Are we ready for this?

By Pepper Parr

September 9th, 2021



Are we ready for this?

They will stand on Lakeshore Road between Brant and Elizabeth Streets.

The required Pre-Application meeting took place virtually last night.

There was some expensive talent talking on behalf of the developer who wants to put up two towers: a 30 storey and a 24 story.

The plan is to have 23 studio apartments; 212 single bedroom apartments; 165 1 bedroom + den; 139 2 bedroom and some 3 bedroom.  No mention of price.

The panel was asked if there would be any affordable units – really?

There will be a significant bike tails system – but they won’t extend out onto the Pier. – even thought they appear to do so in the report.

View from the lake. Downtown Burlington will never be the same if this gets approved as it has been presented.

During the presentation, given by people representing the developer, David Faletta attempted to convince viewers that the old Urban Growth Centre boundary would apply arguing that the Regional Official Plan affirmed the new boundary but that the Minister had yet to sign off on the Regional decision.

There is a lot more to this story.  Stand by.



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14 comments to Are we ready for this?

  • Diane Knox

    An old saying–‘Give them an Inch and they will Take a mile”. We lost this fight in the 70’s with the failure of the ‘Save the Lakeshore’ efforts to Stop the Hotel at the Foot of Brant with City and Provincial planners then and Now we ARE the Concrete Jungle and Traffic/Parking Nightmare. Too late to turn back. All the best with solutions. This Lakeshore has been lost.

  • Mozelle Cole

    If I was hiring, I’d hire these developers. They do a terrific job.

  • Blair Smith

    Somewhere between the persistent apologia of David and the arrogant fatalism of James, there is a story to be told here – and it is one of rather nasty political expediency and posturing. The previous Council was indeed odious with an incompetent, bumbling Mayor and four Councillors either openly pro-development/downtown intensification or simply asleep at the switch (one wonders whether John is awake yet). But this motley crew had the benefit of a dubious honesty – you knew where they were coming from, like it or not. And most didn’t. The current Council sang a wonderful anti-intensification ditty with a chorus of transparency and respect for local voice – and in 2018 they were ‘speaking to the choir’ in Burlington. But then they changed churches. Those of us who fought against a downtown of tall buildings that would look like Toronto or Mississauga, that delegated and attended any number of mandatory meetings and ‘engagement fora’ feel betrayed and ill-used. Those of us who advocated against regional amalgamation on the basis of being able to better influence local governance (and won) now have serious second thoughts. The damned thing about politics is that it’s filled with politicians. It was ever thus and will always be so.

    • David Barker

      Blair, apologia? Interesting – “a formal written defense of one’s opinions or conduct.” OK. I don’t see anything wrong with that. I assume you do. Oh well.

      Forgive me for questioning your apologia, which I take to be one of being let down by the Mayor and this Council. Please would you clearly set out what it is that the Mayor &/or this Council has not done that they promised to do.

      I believe they:-

      • extensively consulted with residents post the 2018 election to be sure to understand what residents wanted to happen or not happen in the downtown core.

      • put a freeze on development for 2 years to allow that process to play out.

      • implemented by way of a new OP those views.

      • had the OP confirmed by the Region and recognized as meeting Provincial policy requirements. The OP provides clear zoning bylaws and height limitations.

      • successfully changed the status of the John St Bus Terminal so that it is not an MTSA. A status developers had used as justification for their super high towers.

      • successfully received Provincial approval to revise the boundaries of the Urban Growth Centre to those desired by the City and its residents, so as to curb over intensification of the downtown core.

      The Mayor and Council have put in place all the pieces necessary to allow the OLT (a Provincial government politically appointed body) to rule against the appeals brought against the City. Should the OLT not respect the Provincially compliant OP, one might expect a major campaign to be launched by the Mayor, Council and residents à la Oakville with Glen Abbey, get the Minister to exercise his power and issue ministerial orders.

