Irish Americans are everywhere: there are some seriously solid Irish-themed games to play

By Nick Mccumiskey

August 16th, 2023



Irish Americans are ethnic Irish that live in the United States and are American citizens, and there are plenty of them throughout America, too. From Burlington to Boston, Irish Americans are everywhere. In fact, currently, there are 36 million ethnic Irish who reside in the United States.

Some see Green Beer as an Irish delicacy.

Usually wearing the Emerald Isle’s famous green and gold colours during St. Patrick’s Day and other big events on the calendar, be it family occasions or when an Irish sports star makes a major final, Irish Americans tend to embrace their heritage and enjoy a number of Irish-related things. From the taste of Guinness to a selection of traditional Irish food, Irish Americans are open to everything that is associated with the country, including games. We’ve had some memorable Irish-themed video games over the years, too.

Capable of entertaining party-goers in the background or there to provide you with entertainment in the evenings, a number of games have featured a number of nods to Ireland. From a range of Irish characters to the Emerald Isle being seen throughout a particular release, there are some seriously solid Irish-themed games to play right now.

Gaelic Games: Football is based on the much-loved sport

If you’ve been lucky enough to visit Ireland, then you probably witnessed the nation’s love of Gaelic football. While this particular option is a classic release from 2005, you might be able to get your hands on a copy if you look hard enough. It’ll be worth it, too, with this popular team sport translating perfectly into the virtual environment. It’s really entertaining and you might even find yourself getting into the sport in the real world after a few tight encounters.

Experience the Gaelic Luck slot

If you’re Irish you can say what you want and wear what you want.

Accessible via an internet browser, online casino games are blossoming right now. Slot games are a particular favourite, with gamers now signing up to online casinos to experience the Gaelic Luck slot game, plus a wide range of other leading casino titles, such as poker and baccarat. In this particular 5 reels, 3 rows and 20 fixed paylines slot product, though, you’ll see a trio of Irish women called the Lucky Lasses who accompany you as you enjoy this top Irish-themed game. It’s extremely fun, while the game’s strong green and gold feel is perfect.

Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars is excellent

A title that can be played via Steam, Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars is a truly excellent product with a strong dose of Ireland throughout. A relaxing point-and-click adventure product, the game is set in a fictional Irish village called Lochmarne. There are Irish accents on show from the start, castles and goats, and the eye-catching artwork adds to the game’s fantastic overall offering. Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars certainly does Ireland justice and showcases the country’s warm people and welcoming nature in the best way possible.

While BioShock definitely isn’t set in Ireland, the presence of Atlas makes the game a must-play product for Irish Americans. Offering a perfect Irish accent that wouldn’t sound out of place in Cork or Dublin, Atlas is a friendly face who is part of a shocking twist as the game progresses. We don’t want to spoil it for you, but let’s just say New Yorkers are extremely good at doing Irish accents. BioShock is a fantastic game anyway, but Atlas makes it even better.   BioShock is worth playing for Atlas alone.

Other Irish-themed video games for Irish Americans includes the likes of If Found…, Clive Barkers Undying, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, Folklore, Need for Speed: ProStreet, Left for Dead, and Shadow Hearts 2.   Check it out

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Stiles: AG report paints picture of corruption in the Conservative government

By Staff

August 9th, 2023



The Auditor General issues a scathing report saying Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives “favoured certain developers” in a controversial Greenbelt land swap that could make the landowners $8.28 billion.

Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk turned in her report – she also turns in her keys to the office on September 5th when her term of office comes to an end. Premier Doug Ford on the right.

In a searing 93-page report to the legislature Wednesday, Bonnie Lysyk found Ford’s opening up of 7,400 acres of environmentally protected land last fall “cannot be described as a standard or defensible process.”

Lysyk said the Tories did not need the 15 parcels of land to achieve their promised target of building 1.5 million homes over the next decade to alleviate Ontario’s housing crisis.

Premier announces he will hold a Press Conference at 1:00 om.

Marit Stiles, Leader of the Opposition

Before he can get a word in Marit Stiles, Leader of the Opposition hammers the Premier saying:

“Let’s call this what it is: corruption. Ontarians deserve better than a government that enriches a select number of party donors at the expense of hard-working Ontarians,” said Stiles, after noting that the Ford government’s Greenbelt transferred $8.3 billion over to donors and developers.

“This is not about Mr. Ford, this is not about politics, this is about reinstating Ontarians’ trust in their government. Trust that this government has seriously eroded with their insider dealings and culture of corruption that goes all the way up to the Premier.”

Stiles and the Ontario NDP are calling to immediately remove Minister Steve Clark from Cabinet. Following the resignation, the Ontario NDP are calling to:

• Immediately recall the Legislature, to reverse course, and return these lands to the Greenbelt and cancel these deals with developers.

• And that this Conservative government not stand in the way of the Integrity Commissioner’s investigation, including any potential criminal investigations – because we know this is just beginning and the public deserve and to know everything.

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Where have all the workers gone?

By Pepper Parr

August 7th, 2023



Where have all the workers gone?

Covid19 meant huge changes in where people worked – the office moved to the kitchen table and teachers did their best to keep a class interested while everyone dealt with a virus that was killing millions.

Remote work was necessary during the harder days with lock downs in place.

Burlington chose to become a hybrid city with some staff able to choose to work from home full time – going into the office only when it was necessary.

