Can the planned Lakeshore hotel be ready for 2015 PanAm Games; – 18 months to build a project that doesn’t have final approval.

December 11, 2013

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  City Council meetings are a legal requirement.  In Burlington when your elected representatives meet as a Council they usually approve the recommendations that were made by the Standing Committees.

Council adjourns every meeting with a reminder as to when Council is scheduled to meet next and the Mayor, who chairs the Council meetings, states that Council can meet at the call of the Mayor.  During the regular Council meetings various bylaws get passed.  It is the bylaws that give the city the authority to do certain things as set out in the bylaw.

Monday evening Council met and passed six bylaws.  A bylaw was passed to authorize the temporary borrowing of funds from the Royal Bank.  There was another passed to approve the appointment of municipal law enforcement officers for the city of Burlington.  There was also a bylaw to amend the parking bylaw to allow changes to the on-street parking rules  and municipal facility parking.

The view from Lakeshore at Elizabeth street with the hotel on the corner and the seven story condo further south on Elizabeth – closer to the water.  Elizabeth will run south of Lakeshore.  The 22 story condo is on the eastern side.

Slipped in was a bylaw removing the H designation on the biggest development project Burlington has seen for some time – biggest in the sense of the impact it is going to have on the downtown core and the way the citizens of this city see their town.

The developments is taking place in the very core of the city and has been on the planning boards since 1985 when city council approved the project as a “landmark” that was going to put Burlington on the map. The pier was supposed to do that wasn’t it?

The Bridgewater project is a development on the south side of Lakeshore Road the runs from east of Elizabeth, a street that now ends at Lakeshore but will be extended down to the walkway along the lake’s edge.

The project will consist of three structures: A 22 story condominium apartment on the east side of the property,  a seven story condominium apartment that will be on the south-west section of the property  and an eight story hotel that will be on the northwest corner of the property and will be operated by Delta Hotels.

The H part of a zoning designation is put place to signify that there is a hold on the property until certain undertakings have been completed.  In this case there were wind studies to be done and a traffic study to be done.  The city wants to know what the wind patterns are going to be like when a 22 storey building goes up close to the edge of the lake.

This is how the buildings are going to be sited on the property. The opening into the public area from Lakeshore Road  between the hotel on the west and the 22 storey condo on the east is just 50 feet wide.  The public area does widen once you get into the property.  shown on the western side is what they are calling Lakeview Square.  The grading is going to be quite steep as indicated by the steps south of the Square.

View from the lake with the smaller condo in the lower left and the 22 storey condo on the upper right and the public spaces in between. There are a lot of stairs shown just above the promenade which is already in place.

The opening off Lakeshore into the public space is just 50 feet wide. The public may have been expecting a wider “window onto the lake”

With 150 apartment units in the condo  plus 33 other residential units and a hotel with 152 rooms,  traffic along Lakeshore and Elizabeth will be different.  The entrance to the hotel will be on Elizabeth as will entrance to the underground parking.

The property that is being developed was at one point home to the Riviera Motel.  The environmental people needed to know what the condition of the earth was – a certificate was need to certify that it met provincial environmental standards.

This is what Lakeshore will look like once construction is completed. Elizabeth will be on the right and Pearl which ends at Lakeshore will be on the left. The people currently living in the condominiums on the north side of LAkeshore might end up with less of a view.

With the removal of the H designation all the variances that were approved close to a year ago can come into effect.  Some of those variances, approved by the Committee of Adjustment, had conditions attached to them.  These included the provision of various securities – all part of the paperwork that lays behind a development.

When the conditions are met the draft site plan is submitted and assuming that clears the planning hurdles, and there is no reason to expect there to be any problems a building permit can be issued and work can actually begin – shovels in the ground as the politicians like to say.

Couple of things come to the surface on this process.  Council met on Monday and removed that H designation – yet in their remarks neither the Mayor nor the ward 2 council member uttered as much as a word about the project.  It was as if it was a ship that was passing quietly in the night.

Whenever there is good news the politicians are real quick top pick up on it and make sure you know about it.  Monday’s Council meeting had a nasty brutal streak to it with pointed comments being made by almost everyone.  Perhaps the bruises that were left from the meeting were healing.

If this rendering is accurate the site will have a lot of trees which once they mature should make for a very pleasant part of the city. The objective is going to be to get quality commercial operations on the project – the fear many have expressed is a massive Tim Hortons.

Or perhaps there is a problem with the time frames Mayrose-Tyco and Delta have to work within.  The intention was to have the hotel open for the PanAm Games scheduled to be held from July 10–26, 2015.  Officially these are the XVII Pan American Games or the 17th Pan American Games and while Burlington missed out on the opportunity to actually host any of the events the City View Park will be used as a practice field for some of the soccer teams.  The public however will not get to see any of those practices – the PanAm people gave the city a fat cheque that will allow them to take over the grounds.  You probably won’t even be able to walk your dog on the grounds.

City View Park is ready for the Pan Am Games – will hotels rooms be available?

The City View Park will be ready – the same cannot be said for the Bridgewater project.  Officially the project is not yet approved. Mayrose Tyco and Delta have 18 months to dig the hole in the ground and put up the eight story hotel.  Theoretically it can be done – but this project, first approved back in 1985 when it was called Waterfront East and approved when Roly Bird was Mayor and Walter Mulkewich was a member of Council

Was the possibility that the project will not get done in time to be used during the PanAm Games explain why the politicians said nothing before they all scooted away for the holidays?


Why is waterfront development taking s long?

Bridgewater edges closer to actual construction.

Riviera Motel set ablaze, doesn’t burn down; wreckers will be on site real soon.

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2 comments to Can the planned Lakeshore hotel be ready for 2015 PanAm Games; – 18 months to build a project that doesn’t have final approval.

  • Sylvia Valancourt

    Looks gorgeous. I want to purchase a couple of the units for myself. Something good is happening in Burlington. I just hope the city has enough brains left to continue with the redevelopment of the rest of that waterfront mess.

  • Penny Hersh

    Once again the “PLUNK” vision of council both past and present. This is what I call the Council’s vision of the downtown – PLUNK it down and don’t think about how it impacts on the area or the residents….and oh yes the SPIN – WINDOWS ON THE LAKE….Slivers of open space between the buildings to see the water…..This development would never have been allowed to go forward with the present conservation requirements….grandfathering has allowed them to move ahead, along with a council that has allowed the developer to provide less parking spaces in an area that already has major parking problems. There is usually a reason why one should not build so close to the water… will be interesting to see if this problem rears its ugly head once or if construction actually moves forward.