Tim Hortons free PA Day and winter break swimming and skating

By Staff

November 18th, 2021



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



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



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.

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



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



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



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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Regal Road bridge that crosses Tuck Creek gets some public art. Slow down and have a look at it.

By Staff

November 12th, 2021



New public art has been installed on the Regal Road Bridge. The work was done by bau & ćos. You can learn more about them at their web site: www.bauandcos.com

City residents were invited to share their thoughts on three finalists chosen by an independent jury. Comments received on GetInvolvedBurlington.ca, along with the technical and detailed design proposals, informed the jury’s final selection.

The artwork has been installed and features 10 laser-cut steel panels along the concrete sidewall of the Regal Road bridge that crosses Tuck Creek between Oakwood Drive and Swinburne Road. The bridge was upgraded in 2019 as part of the City’s flood mitigation project.

Art depicting life in and around the Regal Road bridge across Tuck Creek

The artists explain what was behind their thinking and design work. “Through changing seasons and everyday activities, the bridge over the Tuck Creek is the background, yet gateway to the community.

Tuck Creek days after the 2014 flood.

“From the bridge, we watch trucks and cars quickly swerving onto Regal Road. Evidently, the QEW spews into Walkers Line and then trickles onto the bridge. Lateral to the driving, we watch guardians and toddlers strolling; students running home for lunch and dogs walking with their owners, while small urban animals scurry away ahead of them.

Since there are physical relations between the silhouettes and community, this is designed to be a fun, relatable and interactive piece for everyone.

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'Forever Fly': a Community Living Program would like your help.

By Staff

November 12th, 2021



Over the course of the pandemic, Art and Music have been an integral part of the lives of the people supported by the Community Living Program.

The “Forever Fly” project was created so that the people they support can express themselves through their artistic abilities, and add to the beauty of the garden area at Mainway.

Their goal is to surround the back yard with colourful butterflies, created by the people they support, to showcase their transformation over the last couple of years. It seems fitting, as the gardens continue to attract many butterflies through the “Garden Buds” Program.

Each individual and/or program were given butterflies to paint and then the butterflies are secured to the fence surrounding the gardens. People can paint one to honour someone they’ve lost, they love, to represent a cause they believe in…. anything that inspires them!

Hundreds of butterflies have been created over the last few months and the community is being asked to help them continue to CREATE opportunities to inspire the people they support to LEAD others and BELIEVE in themselves.

Help Community Living Burlington continue to create opportunities by sponsoring a Butterfly created by someone they support.  An individual’s name or company name will be added to each butterfly and help make a lasting impact on the agency.

Each sponsored butterfly will help:

  • Continue our CLB News Team & CLB Cheer Team on a weekly basis
  • Build new & exciting Virtual Programming for all participants
  • Discover new opportunities in the community to engage our participants and increase social capital
  • Assist the people we support to develop new skills and certifications to become leaders in our community.
  • Fund supplies and equipment for new art projects
  • …. the possibilities are endless!


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Hayley Verrall will appear on the Performing Art Stage Sunday afternoon.

By Staff

November 12th, 2021



After nearly 20 long months, the dark Performing Arts Centre stages are once again lit and shining the spotlight on incredible local talent!

The BPAC LIVE & LOCAL Music Series returns to the Community Studio Theatre on Sunday, November 14 at 4pm.

This series ensures a great early evening of live music hosted by an impressive trio, made up of the area’s most highly sought-after professional touring and recording musicians, and features hand-picked emerging and established homegrown talent.

What makes this event kind of special for ACCOB (Arts & Culture Council of Burlington) and those involved in culture and entertainment is the appearance on the stage of Hayley Verrall (2020 BPAC Hall of Fame winner).

While the guitar is the instrument of choice she is just as good at the keyboard.

The Gazette has followed Hayley for some time and watched her performances grow in both strength and quality.

The first time we heard her was in the living room of her home where we were interviewing.

What we heard and saw was a soft sweet voice and a smile that won you over.

There wasn’t a reputation yet but you knew there was going to be in at some point in the not too distance future.

Performances in Nashville and her popping up all over the place in Burlington resulted in an audience that wanted to hear her.

She was bound for the stage at a really early age. Her Mother did everything possible that local groups and organizations knew Hayley was eager to perform at almost any event. She was once a part of an election debate where she was the entertainment.

Hayley is the featured guest who will appear with Terra Lightfoot, Mark Lalama, Davide DiRenzo and Richard Moore. Described as the city’s own country singer-songwriter and rising star Hayley Verrall is a fresh young artist who has quietly but quickly been edging her way into the Canadian country music community with her roots and contemporary inspired original music.