City manager Tim Commisso liked the idea

City manager Tim Commisso liked the idea and directed the Executive Director level to organize the jobs that had to be done into various forms of hybrid work. Neither Commisso or the city’s Communications department every released numbers

“People thought remote work would last forever, and the importance people put on work-life balance reached new heights … people were putting their personal lives first and moving to beautiful locations,” said Travis O’Rourke, president at Hays Canada.

The number of fully remote jobs has decreased as a number of employers have called time on work-from-anywhere policies. The volume of applications for remote jobs has also increased, he said, putting them high in demand for those who have relocated to these locales.

Jessica Weisz optimized for sunshine. “We came and saw the place that we could rent … You could see the mountains and the lake, it had a pool and it was massive and it was the same as rent for our little small loft in Toronto.”

Jessica Weisz, who works in tech entrepreneurship and venture capital, stopped working in-person in Toronto during the pandemic and moved to Niagara, Ontario, and then Kelowna, B.C., where she has continued working remotely for her employer.

For Weisz, returning to an in-office position holds little appeal. “I like being able to be home and focus and not have to go into the office,” she said, adding that the flexibility helps her be a more involved parent.

“What we were optimizing for was sunshine. I had never been to Kelowna – I knew nothing about it,” she said. “We came and saw the place that we could rent … You could see the mountains and the lake, it had a pool and it was massive and it was the same as rent for our little small loft in Toronto.”

“People thought remote work would last forever, and the importance people put on work-life balance reached new heights … people were putting their personal lives first and moving to beautiful locations,” said Travis O’Rourke, president at Hays Canada.

Since then, the number of fully remote jobs has decreased as a number of employers have called time on work-from-anywhere policies. The volume of applications for remote jobs has also increased, he said, putting them high in demand for those who have relocated to these locales.

Research suggests that, like Weisz, most employees who got a taste of remote work are eager to continue. Nearly four in five Canadians said they much prefer it to working in the office, according to a report by the Future Skills Centre.

The impact of remote work on the office space sector of the real estate business is severe. Some office building operators are looking at ways to convert the space in residential.

Others are finding that productivity isn’t quite the same but those people aren’t certain and think it might be too early to tell what the final outcome is going to be.

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Frankfurt added to destinations out of Hamilton Airport

By Staff

August 1st, 2023



The International part of the Hamilton International Airport got a little more correct with the announcement that Play Airline has added Frankfurt, Germany to the destinations out of Hamilton.

The first flight with PLAY to Frankfurt will be on December 14, and it will operate four to five times a week throughout the winter.

To celebrate the first flight with PLAY to Frankfurt, the airline has announced a limited-time flight sale, starting from as low as $259 exclusive of taxes and fees.

The flight out of Hamilton will land in Iceland where passengers will transfer to a flight to Frankfurt, the popular European destination they can go to without breaking their budget.

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Mapleview Mall uses its roof top to grow garden vegetables, herbs and flowers that go to the Food Bank

By Staff

July 31st, 2023



Mapleview Shopping Centre, in collaboration with Micro Habitat, has transformed its rooftop into an urban garden oasis – an initiative aimed to reduce the shopping centre’s environmental footprint and promote local biodiversity.

From the roof top to the table.

Micro Habitat, the organization the mall is partnered with on this initiative, installs urban farms across properties in North America. In this case, Mapleview worked with Micro Habitat to introduce a garden full of vegetables, herbs and flowers directly on the rooftop of the mall.

These vegetables and herbs from the mall will then be donated weekly to the Burlington Food Bank.

The rooftop garden boasts an assortment of vegetables, flowers and herbs, which are harvested on a weekly basis throughout the summer and fall seasons. As part of Mapleview’s commitment to giving back, all the fresh produce harvested each week is donated to the Burlington Food Bank and proceeds from each urban farm developed contribute to supporting the Breakfast Club of Canada. 

In addition to this sustainability initiative, Mapleview will unveil a captivating visual art installation this August, managed by public art consultant Cobalt Connects, featuring talented local artist Stylo Starr kicking off the series.  Stylo Starr is a Jamaican-Canadian collage artist whose work centers nature, fantasy, and notions of the Afrofuture. 

Stylo Starr is a Jamaican-Canadian collage artist whose work centers on nature and fantasy.

Located in the North Wing across from Sporting Life, the art pieces will revolve around themes of community, diversity and inclusion, providing guests with an enriching visual experience during their visit to the centre that showcases the vibrant artistic community in Burlington. 

“We are deeply committed to implementing community-driven and environmentally conscious programs,” said Rita Donnelly, General Manager, Mapleview. “Through these summer initiatives and together with our partners, we hope to inspire our guests, nurture local talent, and create a positive impact on our community.” 

Mapleview Shopping Centre has implemented sustainability initiatives year-round to reduce its ecological footprint. The shopping centre has received accreditation from the BOMA BEST program, offers 19 electric vehicle charging stations on its premises, utilizes energy-efficient LED lighting contributing to reduced energy consumption, and provides tenants, retailers and guests with convenient recycling options, among other ongoing programs. 

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Joe Dogs just got a new neighbour - the relationship will be interesting

By Pepper Parr

July 22nd, 2023



Tough future ahead for the group that owns Joe Dogs – the buildings next door are going to disappear and be replaced by a 26 storey structure that will have 226 units

The Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) decided that the development could proceed. Getting to this point was messy. The developer, Renimmob Properties, chose not to work with the city’s Planning department and took their case directly to the OLT.