      I remind you that as of today none of the applications submitted under the term of this Council that are awaiting OLT adjudication has as yet been approved by the OLT. The Waterfront Hotel owners have not even as yet submitted an application. If there is a problem, I suggest it does not lie here with the Mayor and Council but at the OLT, and its predecessor incarnations, for not respecting residents desires.

      So Blair, again I ask of you, “what has the Mayor &/or Council not done (or done) that allows you to feel let down? And a secondary question for you, “what would you have had them do differently?

  • Lynn Crosby

    Many of us have been fighting this same fight for years, some years and years and years. It’s not new. It’s the same thing, same arguments against and often same developers doing what they want and it seems that even when they completely renege on promises made in exchange for height, the city does nothing so it seems obvious that unlike Oakville, developers rule in Burlington and that hasn’t changed.

    Some of us “old guard” are sick of going along with the fiction that we can do anything about it and won’t waste anymore of our time pretending the city will listen to us via public meetings, delegations, written submissions, surveys, etc. Been there, done that, including not long ago when we asked why this very property at Lakeshore and Brant and the Old Lakeshore Road football area weren’t included in the downtown review re the revised OP. Crickets. Council and staff know our position, act on it. But many of us are done.

  • James

    Here we go again. Maybe it’s time we be truthful with ourselves and open our eyes to what’s really happening. Our sleepy little town can’t stay this way forever. The rhetoric surrounding growth and progress as far as development is concerned has become so outrageously toxic in this city, and for what? All the anger, name calling and hatred towards what’s happening hasn’t stopped a thing. Nor will it.

    Our city is located right in the middle of the expanding Greater Toronto Area and Greater Golden Horseshoe area. We live in one of the most highly populated and growing areas in North America. There is growth happening all around us, to think that it’s not going to happen here is quite literally insane. The global population is exploding. More than one million additional people are expected to move into Halton Region over the next 20 years. Where are they going to go? The odd 4 to 6 storey building and a few semi-detached units aren’t the answer, they are not going to get the job done. It’s going to take real and serious growth. We’re hardly pioneers when it comes to this. Toronto found a way to deal with increased density and traffic. As did Mississauga, and as did every other city that has experienced substantial growth over time. Burlington too will find a way. It will be okay. It will be different, but it will be okay.

    Detached resale housing in this area has become far too expensive for most, and with property values climbing 20%-30% annually, that’s not ever going to change. It’s just not. That means that for most people, and within the limited existing urban space we have allotted for intensification, the more affordable option is highrise apartments/condos. If the more affordable option is still too expensive for you, then find somewhere else to live that you can actually afford! This isn’t rocket science! When did society lose that aspect of common sense and begin believing they have a right to live wherever they want to live and expect others to find a way to make things more affordable for them? Get a job. Work hard. Live the best life you can within your means. If that means you have to live somewhere else, then so be it. Every generation that came before us was able to figure this out, why are we suddenly incapable of doing the same?

    Land values have increased. Development charges have increased. Construction material costs have increased. Labour costs have increased. Permit fees have increased. Planning consultant fees have increased. The list goes on and on. Many of those costs are the same for a 4 storey building as they are for a 20 storey building, therefore the cost to build a residential unit in a 20 storey building is by default less than the cost to build a residential unit in a 4 storey building. That economy of scale is then reflected in the pricing, and why you see units of the same size in 4 storey buildings selling for $2M whereas in 20 storey buildings they go for under $1M. It’s not builder greed driving these prices, which seems to continually be an all too easy target for the less informed, it’s market forces and the reality of construction and development costs. If you truly want more affordable housing options in Burlington, then the answer is staring you right in the face – allow more affordable housing options to be built here!

    Our population in Burlington as we know is on the older side. Many remember Burlington as it was, and don’t really like what it’s becoming. Fair enough, but just as every other major city in North America grows and changes with the times, so too must Burlington. The Official Plan. The Zoning By-law. The Mayor. All of these can and will be replaced in time. Growth cannot and will not be stopped. Burlington will change.

