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Course Projects


Policy Approaches to Planning for Cemeteries in Halton Region

Death is an inevitable component of life. Consequently, there is a need to dedicate land for the use of honouring and disposing of our dead. Cemeteries meet those needs, and as a result can be considered essential to our social infrastructure. Despite this, cemeteries are often overlooked in land use planning policy. The tendency is to emphasize other land uses such as residential and economic growth in order to meet housing and employment needs, while cemeteries remain an afterthought. This is no better exemplified than in Halton Region, where the population is expected to double over the next 20 years. For the most part, Halton Region’s approach to planning focuses on developing policies that best direct growth and accommodate a larger population, while preserving the Region’s agricultural and natural heritage systems. An increased need for more cemetery space and cemeteries in Halton Region will accompany the expected growth in population, and it would be prudent of the Region to develop cemetery-specific policies in preparation for this future demand. This document can be downloaded from HERE.


Grey County Age Friendly Planning

This report is informed by our review of relevant literature and a community survey. Literature was drawn from government documents, regional and international case studies. The literature outlines various strategies and indicators for age friendly communities. The literature review provided insight into common age friendly issues. Relevant issues include transportation, healthcare provision, access to public space, suitable housing options, and communication strategies. This document can be downloaded from HERE.


Community Improvement Plans: Best Practices for CIPs in Huron County

A Community Improvement Plan (CIP), is a document most often used to support and encourage physical improvement of the community landscape. This report explores the state of CIPs in Huron County. In particular, five communities in the County were identified as having a CIP or an interest in creating a CIP. The central objective of the project is to help communicate amongst these communities the lessons learned and the challenges faced in the creation of a CIP.

This document can be downloaded from HERE.


Brussels Streetscape Master Plan

Brussels is a small rural community in Huron County, Ontario located within the municipality of Huron East. Brussels is significantly affected by the lack of activity in the downtown. There are not enough shoppers and tenants, and a high turnover of business owners. However, current business owners and public officials envision a downtown core in which every storefront is occupied, well maintained, and people are drawn into the dynamic area. This document can be downloaded from HERE.


Developing a Social Media Strategy for the County of Huron

Social Media (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc) are becoming more popular by the day. The County of Huron has identified this trend as an opportunity to better connect its residents with information on the projects happening throughout the County. This report has been prepared to explore the potential of adding a social media component to the Huron County Planning & Development Department. This document can be downloaded from HERE.



Halton Food Literacy Project

The goal of this project was to develop products that supported Halton Region's current "Simply Local" initiative which aims to increase agricultural literacy through educating children and the general public about local agriculture, health, food and sustainability. This document can be downloaded from HERE.




Rails to Trails

Evolution of trade has rendered a significant portion of rail infrastructure abandoned. For many areas, transforming unused railway corridors into recreational trails has become a desirable initiative that brings potential economic, social and health benefits to a community. Both the Counties of Huron and Perth have sought to utilize their historical rail infrastructure to create a network of trails with the eventual goal of connecting the counties. This report seeks to provide an overview of the potential benefits, challenges and opportunities available in the establishment of trails in the County of Huron and Perth County. This document can be downloaded from HERE.


Equine Sector Development in Dufferin County: A Final Assessment Report

Dufferin County could benefit from a sector profile on the local Equine industry. It has been noted that roughly 85% of horses in Ontario were not accounted for during the previous census of agriculture. In interviews, we uncovered a number of businesses that are not being marketed or close to failing. Identifying "Red Flag" issues through the Business Retention and Expansion survey allows the County and OMAFRA to take immediate action to preserve existing operations. A sector profile could allow to better market the industry and allow Council to create appropriate policies for the sector. This document can be downloaded from HERE.


Assessing the Impact of the Melancthon Quarry

In 2004, a Boston-based hedge fund, Baupost, under the name The Highland Companies began purchasing farms in the Township of Melancthon. These initial acquisitions were the beginning of an accumulation of roughly 3,400 hectares of prime agricultural land. After the farm acquisitions, Highland Companies became the largest grower, packer, and distributor of potatoes in the province. In April 2011, The Highland Companies applied for a license to extract aggregates from the site.  The proposal also includes plans to eventually rehabilitate some of the quarry back into agricultural land. However, since the proposed extraction sites will be well below the watertable, extensive water pumping will be required during operation and after rehabilitation, in perpetuity. This document can be downloaded from HERE.


Grey County Apples: Challenges and Opportunities

Apple producers throughout North America are pressured by increasing competition from international growers and rising input costs. The average North American consumed 3.08 kg of fresh apples in 2005, which represents a decline of over half a kilogram since 1991. Grey County, traditionally an important apple growing region in Ontario, has not been immune to these market conditions. Recognizing a serious decline in apple production, the County of Grey is considering this situation by consulting with graduate students at the University of Guelph to determine planning practices that could help the industry remain viable or determine alternatives. This document can be downloaded from HERE.


Guidelines for Engaging the Public Post-Disaster

This document provides recommendations and best practices for engaging a community in the planning process in the wake of a disaster. The need for such a document grew out of an observed void in literature on planning and public engagement for a post-disaster area. The target audience for this report is planners in rural and small towns in North America and their municipalities. This document can be downloaded from HERE.


Alternatives and Innovation on Small Acreage in Huron County

This report explores the potential of small acreage farms in Huron County. Currently, the County does not permit the creation of agricultural lots smaller than 30-38 hectares in size in order to prevent fragmentation of its agricultural resource and subsequently, protect the long-term viability of agriculture. While this is consistent with provincial policy, it may not be appropriate in some local contexts. For example, in Huron County there are a number of Anabaptist communities who have voiced aspirations for small agricultural lots because their youth have difficulty affording larger lot sizes. This report details a number of first steps in understanding the need and potential for small acreage farms within Huron County. This document can be downloaded from HERE.


Putting Vanastra on the Map

This report focuses on the Community Association as the main vehicle for inspiring change in the Village of Vanastra. Community Associations have the ability to demonstrate unity and autonomy when building and exercising relationships with local government, and offer opportunities for creating community identity and pride. In the Village of Vanastra, a Community Association has the potential to focus on tangible goals and objectives, contribute to the momentum that has been growing, and ultimately, shape the future of the Village. This document can be downloaded from HERE.