Brantford has approved a Waterfront Master Plan. Hopefully it’s a strategic plan more than a master plan. Master plans envision futures that never appear. First phases of master plans do get pursued, however, so let’s hope the first phases are strategic and beneficial, and provide flexibility for inevitable change.
The goals (from the Report introduction):
“The Grand River and its tributaries are the lifeblood and a defining image of the City of Brantford. The Grand River valley has a great diversity of natural features and is enriched with an extraordinary historic legacy, evident of the aboriginal and european cultures that have settled this land for over 11,000 years. The Waterfront Master Plan will respect and reinforce this legacy and will define bold new directions that build on the tremendous successes of the City and its partners, who together have established 70 km of trails and hundreds of acres of public space.
- The waterfront Master Plan will set forth a framework to protect the Grand River and its tributaries as a fundamental public resource for the residents of Brantford.
- Natural features will be protected and enhanced and the cultural heritage will be interpreted so that all can understand and appreciate this area’s rich history.
- The trails will be easily identified and accessed, and the network will become a widely recognized destination.
- A diversity of places to access the water will be offered, providing for a variety of educational, recreational and leisurely activities that celebrate the Grand River and that will engage residents and visitors alike.
- Appropriate development on adjacent lands will recognize the significance of these locations; be rooted in best practices in city building; strive for design excellence; and contribute positively to the waterfront and Brantford’s image.
And finally, the Waterfront Master Plan will inspire all residents to embrace this vision for sustainability and become stewards of this vital environment.”
Are all communities along the Grand working as hard to build upon this central and defining feature of our region?
Kitchener is working on a park master plan, available here but I’m not sure that the Grand River is properly viewed in the context of a parks plan. The river itself is obviously more central to Brantford and Galt, as the Speed is to Guelph, but the Grand River has the potential to unite us as a significant region in Southern Ontario.