Downtown Milton Condo Proposal

Much has been talked about recently with the proposal for a condominium development in downtown Milton.  Recently the Town had held a Public Information Centre (PIC) to discuss it as well as get feedback directly from Milton residents.

I, along with a number of town councillors, attended both sessions which had over 80 people come out both times.  The Milton Canadian Champion has done a good story on the development today, so please have a read.

There will be public meetings held at Milton Town Council in the future, so stay tuned to my social media feeds to find out the details.  We want to hear from residents not only in the downtown core, but from all over Milton.  One of the biggest issues we face as a municipality is the development and improvement of our downtown core.  Recently Milton Town Council has also finally launched our Downtown Improvement Study to address these very concerns.  What will our downtown look like in the future?  How can we improve the quality of life in downtown?  We need to address a number of concerns to help breath life into our downtown core and public input is vital towards that process.

I think we can agree that something needs to be done in our downtown core.  Where the challenges lie is in the details.  Opinions range from total opposition to any kind of development in the downtown core to those who would like to see these kinds of changes made.  This is where we as a community need to come forward and have our say.

When council approved the recent downtown study several weeks ago, I remarked that we have to go about this with an open mind.  We all agree something needs to be done.  Business owners tell me that downtown Milton needs “feet on the street” to become vibrant.  We as a town and as a community need to come to a compromise and set a plan and move forward.  This will be very challenging and decisions wont be made hastily.  But we need to do something so I hope that everyone in Milton will take part in these discussions.

Here is the link to the article below from Melanie Hennessy at the Milton Canadian Champion.

Milton Canadian Champion

The downtown Milton skyline may soon look very different if plans for a twin tower condo are given the green light.

A group of numbered companies has put forward its plans for a condominium development consisting of an 18-storey west tower and 13-storey east tower with a combined 190 units on lands that front onto Mill and Main streets, west of Martin Street. The proposal also calls for almost 570 square metres of space for businesses that would be accessed from Main Street.

In order for the development to proceed, a number of approvals are needed, including one from Conservation Halton, as the lands fall within a regulatory floodplain.

The proposal was recently the subject of two public open houses, with each drawing about 80 people, said Town Director of Planning and Development Barb Koopmans.

“They were very well-attended,” she said, noting, “The purpose of the open houses was to make sure clear information is available on the proposal, not gauge public sentiment.”

Residents will soon have a chance to make their voices heard at a Town public meeting on the plans. A date has yet to be set, but it’s expected to take place this spring (details will be posted at, and those who attended the open houses will be notified).

Following that, Town staff will complete its evaluation of the plans and comments received. They will bring a report to council with a recommendation to approve or deny the proposal.

The developer will also need to receive a permit and approval from Conservation Halton to proceed in a regulatory floodplain. The application will be subject to the Province’s “One Zone” concept, which treats an entire floodplain as one unit and restricts or prohibits development.

With two levels of above ground parking proposed for the base of each building, plus a mechanical penthouse on top of the structures to house equipment, the west tower will actually appear equivalent to a 20-storey building, while the east tower will look like a 15-storey structure.

To make way for the development, two Main Street and four Mill Street buildings would have to be demolished, including the Mill Street Coin Laundry, Bumpr’s Restaurant and the building located immediately west of the eatery, which is currently on the Town’s Heritage List.

The proposal comes at a time when the Town is undertaking a Downtown Study that’s examining the current state of Milton’s core and identifying opportunities for revitalization and redevelopment. Town staff is currently conducting a market analysis and anticipates bringing an interim report to council this spring.

“The completion of the study will be critical for the technical review of the (condominium) applications,” according to a fact sheet from the Town’s Planning and Development department.

The plans call for 190 parking spaces for those who live in the buildings, including 164 resident spots and 29 visitor spaces, spread over two storeys of above-ground parking that would be accessed from Main Street.

But the Town’s zoning bylaw currently requires a ratio of 1.5 spaces per dwelling unit, plus an additional 0.5 spaces for designated visitor parking. Based on this, the buildings would require 285 parking spots to service the residents, plus an additional 48 visitor spaces.

Public parking with access points on Mill Street and a total of 132 spaces has also been proposed.

The town must approve Official Plan and zoning bylaw amendments before the project is given the green light. Current zoning of the lands permits a maximum building height of four storeys.