An internationally and locally awarded artist, Verrall’s passion for performing and for people has not gone unnoticed as she was most recently named the 2020 inductee to the Burlington Performing Arts Centre Hall of Fame which recognizes persons who have made significant contributions to the performing arts in Burlington.

“Being inducted into the Burlington Performing Arts Centre Hall of Fame is an unbelievable feeling. I am so grateful for the ongoing support that both BPAC and Burlington have provided to me and my music.” says Verrall. “I feel completely blessed to be a Burlington artist and am ecstatic that BPAC recognizes my worth as such.”

The Burlington Performing Arts Centre presents
Hosted by The Mark Lalama Trio
Featuring Terra Lightfoot and Hayley Verrall
November 14, 2021 at 4 p.m.
Community Studio Theatre & Livestream
440 Locust Street, Burlington, Ontario

Tickets can be purchased online or by telephone:
905-681-6000 | https://burlingtonpac.ca/events/steven-page-trio/
Tickets: Regular $39.50 / Members $34.50

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Steven Page - on stage Saturday at the Performing Arts Centre

By Staff

November 11th, 2021



Steven Page’s distinctive and powerful voice will reach out to the audience at the Performing arts Centre on Saturday the 13th.

Steven Page: among the most instantly recognizable voices in popular music.

That voice is among the most instantly recognizable in popular music. He is a member of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame with former bandmates, Barenaked Ladies, the award-winning band he co-founded.

As one of the principal songwriters and lead singer, Steven spent twenty years with the group, touring the world and selling millions of albums.

Steven’s fifth solo album, DISCIPLINE: HEAL THYSELF, PT. II, was released in 2018, followed by tours of the UK, Ireland and the U.S. with bandmates Craig Northey (Odds) and Kevin Fox. In 2019, Steven toured Canada from coast to coast starting in the east with a successful run alongside Symphony New Brunswick. The Discipline Tour concluded in autumn 2019, with an extensive tour of the U.S. Northwest, Southeast, Northeast and Texas. The Steven Page Trio – Live in Concert DVD was filmed during this tour and has been airing on American Public Television stations across the U.S.

Since becoming a solo artist, Page has carved out a diversified niche for himself that extends beyond recording and performing through an extensive array of projects in music, film, theatre and television. He has composed six Stratford Festival scores, has collaborated and toured North America with Toronto’s innovative Art of Time Ensemble and performs with his rock star pals as a member of the Trans-Canada Highwaymen.

Steven journeyed across Canada and the U.S. as host of TV’s The Illegal Eater, became a Chopped Canada Champion and appeared as a judge on Iron Chef Canada in their 2019/20 season.

Show Length: Approx. 90 min. Intermission.
Ticket Prices:
Regular: $69.50 (All-in)
Member: $64.50 (All-in)
Livestream: $15 (All-in, per household)
Member Livestream: $10 (All-in, per household)

Ontario pandemic guidelines: all patrons must show proof of COVID-19 double vaccination to be permitted entry into the facility.

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Made fresh for you and delivered to your door if you wish.

By Staff

November 9th, 2021



J. Crawford Fine Desserts is a new gluten and dairy-free virtual bakery based in Burlington that has their sights set much higher than just making some really good cupcakes!

Think flavour not calories

In spite of the global pandemic, J. Crawford officially launched in February of this year. Where others saw an end to the world they saw an opportunity.

As in all major world crises, amid the chaos there were lessons to be learned. Ready or not, the pandemic pushed our society many years ahead of where it was. From telemedicine to improving air quality, it seems like shutting down our old habits was the much-needed intervention the world needed. J. Crawford believes that there is a middle ground on which we can incorporate all of the lessons we’ve learned and remain social. In fact, they’re trying to give you even more time with your loved ones on a regular basis.

Let’s cut to the chase – these people will make the cake you want from scratch and deliver it to your door if that is what you want.

From their kitchen to your door – faster than you can cool the wine.

That’s what a virtual bakery is all about – it is entirely online. Owner and Founder, Mr. Rhys Poirier, believes that the virtual realm will elevate the customer experience.

– Being able to access their ordering platform whenever and wherever a craving hits you means that you save time running errands and waiting in line. If you’d like to have it delivered, you can have it affordably delivered to you immediately. If you’d like to pick up some treats on your way home from work, you can do that too!

– Keeping the products out of a display case and made on-demand saves retail food waste.

