New Guild at the AGB - focused on the digital arts

By Staff

November 1, 2021



Meet the DAGB (Digital Arts Guild of Burlington): an emerging community guild of young adults with an interest in digital art forms.

It is a new group formed as a guild at the Art Gallery of Burlington.

The guild is interested in encouraging and supporting underrepresented youth groups in their journey with digital arts. They’ll be opening to the public in the coming months, providing a place for knowledge exchange, skill and equipment sharing, informal educational programs, and a safe space for self-expression.

Technology and artistic creativity

They have put together a n upcoming digital demo series.

Technology and artistic creativity are expected collide with a budding youth digital guild at the AGB.

Youth artists, makers, and creators will soon have a new home where they can gather to create and explore the boundless world of digital arts.

It is an emerging community guild of teens and young adults with an interest in digital art forms. Located in the Creative Hub, the DAGB is interested in encouraging and supporting underrepresented youth groups in their journey with digital arts.

The DAGB is excited to open to the public in the coming months, providing a place for knowledge exchange, skill and equipment sharing, informal educational programs, and a safe space for self-expression.

Image courtesy of Bryan Depuy.

Bringing an interest in the latest tools in digital arts, founding DAGB members are currently acquiring equipment for a functioning studio space. In the late Winter, the DAGB are hosting a series of digital demos on the AGB’s Instagram Live, as part of their soft launch. From 3D printing, to Sound Art, E-textiles, and even DIY video games, the DAGB is showcasing the practices of young digital artists throughout the month of November to highlight the diverse ways folks can express themselves with digital art forms.

The DAGB is aiming to build engagement and membership in the new year. These youth hope to host more educational initiatives and develop their inventory of equipment throughout their partnership with the AGB.

Everyone is welcome to stop by the studio space for a peek at their work, or to join one of their upcoming demos to learn something new.

This is al in the near future.  The AGB hasn’t provided a contact point yet – we will chase that down for you.

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Cogeco's Pumpkin Patrol took to the streets to assist with public safety throughout Burlington on Halloween

By Ryan O’Dowd: Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

October 31st, 2021


Cogeco employees set up in seven different Burlington locations across the city last night to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters and lend another pair of eyes for public safety. If a Cogeco employee saw something they would notify police.

Staff from the cable company were on the streets from 5 pm to 7:30 pm. The technicians interested in participating were sent out to their stations with their work trucks decorated for Halloween.

Across Burlington signs of normalcy were abundant this Halloween with pandemic restrictions loosening. Kids took to the streets at dusk as ghouls and princesses while orange bled out from the setting sun across a purpling sky on a chilly autumn evening.

Cogeco gave back to the Burlington community tonight affording a watchful eye and spreading some Halloween joy.

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Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area Sees Big Investment in Culture and Recreation Projects

By Matthew Major

October 31st, 2021



Recently, the government has committed to investing around $5.2 million in three culture and recreation projects in Central Ontario and the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA).

The impact of Covid stretches far beyond our health and hospitals. All areas of the local community have been affected by lockdowns, and families, businesses and communities across the country have had to make big changes to their way of lives. As a result of this disruption, the Canadian and Ontario governments are working together to support people and communities by ensuring that local infrastructure is safe and reliable. At the same time, the government is also looking ahead to see what else can be done in these unprecedented times.

Recently, Sven Spengemann, member of parliament for Mississauga—Lakeshore, announced a series of joint funding. This funding will be specifically for three culture and recreation infrastructure projects in the GTHA and Central Ontario. This announcement was made on behalf of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities as well as Ontario’s Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. The move will see businesses receive some bonus funding for Covid support, but as Bonusfinder Canada explains, there can be restrictions to watch out for.

Who is Paying for These Projects?
The Government of Canada will be spending approximately $2.8 million on these projects under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program’s Community, Culture, and Recreation Infrastructure Stream. The Ontario government alone will also be funding more than $2.3 million to these initiatives, while beneficiaries are investing a total of more than $1.9 million in their own projects.

Under the Community, Culture, and Recreation Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, Ontario will contribute roughly $320 million over the next ten years, while Canada will invest around $407 million.

What Is the Money Being Spent On?
This announcement comes after a wave of infrastructure spending is planned for the country in the wake of the Covid pandemic. The government is hoping that with increased spending, communities will be able to return to normal much faster once restrictions have been lifted. This funding will aim to support the building of new facilities and upgrades to existing facilities. All of the projects focus on improving community infrastructure and also include recreational venues and cultural spaces such as museums, theatres and more.

Upgrades to trail infrastructure in conservation areas in Caledon, Erin, Halton Hills, and Mississauga are among the projects that have been financed. They will improve public access to local greenspaces by better connecting trails with neighbouring towns and removing barriers. Trail improvements include the repair of four pedestrian bridges, the construction of three new pedestrian bridges, the expansion of paths by 2.8 kilometres, and the repair of 3.1 kilometres of boardwalk.

The Lincoln Museum and Cultural Centre will also receive funding for the design, manufacturing, and installation of an indoor and outdoor children’s gallery, which will provide families with educational content to learn more about local history and culture. Upgrades to the Unionville Seniors Hub’s Community Centre in Markham will provide new programmes and services to meet the special requirements of seniors and their caregivers. These initiatives, once completed, will provide citizens with better access to recreation facilities for many years to come.

Spengemann had the following to say about the funding “Ensuring residents have access to quality recreation infrastructure is vital for community well-being and development. Today’s investment for three culture and recreation infrastructure projects in the GTHA and Central Ontario will provide residents with access to modern, reliable, and even more accessible recreation facilities”.

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Do you have fixed opinions on draft dodgers ? Our political columnist has written a play that will be staged in November

By Pepper Parr

October 29th, 2021



Ray Rivers: pundit and playwright

Some of our readers know that Ray Rivers, our leading columnist, is also an actor and a playwright.

There is a production coming up in November that covers a subject our generation knew about and experienced.

Draft dodging is a tricky subject for people in Quebec and Ontario.

In 1942, Mackenzie King, the Prime Minister at the time, had to work his way through a very tough issue.  The country was at war and things were not going that well.

Men from Ontario were signing up; men from Quebec were heading for the bush, and the government was at risk.

King came up with a statement that covered both bases when he said ”not necessarily conscription, but conscription if necessary.”

Ray takes the issue of war and how people react and respond.  Should be worth looking into.



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Cogeco vans will be out on the street Halloween - another pair of eyes keeping people safe

By Staff

October 28th, 2021



Cogeco is once again rolling out the Pumpkin Patrol. This is the eighth year they have performed this service.

The Cogeco Pumpkin Patrol

As Halloween approaches, community safety is always top of mind. Cogeco is committed to communities and recognize that one of the most precious assets in them are the children. That is why they are we continuing the Pumpkin Patrol Program to help keep children safe when they are ‘Trick or Treating’ in their neighbourhoods on Halloween night.

Matt Wickham, Vice President and General Manager, Ontario at Cogeco adds that: “In partnering with local police services, our employees provide additional eyes to help protect our children while they enjoy Trick or Treating, making it a fun and safe evening for the children, as well as parents and caregivers.”

They will be patrolling the streets in their branded white vans on Sunday, October 31, 2021 from 5:00pm to 7:30pm in areas where children are ‘Trick or Treating’.

Parents and children are encouraged to reach out to them if, at any point, they may need assistance.

