Burlington selfies

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

May 9th, 2018



Burlington selfies – a look at parts of the city that reflect what we are and what we want to be.
Quiet beauty during a time when the affairs of the community are anything but quiet.

Cherry Blossom spencer Smith park

Cherry tress in full blossom in Spencer Smith Park.

The province is on a four week election campaign that will define where it goes for the next four years.

Led for the past 15 years by a political party that is tired; the public wants a change – the choices are limited.

A man who hasn’t a clue as to how government runs has caught the imagination of a sector of society that may well place him in office and a woman whose ideas are decent enough but hasn’t in the past two terms managed to get her political party to the point where it can assume the running of the province with an economy that is the economic engine of the country.

There are troubling trust issues at several levels. One of the local school boards has lost the trust of many in the community; their elected trustees have not kept the faith with parents who just want their children to get the best education possible.

Teachers go about their tasks each day molding, shaping and filling the minds of their students with the information and skills they will need to live fruitful lives.

Housing prices seem to have settled and we might be at a point where the house is home and not something to be flipped for a significant capital gain.

From Civic Square

This is the view that people standing outside city hall looking east can expect to see five years from now. The shape on the left is an already approved 23 storey tower, the design on the right is a proposal that is now in the hands of the planning department.

City hall approved a new Official Plan that some are almost totally opposed to while others go about their business blissfully unaware of the scope and scale of change that is now upon the city. Two towers, both at the 23-24 storey range will be constructed opposite city hall changing the tone and feel of the downtown core.

Five years from now people will wonder how this happened.

When the provincial election is settled in a month the drive to elect the next city council will begin. This time around there are a number of people in the 40 years of age range 40 running for office with the Dean of Council bringing to an end his 30 years of serving the city coming to an end.

With all this – there is the quiet beauty of the cherry trees that are now in full bloom at the Royal Botanical Gardens and in Spencer Smith Park.

The best things in life are indeed free.

RBG cherry tree

Cherry trees in full blossom at the Royal Botanical Gardens – with a picnic table waiting for someone to sit and enjoy the splendor of it all.

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2 comments to Burlington selfies

  • Tom Muir

    Pepper, why are you continually saying that the 24 story application is a done deal without any public process at all?

    My understanding is that the height for that corner in the adopted OP was permitted at 17 stories, with possible higher under certain conditions. But this OP is not in force and effect.

    The City issued a statement saying that with the new OP having been adopted, planning law says the existing OP is in force and will be enforced. I’m not sure what the existing OP permissions are for this site, but they are not 17, never mind 24.

    So perhaps you can tell us how this works when we are told by City, as well as Councilors, that now that we have a new OP adopted, we can get on with enforcing and defending the existing OP.

    This signals a reality where even the adopted OP permissions are not going to be meaningfully enforced despite these reassuring statements to the contrary.

    And worse, a new Zoning By-Law does not yet exist, and this looks like it will be custom made of putty, not the enforcement of the existing By-Laws. It looks like it may be a labor trying to make things too big fit.

    If this is now the standard business operation of planning at City Hall, we are in real trouble.

    Someone at City Hall needs to explain this and clear up the apparent confusion of how planning is really going to work.

    This is not a grin and bear it laughing matter.

    Editor’s note:
    The OMB decision to allow the 24 storeys (or was it 26 – difficult to keep up with what is being decided) at Martha and Lakeshore sets the die that will be used to determine what happen at 409 Brant.

  • B. Carlton

    “A man who hasn’t a clue as to how government runs has caught the imagination of a sector of society that may well place him in office” too late he is our Prime Minster. Doug Ford was a Toronto City councilor for 4 years FYI.