A mobility hub for the downtown core has been in the plans for some time - the problem was the downtown residents didn't know about it.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

February 4th, 2018



Mike Quackenbush, understood to be running for a seat on city council, brought to our attention a map in a Metrolinx Baseline Monitoring Report dated September 2013 that has a Mobility Hub in downtown Burlington.

The report however doesn’t show a hub for Appleby or Aldershot Go stations – it does include Burlington GO as a hub.

Mobility hubs - province wide

Mobility hubs – province wide The 2013 map shows just two hubs for Burlington – one of which is downtown.

Given the rate at which things are moving – it is difficult to keep track of it all. What is clear however is that at one point there was going to be a mobility hub in downtown Burlington.

The Gazette doesn’t recall this being discussed at city council meetings.

Station West A signWhat is interesting is that there is no one council member on top of the mobility hub issue. During the early Strategic Plan meetings in 2015, it sounded as if Aldershot was going to be where the first hub would be developed. The ADI Group plans for Station West had a significant development taking place.

Paradigm from the west Nov 2017

Three of the five tower project are well underway – the one on the left will see residents moving in during 2018.

The Paradigm on Fairview was beginning to get underway. Appleby was a long way off.

The former Director of Planning had just come on board and getting a feel for the department she was responsible for.

Shortly after being appointed Director a decision was made to start the Official Plan from scratch and give up on the idea of doing a re-write. That meant a significant shift in the thinking going on within the Planning department.

The going back to square one brought all kinds of ideas to the surface, the biggest of which was the new tag line for the message being sent out to the public – the planners got good public input on using the tag line Grow Bold – and bold they were.

Once the Planners got into thinking through how they wanted to craft the new Official Plan there was all kinds of hiring going on, significant increases to the base budget – $500,000 – for additional staff and community workshops that left little time for a real life for those who took an active interest in civic affairs.

It became evident that the planners were some distance ahead of the public which brought out more than 30 delegations asking the city to slow down and let the public get caught up.

council with term datesCity council decided not to defer the approving of the plans for the Downtown Core setting out the battle lines for the municipal election that will take place at the end of October.

Related content.

Resident asks: How does the Downtown Mobility hub fit into the provincial plan?

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5 comments to A mobility hub for the downtown core has been in the plans for some time – the problem was the downtown residents didn’t know about it.

  • Susie

    All mobility hubs other than the downtown, are a “GO” station. Does that not clearly state that the so-called mobility hub in the downtown will never “GO”, so just leave it has a bus station to trail slowly in the traffic grid lock to possibly meet one of the GO trains during the day to get you to your destination.

  • Stephen White

    The problem with the City’s so-called model of engagement and participation is that it assumes: 1) everyone has equal access to information; 2) the views of our Councillors and the Mayor align perfectly with residents’ opinions; 3) citizens have the same time commitment to devote to the review of these plans and undertakings and consultations as public servants, developers, and politicians.

    News flash: citizens, unlike public servants, developers and politicians, are not paid and we don’t make a full-time living at providing consultation into development plans. “Yes”, we have a vested interest, and “yes”, we need and should take an active interest, but what constitutes a reasonable degree of involvement? How much time, energy and effort do citizens need to expend in the consultation process? Do we need to attend Council meetings every week because we don’t trust our elected officials to get it right? It’s terrific that some residents are retired and have the time to devote to this but the majority of us have jobs, businesses, career, families, etc. Just trying to keep track of developments by reading the Gazette is challenging in itself.

    All the more reason why this review process needs to be extended and slowed down. BobTheBuilder makes a great suggestion that it’s time this issue also became a provincial election issue. Eleanor McMahon, Jane McKenna, and whoever the NDP and Green Party candidates will be, also need to let us know where they stand on this issue.

  • BobTheBuilder

    If Council won’t make it a municipal election issue, then its time to make it a Provincial election issue.

    MPP elections are June of this year.

    Time to make this an issue in THAT local election.

    Residents clearly want an OP that protects the character of the downtown.
    Council is not listening. Appeals go to the Ontario MMAH, a Provincial body. Those can be avoided, if the correct action is taken now.

    Contact your MPP on Twitter @emcmahonburl and let her know how you feel, and how the City can follow Provincial planing guidelines, AND, protect the integrity, vitality, and character of its downtown at the same time.

    • There is no reason you can’t do this under the current provincial frame work. The Provincial Policy Statement cleary states that the Council can control building height.

  • Penny

    Everything seems to be “in a state of flux”. This was the answer I received when I went to the Grow Bold Office on Locust on Friday to ask for a map of the precincts. I was told that I could get this information online. When I asked when the larger colour maps would be available I was told “sometime next” week.

    I did email this to the Mayor’s office as well as Mary-Lou Tanner on Friday evening. I have to thank Mary-Lou for her quick response and thank her as well for indicating that this will be made available to me on Thursday.


    The Mayor in his State of the City Speech mentioned that it is up to the residents to be knowledgeable. How is this possible when current information is not available? The publicity campaign that the city is putting forward in the way of online videos, sound really nice…..but offer no real information.

    All residents should be taking an active part in delaying the vote on the Official Plan. This is not merely a Ward 2 Issue it will eventually affect all of Burlington. Once it is passed, it can be overturned by a new council but why should it have to come to this?