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


By Pepper Parr

October 28th, 2021



Burlington has a Heritage Advisory Committee that has a colourful checkered past.

There was a time when it was a disaster.

Anyone who felt there was a chance their house would be designated had been led to believe by some in the real estate sector that the resale potential for their house was going to plummet.

There was a lot of ignorance and some pretty stupid people who did all kinds of dumb things to ensure that their house was not designated historically significant.

Jim Clemens: the Chair of the Heritage Advisory Committee who put it on a sound footing after years of dysfunction.

That began to change in 2013 when the membership of the Advisory committee was changed and a new chair working with an informed and realistic board took over.

When the bulk of their work was done city council, they came as close as they could to giving standing ovations.

Heritage now had a sound footing and was in a position to approve and recommend grants to people who wanted to improve their homes to make them worth designating and keeping them up to standard once they were designated.

The Advisory Committee could recommend that property owners be given grants of up to 25% of the total eligible restoration project costs to a maximum of $15,000.

It was city council that made the grant award based on the Advisory Committee recommendation.

A recent award to a resident was placed in the Consent section of the Standing Committee Agenda.

Consent items get little in the way of attention unless a member of Council asks to have it pulled so it can be discussed in open session.

The Gazette has a practice of going through everything on the consent agenda, if only to keep an eye on what Council is up to.

The item that caught our eye was detailed in the Staff report of September 7th, 2021 which was set out as a report responding to an application for a grant from the Community Heritage Fund.

By any standard this is a very handsome house.

The Staff report said:

The subject property known as 2411 Lakeshore Road is located on the north side of Lakeshore Road, between Market Street and St. Paul Street. It currently supports a three-storey residence in the Queen Anne style, as demonstrated by the characteristic architectural features including the irregular façade, multiple surfaces with intricate decorative wooden elements, multiple rooflines and gables, verandah, tall windows, bay windows, and tall chimneys. The subject property also contributes to the character of Lakeshore Road through its setbacks, historic architecture, mature trees, and massing.

The property at 2411 Lakeshore Road was designated under Part IV, section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act in 1995 through By-law 8-1995. The by-law also designates four other properties in the immediate area.

In 2019, as a condition of approval of the current property owner’s application for consent to sever the westerly portion of 2411 Lakeshore Road, the designation by-law was updated to come into conformity with a 2005 amendment to the Ontario Heritage Act.

Background on the Community Heritage Fund and Grant Application
The Burlington Community Heritage Fund (CHF) was established by Council in 1985 to encourage the preservation of structures designated under the Ontario Heritage Act by providing financial assistance to property owners in the form of loans and grants. It was also an objective of the CHF to encourage the designation of properties of cultural heritage value or significance under the Ontario Heritage Act.

The CHF was amended in 1993 and 2014 and now provides grants of up to 25% of the total eligible restoration project costs to a maximum of $15,000, subject to specific guidelines. Loans may be provided for up to 50% of total eligible restoration project costs to a maximum of $15,000.

The requested grant on the agenda at the September 7th meeting represents 25% of the total project cost of $3,616.00. The property owner originally obtained quotes from two tradespersons to complete the work and elected to retain the more economical option.

Staff support the applicant’s request for a grant from the CHF in the amount of $904.00 as it aligns with the CHF eligibility criteria by constituting “work which conserves or enhances elements specified in the by-law”.

There was a sentence in the Staff report that made mention of previous grants made for improvements to the same property.

Funds were provided to replace some of the decking on the western side of the house.

The Gazette decided dig a little deeper and learned that the recommendation was made for a grant to an individual who was a member of the Heritage Advisory and that this grant was not the first but the fourth grant made. Technically this item was not a grant but it was a decision that we believe was necessary for the Committee of Adjustment to proceed.

The very first was recommended on July 10th, 2019

From the Heritage Advisory Committee Minutes:

David Barker declared an interest in Item 7.1 b. – consent and minor variance application for 2411 Lakeshore Road – as he is the owner of the property. He refrained from discussion and voting on this item.

From the minutes:

Consent and minor variance application for 2411 Lakeshore Road

Danika advised that 2411 Lakeshore Road is designated by By-law 8-1995 which protects heritage attributes on the front (south) and side (west) elevations of the building. The owner proposes to sever the westerly portion of the property to create an additional lot, allow variances to support the severance and demolish the existing detached garage located on the proposed severed parcel. Danika provided an overview of the variances for the retained and severed parcel and asked the Committee to consider whether they would have an impact on the heritage value of the property.

Members discussed and feel there are no issues from a heritage perspective. Motion – Heritage Burlington supports the requested consent and minor variances for 2411 Lakeshore Road under the assumption that any new development on the proposed severed lot is sited behind the existing heritage home.

Danika is the Staff planner assigned to the Heritage Advisory Committee

The second application made by David Barker was on October 9, 2019. From the Heritage Advisory Committee minutes:

A garage was demolished and a severance of the western section applied for – granted by the Committee of Adjustment.

Declarations of Interest:
Consent and minor variance application for 2411 Lakeshore Road

Danika advised that 2411 Lakeshore Road is designated by By- law 8-1995 which protects heritage attributes on the front (south) and side (west) elevations of the building. The owner proposes to sever the westerly portion of the property to create an additional lot, allow variances to support the severance and demolish the existing detached garage located on the proposed severed parcel. Danika provided an overview of the variances for the retained and severed parcel and asked the Committee to consider whether they would have an impact on the heritage value of the property.

Members discussed and feel there are no issues from a heritage perspective. Motion – Heritage Burlington supports the requested consent and minor variances for 2411 Lakeshore Road under the assumption that any new development on the proposed severed lot is sited behind the existing heritage home.

The third application made by David Barker was on September 16th, 2020.

David Barker, Trisha Murray, Alan Harrington and Rick Wilson did not attend the meeting.

From the Minutes of the Heritage Advisory Committee meeting

Grant from Community Heritage Fund for 2411 Lakeshore Road

Danika provided an overview of the original application, received in September 2019, for a grant from the Community Heritage Fund to financially assist the owner of 2411 Lakeshore Road in replacing rotten deck boards on their porch verandah in the amount of $375. Since that time, the applicant has advised that the scope of work increased to include the replacement of additional deck boards.

Based on final cost receipts, the applicant has now applied for an additional grant in the amount of $673.15.

Committee discussed and supported the application. Motion – Approve the grant application for 2411 Lakeshore Road for an additional amount of $673.15. – CARRIED

The house has kept much of its rural roots with the deck on the side probably leading into the kitchen. This house should be on the next Heritage Tour

On September 7th, 2021 a fourth application was made in the amount of $904.00

The minutes of the meeting note that:

David Barker declared an interest in Item 7.1 b. – Heritage permit and Community Heritage Fund applications for 2411 Lakeshore Road – as he is the owner of the subject property. He refrained from discussion and voting on this item.
The minutes of the Standing Committee reported that:

Grant from Community Heritage Fund for 2411 Lakeshore Road (PL-45-21)

Moved by Councillor Stolte

Approve the grant application for restoration work to front verandah, including sanding, filling and painting to the support columns and sun motif, at 2411 Lakeshore Road in the amount of $904.00 to be funded by the Burlington Community Heritage Fund.

Mayor Meed Ward lives in a house that she had designated long before she became Mayor.

On the vote Mayor Meed Ward commented that “it was great to see residents of designated homes investing in the upkeep of their property” adding she wanted to see more of this – we do have a grant program that will help so keep those applications coming.”

