Art Gallery appoints an Interim Executive Director: Lina Jabra starts July 6

artsorange 100x100By Pepper Parr

June 30th, 2021



The Art Gallery Board moved with dispatch in finding an Interim Executive Director for a minimum of six months while the Board does a thorough search for a full time Executive Director

Lina Jabri AGB

Lina Jabra; new interim Executive Director at the Art Gallery of Burlington

Lina Jabra will  join the AGB on Tuesday, July 6th, and remain in this position for a minimum of six months while the Board undertakes a search for a permanent CEO.

“The Board is very excited to welcome Lina to our organization,” said Jane Depraitere, AGB Board Chair. “Her experience in the arts sector including staff and volunteer leadership, her demonstrated strengths in community and audience engagement, and her commitment to innovation highlighting diversity and inclusion will help position the AGB for success during this transition period as we move forward”, said Ms. Depraitere.

Lina brings over twenty years of experience in the not-for-profit arts and culture sector. She is a graduate of the BFA program at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington DC and completed Executive Education Certificates in both Art and Non-Profit Management from Ohio’s Case Western Reserve University.

Since 1988 Lina has served with Arts-based organizations both as Executive Director as well as Management Consultant, including the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in Toronto, VSA Arts of New Mexico, Through the Flower Foundation (TTF) attached to artist Judy Chicago in New Mexico, and the Ontario Clay and Glass Association in Toronto.

AGB live auction - closer look

Visitor to the Art Gallery looks closely at a painting listed in the auction catalogue.

Lina said:  “The Art Gallery of Burlington’s dedication to supporting and transforming the appreciation and love of art for all communities aligns with my experience and interest in the arts and art education, community building, and innovative programming, within a caring, collaborative and creative environment. I look forward to working with the AGB’s staff, volunteers, Board, members and all stakeholders in this exciting role”.


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Changes in the leadership at the Art Gallery

theartsBy Pepper Parr

June 30th, 2021



The Performing Arts Centre has managed to keep delivering value to the city.

Robert Steven AGB

Robert Steven

The same can’t be said for the Art Gallery.

They are currently reported to be looking for an interim Executive Director.

Robert Steven was shown the door over what were reported to be differences over the direction the Gallery had taken in the past few years.

There has been no public comment on Steven’s departure; members of the Gallery did receive a letter advising them of the change.

These arms length, tax supported organizations have always been tight-lipped when it comes to internal leadership matters.

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Light humour appears to have difficulty penetrating the hearts of the city. Lightening up a little would be welcome

News 100 blueBy Staff

June 30th, 2021



In a news story earlier this week we said:  “Burlington may not be ready for this.”

The statement had to do with a production being put on virtually by the Performing Arts Centre that involved the City Manager and the Executive Director of the Burlington Downtown Business Association.

They were part of the cast for a reading of the play The Odd Couple that was a Broadway production and then a movie that is still being enjoyed.  It was a good movie.

In an effort to bring some entertainment life to the city Tammy Fox, Executive Director of the Performing Arts Centre put together an idea and managed to convince several well known entertainers to take part and added in some local colour.

Given that City Manager Tim Commisso and BDBA Executive Director Brian Dean were featured it seemed like an opportunity to have some light hearted fun and use photographs in our files to show Commisso and Dean as “fun” guys.

Some took exception to what we had published.

Commisso and Dean along with other Burlington personalities have what might be called supporting roles.  The hope is that they will perform their reading admirably.

The Performing Arts Centre has arranged for all the front line support workers free access to the online production.  The Show Business people call this “sharing the love”.

We expect it to be a fun evening and anticipate with a measure of excitement on just how well Commisso and Dean will perform.

ODD COUPLE graphic

Pepperwoods has put together a take out offering – make it an evening when you don’t have to cook.

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Ontario Funds Combatting Islamophobia in Schools

News 100 blueBy Staff

June 29th, 2021



The Ontario government is investing in a plan to counter Islamophobia and ensure classrooms are free from discrimination.

Those in the community who were raised in a different culture than what most of us are used to seeing are beginning to play a larger role in public life.

Muslims participating in Call to Prayer

Muslims taking part in a public prayer event at Spencer Smith Park.

The Muslim community recently held a Call to Payer on a Friday afternoon in Spencer Smith Park rather than at their mosque.
Few people in Burlington had ever witnessed such an event.

We now have a Muslim woman nominated as the Liberal candidate for the next provincial election.

We see a lot more woman wearing the hijab when they are out for a walk or in the supermarkets. We are also seeing different food offerings on the shelves.

We human being are not very good at adapting to change. The kids get it – their parents have a more difficult time.

As part of the Safe Return to Class fund, Ontario’s government is providing $225,000 to the Muslim Association of Canada to create digital resources for educators, students and parents to raise awareness about Islamophobia. These resources will provide information about Islamic practices, values and misconceptions, root causes of Islamophobia and ways to help end Islamophobia, racism and discrimination.