Rendering of site with Brant Street in the foreground, the public parking lot shown in green and the parking space in front of the No Frills on the right.

Rendering of the eastern side of the proposed development with the public parking lot in green and the No Frills parking space on the right. Site address is 535 Brant.


No word at this point on when shovels will be put into the ground. The barber shop, the convenience store, the tire replacement location and the branch of the Bank of Nova Scotia will be demolished to clear the site for development.

A development to the north, on the opposite side of the street gives a view of how Brant Street will change

The statement that jumps out during a casual skim of the decision is this:

The Tribunal finds that it would be an inexcusable error to evaluate and base its decision on the Applications using the policies or vision of the ineffectual and non- operative 2020 OP. The Applications are subject to, and must be evaluated against, the policies of the in-force COP.

The Applicant, Renimmob Properties, advised the Tribunal that the Applications were modified in December 2022 to address comments resulting from a peer review of the Applications conducted by Mr. Hannay. The revisions include:

a. A relocated vehicular access from Brant Street to John Street that allows for a continuous active frontage along Brant Street;

b. Road widenings of 3.55 m and 2.50 m provided along Brant Street and John Street, respectively;

c. A reduced tower floorplate from 797 m2 to 749.4 m2;

d. An increased tower stepback from the podium to a minimum of 4.28 m along John Street and 5.57 m along Brant Street;

e. A 12.73 m tower setback from the west property line and 13.18 m tower setback from the east property line;

f. A reduced underground parking footprint to accommodate the proposed road widenings;

g. An overall reduction in vehicular parking from 253 spaces to 226 spaces; and

h. An overall increase in bicycle parking from 36 spaces to 88 spaces.

The Applications were submitted and subsequently revised to facilitate the development of a 26-storey residential apartment with retail on the ground floor on lands municipally known as 535-551 Brant Street

Since the initial application was filed in December 2020, the pattern of heights in the Downtown area, particularly along Brant Street, has continued to transition, including many existing, approved, and proposed developments. Some examples are:

an 18-storey mixed use development, with ground floor commercial uses and residential uses above, at 409 Brant Street (approved by the Tribunal);

a 23-storey mixed use building, with ground floor commercial uses, office uses on the second floor and residential uses above, at 421-431 Brant Street (approved by City Council);

a mixed-use development, with two towers of 18 and 25 storeys with ground floor commercial uses and residential uses above, at 774-782 Brant Street (under City review);

a 31-storey mixed use development, with ground floor commercial uses and residential uses above, at 789-795 Brant Street (under City review);

an existing mixed-use development of 22 storeys, with ground floor commercial uses, and residential uses and hotel suites above, at 2042-2054 Lakeshore Road;

a 26-storey mixed use building under construction at 374 Martha Street (approved by the Ontario Municipal Board); and

a 29-storey mixed use building, with ground floor commercial uses and residential uses above, at 2069-2079 Lakeshore Road and 383-385 Pearl Street (approved by the Tribunal).

With all this development is there a place for what Joe Dogs brings to the city?

Winter never did much for Joe Dogs.

Summer – ah a great opportunity for a photo op that ward 2 Councillor takes advantage of. Will she be on hand when the site closes?

Central to the submissions by the City was City Council’s adoption of a new official plan in 2018 that was modified by the City in September 2020 and approved by the Region in November 2020 (“2020 OP”).

The 2020 OP was subsequently appealed to the Tribunal by 48 appellants and is not currently in effect. Nevertheless, it is the City’s position, and the opinion of their witnesses, that the Tribunal ought to give significant weight to the 2020 OP in evaluating the Proposed Development given the considerable public input and studies that led to its adoption.

Notwithstanding the 2020 OP provisions for the Subject Property requiring a maximum height of 11 storeys and a tower setback of 20 m from Brant Street, both Mr. Lowes and Ms. Jay proffered that a 17-storey building with a 17.32 m tower setback from Brant Street would be appropriate for the Subject Property.

The Tribunal found this position conflicting. On the one hand, the City’s witnesses urged the Tribunal to rely on the provisions of the 2020 OP given the significant efforts that led to its adoption and the risk of setting a precedent for the area that was not consistent with the new policies. On the other hand, they also opined that deviating from the 2020 OP policies on the Subject Property was appropriate.

The Tribunal finds that it would be an inexcusable error to evaluate and base its decision on the Applications using the policies or vision of the ineffectual and non- operative 2020 OP.

The Applications are subject to, and must be evaluated against, the policies of the in-force COP. While the 2020 OP may assist the Tribunal in understanding the City’s vision for the Downtown, it is not a determinative policy document. This is supported by the opinions provided by the City’s witnesses suggesting that certain policies of the 2020 OP need not be adhered to in this instance.

Further, it should also be noted that the appeals of the 2020 OP may lead to modifications of the prescribed policies or revocation of the stated provisions for development.

The Panel, having regard for the evidence and submissions presented by the Parties, notes that there is no real dispute that intensification and development of the underutilized Subject Property are appropriate. The main issues at hand relate to the appropriate height and built form of development on the Subject Property, and specifically:

1. What height is appropriate for the Subject Property?
2. Is the proposed tower setback from Brant Street appropriate?
3. Is the Proposed Development compatible with adjacent properties and the surrounding context?

