Beachway Park report is out – doesn’t look all that good for the residents at first glance.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  April 30, 2013.  The good people over on the Beachway Park got a strong dose of reality yesterday when Ward 1 Councillor Rick Craven delivered copies of the Burlington Beach Regional Waterfront Park Comprehensive Background Report (BBRWPCBR) which we will just call the Beachway Background.

It runs some 250 pages plus – the index runs to six pages so you get the sense that there is all kinds of information – which there is but there isn’t a clear recommendation in the Executive Summary.  The issue is – what to do with the 30 homes that are located within what is a park.

A part of the city that was once a vibrant community with a railway line running through the middle of it is today a park that is for the most part underused and badly in need of a makeover.

A park that is populated with property with property owned or managed by federal, provincial, regional and municipal agencies.  In the report there is considerable detail on how the 30 homes that are left have changed hands.

The city held a Workshop to get input from citizens – it was well attended but there wasn’t much in the way of a consensus at that event.

The report needs detailed study – which we will give it in the days ahead.

There was once a very healthy community along the edge of the lake – that disappeared when the leases residents had from the railway lapsed and the region took over.

The issue comes up at a Community Services Committee meeting May 8th – expect that one to be boisterous.  The residents of the Beachway Park have always been noisy.

There is a very good argument for keeping the housing in the Park – that works exceptionally well on the Toronto Islands where there is a healthy community that co-exists with the visitors that use the three ferry’s to get across the lakefront to the Islands.

There is an opportunity here for the city to come up with something really great – but the leadership needed doesn’t seem to exist at city hall – the residents have a tough fight on their hands.  A first read of the Beachway Report suggest there isn’t a lot of room for them to work within.  If the residents are going to succeed there is going to have to be a significant change of attitude on the part of the resident; their ‘chippyness’ does not serve them well.

More when we have read the report from cover to cover.  It is available on-line at the city’s website.  However, when you print out the report the type is far too small for a decent read.  Reading 250 pages plus on-line is a challenge

The policy review confirmed that the area is intended to be in its entirety public open space. Statements like that sort of sets the tone doesn’t it?

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4 comments to Beachway Park report is out – doesn’t look all that good for the residents at first glance.

  • Laura Durrant

    “Once a healthy community” That is the city’s damn fault!Instead of forcing people out of their leased homes, perhaps the city could have given them and the public the opportunity to purchase those properties and rebuild. Plus, the remaining homes are owned and the city does not allow us to fix or rebuild our homes without a fight and a ridiculous UNFAIR cost! There are only a small # of us that have had the guts and money to do so and we still live with the constant threat of losing our homes!The others have and continue to take care of their homes as best as they can for what little future they may have there! WE have every right to be “loud and chirpy!

    • Laura Durrant

      Perhaps you should write the entire truth and not just what the “leadership” down at city hall wants to admit! We “beach HOME OWNERS” are tired of being bullied! We purchased our homes because we love and want to keep it a beautiful place to live! The city is hiding behind lies. We are not niave, obviously they would love to have condos and town homes down here. The Master Plan is nothing but a waste of Tax payers money all packaged up in a fancy book of BS! How about writing the TRUTH!!

  • Helene

    I am a beach resident and I am not amused. You met with us last July with the purpose of writing an article from our point of view. You wasted our time!!!! as the article NEVER materialized. We are people/these are our homes which some of us have invested a great deal of time and money on. I take great offense to some of your comments. There was once a very healthy community…. meaning???? The residents of the Beachway Park have always been noisy….meaning???? I don’t believe that you would welcomed if you were to have another proposed article meeting with the beach residents – because I think this time we would be “NOISY”. You don’t impress me.

  • James Smith

    Having been involved in the design, renovation and construction of homes on Toronto Island your readers have to know there are important difference between the two areas. The homes on Toronto Island continue to exist thanks to then Ontario Premier Bob Rae who established The Toronto Island Community Land Trust.

    The Trust has many regulations that govern how land is rented & what & how buildings may be redeveloped. Island homes are also subject to neighbourhood design guidelines by the city of Toronto. These guidelines keep a certain feel to the island without casting the homes’ look in concrete, but rather allows for lots of design freedom.

    Also Island homes have been hooked up to City of Toronto water & sewer for decades.