Ontario is also providing $75,000 to the National Council of Canadian Muslims to facilitate outreach and engagement with Muslim parents and families, with a focus on newcomer communities. These engagements will provide information on school supports and will provide culturally relevant resources to enhance well-being for families and help Muslim students prepare for the return to school in September.

sign at call to Prayer

The Muslim community is reaching out to the people of Burlington – the city now needs to learn to hear what they are saying.

According to the most up to date data from Statistics Canada, hate crimes have been on the rise in Canada, with a nine per cent increase in anti-Muslim attacks in 2019, when compared to the previous year. Tragic and disturbing reports and incidents across Canada and the world over the past years underscore the need for action.

“It is unacceptable that many Muslim students continue to face discrimination in our schools, on our playgrounds and in communities across this country,” said Minister of Education Stephen Lecce. “That is why we are investing and partnering with community leaders — who are leading this effort— to counter racism and better support Ontario’s Muslim students and their families.

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Rivers: Canada Day is a Time for Reflection


 When a war between nations is lost

The loser, we know, pays the cost

But even when Germany fell to your hands

Consider dear lady, consider dear man

You left them their pride and you left them their lands

And what have you done to these ones

(Now That the Buffalo’s Gone – Buffy Sainte-Marie)


Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

June 29th, 2021



This will be a tough July 1st for a lot of Canadians.  For one thing there are fewer of us to celebrate this year – over twenty-six thousand of our loved ones have died from COVID.  Another million and a half became infected, a third of whom have been inflicted with long haul issues.

And the pandemic is not over by a long shot, even though the infection and death numbers are down and the vaccines up.  Just look at the UK which thought it was in the clear but is experiencing its highest COVID infection numbers since February, even though their first and second dose vaccination rates are better than ours.

shoes aboriginal children

The first stage of the public response to the tragic news of the unmarked graves.

And then there is the shock and the ongoing tragic saga about the residential schools.  So far a thousand unmarked graves have been located.  But that is on the grounds of only two out of the 150 schools which the churches had operated.

Even if the children had died from TB, Spanish Flu, measles, influenza or some other disease, they were still in the care of the churches.  And the buck stops with the federal government which had authorized their kidnapping and confinement.    Malnutrition, over-crowding, physical stress from manual labour and emotional stress from the abuse, including sexual abuse, all weighed in with deadly consequences.

Nobody should take a child away from their parents without their permission and just cause.  But having elected to do so they needed to ensure their health and safety.  Why were the school records not maintained by the government and disclosed to the parents? Why were parents not even informed of the deaths and/or the bodies returned?  One can only imagine how the parents and the community leaders and the community felt, watching helplessly in anguish and horror, as their children were taken away.  And then to learn that so many were not coming back.

The Prime Minister suggests that Canada Day this year is a time for reflection.  We should reflect on what the original inhabitants of this land are feeling.  To them Canada is that country which took away their lands and their freedom.  Should we really expect them to be as enthusiastic about celebrating Canada Day as Erin O’Toole, the leader of the Conservative party thinks they should be.

O'Toole smug 4

The plight of our indigenous population is something Leader of the Opposition O’Toole does not appear to understand.

Despite O’Toole’s plea to party on July 1st as if nothing had happened, much of the country is heeding the wishes of the indigenous leaders and cancelling fireworks and other celebrations.  Ottawa will be holding a sacred fire and municipalities in New Brunswick, Saskatchewan and B.C. are cancelling traditional celebrations.  They are suggesting that this day be one of reflection for the plight of our indigenous population and of how we can do better into the future.

Mr. Trudeau has called on the Pope to publicly apologize given the huge role the Catholic Church had in all of this, but there is no sign of that happening.  There is some discussion about criminal charges being laid against those responsible for the schools and the program.  And internationally China has used this incident to challenge and embarrass our PM after Justin criticized China’s treatment of its Uighur minority.

Canadians are generally outraged and some will heed the direction of the Prime Minister for a sombre day of reflection.   There are demonstrations planned in protest, this Canada Day.  Catholic churches situated on some reserves have already been burnt to the ground, presumably in protest.  Some people have defaced and destroyed statues of Canada’s founding father, Sir John A. Macdonald.  And, civic authorities are renaming buildings and edifices honouring Sir John A. and Egerton Ryerson, the architect of the school system.

It was the Indian Act which provided the framework for assimilating Canada’s first nations and destroying their native culture.  And the residential schools were part of that framework.  This racist piece of legislation is still in place today, curiously and ironically, because the very indigenous leaders who disdain it also refuse to let it die.   Pierre Trudeau tried to get rid of it back in 1969 and was thwarted by the aboriginal community, who fretted over losing rights that had been conveyed to them under the Act.  Nothing is easy about this.

weeping aboriginal woman

The healing has begun – now we have to find all the cemeteries.

As Canadians we had been taught that ours was a more peaceful treatment of our indigenous population than, for example, the USA.  After all, European settlers arriving in the Americas were responsible for the elimination of an estimated 90% of Indigenous populations, either through the introduction of disease or by outright massacre.   The US government committed as much genocide against its indigenous people as did almost any other nation on earth.  Some 1500 ‘Indian Wars’ later only a quarter of a million indigenous people was all that remained from the estimated 15 million living in North America when Columbus first arrived.