The upshot was …
The Tribunal accepts and prefers the evidence of the Applicant’s expert witnesses and finds that the Subject Property is suitable for the proposed intensification and density, and that the Proposed Development is consistent with the policies of the PPS, conforms to the policies of the Growth Plan and the ROP, and conforms to the intent of the COP.

The outdoor space at Joe Dogs. It will be tough to relax and enjoy a brew with construction taking place next door

What’s next: The developer gets on with construction, determining of course when the market will be ready for what the developer will offer.

And the group that owns Joe Dogs has to decide if they should stay where the are and find a way to operate while the construction of a 26 storey tower takes place yards to the north of the property they rent.

To the immediate south of Joe Dogs is  Culaccino Bar & Kitchen, to the south of that is a branch of the Bank of Montreal. At some point those properties will be assembled (if that hasn’t already taken place and another 26 story tower (perhaps two) will rise on the east side of Brant Street.

Joe Dogs will never be the same. Is that location and the other two shown going to be the next development on the east side of Brant?

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5 Ways to Build Your Wealth and Get Financial Stability

By Patricia Lee

July  20th, 2023



It takes time, patience, and perseverance to build money, but the road is worthwhile in the end. It is mainly something people with children constantly think about and try to achieve. However, it takes a lot of discipline to achieve this, from sacrificing that cup of coffee to controlling your moments of impulse buying. The duration required to reach a stage where you witness the rewards relies on your income and your proficiency in the endeavour. Below is a concise compilation of actions that can aid in wealth accumulation and attaining financial stability.

Setting and reviewing goals

Set Financial Goals
Without clear objectives, it becomes challenging to recognize when you exceed your spending limits or make or unwise decisions. Moreover, the potential for entering a perpetual debt crisis, characterized by escalating credit card debt, looms large. While the future remains unpredictable, devising a plan to navigate unforeseen circumstances is possible. Establish both short-term and long-term goals to solidify your financial standing. Regularly reviewing these goals, whether every few months or annually, ensures you remain on track and enables necessary adjustments.

Reduce Expenses
Your capacity to put off gratification by cutting back on expenses is one of the essential tactics for increasing your wealth and securing your financial future. By transitioning to solar power for your home, you can effectively reduce your expenses. Invest in tools and learning skills to help you maintain your home. Repairs and handymen come at a hefty cost, especially if the repairs are minor. You can learn how to do most minor repairs and only call in a professional when necessary.

It is imperative that you ensure timely payments for your credit card and mortgage – have a back up access to cash.

Plan for Possible Late Payments
Sometimes, things can happen that can drain your finances more than you expect, and these can delay critical payments like your mortgage, credit card or other loans. It is imperative to ensure timely payments for your credit card and mortgage to safeguard your credit score, which proves beneficial during challenging periods.

Establishing a strategy can be advantageous in promptly repaying debts while awaiting your paycheck. One clever method to achieve this is to have a location where you can apply for a payday loan, like My Canada Payday, but you must be eligible. This means that you must have a good online banking record, an income so they can plan for it, and the required documents.

Invest What You Save
You have to invest what you save in opportunities to ensure it grows faster than the rate it is losing value. You need to reach a point where your money is working for you even while you sleep. Each time you save, you are getting closer to your objective. Stocks and real estate are two areas you might invest in that do not require regular monitoring, allowing you to continue concentrating on your job. When investing, you must understand the risk involved, as more profits usually mean higher risk.

Explore Opportunities With YouTube
YouTube is the largest online video platform, with billions of videos, users, and creators, which means it is teaming with opportunity. Despite the distinct niche you intend to explore, the enormous number of artists implies that you will probably face competition.

You can stand out from the competition by making an investment in the creation of your content. With a solid strategy, compelling content, and superior video quality, you can captivate subscribers and accumulate views, eventually leading to substantial returns within a few years. One simple hack to break into the industry is creating content on something you know well.

Building wealth and getting to financial stability is a journey that requires you to be committed to your financial plan. You have to take steps to manage your monthly and daily expenditures and plan for tough times. You must also invest what you save to grow your money and then look for other alternative sources of income like a YouTube channel or freelance writing.

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Find 15 people to help you pull a 200,000 lbs Airbus 50 yards - be part of the United Way Kick Off Sept 16

By Pepper Parr

July 18th, 2023



Healthy communities are places where people who need help are given the help they need.  In Canada the organization that does that best is the United Way. Today the organization is  an international network of over 1,800 local nonprofit fundraising affiliates.

In 1887, a Denver woman, a priest, two ministers and a rabbi got together… It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but they didn’t walk into a bar; what they did do was recognize the need to work together in new ways to make Denver a better place.

Every year local branches hold a fund raising drive – giving the average person an opportunity to share what they have with others who don’t have what they need.

It begins with a tug-of-war – your team pulling a 202,000 pound Airbus A300 fifty yards along the tarmac at the Hamilton International Airport.

The United Way Halton & Hamilton together with UPS®, invite you to the 5th Annual Plane Pull on September 16th, 2023.

How It Works
Each team will get one opportunity to pull the plane 50 feet across the tarmac in the shortest amount of time.

The team with the shortest combined time wins bragging rights and great prizes!

