Rich in history and home to the city’s most diverse ethnic population, Malton has long been ignored when it comes to funding initiatives and community projects.
But that’s all set to change as the City’s planning department passed a long-term community vision, MyMalton, which establishes guidelines and principles for the redevelopment of one of Mississauga’s most neglected areas.
“For years, we’ve felt like the stepchild and now we feel like Cinderella,” said Camar Cameron, one of the speakers who attended the planning meeting.
Pino Di Mascio, the consultant leading a yearlong community engagement study, said one of the most troubling issues facing Malton is the perception that it’s on the fringes of Mississauga.
It’s not, he said. It’s a community with a strong sense of identity.
“They’re the greatest people in the world,” said local councillor Carolyn Parrish.
Key themes addressed in MyMalton include revitalization through reinvestment and redevelopment, creating more community gathering places, more opportunities for youth, greater diversity in retail, commercial and entertainment options and beautification.
Dissatisfied with the report, Parrish told The News it negated some crucial issues in Malton, including the lack of affordable housing.
A housing price chart, prepared by Drohan Real Estate Inc. and presented to planning committee, showed the average list price of a home in Malton is $578,923.
With the average household salary lingering at $36,000, becoming a homeowner in Malton is simply out of reach, stressed Parrish.
A quarter of the City’s tax base comes from Ward 5 – $92,593,737. The Region receives another $124,032,328 and payment in lieu of taxes brings in an additional $23,841,724.
“Let’s put some of that money back into Malton,” Parrish pleaded with councillors.
More opportunities for investment are forthcoming, said Teresa Kerr, community planner for the City and project lead for the Malton Community Plan Review. The Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA) is loosening its restrictions on development in areas that are stifled by airport noise policies.
Additionally, if council moves forward with Parrish’s recommendation to designate Malton a “community improvement district”, it opens up greater opportunities for provincial funding.
Mayor Bonnie Crombie suggested applying for federal infrastructure dollars as well to give Malton, a ward she represented from 2011 to 2014, the facelift it deserves.
Modernizing some of Malton’s greenspaces – Elmcreek Park, Malton Greenway, Wildwood Park – and streetscapes were highly coveted items in the report, along with a slew of other beautification projects.
Malton’s Business Improvement Area (BIA) is chomping at the bit for specific project approvals.
Executive director Stephanie Scott already has new signage designed for the various entrance points to Malton.
She’s also anticipating tax breaks for businesses willing to improve their storefront facades, which will help attract new tenants to surrounding properties.
“You have to clean your house up first before you can invite people over,” she commented.
With the recent news of the Malton Arena and Wildwood Park being renamed after legendary NHL defencemen Paul Coffey and the slew of other projects Parrish already has in the works, it’s only a matter of time before Malton is no longer the stepchild of Mississauga.
Final recommendations on draft area policies to planning and building committee is slated to be complete by December 2017.
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