Markham is growing by roughly 8,000 people annually. That creates both challenges as well as opportunities. A major area identified for ‘intensification’ is the Yonge Street corridor. We have to be mindful of the type of development that occurs and protect existing neighbourhoods and communities from its impact, particularly related to traffic coming in from other areas outside our city.
The Yonge Street corridor north of Steeles Avenue will likely see major intensification over the next few years. The World on Yonge development is now complete; another large development – Frangian (now Yonge Grandview Corp) – at Grandview and Yonge, is underway and the Langstaff Gateway is in the preconstruction stage. Fundamental change is occurring in this neighbourhood.
I did not support the Frangian development application when it originally came to Council. I believe we must be vigilant regarding the development applications we know will undoubtedly come to Yonge Street in the years to come.
Certain parts of the neighbourhood will be completely redeveloped (approximately – Steeles Avenue to the south, Dudley Avenue to the East (except for the south side of Highland Avenue which will be redeveloped to Willowdale Blvd), Yonge Street to the West and Grandview Avenue to the north).
The area being redeveloped will consist of high-rise condominiums at Yonge Street, with low rise, mixed use development being developed further east in the area. Building height would gradually decrease as one approaches Dudley Avenue. The rest of the neighbourhood not subject to redevelopment will remain as single family residences.
In June 2013 the City of Markham retained a transportation consultant to undertake the Yonge-Steeles Corridor Transportation Study. The objectives of the Study were to address the existing transportation issues and to determine the future transportation vision, transportation strategies and infrastructure recognizing growth and redevelopment within the proposed Yonge-Steeles Corridor Secondary Plan area. The redevelopment of the proposed Yonge-Steeles Corridor Secondary Plan area requires a comprehensive Transportation Study that will help ensure that redevelopment relies on sustainable modes of travel including walking, cycling, and public transit, resulting in a more balanced and sustainable transportation system.
Additionally, the existing Thornhill Secondary Plan states that there should not be undue negative impacts on local residential streets arising from such new residential development. Proposed changes shall be based on protecting the existing residential community being considered a first priority. As we move forward with this process, it is important that sufficient safeguards be established to protect the existing community, that are not part of the area subject to redevelopment. This could certainly be adversely impacted if this neighbourhood is not protected from growth.
- We must protect existing neighbourhoods to ensure the stability and vibrancy from incompatible development and the pressures of growth. Future development along the corridor must fit in and respect the community character.
- Most importantly, children among others would be exposed to risk from the heavier traffic and just getting in and out of your own street and neighbourhood would be a challenge.
- Through more careful planning, protection of existing neighbourhoods should be considered relative to plans for new property development.
Read the reports:
Protection of the existing neighbourhood in order to achieve a more sustainable and balanced transportation system, including recommendations which would see:
- a preferred road network, focusing on the local and collector road systems;
- Design road networks to mitigate traffic infiltration from redevelopment area into existing community;
- Reconsider options to advance pedestrian connections to support transit and other community needs, such as potential new cycling routes;
- To review existing transit routes and opportunities to modify or add routes;
- To identify future transportation conditions and issues under future redevelopment.
As Councillor I will draw immediate attention to:
- Traffic calming measures at the intersection of Doncaster and Henderson to protect primary school children from impacts of the added traffic coming from the World on Yonge development
- Road designations: Highland Park Boulevard., Woodward Avenue, Willowdale Boulevard, and Grandview Avenue should continue to be considered ‘local’ roads, rather than the preferred ‘minor collector’ designation preferred by engineering staff.
- Traffic calming options for Grandview Avenue, Willowdale Boulevard, and Jewell Street.