Along with its application, the developer has submitted a variety of studies to the Town, including reports on air quality, heritage impact, noise feasibility and traffic impact. The municipality is awaiting the submission of an urban design brief, shadow impact study and tree preservation plan.

For more information, including copies of the studies, visit

Milton Car Break-Ins

I have been a victim of this a few years ago. The best advice is to have all valuables hidden from view and better yet not in the vehicle at all. Make sure your windows are rolled up and all doors locked. This wont guarantee that you wont have your car broken into, but it will make it very difficult for thieves to take advantage of you.

Make sure you also keep an eye out in your neighbourhoods for suspicious behaviour and report it immediately to the police department.

Here is the link to the story from the Milton Canadian Champion.

Oh The Weather Outside Is Frightful

Well maybe not frightful, but over the weekend we were reminded that winter is on its way with the light dusting of snow we received.

I think with that its a good time to remind residents of Milton about the Town’s snow removal policies.

Here is the link to the Town of Milton’s page that will give you all the information you’ll need with the upcoming winter season.  This will be the time of year myself, along with other council colleagues, will be getting the most calls and emails throughout the year.  When will our street be plowed?  How long after the snow starts will plowing begin? Why are some streets done first and mine last?

This should help you answer these and many more questions you might have.  Stay tuned to my Twitter feed as during these storms I will be posting updates provided to us from our staff as to when things will begin when the real snow hits us.

One of the main issues I’ll highlight here is allowing the plow.  I know its hard for many of us with busy lives, picking up kids, heading to hockey, going out shopping and getting back and forth to work daily but we have to keep in mind parking on our streets.  When the big snow comes its imperative that we do our best to keep our cars off the street and allow for the snow plows to go through.  Many unfavourable situations can be avoided by allowing the snow plows access to the street to keep them on time and our roads as clear as possible.

The Town will announce via the website and social media instances where parking considerations will be suspended so that we can keep the plows moving through the night.  Again, follow me on Twitter or Facebook to keep up with those announcements.

Winter storms are not fun and we all want to ensure people can get in and out of their homes and have all the streets plowed as quickly as possible so if we keep some of the rules in mind, this will happen.

If you have any other questions, please let me know 

End of Daylight Savings Time This Weekend

The Town of Milton and the Milton Fire Department would like to remind you of some important information regarding the end of daylight savings time this weekend.


October 28, 2015

End of Daylight Savings Time prompts reminder to test smoke alarms and change batteries

This year, Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, November 1st, and the Milton Fire Department is recommending that residents install new batteries in their smoke alarms when they change back their clocks.

“In order for smoke alarms to do their job and save lives, they need to have working batteries,” explained Fire Chief Brian Ellsworth. “Once a year, old batteries should be replaced with new batteries. It is the law to have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in your home, so what better opportunity to think about fire safety than during the extra hour we gain back this weekend.

Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms provide an early warning in order to survive a fire or CO poisoning incident. The law requires residents to have working smoke alarms on every storey of the home and outside all sleeping areas. For added protection, it is recommended to also install smoke alarms inside all bedrooms and CO alarms adjacent to utility rooms and sleeping areas.

Tampering with or removing the batteries from your smoke alarms is against the law. Failure to comply with the Fire Code smoke alarm requirements can result in a ticket for $235 or a fine of up to $50,000.

“The Milton Fire Department also recommends reviewing your personal and family’s emergency plan this fall,” added Chief Ellsworth. “Knowing how to respond when a smoke alarm sounds will help you and your loved ones survive an emergency situation.”

For more information on fire safety, visit or call 905-878-9251.

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For further information, please contact:

Brian Ellsworth, Fire Chief

905-878-7252, ext. 2807

Dave Pratt, Deputy Fire Chief

905-878-7252, ext. 2809

Changes Coming To Milton’s Election Sign Bylaw?

Here is a link to a story by Rachael Williams from the Milton Canadian Champion about the ever present sign mess that has happened over the last few election campaigns.

Election signs have been a part of democracy for as long as I can remember. As a child I remembered my father waiting to hear from all the candidates before he decided to choose which sign would be placed on our lawn for the duration of the campaign.

As the article states, there seems to be a movement to ban them from public roadways and only being able to be placed on private property.

While the site of endless signs adorn our roadways and lawns, I feel that trying to ban them is a knee jerk reaction that will end up putting a muzzle on democracy.