They are being recognized. As of October 18th 2021, J. Crawford Fine Desserts sits up at the #1 spot for Non-US Americas and #13 on the Global Leaderboard. Entrepreneurs earn their ranks from both peer voting and analyses from renowned economists, mathematicians, CEOs, and angel investors.

Rhys Poirier

Locally, they have been voted one of Instagram’s Favourite Burlington Bakeries by Tourism Burlington, given a Canadian Business Review Board’s Best Businesses in Canada Award, and received a Restaurant Gurus Certificate of Excellence.

To order from this bakery of the future, go check them out on their website, www.jcrawfordfinedesserts.com, or on Skip the Dishes, UberEats, and Door Dash.

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Council to consider permitting year round patio operations

By Staff

November 9th, 2021



City Council is going to look into the idea of having year round patios directing the Director of Community Planning to report back in Q1 2022 with a report, including options and recommendations, outlining a plan and process for moving forward with a permanent city-wide outdoor patio program (post covid 19 recovery); and

Will this be the normal we are all looking for?

Direct the Director of Community Planning that the following areas and considerations be included:

  • Update and alignment of city patio related policies, zoning requirements and bylaws with current, pending or proposed Province of Ontario legislation/regulations inclusive of the Municipal Act;
  • Duration of the outdoor patio season(s);
  • Differentiation of patios on City-owned public lands and private property;
  • City patio fee options including potential waiver of patio and adjacent parking fees;
  • City departmental support to facilitate patio installation and safe operation of patios on City sidewalks, parking lots and/or road allowances;
  • Environmental scan of other GTHA municipalities related to the future of outdoor patios;
  • Access to potential funding and other small business support from federal or provincial governments;
  • Application of CaféTO best practices or similar patio program to the Burlington Downtown Business Areas; and

They will also debate directing the Chief Financial Officer to report on the future City operating and capital budget requirements to support the outdoor patio program in conjunction with the above report; and

Relaxing and enjoying much of what the city has to offer.

Direct the Director of Community Planning to complete a review of the City policy and bylaw changes (e.g. zoning) contributing to the effectiveness of the 2020 and 2021 outdoor patio program; and

Direct the Director of Planning and the Executive Director of Burlington Economic Development to undertake hospitality industry stakeholder engagement consultation, (including BDBA, Aldershot BIA & Burlington Restaurant Association) with the respect to the proposed plan for the City’s permanent outdoor patio program; and

Direct the Director of Community Planning to report on options for the standardization of patio materials for patios on municipal property.

The beleif is that expanding options for outdoor dining has the potential to improve vibrancy and community connections while accelerating recovery from COVID_19 impacts. Exciting changes were temporarily made to the way in which we utilize the public realm to expand hospitality space in Burlington. Best practice seeks to improve the look of the curb lane closure areas and increase options for café customization. Community vibrancy and municipal asset optimization can be enhanced by adding permissions for temporary platforms in curb lane café areas.

It is important to note the desire to create a unique café corridor in and around the downtown. As an area with unique conditions regarding encroachments on public lands that are not found elsewhere in the city, this includes the on-street parking assets – it is key to have clear program requirements to allow for certainty and investment in an expanded patio program.

Expanding support for hospitality businesses to provide safer spaces for liquor and food consumption will contribute to the economic recovery of a key employment sector within Burlington. A program that delivers standardized application and execution for the successful operation of expanded spaces will encourage further investment in our City by attracting patrons to additional local businesses and amenities. Allowing local businesses to establish temporary seasonal patios and seating areas utilizing on-street parking spaces within an articulated area or set of standards will result in improved longer-term uptake, improved financial planning for operators and an increased understanding of the program by other operators in proximity to outdoor patios.

Let’s see how this works out.

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Products might be scarce at local retailers: Art Gallery has great gift items

By Pepper Parr

November 8th, 2021



Easing our way out of a pandemic has not been as simple as many had hoped.

We are now learning just how close to oblivion the world was in March when it was not at all certain the financial sector was going to be able to cope with the strain the pandemic had put on it.

That strain is now being felt at the local level.

Ceramic Chocolate Cake Cup by Barb Taylor from Earthworks Pottery. Earth Works Pottery produces functional ceramic pieces for the modern kitchen. Hand made in Burlington, Ontario, by Barb Taylor, the chocolate cake cup is a chocolate lovers quick fix. Mix ingredients listed directly in the cake cup – microwave for 3 minutes and enjoy!

Retailers are now telling us that they don’t expect to have many of the products they would like to have on their shelves during the Christmas Season.

