WINCHESTER – Two years ago, the Township of North Dundas, the Winchester District Memorial Hospital and the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB), through a joint study, considered design options for the York and Clarence Street area. After consultation with North Dundas Station #3, SDG Ambulance Services and the local OPP, the decision was made to transform York Street (going past Winchester Public School and toward the hospital) into a one-way street.

The UCDSB provided an alternate concept plan for York Street to council for consideration. This latest concept keeps the daycare drop off area entirely within the York Street road allowance. Recommendations from the consulting traffic engineer include an extended bullnose on Clarence Street, storm water management on York Street (if curbed), one-way signage and the existing crosswalk on St. Lawrence to be removed once the new crossing is installed. There were none opposed to the modified designs.

North Dundas deputy mayor, Al Armstrong wanted to clarify why there has been such a long delay to get this project off the ground, due to the last two concepts being reviewed by council on Aug. 16, 2017. “What we’re talking about is an over and above concept plan that the council of the day agreed to and could’ve done it [the original design plan] within a month. There was no building that needed to be done, so a lot of the chatter that we hear about the township blocking the proposed daycare to be built, they had given a proposal and we had agreed to it,” he said. “Then they decided on different iterations, they wanted their cake, their icing and everything else. We have always and forever have said that this could be done tomorrow.”

“It is bothersome that this has gone on for so long,” added North Dundas Mayor Tony Fraser. “I am bothered by the fact that it is quite often seen as a township issue. This version is very similar in concept and velocity in my mind, to what the approved concept design in 2017 [was]. There are some minor differences but not glaring differences in the concept of providing safety for our pedestrians, our cyclists, our kids, our teachers and the people of North Dundas.”

Calvin Pol, director of planning, building and enforcement, stated that the new proposed design was to give the children more grass or “green space” to play and entertain themselves in. They were trying to keep as much green space as possible.

Armstrong was very straight forward in mentioning that, while green space is a nice idea for the local kids, it’s a problem of their own making. “Their green space problems, [while] it’s great that they’re trying to have some for kids, are of their own making,” said Armstrong. He added, “They are from their own planning, from their own buildings that they’ve added and again, that has nothing to do with the township.”

“As you can see, this has certainly been a long-standing issue with us,” added Fraser. “We will get the chance to meet again and hash out this issue to see some conclusion.”