The item that was voted on was in the Consent section of the Standing Committee agenda. These items, as noted earlier, seldom get any attention.

Our issue is not with the grant – it is with the way council chose to handle the matter.

To be fair, the work done with the funds that were awarded was sterling. The house on the north side of Lakeshore Road between Market and St. Paul is a handsome addition to the inventory of historically significant houses.

Mr. Barker is known by every member of Council. He is an active participant in civic matters. He has contributed opinion pieces to the Gazette.

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. Recusing oneself from the discussion and not voting isn’t enough.

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

However, Council members didn’t apparently read the report.

Someone (Who?) put the item on the consent agenda aware that the item would not have been given any attention.

While the sums involved are small there is a large matter of principal.

David Barker delegating before Council

The Gazette believes there are some gaps in the Governance protocols and will be asking Integrity Principles, the council advisors on matters of protocol and governance, to look into this matter with the suggestion that changes be made to ensure that an individual does not personally benefit financially from an Advisory Committee they serve on.

A reasonable question to ask is: Should Mr. Barker resign from the Heritage Advisory Committee or at a minimum should the rules be changed to prevent this from happening in the future ?

Colourful background

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Well, this was a tough one to write.

By Stephanie

October 27th, 2021



Friends, I have cherished every moment of serving you, our maker community and craft lovers. As some of you may know, my husband, toddler and I came to Canada nine years ago and we intended to stay, well—forever. But, bittersweet as it is, we’ll be moving back to the States next month, with an extra Canadian kid and a whole lot of memories, to follow a new calling.

Mind if I wax poetic for a sec? Burlington MADE started as a little dream, by a little Etsy maker, who thought there could be an experience SO much better than rummaging through an anonymous, thrown-together gymnasium craft show. Four years later, we’ve had shoppers and visiting artists from all over southern Ontario, worked with hundreds of inspiring makers, and won 22 (oh my goodness!) awards thanks to incredible supporters like you.

Let’s keep this torch going.

Not just because of all the work that got Burlington MADE off the ground, but because the mission matters and it’s so much bigger than any one person. I believe that Burlington is a better place for connecting with makers and celebrating the best in craft. And as COVID restrictions are being lifted, there is SO much potential for growth and rebirth.

Once the idea caught on there were always crowds.

I will be selling the business because it is WORTH IT, but the dollar amount doesn’t matter as much to me as finding the right person. If you have a passion for creativity, a love of entertaining, and a knack for keeping a thousand ducks in a row, let’s talk.

Shoot me an email by Monday and tell me why you’d be perfect for the job. If you seem like the right fit, I’ll reach out to set up a Zoom.

Thanks for listening.

Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for jumping in and embracing our mission to spread appreciation for fine craftsmanship and more mindful shopping.

GET IN TOUCH  Shoot me an email by Monday at Stephanie @ and tell me why you’d be perfect for the job. If you seem like the right fit, I’ll reach out to set up a Zoom.




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Spooktacular at Burlington Centre went off without a hitch.

By Ryan O’Dowd

October 24th, 2021



Burlington Centre’s Spooktacular Finds and Drive-In weekend has been a big success so far.

The Mom’s Market Collective hosted Spooktacular Finds at the Burlington Centre on Saturday.

Twenty-two vendors set up shop in the mall corridor between the south entrance and the food court. Trick or treating was encouraged in the market decorated with bright orange and black balloons draped in spider webs. Beside the giant bowl of chocolate and Halloween candy was a raffle for prizes. Founder Amy Thompson was thrilled with how the event went.

Mom’s Market Collective Founder Amy Thompson

“it’s been great. We’ve had loads of heavy shoppers and a bunch of kids came to trick or treat, which is great. It’s been a great day,” said Thompson who talked about returning to the Burlington Centre, “we will be back the first weekend of December for a holiday-themed market.”

The vendor’s wares took all kinds of forms from wellness and beauty, mom-centric items such as baby clothes belonging to a fall collection in monochromatic seasonal orange, yellow and earthy hues. Elsewhere were nick-nacks, clothes, and home decorations cozy and seasonal or with year-round appeal.

Vendors were in good spirits, many of whom were appearing at their first market and were eager to register for subsequent events with the Mom’s Market Collective.

The Mom’s Market Collective is a group of women founded by Amy Thompson and Jasmine Ancona promoting and platforming women-led small local businesses. They have established a relationship with Burlington Center, appearing earlier this week on Thursday at an event called A Night Off, and will continue their partnership with upcoming holiday events in December.

Vendors were stretched out along the wide corridor – sales were respectable.

The Mom’s Market Collective has set up shop in 19 locations across Canada, including 12 in Ontario. Between the market’s success and Burlington Centre’s ongoing interest Burlingtonians should expect to see a lot of the Mom’s Market Collective.

The Halloween fun didn’t stop when the market wrapped up at Burlington Center; a sold-out Drive-in audience of a whopping 100 cars screened Raya and the Last Dragon.

The sold-out Drive-In Spooktacular returns tonight to show the Adam’s Family(2019) at 6:30 pm.

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Engagement Plan that is detailed and filled with information that hasn't been discussed yet at MTSA meetings

By Pepper Parr

October 20, 2021



This Background piece is on the long side.  It is the first time we have seen such a comprehensive engagement plan with so much detail and really relevant information.  While we are surprised we also want to thank the Communications people for being this candid.

Burlington is in the next phase of city-building as it approaches full build-out of the urban area. The undertaking of area-specific plans (ASPs) for Burlington’s Major Transit Station Area (MTSA) represents the City’s continuing implementation of its vision for appropriate intensification and the protection of established neighbourhoods by focusing future population growth to key areas, and in particular, a focus around higher order transit.

Way back in the beginning the GO stations were called Mobility Hubs and at that time the bus terminal in the downtown core was included a Hub. That mistake made it possible for a developer to put up a 26 storey tower which opened things up for other developers.

This is a big big deal – it involves something in the order of 20,000 people and or jobs in what will be a small village of its own.  It will take decades to get through it all and it may well change in some form going forward.

The city has put together an Engagement Plan – it runs 13 pages long – with a lot of surprising information.

Area Specific Plans for the properties within each MTSA  have to be created.

This work started out as a Mobility Hub study which was placed on hold in Q1 2019 to allow for a shift in focus to emerging planning priorities, including the Region’s Municipal Comprehensive Review, the scoped re-examination of the adopted Official Plan and the Interim Control Bylaw Land Use Study.

There are a number of key differences that resulted in significant changes to the scope and considerations of the work that had to be done including the completion of all required technical studies, further public and stakeholder engagement and the completion of three (3) area-specific plans, as well as the associated implementing Official Plan and Zoning By-Law amendments and other implementation strategies which may be required to get everything before Council.

Citizens will show up for a meeting if you make it interesting enough and promote it effectively. We will have to wait until we are out of Covid19 rules for events like this to take place

The Engagement Plan highlights the points in the process at which engagement will take place, who will be engaged, and the level of engagement. The plan also clearly defines which aspects of the process the City and public can influence throughout the discussion.

Decision Statement
At the beginning of an engagement process, it is helpful to know, “what is the decision to be made?” A decision statement clearly identifies:
• what decision needs to be made;
• who is the decision maker; and
• when the decision is required.

