Downtown Oakville Public Space Framework

May 7th, 2011, by Jeremy Krygsman

This project for Downtown Oakville was completed as a senior study project at the University of Waterloo. The goal was to inspire the Town of Oakville to re-imagine their Downtown as an even better and more successful place. It consists of a Public Realm Vision that enhances the existing street network, open spaces and builds on the strong identity of Downtown Oakville. The framework was presented by the team to a room full of Oakville staff in April 15, and the report contains the content from that presentation. You can download both by clicking on the images below.

I was privileged to work with Ryan Felix, Meaghan Mendonca, Matt Perotto, and Graeme Ruck on the project. The team acted as a consultant for Oakville, so this project was much more similar to a real-life urban design study than typical student project, requiring creativity, flexibility, and communication. We worked closely with urban designers at the Town of Oakville, including Gabe Charles and Kirk Biggar, under the guidance of our professor of urban design, Karen Hammond. We all enjoyed doing the project!

Lakeshore Rd. & George St., illustrating how our vision could be applied to George Street to create a new public space that will transform the pedestrian environment and the way people think about Downtown.

Our vision for Lakeshore and Downtown Oakville is to enhance the streets so that they balance the needs of all street users. The streets will serve a multitude of social, recreational and ecological needs that benefit both visitors and business owners. More complex, vibrant and equitable streetscapes will better serve the needs of residents. Furthermore, it will enhance the open spaces and increase the importance of Downtown’s heritage & and preserve their character.

This photo-simulation illustrates how our vision could be applied to Lakeshore Road to improve the pedestrian environment.

There are opportunities to create new open spaces in Downtown. One space in particular that holds great potential is the former Post Office lot at Randall and George St. Here, we have proposed the new 16 Mile Square. 16 Mile Square would provide a new, engaging destination that highlights the presence and importance of 16 Mile Creek in Oakville. It would allow for the reanimation of the Post Office building with public uses, restaurants, shops, or services and strengthen the pedestrian network in Downtown.

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