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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It was a painful week for everyone - there was a bit of sunshine in a handmade poster

News 100 blackBy Pepper Parr

June 14th, 2021



The week that is now behind us was filled with so much heavy news.

The discovery of the remains of 215 children in Kamloops, British Columbia, and the news that four people were killed when a man behind the wheel of a pickup truck deliberately ran them down killing four members of a family out for a quiet evening walk. A nine year old son was in hospital unable to attend the funeral of his parents that took place on Sunday.

The city opened up some of the restrictions that were limiting what people were permitted to do. The opening of patios was a welcome change but couldn’t remove the weight on our hearts.

Muslims in prayer

Muslim community taking part in a public Call to Prayer last Friday.

On Friday the Muslim community held their Call to Prayer in Spencer Smith Park. It wasn’t a huge turnout but certainly respectful.

There were a few police cars parked on Lakeshore Road and the Gazette spotted a high end drone over the site.

Did the police expect people to be anything other than quietly respectful ? Shame on anyone who felt “those people” should not be in a public place.

Dennis a

Who wrote this sign? It would be an honour to meet the woman. What a profound statement.


There was a handmade sign held up by a Muslim woman that spoke to my heart.
One Gazette reader sent in a comment suggesting that the Mayor was a little early in publicly mourning the death of the Afzaal  family suggesting she should have waited until there was a full investigation.

Investigation of what ?

The police have charged the man with four counts of first degree murder and a charge of second degree murder. They have added a charge of terrorism to the four murder charges.

That kind of comment is veiled racism. We did not publish it – but it is out there. The way to change that behavior is to speak out every time.

I don’t know who made the sign we photographed. It would be an honour to meet the woman.

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City Enters into Stage One of the Provincial Reopen Plan

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

June 12th, 2021



Early reports on the opening of restaurants and bars are that things went well. The turnout was brisk and the weather supported getting out and relaxing with friends over what a colleague used to call An Adult Beverage.

patio - port house

A location where you can see and feel the lake. The Port House is located at the Waterfront Hotel

The province was in Step 1 of the Re-open plan which permitted


This step was expected to begin on June 14 or two weeks after 60 per cent of adults in Ontario have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Ontario officials said 58.5 per cent of the adult population have received a first dose as of Thursday. They added that the province would need to wait two weeks after hitting the vaccination target before entering the first step in order to monitor the vaccine outcome.

In this stage, outdoor activities and gatherings will be first to open but with some restrictions and limits.

Here’s a full list of what will be allowed:

  • Outdoor gatherings for up to 10 people
  • Outdoor dining for up to 4 people per table
  • Non-essential retail at 15 per cent
  • Outdoor religious services, rites and ceremonies with capacity limited to permit two metres of physical distancing
  • Outdoor sports, training and personal training for up to 10 people
  • Day camps
  • Campsites and campgrounds
  • Ontario parks
  • Outdoor horse racing and motor speedways
  • Outdoor pools, splash pads and wading pools

We stay in this stage for 28 days and if the new infection levels hold the province will move into Stage Two.

The target is to get past the 70% of the population vaccinated and as close to not more than 200 new infections each day.

The hospitality sector has been desperate for a Re-open date that would hold.  The province had indicated it would probably be June 14th – than at close to the last day they moved that to the 11th giving restaurants and bars an additional weekend.

patio - staffIt was certainly welcome but played havoc with scheduling.

Most commentators believe the province is through the worst of the pandemic and that we could be in for  reasonable summer, providing we follow the rules and get everyone vaccinated.

The Delta variant has been found in Halton but does not appear to be rampant at this point.  We are the best defence against that variant.

Vaccination Centres across the problem are busy with a large number of young people showing of for the inoculation.

The Centre I attended for my second dose at the First Ontario Art Centre in Milton had nurses doing the needle thing at five different parts of the building..

It was problem free while I was there.

patio- lakeshore rd

Healthy traffic – content customers.

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Nelson Pool and Splash Pads Closed Today and Sunday - operational issues

notices100x100By Staff

June 12th, 2021



Due to an unforeseen operational issue, Nelson Pool and Splash Park is closed Saturday, June 12 and Sunday, June 13, 2021.

Nelson swimming pool

Nelson Pool – opened just last year after a total re-build.

The Gazette got this notice shortly after 3 pm today.

No word on what the “operational” issue was.

The city asks that people who want to swim visit for swim times at Mountainside Pool and Splash Park, or for park Splash Pad locations.

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Mayor mourns loss of four members of a Muslim family

News 100 greenBy Dennis Gibbons

June 12th, 2021



Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward says she and members of city council are committed to bringing an end to hatred of Muslims.

dennis d

On the left MP Karina Gould with Mayor Marianne Meed Ward.

Speaking at a Call to Prayer Service in Spencer Smith Park on Friday, the mayor joined about 200 people in mourning the loss of four members of a Muslim family tragically killed in London.