Canada’s approach to evicting its native population from what they considered their lands was less violent and less deadly than our neighbour to the south.  But the indigenous people ended up being marginalized to the same extent.  So there is much to ponder as we reflect on this coming Canada Day.

I for one will not be attending any celebration of Canada Day this year.  I’ll probably engage in discussions among my peers and family about this issue and give a toast for the good things this nation stands for.   Then I’ll take time to enjoy the music of indigenous artists like Robbie Robertson or Buffy Sainte Marie while I take a moment for those lost children whose fate we must all bear some responsibility.


 Background links:

John A –   Residential Schools –   Genocide

US Genocide –     Burning Churches –    Cancelling Canada Day

O’Toole on Canada Day –    Canada Day –    Records

Indian Act  –    Indigenous History Makers

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Tim Commisso and Brian Dean: one a neat freak the other a hot mess - catch them in a virtual production of The Odd Couple

eventsblue 100x100By Staff

June 28th, 2021



Burlington may not be ready for this.

City Manager Tim Commisso, he who dances in the streets of Itabashi, Japan and Brian Dean, known to peddle his wares from a shopping bag in the downtown core will be leading in a Special Performing Arts Centre on-line production of The Odd Couple.

Brian Dean, top toff at the Downtown Business Association was out drumming up business for those of his members that took part in the Red Bag Sale. Too many of his members let the community down last Sunday. Keeping the doors closed while the city works at getting people out on the street isn't thew way the game is played.

Brian Dean, top toff at the Downtown Business Association drumming up business for his members.

Virtual reading of The Odd Couple comes to the Burlington Performing Arts Centre Featuring Burlington City Manager Tim Commisso, ‘Downtown’ Brian Dean, SOMF’s Myles Rusak and more Starring alongside Bruce McCulloch of Kids in the Hall and Comedian Sean Cullen!!

The Odd Couple includes a neat freak, in need of a place to stay. The other’s a hot mess, open to a new roommate. They’re both played by two of Canada’s greatest comedic actors. They’re Felix and Oscar. They’re The Odd Couple.

Is Commisso the Neat Freak?  Or could that be Brian Dean. ?

The Odd Couple, is a Tony-Award-winning play that spawned movie and television adaptations and lives on as a timeless tale of two hilariously mis-matched personalities who forge a lasting friendship.

Virtual theatre-goers have two chances to catch this unique offering: Friday, July 3 and Saturday, July 4.

Tickets for the stream cost $20 per household, or $15 for BPAC members and volunteers. To thank Burlington-area front-line healthcare workers for their sacrifices during this pandemic, they can contact the BPAC Box Office for complimentary tickets to the show.

Adapted to run approximately 60 minutes, this reading will be directed by Stratford Festival director Richard Ouzounian. In addition to the legendary Canadian comedy headliners, local community leaders have volunteered their time to fill out the colourful cast of characters at Felix and Oscar’s place.


Is that guy in the white shirt in the middle a neat freak or a hot mess. Hard to tell from the picture.

The ensemble includes Burlington City Manager Tim Commisso, Brian Dean from the Burlington Downtown Business Association, Tim Caddigan from Cogeco and Myles Rusak from the Burlington Sound of Music Festival as the Poker Gang. The Pigeon Sisters will be played by Sarah Foord and BPAC’s very own Executive Director, Tammy Fox.

Fox Tammy with glasses

Performing Arts Centre Executive Director Tammy Fox came up with the idea and pulled together the people that are going to give you a wonderful entertaining evening – don’t miss it.

“The Odd Couple is a classic. Whether you’ve seen a stage production, or watched the movie, or even one of the many TV adaptations, everyone knows a Felix and everyone knows an Oscar,” said Fox. “There is nowhere else where you can watch Bruce McCulloch and Seán Cullen perform a Tony-winning play, from the comfort of your own home.”

Kudo’s go to Tammy Fox for getting this production together.  Her Dangerous Liaisons was well received – The Odd Couple will do even better.

Well worth the time. Book your tickets – make it a party.


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Sound of Music - Live on Line on Canada Day

eventsred 100x100By Staff

June 28th, 2021



Everyone in the entertainment business has had to pivot and find a way to get their show off the stage that can’t open.

Sound of Music and the City are joining forces and hitting the high notes together to celebrate Canada Day with a free online streamed performance featuring a myriad of local artists.

More details to come shortly!

Dial into and see what they have that turns your crank.

It’s been a while since we’ve heard much from that organization.


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Washrooms in city hall will be open on the weekends

News 100 redBy Staff

June 25th, 2021



The necessaries…

Out for some exercise downtown? City hall will be open to the public for washroom access every weekend until Labour Day weekend: Fridays, 4:30 to 9 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

washrooms city hall

City Council spent more than 45 minutes getting this through the Standing Committee.

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Major Bottle Drive on Saturday

eventsgreen 100x100By Staff

June 26th, 2021



The plan is to make the event smooth sailing and safe! They are hoping that the weather cooperates but will be there rain or shine!


