Ground-floor studio apartment approved for downtown Mount Forest development

New commercial-residential development coming to downtown Mount Forest

KENILWORTH – Wellington North council is allowing a residential unit on a commercial ground floor, despite a recently amended bylaw prohibiting such uses.

Cordon Canada Ltd., the owner of 250 Main Street in downtown Mount Forest, plans to remove the remaining building on its property, the site of a former restaurant.

The company wants to construct a new two-floor building with commercial and residential on the ground floor as well as residential above.

Representing Cordon Canada, Alam Makur appeared remotely before council on Feb. 6 to seek an exception to the township’s bylaw because it had been amended after the developer submitted planning documents to the township.

At the time, councillors and the mayor suggested they would make an exception if the ground-floor residential unit’s size was reduced from 50 per cent of the total footprint.

“We talk about the fact that we need different varieties and different price ranges for attainable housing, so maybe this provides an opportunity for lower rental fees if the accommodation is smaller,” councillor Sherry Burke said at the time.

A decision by council was deferred, following a motion from Burke, until a new floor plan was submitted.

On March 6, Makur returned to council, having taken the advice of Mayor Andy Lennox, who suggested the residential portion be redesigned and limited to 25% of the entire footprint.

Wellington North agenda illustration


New site plan designs prepared by Intequa Architectural and Interior show a studio-size apartment, and two commercial units (since amended to a single commercial unit).

“I’d just like to say to the developer, thank you for taking council’s comments into consideration and bringing back something that I can definitely support,” Burke said on March 6.

Penny Renken and Mayor Andy Lennox seconded Burke’s sentiment, and council voted in favour of making an excpetion for the studio apartment.

Councillor Steve McCabe, who previously said he wouldn’t be in favour of residential use on the ground floor in the central business district, wasn’t present for the vote.