As someone who has had many signs with his name on them for the last 3 municipal election campaigns, I can tell you they do serve a purpose. They are there to communicate to the public who is running in their area and for what position.

Election signs increase the name recognition of those running and for someone like me who previously has held no public office, they go a long way.

Sadly over the last few campaigns in Milton (provincial, municipal and now federal) the sign teams for the candidates have taken liberty on where they place them.

We can go back to the municipal campaign of 2014 in Milton where we had over 60 candidates vying for many positions. Signs were placed along the roadways, intersections and side streets like it was going out of style. During that campaign, myself and other candidates were asked why do we need so many of them.

Derry Road was a great example of over doing the signs. A majority of the 60 candidates were running in wards 1,6,7 & 8 and driving or walking along Derry was a challenge with literally hundreds of signs. It was a mess to say the least. It didn’t get better as the campaign wore on.

It got so bad that Councillor Zeeshan Hamid and I actually removed many of our signs along that and other routes because it was getting way too cluttered. The signs defeated the purpose of name recognition and it turned into sign wars.

Some candidates signs were targeted, removed, slashed or simply destroyed which added to an even further mess. Many candidates took liberty with the rules and began to place them on the “town portion” of people’s lawns without the home owners consent.

If you were a home owner with a corner lot, signs were placed strategically so that there was a presumption of support from the home owner, leaving them with the question “Can I take these down?”

I along with many councillors have received phone calls and emails to inquire as to what can be done seeing how signs are a municipal responsibility it is up to us to make changes to that bylaw.

For me, an outright ban isn’t the answer and it seems that’s the direction were headed. Recently Halton Region passed a bylaw banning election signs on regional roads like Derry, Steeles, and James Snow Parkway. Mind you, the previous council passed this bylaw one meeting before the new council was sworn in. At that point the outgoing regional council unanimously approved it.

If this bylaw had waited one more meeting, as I was a newly elected member of Halton Regional council, it wouldn’t have been unanimous.

Do we need a better sign bylaw for election signs? I think so. An outright ban? Nope.

Here are some of my ideas for a new sign bylaw:

* minimum distance between signs be 500 m at the least – What benefit is there to seeing a candidates name 20 times as you drive along Bronte St along every light pole.

* sign friendly zones – We have some intersections where there is enough room to have space for signs where each candidate is limited to one sign in these zones.

* stronger penalties for violations for candidates – Sadly the onus is on our town staff to collect the signs that violate the bylaw. These are resources we shouldn’t have to use if the candidates teams simply read and understood the rules. Will there be some errors? Quite likely. But we are running into situations where signs get removed, candidates teams are informed as to why and then a day later, the sign returns in the same spot. Penalties for this need to be increased.

* clarification of the “town portion” of the roadway – People in residential areas shouldn’t have to be inconvenienced by having signs placed on their property without their consent because the sign is on the town portion.

* signs placed in the area you’re running in – The last municipal election is a perfect example of this. Many of the candidates had signs in wards they weren’t running in. We had candidates running in wards 2,3,4 & 5 and who had signs in ward 1 & 6. I had numerous calls from people asking why I was running against Clr Colin Best because his opponent had signs in my area. This leads to confusion for voters and inevitably can lead to them not bothering to vote. Your signs should go in the area you are running in and nowhere else.

These are just some of the recommendations I would bring forward in an updated bylaw for election signs.

As a past & future candidate I ask of my colleagues to do their best to help stop this mess that’s happening. It’s your name on those signs and now people are getting upset. Don’t let them be upset at you.

Don’t just leave the signs to the sign team and forget about them and just to let you know, I have never had someone come to me and say “I voted for you because you had the most signs out there”

If we ban them, we’re also making it difficult for future candidates to run for election and in turn giving incumbents more power to keep their positions. We should always be doing what we can to help democracy when we can. And this is coming from someone who would benefit from a sign ban.

Campaigns need to step up. If you can put them up, you can keep them fixed and then take them down. Don’t expect town staff to collect them for you or expect a hefty bill.

We all love our town and we want to keep it clean. Walk the talk and make sure signs are placed legally and with some common sense in mind.

Let’s hope we remember this as we inevitably will enter into yet another discussion of banning signs. Let’s work together to make some common sense rules that will benefit everyone and keep democracy alive.