Bodnar lands. The proposal is for 582 units which are to be a mix of singles, townhouses and apartment buildings.
Other applications currently under review are the development of 2 of the Town’s 4 strategic properties. The intent of the strategic property designation is to allow for increased residential density and have people live and shop in and around the downtown core. The first application is to re-develop the McArthur Island Woolen Mill and island with apartment units and commercial space. The second application is to revitalize the Hawthorne Mill and associated property with both apartments and condominiums and some commercial use.
An application has also been received for a 9 unit stacked townhouse on Townline Road.
The planning department has reviewed and Council has approved 4 different apartment projects. One is to be located on Beckwith St. at Lake Ave. East and contains 51 units, 70% or more are to be accessible. A commercial space of 283 square meters is also included on the lower level. Another project is located behind Carambeck School with one 20 unit building fronting on Bridge Street and one 20 unit building fronting on Edmund Street. The third project is located on Coleman, Miguel and McGregor and holds 148 units in three buildings. The fourth project is to construct a triplex at the corner of Beckwith and Franklin Streets.
Further, Council has approved construction of a mixed-use commercial/residential building along Moore Street containing 6 apartment units and 51 square meters of commercial area. Directly adjacent to this building, construction has started on Braumeister Inc., the latest Brewery in the downtown area.
The Town of Carleton Place also welcomes a number of new businesses to Town including: Save on Fitness; Anytime Fitness; Bergeron Clifford LLP; Burns Jewellers; Davan Salon; Et Cetera Home; Kaleidoscope Designs Inc.; Little Loves Co.; Little Paws Gift and Thrift; Open Doors for Lanark Children and Youth; Sagar Indian Cuisine; SOAK Artisan Bath & Body; Smith & Barrel; The Grand Hotel; Twisted Barber; The Creative Studio; CP Gymnastics; RockGarden Medical; Howard Kelford & Dixon Barristers & Solicitors; Laurysen; Parrot Partner; Kids World; Braumeister Brewing Co.; Cooper Street Productions.
The Town has begun construction on a new dog park and trail system extending from Thomas/Bridge St. through to the north end of the Town limits. Applications have also been approved for the construction of a new snow dump and Public Works yard.
Roy Brown Park is also under development due to the Town receiving a generous Canada 150 Grant from the Province of Ontario as well as through negotiations with Cavanaugh Construction relating to the development of a water feature within the Roy Brown Park. A network of pathways have been constructed.
Further, a portion of the Lanark County Rail Trial that goes by the Woolgrowers property and designed as parkland and community space is now under construction.
Hospital construction & redevelopment update
Carleton Place & District Memorial Hospital (CPDMH) has retained the services of Parkin Architects Limited to design the new Emergency Department. The firm was chosen following a competitive Request for Proposal (RFP) process. Over the past 60 years, Parkin has designed some of Canada’s most notable buildings, including many hospitals. The next step in the project is to finish the Functional Plan for submission to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. This detailed look at programs and services will inform the design and layout of the new department. Once the Functional Plan is approved, the project moves into Stage 3 which is Preliminary Design. During this stage, preliminary block and sketch designs are developed. As well, details about all major components, timelines and costs are prepared and submitted for approval. Construction is on track to begin in less than 30 months.
Antonakos stated: “Moving forward together, Council and Staff will continue to focus on improving our downtown while continuing to upgrade our streetscape and improve our business community in order to create more opportunities while at the same time upgrading our infrastructure.”