“City council and I as your mayor stand with you in ending Islamophobia,” she said.

“We mourn with you the loss of this beautiful family, leaving a nine-year-old boy alone.”

The mayor said the city of Burlington and its council promotes diversity and inclusion.  “We want everyone to be welcome and respected,” she said.

Meed Ward said everyone needs to speak out anytime they hear a word of unkindness or hatred spoken.

Imam Abdullah Hatia and Imam Junaid Hanslod of the Halton Mosque led the prayers.

Burlington MP Karina Gould, the minister of international affairs, also pledged to keep working to stamp out racism.  “I never want any of you to experience what we are experiencing right now,” Gould said.

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Muslim Community holds their service in Spencer Smith Park

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

June 11th, 2021



They gathered quietly at the edge of Lake Ontario to take part in a Muslim Call to Prayer.

It wasn’t a large crowd. It was an exceptionally well behaved crowd with members of the Halton Mosque ensuring that people knelt on their prayer rugs well within the required space.

dennis c

Burlington’s Muslim community celebrating their faith in a park on a Friday afternoon.



For those who did not bring a Prayer blanket there were replacements, hand sanitizer and bottles of water.

The actual Call to Prayer had a poetry to it. It was said in Arabic and sounded strong.

The women were separated from the men as is the custom.
The man who spoke after the Call to Prayer told the crowd that he was a Canadian, born in Scarborough, educated in Canada and did not believe that the tragedy in London earlier in the week, that took the lives of four people who were out for a walk leaving a fifth boy in hospital, is what Canada is about.

Dennis a

A very powerful statement from a community that struggles to heal.

Those of us who are not Muslim see it as a tragedy; the Muslims see it as a threat to their lives every day of the week. They don’t want to live this way.
There is healing to be done; understandings to be created and customs for those of us who are not Muslims to get used to and respect.

The Muslim community opened itself up to the people of Burlington Friday afternoon. It was an act we should be grateful for and use it as the occasion to help them heal and at the same time work towards tighter ties between the communities.

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That Park Experience - they are going to tell you what you can and can't do - they will be nice to you.

News 100 greenBy Staff

June 11th, 2021



The City of Burlington has many great parks, big and small, that residents and visitors enjoy throughout the year. From playgrounds and skate parks to large, green open or forested areas, there is a park for everyone.

Starting June 14, the City will be piloting the Park Customer Experience program. The Park Experience team will be in parks to educate, engage and communicate with residents and park users, with a customer service focus.

We encourage park visitors to have a conversation with a Park Experience team member – ask questions about City of Burlington projects and general City related inquiries, get help navigating our website with a tablet, or learn about City events happening in the community.

Park Experience staff are also happy to pass along a compliment or help direct an issue to the right City staff person.

The Park Experience team will be visiting parks around the city and will have an ongoing presence at some of the busier parks like Spencer Smith, Beachway, LaSalle, Burloak, Norton and Lowville parks, daily throughout the summer. All team members will carry identification and be wearing a blue golf shirt.

During a review of the changes Parks and Recreation wants to make,  now that the province is permitting municipalities to open up, a number of issues were identified.

Spencer Smith - empty

There are limits on how the park space can be used during this first phase of the Re-Opening.


  • During the pandemic there has been an increase of residents’ passive use of parks year round
  • Pre-pandemic, Recreation, Community and Culture has consciously limited the number of bookings in parks, outside of sport fields, events, picnics and photography, so that parks are not over subscribed with organized groups and allow for passive use of residents
  • The province is entering step 1 of the Roadmap to Re-open adding additional park use in the parks for sport and fitness
    • Group size of 10, 3 m distancing
  • The additional passive use in the parks has already put pressure on parks maintenance – garbage pick ups, washroom servicing, adding use will add pressure to this current
  • Some parks are much busier than others especially all the lakefront parks
  • Some times of day are busier than others – weeknight and weekends


The following options were considered:

Assumption: all options are only applicable while under Step 1 of the Province’s Roadmap to Re-Opening

  1. Do not permit fitness classes in parks and retain only passive resident use – no cost
  2. Allow for fitness classes in open spaces in select locations, in select parks, and at select times, and charge the appropriate approved rental rate – revenue generation
    • Council-approved rate
      • Not for Profit with the 20% rate reduction already approved by Council – $9.97/hour plus HST
      • Commercial with the 20% rate reduction already approved by Council – $14.51/hour plus HST
    • Limit to weekday use
    • No lake front parks
    • Not on sport fields because of wear and tear issues and existing permitted use
    • Similar to photography permit conditions, it is the responsibility of the permit holder and group to accommodate the community in the park and to work around the
  3. Allow for fitness classes as outlined in option 2 but at no charge – no cost
  4. Allow for fitness classes in all parks without limitations and charge the appropriate fee – revenue generation
    • Council-approved rate
      • Not for Profit with the 20% rate reduction already approved by Council – $9.97/hour plus HST
      • Commercial with the 20% rate reduction already approved by Council – $14.51/hour plus HST
  1. Allow for fitness classes in all parks without limitations at no charge – no cost

Option 2 was chosen by the Leadership Team and approved by the Standing Committee


Permit fitness classes in open spaces in select locations, in select parks, and at select times, and charge the appropriate approved rental rate.

