Bradford’s downtown Holland Street gets multi-million dollar facelift

The multi-million dollar price tag to revitalize Bradford’s downtown into a modern streetscape with less parking, brighter lights and more modern accoutrements will cost an estimated $18 million with 90 percent of funding being generated through development charges.

But as Ward 2 Counc. Jonathan Scott points out, it’s time for a change in the downtown core.

“It’s all about reclaiming these public areas for people and even talking about climate change,” said Scott. “So (adding) more trees and bike lanes and making it less of an asphalt area and more of a complete community so we can also see an economic benefit.

If the downtown is beautiful, people will want to come downtown and support businesses as well.”

Proposed changes include widening Holland Street to four lanes from its current two lanes from Professor Day Drive to Dissette Street while adding new modernized design features.

The new plan before council will see less on-street parking, decreased from 100 parking spots to 60. However, parking behind the shops will be increased by 70 spaces to bump up the allotment to 400.

Additionally, the new smarter street lights will have synchronized signals to cut down on travel time in the area.

Bradford’s population continues to expand, with it becoming one of the fastest-growing communities in Ontario, with an expected population growth of 50,000 people by 2031.

Bradford West Gwillimbury councilors are expected to provide final approval for the project in June, with the revitalization estimated to begin in spring 2023.

As Scott noted on a Facebook post, he believes it’s just the right amount of modernization.

“I think this is a very good approach that gets the balance right: a bit of a Goldilocks approach, if you will, with nothing too out of the box, but still bringing in good urban design principles that will create a better experience for everyone.” in our downtown,” he said.

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