Last chance for Oshawa residents to have their say on GO Station project

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Published July 21, 2023 at 10:58 am

Photo Glenn Hendry

The last chance for Oshawa residents to have their say on the area surrounding the future Central Oshawa GO Station, a project that will transform a long dormant neighbourhood in the coming years, is today.

At noon, to be exact.

A Master Land Use Plan and Transportation Master Plan for the Central Oshawa Major Transit Station Area is now underway, with the Study Area centered on the future GO Station site at 500 Howard Street, located midway between Simcoe St. S. and Ritson Rd. S.

Oshawa kicked off the study in the fall of 2021 and hired Parsons Inc. to produce a land use and urban design plan for the future Go Station. The first phase of the study was completed in March.

Planning for land uses and transportation within the study area is now moving forward to Stage 2 and residents and other interested parties can view the project background and provide their feedback on three land use alternatives and complete the Feedback Form online or on paper at Service Oshawa at City Hall.

The second stage of the study introduces and gathers feedback on three land use alternatives for the Study Area, along with the draft future transportation analysis, urban design plan and implementation guidelines, and the evaluation criteria for the land use alternatives.

Economic & Development Commissioner Warren Munro called the study and the GO Station itself a “catalyst for change.” He also said the study area – bounded by Highway 401 on the south, John Street/Eulalie Avenue on the north, Ritson Road on the east and the Oshawa Creek valley lands on the west – is “one of the most prominent features” for people entering the city and will help connect downtown with Oshawa’s waterfront areas.

The future GO Station and transportation hub will also be the terminus for the Durham-Scarborough Bus Rapid Transit project linking Oshawa with Toronto as well as the Simcoe Rapid Transit Line to the university district. The station is expected to be open within two years.

The new station is part of four new stations being built (including the Thornton’s Corners station in west Oshawa) that will extend Go Train service all the way to Bowmanville.

The study area – particularly along First Avenue between Simcoe St and Ritson Rd – has been an afterthought in the minds of city planners since Knob Hills left town in 2000 and the Pittsburgh Glass Work factory across the street did the same in 2009.

But the GO Station project and the First Oshawa Holdings development across the street bring with them an opportunity to inject new life into the community.

Work on the First Oshawa Holdings project is already underway, with demolition of the former PPG glass factory on the south side of First Avenue taking place in the spring and much of the preliminary work on the new development to the south of the GO Station has also started.

The project’s home will be a 17.3 acre brownfield site at 155 Front Street with a century of history in glass making. The factory on site – now demolished – employed 160 people making windshields for the auto industry; workers whose dreams were shattered in 2009 when Pittsburgh Glass Works bought the place and, after waiting a couple of months for the dust to settle and the cheques to clear, shut the plant down.

Save for an attempt to turn it into a flea market in 2014, the site has been vacant ever since.

The First Oshawa project immediately to the south of the future Central Oshawa GO Station

 

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