The possibly inaptly-named Milton Mobility Hub Study was received by Milton Council one hot August night this past summer with very little fanfare, but this plan could dramatically change Milton’s central business district by creating a modern uptown-downtown core that rivals anything found in the Greater Toronto Area today.
The GO Train station plays a significant role in the draft effort but not the sole role, hence the moniker Milton Mobility Hub Study. Other forms of transportation figure prominently in the study, too.
Milton’s current downtown core is severely limited by a floodplain. And, the historic nature of Main Street East between Ontario Street and Bronte Street is something most Miltonians want to see improved rather than demolished and replaced with tall, modern structures. Any new additions to what is already in place need to complement what is already there, tends to be the conventional wisdom.
The Milton Mobility Hub Study envisions the creation of an uptown core along Main Street East between Ontario Street and Thompson Road that complements the current historic downtown core. This may potentially provide Miltonians with the best of both worlds — higher elevation living and working spaces at the east end with complete professional and retail ground-floor offerings for consumers, and, to the west in the lee of the Niagara Escarpment, a less densely-populated, old historic area with specialty retail, fine-dining and regular special events and features.
The Town of Milton and various Councils have contemplated how best to re-develop the east section of Main Street East for more than 30 years, most notably through the 1997 Official Plan and some earlier studies.
The most notable amongst them was written in 1989 by former Town Planning Director Bob Zsadanyi, who admitted that development along Main Street East between Ontario Street and Thompson Road really hadn’t gone quite as envisioned. A bold re-think was required.
That bold re-think may evolve out of the Milton Mobility Hub Study. Thirty to 40 years from now, with an investment of at least $40 million in municipal infrastructure, considerably more in commercial and residential structure investment by the private sector and the broad support of future Councils, staff and the public, we’ll know for sure. CR