  • This decision supports:
    • Staff’s ability to quickly communicate and act on requests given the possibility Step 1 of the Province’s Roadmap to Re- Opening will transition to Step 2 in or around July 2nd.
    • Staff balancing locations and timings with the passive use of
    • Staff’s ability to monitor how many groups are in the parks, when and where through the permitting
    • Equity of treatment with other parties seeking permits to utilize park space


  • No by-law enforcement is required as the Parks By-Law allows for this type of use
  • COVID compliance with step 1 will occur on a complaint basis, when and if staff are available to investigate
  • Sport Ambassadors and Park Experience staff will observe use, mitigate onsite issues and report and follow up with supervisors and if required staff may need to re-assess a park location and timing of the permit
  • The permit holder must comply with all the terms and conditions for facility rental contract (permit). Non- compliance could result in the termination of the
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Online casinos – no sign of wavering this year

sportsgold 100x100Sidney Adams

June 11th, 2021



So much of life and leisure has moved online over the course of the last year. The coronavirus pandemic has shifted almost everything that possibly can be digitalized away from in-person and right on to the web – and gambling is no exception.

Some people have predicted that the vaccine rollout and the tentative easing of coronavirus restrictions might end up leading to a shift away from the institutions and places which have enjoyed a boost in success over the course of the pandemic. But the benefits of gambling and gaming online are clearly being felt – and there’s little sign of online casinos winding down any time soon. This article will delve into more detail about how and why this is the case.

The numbers

The evidence shows that online gambling is very much on the up. In-person casino firms have spent recent months making acquisitions that bolster their online gambling credentials: Caesars Entertainment, for example, has picked up the British firm William Hill in part in order to build out its web and mobile gambling provision.

In the UK, meanwhile, data from the Gambling Commission released during the early phase of the pandemic showed that those who were already gambling were upping their use of gambling services. Figures showed that just over two thirds of such people boosted either the amount of cash or time they spent gambling – suggesting that the established gambling community were firmly happy with the shift to online.

Privacy is key

PAID cryptocurrency graphic

Some online gambling sites are offering cryptocurrency deposit options which don’t have an ownership record.

It’s easy to see why online casinos remain so popular. For some, the privacy offered by being able to gamble at home is a real game-changer. And now that some online gambling sites are offering cryptocurrency deposit options which don’t have an ownership record thanks to their decentralized nature, it’s easier than ever to gamble in private.

It’s interesting to ask whether privacy concerns also exist with online gambling. However, the privacy concerns with online casinos are just different. While it’s possible that your Internet service provider or a government can track your online usage, it’s harder for your friends and family to get to know. And with services like browser history clearers or VPNs available, it’s possible to add extra security.

Ease of use

Online gambling sites are also easy to use, too. Once the requisite age and other checks have been performed, a gambler can get started with play straight away. With a physical casino, this isn’t the case – and depending on where you live, it can take even longer to get started if there’s a big distance involved.

And online casinos that you can find on sites such as can also offer the gamer another advantage – choice. Online casino games come jam-packed with all sorts of fun features and designs, and it’s possible to customize your online casino experience in a way that you can’t quite at an in-person gambling venue. In-person casinos might have a certain degree of excitement that a website can’t replicate – but they can’t offer the same sheer breadth of choice of table game, aesthetic or multimedia as a good online casino can.

Legal consequences?

Finally, it’s interesting to look at whether or not the increased shift towards online casinos – and the apparent staying power that they have – could have consequences when it comes to the law. In some parts of the world, countries still don’t have laws in favor of online gambling – and in some places, the practice is banned outright. Behind the scenes, many legislators and governors are working with stakeholders in their areas to unblock these sorts of logjams. But progress is slow.

PAID image online gambling

Online casinos are clearly now institutions.

Given that online casinos don’t appear to be going anywhere fast, some are starting to wonder whether the apparent permanence of the institutions within the gambling community might be enough to push governments into making pro-gambling decisions. This could well be the case when the fiscal side of things is considered: the more online gamblers there are, the more potential tax revenue there is for governments. However, it is likely that only time will tell whether governments will come around.

Ultimately, online casinos are clearly now institutions. A long pandemic year of having fun online rather than in-person has entrenched these sites as part of the gambling community’s fabric – and that doesn’t look like it’s going to go away. What the long term effects of this will be (especially when it comes to the legal and regulatory frameworks), however, is what remains to be seen.

