2500 residents and almost 3000 cars will be part of a seven tower development next to Burlington GO station

graphic community 3By Pepper Parr

April 22nd, 2021



That the development is going to proceed is not in doubt.

3 phases

Development will begin at the back of the site – next to the railway line. Parking will be next to the tracks with green space on the roof of the parking structures. \this is a long term development which the developer has said they will be part of for decades.

Is it the best deal the city can get ? Probably not but the property on the north side of Fairview between Drury on the east and the Legatt auto dealership on the west has a lot of baggage.

Under the Official Plan this development comes under there is no height limit. Under the new Official Plan, which has not gotten to final approval yet, things would be different.

The 2010 and the 2014 Council, led by Rick Goldring,  had numerous opportunities to amend the zoning on the property and get reasonable height limits in place.  It was becoming clear in 2010 that the province was going to require high rise intensive development along the rail corridor. Was it a blind eye that couldn’t see or was it wilful neglect. All that is water under the bridge.

The development now has a slightly different corporate makeup and is described at Fairview LP (the LP stands for ‘limited partnership’)

CLV, an organization that has significant apartment interests in Burlington, along with a reputation for terrible service to tenants.

Check out CLV on line and read what past tenants have had to say about the way they were treated. Get the link HERE

Brookfield Property Group is one of the partners along with with InterRent REIT and CLV Group.  A REIT,  is an income trust – they are sometimes publicly listed companies.)

In an annual report Brookfield describes the company as a diversified global real estate company that owns, operates and develops one of the largest portfolios of office, retail, multifamily, industrial, hospitality, triple net lease, student housing and manufactured housing assets. Its investment objective is to generate attractive long-term returns on equity of 12%−15% based on stable cash flows, asset appreciation and annual distribution growth in-line with earnings growth. The company is listed on the following exchanges: NASDAQ: BPY, TSX: BPY.UN).


skyline best

The development will not appear to be over-bearing. It will change the look and feel of the mid-section of the city.

The development will not get a thorough public review. It does not require changes to either the Official Plan or the zoning bylaw.

The city’s planning department will be limited to a site plan review, which in itself does offer some opportunity for influencing the look of the project that sits on an eight acre site of which about two acres will be parkland in various forms.

area walking

The circles identify walking distances of 5, 10 and fifteen minute walks. Not much in the way of places to walk to other than places to shop.

A city council has the right to un-delegqte a site plan review – which means decisions are made by council and not just the planning department.  At this point all the discussion with the developer takes place with the Planning department.  Nothing gets put before Council until it decides to invoke the decision they made to take the authority away from planning.

The motion to undelegate reads a follows:

“Undelegate the site plan approval for application 535001/20 (2020, 2243, 2269 Fairview Street and 864 Drury Lane CLV Group Inc) from the Director of Community Planning to Council”

Ward two Councillor Lisa Kearns, who hosted the virtual community event Wednesday evening, that had 98 people taking part during a two hour session.

The Fairview LP people are not required to present anything to the public – that have done so willingly and have answered the questions put to them.

They have not proven to be media responsive.

The visuals that were made available were impressive.

middle path

These are architectural renderings. More aspirational than actual at this point. That walkway through the middle has the potential to become a self-sufficient community.

But a there are a lot of questions yet to be answered.

The schools boards have yet to say what they will need in terms of space for classrooms.

Traffic was a concern for many people on the call. The development will create something in the order of 2500 units, of which 60% will be condominiums and 40% rental units.

There will be affordable units – how many – no one said but it is obvious the developer has been working with the Region which has responsibility for affordable housing.

clv repJenn Morrison, the CLV person stick handling the progress of the site plan review  said they wanted 1.18 parking spaces per unit would work out to  3000 cars entering the site. There will be two entrances off Fairview and one off Drury Lane – add to that the traffic to the GO station parking lot and one is looking at a lot of cars.

A traffic study is being done – it wasn’t available last night.

