Santa parade taking place on Saturday and Sunday

By Pepper Parr

December 3rd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It has been a hard year for everyone.

A wee bit of Joy will be Santa driving through the streets of the city in an antique fire truck.

The route maps and time frames are set out below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dec. 4, morning route, starting at 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.: south-east Burlington

Dec. 4, afternoon route, starting at 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.: north-east Burlington

Dec. 5, morning route starting at 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.: north-west Burlington

Dec. 5, afternoon route, starting at 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.: south-west Burlington

Santa is unable to stop and chat or accept any letters, glasses of milk or bags of delicious cookies.

Milton chose to hold a real parade; the city of Toronto is holding one. Burlington chose a different route.

Set out at the bottom of this story is a link to an article on a parade that took place in 2012  We knew how to do it then.

The 2012 Burlington Santa parade

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Are the Canal piers going to be gated? Might happen

By Staff

December 1st, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The piers that line the canal leading from Lake Ontario into Hamilton Harbour may be gated in the very near future.

Transport Canada will use gates to close the popular Burlington shipping canal piers to pedestrians in December: both Hamilton and Burlington are putting up a fight.

A fleet of tall ships sailed through the canals in June of 2013. At least 1000 people were on hand to watch the passage.

The federal agency angered local residents last year by threatening to ban the public from the pair of 321-metre-long piers that usher ships into Hamilton Harbour and serve as popular walking paths into the lake. Public pressure and Advocacy from former MP Bob Bratina resulted in a  closure “pause” last year to allow talks with Burlington and Hamilton.

Gates are in position – just waiting for someone to put the lock in place.

But residents watched nervously this month as three new swing gates were installed to block entrance to the piers from the waterfront trail. Transport Canada confirmed it will begin “restricting access” ahead of winter conditions, but added future recreational use is still up for negotiation.

Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger said Friday cities on both sides of the canal would consider taking responsibility for pier maintenance and controlling access in dangerous weather — if the federal government first pays to make the crumbling concrete safe.

That could cost anywhere from hundreds of thousands of dollars to the low millions.

“We certainly expect that the federal government will make those investments,” said Eisenberger. “I imagine it’s not a small investment, but certainly not in the tens of millions of dollars, either.”

Related news story

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Gyms, Rinks, and Community Rooms for rent this holiday season

By Staff

December 1st, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

City of Burlington is offering special rates for rentals of gyms, ice rinks and community rooms from now until January 2nd, 2022.

. Residents can book space for 60 or 90-minute intervals at a variety of locations across the city. This presents a great opportunity for families to be active together in a safe, controlled environment over the month of December.

Rentals can be made 48-hours or more in advance. All bookings can be done through liveandplay.burlington.ca.

  • Gym rentals are available at Tansley Woods Community Centre and Haber Community Centre for $28.90. Rental includes exclusive use of the gym and basketball nets and soccer nets. Renters must bring their own equipment.
  • Ice rink rentals are available at Appleby Ice Centre, Mainway Ice Centre and Mountainside Arena for $139.64. Rentals include exclusive use of the rink, hockey nets and skate aids. Renters must bring all other equipment.
  • Community room rentals are available at Tansley Woods Community Centre, Mountainside Community Centre and Haber Community Centre for $25. Rental includes two tables, 10 chairs. Renters must bring any other equipment they need such as crafts, fitness items or games. Sport balls or large sport equipment are not allowed in community rooms.

A steal of a deal at less than 30 bucks an hour.

All COVID-19 precautions and restrictions apply.

For more information, including booking and payments, visit burlington.ca/rentals.

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Legislative and legal challenges made it impossible to find a solution to the taxi problem

By Pepper Parr

December 1st, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

OPINION

People at city hall don’t set out to hurt people.  Mistakes get made and the people who made the mistake, for the most part, set out to correct the error.

Some mistakes leave scars and diminish people who are already struggling to keep their heads above water.

The number of people going to food banks has risen: 300,000 households in Ontario made the trip this year.

The Food Bank can deliver some of the food needed – but not all of it.

The Burlington Food Bank is able to deliver food to many of the households that need help.

No one broadcasts that they need help feeding their families; while it is not something one should be ashamed of – there is a sense of shame for those on any form of public welfare.

Several of the churches in Burlington had a system that let them give families with no transportation a taxi chit that let them get to the food bank.

Now there is no taxi service and I personally doubt there will be one for something in the order of 100 days.  The “significant legislative and legal challenges”  made it impossible.

Those “legislative and legal challenges need to be replaced by “whatever it takes”. That is what makes a city great.

These mistakes cannot and should never be looked upon as a “learning opportunity”; a phrase that has achieved some currency at the Council table.

The apology from the City Manager just isn’t enough.

Related news story.

Councillor explains.

Salt with Pepper is the musings, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette, an online newspaper that was formed in 2010 and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.

 

 

 

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Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte sets out where she wants to see cuts made in the budget - Rainbow community takes a bit f a hit

oBy Pepper Parr

November 29th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Each member of Council has the opportunity to put forward a motion that sets out the changes they want to see to the budget staff has put forward.

Keep in mind that taxpayers are looking at a pretty stiff budget increase and that Staff don’t see tax increases falling below 4% a year for the next five years.
Also, keep in mind that 2022 will be an election year.

How much fiscal prudence and how much political skin is there in the Stolte budget change proposals?

Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte set out the changes she wants to see.

Motions for Council to Consider:
1) Pride (Rainbow) Crosswalks
Remove $45,000 in funding for three additional Rainbow Crosswalks that are addition to the 4 that have already been committed and encourage community groups to engage and fund raise for future installations.