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Mayor assures public that city will ensure that large crowds do not congregate in Spencer Smith Park

News 100 redBy Staff

June 10th, 2021



Mayor Meed Ward released the following comments to the public:

Last weekend, on Saturday night, we experienced a large gathering of youth at Beachway Park in Burlington, with approximately 1000 individuals congregating at the beach and surrounding parking lots.

Police responded on-site as many local residents reported their concerns relating to illegal gathering and crowding, public safety, use of the park after hours (the posted closure time is 11 p.m.), and the illegal use of fireworks and alcohol.

Saturday balcony shot

Mayor has been made aware of efforts to organize a similar gathering this coming weekend.

We have been made aware of efforts to organize a similar gathering this coming weekend and want to ensure the public is aware that the City of Burlington, including bylaw, roads and parks staff, is working in partnership with Burlington Fire and the Halton Regional Police to prevent this type of activity from recurring.

Our parks throughout Burlington are open to the public for responsible use so that our community can enjoy the amenities there and spend time outdoors. This is even more important during the current COVID-19 pandemic while indoor gatherings are still not permitted. Outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people will be permitted by the Province as of Friday, June 11.

We are committed to providing our community with safe and healthy outdoor environments to support their physical and mental well-being.

In an effort to deter activity that will put health and safety at risk, we will be closing access to Beachway Park, including adjacent parking lots, beginning at 8 p.m. on Saturday evening and limiting vehicle and pedestrian access on that area of Lakeshore Road. There will be an increased presence of police, bylaw officers and Burlington Fire personnel throughout all city parks over the weekend to monitor activity and keep our community safe and healthy.

Please use our parks as intended, safely and responsibly, so that everyone can continue to enjoy this valued outdoor space in these challenging times.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

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Rainbow Crosswalk Survey written by the Mayor comes up short on demographic data - just who was responding?

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

June 10th, 2021



We now know a little bit more about the survey that pulled in more than 4000 responses to the question: where would you like to see the next Rainbow Crosswalk.

The overwhelming response said put the Rainbow in front of the Catholic School Board.

The Gazette saw that as a little on the dicey side politically.


Director of Communications for the city Kwab Ako-Adjei

he survey was posted to the City’s Get Involved page and “promoted  via our social accounts” said Director of Communications for the city Kwab Ako-Adjei who added that “Our office works with the department responsible for the survey to make changes or edits if needed.  The survey ran from May 7-23.”

What Kwab Ako-Adjei does not say is the “department responsible” for the survey was the Office of the Mayor.

The Staff report said the “online public survey was prepared to expedite community consultation and respond to the community’s requests for additional locations…”

The intention appears to have been to catch the attention of the high school student cohort.

Mayor Meed Ward said during a Standing Committee meeting on Tuesday that she had written the survey.

All of the respondents were identified as anonymous.

None were identified by age or gender nor level of education

The vast majority of the respondents checked in the first two days the survey was online.

There were a few that responded to the survey on more than one occasion – but not enough to make much of a difference.

survey aware-engaged

The Get Involved web page on the city web site is a place where ideas and projects are posted and where people go for updates. The city tracks who takes part in the surveys and which issues they are following. Those that responded to the Rainbow Crosswalk survey were not part of the group that tends to follow the Get Involved web page.

None of the 4295 aware and engaged respondents had ever interacted with the Get Involved web page before leading to the conclusion that they may never have heard of the page and were directed to it by their peers.

None of the Council members took issue with the Mayor preparing the survey; their concern was with the number of Rainbow Benches that were going to be placed in individual wards and wondering when a Rainbow Crosswalk could be painted in their ward.

Kelvin Galbraith said that painting a Crosswalk at the RBG would be a good way to tell people entering from Hamilton that Burlington was a  2SLGBTQIA+ community.

Councillor Nisan wanted one in his ward and thought in front of he Art Centre would be a fine place.

Councillor Bentivegna didn’t appear to have a preference and Councilor Sharman knew there would be one in his ward in the fullness of time.

mmw May 5

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward taking part in a Standing Committee virtually

What became evident as the debate progressed was that the Mayor put together a survey, the Communications people put it up on the Get Involved web page and then, sort of out of the blue 4000 + people responded.

With that moment the Mayor pressed for a decision to get Rainbow Crosswalks across the city saying speed is of the essence” and to “get it done quickly”

Councillor Sharman said it “strikes me as a bunch of folks got caught up” and that the information is not as objective as it might have been.”

Mayor Meed Ward described what was being done as a “made in Burlington” solution and then added that she could see “a Pride Parade”  in the city’s future.

Just like Toronto?



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Newcomer to Burlington right in the middle of a huge bottle drive - Saturday June 26

graphic community 3By Pepper Parr

June 9th, 2021



It is surprising the effect Burlington has on people who choose to live here.