The decision statement for the MTSA ASP project is as follows:

“By June 2022, Burlington City Council will vote to adopt amendments to the Burlington Official Plan, 2020 to incorporate Protected Major Transit Station Area (MTSAs) area-specific plans to guide development and investment around the Burlington, Appleby and Aldershot GO Station Areas.

“Amendments adopted by Burlington City Council will then be forwarded to the Region of Halton for approval.”

Summary of Stakeholders

A stakeholder is anyone who has an interest or concern about a specific topic. To identify the stakeholders for the MTSA ASP Project, a mapping process will be used to confirm all the people who are affected by this work, those who have influence or power over the work and those that have an interest in its outcome, based on the stakeholders previously identified through the Mobility Hubs Project. It is expected that various individuals and groups will be identified across the following categories:

• Residents and resident groups (including newcomers, young families and young people) • Community organizations; special interest, advocacy, and activism groups
• Government and public service providers (internal and external) • City Advisory Committees and arms-length city agencies
• Indigenous Communities • Development industry
• Businesses and business groups • Major facilities1 within or adjacent to study areas
• Private and non-profit community service providers • Elected officials
• Media

Once the stakeholders and interested or affected individuals and groups have been confirmed, the engagement milestones in this plan will be refined to reflect the tactics and level of engagement required for each party throughout the MTSA ASP Project.

Objectives of Engagement
The following objectives provide a clear understanding of what the public engagement will strive to achieve through the community discussion about the MTSA ASP Project:

• Provide relevant information about the project, decision-making process, and how the public can provide input and feedback;

• Work with City communications and engagement staff, as well as consultants, to provide a coordinated approach to engagement, communication and evaluation of the MTSA ASPs and their implementing policies.

• Provide multiple channels for people to provide meaningful input virtually and, if possible, in-person at appropriate decision points;

The Getting Involved web site has loads of information and is the place documents are stored for quick retrieval. It takes some practice to get the hang of it all – but it works.

• Create an ongoing record of what is said during engagement opportunities and make it available to the public throughout the process, so they can track the progress of the project, including reports back to the community that highlight how feedback was or was not incorporated into the final recommendations to Council;

• Gather meaningful input from members of the community whose voices are historically underrepresented in conversations about city issues;

• Establish a project page on as the main online platform for up-to-date information about the project and upcoming engagement opportunities;

• Use clear, plain language in the delivery of the Engagement Plan to inform the public about what can and cannot be influenced through the MTSA ASP Project.

Project Stages and Engagement Milestones
At a Special Meeting of Council on June 8, 2021, City Council [modified/endorsed] the work plan for the MTSA ASP Project. The key project stages and associated engagement milestones are presented below. For each project stage, the engagement plan identifies where public input will take place, who will be involved in the engagement and what level of engagement will occur.

The strategies that will be used for public involvement in the MTSA ASP Project reflect the feedback provided to the City in the May 17, 2021 Council Workshop. Relevant feedback from related projects has also been considered, including the new Burlington Official Plan, the Scoped Re-Examination of the Downtown and the Interim Control By-Law Land Use Study. These strategies will be further refined by the MTSA ASP Project Steering Committee.

Policies and Factors That Cannot be Influenced
In every public engagement process, it is important to be aware of the things that cannot be influenced: either because they are beyond the City’s control (for example things that are required by regional or provincial policy or law), or because they are outside the scope of the project as set out in the Council-approved work plan. In discussing the Major Transit Station Area (MTSA) Area-Specific Planning (ASP) Project, the following aspects are considered ‘givens’ and will not be included in engagement activities:

1. Planning policy at the local municipal level is informed by legislation, policies and plans such as the Planning Act, Provincial Policy Statement, Growth Plan, Halton Region Official Plan, Metrolinx Regional Transportation Plan and others.

2. City Council can adopt proposed amendments to the Burlington Official Plan, but Halton Region is the designated approval authority. Halton Region may modify City-proposed amendments prior to approval and, if appealed, the approved amendments may be subject to further change through the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal, (Now named the Ontario Land Tribunal) except for PMTSA policies and zoning regulations protected from appeal under the Planning Act.

3. The proposed Area-Specific Plans and associated implementing mechanisms will be prepared for the Burlington Official Plan (2020), not the Burlington Official Plan (1997).

4. This study is focused only on the Downtown Burlington Urban Growth Centre/Burlington GO MTSA, Aldershot GO MTSA and Appleby GO MTSA. MTSA boundaries and the corresponding minimum growth targets are being set by Region of Halton through its Municipal Comprehensive Review. Draft Halton Regional Official Plan Amendment (ROPA) 48 proposes updates to the Regional Structure and includes formal boundaries for each of the MTSAs within Halton Region. Once approved by the Province, these boundaries and targets cannot be appealed.

5. Urban Growth Centres (UGCs) are strategic growth areas that are planned for greater population and job growth and higher rates of development than other areas in the City and Region. Provincial policies set out minimum density targets for these areas, which are implemented through the Regional Official Plan, and then through the Burlington Official Plan. Draft ROPA 48 includes an adjusted boundary for the Burlington Urban Growth Centre (UGC). If approved by the Province, the adjusted UGC boundary will center around the Burlington GO Station Area.

6. In 2017, a new policy framework for “Protected Major Transit Station Areas” (PMTSAs) was established in the Planning Act, R.S.O 1990. PMTSAs are a municipal tool used to support Higher Order Transit infrastructure around Major Transit Station Areas by establishing minimum density targets and transit-supportive land uses which are protected from appeal. In accordance with Planning Act section 16(16), once identified in an upper-tier municipal official plan and approved by the Province, PMTSA policies cannot be appealed.

Similarly, once implementing policies and zoning have been enacted at the lower-tier municipal level, the prescribed policies cannot be appealed.

PMTSAs may also require Inclusionary Zoning to support affordable housing objectives. Specifically, official plan policies may authorize Inclusionary Zoning by authorizing the inclusion of affordable housing units within buildings or projects containing other residential units, and by providing for the affordable housing units to be maintained as affordable housing units over time.

7. This project will refine and build upon the draft precinct plans developed through the former Mobility Hubs Study in 2018. However, as these plans were released as preliminary and were neither endorsed nor approved by City Council, they are subject to change based on further public engagement and the completion of technical studies.

8. Certain aspects of this project will be informed by the outcome of various technical studies, many of which are required by legislation and policy. These technical studies are undertaken in accordance with established criteria and completed by qualified experts.

9. The Burlington MTSAs are complex, previously developed areas with multiple landowners. The City does not have control over the speed of change related to development. Property owners decide when and if they will develop or redevelop their property.

10. The implementing Official Plan Amendments must be adopted by City Council by June 2022.

11. The implementing Zoning By-Law Amendments must be approved by City Council by December 2022.

Kwab Ako-Adjei, Director, Corporate Communications & Engagement at City of Burlington, has set out a demanding criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of the Engagement Plan. Burlingtonians haven’t seen an approach like this before.

How the City Will Collect and Respond to Feedback
Throughout the engagement process, City staff will diligently collect and record all input provided by stakeholders. All input will be recorded by theme into response tables, showing in detail how the comments were considered and how they did or did not shape the study process, the Area Specific Plan and their associated implementing Official Plan amendments recommended to Council, and why.

Evaluating the Engagement Process
Throughout the MTSA ASP Project, City staff will capture interim feedback on the engagement process through measures such as feedback/satisfaction surveys. This will allow for ongoing and incremental evaluation of engagement efforts and will support an iterative process where feedback may influence the engagement process throughout the project.