OR for further consideration:

Rename and repurpose the $45,000 to fund public art installations that support additional marginalized groups in the community (ie. a “Seven Feathers Crosswalk” in support of our First Nations/Indigenous community)
And Direct the Director of Roads, Parks and Forestry to generate “City of Burlington Decorative Crosswalk Guidelines” to ensure consistency for future funding requests of this nature.
2) Dedicated operations space for Building Inspection and By-law Staff
Remove $110,000 from proposed Risk Mitigation Measures budget increase.
3) Sherwood Forest Community Centre Facility 
Recommit previously approved funding, 2022-2024 capital funding totaling $6.2 million as well as 2022-2023 capital reserve funding totaling $600,000 to the Capital Infrastructure Reserve Fund until such time as the plan for cost sharing is approved by Council and the applicable Joint Venture Groups can provide documentation confirming feasibility of financial commitment.

4) School Playground Improvement Strategy 
Transfer $550,000 from the capital budget for School Playground Improvement Strategy to the Park Dedication Reserve Fund to assist with future strategic Halton District School Board land acquisitions and;
Direct the Office of the City Manager to re-negotiate the Agreement with the Halton District School Board regarding the use of City tax dollars to replace playgrounds on private HDSB property.

Reason:
1) The competitive bid process for the three additional Rainbow Crosswalks approved in 2021 resulted in a cost of $27,324 for crosswalk markings at the 3 locations. An additional cost of $32,000 was realized as a result of repaving required at 2 of 3 locations in order to maintain integrity of the markings
for a total of $59,324 or $19,775 per crosswalk.

Mayor Meed Ward has put a lot of her political capital on the Rainbow Crosswalks – that capital could be at risk.

The LGBTQ2S+ community in Burlington feels very welcomed and supported with the four new Rainbow Crosswalks around the City of Burlington and greatly appreciates that with the addition of these four Rainbow Crosswalks Burlington now, proudly, has more Rainbow Crosswalks per capita than any other community in the country.

The City of Burlington strives to be a place of diversity and inclusion and to that end the residents of the city are widely supportive of this funding being repurposed to include additional valued community groups and initiatives.

2) While the rationale for dedicated space for the Bylaw and Building Department needs are sound, it is premature to commit $110,000 to new leased space when the required space within existing City owned facilities has not been determined based on remote work arrangements. Efforts to confirm and consolidate existing City owned space allocations needs to be completed before committing to newly leased space.

3) Funding for projects that require Council approved cost sharing arrangements should not be committed until such cost sharing arrangements are confirmed.

Additionally, applicable Joint Venture Groups should be required to provide confirmation of feasibility of financial commitment before commitment of capital assets.

4) Upkeep, maintenance and improvements on properties owned privately by the Halton District School Board should be funded through Provincial Ministry of Education funding.

Will Councillor Kearns, on the left, second the Motion Councillor Stolte brings to the debate this week

Stolte now has to find a member of Council to second her motion.

This Budget Memorandum approach is different – it will be interesting to see how the other members of Council react to what Stolte has proposed.

2022 is an election year and members of this Council are going to have to defend the increases.

This just not a sustainable number – where will the cuts be made?


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Festival of Lights make Spencer Smith Park a special place for the balance of the year

By Staff

November 23rd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It is time to enjoy one of the real delights of living in Burlington.

The Festival of Lights launches officially on Friday.  As the darkness of a late November afternoon settles on the city, lights come on at Spencer Smith Park illuminating the “sculptures” set up all along the park.

The photographs in this article are what the designs look like in the daytime.

At night they are a true delight.

At night they look like they are dancing to the music.

 

You can’t hear the sounds of the propellers – but you can imagine it.

Reindeer get replaced for the Santa trip to Burlington

 

 

Just the place to take the kids to the park and wander from one design to another and then be off for a hot chocolate to ward off the evening chill.

The trees are all lit up making the park look like a forest.

 

 

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Retail reaction to the Holiday market mixed; some see a great opportunity others still in the dark

By Ryan O’Dowd: Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

November 23rd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Interviews with downtown Burlington business owners as the holiday market approaches suggests there are distinctly different views and some concern over any impact the event will have on downtown core merchants.

Many business owners seemed in the dark about the specifics of the 4-day holiday market running from December 9th to December 12th, either because they didn’t have time to keep up with things (they were too busy struggling to keep the doors open) or resulting from an absence of communication by the Burlington Downtown Business Association(BDBA).

The common response from business owners whether they were enthusiastic or skeptical about the event was that they hoped the event would prove prosperous as the hard times they’d fallen on in the pandemic remained.

Many were optimistic the market would increase traffic in the downtown core, others concerned about facing direct competition.

Joelle’s store front – one of the stronger retail operations on Brant Street

Joelle Goddard-Cooling, owner of Joelle’s, said busy-ness kept her from participating in BDBA matters.  Joelle said she had spoken to Brian Dean of the BDBA, early in the process but elected to focus on her store.

Joelle Godard Cooling: probably the best retail marketer in the city.

“It would be difficult to participate, to go and haul something over there would be a little tricky,” Joelle said “but hopefully it brings more people downtown.”

Several business owners spoke of the onus being placed on the retailer to set up booths at the market.

Joelle wishes she was more involved with the discussions but the holiday season traffic made it difficult to do so. She suggested if she wanted to know more about the market she could have and there wasn’t an issue with transparency from the BDBA, but acknowledged she would have had to devote time she didn’t have to participate if she wanted input.

“We always want the downtown to flourish, I certainly talked to Brian in the beginning and I felt…” Joelle paused, “I maybe would have commented if I didn’t agree, but I’m not sure if I agree with the market or not. So I have no comment.”