Prizes will be awarded to the three fastest teams, top team and individual fundraisers, and teams with the most spirit (costumes are encouraged!)
Bring your friends, colleagues and family!

Whether you are pulling the plane or cheering from the sidelines, there are plenty of family-friendly activities to keep everyone entertained including a face painting, bouncy castle, food trucks, and more!

Don’t think you have the muscles to pull the plane but still want to contribute? Join us as an event sponsor! Contact Sarah Hodgson

First – Register on line – you can do that HERE; then start fund raising.

There is no registration fee; each team must fundraise at least $1,500 to be eligible for prizing. This counts towards your workplace campaign total.

Once you have registered, your individual fundraising page makes it easy to approach your friends, family, and neighbours to help you reach your goal. Tax receipts will be provided for donations over $25.

Participants will be asked to share their experience on social media: follow @UnitedWayHH using #LocalLove

Now you start the fund raising.
Send your custom fundraising page to your family and friends to help you reach your personal goal!

Each participant is encouraged to raise a minimum of $1,000 to help reach our collective goal of $225,000 to support those in need throughout our community .

Next step – Register is as an individual or is as a member of a team.

Everything has Rules and Regulations.
Maximum of 15 people per team, must be 18 or older to participate.

The Royal Bank Team pulling the Airbus A300 at the Hamilton International Airport.

Each team will get one opportunity to pull the plane 50 feet across the tarmac in the shortest amount of time. The team with the shortest combined time wins bragging rights and great prizes!

Prizes will be awarded to the three fastest teams, top team and individual fundraisers, and teams with the most spirit (costumes are encouraged!)

The United Way is a great community service organization. In the days ahead we will tell you all about what they do. who they help and  – where the funds raised are spent.

A number of years ago all the local United Way organizations realized that there was strength in number – that resulted in the Burlington, Oakville, Milton, Halton Hills and Hamilton organizations merged and became UWHH – United Way Halton Hamilton with a goal of raising $11 million this year.

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What Has Changed a Year later After a New Online Gambling Legislation in Ontario Was Adopted

By Eva Johnson

July 17th, 2023



After a major legislative update of Ontario online gambling laws in April 2022, Ontario became a place of rapid industry development as dozens of online casino operators acquired the local license for legal performance.

Already in a couple of months after the legislation update, the industry showed a major boost and Ontario became a successful case in Canada and globally.

This positive case allows us to make suggestions and predictions about the development of the online gambling industry in the province.
General Expectations for the Online Gambling Industry in the Province

Canada has always been gambling-friendly.

Canada has always been gambling-friendly, but Ontario has pioneered among other provinces by introducing its new legislation in 2022. Already in a couple of months, the Ontario gambling industry saw an increase in revenues, taxes, and positive competition.

Based on this fact alone, there are several predictions that can be made about the future of the industry and the licensed online casinos in Ontario.

Increased Revenue
The legalization and regulation of online gambling is already resulting in a significant increase in revenue for the province, as more people will be able to access and participate in Internet gambling activities legally.

Not only do Internet casino operators make more money because local players are more willing to try their casino sites out but also more taxes are paid to the province and charities.

Healthier Competition
With the legalization of online gambling, more companies will enter the market, resulting in increased competition. AGCO has already closed the transition period when operators could request the local license, so the number of Internet casinos in the province will not show unlimited growth.

However, the increased number of legal competitors will lead to better services and products for customers, as companies try to outdo one another.

Good jobs in a safe environment are part of what makes gaming as attractive as it is in Canada

More Jobs
According to the gambling statistics, the online gambling industry is likely to create more jobs in Ontario, as companies set up operations and hire staff to manage their Internet platforms. Of course, not much is needed to run an Internet casino locally because it only means access to the services while all the staff can be located elsewhere. However, legal online gambling means more control and supervision in the corresponding agencies that will hire staff.

Also, Live Dealer facilities may want to hire local Dealers for Ontario players, and so on. Who knows what new type of gambling entertainment will be invented next in a transparent and competitive market?

Enhanced Responsible Gambling Measures
With the legalization and regulation of Internet gambling, the government is likely to introduce more responsible gambling measures to protect players. This could include increased education on gambling addiction, self-exclusion programs, and limits on the amount of money players can spend.

AGCO and iGO have strict Responsible gambling policies and requirements that all operators must meet, and it is very likely that with time, these measures will become even more specific and elaborate.

Potential for Increased Gambling Addiction
While responsible gambling measures are likely to be introduced, there is a risk that the legalization of Internet gambling could result in an increase in gambling addiction. The government will need to be vigilant in monitoring the industry and ensuring that appropriate measures are in place to prevent and treat addiction.

It is too early to provide any adequate statistical data about addictive gambling issues increased in Ontario since April 2022 but this seems to be a legit consequence of more available and affordable gambling entertainment.

Technology has become a large part of the growth of gaming in Canada

Technological Advancements
The Internet gambling industry is likely to continue to evolve and develop new technologies to enhance the user experience.

This could include virtual reality casinos, Live dealer games, and more. Interestingly, many technologies are developed as entertainment first because people are ready to pay for fun whereas they are not ready to pay for useful things.

Some streaming technologies, KYC and verification procedures, payment technologies, and other inventions for Internet casinos can eventually turn out useful in other niches.