Bottle Julie Neal

Julie Neal with her son Emmett and two Bottle Drive volunteers

Julie Neal and her family have been in Burlington about three years. It was the community she and her husband chose to live in when circumstances required a move.

Her experience was like thousands of others – a Mom meets a Mom because their children seem to get along and they play together. Then another Mom is introduced and then there is a local event that the Moms help out on and before she knew it Julie was involved in a fund raising drive through a connection with Burlington Dads.

“ I had lived in Toronto for more than 15 years and was convinced I would be there for the rest of my life. I was an elementary school teacher and I loved my job. I ran a Scottish Dancing school which I tried to keep up after moving to Burlington.

“That didn’t work out. For the first number of months I would drive into Toronto regularly to meet up with friends but after a while I found I was putting down roots in Burlington and the trips to Toronto became fewer and fewer. It has been some time since I drove the QEW.

“My children have taken to Burlington – the youngest knows nothing about Toronto.

“I was asked by new friends if I could help out with a bottle drive fund raiser that took place four times a year and I jumped right in.

“The group raised $8000 which stunned me.  The people of Burlington just turn up when there is a need.”

The pandemic however changed everything.

“There were a lot of people who needed help and I convinced the people that I started working with that we could do a one day event and really have an impact.

“The “one day” event is Saturday June 26th.


“The North Burlington Baptist Church let us use their driveway which will allow people to drive in and drive out and not have to look for a place to park during the last drive.

“We have arranged for cargo vans to take the bottles and cans to the collection centre in Stoney Creek. We have to bag the bottles and cans and add a tag stating how many items there are in each of the clear plastic bags.

“What is making the June event much more interesting is the support we are getting from the hospitality sector. More than 45 locations have given us Gift cards that we will be giving to people as prizes. Everyone who drops off bottles or cans or food items will be given a ticket that gets put into a draw.

Bottle drive - sample card“The Gift Cards are at the $25 level for the most part. When I dropped into one retail operation and asked if they would like to take part they gave us eight cards.

Couple of differences this event explains Julie, “We are asking people to separate the bottles and the cans so that we can move them to the collection centre quickly. We expect the cargo vans will be used to make several trips.”

The funds raised through the bottle drive will go to the Compassion Society – the food will go to the Food Bank.

In the newspaper business we interview hundreds of people. A comment Julie made as we were ending the interview surprised us. She was talking about how much she was enjoying the work (and there is a lot of it) that has to be done and said: “Who am I? I’m just a nobody loving the community I now live in”.

A relative newcomer to the city making an incredible contribution.  Make a point of taking those cans and bottles to the drive in on the 26th – they will operate from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Every bottle and can will be needed to reach that $8000 target.

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The idea of closing Brant Street completely got mentioned - didn't go further than that

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 9th, 2021



The increase in the traffic in Spender Smith Park brought an issue to a head at the Standing Committee on Tuesday.

Meed ward looking askance

Mayor did not take kindly to Kearns comments.

Tempers flared just a little bit and the Mayor chose to ask to speak on a Point of Personal Privilege after Councilor Kearns made a comment about the Mayor needing to get out on the street and see for herself that people were not wearing face masks.

Kearns got kind of feisty with her remarks. She can at times be rather sharp with her words.

The item being debated was Options to increase physical distancing on Brant Street in response to Covid-19.

Direct the Director of Transportation to proceed with one of the options the Transportation department had set out in their report.

A report which they put together on very short notice that called for them to work with the Burlington Downtown Business Improvement (BDBA) and the Ward 2 Councillor on soliciting input from downtown businesses on the approved option.

Earlier in the year, May 8, City Council Directed the Executive Director of Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility and the Director of Transportation Services to explore options to increase the ability for physical distancing and safe passage in response to COVID-19 for the area of Brant Street (Caroline Street to Lakeshore Road) for Saturdays and Sundays, from July 3 – September 5, 2021; to come back a report and recommendation to the June 8, 2021 Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility Committee meeting. (SD-10-21)

The current conditions on Brant Street from Lakeshore Road to Caroline Street includes a lane configuration consisting of one travel lane in each direction with curbside parking predominantly on both sides of the road. Truck loading and 20-minute curbside drop-off zones also exist within the curbside parking lane. During normal conditions, there is no charge for parking after 6 pm and on weekends.

A review of recent traffic studies available on Brant Street north of Caroline Street has revealed traffic volumes on Saturday and Sunday are approximately 1,000 vehicles per hour (both directions).

As part of the 2021 Temporary Patio Program, there are 4 establishments with applications pending approval to use portions of the public right-of-way along Brant Street.

Options Considered
The identification of options to provide physical distancing along Brant Street took into consideration the current lane configuration, the extent and type of traffic control devices required to maintain safety and potential impacts to residents, business and others utilizing the roadway. The focus in determining options was to seek additional space for people to comply with physical distancing guidelines while walking or waiting.