Jason Pepetone, the owner of Centro Garden, found that he too had difficulty keeping up with existing demands as a reason for declining participation in the holiday market.

Pepetone was asked to be a vendor but is dealing with enough staff for day-to-day operations. “I guess it’s a good problem to have,” he said of the demand being placed on his business. In addition to staffing issues, Centro Garden is dealing with supply delays.

Centro Market: one of the more interesting places on Brant Street for the casual shopper.

“We’re not participating in the market. I’ve heard bits and pieces. But we’re dealing with shipments coming in late. I’m in Toronto picking up stuff that’s supposed to be delivered here. We’re dealing with the same supply chain issues as everyone else,” he said.

Pepetone wasn’t concerned about the potential competition and thought the holiday market directing foot traffic could pay dividends for his operation.

“They did something similar years ago in the Village Square, it’s a nice atmosphere. I could see it as competition but that’s never hurt me.”

Shirley, the owner of the Knitter’s Boutique, felt like setting up at the holiday market would have been redundant, her storefront at 431 Pearl Street ( it opened this week) will be right in the thick of the market. The Knitter’s Boutique borders the 402-420 Martha St Parking Lot which is entirely fenced off and under construction, a project Shirley said the city is assuring her will be completed ahead of the December 9th market.

Shirley is looking forward to the project’s completion to assist with traffic outside her location. One day she showed up to find a fence around her store, to her relief the city quickly removed it

“I noticed before they started the construction that the pathway, (the Elgin Promenade) was packed with people. I couldn’t believe the number of people walking! And there was like a gazillion dogs so, in true entrepreneurial fashion Shirley immediately got into knitting dog sweaters and got them in the window. Because it’s just amazing how many dogs there are.

“I’m looking forward to it. I think it’s gonna be huge for businesses and I love the vibe of downtown Burlington. I think there’s a lot of action here and this spot is kind of perfect for it. I’ve told people about the market and they’re spreading the word, it’s going to be so nice because it’s outdoors people can come together and shop without worrying about capacity limits.”

Waves is located in the Village Square – yards away from the Holiday Market location.

Caitlin McGillivray, owner of Waves in the Village, didn’t receive any more than a flyer informing her about the market. Caitlin would have participated in some capacity and is concerned the Village Square will be forgotten about by the marketplace. Caitlin said if someone came around to inquire from BDBA they could have at least contributed something for a gift bag so if people left without checking in to Waves in the Village they would know they were there.

“I’m concerned that we’re gonna have a lot of people down here and they’re not going to be redirected into the Village because a lot of people don’t know the Village exists. So I’m afraid they’re going to go through the parking lot and then they’re just going to go to their car and leave. People should be redirected into this area to help some of the businesses that are in here as well,” said McGillivray.

The Agora Market Place: One of those gems you come across in Burlington. Located in the Village Square

Ali Ucar, owner of the Agora Marketplace, is participating in the holiday market and hopes it will provide a much-needed boost for his business. The John Street gift shop owner opened during the pandemic and was hamstrung introducing his shop to the public by the frequent lockdowns.

Ucar is paying a $50 fee to participate and is responsible for bringing his own tent and table. Ucar has tried marketing and social media and isn’t sure where to go from here, he is hopeful the holiday market spreads awareness.

There is a responsibility burden on the BDBA for the marketplace to infuse the downtown core with an influx of shoppers this holiday season. The event must benefit not only partnering businesses but all local retailers in the downtown core who lacked the time, resources or information to participate.

The Burlington Downtown website says the marketplace aims to revitalize the downtown core just in time for the holiday season. Here’s hoping that goal comes to fruition lest the BDBA receive a few lumps of coal from their clients this holiday season.

The parking lot will be filled with people for four days in December. The Poacher at one end and Dickens at the other.

The Burlington Holiday Market is being run with support from the  Sound of Music and will feature choirs, interactive community art features, and advent-style community displays.

The event kicks off Thursday, December 9th from 4 pm to 10 pm, runs from 11 am to 11 pm on Friday and Saturday, and 11 am to 7 pm on Sunday.

 

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Tree Festival brightens up Performing Arts Centre space - pre-lit trees to be auctioned off

By Staff

November 23rd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Burlington Performing Arts Centre’s 5th Annual Festival of Trees will be sparking yuletide joy in patrons who visit BPAC until December 18th.

For the fifth year the open spaces at the Performing Arts Centre have been dotted with Christmas trees that were auctioned off.

Pre-lit artificial Christmas trees, generously donated by Canadian Tire Burlington Stores and sponsored by local businesses, will light up BPAC’s Lobby for 4 weeks – until their silent auction ‘winners’ take them home for the holidays.

Canadian Tire antique truck brought the Christmas trees to the Performing Arts Centre

Toy Drive

During the Festival of Trees, new toys will be accepted to be distributed to those in need. Please drop off unused toys to the Canadian Tire classic pick-up truck in the BPAC lobby.

BPAC’s Festival of Trees Silent Auction

You have the chance to take home one or more of the beautifully decorated trees by entering the Silent Auction. Simply view the trees in-person and place your bid. All proceeds support the Burlington Performing Arts Centre – no bid is too generous!

Tree bidding ends on Saturday, December 18 at 4pm.
Minimum bid for trees is $10.

Winners will be contacted by email and/or phone and can pick up trees on Monday Dec 20 and Tuesday Dec 21. Entrants must consent to signing up for the BPAC mailing list to be eligible.

