‘Let’s get on with it’: Oakville council approves new retirement home in Bronte

By

Published August 18, 2023 at 3:11 pm

A new six-storey retirement home proposed for 2370 Lakeshore Rd., W. in Bronte has been approved by Oakville Town Council. AMICA PHOTO

An altered proposal to build a larger than first planned seniors’ home in Bronte has been given the go ahead by Oakville Council.

Sought after zoning changes by Amica Bronte Village Inc. to build the six-storey building, located at 2370 Lakeshore Rd., W., were approved at a Town Planning and Development meeting on Monday (Aug. 14).

A plan to build a four-storey retirement home on the property was initially approved back in 2021, but demands for more units at the nearby Amica Bronte Harbour home resulted in the revised proposal.

The new retirement home, which will be located on the southside of Lakeshore Rd. W., east of Jones St., west of Nelson St. and north of Marine Dr., will include 56 independent living units, 33 assisted living units and 70 memory care units totalling 159 residential units.

The building will also have 443 square metres of publicly accessible ground-floor commercial/retail space along with parking spaces for 65 vehicles and 29 bicycles.

Grant Gonzales, a senior manager with Ontario Retirement Communities Association (ORCA), spoke as a delegate at the meeting and said the group is calling on the Town to support construction of retirement homes in the community, in particular this project at 2370 Lakeshore Rd. W.

He pointed out how the Ontario government has committed to build 1.5m new homes by 2031 and Oakville is one of the 29 largest and fastest growing municipalities where the province has set aggressive housing targets.

The province is expecting to build 33,000 new homes in Oakville by 2031 and Gonzales says the construction of retirement homes by the town will help achieve those targets.

“Retirement homes bring significant local economic benefits and most importantly allows seniors to age in place in a community of their choosing,” said Gonzales. “Projects like this one will help the town achieve its goals as highlighted in the draft housing strategy and action plan.

The need for these residences is clear. Gonzales explained that there are five long-term care homes with just 70 beds. He said there’s a waiting list of 3,305 as of April 30, 2023.

Ontario Hospital Association statistics also shows that there are more than 6,000 seniors in hospitals who don’t really have to be there, but can’t be released because they can’t live on their own.

“Retirement homes can play a role in reducing this long wait list,” said Gonzales.

He also said there are plenty of other reasons the construction of retirement homes are positive for a community. Seniors bring significant local economic benefits and social benefits to communities.

“Our proactive approach will help municipalities prepare for the upcoming, and dare I say it’s already here, demographic shift and the housing pressures that come with it,” said Gonzales. “Additionally seniors hold less debt, maximizing their abilities to support local businesses and organizations, and noted that most spending by seniors is local, including household expenses, food, transportation, clothing, recreation and gifts.

“It supports local employment in retail and service businesses. Through them older residents contribute to the tax base of local municipalities.”

Bronte resident Mike Cuttle also spoke in support of building the new retirement home, saying it is something desperately needed and said the project would show progress.

“Let’s get on with it,” he said.

inhalton's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising