It’s Time to Speak Up and Support Rental Housing

It’s time to take action. A virtual Public Meeting has been announced by the Town of Bracebridge, and the Mayor and Council want to hear what you think about rental housing in Bracebridge.

A virtual Public Meeting will be held on July 27 to consider a zoning amendment which would allow for apartments on a 2.2-acre site on Woodward Street in Bracebridge, ON. This is your chance to make a difference and to support much-needed rental housing in Bracebridge.

Let’s Make a Difference

You may have read my recent blog post about the Ontario housing crisis and my latest initiative: proposed rental apartments in Bracebridge, ON.

If you support this project, please submit a written statement of support today to planning@bracebridge.ca. Please include your name, hometown, and reason for interest/support in the project.

Want to learn more? Read on…

I have a vision for a rental housing project on Woodward Street in Bracebridge. It seeks to address Bracebridge’s housing shortage by bringing 49 new attainable, accessible, net zero-ready, energy efficient, environmental, low impact rental units to the community. This offers a high level of social benefit and increases the rental housing options available, which is beneficial to all.

Low-impact site plan. There’s no storm water runoff or drainage from this site, which means we won’t be polluting Muskoka’s beautiful rivers and lakes. All the storm water will be managed on-site, reinvigorating the soil and preserving trees.

Trees will be preserved because the rain water is being managed and filtered on-site, so we won’t have to grade the whole site to move water. The ground and grading won’t have to be altered as much – which minimizes grading changes and therefore minimizes damage to existing vegetation and trees. This is the only way that we can save as many trees along the perimeter of the property as possible. In short, low-impact site plan with effective storm water management = fewer trees cut down!

Low-impact development is green infrastructure. It emphasizes conservation and use of on-site natural features to protect water quality. This means we’re not affecting or altering the water table.
Proposed apartment elevations
Accessible 1-bedroom ground floor 600 sq. ft. apartment
2nd + 3rd floor 2-bedroom 2-storey, 900 sq. ft. apartment
2nd + 3rd floor 2-bedroom 2-storey, 900 sq. ft. apartment

In the past 5 years (2015-2019), according to data from the Town of Bracebridge, only 22 multi-residential apartment units have been approved for construction in Bracebridge. I’m proposing to add 49, which is double the total for the past 5 years.

I’ve been asking for the Town of Bracebridge and the District of Muskoka to work with me by rezoning the 2.2 acre parcel of land to allow for the higher density I need for this new apartment rental project. I’m also going to ask for relief from development charges (levies) and building permit and other development fees.

This project has great community social benefits, and yet opposition from NIMBY neighbouring homeowners has been an issue. The development process typically addresses objections from opponents more than it addresses supporters. That may be because most development projects – especially rental construction – have more objectors (typically NIMBYs and immediate neighbours) than supporters.

I’m therefore now working to engage the people of Bracebridge and to gather public support for this project. I want to give a voice to the many unheard champions and supporters of much-needed rental housing in Bracebridge. 

I think that if local Bracebridge politicians know there’s support from the larger community, it will help them to fend off the NIMBY neighbours. I want to help the decision makers hear from supporters, and not just the neighbours who are in opposition – who are typically the only ones to show up to public meetings about new developments such as this one.

We need to do what is right for the entire community. Given the housing needs in Bracebridge, I believe that my rental concept may have more supporters than objectors.

There’s been a high level of local interest in this project, and it has been covered in several local media sources:

If you support this project, please submit a written statement of support today to planning@bracebridge.ca. Please include your name, hometown, and reason for interest/support in the project.

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