Viewing Times

Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri, Sat & Sun: 12pm to 4pm
+ One hour prior to performances

 

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Location of the Holiday Market - we just got it wrong. Sorry

There was an error in identifying the location of the Holiday Market scheduled for December 9th to 12th.

Our apologies to everyone.

The location is alongside the Elgin Promenade.

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Home of the Holiday Market - a parking lot that will be transformed into a winter wonderland

By Pepper Parr

November 22nd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Getting the plans for a Holiday Market off the ground and into the minds of the public was a little awkward and far less than transparent – but they are closer to liftoff – which is December 9th to 12th – all to take place in a parking lot.

The event is free – the opportunity is to see what merchants in the area have to offer. The idea was patterned after the immensely successful German Christmas markets: Burlington wanted one of its own and after more than a year of thinking about it and sifting through various ideas, Brian Dean, Executive Director of the Burlington Downtown Business Association (BDBA) and Peter Van Dyk thought they had an idea that could fly.

The Holiday Market will fill the space in this parking lot. This is the view looking east.

It was to be an event supported in a big way with sponsorships. The initial effort to land a major bank didn’t work out.

Sponsors as of November 18:
Cogeco
Desjardins
PV & V Insurance
SB Partners
Core Development Group
Rick Burgess of Frederikse Law

With the Poacher on the west end and The Dickens on the eastern end there will be no problems for those looking for an Adult Libation

The list of vendors is growing. Some of those set out below will not be present for all four days – a schedule will be posted on the website stating which vendors will be present on which days.

Joseph Tassoni
Bodega Wellness
Do + Dare Undie Co. Ltd.
Miss Bailey Brown
ODDSpot
The Handmade House
Agora Marketplace
La Crème de la Crème
Burlington Downtown Business Association & Tourism Burlington
Water’s Edge Salon & Spa
Omi’s Sweet Treats
Pop Balloons Pop
Wheat Queens & Pretty Things
Wicker Blues
Your Local Boulanger
Ash Designs
Backed By Bees
Bu Candles
Candles and Palms
3 Girls x Curated Goods
French Lunch
Get It While It’s Hot
Ivy + Soy
Kelso Lavender

Musical acts will be confirmed closer to December 9. At this point there are several choirs lined up.

The Holiday market people are working with Sound of Music to determine if some of the talent they work with can be available.

Noise was a concern – no assurances at that level.

There was mention of alcohol being available. Talks with the people at The Poacher didn’t go very far – they apparently had some liability issues.

This is an evolving initiative with a lot of unknowns and great aspirations.

The web site for the event

Hours of operation:

Thursday December 9: 4 pm-10 pm

Friday, December 10 and Saturday, December 11: 11 am-11 pm

Sunday, December 12: 11 am – 7 pm

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Adding touches of gold to silver jewelry - to be demonstrated at AGB

By Staff

November 22, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Art Gallery of Burlington will feature Heidi von der Gathen of Air and Earth Design on Saturday, November 27 from 12 to 3 PM.

Heidi von der Gathen

Heidi will share more about her practice and demonstrate the Keum Boo technique she uses to fuse gold embellishments to the silver in her jewellery.

Air & Earth Design is the contemporary jewellery brand designed by artist, Heidi von der Gathen. Hand-crafted, organic inspired elements combined with clean lines and unique finishes gives Heidi’s jewellery a chic and contemporary edge.

These timeless pieces that describe style rather than fashion, can be worn for years. Powerful beauty. Here is jewellery designed for women that are comfortable with themselves and enjoy creating their own, unique and personal statement.

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Emmett the cookie maker - last day to order - proceeds go to Halton Women's Shelter

By Staff

November 21st, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Emmet caught the Giving Back bug early in life.

Emmett at his kitchen counter

He had decided that he could make cookies, sell them and donate the proceeds to people who needed the money.

His first venture into the cookie business got him a chance to sit behind the wheel of a fire truck after giving Fire Chief Karen Roach a box of his treats.

He set out on a bigger venture the second time – he wanted to raise $1000 for the Halton Women’s Shelter.

Emmett and the Fire Chief

Today, November 22nd,  is the last day to place cookie orders. If you have already ordered, Emmett is delighted.  He has already reached his target – but would like to do more.

That’s Giving Back.

You can follow Emmett’s cooking journey.

On youtube: http://youtube.com/emmettmakes

On instagram: http://instagram/emmettmakes

Previous news story:

Young people and neat ideas

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Aldershot Village Christmas Tree Lighting - Saturday.

By Staff

November 19th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

ALDERSHOT IS CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS…….
Annual Village Tree Lighting – Saturday, Nov. 20 – 3 to 6pm when the tree will be lit. Come early to look around and hear St. Matthew’s Bell Choir at 4:30 & 5:30; Enchorus Children’s Choir; Outdoor Vendor Market; Santa & Friends; Hot Chocolate & Snacks, and pre-book a Horse-drawn Carriage Ride at www.aldershotbia.com To help your neighbours bring non-perishable food items to the Cram-a-Cruiser Food Drive.

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Santa will be in town - December 4th and 5th. He gets some help from the fire department.

By Staff

November 19th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

Breaking News

The Gazette has learned from a usually reliable source that Santa has arranged to visit Burlington on Saturday and Sunday – the 4th and 5th of December.

Our sources sent us a map of the route Santa is expected to take.

The reindeer aren’t available this year –  the Santa workshop team didn’t think it was safe for them to be out without wearing masks – they couldn’t find anything that would fit the reindeer.

Santa was able to get some help from the Burlington Fire department who will drive Santa around the city.

We expect to get more detailed information from the elves as we get closer to the arrival dates.

Stay tuned.