The options identified include the following:
Option 1 – Close the parking lanes to extend the sidewalk
This option involves closing the curbside parking where it exists on both sides of Brant Street. This space will become a pedestrian area and an extension to the sidewalk, as illustrated in Figure 1.

With this configuration, the pedestrian area is proposed to be separated from the traffic lanes by using freestanding movable delineators. These devices are weighted but portable and provide separation for the pedestrian area while capable of being placed and removed each Saturday and Sunday until September.
The existing curbside pick-up will require relocation and/or removal should this option be endorsed by Council.

Close parking lanes*Image courtesy of NACTO Streets for Pandemic Response & Recovery

Option 2 – Full closure of Brant Street from Lakeshore Road to Caroline Street
This option involves a full road closure on Saturdays and Sundays and provides the maximum available space for physical distancing.

The finalists getting out of the starting gate. Accura on Brant beat Leggat Mazda in a well run race.

Parts of Brant Street have been closed in the past. The Hospital Bed Race takes over the street for close to half a day when it takes place.

The traffic control required for this option involves the placement of barricades and road closed signs on Brant Street located at both Lakeshore Road and Caroline Street and at all intersecting roadways within this closed section. As a result, traffic on Lakeshore Road cannot turn onto Brant Street and traffic heading southbound on Brant Street towards Caroline Street will need to be directed east or west. In addition, the 6 streets intersecting with Brant Street would need to be signed, barricaded and closed to local access only.

While the full closure option provides the maximum space available for physical distancing on Brant Street, it has the following impacts:
• Displacement of non-local or through traffic onto adjacent streets.
• The current 20-minute curbside drop off areas would be inaccessible resulting in impacts to area businesses.
• The current loading zones will be inaccessible for trucks to load and unload if/when providing deliveries to local businesses on weekends.
• Restricts access to driveways, laneways and parking lots along Brant St.

• Impacts transit routes and requires buses to be re-routed around closed sections of road, in turn affecting bus schedules and potential customer confusion as transit re-routing would be limited to weekends only.

A variation of this option could include modifying the limits of the closure. For example, a possible change could include a full closure of Brant Street from Lakeshore Road to Elgin Street. While many of the issues related to a full closure still exist, they are lessened as a result of a shorter section of Brant Street being closed.

A number of municipalities have made the decision to close a street that was once a major thoroughfare.  The response from the commercial/retail sector was seldom positive but when the change did take place business for most retail operations improved and different kinds of commercial moved in.

Closing Brant Street permanently from Caroline to Lakeshore was a long term dream of former Councillor John Taylor – perhaps the time for that idea has come

Option 3 – Status Quo/enhanced pedestrian delineation
Under existing conditions, pedestrian circulation can be, at times, challenging at key intersections and/or higher volume business entrances along Brant Street. In 2020, staff worked with the BDBA in developing and installing enhanced pedestrian queuing delineation and signage which helped to guide the public around locations that were identified as pinch points. This delineation will be re-installed and refreshed again for 2021.

Financial Matters:
The key costs to providing either option includes the traffic control materials to support the closures and the staff resources to set up and remove every Saturday and Sunday. Costs for each option have been estimated and summarized below.


The associated costs will be identified as Covid19 related with the potential for these costs to be offset by Covid relief grant funds. Engagement

Engagement Matters:
This report attempts to provide Council with options however due to the short turnaround to provide Council with a follow up report, staff have not engaged the community to date. Support from the Burlington Downtown Business Association (DBDA) and Downtown businesses is key for any of the described options to be successful. Following endorsement of a preferred option by Council, it is anticipated the Ward Councillor will lead the engagement of businesses and the BDBA with staff assistance as required.

There are retailers that get it - and they are the one's that succeed. The shopping bag that lady is carrying isn't empty. The folks that run Joelle's understand retail. There were far too many stores closed.

There are retailers that get it – and they are the ones that succeed. The shopping bag that lady is carrying isn’t empty. The folks that run Joelle’s understand retail.

Council members were all over the map on this issue.

Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith wanted the status quo – do nothing.

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns was tough on this one.  She argued that the city had not done a very good job of patterning Brant Street and that there were a lot of gaps that were more walk-in offices than traditional retail offices.

She said there was a “romanticized view” of just what the street did for the city suggesting some thought there would be “seniors frolicking ” in the street.

Lisa Kearns

Councillor Kearns spars with the Mayor who used a Point of Personal Privilege to admonish her fellow Council member

Kearns said the city had reached a breaking point with congestion in the downtown core and that the congestion would only get worse as the city opened up.

Speaking for the retail community Kearns said they wanted to be able to use some of the street to boost their sales after a very financially hard 18 months.

Kearns then took a swipe at the Mayor suggesting that she get out and walk the streets and see for herself what was happening. remark to which the Mayor took offence and brought it up as a Point of Personal Privilege.

It didn’t strike this reporter as something that was out of order but the Mayor was clearly distressed.

