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'State of decline': Revitalization plans pitched for Highway 11

King Township studying what developments should be permitted along roadway south of Bradford, between West Holland River and Bathurst Street

Bradford residents regularly driving Highway 11 could see changes to what can develop along the route.

People may have missed a Nov. 21 public information centre (PIC) about the future of the highway in King Township, but it’s not too late to provide feedback.

As part of King’s official plan, a land-use study is required for the highway corridor between the West Holland River and Bathurst Street to determine permitted future uses, developments and expansions.

According to the recent draft discussion paper from King, and as the corridor is outside of an established settlement area, one of the study’s main goals is to encourage rural and economic activities.

Among other things, King may consider incentives to encourage revitalization of the corridor, which the paper notes “appears to be in an overall state of decline,” and may require urban design guidelines to “contribute to an enhanced sense of place and a more vibrant and engaging built form and encourage new development that is sustainable.”

As part of that revitalization, the paper also suggests creating public parks or open spaces within the area, and in particular, near the Holland River.

This section of highway is considered a major transportation corridor that allows goods and people to move at a local, regional, and provincial scale while connecting to Bradford, Holland Landing, Newmarket, the Holland River and Holland Marsh.

The corridor contains highway commercial land uses, farmland and vacant lands, and only lands to the south of the highway have direct access to the road as GO Transit’s Barrie Line is located directly to the north, meaning northern lands are accessed via Toll Road.

The corridor has little to no infrastructure to support the safe and efficient movement of pedestrians or other forms of active transportation, including cycling. This includes the absence of a continuous paved shoulder.

In addition to the portion of Highway 11, the study area includes the surrounding lands bordered in the west by the river and canal, in the east by the western boundary of the properties along Bathurst Street, in the south by the northern boundary of the properties on Graham Sideroad and in the north by the southern property boundary of Fortune Farm Inc.

The area contains farmland, forests, wetlands and businesses that are mostly auto-centric highway commercial, including gas stations, car dealerships, motels and storage facilities.

Aside from Highway 11 and Toll Road, there are no other formal roads in the study area.

In developing their new land-use planning for the area, King is also working to conform with provincial, regional and township land-use policies, as well as conforming with the requirements of the Greenbelt and Lake Simcoe Protection plans.

Under the York Region official plan, the area is designated agricultural, which aims to protect the land for long-term agricultural use.

The entire area is part of the Greenbelt Plan, which identifies a portion as prime agricultural area and a majority as part of the natural heritage system.

While Greenbelt designation allows a range of existing and new agricultural or related uses within a natural heritage system, new development is limited to ensure no negative impacts on key natural heritage features or key hydrological features or their functions.

The area is also subject to the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan which aims to protect water quality within the Lake Simcoe watershed, including the lake itself, and restricts or prohibits certain types of development within the area that represent potential to negatively impact water quality and quantity.

The PIC was part of Phase 1 of the planned three-phase study, which is expected to conclude in mid 2024.

For more information, or to provide feedback on the study, visit Contact the project team by email at [email protected] or by phone at 905-833-4065.

Michael Owen

About the Author: Michael Owen

Michael Owen has worked in news since 2009 and most recently joined Village Media in 2023 as a general assignment reporter for BradfordToday
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