To assist in measuring how the public participation contributed to the final project decision to be made, the following will be used to evaluate the overall public participation process.

1. Once the project is complete, measure the degree to which community members felt they:

a. Understood the project’s process and its limitations
b. Understood how the feedback they provided influenced the outcome of the City Council approval.

2. Evaluate each form of engagement. How did each of the engagement approaches used help to achieve the engagement objectives?

3. Analyze how the feedback received about the forms of engagement informed new or alternative approaches to the overall public participation process as the project moved forward.

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How editorial choices get made and how differences are resolved. 

By Pepper Parr

October 22nd, 2021



The Gazette is a member of the National Newsmedia Council. In a recent report from the Council they set out how editorial choices get made and how differences are resolved.  We strive to follow those guidelines

Over the past two months, the NNC received more than 50 complaints, and dozens more phone calls, from people who expressed their concerns about a front-page layout of an August 26th edition of the Toronto Star. Readers were incensed over the front-page presentation of a story featuring strongly-worded tweets about people who chose not to get the COVID vaccine. The front-page tweets were, in many readers’ words, “divisive and hateful.”

That day’s edition of the Toronto Star featured an article about public attitudes towards unvaccinated people, citing a poll that suggested many vaccinated Canadians had “no sympathy for those who choose not to get the COVID-19 vaccine and then fall ill.” The article pointed to strongly worded tweets from people who felt similarly, and the tweets were prominently displayed on the front page of the paper.

One tweet included on the front page read, “I have no empathy left for the willfully unvaccinated. Let them die.”

While the Toronto Star’s public editor published a column about the issues with the front-page display in the following days, the significant outcry from readers underscores the need for clarity and consideration when presenting complex issues, particularly when they are given the weight and focus of a front-page display.

In this case, the NNC heard from many complainants who were concerned that the comments expressed harmful views, sowed further division, and were not clearly identified as tweets from individuals.

Take, for example, some of the criticism we heard from complainants:

“This is a prime example of the divide the media has caused…This newspaper is fanning the flames of hatred and division.”

“To see such words of hate plastered across a front page is not only outrageous and unacceptable but also utterly irresponsible in these volatile times.”

“We are already so fractured as a society that this headline does nothing but fuel the divide.”

“Everyone has a right to their opinion but a newspaper has an even greater responsibility to the community to ‘draw a line’. That front page article is down right scary and absolutely promotes hate, discrimination, misinformation and fear towards fellow human beings.”

One individual pointed out, “There are others who by means of exemption are unable to be vaccinated either due to religious beliefs or medical conditions,” and “Being that it is the front page, many people will see these hateful remarks and have no context unless they read the article.”

Even among those who recognized the comments as tweets, many felt it was difficult to discern this fact and that the comments were given undue weight. As one complainant put it, “The newspaper quotes someone from Twitter…and promotes it on their front page in a way that suggests they agree with it. The fact it comes from another person is in very small characters, and the text is placed without quotation marks.”

In addition to the general outrage over the front-page display of the story, some complainants took the opportunity to express their views on vaccination. A number of complainants simply wanted an apology from the news organization about how the newspaper chose to highlight these tweets.

Most complainants immediately contacted the NNC with their concerns. Some told us they even reached out to their local police with concerns about hateful language and were referred to the NNC.

The NNC reviewed each of the complaints and listened to their phone calls. As is our process, we encouraged them to try to resolve the matter, first, with the news organization directly and allow reasonable opportunity for the news organization to address their concerns.

On August 28, the public editor of the Toronto Star published his findings in a column in response to reader concerns. The Star had received thousands of messages from concerned readers who found the front-page display “confusing, hurtful and inflammatory.”

As noted in the column, “Many readers thought the statements were the Star’s view, like a front-page editorial; others thought it was the headline to the story.” The public editor noted that there were no quotation marks around the tweeted comments, that the tweets lacked context, and the source of the comments was not clearly identified.

The column included comments from the editor of the Toronto Star, who acknowledged the “power” and “responsibility” of a front page. She apologized for the fact that the particular front-page display did not meet their usual standards.

As noted in the column, the public editor found that “greater care should have been taken” in this case, and that “The Star wound up stoking the very divisions it sought to write about.”

Throughout the pandemic, the NNC has received a number of complaints and phone calls from people concerned with polarization and ‘divisiveness’ in reporting on COVID, and especially, COVID vaccines. In many of these cases, people want to see another side of the story reflected, even if the evidence does not support it.

Whether covering vaccine hesitancy or people’s response to vaccine hesitancy, reporting on unfounded, offensive, or even extreme views can be newsworthy and serve important journalistic purposes, so long as those views are treated with appropriate care. That means providing appropriate attribution and context, including verifiable evidence and information about sourcing.

In this particular case, the NNC recognizes that the complaints were primarily directed at the front-page layout of the story, and not the story itself, which in fact aimed to provide context and shed light on the attitudes expressed in the strongly-worded tweets.

In reviewing complainants’ concerns and the news organizations’ response to the matter, the NNC agreed with the news organization that the comments should have been more clearly labelled. It also agreed that in this case, the display of the tweets on the front page fell short of journalistic standards around context and attribution.

At the same time, the NNC found that the public editor’s findings and thorough report on the matter both acknowledged and addressed reader concerns about the lack of context, inadequate labelling, and divisive nature of the comments.

While apologies typically fall outside the mandate of the NNC, we would note that the chief editor’s comments and apology for the front page’s shortcomings, as quoted in the column, go a long way to addressing reader concerns, particularly of those who wished to see recognition of the wide-reaching impact of the newspaper’s front page.

In light of the published findings by the Toronto Star public editor, the NNC considered this matter resolved due to corrective action.

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1st annual Burlington Literary Festival launches in November

By Staff

October 22, 2021



Booklovers and writers, take note!

The 1st annual Burlington Literary Festival launches in November, just in time for NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month.

“During this month-long celebration of literature, we welcome authors, celebrate books, and (virtually) visit with local and national literary treasures.

“All sessions are online this year due to the pandemic. We look forward to hosting in-person and virtual festival events next year. Please bookmark this page and follow #BurlLitFest to get the latest festival news.”


How to Research with Denise Davy, investigative journalist, social issues advocate & author

A Bookseller’s Perspective with Ian Elliot, A Different Drummer Books owner

National Novel Writing Month with Brian Henry, writer, creative writing instructor & former book editor

Digital Publishing with Mark Leslie Lefebvre, author, former bookseller & e-publisher

The Art of Writing Memoir with Dr. Ellen Ryan, pyschologist, professor emeritus, McMaster University

Story Development with Lynda Simmons, author & creative writing instructor

Haiku for Remembrance Day with Kimiko Horne, published haiku writer & teacher


Lana Button, children’s author, educator & entertainer

Tonia Evans Cianciulli, soprano, singer-songwriter & author

Ian Hamilton, crime/mystery writer & former journalist

Terry O’Reilly, author, broadcast producer & CBC Radio One podcast host

Zoe Whittall, poet, novelist & TV writer


AGB presents About Prison Libraries with Kirsten Wurmann and Ashley Huot, Prison Libraries Committee of Manitoba

HPO presents Composing Literature-Based Music with Abigail Richardson-Schulte, Composer-in-Residence

Treaty & What it Means to the Law of the Land presented by Elder Garry Sault, Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation

Participating partners

A Different Drummer Books
Art Gallery of Burlington (AGB)
Burlington Mundialization Committee – Itabashi
Burlington Writers Group
Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra (HPO)
Harper Collins Canada
McMaster Institute for Research on Aging (MIRA)
Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation
Southern Ontario Lyric Opera Company (SOLO)

Related links

REGISTER for BurlLitFest events – registration opens Oct 25, 12pm


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Library services limited during a software system upgrade, Nov 2 to 18

By Staff

October 22nd, 2021



Burlington Public Library will start a major move to a new library software system and service provider on Tuesday.November 2.