Potential for Increased Tax Revenue
The legalization and regulation of online gambling could result in increased tax revenue for the province, which could be used to fund public services and infrastructure.

International Competition

Ontario’s online gambling industry could face competition from other jurisdictions, both within Canada and internationally. Of course, being the first, Ontario is now a dream-come-true province for all Canadian players.

However, as other provinces and states follow (which can really happen with time!) Internet casino operators may find other locations more attractive for licensed services, and Ontario will stop being a buzzword in the online gambling industry.

Final Thoughts
Ontario shows a positive example to all provinces in Canada and other jurisdictions that were reluctant to upgrade their gambling legislation and preferred to turn a blind eye to the gray zone in which gambling currently operates in the majority of countries. Therefore, it is easy to understand that Ontario is being watched closely to analyze its case.

However, the industry is rather unpredictable, and new inventions can create additional nuances in the near future – like the introduction of AI technologies did for many industries. Therefore, while Ontario seems to be managing well, it is still too early to state that its example will be followed massively.

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Niagara-bound traffic on QEW Burlington Skyway open this weekend.

By Staff

July14th, 2023



The Niagara-bound traffic on the QEW Burlington Skyway is open this weekend.

Travellers can visit or @511Ontario for updates on work and traffic impacts.

Access to the on ramp for Niagara bound traffic is open this weekend.


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A Look at Burlington Area's Top Sports Venues and Facilities

By Dannielle Cousland

July 12th, 2023



The Burlington Ontario area is an excellent place for sports fans. It has many professional sports teams and lots of people who love sports. Burlington, Ontario, is one of these places. It has some top sports spots where people can watch or play different sports. From cycling and soccer to golf and football, these places have seen many sports events and helped local athletes improve their skills.

These sports places in Burlington are not just for athletes, though. They’re also for everyone in the community who wants to get moving, stay fit, and have fun.

For those fans who desire to take their love for games up a notch, exploring the betting options here at Cloudbet can add an exciting dimension to the experience.

Thousands of people use the Velodrome as their base when they bike through the hundreds of miles of country roads. The facility has bicycle storage space as well.

The Mattamy National Cycling Centre

The Mattamy National Cycling Centre in Milton, Ontario, distinguishes itself as a paramount track cycling facility. Established for the 2015 Pan American Games, the Centre stands as Canada’s first-ever indoor velodrome following the UCI regulations and the second such facility in North America, joining the prestigious ranks of the VELO Sports Center in Los Angeles.

The indoor cycling arena sports a 250-meter timber track incorporating two high banks angled at 42 degrees.

Originally, the Velodrome hosted 2,500 spectators during the games. Post-event, it transformed into a home base for Cycling Canada’s national track cycling program, reducing its seating capacity to 1,500.

Supplementing the cycling track, the facility integrates a diverse recreational space, including a fully-equipped cardio and strength training fitness centre, a group fitness studio, a 300-meter walking/jogging track, and three courts dedicated to volleyball, basketball, and badminton.

Glen Abbey Golf Club

Public golfers and ClubLink members can avail themselves of the world-class facilities at Glen Abbey Golf Club, a renowned golfing destination since the turn of the millennium. This exceptional venue has witnessed unforgettable moments, including Tiger Woods’ shot of the year from a fairway bunker on the 72nd hole of the Canadian Open in 2000, leading to his victory by a single stroke.

A Jack Nicklaus design – a place where Tiger Woods played some of his best ever golf.

Glen Abbey made headlines in 2009 as the 25th RBC Canadian Open host. This landmark event marked the 100th playing of Canada’s national championship, further cementing the Club’s status in the annals of PGA Tour events.

Oakville Soccer Club

Awarded Ontario Soccer’s Gold Standard for Club Excellence

Founded in 1972, the Oakville Soccer Club has become Canada’s largest amateur soccer club. It boasts a thriving community of over 19,000 participants and over 900 volunteer and professional coaches. The Club operates from a sprawling 100,000-square-foot indoor soccer facility on Pine Glen Road in North Oakville.

Recognizing its high standards, the Oakville Soccer Club was awarded Ontario Soccer’s Gold Standard for Club Excellence and the Genworth Community Builder of the Year Award at the 2018 Oakville Awards for Business Excellence.

Nelson Stadium

Nelson Stadium, an outdoor sports facility in Burlington, Ontario, offers a multifaceted venue for sports enthusiasts. The stadium is operated by Nelson High School and owned by the Halton District School Board and accommodates up to 1,500 spectators.

Final Thoughts

Burlington and the surrounding communities truly shines as a sports destination. The top-notch facilities offer an impressive variety of opportunities for sports lovers. Not only do these venues stage exciting events and competitions, but they also contribute to the local community by encouraging everyone to stay active and enjoy sports.



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The Region of Halton 2023 Employment Survey is underway - the data is important - take part

By Staff

July 10th, 2023



Nothing in the Region will be able to open up – maybe next week.

The Region of Halton 2023 Employment Survey is underway!

The 2023 Employment Survey is underway until September 29. A team of Planning Employment Surveyors from the Region’s Planning Services Division will reach out to businesses across Halton to gather information about:

the number of employees working at the place of employment;
the type of employment that’s taking place there; and
the type of business activity at the place of employment.