 

 

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Tim Hortons free PA Day and winter break swimming and skating

By Staff

November 18th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Tim Hortons is picking up the tab for free swimming and skating on the PA Day, Nov. 26

Tim Hortons has also made a contribution to the Skate Lending Program which will be coming to the Burlington Rotary Centennial Pond when it is opened later this year.

During the PA Day there will be four hours of free swimming and four and a half hours of skating on Nov. 26

It will be a fun time – but you do have to register.

During the winter break, there will be more than 20 hours of free swimming and 74 hours of skating for residents.

For all days and activities, pre-registration is required and registration opens 25-hours in advance for residents and 2 hours for non-residents and all persons 12 years and older will require proof of vaccination and must complete the screening at burlington.ca/screening.

For more information on dates and times and to register, visit burlington.ca/dropinandplay.

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Dr. Jennifer Kwan receives Award of Excellence for her work as a Family Physician

By Staff

November 18th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Ontario College of Family Physicians announces an Award of Excellence given to Burlington family physician Dr. Jennifer Kwan.

Dr. Jennifer Kwan

The College of Family Physicians of Canada Awards of Excellence recognize family doctors for exceptional achievement within the past 24 months in the specialty of family medicine. Nominations are made by peers or the public and are submitted to the provincial chapter of which the nominee is a member.

“These doctors have demonstrated tremendous leadership, dedication and service to their communities – Dr. Kwan, especially through her advocacy and public education on COVID-19.

Dr. Kwan exemplifies the vital role family physicians play across Ontario as clinicians, advocates, teachers, and researchers

Dr. Kwan at her work station.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Jennifer Kwan has become a household name, known for the public health data she disseminated daily via Twitter (@jkwan_md). For more than a year and a half, she has presented information in a simple, transparent graphical format, making her Twitter feed a go-to resource for many. Physicians and the public alike find reliable data about COVID cases, testing, hospitalizations, vaccinations, trends over time, and more—enabling Ontarians to see how our behaviours were shaping the pandemic.

At a crucial point of the pandemic, Dr. Kwan led projects to provide health facilities with needed personal protective equipment (PPE). That included building an online portal to facilitate PPE donations and, as a director of the Halton Region Chinese Canadian Association, helping to coordinate the donation of more than 5,000 masks and other PPE to local physicians’ offices and care providers at a time when these were scarce. Dr. Kwan was also an early advocate for public masking and helped found the grassroots volunteer group, Masks4Canada, whose efforts contributed to Canada’s eventual adoption of a masking policy.

Faced with threats and insults from naysayers on social media, Dr. Kwan has persevered in sharing reliable information, which she believes empowers Ontarians to understand their own health. She has appeared on media programs to promote public health messages and help Ontarians understand how the pandemic is affecting them. It should come as no surprise, then, that she is highly respected among infectious disease and other colleagues: Her nomination for the Award of Excellence was signed by over 70 physicians in all different specialties from across the province.

“Dr. Kwan has been nothing short of a powerhouse during the pandemic,” said Dr. Gina Eom, University of Toronto. “She has been an inspirational leader, and physicians all across the province have appreciated her work which she has undertaken on her own mission, without any financial or academic incentive.”

 

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Pride benches part of city bench program: some interesting choices for those who want to use a bench to honour and celebrate someone

By Staff

November 16th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Recommendation:
Receive and file engineering services report regarding an overview of all bench programs offered by the city; and

Authorize the Director of Engineering Services to incorporate the inclusion of Pride (rainbow) themed benches as an option in the Council Bench Program; and

Authorize the Director of Engineering Services to implement a revised Recognition Celebration Program utilizing the amendments included in Appendix C of engineering services report ES-40-21.

Standard issue – one size and style is supposed to fit all.

PURPOSE:
The purpose of this report is to provide an overview of the various bench programs offered by the City and to introduce the inclusion of Pride (rainbow) themed benches as part of the Council Bench Program. This report will also serve as an opportunity to recommend minor amendments to the current Recognition Celebration Program (Memorial Bench Program) and to deliver recommendations on a preferred approach to implementing future bench requests at city parks, trails, sidewalks and facilities.

Background and Discussion:
Benches are an important asset in and along our parks, trails, sidewalks and facilities. A public bench is a welcoming and inclusive space for everyone to use. In many cases they provide more than just a place to rest. They are popular ways to pay tribute to honouring memories and can serve as a symbol, like the Pride (rainbow) bench which means welcoming, friendship and community.

It is described as “Millionaires Row” -what a place to sit and just gaze out over the lake or meet with a friend. Does it get better than this. The location is the Burloak Lakeside Park

This section will provide an overview of the existing programs related to building new benches in the City and introduce a new style of bench; the Pride (rainbow) themed bench.

1. Pride (rainbow) Benches
2. Council Bench Program
3. Recognition Celebration Program (Memorial Bench Program)
4. Capital Program
5. Public Art Program
6. Maple Park Rotary Memorial Forest

Pride (rainbow) Benches
In recognition and support of Burlington’s 2SLGBTQIA+ (Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual) Community, staff reviewed options for the inclusion of Pride (rainbow) themed benches. Staff have reviewed the procurement requirements, bench model types with respect to cost, durability, maintenance and funding needs based on estimated useful life and full lifecycle costs.

There are several different styles of rainbow benches currently on the market. For consistency with the City’s bench standard, the preference is to implement the same bench type except with custom colours. The City’s standard bench model is a black metal bench. The exceptions to this include areas of the City that are associated with specific design plans such as the Downtown Streetscape Guidelines and Plains Road Corridor Urban Design Guidelines. The procurement for the vendor and bench model will follow the City’s procurement process.