It’s a rain or shone event – with a really big objective

Entrance & Exit
Pylons will be setting up along with signs indicating where they would like cars to enter. They want to create a one-way system so cars enter, register, drop off and then exit. The entrance is just off  Walkers Line (right by the Chiropractic clinic).
Cars will exit off Forest Run so they will have the traffic lights.

They will have 3 volunteers at this station. If there are a few cars, then there will be a few volunteers welcoming people and getting their information for the gift certificate draw. Using a clipboard and a ballot, we will record people’s names, cell numbers and email addresses. The volunteers will then give a quick rundown on where to drive to drop off donations. They have a laptop to which they will transfer the contact information to use in the random drawing of gift cards as well as provide those names to Freshwagon so they can send the $5 gift card via email.

Bottle drive - sample card

Sponsors behind the Gift Cards that will be handed out in a random draw

Each section will be set up separately. They will have an empty beer station, an empty wine/booze bottle station and a food drop off station. All stations will be covered with a tent, a table and some chairs. The stations will be clearly marked with signs so cars can simply drive up. Behind each station, there will be a truck or a cargo van. This time around they will be loading and counting as they go. Each station will also have a container for cash donations if people wish to add to their drop off.
Each station will have a clipboard and paper to help record the totals as vehicles are being unloaded. It will be very important to ensure they have a record of totals going down to the distribution centre.

Each section will have 2-3 volunteers. If donors do not wish to get out of their cars, they volunteers can simply take their donations (think similar to curb side pick up). There will be two shifts.

Beer Store Distribution Centre
“The distribution centre is open for bottle drives on Saturdays only (lucky us!). We will be sending cargo vans/trucks down as they are filled. Unlike last time, we don’t want to wait or have to hold onto everything till Monday. The distribution centre will keep a running tally and will pay us out when they close at 2. Anything gathered from that point onwards may be driven down to Barton street in Hamilton or taken to the Beer Store on Elizabeth street downtown Burlington.”

bottle drive Neal Drive

They ran out of space during the last bottle drive.

“Each station will have a box of disposable gloves and masks. Please use these. We purchased these for our volunteers so you feel safe. There will also be hand sanitizer at each station. If you’d like a face shield too, we have a few brand new ones and will provide them to you as well.

“We will have a cooler with some drinks to keep you all hydrated. There will be coffee in the morning as well as some snacks. Please bring a reusable water bottle as we’ll have a water station for our volunteers!”

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Not for profit award goes to St Matthews for its food collection program

graphic community 5By Staff

June 25th, 2021



The announcement says it all.

St Matthews award


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How will Burlington benefit from new online casino laws ?

News 100 blueBy Erin Quattro

June 25th, 2021




Ford OPEN for businessWhen Premier Doug Ford won a majority in the Ontario legislature it was widely noted that one of his manifesto commitments was to legalize a wider range of online casino providers in the province. This significant move would likely spell the end of the effective monopoly that Ontario Lottery and Gaming currently has – and offer a much wider variety of choice when it comes to providers, games, themes and more.

There’s been some debate in Burlington about what this move could end up meaning if Ford is able to get these changes through. This article will explore the considerations in more detail.

An increased range of choice

If Ontario’s government presses ahead with the liberalization of online casino laws, the main benefit will be a significant increase in range of personal choice when it comes to how Burlington’s residents might wish to spend their time. Casinos based on the web tend to offer many online slots, for example, and they may also offer more table games. However, at present, those who want to play online casino games have to do so using a province-run lottery version – meaning that the range of choice is particularly restricted.

This is already somewhat more liberal than in some other jurisdictions around the world, where governments continue to restrict access to all online casino games. But it’s not as liberal as in some other parts of the world, where there is a thriving and competitive gambling sector. Premier Doug Ford’s commitment to, in essence, privatize the gambling sector in Ontario is a way of helping people access the gambling services they want – rather than what services the province thinks is right for them.

As well as the simple right to choose what sort of game to play and which provider to use, a more competitive gambling sector is also likely to offer people the chance to pick the themes and aesthetics they prefer in their games. If a game or a theme is not available in the province-run version, it most likely will be in the private sector.

More revenue for the area

PAID taxing casinosHowever, Ford’s commitment also has another motive. Allowing online casino operators to work in the province means that they can be taxed – and this in turn can create a new stream of revenue for the local government. This can in turn, or at least in theory, be spent on services and provisions which benefit Burlington. Political decisions about what will be spent where do not yet appear to have been made for good, but a richer province often translates to better services and better provisions.

Some have sounded a note of caution about whether or not the revenue earned by the Ontario provincial government as a result of taxes raised on any potential private sector online casino would be spent on Burlington in particular, or whether it’s possible that other areas of the province might receive the bulk of the money. Of course, there is no guarantee that Burlington in particular will receive guaranteed funding for capital works or any major projects, but if the spending is assigned to the province generally, then it is likely that schools and other public services in the Burlington area will eventually benefit.

Impact on main street?