Why? It all gets explained with the single word: logistics.

Many of the off shore companies are beginning to recover from the shutdowns and lockdowns they experienced.

There are problems all along the supply line which has resulted in decisions that will limit what can be manufactured and what can be shipped.

Shipping is proving to be a bottle neck. We understand that the ship that was wedged in the Suez canal and is now in Rotterdam has still not been unloaded. It is reported to have been carrying a lot of IKEA products.

Ships are anchored in harbours throughout North America waiting to unload. That has caused a shortage of the containers they carry.
The Port of Los Angeles has been put on 24/7 duty by the President of the United States.

Handmade glass ornaments by Nancy Legassicke of Fusion Art. Nancy is a self-taught fused glass artist who has been experimenting with melting glass for over 40 years.

The demand for trucks to move the containers from the loading docks to their destination has taken a hit as well.
Not enough trucks and a sudden shortage of drivers due to retirements and an unwillingness to work under Covid19 conditions.

What is all this leading to? Fewer products in retail outlets that may lead to some early binge shopping to ensure that people can buy the gifts they want.

For Burlingtonians – this isn’t the disaster it could be.

The Art Gallery has an Art Shoppe that has a very impressive product list and they aren’t going to run out of product.

Hand built porcelain ceramic platter by Jennifer Graham from Stratford Ontario. Jennifer’s ceramics are inspired by traditional textiles and by the possibilities of porcelain.

The AGB Art Shop supply chain is made up of artists across the country who have a lot of inventory they can ship quickly.

Set out are pictures and descriptions of just some of the items in the store and on sale today.

We will be telling you about more of the items in the Art Shop that is run on a day to day basis by Theo Roma, Manager of AGB Shop, Art Sales and Rentals.

Hours for the Art Shop are:

Tuesday to Friday: Noon to 5:00 pm

Saturday: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

Masks are required.  While the Art Shop has quite a bit of room should there be too many people and social distancing is not possible, management will look for ways to schedule people.

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Wink,wink and nod, nod practices are what lead to light level of corruption - which like rust only gets worse

By Pepper Parr

November 8th, 2021



A reader sent in the following: It was in regard to the Heritage Advisory Committee and the recommendations it makes.

Sad to see the usual suspects piling on in this case.

As a person who has served on a number of voluntary community boards, I can only ask: would you not expect and welcome people with an interest in art to be on an art gallery board?

Or people with attachment to gathering artifacts to join a museum board? I could go on.

All governments depend on usually unpaid citizen groups to perform such roles, since the alternative is inexpert and uncommitted paid staff.

So it’s a win-win, as long as conflict of interest principles are well defined and managed, which seems to be the case here. Searches for absolute purity after the fact by self-appointed nitpickers will only discourage others from sharing their expertise.

The piling on is part of the way some people choose to express themselves.  It happens.

Here is where I think the problem exists.  It is my firm view that when people choose to serve they are there to serve the public not themselves.

And that, in my opinion is what has happened.

The people who serve on a heritage committee are advocates for protecting as much heritage as possible.

The people who are passionate about heritage tend to share a mind set: Alan Harrington is fierce when it comes to fighting for the preservation of our history. Rick Wilson brought to light a more complete story about the Burlington Races, a name used to tell part of the War of 1812 story. His efforts resulted in a plaque being erected, and hopefully in the fullness of time, a plaque being corrected.

It would be difficult for these two men, for whom I have the greatest of respect, to not recommend a grant for a house that is a superb example of what the city wants to ensure isn’t replaced by some ugly monster house.

What the Heritage Advisory Committee does not have is a clear set of guidelines or rules that prevent self serving.

The practice in Burlington is to have a member of Council sitting on each Advisory Committee: one would hope that Councillor would have a deeper understanding of what good governance is all about and explain it to the Committee members.

This is what you don’t want happening at any level of city business.

The thing you don’t want is a situation where there is a lot of wink, wink; nod, nod taking place when decisions are being made.  That is not the case with the Barker recommendations.

That kind of behaviour is the first step to the slippery slope that lets corruption take place.

It is not about “absolute purity after the fact by self-appointed nitpickers.”  It is about consistent good governance.

It is not enough to be on the right side of the rules; it is the spirit of the rules that matters.

It is clear to me that the rules need some tightening up.  What perplexes me is that Council chose to let it pass.  Staff advised the city that a previous grant had been given – that should have raised a red flag.

