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Mud Creek channelling unique approach to infill development

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Mud Creek in northwest London, Ont., east of Wonderland Road along Oxford Street is an area that has been left vacant for decades.

But a new channelling project and new classification for the floodplain means almost 4,000 residential units will be able to be built on the 56-hectare parcel of land.

“This Mud Creek project has been going on for over 15 years. I personally have been involved in it for most of that time. And we've always known that this area was unique and that it needed something more innovative than the other areas,” said Shawna Chambers, division manager in Stormwater Engineering with the City of London.

Mud Creek will be widened to 60 metres and channeled to a depth of 2 metres, which will run from the CN tracks north of Oxford Street, then south to the CP tracks.

“When the whole project is done, basically from CN rail to CP rail, which goes to the same track, there’ll be over two kilometers of walking trail for the residents in that area,” Chambers said.

On Tuesday, the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority (UTRCA) and City of London collaborated on a new two-tier floodplain for the new developable land.

According to UTRCA Board Chair Brian Petrie, this is a first for the City of London.

“Traditionally, there's only one floodway. This approach signifies that there is a larger floodway. Then there's fringe areas on it that are less risk to having some development in them. They still have to be reviewed and make sure that they're safe. But that opens up possibilities for development, where at one time it may not have been possible,” he said.

There are several developments planned, the largest being from Esam Group, where 3,800 residential units have been proposed. The highest being a 24 and 22 story apartment building along Oxford Street, transitioning to townhouses to the north.

“As we develop in the City of London, the need for housing. It gives us further opportunities. It prevents flooding in this area,” said Ward 9 Coun. Anna Hopkins.

There are several other smaller developments in various stages of the planning process.

Esam Group will be bringing their plans to city council this summer.

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