What are we up to? 

The Grand River is an important natural feature in the City of Brantford, with a rich heritage and cultural past. In order to enhance and preserve this asset, the City of Brantford has commenced the process of preparing a Waterfront Master Plan for lands along the Grand River within the City’s boundary. The City has retained the services of The Planning Partnership to assist in the preparation of this Plan.

The key areas to be addressed in the Study include: environmental issues; recreational access and use; planning and development; tourism opportunities; and site-specific analysis. The study will be completed in a phased approach in order to optimize community involvement over the next twelve months.

The Waterfront Master Plan will represent our community’s vision for the Grand River waterfront area. Each of us has a role to play in keeping our river healthy. Your involvement is key to creating a community-based Waterfront Master Plan that can be successfully implemented over the coming years.

Project Objectives:

The overall Study objectives are:

To ensure ongoing and inclusive community consultation for all phases of the Study and to gain a level of community acceptance at the completion of each phase;
To develop a Waterfront Vision Statement that articulates the City’s vision for the lands within the Study Area;
To develop and adhere to guiding principles throughout the Study process;
To develop and recommend a comprehensive Waterfront Master Plan, including Official Plan policy, for the Study Area; and
To develop and recommend an implementation strategy for the proposed Waterfront Master Plan including a priority list, timeline, and cost estimates.

Study Components:

This will be a complex project addressing a variety of topics. The general themes to be addressed include:

  • Environmental Issues
  • River/Tributary Recreational Access and Use
  • Education Partnerships
  • Development Analysis
  • Land Use Analysis
  • Tourism Opportunities
  • Site specific:
    “Northwest” – from City Boundary to Brant Park Conservation Area
    “Holmedale / Oakhill Drive” – Lafayette Avenue to Scarfe Avenue
    “Downtown Core Area – Lorne Bridge to Veteran Memorial Parkway
    “Eagles Nest Tract” – Gilkison to Birkett/Mohawk
    “Landfill Area” – Birkett / Mohawk to Beach Road
    “River Tributaries” – including D’Aubigny Creek
    Mohawk Lake and Canal

Terms of Reference:

What is a Terms of Reference? In short, it is a ‘to do’ list of all the things to be completed towards a final Master Plan. It is a document that outlines, in detail, all of the items that are required to be completed and included as part of the final product. In this case, the final product will be a Waterfront Master Plan.

The Waterfront Master Plan Terms of Reference, as approved by City Council, is attached here for your reference. CLICK HERE for Project Information

Public Expectation:

In finalizing the Terms of Reference, a Workshop was held on February 26, 2009 to ensure that our community had an opportunity to provide input into the final Terms of Reference. Within this process, the public had a chance to tell the City what their overall expectations were for this project.

A number of important themes emerged from the workshop discussion specific to “big opportunities” for the final waterfront plan. The Brantford community values the creation of a plan for the waterfront that has high standards for environmental protection, preservation and restoration. The community values rigorous development controls; programs for water quality and source water protection; natural and built heritage; and archaeological resource management. Limits for future growth, a high degree of regulation of development, coupled with responsible stewardship and land use within the study area is expected. There is a strong desire to incorporate opportunities for the continued participation of people of all ages with the view of creating a viable waterfront for future generations.

In addition to these overarching values, the public is looking for the Waterfront Plan to work towards the following:

  • A healthy Waterfront ecosystem inclusive of a vegetation canopy along the river and continuous wildlife corridors and native tree species;
  • Views towards the Waterfront that are not impeded by rooflines and buildings;
  • Continued and enhanced public Waterfront access to everyone in non-ecologically sensitive areas connected to the downtown and City;
  • Adequate and appropriate Waterfront access for different users (for fishing, canoeing, swimming, hiking, walking etc);
  • Mobility access for those in a wheelchair, walkers and with strollers;
  • Pedestrian infrastructure (including benches, signage, facilities, benches, bicycle parking);
  • Interpretative signage regarding ecological, historical, and cultural features;
  • Eco-tourism and heritage tourism opportunities (i.e. Brant’s Ford, Watt’s Damn etc.);
  • An “outdoor living laboratory” for environmental / heritage education and awareness;
  • Mechanism for public acquisition of Waterfront lands;
  • Eco-development standards for any new development i.e. buffering requirements, public access, views and vistas, green building standards, tree protection;
  • Sustainable commitment for realizing the Waterfront Plan Vision;
  • Renewed partnerships with neighbours (County, Six Nations, GRCA);
  • Enforcement of negative human actions along the Waterfront;
  • Mohawk Lake and Canal area clean-up/revitalization as a priority;