Kearns, who was full of comments, pointed out that when things open up on Friday there will be lineups at the outdoor patios; there will be line ups outside the cannabis shop and crowding on the side walk.

The egress and ingress into those places where people are allowed to go was also problematic.

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 out advocating for the interests of the downtown merchants.

Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan told Kearns and Stolte that he would love to have a chat about the issue but wanted them to take the idea of closing Brant off the table.

Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte was right beside Kearns, however when the issue came up she asked Council to defer any decision until the July meeting arguing that there were just too many unknowns and that this was not the best time to make a decision.

Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman liked the idea and was prepared to go along with Stolte and Kearns to defer for a month.

Ward 6 Councillor Angelo Bentivegna said that the interests of the business community were really important and that he wanted to hear what they had to say before he went along with any of the options.  He also told his council colleagues that they had not done their homework.

Council was told that Brian Dean, top dog at the BDBA, was for the status quo.  The idea of doing nothing gave the phrase “taking care of business” a whole new meaning.

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Mayor issues statement of support for Muslim community and condemns an unspeakable act

June 8th, 2021

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward issued the following statement on behalf of the citizens of Burlington,

muslim symbolLast night many of us learned about the devastating and targeted killing of four members of a Muslim family in nearby London, Ontario on Sunday night.

They were out for a simple evening walk together and were targeted for this hate-filled and violent attack specifically because of their faith. Salman Afzaal, 46, his 44-year-old wife Madiha Salman, their 15-year-old daughter Yumna Afzaal and Afzaal’s 74-year-old mother were intentionally hit and killed by the driver of a truck. Their nine-year-old son, Fayez Afzaal suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

I am heartbroken and angry at this news, as I know we all are. I have reached out to share my concern and condolences with leaders in our local Muslim community, and reiterate that we welcome and embrace people of all faiths and backgrounds in our city.

A few years ago, I had the honour or visiting the mosque and praying together. If was a beautiful and moving experience, and I’m so grateful for the warm welcome and sincere kindness I received. I know our Muslim community is shaken by this unspeakable act, and they are grieving together; they are also strong and resilient.

As I heard from one member of the Muslim community today: “we can’t allow fear to stop our lives, and our faith commands us to love and to continue to strive for social values.” I know that all of Burlington City Council stands with me, and with our Muslim community in Burlington and across Canada, in grieving this unfathomable loss and denouncing the hatred that is behind it. There is no room for hate of any kind in our country.

We are here to support all the members of our community who are affected by this act of violence in any way we can. Let us acknowledge that we, as Canadians, have work to do to ensure this never happens again. Burlington is a place where people of all faiths, backgrounds and beliefs are welcome.

Last year, Burlington City Council unanimously endorsed the Halton Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Charter, ensuring that our commitment is clear to our community that we support and encourage safe and welcoming communities that reflect the diversity of all residents.

I am heartened by the outpouring of support from across our nation, including the funds being raised online to support young Fayez, now over $500,000 and still going strong. I know all of Burlington joins me in sending our sincere grief and compassion to Mayor Ed Holder, Deputy Mayor Josh Morgan and all our friends in London as they hold a vigil tonight at the London Muslim Mosque. I have reached out to share my concern and condolences with Mayor Holder, on behalf of all residents of Burlington.

As he referenced in his own statement yesterday, we must all take action to condemn this act against our Muslim friends and neighbours, and join together in solidarity, kindness and love

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There are some very challenging issues right in front of us that will require inspired leadership. We are about to find out if the challenge is going to be met

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

June 8th, 2021



During a Standing Committee on Monday City Manager Tim Commisso commented on the concerns that had been brought to the Mayor and members of Council related to the condition of streets and public places and the large gatherings of people who appeared to be ignoring the ask that masks be worn.

Burlington is still in a State of Emergency and is regulated in terms of the day to day business of the city by the Emergency Coordinating Group (ECG) which is made up of the Leadership Team and other senior staff including Fire Chief Karen Roche.

This group often meets several times a week and is able to make changes to practices and procedures quickly as long as they don’t have a negative impact on the budget.

The Mayor is a part of the ECG.

Commisso Apr 17

City Manager Tim Commisso

Commisso acknowledged that there are problems and added that he “had nothing to say” on Monday but expected to have things to say once he has met with staff.

Burlington has become a destination for many people who want to get out of their homes and be in places where they can meet with friends.  There wasn’t very much that was open on the weekend.

This Friday the city opens up, albeit not to the point where there are no limitations.  If past experience is any indicator the city is facing crowds that make demands on the resources and push many people beyond their comfort level when it comes to sharing what Burlington has to offer.

It was people, people, people - for almost as far as the eye could see along the Beachway.

It was people, people, people – for almost as far as the eye could see along the Beachway.

There are some who feel the city parks, especially the Beachway, should be for use by Burlingtonians only.  The fact is that the Beachway is a Regional Park managed by the city.