I recall a discussion taking place at Council when James Ridge was the City Manager and they were discussing what a Council member could accept in the way of a gift or a benefit.  Ridge at the time said all you had to do was document everything: if someone else paid for your coffee, note it.  At the time we had a member of council who saw someone one else paying for a golf game or a ticket to an event as quite acceptable.  It wasn’t and it isn’t.

The rules need to be tightened.

Related news story:

An example of what strong advocacy can do.

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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Burlington: Perfect Destination For Experienced Travellers

By Staff

November 7, 2021



Canada’s expanse of natural beauty, with mountains and glaciers, secluded lakes and forests, is almost unmatched around the world. But the charm of this country is not just the outdoors. The country has cosmopolitan cities, with a wealth of entertainment, such as online casino Canada and others, but at the same time, despite their global nature, they remain clean, safe, friendly, and multicultural. In fact, Canada has repeatedly been rated as one of the most livable countries in the world. Regardless of your preferences and interests, go to Canada and it will not disappoint you. That is why today we will tell you about one interesting place.

On the western shore of Lake Ontario, in the province of the same name in Canada, is the city of Burlington. Hamilton is not far from it, and the distance to the Canadian capital is 50 km. The city is part of Canada’s Golden Horseshoe industrial agglomeration. About 180,000 people live here.

Burlington History

Back in 1798, Loyalist Joseph Brant was granted a 1,400-hectare tract of land on the Burlington Bay shore. It was the first and one of the most famous residents of the future city. In 1873 the village of Burlington was formed by the merger of the two settlements of Wellington-Square and Port Nelson, and it received city status in 1914.

It was used to handle cargoes such as timber and wheat that came to Port Nelson. In 1854, after the railroad was built, trade began to grow strongly. When the timber supplies ran out and ships began to dock at the big Toronto and Hamilton wharves, agriculture began to develop in Burlington. Gradually an ordinary once-populated town was transformed into a beautiful garden city.

Top 10 Sights to See in the City

Burlington is called the garden city for good reason. There are plenty of sights and beautiful parks to see and do:

The Royal Botanical Gardens

Considered one of the largest in all of Canada, it is part of the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Reserve. Founded in 1930, during the Great Depression, the botanical garden gradually grew and was inhabited by populations of various animals. Unique rock garden and rose garden, arboretum, and lilac park were created here.

Spencer Smith Park

Located in the center of town, it is a great place to relax. You can stroll along the paths along the waterfront and enjoy the beautiful views of the lake, and many people picnic on the green lawns.

The Art Gallery of Burlington

It is located in the heart of the city and was opened in 1978. The gallery has a unique collection of ceramics and the work of ancient artisans.

Joseph Brant Museum

In this historic building, you can explore the heritage of the city. The museum has both permanent and traveling exhibitions.

Skyway Bridge

It consists of two parts, one built-in in 1958 and the smaller one in 1985. Its steel suspension structure connects the cities of Hamilton and Burlington, located on the banks of the canal. Burlington Bay. The bridge is 2,560 m long and the main span spans 151 m.

Brant Street Pier

It is S-shaped and stretches 137 meters over Lake Ontario. It offers a great view of the city and the lake’s surface.

The Navy Seamen’s Memorial in Spencer-Smith Park

Its creator is the famous sculptor Andre Gauthier. A cast bronze sculpture of a Canadian World War II sailor is set on the shore of Lake Ontario.

Discovery Landing

This 4,328-square-meter building faces the lake. You can watch the weather from here. There is an observatory with an excellent panoramic view. Nearby is a century-old pond, which in winter turns into an ice rink.

Some of the best berry picking in the province.

Stonehaven Farm

Established back in 1904, today it is a large complex that includes, along with the agribusiness, a store selling homegrown fruits and vegetables, as well as a corn maze and amusement rides.

Indian Wells Golf Club

This 18-hole course is located at the foot of Mount Nemo. Lovers of the game have a great time here.

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If the pandemic closed everything why do we have to continue spending ?

By Pepper Parr

November 6th, 2021



The message asked:  “Please don’t use my name because I have friends at all these institutions and look forward to going back to them one day.”

The request had to do with a piece we published on the services the city provides and what the delivery cost is.  Our reader writes:

Unfortunately, I have been unable to use any of their fine services or enter their buildings for a year and a half.

However – all these institutions have been CLOSED SHUT or severely reduced in their operations for the past 20 months.

1)  If they provide no service – why do they cost so much?

2)  If we can survive without them – is there a way to do them for less?