In some localities, question marks might be raised about whether or not in-person casinos will be harmed by the emergence of more appealing online alternatives – and whether this will have an impact on jobs, footfall and more. As it stands, however, there is currently no in-person casino in Burlington directly. There are some in the wider area, such as in Dundas, but Burlington itself is not served by such a venue – meaning that liberalization of online casinos is unlikely to have a direct negative effect on the city’s economy.

Overall, it remains to be seen exactly how Doug Ford’s plans will pan out in the long run. The level of detail around how this liberalization programme will be implemented is scant, and there’s still no firm guarantees about what any potential tax revenue may be spent on. What’s clear, however, is that there are certainly some advantages for residents of in-person casino-free Burlington. A much greater array of gambling choice is on the cards, for example, while a more padded bank account for the whole province can only be a good thing.

Background links:

Industry report


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Aldershot's Skyway Diner takes part in pitches in to support Food Bank

graphic community 3By Staff

June 23, 2021



Robin is with Tiffany Page – owner of the Skyway Diner on Plains Road – who have been operating a nice sunny patio while they wait for the next signs from our government.

FB Robin Bailey with Tiffany PAge

Robin Bailey with Tiffany Page at the Skyway Diner in Aldershot.

Great food and excellent service here – and they are also running a promotion to help us out. For the month of June bring a food item to the Skyway Diner and they will donate to the Burlington Food Bank when you pick up take-out or (fingers crossed) dine-in and enter to win one of three $50 gift cards!

Food Drive contest runs June 1 to June 30 and winners will be announced on Canada Day, July 1.

We appreciate that even though Skyway was struggling through the pandemic closures and restrictions, they still managed to add on a thoughtful food drive for families in Burlington. Everything helps us.  Check out the Skyway Diner

– Thank you

If you are in need or know of someone who could use our help, PLEASE have them email us at or call 905-637-2273 to make arrangements to have food dropped at their door or make arrangements to pick it up through our curb-side pickup option. If you are a resident in Burlington, we are all here to help. Don’t struggle – give us a call.

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Freeman Station Adds to its Rolling Stock

graphic community 5By Staff

June 21st, 2021



Freeman Junction sign BESTFriends of Freeman Station, the not-for-profit charity in Burlington (Ontario) run by volunteers working together to preserve a 1906 Grand Trunk Railway Station, have added a caboose and a box car to their rolling stock.

The boxcar is believed to have been in service when Burlington farmers would take their produce down to the station to be loaded on to trains and delivered to Toronto and Montreal.

First to arrive was the Boxcar – Canadian Pacific #404109. Weighing in at LT WT 43,000, it is green in colour with white lettering.

CP box car

Boxcar – Canadian Pacific # 404109.

The wooden walls are in excellent shape as is the steel roof.

Then CN caboose #78188 arrived. Built in October 1929, records indicate it is AAR class NE Caboose type M930 built of wood by CN Transcona.

Until recently both railcars were on display at Memory Junction in Brighton Ontario, a railway park for visitors at the site of the old Brighton Railway Station.


CN caboose # 78188

Brighton is located between Cobourg and Trenton and sits on the CN and CP lines originally laid in the 1850s and are still used daily.

Memory Junction had to close in 2020 due to various reasons and all the displays were removed at auction in October 2020.

Prior to Brighton – these cars were on display in Trenton Ontario. Before that, the caboose was displayed at Doon Pioneer Village in Kitchener in the 1990s.

The cars will be placed on the new track that has been laid immediately to the north/west side of the Freeman Station building.

Pic 3 Freeman Station 1920 baskets on platform

Brought into the Freeman Station by a team of horses pulling a wagon to be loaded onto boxcars for delivery to Toronto and Montreal. Some of the better produce was transported to Europe.

After some work is done inside and out the cars will be open to the public to visit. These cars give the charity more much needed room to display the artifacts and stories they have accumulated.

Once the COVID restrictions are lifted visitors can see the city’s newest tourist attraction joining the Joseph Brant Museum, Ireland House and the Pier – must see Burlington locations.

Funding for the acquisition, transport and set up of the cars was provided by member donations as well as a large donation from one of their sponsors.

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Bruce Trail brings in Ambassadors to help curb littering and irresponsible use of the trails

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

June 21st, 2021



For a period of time Covid19 had us all staying indoors. Then we were allowed to go out and boy did we ever go out.

In some locations it looked as if we took all our garbage with us. As a result popular destinations along the Bruce Trail have become trail use “hotspots” which is not quite what the Bruce Trail Conservancy (BTC) had in mind when it came to promoting responsible use of the trails.

The more well-known conservation areas tend to be hotspots because of the facilities and parking . At Mount Nemo and Crawford Lake are now being managed via reservation systems to control visitation.

Badge_Hike it Love it Keep it CleanThe BTC is responsible for a continuous footpath (~900 km) that travels through private and public lands.  With over 300 access points the BTC cannot issue day use permits, create reservation systems, regulate timed entries, or other visitor management techniques being done by other land-management agencies.