“The new system, designed to manage our collections and customer information, brings many improvements to help us serve you better. Still, we regret that there will be limited services while all our data relocates to its new home. We expect to complete all work and be back to business as usual by November 18.

“We need to minimize any data changes to make sure no information gets lost between the old and new systems.”  Here’s what to expect during the transition and important changes to note:

1. NO online catalogue access; CHECK OUT only.

  • No searching or browsing the online catalogue.
  • No access to your My BPL account.
  • No placing holds. Holds already waiting for you won’t expire. No new holds will be available for pick-up.
  • No renewals.
  • No returned items will be checked in. You can still return items but they will not show as returned in your account until after Nov 18.
  • No payments will be taken for fees or other financial transactions.
  • Check-out kiosks will be unavailable.
  • No online self-registration for a library card.
  • Some digital resources may be temporarily unavailable during the transition. This information will be posted on our website as needed.

You will be able to:

  • Check out books and other items available on our shelves.
  • Check out eBooks, eAudiobooks, and eMagazines and stream movies and music directly through the resource’s website (for example, OverDrive, Hoopla, Kanopy) or the resource’s app (such as Libby, Hoopla, Kanopy etc)
  • Register in person at any branch for a library card.
  • Register to attend virtual library programs.
  • Use public computers, printers, and free wireless access at all locations.

2. NEW – PIN reset
During the data migration, your PIN will be reset to the last four digits of the telephone number we have on file for you. You can reset your PIN after Nov 18.

3. NEW – Borrowing history
BPL now retains the borrowing history on all customer accounts to serve you better and bring collections of the highest interest to our community. We will use the data to understand our general use trends; we will not access information at the individual level. If you wish to access your borrowing history, you must enable this feature in your My BPL account. Library staff will only access your borrowing history with your permission.

We encourage you to contact us online, stop by and talk with our staff, or give us a call at 905.639.3611 if you have any questions.








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Innocent eyes: remove the fear of failure and art like this is possible

By Staff

October 22nd, 2021



This was passed on to us – we haven’t had an opportunity yet to talk to the people behind this work done by young students.

We just had to share the art work with you.  Call it Innocent Eyes.

Fishbowls from the eyes and hands of young students

The comments that came with the pictures went like this:

It’s a gum ball machine

“After working with educators and students for 30 years, we have developed curriculum that works! Our techniques remove the fear of failure that can block creative expression. As a result, our students produce artwork beyond their imagination.”

Some of the results:



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The Holiday Market planned for December of this year appears to be relying on sponsorships: Is there that much loose cash in the city?

By Pepper Parr

October 22nd, 2021



This is about an event proposal that literally slipped through council with very little public input.

At the time the organizers of the event were looking for a five year permit – Ward Councillor Lisa Kearns whittled that down to two years.

The urgency on the part of the organizers was to give sponsors the assurance that they were putting their money into something that was going to be around for awhile.

TD bank was mentioned as people ready to sign the cheque.

The organizers explained that The Burlington Holiday Market was established to celebrate the holiday spirit in the heart of the city, downtown Burlington. 2021 will mark the first year of this annual event. Building on a tradition of bringing the community together, the Market welcomes residents, families and visitors from around the Halton and Hamilton region to come and experience a celebration of the season.

In partnership with the Sound of Music, the Burlington Holiday Market took inspiration from European Christmas markets and infused a flair of Canadiana to deliver a unique and imaginative immersive experience. The Burlington Holiday Market will offer several features including concerts and choirs, a HERO’s lounge, interactive community art features and advent-style community displays.*

After a tumultuous 18-months, the Burlington Holiday Market is ready to bring everyone back together and revitalize the downtown just in time for the holiday season. From December 9th to 12th we will transform downtown Burlington into a holiday wonderland with something to excite all the senses and fun for all ages.

They pointed to the history of large events in Burlington with Sound of Music festival brings 200,000 people into the downtown and RibFest, which has been around since 1996 attracting approximately 175,000 people.

Sponsorships were clearly a big part of the revenue side.

Available for your consideration we are offering limited sponsorship at the following levels:


PRESENTing Sponsorships

1 Available


Gold Sponsorships

4 Available


Silver Sponsorships

7 Available


Bronze Sponsorships

10 Available

And the following unlimited sponsorships:

$3,000 Cheer Sponsorships

$1,000 Snowflake Sponsorships

*All sponsorships may be subject to change at the discretion of the Burlington Holiday Market

The PRESENTing Sponsor ($40,000) will enjoy the ultimate in visibility around the region, in the media and during the market. This is an opportunity to leverage an active and engaged audience and offer a high-profile display in the largest activation space available within the Market.

● Market Naming
● Lounge Naming

● 20’x20′ Activation space for the duration of the show for four days – Dec 9, 10, 11, 12

● Verbal recognition from stage hosts
● Prize draw participation

Social Media
● 10 x Mentions and/or tags* on Burlington Holiday Market social media channels
● 10 x Shares and/or reposts* of approved sponsor content on Burlington Holiday Market social media channels

● Logo included on postcard inside delivered parcel
● Opportunity for product inclusion

Thank you
● Inclusion in post-event Thank You video that will be

● Naming recognition on all advertising (website, print

● Logo on print advertising
● Logo on outdoor advertising


distributed on social

and digital)
● Named in all press releases
● Logo on website (linkable)
● Logo on general signage

● Logo on digital advertising
● Logo on printed poster
● Logo on print banner
● Radio advertising mention

● First right of refusal for 2022

*All sponsorships may be subject to change at the discretion of the Burlington Holiday Market

Gold Sponsors will benefit from high visibility and numerous touch points throughout the Market, mentions in the media and a presence on all marketing materials leading up to and after the event. Gold sponsorship activation spaces will be centrally located to maximize traffic and audience opportunity

● 10′ x l0′ Activation space for the duration of the show for four days – Dec 9, 10, 11, 12

● Verbal recognition from stage hosts
● Prize draw participation

● Named in all press releases
● Logo on website (linkable)
● Logo on general signage
● Logo on print advertising
● Logo on outdoor advertising
● Logo on digital advertising
● Logo on printed poster

Social Media
● 6 x Mentions and/or tags* on Burlington Holiday Market social media channels
● 6 x Shares and/or reposts* of approved sponsor content on Burlington Holiday Market social media channels

Thank you
● Inclusion in post-event Thank You video that will be distributed on social

● Logo included on postcard inside delivered parcel
● Opportunity for product inclusion

● First right of refusal for 2022

● Logo on print banner
● Radio advertising mention

*All sponsorships may be subject to change at the discretion of the Burlington Holiday Market

Silver Sponsors will gain access to high traffic activation sites and logo inclusion on a wide range of promotional materials. This is an excellent opportunity to re-engage with the community and drive brand recognition, leads, sales or showcase products and services just in time for the gift giving season.