Burlingtonians are proud of the small town feel of the downtown core and want to retain that identity.

The city’s leadership has a difficult situation ahead of it that will require an ability to respond in a responsible way and at the same time educate the community and bring it to the point where the appreciation for the diversity that the city advocates and encourages becomes real.

During the Standing Committee Monday members of council wanted to know how many of the free parking passes were given to residents of Burlington and how many were given to residents of Oakville, Milton or Halton Hills.

This is not a metric that should matter.

There are some very challenging issues right in front of us that will require inspired leadership.  We are about to find out if the challenge is going to be met.

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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The need is not any less - there are people who cannot yet return to work

eventsred 100x100By Staff

June 7th, 2021



On Friday we will be able to step away – just a bit – from the rules that have kept us safe for the past year and a half. Some people will be able to go back to work.

There are many for whom the jobs at are just not there yet. They are the ones that need help for a while yet.

St. Matthews Church on Plains Road holds a drive through every Wednesday from 10 am to 4 pm – help out if you can.

St Matthews flyer

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Can I quaff one minute after midnight on Thursday? Where

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

June 7th, 2021



The Ontario Government has announced that the province will move into Step One of its Roadmap to Reopen at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, June 11, 2021.

Gibbons - patio openDoes this mean that one minute after midnight – between the end of Thursday and the beginning of Friday that I can be outside with my ten best friends quaffing an ale?

At which of the patios that will be operating will I be able to do this?

We will share that information.

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A hint and a hope - city might be put into re-open mode on the 11th

News 100 blueBy Staff

June 7th, 2021


picture of upscale patio


City Councillors are talking about a possible earlier opening due to the significantly lower new covid19 infections.

June 11th is being heavily hinted as the date that things will open up.

The decision will come from the province.

Note – this is just a hint and a hope.

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Opening up locations where the air is cool for those who do not live in air conditioned housing.

graphic community 2By Staff

June 7th, 2021



The Region put out a heat alert and then extended it for an additional day. When the Region announces a heat wave the municipalities open up locations that are cool.

When temperatures are expected to be at least 31°C and overnight temperatures are above 20°C for 2 days or the humidex is at least 40°C for 2 days a heat alert is issued.

It is that time of year again – this time however there are people who are going to be more hard hit than when circumstances are normal.

egg on sidewalk

One way news people tell the hot weather story is to ask if it is hot enough to fry an egg on a sidewalk. We aren’t there yet – but it is very uncomfortable for those in locations without conditioned air.

The malls in the past have been open – they became a place people could go to to walk around in, a cool location.

Burlington will open Central Arena’s Auditorium located at 519 Drury Lane as a Cooling Centre from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the heat warning.

Community members can use the facility for 1-hour increments and will be screened for COVID-19 when they arrive.

Measures will be in place to ensure physical distancing. Visitors must wear a non-medical face covering in the Cooling Centre. Please stay home if you are ill and always practice physical distancing (2m)

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Behaviour along parts of the waterfront on the weekend was less than civil

graphic community 5By Staff

June 7th, 2021



The weather was warm and the locals got a little restless.

A Burlington resident wrote saying the last she had heard was that ‘there was still a pandemic and there were some rules on social distancing and being out with crowds of people that were not immediate family.

“Last time I checked there was still a pandemic and provincial rules were still in effect.”

Our reader reports that on Saturday there was “a party in the park with well over 100 attendees.”

Saturday garbge“There was garbage and smashed beer bottles everywhere. Nearby residents had to listen to the pounding of their music well past the 11pm noise bylaw.

“No bylaw officers and no police attended. The park was all cleaned up this morning by city workers and this is what it looks like by 5pm.

“A downtown business owner caught someone defecating in between the buildings.

“We have found discarded Gatorade bottles filled with urine on our property. We are constantly being awoken at all hours of the night by the cars with the modified mufflers racing up Lakeshore.

Saturday Pier

The Pier was packed – the breezes would make Covid19 concerns a little easier to live with.

“There is never any enforcement by police or bylaw. Downtown is going downhill fast.

“We have sent numerous letters of complaint to the Mayor and Ward 2 Councillor.

“The people who live in this neighborhood are not very impressed.”

The Bylaw enforcement people do not patrol the city – they respond to specific complaints and they investigate.

The police do patrol and they do respond directly to complaints.

Saturday balcony shot

The owners of this hospitality facility were fully aware of what the rules are – why they weren’t observed and enforced is something they will have to explain – to whom?

The Mayor invites direct contact but is not always able to respond immediately. The ward 2 Councillor is involved in other interests.

People may hear from these two elected officials during the week we are into.

If this kind of behaviour becomes a pattern there is going to have to be an increase in the police presence.


Saturday Beach crowd


saturday pathwat promenade

Can the demand for public space and a place to be outside be met in Spencer Smith Park?

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