However, as a conservation organization facilitating public access to natural spaces in a UNESCO World Biosphere, the Bruce Trail Conservancy has an important role to play in addressing hotspot issues and minimizing their impacts.

The Bruce Trail people recently hired six Trail Ambassadors to perform visitor outreach and litter clean-ups and to patrol and chat with people asking them to respect the trail and take their garbage with them.

The people you will bump into will have badges on their shirt or jacket.

Related news story:

Ambassadors take up station on Bruce Trail

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Statement from Burlington Mayor Meed Ward on City Council to Consider Renaming Ryerson Park

News 100 redBy Staff

June 18th, 2021



I recently received correspondence from the Chair of the Board of the Halton District School Board (HDSB) notifying me that the Trustees, at their June 16, 2021 meeting, 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.

A city-owned park adjacent to the school also bears the Ryerson name.

Ryerson Park

The Mayor is now ashamed of the man who created the public education system that has served everyone very well.

Ryerson statue

The statue to commemorate the man who created the public school system in Ontario was first defaced and then toppled

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 peoples.

The City of Burlington is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion, and the names we choose for our municipal properties must reflect that commitment – both going forward, and in retrospect. As part of that commitment, Burlington City Council recently unanimously endorsed the Halton Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Charter produced by the Halton Equity and Diversity Roundtable. We have also recently updated our naming policies to ensure equity, diversity and inclusion is integrated in all our asset naming.

There have been growing calls to remove Ryerson’s name from public buildings and institutions, including Ryerson University in Toronto, where a report on the matter is expected to come before their president and board of directors this fall.

I support the change the HDSB is making and the reasons behind it.

Mayor Meed Ward

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

As part of our continued commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, I am working with City of Burlington staff to bring forward a report to Committee and City Council in July 2021 recommending removing the Ryerson name from our park and embarking on the council-approved naming process. We expect this process to be complete by November 2021. We will keep you updated on this process and opportunities for members of the public, including the HDSB, to provide input.

Our Indigenous community needs to enjoy our parks and public spaces without a reminder of one of the architects of the Residential School system and the legacy of harm it created for their people. Renaming our city park is one step we can take toward reconciliation with our Indigenous residents.

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Housing is more than a profit center - it is homes that determine the quality of life reputation of the community

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

June 18th, 2021



It was a solid exchange of views between the Chief Executive Officer of the West End Home Builders Association and members of Burlington’s city council.

Meed Ward - tight head shot

Mayor Meed Ward

Lisa Kearns

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns

Mike Collins–Williams was opposed to the shifting of the Urban Growth Centre boundaries to well north of the downtown core up to the Burlington GO station where there are plans for significant development.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward had gotten what she wanted and took exception to Collins–Williams suggesting that downtown had been sterilized when the boundary was moved.

Councillor Nisan termed the use of the word sterilize as disgusting, inappropriate and “inflammatory”.

421 Brant

The construction cranes are in place – the building will rise floor by floor in the months ahead.


Construction is underway.

It didn’t get any better for Collins-Williams when Councillor Kearns asked him to explain what it was that the home builders association wanted that city policies were not giving them.  She followed this up by asking: “What might we be missing that the policies in place do not address?”

The debate was part of a Statutory meeting taking place at Regional Council last Wednesday.

The debate at the Region was never the kind of debate that took place at Burlington city hall between 2010 and 2018.  The stark differences between the interests of the developers and the intentions of the current council was laid bare.  It was the driving issue in the 2018 election and the voters liked what Meed Ward was offering better than what either Rick Goldring or Mike Wallace had put on the table.

Someone paid a third party advertiser to do what they could to influence the views of the voters – it didn’t work.

The debate heard on Wednesday was never heard in Burlington’s Council chambers in previous Statutory meeting occasions.

When the then Golding council approved the Carriage Gate development that would put a 26 storey tower opposite city hall the then city manager is reported to have gotten up to shake hands with the developer.


If the developers get their way there won’t be much park space for the public in that football shaped property.  There are three developments working their way through the planning process.

The development opportunities on Brant Street south of  Caroline are exceptional, as are those in the football between Lakeshore and Old Lakeshore Road where there are a number of developments working their way through the planning process (clogged up at LPAT hearings at the moment) that will result in a significantly different Burlington if they get built.

Development in Burlington is focused on profit, not on the creation of community. The building of high rise condominiums changes the scale, scope and streetscape, which determines how people relate to the community.

There is little in the way of input from the people who are going to live with the buildings. The condominium going up opposite city hall is built right out to the property line and soars straight up for 26 floors.

Some developers do create designs that embrace the street. The Molinaro group has a development that puts two towers on either side of Brant Street at Ghent, that have slight curves,  which leave the impression the buildings are communicating with each other.  If built they will become the gateway out of the downtown core to a different Burlington that will rise beside the Go station.

Appreciation for architecture rests in the eye of the beholder and what the public is seeing now is quite different than what was built along Lakeshore decades ago.

During the required Statutory meetings the developers set out what they want to do and explain that they are meeting all the required rules.

Collins Williams

Mike Collins-Williams represented the interests of the developers during the required Statutory meeting on the changes being made to the Regional Official Plan.

