• John Jantak

Vaudreuil-Dorion unveils its development plan for Harwood Boulevard


PHOTO COURTESY VILLE DE VAUDREUIL-DORION

As part of its revitalization, the Town of Vaudreuil-Dorion would like to include route Lotbinière, currently under control of the Ministère des Transports du Québec (MTQ), in its long-term plan.

After more than one year of public consultations with residents, organizations, and community groups, the city of Vaudreuil-Dorion unveiled its master plan for the revitalization of Harwood Boulevard during a public information session at the Opti-Centre last Thursday evening, October 15.

The plan, which includes the creation of expanded sidewalks, bicycle paths and creating and rejuvenating existing parkland, was presented by Michel Paré, Urban Planner with the city’s Service du développement et de l’aménagement du territoire (SDAT), SDAT Director Michel Vaillancourt and Mayor Guy Pilon, was well received by the 75 residents who attended and applauded their support at the end of the presentation.

Paré said the aim of the ambitious 20-year plus project also includes rejuvenating the area by bringing in a combination of commercial enterprises and residential projects by redeveloping a large section of Harwood and surrounding streets and creating a self-sustaining community that is pedestrian and bicycle friendly within a green urban environment.

“The present landscape of the area was built more than 50 years ago,” Paré told Your Local Journal. “The goal of this project is to make sure there is coherence with all the various aspects that we envision.”

The project will see an integration of commercial and residential units within the same building, with businesses occupying the ground floor and condos on the upper levels of buildings that could be up to six storeys tall on Harwood and a portion of Route de Lotbinière.

Two- to four-storey residential condos and townhouses are planned for the vacant area behind the commercial establishments just north of Harwood which will extend close to the proposed, long-awaited stretch of the new Autoroute 20 extension.

There is no indication when the provincial Ministry of Transport will begin work to complete Autoroute 20. Pilon said the project is not part of ministry’s current road infrastructure triennial development plan and its completion is required so that Harwood becomes the true, sustainable commercial-residential municipal artery that the city envisions within the scope of its plan.

Pilon added that the city has no intention of bringing big-box shopping outlets into the area, saying the focus of the Harwood project is to lure smaller businesses in order give the revitalized area a true sense of community spirit.

Two- to three-storey residential condo and townhouse units are also proposed for Rue Chicoine and the city will also try to get the Ministry of Transport to cede control of Route de Lotbinière, also known as route 338, to the municipality so that it can fulfill its objective of developing the area just south of Harwood.

Work will also be done to improve public access to Parc Sabourin and Île-Bray by building a bicycle path and pedestrian walkways. Paré said the city is definitely on track with its redevelopment project saying that a festival held in late summer at Place Dumont attracted thousands of people.

The first project currently under development is the construction of a new headquarters on Harwood that will house the MRC de Vaudreuil-Soulanges, the Centre local de développement (CLD) Vaudreuil-Soulanges and the municipal courthouse which are presently housed in three separate locations. Construction of the new facility will begin shortly and it is expected to open in late 2016.

A new city hall has also been touted for the revitalized Harwood sector, but the project is only in the preliminary planning stage and no final decision has yet been made about where it will actually be located, said Pilon.

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