Town of Innisfil Looks to Advance The Orbit Transit Hub

Media Release – October 15, 2020

Innisfil, ON – Planning for Innisfil’s future Transit Hub, the Orbit, continues as a Staff Report was presented before Council on October 14, 2020. Included in the report is a draft Ministerial Zoning Order (MZO), an important tool Town staff is recommending that facilitates building a new proposed GO station in the community as soon as possible. If the province were to issue an MZO, at the request of the Town, the MZO could expedite the planning process and help get shovels in the ground faster, secure private investment, and support local priorities and economic recovery as the province emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This critical infrastructure will connect our growing community to others, and requesting an MZO will help bring this forward-thinking transit hub to life sooner,” said Tim Cane, Director of Growth at the Town of Innisfil. “The Orbit aligns with provincial initiatives to build transit infrastructure, increase attainable housing supply, and make communities more resilient.”

A virtual Open House – Ask a Planner: The Orbit – is scheduled for October 19 at 6:30 p.m. on the Town’s YouTube channel as a chance for residents to discuss the details of the proposed MZO request and ask questions. Innisfil community members are invited to review the draft MZO and provide feedback on the dedicated project page at getinvolvedinnisfil.ca/go or by email to orbit@innisfil.ca by end of day October 26, 2020 (please note that while October 19 was previously set as the deadline for submitting comments, last night Council asked for this timeline to be extended to allow the public more time to send input).

The draft MZO includes guidelines for how the land immediately surrounding the proposed Transit Hub (i.e. land within 425 metres of the proposed GO station) can be used, including for spaces like retail, business, residential, affordable housing, recreation and more. The lands outside this area will be addressed in the future through a Secondary Plan, where the Town will once again look for input from the community.

Staff anticipate reporting back to Council on November 4, 2020 with a finalized MZO recommendation based on feedback received from Council and stakeholders over the next few weeks. If you wish to speak before Council on this matter, please email clerksoffice@innisfil.ca

Background

Last year, Partisans—a Toronto-based architecture studio—was awarded the contract to create the vision for the Orbit. The lead developer for the area, Cortel Group, has decided to move forward with the ambitious vision that will see the new Transit Hub and Orbit community built around the area of 6th Line and east of 20th Sideroad. The Innisfil Transit Hub and surrounding residential, employment and community uses will incorporate the design principles of sustainability, placemaking and culture, technology, and economics.

Leading up to the release of the draft MZO, a number of steps and stakeholder meetings have occurred, including: a resident survey in 2019, proposed station design team meetings, collaboration with the Province, County of Simcoe and Metrolinx, engagement with the resident focus group, and a Council Workshop in May 2020. Learn more about the project at innisfil.ca/orbit and getinvolvedinnisfil.ca/go