Council Bench Program
As part of the Council Bench Program, each council member can select one bench each year to be installed at a qualifying location of their choice based on constituent requests. It will be each member of Council’s responsibly to provide Engineering Services with their preferred location for a bench by March 30th of each year to allow enough time to site verify that the proposed locations meet the design criteria and to allow for public engagement on the site selection. Once the site selection has been confirmed, Engineering staff will look for the best opportunity for implementation.

Appendix A outlines the guidelines for bench placements and Appendix B itemizes the specific process for implementation for the Council Bench Program.

The bench model chosen here is to match the standard or approved bench style for that area of the City. Currently there are standard styles set for the Downtown area, Aldershot area, Alton Village and most parks. As a new addition to this program, Council members may now request that a Pride (rainbow) themed bench be adopted in lieu of the standard or approved style.

It should be noted that any new Council bench will not have a recognition plaque attached to it. City staff will work with each Council member to select their preferred site by June 30th of each year. Council members may wish to communicate with their constituents on this program. This consultation is to be done through the Mayor’s and Councillor’s office. Once this step is complete, staff will incorporate the installation of the benches into their work plan for installation in fall of the current year.

Recognition Celebration Program (often known as Memorial Bench Program)
The 2008 council approved Recognition Celebration Program, through PR 3/08 (2008) and PR-17-11 (2011), includes guidelines for the process and implementation of the program. This program is an opportunity for a resident to donate a park amenity with a personalized plaque to honour a special person(s) or to celebrate an important occasion. A bench is the most popular asset for this program. Here, the donation is for the lifespan of the bench which is typically 15 years. After this time, the bench is removed from inventory.

The program details are made available online: https://www.burlington.ca/en/your- city/Donations-in-Honour-and-Memory.asp

The bench model chosen here is to match the standard or approved bench style for that area of the City. Pride (rainbow) themed benches are not included under this program. As requests come in, they are evaluated based on their appropriateness of the requested site. As part of continuous improvement, there are lessons learned and an opportunity to improve the process and consistency with implementation. Appendix C outlines the amended process and implementation guidelines. Highlights include a new flat fee of $5,000 per bench (which includes the inclusion of a memorial plaque), the ability to adopt a pre-existing bench at a reduced fee and offer Donors an opportunity to change out the plaque if requested.

Maple Park Rotary Memorial Forest
The Rotary Club of Burlington Central operates a memorial tree program at Maple Park, under agreement with the City. Although the focus of this program is the donation of trees, the agreement allows for up to ten memorial benches within the Rotary Memorial Forest area. The City charges Rotary the same amount as charged under the Celebration program to cover the cost of the bench. Rotary provides the coordination with the donor, and the City manages the installation of the bench on behalf of Rotary. Under this program, at the recent request of a donor, a Pride (rainbow) themed bench will be installed in the Rotary Memorial Forest this fall.

Capital Program
The City’s Capital Program for infrastructure projects is an opportunity to add new or replace older benches on city properties. Examples of these capital projects include new park developments, the creation of recreational multi-use trails, renewal of park infrastructure, road re-construction and improvements to facilities.

Increasing the opportunities for seating is generally a design criterion in most capital improvement projects. Adding new or replacing benches as part of a larger capital project is the preferred and most economical way to include benches throughout the city. Based on community need and suitability of the site, staff determine the quantity and location placement of benches.

Public engagement does influence decisions related to need. Upon approval, these benches can be added to construction contracts for installation.

Outside of capital project engagement process, staff regularly receive requests for individual benches at specific locations, e.g. beside a trail or at a street corner. Each request is evaluated by staff to determine the need and ability to accommodate. Where a planned capital project does not exist, staff will look for an opportunity to bundle or add to other capital improvements as a cost and time saving measure if applicable.

The bench model chosen under this program is to match the standard or approved bench style for that area of the City.

Public Art Benches – Public Art Program
Public art benches may be commissioned as part of the Council approved Public Art Program. The Public Art Program guides how artwork is commissioned, acquired and managed. Selected public art projects are planned a year in advance and included in the annual workplan approved by PADIT (Public Art Development Implementation Team). The inclusion of public art benches is subject to needs, trends and budget.

Public art benches are original works of art that are functional, aesthetic and created with the intention of reflecting and/or engaging the community. They are typically in city- maintained areas that are publicly accessible and frequented by many visitors.

The City’s Capital Program identify locations for upcoming improvement. These are preferred candidates for public art bench locations as it negates the need to include site works which reduces the overall cost of the art bench installation work. A Councilor may also request planning and implementation of public art benches via Section 37 negotiations and contributions for a specific area when opportunities arise. PADIT will work with various city service owners to determine potential public art bench sites. These are then identified and prioritized by the Public Art Master Plan and a scoring matrix.

Financial Matters:
Funding to support the various bench-related programs is financed through the capital budget process. The following provides a further breakdown of financial impact specific to each bench program.

Council Bench Program
As part of the annual capital budget process, $40,000 is allocated each year to support this program. This funding is an all-inclusive cost supply and installation of seven benches and does not include replacement or maintenance costs. The total installation cost of a standard black metal bench is approximately $4,700 as it includes a large concrete pad for accessibility, locates, shipping, labour and taxes. The total cost for a Pride (rainbow) bench is $5,700 because they are considered custom because of the various colours.

Based on historic maintenance records and current data provided by manufacturers, the anticipated service life of a bench is typically 15 years. This life expectancy is based on benches being supported by prescribed maintenance throughout its years of service. Using a 15-year horizon, the Council Bench Program will yield 105 new benches at total average lifecycle cost of $550,440. The operating impact is estimated at $12,000 over the same period.

