The City has expressed interest in acquiring properties of interest for parkland purposes in the Cooksville area as one strategy to help address the deficit of parkland. City of Mississauga Council approved this initiative at the June 21, 2017 Council meeting.
Immediately following Council approval, staff began the regular Realty process which involves confidential negotiations with interested property owners. Letters from the City were couriered to owners of identified properties asking owners to contact the City to discuss the City’s interest. All affected owners have received the letters.
Anyone who has not received a letter from the City is not the owner of one of the identified properties.
The 31 identified properties of interest are owned by 21 different property owners only some of whom live on site. The 31 properties total approximately 10 ha (25 acres) and include a combination of owner occupied properties, vacant properties, and properties where the owner does not live on site. City staff did not go door to door to speak about the initiative with the understanding that not all property owners live at the properties of interest and thus we would not be fair and consistent with how we are approaching owners.
Confidential negotiations are underway on the following basis:
- Council authorization of a willing buyer-willing seller approach. The City only has authority to purchase properties from those property owners who are willing to sell.
- Council has not authorized expropriation of properties.
- Offers to purchase to willing sellers will be based on fair market value as determined by an accredited, independent appraiser.
The properties of interest were chosen with the goal of achieving large cohesive areas of park with continuous trail systems by adding to parkland that we already own in proximity to Cooksville Creek. Exact form and function of parkland will depend on the location and amount of property secured.
The primary objective is to acquire parkland in an area of the City facing increased population growth and in need of additional parkland. The parkland plan does not eliminate flooding and the need for flood mitigation within the broader Cooksville Creek watershed. Successfully acquired residential dwelling units will be removed from the threat of flooding.
This is a long term plan.
Project update (July 2020)
As a result of the negotiations with property owners, the City has already had some success with purchasing eleven properties and contracting for four additional, resulting in 15 properties total, approximately 4.61 hectares (11.39 acres), of land to be added within the Cooksville Creek corridor for parkland purposes.
Over the next few months, we will begin some demolition (taking down homes, tentatively scheduled for August) on the properties the City has successfully purchased. Notice of demolition will be sent to the immediate neighbourhood as we move forward.
The City will undertake plans to design and develop the expanded parkland pending further acquisitions and budget approvals.
Downtown Growth Area Parkland Deficit
Mississauga’s Downtown Growth Area has a parkland deficit. Additional parkland is needed to support the existing population.
The City expects significant growth throughout the Hurontario Corridor in the coming years with an additional 50,000 residents anticipated to move into the Downtown Growth Area by 2041 and the Light Rail Transit (LRT) coming to Hurontario Street.
The City has a long-term strategy to create more parkland in the downtown corridor that will better support the current population and anticipated growth. We plan to do this through the dedication of parkland directly from developers and by using the Cash-in-Lieu of parkland funds we collect from developers to acquire parkland property.
Public consultation regarding City parkland occurred through City planning studies including:
- The 2019 Future Directions Master Plan recommends that the City continues to identify strategic land acquisitions, prioritizing lands that protect and enhance natural areas and support completion of a continuous trail system, population growth, sustainable community design and park planning studies including the Downtown Growth Area Parks Provision Strategy.
- Vision Cooksville recommends improvements to existing parks and that new parks be created in strategic locations to meet the needs of Cooksville’s growing population. Planning for a large, connected park in this high growth area is critical to ensure that the community is livable for current and future residents.
- Dundas Connects which recommends the creation of a network of open spaces and community facilities. Specifically, a range of new open spaces including public parks, urban squares, publicly accessible open spaces, and enhanced streetscapes are to be introduced in-step with new development. New community facilities will be introduced within walking distance of transit stops and centrally located within the community.