3)  I think each of them have a very strong volunteer support staff in place – so it isn’t staffing costs?

and if it WAS staff – then why were people not laid off and put on the CERB (or whatever is the right thing to do).

And the charts should show what each group earns (takes in) as revenue.   This of course is during non-covid times.

Like …

        • If it isn’t open – why does it cost s much

          Performing Arts Centre – lets say it COST $1M but they sell tickets for $1.1M and return the excess back to the city.

        • The Art Gallery has free admission but maybe they cover all their costs in the gift shop?
        • Tourism Burlington should theoretically “create” an extra million dollars from extra visitors coming to our city through their advertising and goodwill service.   We can measure this by whether hotels are full and restaurants (and their patron’s bellies) are full.

Riders cover the costs – if not don’t operate a transit service

Parking, Transit, cemeteries should be self funded. Court services should be self supporting through fines they issue.

If we earn $100 from parking fees but spend $125 to collect it?  Wouldn’t it be wiser to make parking free – or charge 25% for parking?

If these groups are not self sufficient – that falls on the management for that group to figure out how to make it work.

Also as far as “dipping into reserves for a rainy day” 😮 – we have suffered 500 COVID rainy days running now.

This is the worst crisis since WWII.  This IS the rainy day. 🌧🌂☔

It isn’t easy doing up a budget. Especially for government services at union dollar rates.

I am very happy with the things in our beautiful city of Burlington and hate to see services and amenities taken away.

When they started charging for parking to go to the waterfront – I just stopped going to the waterfront.

I say let the people in other towns (who pay lower taxes and therefore have more money to spend) come and pay for parking here and fund our revenue stream.

The story that resulted in the comment

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Burlington residents asked to select from list of names to rename Ryerson Park

By Pepper Parr

November 5th, 2021



The park currently known as Ryerson Park at 565 Woodview Rd. will be renamed to reflect the City’s current naming policies for City assets.

The park is tucked in behind the school.

Between Aug. 24 and Sept. 11, residents were invited to suggest a new name  consistent with today’s standards. The name submission portion of this project is now closed and a small working group of City staff, Indigenous Leaders and community stakeholders have created a short-list of names that residents can now vote on.

Staff will take the voting results and report back to Burlington City Council with a recommendation for a new name early in the new year.

Voting is open now at and will be open until Nov. 19, 2021.

Shortlist of Names
More than 500 names were submitted in phase 1.

The Shortlist Committee has considered all the names and chosen three names.

A fourth naming option has been added from Indigenous Elder Stephen Paquette after consulting an Indigenous linguist: Sweetgrass Park.

Sweetgrass is one of the sacred medicines to many First Nations. It is used as a purification medicine in ceremony to purify ourselves and to heal.

For years the contribution Edgerton Ryerson made to the creation of the public educational system we have today was held in great esteem. Public sentiment changed when hundreds of graves were discovered at residential school sites, which were built long after Ryerson had passed on. His statue was defaced and then toppled.

The proposed park names and rationale:

• Head of the Lake Park: This name was chosen to reflect the name of the current land agreement in place that allows settler communities to occupy the location of the park in question, as per the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.

• Unity Park: When forms of hatred and attempts to divide people are on the rise we need to find ways of expressing what we think is important. Unity means that we embrace our differences, that we value other people’s experience and beliefs

• Truth and Reconciliation Park: To heal as a nation we need to speak the truth and reconcile our relationship with the Indigenous peoples of Canada.

• Sweetgrass Park: Sweetgrass is used as a purification medicine in ceremony to purify ourselves and to heal.

Why are we renaming Ryerson Park?
At the June 16, 2021 meeting of the Halton District School Board (HDSB), trustees unanimously approved a motion to rename Ryerson Public School on Woodview Road in Burlington, in accordance with the Board’s Naming and Renaming Schools Policy and Governance Procedure.

Mayor Meed Ward meets with Andrea Grebenc, Chair of the Halton District School Board

As part of the Board motion, the Chair of the Board sent a letter to inform the City of this decision. Burlington City Council then unanimously voted to rename Ryerson Park. This was done out of respect for Indigenous residents in our community, particularly following the recent discovery of mass graves at former residential schools.

Burlington’s Ryerson Public School, and adjacent Ryerson Park, are named after Egerton Ryerson for his contributions to the Ontario education system, however, Ryerson was also instrumental in the design of Canada’s residential school system. In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada concluded this assimilation amounted to the genocide of Indigenous people.

Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward explains: “Earlier this year, Burlington City Council unanimously voted to rename Ryerson Park, in line with the recent HDSB decision to rename the adjacent school. This was done out of respect for Indigenous residents in our community and visitors to our city — particularly following the recent discovery of mass graves at former residential schools.



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David Barker explains the Heritage restoration grants he was awarded by Council after being recommended by a Committee he served on. He did recuse himself.

By David Barker

November 4th, 2021



Setting the record straight.

Are there problems with the way Heritage Fund grants are awarded? Should members of the Advisory Committee be eligible for the grants?

Notwithstanding the Gazette no longer permits me to post in its comment section to articles it publishes, it has allowed me this opportunity to respond to its article which was ostensibly about grants made available by the City to the owners of Designated Heritage properties, but was very much focused upon me, my designated heritage property, and the three heritage grants I have received over the years from the City’s Community Heritage Fund.

The Gazette‘s article has some inaccuracies and misconceptions. Here I shall try to set the record straight. To do that and provide context it is important to understand a bit about the designating of properties as Heritage, the City’s Community Heritage (grant) Fund, and the role of the Burlington Heritage Committee.

The house is located in a part of the city where there are a number of designated homes.

To qualify for designation under the Ontario Heritage Act a property must have “heritage attributes”. A heritage attribute is defined by the Province as a feature of the property which should be protected and preserved for the future. The Ontario government has set out a detailed process to be followed by municipalities when seeking to place a heritage designation status on a property. A critical part of that process is the requirement for a heritage assessment undertaken by an accredited third party. That assessment, amongst other things will identify any heritage attributes. Assuming the property is worthy of heritage designation, to bestow the designation status on the property the municipality must pass a bylaw which identifies the heritage attributes. The bylaw is placed on the title deed of the property.

The City, in common with many Ontario municipalities, has a heritage property grant program, known as the Community Heritage Fund. Here are some relevant excerpts from the City’s Community Heritage Fund Guidelines document.


To encourage the preservation of buildings with identified cultural heritage value by providing financial assistance for the conservation of these buildings.


• Properties designated under part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act.

• Any work which conserves or enhances heritage attribute elements specified in by-law.

• Short-term, routine maintenance is not eligible: that includes minor repairs, general painting, repair of non-original siding or roofing or landscaping.

The quality of the restoration work done is superb.

• Conservation of heritage attributes important to the resource’s heritage value is eligible.

• Restoration of heritage attributes where the original from and materials can be clearly determined from documentary evidence.

• Work necessary to restore the building to structural soundness.
o Includes the correction of serious structural faults which threaten the building’s survival, but does not include routine maintenance.
o Structural work necessitated by modern renovation is not included

OK, so the owner of a designated heritage property determines to seek a heritage grant to help mitigate the cost of eligible work required on the property. The property owner files an application, which is reviewed by the City’s heritage planner, who assesses the application, provides a report to the Heritage Committee. The Heritage Committee discusses the application and makes a recommendation, for or against, to City Council. That recommendation is first sent to a standing committee of Council (most if not all members of council are members of the standing committee). The standing committee reviews the entire matter including the recommendations from both the Heritage Committee and from city staff. Should the standing committee determine to approve the grant applied for, the matter is sent to City Council as a consent item. So it’s not as if council members are seeing the item for the first time at the meeting of Council. Those members already saw it at the standing committee stage.

So you will note these grants are not awarded for general improvements to a property, such as building extensions or kitchen renovations, as implied in the article. Grants are awarded so as to mitigate the cost of maintaining or restoring heritage attributes or other non-regular maintenance items that safeguard the heritage property as a whole. Those costs are generally considerably of a higher magnitude than say a house in a modern sub-division.

Now to the specifics of the four items relating to my heritage property referenced in the Gazette’s article.

Please note the Gazette asked me to provide to it for each grant I received:- the date awarded, the amount awarded, and the scope of work that was undertaken. I willingly and in very short order voluntarily provided that information to the Gazette, along with links to the relevant Heritage Committee meeting minutes.

The western part of the property was severed once the Heritage Advisory Committee said it had no objections.