Recognition Celebration Program (often known as Memorial Bench Program)
The program fee paid by the Donor is intended to cover all costs associated with the purchase and installation of the bench or amenity. The fee does not account for operating costs related such things as graffiti removal. The donation is not perpetual; the bench will be removed after the 15-year period and the plaque returned to the Donor.

Capital Program
This section addresses supporting and funding individual bench requests from the Community. When staff receive a request for a new bench, the first order of business is to confirm if there is a planned capital improvement project in that specific location in the city, if there is available funding in the project budget to accommodate and if the proposed location meets the placement criteria. For benches that cannot be accommodated here, submitting a formal request through the Councillor’s office for consideration is another option.

As a new step related to City bench programs, both the Council Bench Program and the Memorial Bench Program will now require locations to be finalized by June 30th of each year. By bundling the procurement of bench programs, it could yield cost savings by reducing shipping costs and unit cost per bench. There may be additional savings if a concrete pad is not required because there is an existing sidewalk or concrete surface that can be used to accommodate the bench and accessibility requirements. These savings may provide an avenue to fund an individual bench request(s) that cannot be accommodated as part of a larger capital improvement project or through the Council Bench Program. The cost savings will vary year by year.

Public Art Benches – Public Art Program
Financing for a public art bench may be a combination Park Dedication Reserve, Capital from Current and/or Public Art Reserve Funds. Benches may also be 100% funded from the Public Art Reserve Fund. These benches have the same estimated useful life of 15 years; however, the initial capital costs are higher at $10,000 to $15,000 per bench. Once installed, the artwork becomes part of the public art inventory. The Public Art Reserve Fund supports costs associated with insurance, maintenance and/or de-installation of the artwork.

Other Funding Opportunities
As part of Site Plan Approval applications, developers are responsible to make good the streetscape beside their new build as per the City standards and guidelines. This means the developer is responsible for the initial capital costs for new street furniture. Once these assets are assumed by the City, they become the capital and maintenance responsibility of the City (but only if they are installed on the public road allowance). Benches built on private property remain the capital and maintenance responsibly of the land owner. Also, as part of development process, currently Section 37 is an eligible funding source to build new publicly accessible benches. Section 37 will be replaced by a Community Benefits Charge in Q4 of 2022.

The intent of the report is to provide an overview and clarity related to the various City programs that present the opportunity to build benches throughout the City, including the introduction of Pride (rainbow) themed benches as part of the Council Bench Program. It is recognized that the future installation of Pride (rainbow) themed benches in different areas of the city act as symbols of diversity and inclusion and the City’s on-going commitment the 2SLGBTQ+ community.

The report was part of the Consent Agenda and did not generate any interest or discussion.

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City is now recruiting new people for the Advisory Committees

By Staff

November 16th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The City of Burlington is looking for community members to volunteer on a city committee or board.

These volunteers play a key role in providing advice and feedback to City Council and staff on a variety of city issues.

Applications are now being accepted online at burlington.ca/committees until Nov. 26.

Multiple efforts have been made to create a system of Advisory Committees with little lasting success. There is something dysfunctional about just about everything city hall has tried. There have been a number of meetings that were attended by well meaning, smart and committed people who want to be involved. Lift off has yet to be achieved.

Residents over 18 years of age, representing the diverse backgrounds of our community are encouraged to apply. Participating on a city committee provides a unique opportunity to:

• Lend your voice and expertise to help shape decisions and services that impact our community

• Expand your network and meet new people

• Gain a broader understanding of how municipal government works.

• The City of Burlington has more than 18 boards and committees that play a key role in providing advice and feedback to City Council and staff on a variety of issues, including heritage, accessibility, diversity and the environment.

• On Nov. 10, 2021, City Council approved a new Public Appointment Policy for Burlington

• The new policy provides an outline for the process of public appointments to advisory committees and local boards at the City and introduces provisions for diversity and inclusion.

City Clerk Kevin Arjoon

View the new Public Appointment Policy.

• To learn more about the city’s boards and committees and to access the online application form, please visit burlington.ca/committees.

 

Kevin Arjoon, City Clerk said:  “Sitting on a local board or committee provides a unique opportunity to directly impact the future of your city. We are looking for volunteers who represent the diversity in our community to lend us their expertise and ideas to help make a difference in our community.”

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Sean Cullen back on stage: Patsy Cline and Frank Sinatra follow at the Performing Arts Centre

 

By Staff

November 15th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Burlington Performing Arts Centre is going to show us the way to live a normal life.

They have pulled back the curtain and are delighted to safely welcome back their eager audiences, volunteers and artists to LIVE entertainment.

Sean Cullen – an “Evening of Sophisticated Silliness” that is not to be missed by anyone who wants a good laugh.

Returning to our Community Studio Theatre on Wednesday, November 17 for his first of three upcoming events, is BPAC friend and favourite Seán Cullen (The Ellen Show / Workin’ Moms / Last Comic Standing / Just For Laughs / The Debaters).

Having traveled the world for over three decades as a master of improvisation and an accomplished impressionist who delights in the absurd, THE SEÁN CULLEN COCKTAIL HOUR (& a half!) will be an “Evening of Sophisticated Silliness” that is not to be missed by anyone who wants a good laugh.

Liven up your spirits with a hilarious evening of comedy and music with the award-winning master of silliness alongside special guests: Allie Pearse (Letterkenny / JFL Standup & Pitch / ‘I Heart Jokes Award’ Winner for 2020 Breakout Comic), Chris Locke (Just For Laughs / Baroness Von Sketch / Mr. D / Canadian Comedy Award for 2014 Best Male Standup), Richard Crouse (host of Pop Life, In Short and Reel to Real / film critic for Bravo, CTV News and CP24) and musical guest Joan Smith (Serena Ryder / Little Foot Long Foot / Joan Smith & the Jane Does).

