Everyone is saying things like “the WSE has been on the books for 40-50 years.” True and false. But in my opinion mostly false.
Doug Fluhrer used the name Wellington Street Extension over 40 years ago to describe a small local access road to go between the Bay&Wellington and Rideau&River intersections. Its purpose was to service the newly re-zoned park and the newly re-zoned residential area (it was all industrial before that). The road proposed at that time was a small residential road that really led nowhere – just local access.
We are still using the same title “Wellington Street Extension.” However its concept is entirely different. It is now imagined as a high speed truck route and arterial parkway that funnels all the new traffic for the John Counter ring road and third crossing into the core.
We are mistakenly using the same title to describe apples and oranges. What was proposed 40 years ago is entirely different than what is proposed today.
The proposal for 40 years ago was a rational aspect of the long term plan to convert this area from industrial to residential. What is proposed today directly opposes that move to residential re-zoning that took place 40 years ago.
It was Doug Fluhrer’s vision that encouraged the construction of Frontenac Village, Bajus, Rideaucrest, Leuwarden, the public housing on Rideau, development of the woollen mill, the townhouses on Rideau and Bay sts…all the residential development in the last 40 years. This concept that has been discussed during the last 10 years would make his skin crawl.
If the city puts a high speed arterial in the middle of this recently converted residential area, everyone who has invested their life savings in the development of this area over the last 40 years has been deceived by this city. To re-zone from industrial to residential, and then just as the residential community is becoming successful, to do a 180 degree turn and slam a high speed truck / commuter route is very poor planning (and in my opinion outright deceitful).
— A Resident of the Fluhrer Park area