Use Existing Buildings Before Building New Ones, Part 7

The saga of Brantford Ontario’s vacant buildings would make a great daytime soap opera, or even a Halloween thriller–“The Gaze of Darken Buildings.”  Okay, we’ll stick to writing about civic and governance issues.

Why were building permits issued for new commercial buildings

Henry Street, Brantford, Ontario

Henry Street, Brantford, Ontario

on Henry St., east of Wayne Gretzky Parkway (next to Lowes), when vacant commercial buildings sit unused in Brantford?  The vacant buildings at 100 Market St.

Brantford's Vacant Buildings

100 Market St., Brantford, Ontario


and 350 Colborne St.

Brantford's Vacant Buildings

350 Colborne St., Brantford, Ontario


are two more examples highlighted in this series.

We have learned here how important it is for a city hall to work with the private sector to address unused, underused and misused properties.  This relationship must always be based on what is best for taxpayers.  Both the public and private sectors must take responsibility for their actions.  They should make sure that the use of a property is consistent with and serves the overall layout of a city.

If a property owner chooses to move the owner should ensure that the property is left better than they found it.  And, ideally, with the help of a specialized realtor, find an acceptable use for their former property.

The Wayne Gretzky Parkway and Henry St. area has been described as a “retail renaissance.”  What Brantford actually needs here and elsewhere along Henry St. is an industrial renaissance.  A renaissance that takes advantage of vacant, serviced industrial land.  Astute Brantford citizens  say that the city should not spend valuable time in boundary talks with Brant County.  Instead of expropriating unserviced farmland, Brantford should capitalize on its vacant, serviced (e.g., hydro, water, sewer) industrial land within its current boundary.

Have a Happy Halloween!

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