● 6’x6′ Activation space for the duration of the show for four days – Dec 9, 10, 11, 12

● Verbal recognition from stage hosts
● Prize draw participation

● Named in all press releases
● Logo on website (linkable)
● Logo on general signage
● Logo on print advertising
● Logo on outdoor advertising
● Logo on digital advertising
● Logo on printed poster
● Logo on printed banner

Social Media
● 3 x Mentions and/or tags* on Burlington Holiday Market social media channels
● 3 x Shares and/or reposts* of approved sponsor content on Burlington Holiday Market social media channels

● Logo included on postcard inside delivered parcel

Thank you
● Inclusion in post-event Thank You video that will be distributed on social

● First right of refusal for 2022

*All sponsorships may be subject to change at the discretion of the Burlington Holiday Market

Bronze Sponsors will have the opportunity to present their brand, product and services to a large, engaged audience. Branding will be included on a wide range of promotional materials distributed throughout Halton region and online leading up to and during the Burlington Holiday Market. Reach a large, concentrated audience from sunrise to sunset!

● 6’x6′ Activation space for the duration of the show for one day – Dec 9 or 10 or 11 or 12

● Prize draw participation

● Logo on website (linkable)
● Logo on general signage
● Logo on print advertising
● Logo on outdoor advertising
● Logo on digital advertising
● Logo on printed poster

Social Media
● 2 x Mentions and/or tags* on Burlington Holiday Market social media channels
● 2 x Shares and/or reposts* of approved sponsor content on Burlington Holiday Market social media channels

● Logo included on postcard inside delivered parcel

*All sponsorships may be subject to change at the discretion of the Burlington Holiday Market

Cheer Sponsors are big supporters of the community and will be able to take advantage of the opportunity to drive traffic to their website and social media platforms, promote their participation in the Burlington Holiday Market and their support for the artists, vendors, performers and food and beverage providers of Burlington and Halton.

● Logo on website (linkable)

Social Media
● 1 x Mentions and / or tags* on Burlington Holiday Market social media channels
● 1 x Shares and/or reposts* of approved sponsor content on Burlington Holiday Market social media channels

Building a snow sculpture isn’t possible without many snowflakes. Each contributing to building something bigger to be enjoyed by everyone, much like the Burlington Holiday Market. Make your contribution to supporting the community and the downtown core with a Snowflake sponsorship and share your contribution with your friends and followers – we will do the same!

Social Media
● 1 x Mentions and / or tags* on Burlington Holiday Market social media channels
● 1 x Shares and / or reposts* of approved sponsor content on Burlington Holiday Market social media channels

*All sponsorships may be subject to change at the discretion of the Burlington Holiday Market.

The person you want to meet with is:

Meagan Madill
T: 905.995.4343

Bring your cheque book.

There is a lot more behind this situation – Stay Tuned and Stand By!

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Spooktacular event runs between 10 am and 5 pm Saturday at Burlington Central

By Ryan O’Dowd: Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

October 21st, 2021



Burlington Centre transforms this Saturday for their Spooktacular Finds and Drive-In Movie events.

The Mom’s Market Collective hosts the Spooktacular Finds that will be set up throughout the Centre with over 25 vendors selling unique merchandise and products.

Customers are encouraged to bring their kids along for trick or treating.

What do you think he is looking at? Sounds like a great event – the movie tickets were gone in a flash.

After the market shuts down the Drive-In Movie Spooktacular kicks off at 6:30 pm. The sold-out film event has seen 100 available parking spaces fill up for both Saturday and Sunday. Tickets were free and guests are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item that will go to the Gift of Giving Back.

The Mom Market Collective is a Canada wide Collective that believes in supporting local and giving a platform for the small shops in the community. On Saturday October 23rd The Mom Market Halton is hosting their Spooktacular Finds Market at Burlington Centre from 10-5.

The small businesses you can shop from are: 30 Something Co, Li Creations, Simple Bath, Lucy Nixon Norwex, SweetLegs Hamilton With Heather, Honey Harbour Designs, Lottastic, Sweet Peas Baby Company, Ella rose little bows, Barely There Skincare, The Maison Noor, Atelieh, Jai & Miah Boutique, Heather’s Essentials, Wicker Blues, rresintable, Chakra Jewels Accessories, Chewie & Co., Reiki and Rock Craft Wellness and A Plus Teacher

For those who secured tickets for the drive-in portion, restaurants will be open for takeout and snacks are available.

Blaze Pizza is providing a special menu for the event. Spots are first come, first served. Full details can be found on the Burlington Centre website.

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What to Expect of Online Casino Gaming in Canada?

By Staff

October 21st, 2021



Online casino gaming is legal and available to Canadians, but what’s it really like? While there is a growing interest in online gambling all over the world, some people are still apprehensive about signing up to a site and trying it out themselves.

That’s understandable. After all, many people are also apprehensive of giving money to any online site. However, online casinos are usually incredibly safe and can be a lot of fun. Provided that you make sure a site is licenced by a reputable gambling authority such as the UK Gambling Commission, Malta Gaming Authority or the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, you can be sure the casino is safe and fair. Still, it’s a good idea to do some research before signing up to a site if you want to make sure you have a fun experience.

Quality on-line gambling sites offer an opportunity to play in a demo mode to let you get a feel for how they work.

Games are one of the most important factors when it comes to playing at an online casino. They’re usually the main reason anyone signs up. There are lots of popular games available, including trending slot games in Canada and classic table games like Blackjack, Roulette and Poker. No matter what kind of games you like to play, online casinos usually have a huge collection to choose from. Before you play a game for real cash, most sites will also let you play in a demo mode. This way, you can try out a game, learn the rules and experience what it has to offer without risking your own money. It’s always recommended to play in demo mode before you make a deposit and start playing for real cash.

Bonuses are one of the main ways online casinos attract new players. Most sites will offer at least a welcome bonus, which is a reward available to claim when you first join a site. Bonuses come in all different shapes and sizes, from small free spin offers to big matched deposit bonuses. Before you choose a Canadian casino to play at, make sure you take a look at the promotions page to see what’s on offer. You’ll also want to make sure you read through all of the terms and conditions carefully and determine whether it’s worth it. Although some casino bonuses might look great at first, they often come with restrictions that make them difficult to use.

Whenever you play at an online casino for real money, you’re risking your own cash for the chance to win some for yourself. Although it is possible to win big sums of money, there’s always the risk you might lose a lot too. Before you start playing, you should make sure you fully understand the risk and what it means. All games at online casinos have a way of seeing how much they will theoretically payback. This is known as the Return to Player (RTP) rate, and it’s shown as a percentage, for example, 95%. The higher the number, the less risk to you, although you can still win money from low RTP games if you’re lucky. If you want to avoid losing money when playing at an online casino, you should make the most of bonuses and set a budget for how much you’re going to spend each week or month.

Playing at Canadian online casinos can be lots of fun, but you should be sure to pick the right casino first. Choosing a good online casino is important, as it will let you play the best games while being fair and safe to use. Ensure that any casino you play at is licenced and has good user reviews online.

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City of Burlington recreational facilities and vaccine status

By Staff

October 20th, 2021



The City of Burlington will continue to follow the Provincial mandate and require proof of vaccination in City recreational facilities for all who are eligible for the vaccines.

City-operated services and facilities not impacted include:

  • City Hall at 426 Brant St.
  • Outdoor sports fields
  • Diamonds, parks and playgrounds
  • Burlington Transit
  • Halton Court Services

Parents can watch – but they must show their proof of vaccination papers.