The Gazette is incorrect in its report that I have made application for four (4) heritage grants. I have applied for and received three (3). The fourth item referenced by the Gazette is with regard to my successful application to the City via the Committee of Adjustment to sever my property. Being a heritage designated property any alteration to the building exterior or to the property’s lot lines must be referred to the Heritage Committee for review and its recommendation to Council. I received no funds from the City in this regard. In fact the opposite is true. It cost me $50,000 in fees to the City to gain the severance, not to mention another $100,000 in professional fees

Two (2) of the three (3) grants awarded are in respect of work that was required so as to restore the front porch verandah, which is a heritage attribute cited in the heritage designation bylaw. The total awarded was $1,577.15. The first grant for the replacement of the verandah’s decking boards was awarded September 16, 2020 was not paid to me until May, 2021. Those decking boards are not the usual 1×6 white cedar generally used for decks. They are 2×6 BC red cedar. Way more expensive. The grant awarded September 7th, 2021 has not as yet been paid. Though the work, to repair and repaint the turned columns and decorative sun motif, clearly shown in the photographs in the Gazette’s article, was completed in June 2021.

The first grant awarded was in fact back in 2017, not 2019 as reported by the Gazette. At that time I was not a member of the Heritage Committee. That grant related to the cost of retrofitting weeping tiles and installing a sump pump to combat the rise in Lake Ontario’s water table which was causing ingress of water through the unfinished basement’s floor which jeopardized the building’s foundations.

Readers should note not all work is eligible for grant. For example the $15,000 cost to re shingle the roof in 2019 was not eligible. There is huge inconsistency and illogicality as to what work is eligible. For example the weeping tiles work was eligible because inaction would have imperiled the entire structure. The re shingling work was not eligible even though inaction would also have imperiled the entire structure. Should I have elected to re-roof with shakes the original material used in the 1890s at three times the cost, I would have been eligible for a grant.

The Gazette has correctly reported that in respect of the 2017 and 2021 grant applications I recused myself from participation in the consideration process by the Heritage Committee. And as respects the 2020 grant I was out of the country when the Committee considered the application.

I believe of the eleven resident committee members I (maybe one other) am the only one who actually owns a Designated Heritage property. If being a heritage property owner eligible to apply for heritage grants made one ineligible to serve on the committee, how would the committee be able to get an owner’s perspective of the unique issues owning a designated heritage property brings?

The Gazette states in its article:-

“Where we have an issue is with a member of an Advisory Committee benefiting financially as the result of a decision made by the committee.”

The Gazette is incorrect. The Heritage Committee is an “Advisory” body that has no decision making powers. It makes recommendations to Council. Council then makes the decision.

The Gazette also states:-

“Also, where was Council on this? The Staff report made mention that Barker had been given grants in the past.”

What’s the Gazette’s point here?

Under the terms of the grant program an owner of a designated property is entitled to receive one grant each year but only for eligible restoration or non-regular maintenance works. Receiving three grants during my 28 years of ownership of this designated heritage property does not seem to me like I’m milking the system.


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From time to time we have to suspend people from using the Gazette comments section - the response at times is vitriolic

By Pepper Parr

November 4th, 2021



The Gazette suspended the privilege David Barker had to comment in the Gazette’s Comments section.

We did so late in September.  There are yards and yards of paper with comments and the back and fourth email from Barker.

A day or so after suspending Barker I received the following:

From: david barker [mailto:caboman09@gmail.com]
Sent: October 2, 2021 8:37 PM
To: Pepper publisher <publisher@bgzt.ca>
Subject: Re: WE no longer publish



What a complete dork you are! Such a pompous old fart, unable to publish any criticism. Very self-important. You certainly live up to the nickname given to you by those at city hall. LOL.

Please investigate all you like the heritage grants were awarded to me by City Council. Another rookie mistake on your part. The advisory committee has no authority to approve or award heritage grants or loans. Only City Council has that power. I am 100% confident neither the committee nor I have done anything untoward. For the record, and as shown on the official record (meeting minutes) on two occasions I recused myself from any discussion; and on the third occasion I did not attend the meeting, being out of the country.

Rookie mistake after rookie mistake. Possible indications of onset of senility or just plain incompetence.

I shall be reporting a complaint against you personally and the Gazette corporately to the National NewsMedia Council relating to your inappropriate censorship and your harassing language via email.

I already have screenshot copies of the published editor’s notes to my comments going back more than a year. So delete away. But I suggest you keep copies because they will be called for by the National NewsMedia Council. You cannot delete your rude, abrasive and uncalled for language in emails I received from you.

Silly old man

I have no comment to make.

David Barker is a retired insurance executive and a Member of the Heritage Advisory Committee and the owner of a fine house that has been designated as historically significant

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Food Bank Drive focused on infant needs

By Staff

November 4th, 2021



The Aldershot Food Collection Committee is having a Special INFANT FOOD Collection for ROCK’s Infant Food Pantry on SATURDAY, NOV. 13TH,11am to 3pm.

If you can help please do.

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