A flood plain that no one knew much about impacts development applications at the intersection of Brant and Ghent

By Pepper Parr

May 28th 2023



The City of Burlington recently completed a Phase 1 Flood Hazard and Scoped Stormwater Management Assessment for downtown Burlington and the Burlington GO Major Transit Station Area (MTSA).

The Phase 1 study revealed a flood hazard in the Lower Rambo watershed that is greater than previously understood.

A Phase 2 study is currently underway to further refine the flood hazard mapping, but the Phase 1 study is considered the best available information for decision making when development is contemplated in hazardous areas.

Under Ontario Regulation 162/06, Conservation Halton regulates all watercourses, valleylands, wetlands, Lake Ontario and Burlington Bay shoreline, and hazardous lands, as well as lands adjacent to these features.

Map that came out of the Phase 1 study.

The purpose of the regulation is to protect people and property from the risks associated with natural hazards and to prevent worsening of existing hazards or the creation of new hazards. Conservation Halton’s regulation now applies to identified flood (i.e., floodplain and spill areas) and erosion hazards, as well as a 7.5 metre regulatory allowance, in the Lower Rambo Creek watershed.

Permission is required from Conservation Halton to develop in these areas.

The Molinaro Group have a development before the Planning department to build on three of the four corners at Brant and Ghent.. The issue of a flood plain that few new much about is now relevant with climate change impacting almost everything.

This matter came before Council some time ago but there has been no news since.

The developer with the most risk is Molinaro who have a development that is located on three of the four corners at Brant and Ghent.

At a Standing Committee meeting the Molinaro planning consultant said the Molinaro people were aware of the Phase 1 report and believed they would be able to do whatever was necessary for their project to be safely completed.

Every one is waiting for the Phase 2 report.

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2 comments to A flood plain that no one knew much about impacts development applications at the intersection of Brant and Ghent

  • We live in a condo next to the Molinaro Development. When we learnt of the flood plain issues we had our board check out with councillor Kearns any impact on our development. We have been assured by staff there is none! Stephen is a very respected comment writer And we certainly respect his position, one which leaves us uneasy about the City’s assurances for our end of life home – since 1996 – which we love and have found very hard to beat in terms of price per square ft -our unit is around 1400 square ft and very accommodating for Anne’s disability – – . as well as great services, a very large volunteer community to keep everything in order and excellent management at this time.

    . So who is right in terms of what our level of concern, should be, city staff or Stephen. Never ever before 2010 (lived in Burlington 50 years) believed that we would be asking this and similar questions, that all too frequently pop up after we read of the issues the city is silent on or, outright disagrees there is a problem I,e multiple democratic election issues since 2010 not all yet reported in the Gazette and rarely in another publication.

  • Stephen White

    Obviously, the good folks at Molinaro aren’t very attuned to the legal consequences and negative ramifications of developing on flood plains and sensitive environmental areas. Perhaps they should consider what is currently playing out in Oakville:


    Molinaro probably thinks the 2014 flood that hit East Burlington was a “fluke”. Using their logic, I’m guessing their interpretation of Hurricane Hazel in October 1954 which resulted in widespread destruction and death, and which led to the creation of conservation authorities and restrictions on developing on or near flood plains, was just an isolated incident.

    If I ever considered purchasing a unit in a high rise condo I would be extremely wary of doing so without some kind of solid confirmation or attestation that the development wasn’t adjacent to a flood plain. Either that, or else demand that the developer provide a life boat as part of the purchase agreement.