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More on the Terminals plan: 6 questions answered

CollingwoodToday asked the town and Streetcar President Les Mallins questions raised on social media in the wake of the first public presentation about the Terminals revitalization, on topics such as cost, public access and parking

Since Streetcar Development Inc. and Dream Unlimited Corp. revealed their plans to revitalize the Collingwood Grain Terminals last night (March 27) during the regular meeting of council, area residents have been asking a lot of questions in the comment section.

Here are six questions CollingwoodToday has seen asked the most today.

For our original story on the Terminals revitalization plans, click here.

1. What are the parking plans for the overall site?

“The concept vision includes an extensive draft parking plan that sees the introduction of underground parking to help accommodate for the hotel/residential component. Additional parking would also be added to accommodate the marine services building and other amenities,” said the town’s executive director of customer and corporate services Amanda Pegg.

“That said, with the introduction of many active features along Heritage Drive (including boardwalks, trails and lookouts), we are hoping to encourage active transportation and walking along the Spit (not just vehicle traffic),” she said.

As part of plans for a section called “the harbour room” which extends along the Spit from Watts Boathouse to Millennium Park, parking is marked in multiple locations within that section. The plans indicate that there will be underground and surface-level parking on the north side of the Terminals, facing what is now Millennium Park. The Collingwood Yacht Club will be also collaborating with the developer to ensure their needs are addressed, which could include a new building.


2. How much is this all going to cost, and who is paying?

When asked about the estimated total cost of the project on Monday night, the president of Streetcar, Les Mallins, said the entire cost of the project would likely come in at more than $200 million. He confirmed that the condominium portion of the plan would likely pay for the majority of the project cost.

As the Terminals building is a publicly-owned asset, as is Millennium Park and the Spit, part of the request for proposals process undertaken between the Town of Collingwood and Streetcar/Dream will have the two parties signing a memorandum of understanding, which will outline many details including the estimated costs, as well as who will be paying for what, how much each party will pay, and how final ownership will be worked out once the project is complete.

On Monday night, Pegg and Mallins confirmed they have not yet signed the memorandum of understanding, however, Mallins said they are “so close.”

“We anticipate bringing the final memorandum of understanding back to council for their review and approval within the next couple of weeks,” said Pegg. She confirmed the financial details of the agreement will be made public, but only after council's endorsement and the signing of the agreement by all parties. 

3. The construction period for the project is estimated to take between 30 and 36 months. Would the Spit/Millennium Park be closed to the public during that time?

“During the construction phase, the safety of the community will be a paramount consideration in evaluating what portions of the Spit will remain publicly accessible/be required to close to public access,” said Pegg. “This will become clearer once the public realm enhancements have been finalized through public consultation and site plans completed for the development of the Terminals.”

“We are committed to keeping the community up-to-date on any impacts that may result from the construction phase and will make every effort to mitigate those impacts while ensuring public safety,” she said.

4. Will the new features of the park (for example, the swimming pier) be paid admission? Will any of the outdoor features be paid admission?

“Public realm enhancements (such as the swimming pier) are not planned as paid admission,” said Pegg. “The intention of the redevelopment of the Spit is to provide public realm enhancements that can be enjoyed by all. This was also encapsulated in several of the development principles that were used to evaluate proposals – public access was critical.”

There are many public features that are part of the existing plans, starting along the Spit with a new marine services building, formalized marina parking, existing marina improvements, preservation of the Watts Boathouse, new parks and trails, a multi-use trail, lookouts and boardwalks. A Heritage Drive re-alignment will be done to expand the usable public space.

Both Pegg and Mallins have said the public consultation process will drive the finalization of the public realm features and the desires/expectations of the community.

5. How will Millennium Park change?

Changes to Millennium Park proposed as part of the plans include adding a performance amphitheatre, public art installations and an additional lookout over the bay. Mallins said he thinks there will be lower demand for above-ground parking in the winter months with most wanting to use the underground option, at which time he wants to see the surface part converted into a public skating rink with surrounding warming stations.

A public swimming pier and space for non-motorized water activities is also included in the plans on the north-west portion of the park.

“We want to get people down there all season long,” he said


6. Will any of the condominiums be set aside as affordable housing?

“Not right now,” Mallins told CollingwoodToday. “It will be interesting to get into the public consultation process and see where certain aspects of the project go.”

“Maybe the town and the community should look at an affordable housing component in the marina building. Maybe there’s an opportunity. In our underwriting of this model, the costs are significant and that wasn’t currently contemplated,” he said.

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Jessica Owen

About the Author: Jessica Owen

Jessica Owen brings 13 years of experience to her role as reporter for Village Media, primarily covering Collingwood and education.
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