Next week, BPAC also presents two renowned shows that celebrate a pair of the all-time greats, Frank Sinatra and Patsy Cline.

When you hear Leisa Way singing “I Fall to Pieces” your heart will swell – you are in for a really good time.

(Way-To-Go Productions) stars in the celebrated SWEET DREAMS: THE MUSIC OF PATSY CLINE featuring The Wayward Wind Band for two evening and two matinee performances from Thursday, November 18 until Sunday, November 21.

Experience the fascinating story of the legendary country singer Patsy Cline’s life and the incredible music that she left behind including “I Fall To Pieces,” “She’s Got You,” “Walking After Midnight,” and her biggest hit, “Crazy.”

Backed by a superb four-piece band, Canadian stage star, Leisa Way, a powerhouse singer and entertainer herself, celebrates not only the music of this legendary singer, but tells stories about Patsy Cline’s life that have never been heard before. This concert has been playing to sold out crowds across North America and Europe.

After 50 years of live performances and recordings, Jimmy Stahl has taken his legendary big band project to another level. The Jimmy Stahl Big Band does Sinatra’s greatest hits like you’ve never heard them before, featuring the rising star and crooner Michael Vanhevel in this new tribute to Frank Sinatra and the American Songbook.

There will never be another “Old Blue Eyes” but Michael does come very close. Takes you back.

Jazz aficionados can also expect to be impressed by Grammy–winning charts, scorching horns and fresh interpretations of jazz, blues and swing music spanning multiple decades by the incredible 20 plus musicians on stage.

Experience the power and magic of a big band as The Jimmy Stahl Big Band performs SOUNDS OF SINATRA live on Saturday, November 20 in BPAC’s Main Theatre with fresh arrangements of big brassy blues, swing and jazz standards.

Patrons who want to experience the energy of the live concert environment can purchase tickets through the BPAC Box Office, secure in the knowledge that the BPAC’s health and safety protocols are in place to keep performers and patrons safe. All patrons must show proof of COVID-19 double vaccination to be permitted entry into the facility and wear a mask. ALL-IN PRICING INCLUDES ALL TAXES AND FEES! Livestream ticket options are also available for most shows.

Tickets can be purchased online or by telephone:
905-681-6000  |  www.burlingtonpac.ca

 

 

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St. Matthews Church puts on a drive for ROCK that benefits the Warwick community

By Ryan O’Dowd: Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

November 14th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

This afternoon’s Infant Food Drive supporting Reach Out Center for Kids(ROCK) filled up a skid with donations at St. Matthews Anglican Church.

Throughout the pandemic St. Matthews Church has hosted a weekly drive-through drop-off food collection to fill the void of in-person fundraising events. Today’s collection supports the Infant Food Bank at ROCK’s Warwick/Surrey location part of their Our Community Cares(OOC) program. OOC helps adults and children within the community who are at risk.

OCC  provides  both structured and unstructured programs for children and youths  to encourage learning, physical activity and fun.  The goal is to provide opportunities for character building, social and life skill development and to provide recreational opportunities to improve overall quality of lives.

Included are Adult Education programs, Parent Talk, and Goodwill Employment Services. They also manage a Food Support Cupboard, Fresh Food Box, Clothing Room, Household Items,  Infant Pantry, Computer Access, Lending Library, and accepts furniture items when needed.

From the right: Grace Ann from St. Matthews, Connie Price, Ashley Patterson, ROCK representative, Councillor Galbraith and an unidentified helper.

Connie Price of the Partnering Aldershot Food Collection Committee helped orchestrate today’s event which ran from 11 am to 3 pm. Price said she had noticed that people don’t necessarily think of infant food when donating to food banks so she wanted an event to fill those specific needs.

“We just have to let the community know what the needs are. What I’ve found is if you come to the community with a specific problem or a specific need, they’ll step up,” said Price.

Councillor Galbraith loading Huggies into a vehicle.

Councillor Galbraith loading Huggies into a vehicle.

Ward 1 City and Regional Councillor – Kelvin Galbraith helped load up two vehicles on a bright windy afternoon. “It’s really great to get out and see people in person again and community events like this are very important.

They’ve been continuing through the pandemic but it’s great to see the people that are doing it and thank them because they’re volunteers in our community and they’re doing great,” said Gailbraith.

St. Matthews Church is currently collecting clothes for human trafficking survivors and is continuing their weekly drive-through food drives. At the height of the pandemic, they hosted two food drives each week; as restrictions have loosened were able to reduced it to one.

The weekly food drive supports Partnership West Food Bank and St. Matthews Outreach Chair, Grace Ann Wilbur, noted it will currently run until Christmas but the church is happy to continue with the event as long as the food bank needs them to.

St. Matthews Church uses social media and flyers to spread the word about events like today. Grace Ann Wilbur said Connie Price  sends flyers to everyone she knows which is “half of Burlington.” Given the continued support of events at St. Matthews Church, it’s hard to say if she was joking about Price knowing half of Burlington or not.

Not a lot of room left over.

St. Matthews church is located in Aldershot, 126 Plains Rd. East. Their weekly food drives take place on Wednesdays from 10 am to 1 pm. The weekly food drives are not infant-specific, they accept all non-perishable food items.

ROCK accepts drop-off donations at their Warwick/Surrey location, located at 702 Surrey Ln. ROCK encourages those in need to contact them via phone or email, contact information is available on their website.

 

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