To enter a City facility, visitors will need to show a piece of identification with their name and date of birth and either:

• Show their vaccine certificate with QR code (paper or electronic), or
• Show their vaccination receipt (paper or electronic)

Parents and/or guardians may enter a facility for a maximum of 15 minutes to drop off and pick-up a participant for a program, without showing proof of vaccination. Parents who are required to stay in the facility for the duration of the program must be fully vaccinated.

All current regulations around screening, masking and physical distancing will not change based vaccine status.
To download your vaccine certificate, go to

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Burlington Residents Can Now Enjoy an Interactive Exhibition on Artwork at the Royal Botanical Gardens

By Mark Maycock

October 19th, 2021



If you weren’t yet aware, many things are going on in the area these days, and many residents are enjoying the autumn season.

Those who have been raring to go out can do so with more enjoyment if they visit the Royal Botanical Gardens – where there is an ongoing interactive exhibition on artwork.

Seeing the Invisible at Royal Botanical Gardens

The exhibition, entitled ‘Seeing the Invisible,’ is arguably the most expansive and ambitious exhibition the Gardens has to date. It features a range of contemporary and modern artwork complemented by AR or augmented reality technology.

What it is

We can’t deny the significance of this exhibition, especially since it uses AR technology, which is astounding in many ways. But what exactly is AR? AR or augmented reality is a technology that can add or augment any viewer’s perception of their environment. In most cases, the digital info is superimposed on a real-life setting, but this is fixed in a specific place. At the same time, the user or viewer moves around the environment or moves their gadget around the environment.

The exhibit itself was developed in partnership with other botanical gardens worldwide, and Seeing the Invisible was first launched on September 23 as a participating botanical garden among a total of 12 in various countries. It’s worth noting, however, that it’s the only participating botanical garden in Canada.

What you can expect

The exhibition features work from over a dozen global artists. Its theme expounds on the wonders of nature, sustainability, and the environment, delivering an exploration of connections and boundaries between nature, technology, and art.

Hendrie Gardens at the Royal Botanical Gardens – a world class location

You can engage with the exhibition once you download an app, and it fosters brilliant collaboration between audiences, institutions, and artists. It’s a great way to emphasize and showcase how art can bring people together. Once you’re in the app, you will come across 13 interactive and unique artworks, and these are all spread around the landscape of Hendrie Gardens.   You can even take photos with the larger-than-life artwork, and you can essentially walk around the exhibit and listen to an audio plugin that makes your experience even more artistic and memorable.

The exhibit is now at Hendrie Gardens, and anyone can visit it from Thursday to Sunday. Seeing the Invisible runs until the 6th of November, and it operates between the hours of 10 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon.

The details

To attend, you can pre-register and buy a ticket, and when you purchase your ticket, you will have to choose your preferred time and date. There are six slots; namely, 10 am, 11 am, 12 noon, 1 pm, 2 pm, and 3 in the afternoon.

Tickets cost $24.50 for general admission and only $21.50 for senior citizens and students/youth, with ticket prices at $16.50 for kids aged 4 to 12 and only $2 for members of the Royal Botanical Gardens.

It’s good news for those who are still spending a lot of time at home during the pandemic. But if you want to make more of your time at home, you can also play in an online casino in Canada – who knows, luck may be on your side after you’ve been inspired by the gorgeous interactive technology and the artwork you’ve just experienced.


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Covid19 rules for sports situations are tightened up by Medical Officer of Health

By Staff

October 19th, 2021



Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health (MOH), Dr. Hamidah Meghani, has issued a letter of instructions to indoor sports and recreational fitness facilities to implement vaccination policies that require all eligible individuals to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to participate in organized sports and recreational fitness activities in these settings.

For businesses and organizations, this means establishing, implementing and ensuring compliance with a COVID-19 vaccination policy by no later than November 26, 2021 for all persons 12 years and older who attend an indoor area of the indoor sport or recreational facility for the purpose of actively participating, coaching, training, instructing, officiating or having similar involvement in organized sports and recreational fitness activities.

These instructions are being introduced to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and outbreaks, further protecting the health of all participants, coaches, officials, volunteers, spectators and others including those with weaker immune systems or who cannot be vaccinated because of their age or for medical reasons.

Robust compliance with masking, physical distancing and other public health measures in all facilities used for sports and recreational fitness activities in Halton Region also remains essential to protect our community.

To read Dr. Meghani’s instructions for indoor sports and recreational fitness activities or for additional public health information and guidance, please visit


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Development for Brant and Lakeshore could change what Downtown would look like

By Pepper Parr

October 19th, 2021



From time to time there are news stories that grow to something more than a one or two day event.

We have covered a few that were significant – and important.

The legal problems surrounding the pier: when a crane toppled and steel that bent much more than was expected was found to be below the required standard.

It was a Pier that was built twice – at double the cost

The end result was the tearing apart of much of the first version of the Pier and starting all over at double the projected cost.

Another important event was the dumping of un-inspected land fill on the Burlington airport lands without the required permits.

We followed that story for three years, stayed strong during the libel suit that was filed against the Gazette and Vanessa Warren and Monte Dennis.

Tonnes of landfill from unknown sources was dumped on the air park lands. It is still there ruining at least one property for which there was never any compensation.

The libel suit was dropped but the land fill is still on the site – and the city is the poorer by half a million in legal fees.

Then there is decision on the part of Vrancor, owners of the Waterfront Hotel, who are expected to take the first required step to demolish the hotel and replace the 9 storey building with a 35 story tower and a 30 story tower that would sit atop a four storey tower.

There are those who like the idea; there are those who think it is a mistake.  The Plan B group certainly think it is a mistake.

The design of the towers is striking – it would be nice to live in it – but the Gazette does not believe those towers should be built on the Waterfront Hotel site.

During the pre-application presentation both the Mayor and the ward Councillor were given the right to speak. Neither made comments for which they will be remembered.

When first running for City Councillor Marianne Meed Ward was leading the Save our Waterfront Committee, demanding that the city not permit high rise towers anywhere near the lake.

The waterfront is once again at risk

Ten years later and all the Mayor had to say during the pre-application presentation was that the city had yet to receive an application. The first rule of stopping a development is to do everything possible to prevent it getting momentum.

If the Mayor is opposed to this development – and it this point we don’t know if she is or if she isn’t – saying nothing is not what the citizens of Burlington elected her for.

She was noisy noisy about Saving the Waterfront in 2010; she was noisy noisy when it came to pushing to get the Urban Growth Centre moved north and away from the Downtown Core in 2018.

She was close to mute when she had a chance to say something about two towers that would loom over Lakeshore Road if they are built.

The Gazette is of the view that few people fully understand what is taking place. There were less than 100 citizens participating in the virtual pre-application presentation.

In the two pictures set out below we try to give people an idea of what a 35 storey tower looks like when compared to what already exists on Lakeshore Road.

The tower on the left is expected to be on the Brant Street side of the development. It is 39 storeys high, the Hotel is 9 storeys high which would make the development more than four times as high as the current structure.

When set against what is currently the highest building in the city the difference is also very significant.

The Waterfront hotel – stands 9 storeys high.

Bridgewater condominium, currently the tallest structure in the city.

The tower on the right would be next to the Bridgewater development and at 30 storeys plus a four level podium come in at 35 storeys – one third higher than the Bridgewater condominium.

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