    Here’s the thing, and this is important – it’s not about you! You already have yours, and now need to allow others to achieve their dream of home ownership too. These buildings once constructed will stand for the next century or more. Thousands of families will benefit from the housing we begin building today. Is that so wrong? We must plan for the future and stop protecting the past.

    You may not like the truth, but isn’t it about time we faced it?

  • Howard

    Who was on the panel asking about affordable housing. I hope that was not a councillor. The region is in charge of subsidized housing. Regarding the towers…….the sky is the limit. I do not see any push back from upper levels of government.

  • Diane Knox

    Horrible vision of the Future and our Future Lakeshore use and pleasure. Please follow this and check out Bousfield Inc. Yet another Toronto, so called ‘City planner/developer’, who ran out out of High End Lakefront properties in To and moved West to Build, Now focused on profit, and More and More ignoring the Needs, the wishes of All the taxpayers of Burlington, to spend a walk, a visit to Lake Ontario, a Naturel World Wonder. The Lake, and it’s shores should never belong to those who can afford a million dollar Condo. Save this Lakeshore. Soon, we will need a- (name your politician)- Gardiner expressway to get to Joe Brant Hospital.

  • I once received the comment: Greg if they had start building the front two towers of the Paradigm development you would be Mayor of Burlington.

    Good to know we have other proposals that if approved ensure the Mayor and Council are never heard from again.

  • David Barker

    The gall of this developer and particularly its spokesperson, Mr. Faletta, would be beyond belief if one did not realize they are just copying each and every applicant that has previously submitted a planning application for a super high rise towers in the downtown area.

    As with all those other applicant developers, this proponent has sought to justify the heights of their proposed towers (each 30+ storeys) by referencing (1) those towers already built or in the process of being built, and (2) those numerous towers whose applications at at the OLT for review and adjudication. Every single one of those applications was fiercely opposed by not only council but residents in general.

    And as with those previous applicants this proponent clearly, deliberately, and shamelessly ignores the equally clearly expressed views and desires of this city’s residents not to have super high rises in the downtown core. High rises which exceed the zoning allowance provided for in the 2021 OP recently approved by City and Regional Council’s and which we understand is compliant with Provincial policies.(Mr. Faletta referenced Provincial policies numerous times as supportive of the proposal) Mr. Faletta openly admitted he and the proponent were ignoring the recently revised urban growth center boundaries, which takes this property outside of the UGC. What was his stated justification for ignoring the revision to the UGC? The revision has not received the Minister’s physical signature. Mr. Faletta ignores the fact that the Minister, Steve Clark, in mid-June publicly announced his, and the Provincial government’s, support for the revision.

    Mr. Faletta, and his associates also had no answer to questions raised by residents about what public parking would be available to non-residents of the proposed building. Having extolled the virtues of having ground floor commercial operations in the proposed development that will attract non-building residents to the building, other than saying there might be half a dozen on-street spaces, they could not say if any parking will be incorporated into the structure to accommodate this traffic.

    Residents also questioned Mr. Faletta as to how the proposal would deal with increased pedestrian traffic in the area; an already congested area. Again, no thoughtful response was forthcoming. No matter what the final configuration of the building might be, I suggest the developer be required to construct a north/south pedestrian subway crossing under Lakeshore Rd. A pedestrian subway crossing would considerably reduce the pedestrian/vehicle interface and reduce the risk of accident and injury. If placed at the Brant St intersection it would have the added benefit of physically linking the new building and Spencer Smith Park with the businesses on Brant Street and its surrounding streets.

    As with every other developer proposal this one is presented selfishly in isolation and does not look to address any neighbourhood issues.

  • Looks like a great addition to the downtown core. Reminds me of the landmark buildings in Mississauga.

    • David Barker

      Ah yes. Mississauga the beautiful concrete jungle. Something for Burlington to aspire to, I don’t think.