What doesn’t take place is a dialogue between the architect and the public on what the public would like to see built on the streets they will live, work and play on.

Usually the first time a citizen sees a building is when they look at a glossy brochure.

Architects are hired by developers to create a pleasing looking building that meets the aspirations (and at times the egos) of the developer and doesn’t cost a fortune to build.

Developers are not in the housing business, they are in the profit-making business – and in a capitalistic society that is the way the game is played and accepted.

Selling housing isn’t the same as selling soap.

The homes that are built determine to a large degree the kind of society we have. Human beings need space; the developers refer to that space as amenities.

This isn’t a Burlington problem – it is one that plagues the country. However there is no reason a change cannot at least begin in Ontario. And if Mayor Meed Ward can pull that off – good on her.


Related news story

Lobbyist states the case for sticking with old Urban Growth plan

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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Bruce Trail Conservatory putting in Trail Ambassadors

News 100 greenBy Staff

June 17th, 2021



On the Bruce Trail this summer, you’ll see a few new faces helping with onsite education.

The Bruce Trail Conservancy has hired six Trail Ambassadors to perform visitor outreach and litter clean-ups at popular places in three regions: Hamilton/Halton, Beaver Valley, and the Bruce Peninsula.

Bruce Trail at Guelph LineAs more people seek the physical and mental benefits of walking in nature, some areas of the Niagara Escarpment have become hot spots, seeing more human-caused impact than the environment can handle. The high volumes of trail users include those who may not be familiar with trail etiquette.

Litter, trespassing, and other poor behaviours are impacting the trail, the environment, other trail users, and landowners whose property the Bruce Trail crosses.

Mt Nemo - Bruce Trail parking lot - Walkers + #2 sideSo together with Bruce Trail Club volunteers, these summer staff will visit busy trail destinations to promote leave-no-trace practices and safe trail use. They’ll even be distributing “Hike it. Love it. Keep it Clean” badges to those who join them in picking up litter or who are demonstrating low impact hiking.

bruce trail sign

The wear and tear on the Bruce Trail is becoming noticeable. Some TLC from the people who use the trail would be nice right about now.

“More people using the Bruce Trail is not a bad thing in itself. It is wonderful that people have discovered the Bruce Trail as a way to connect with nature,” explains Adam Brylowski, Manager of Conservation and Trail. “For these trails and protected areas to continue to thrive, the Bruce Trail Conservancy, its partners, and all its supporters must work together to ensure that the cumulative impact of all our visits is minimized”.




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Ribfest will take place again on Canada Day

News 100 yellowBy Staff

June 17th, 2021



Canada’s Largest Ribfest is “Popping” back up this Canada Day!

RibfestCanada’s Largest Ribfest, a fundraising initiative of Rotary Burlington Lakeshore, is thrilled to be returning to Burlington Centre for a “Pop-Up” drive-thru event, this Canada Day, July 1st, 2021.

The public is invited to the Burlington Centre parking lot, at 777 Guelph Line from 10am to 7pm to experience the fun and flavour of Rotary Lakeshore’s Drive-Thru Ribfest in a safe, socially-distant way. “The safety of our guests, rib teams & volunteers is top priority, while also supporting the charities who need us most right now.”, said Jay Bridle, Co-Chair of Canada’s Largest Ribfest.

Over the course of 25 years, through Canada’s Largest Ribfest, Rotary Burlington Lakeshore has raised over $4.5 million for local, national, and international charities.

Ribfest 2020 lines

It worked just fine last year. It will be even better this year.

“Canceling our Labour Day weekend event that attracts upwards of 175,000 guests for a second year
in a row is a huge disappointment and really impacts our ability to support those charities and
individuals who need it most, now more than ever.” remarked Canada’s Largest Ribfest Co-Chair,
Brent Paszt. “Our Drive-Thru Rib Events enable us to continue that support”; he added.

Rotary Burlington Lakeshore President Jay Thomblison stated that, “after the success of last year’s
Rotary Drive-Thru Ribfests, we saw fit to try it again, not just once, but twice this summer! Proceeds
from this event, along with those generated from our upcoming Labour Day Drive-Thru, will enable
us to continue that support that our charitable friends rely on.”

Guests are asked to enter Burlington Centre from the Fairview Street entrance and will remain in
their vehicles for the duration of their visit. Food vendors will take orders and payment (cards
preferred) and will deliver each completed order to your vehicle. Gloves and masks will be worn by
all staff, vendors, and volunteers.

Four award-winning rib teams in attendance will include Camp 31 BBQ, Billy Bones BBQ, Uncle
Sam’s BBQ, and Sticky Fingers BBQ. There will also be food offerings from East Side Mario’s,
Blaze Pizza, Tiny Tom Donuts, and Ontario Corn Roasters, ensuring that there’s something for the
entire family. The event will also include live music for guests to enjoy while they wait in the
comfort and safety of their vehicles.

Special thanks to our lead sponsors, Burlington Centre and Cogeco, who are once again supporting
the event, showing that the community is dedicated to helping Rotary Burlington Lakeshore raise
funds for their important work.