To participate in the 2023 Employment Survey, you can:

Take our survey online: Complete the survey from your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Speak to one of our Employment Surveyors: Our Planning Employment Surveyors will be contacting businesses in Halton until September 29, 2023. Businesses will be visited in-person, or contacted by phone or email using the contact information that was provided by the previous survey respondent at the business.

If you are unsure whether you are being contacted by a Planning Employment Surveyor from Halton Region, you can call 311 or 905-825-6000 to confirm their status as a Regional employee.

Alternatively, you may request to be contacted by email and our Planning Employment Surveyor will reach out to you using a verified Halton email address.


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Chamber of Commerce Student Scholarship gets more confusing

By Pepper Parr

July 5th, 2023



Things at the Burlington Chamber of Commerce are not healthy.

It is a leadership matter.  Membership has grown.  The administrative practices within the Chamber of Commerce – have grown –  in the wrong direction.

Burlington Chamber of Commerce Terry Caddo

The President Terry Caddo has alienated a number of people and points out “we know who they are” with no hint that the concerns and complaints are being carefully looked at and the plan is to find an agreed upon resolution.

The Chamber recently held a Scholarship Breakfast for students who were awarded Chamber of Commerce scholarships and invited all the local MPP’s and MP’s to take part.  There was no media release that we are aware of that the event was taking place.

The photograph the Chamber released included the students who won the scholarship – but no mention of who they were and which high school they attended.  The name of the politicians were included.

The Gazette did get a note from Chair Randy Smallbone saying they would provide name in the future.  What prevents the Chamber from providing the names now – the parents of those students would appreciate seeing the children recognized.

Our headline on the original story was incorrect. The politicians took part in the event to do the presentation of the certificates and to talk to the students about their plans for their futures.  There was no mention of the role the politicians played in the breakfast event.

We don’t make things up – we do our best to report.  Given that we didn’t know the event was taking place we did the best we could with what we came across.

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Five local politicians show up to have their picture taken for an event they had nothing to do with.

By Pepper Parr

July 4th, 2023



The Burlington Chamber of Commerce held a breakfast on June 29th to honour and recognize the recipients of the Burlington Chamber Scholarship Fund.

The recipients were graduating students chosen from each Burlington high school and all were highly deserving of the honour.

The photograph provided had all the high school recipients seated in the front row with the politicians (Ward 6 Councillor Angelo Bentivegna, MPP Natalie Pierre, MPP Effie Triantafiloulos, MP Karina Gould and MP Pam Damoff) standing behind them.

No mention of who the students were or the high school they represented.

The Chamber of Commerce was doing its best to curry favour with politicians.  Did they get their priorities mixed up?  Obviously not from their perspective.

The disappointing part of this photo op exercise is that the politicians had nothing to do with the scholarship program; they were invited to attend and like lemmings showed up to get their picture taken.

In no particular order: Ward 6 Councillor Angelo Bentivegna, MPP Natalie Pierre, MPP Effie Triantafiloulos, MP Karina Gould and MP Pam Damoff. The people at either end of the back row were not identified.Neither was the gent in the pink jacket; he is the Chair of the Chamber Randall Smallbone


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Smart Serve re-certification dates extended

By Staff

July 4th, 2023



The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of orporation Ontario (AGCO) announced that it will be extending the period to complete Smart Serve recertification.


Certificates with an expiry date between July 1, 2023 and August 31, 2023 remain valid until September 1, 2023.


The Information Bulletin on this update has also been sent out to all liquor licensees. It reads:


 As a result of the high volume of Smart Serve liquor training recertifications underway, the AGCO is extending the period to complete recertification for those whose certificates are set to expire. Certificates with an expiry date between June 30, 2023 and August 31, 2023 will now remain valid until September 1, 2023.

This means that:

        • Liquor training certificates issued before September 1, 2018 will remain valid until August 31, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. This includes Smart Serve certificates and certificates issued prior to 1995 from the Server Intervention Program (SIP).
        • Smart Serve certificates issued on or after September 1, 2018 will expire five years from the date of issuance (e.g., a certificate obtained on September 15, 2018, will expire on September 14, 2023 at 11:59 p.m.).
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Housing starts: Burlington low on the number of starts but very good on the number completed in May

By Staff

July 2nd, 2023



Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation has issued some data on housing starts across the province.

Burlington is not at the top of the list.

City Council gets reports regularly on why things are not moving as well as they should – the problems Burlington faces are no different than other municipalities its size.

Don’t expect this data to make it past the lips of anyone on Council even though the completion rate is pretty good.

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The Redesign of Civic Square - Part 1

By Pepper Parr

July 1st, 2023



This is a long story so I have broken it up into three parts.

City Hal released a plan last week to redesign Civic Square.  The three parts are:

What was done before the plans that are now before the public?
What did the Staff report have to say in their report to Council ?.
And how did council react

In December of 2018 the city budgeted $600,000 for upgrades to Civic Square, the space to the south of city hall.

Civic Square as it is today.

Many of the improvements were required to improve things like accessibility, safety and convenience.

The city held an on-line survey with renderings of the new look; it was poorly promoted and the results of that survey were never made public.

At the time there was one 28 storey tower planned for the west side of Brant Street on the north side of James. The plans were approved and the tower is nearing completion.

The first tower to be built directly across the street from City Hal – 28 storeys. Construction close to completion.

Plans for a second tower on the south side of James have not been completed. They did have approval for 17 storeys and that is where that second tower sits.