When will the development have shovels in the ground ? Jenn said she hoped to be able to start in Q1 of 2022 – THAT is a stretch.

The property comes under the Interim Control Bylaw (ICBL) which has all development within the Urban WORD on hold until ICBL  which will not be lifted until all the LPAT appeals have been heard – there are 30 of them working their way through the Local Planning Act Tribunal.

In a document presented to Council on this development the planners explained the impact the ICBL and the LPAT hearings have on this development:

“While the City awaits the LPAT process to conclude, new applications, including the subject application, are being circulated for comment to relevant departments and agencies. No planning decisions are being formalized and recommendation reports are not being prepared until the LPAT has issued decisions on the aforementioned ZBA 2020.418 appeals. The application will be held in abeyance until the ICBL is no longer in effect.”

That however doesn’t stop the planners from collecting input from the numerous internal and external agencies that are required to comment.  The Fairview LP people said they are already in conversations with parks and recreation

site views

The development will have a ‘big city’ feel to it. Nothing quaint about it.

The site is a developers dream – with the demand for accommodation in Burlington higher than it has ever been the
The architectural renderings suggest an almost ‘swishy’ look to that part of the city. Mark Sindell, speaking for either Brookfield or the architects said there were plans for everything you can imagine on the retail side; a supermarket, several types of coffee shops, bars, restaurants, day care centres and maybe a nursery.

The Burlington Library has yet to set out what it might need in terms of accommodation.

At the start of the virtual meeting Kearns was most enthusiastic about the development. It is unusual for a city Councillor to wax as eloquently as she did did Wednesday evening.

One would expect the ward Councillor to be looking out for the public interest and not telling the audience how accommodating the developer has been.

Kearns pointed out that the development will be the biggest thing ever done in the city. Maybe – but that shouldn’t put stars in the eyes of the Councillor.

It is a huge development.  There is nothing the city can do to stop it – and there is no reason to do so.  Housing is needed and on the surface this development has much going for it.

bigger opic with legend

Almost one quarter of the 8.5 acre site will be green space – a real plus.

What has to be ensured is that transparency and accountability are front and center.  Someone has to speak up for the 2500 families that are going to call the place home. This reporter didn’t log out of the virtual event feeling that the public interest was in good hands.

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6 comments to 2500 residents and almost 3000 cars will be part of a seven tower development next to Burlington GO station

  • David Barker

    It would seem the writer of the article is having a go at Councilor Kearns for having the audacity you offer her initial support to the Fairview LLP application. I’m sure she has done deep due digence of the application, in the knowledge (as the author points out) the application is within the terms of the City’s OP & zoning bylaws. In supporting how the application has been made does not stop Councilor Kearns, the City, or anyone else from seeking from the applicant changes to the plan.

    The article’s author writes “One would expect the ward Councillor to be looking out for the public interest and not telling the audience how accommodating the developer has been.” What actions has Councilor Kearns made which would suggest she does not have the public interest as her top priority? Maybe the developer has been accommodating. Not all developers are like those horrible people at Core.

    And yet the article’s author goes on to write “There is nothing the city can do to stop it – and there is no reason to do so.  Housing is needed and on the surface this development has much going for it.”.

    Seems the article’s author and Councilor Kearns are in agreement. So why the attack on Councilor Kearns?

  • Carol MacDonald

    Hmm, Steve. It did not say “40% low-income”. It’s 40% rental and anyone who rents in Burlington can tell you there is no such thing as new-build, low-rent apartments.

  • Steve

    Forty percent low income? I would think twice about investing my money into a condo.

  • Alan Harrington

    Do the “walking circles” allow a means of crossing the GO train tracks?

    If not, half the circle is cut off.

    That old metal walking bridge over the tracks was closed last time I tried it.

    • Howard

      It is open but very near end of life. The builder should be put on the hook for a new bridge. Declare that the green space for the project.