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Aldershot residents can get a closer look at the plans for the re-design of parts of Plains Rd - online

News 100 blueBy Staff

June 16th, 2021



It is a sign of the way Burlington wants to configure the way streets are used – the car is no longer king.

Kaylan Edgcumbe, Manager of Integrated Mobility, explains that “Cycling is becoming more popular for commuters and recreational riders and is great for the environment and our collective health.”

The City of Burlington is hosting an online public information centre (PIC) on June 23rd, in the evening via Zoom to inform residents about road resurfacing and installing new cycling infrastructure on Plains Road from Spring Gardens Road to Waterdown Road in 2022.

Plaind Rd bike lanes

Map showing where the re-designed road will be.

Aldershot Plains Rd at WAterdown

The newly designed Plains Road will begin at the intersection of Waterdown and Plains Road and run right out to the RBG.

Part of the City’s Integrated Mobility Plan and Cycling Plan, this infrastructure will be the first of its kind in Burlington and will improve safety of cyclists, pedestrians and motorists.

The new infrastructure will include cross-rides, cycle tracks and protected intersections while maintaining existing vehicle lanes.

Cross-rides – Similar to crosswalks for pedestrians, they allow cyclists to safely cross intersections and stay on their bikes. They are generally connected to dedicated cycling features such as segregated bike lanes, cycle tracks and other cycling infrastructure.
Cross-rides will allow cyclists to travel in one direction or both directions.

Cycle tracks – Cycle tracks are dedicated cycling lanes that run beside the road but are physically separated from vehicular traffic by either a curb or buffer space. Depending on the style of cycle track, they may be at the same or different level as the sidewalk.
Cycle tracks are for cycling only and are generally different from sidewalks as they are made of asphalt, while sidewalks are made of concrete.

Cycle tracks are usually one-way and follow the direction of traffic.

Protected intersections – To make intersections safer and more comfortable for people walking, cycling and driving or riding in motor vehicles, the City of Burlington is implementing the ‘protected intersection’ concept where possible. The concept is based on a tested Dutch design that has been implemented throughout the United States and Canada. Features include: corner safety island, forward stop-bar, setback cross ride and cross walk, and designated bike signals.

Online Public Information Centre
This virtual PIC will offer residents information on the project scope, scheduling, traffic impacts and the chance to discuss any construction disruptions from the work.

Date: June 23, 2021
Time: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

How to join:
Step 1: Visit on your computer or mobile device.
Step 2: Click on the Zoom Meeting Link
Step 3: Enter Passcode: 2xiAQa

hydro poles north side Plains

The poles carrying utility wires (cable and telephone) wires on the north side will be removed and the cable buried.

Residents may also join the PIC by phone:
Dial: 1-647-374-4685 or 1-647-558-0588
Webinar ID: 957 7126 2277
Passcode: 072754

International numbers available:
infrastructure for Burlington.

The work being done here will enhance the safety for everyone – not just cyclists – while maintaining the existing vehicular lanes. Cycling is becoming more popular for commuters and recreational riders.

Part of the re-design job being done includes the removal of all the poles carrying telephone and cable TV wires. – the cables will be buried.

The project is a pilot – the city wants to learn how people adapt when there is an opportunity for them to make more use of bicycles.

Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith thinks it’s a great idea and was pleased when his ward was chosen as the location for the pilot.

All he wants now is a Rainbow Crosswalk outside the RBG that would tell people entering the city from the Hamilton side that Burlington is an inclusive city.


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Walmart delivers a significant cash contribution to the Food Bank

graphic community 3By Staff

June 15th, 2021



One of the things that makes the Burlington Food Bank the success it is are the partnerships they have developed.

It took some time for the understandings to be worked out and the trust to be built but over time Robin Bailey and the folks at Walmart have created a program that has Walmart sending food that is in perfect condition but is not going to get sold for a number of reasons. They may have over stocked; weather may have impacted traffic to their locations, or what they had in stock was not going to get sold.

They communicate with the people at the Food Bank and talk at least every couple of days to arrange for the shipment of food. This is the ongoing part of the relationship.

Walmart hunger campaign

Walmart ran a very successful Fight Hunger Spark Change that raised both funds and a better awareness of what happens when people are hungry.

Walmart has a Fight Hunger Spark Change campaign that resulted in the generous donation of $26,765.72 to the Burlington Food Bank. The funds will allow for the purchase of healthy nutritious food for people needing support in our community.

The need remains steady and this is excellent timing for relief. We would like to encourage everyone who is able to support our local businesses and restaurants to enjoy a nice lunch on a patio in this great weather. And please be kind to one another as we all keep trying to get through this pandemic. Don’t forget the essentials to safely distance, wear masks as needed and wash/sanitize your hands often.

If you are in need or know of someone who could use our help, PLEASE have them email us at or call 905-637-2273 to make arrangements to have food dropped at their door or make arrangements to pick it up through our curb-side pickup option. If you are a resident in Burlington, we are all here to help. Don’t struggle – give us a call.

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