The city had embarked on improving what they called Customer Service, gave it the initials CSX.

The first run at that idea stumbled getting out the gate. A former City Clerk was assigned to improving the team; some progress was made. The wrinkles got worked out, the software being used was upgraded. The former Clerk left for greener pastures – retirement.

The second tower that will be opposite City Hall – on Brant south side of James Street. Construction has yet to start.

Covid entered the picture, many staff worked from home and the city used the opportunity to remake the ground floor of city hall – you will not recognize the place when it is opened to the public. Expect a major photo op event when that happens.

Inside City Hall will look and feel a lot different. A visual was prepared to give the public a sense as to what was in the works.  Take the 33 second flyby to see what the end result is expected to look like

When the changes to the inside of City Hall were taking place little attention was paid to Civic Square other than mention of a new entrance, some reshuffling of things in Civic Square – more flag poles, some trees and plans to either get rid of the fountain or move it.

The noise and dust from the renovations proved to be more than staff could put up with if they were going to get any work done.

The Customer Service department was moved to the Sims building, which is on the southern side of Elgin Street.. The city bought the building for $17 milliom about five years ago.

Parts 2 and 3 to follow.

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The end of Fireworks as we know them ? Drone light shows are what some communities are using - what do you think ?

There is an option.

Fireworks as we know them have always been popular.

That is changing.

There are now drone light shows – because a picture is worth more than 1000 words we will let you see for yourself.  Click HERE

The only thing missing is the loud sounds.

Do tell us what you think.

Too late for Burlington to make a switch this year.

Next year?


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Ford’s Conservatives set rent increase guidelines at 2.5%, highest increase allowable under Residential Tenancies Act

By Staff

June 30th, 2023



New Democrats put out a statement today: Ford’s Conservatives set the rent increase guidelines for 2024 at 2.5%, the highest increase legally allowable under Residential Tenancies Act:

A development that is somewhere in the application to develop pipeline.

“Jacking up the rent for millions of Ontario renters is only going to make the Ford Conservatives’ housing affordability crisis worse”, said the NDP in a statement they released earlier today.

“2.5% is a huge increase, especially when you consider that rent is already so high, and most Ontarians’ wages haven’t kept up.

“And if you’re in a rental first rented on November 15, 2018 or later, the sky’s the limit as far as how high your rent can go up, thanks to the Ford Conservatives’ massive loophole.

“We need a comprehensive strategy to solve our housing crisis, starting with bringing back strong rent control on all homes, including vacancy decontrol—where a new tenant pays the same rent as the previous tenant. The Ontario NDP would invest immediately in affordable housing, take steps to curb greedy speculation, and spur the construction of 1.5 million new homes for Ontarians.”

The Ford government has argued that developers cannot afford to build rental housing with the current rent guidelines.

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Developer takes a different approach to brand development: They want to be seen as more than just a developer

By Pepper Parr

June 29th, 2023



Creating the image and the message you want your market to have is an art more than it is a science.

In Burlington, many business operators will give a portion of their profits to a local charity. Car dealerships will loan a vehicle to an organization and have their name well displayed on the vehicle.

Alinea , the largest developable land owner in the Region, was formed when the Paletta brothers found that they didn’t see the world the way they used to when their father was alive and decided to distribute the significant assets between them and each go their own way.

Alinea now needs to grow their brand. Paletta as a developer was a little rough at the edges; Alinea wanted to move away from that image. How to tell the story ?.

They found a way to work with the Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation and has offered to match dollar for dollar in their You are more than just a business campaign. It isn’t clear whether the Hospital Foundation pitched the idea to Alinea or Alinea went to the hospital.

Anissa Hilborn, President & CEO of the Foundation has a very good reputation for coming up with innovative and interesting ideas.

Alinea, wants the public to know they are more than just a developer and wants local commercial interests to tell the public they are more than just a business. It’s an interesting approach and so far well executed.

The campaign reaches out to the business community and giving them an opportunity to show they are more than just a business.  For every dollar a local business raises Alinea will match it up to $100,000

Alinea is positioning themselves as a different kind of developer. As part of their working relationship with the hospital foundation they are getting their message out.
The sign in the photograph is being installed on the outside of the hospital – we aren’t quite sure where the sign is – we will dig that out.

They produced a video (Link here) telling the story

The message to the business community is: You’re a team of hard-working people who want to help our community thrive. You don’t just do business in Burlington; you live here, you raise your families here, and you know how important local healthcare is. So show your customers, employees and friends that you’re doing more for your community.

The objective is to raise $100K IN 100 DAYS!

This retailer wants her customers to know that she is supporting the hospital and invites you to join them

It’s an innovative approach, well executed so far. Look for the signs participating businesses get to put in their window or lobby.

It is your hospital – you want it to be there when you need it,

On a slightly negative note – the people of Burlington wanted some reaction to a feature article that ran four pages in the Spectator on problems at the hospital. Not a word in the way of response from Eric Vandewall · President & CEO at Joseph Brant Hospital who, apparently, has yet to learn that the way to handle a negative news story is to get in front of it.

Joseph Brant Hospital is more than just a hospital – it is the place you go to when you are seriously ill and you need help.  The public needs to trust you.

Related news stories:

Spectator does feature on problems at Joseph Brant Hospital

Alinea is a new name in the development field

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