Northern Ontario Casino scene undergoing major changes.

News 100 blue

By George Keburia

June 25th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Casinos across Northern Ontario are hoping to be able to re-open soon amid COVID-19 uncertainty

The coronavirus pandemic has affected the entire world as the number of infections globally has now exceeded a whopping nine million bar.

With over 400 thousand deaths related to the novel coronavirus infection, the vast majority of nations are trying to keep their citizens safe by implementing and maintaining social distancing rules. In these unprecedented times, everyone is held accountable for not putting the national safety at risk. The recent case of Dominic Cummings in the United Kingdom was a great example of how the societies have shifted and become more cautious amid the pandemic.

Besides individual responsibility, the same kind of cautiousness extends to business. Both people and governments try to have a specifically tailored and well-researched approach when it comes to re-opening businesses and their future operations. The Canadian government was one of the first globally to introduce a nation-wide lockdown, resulting in thousands of businesses simply coming to a complete standstill. Many of them had to halt operations while others also were put in a position of having to cancel ambitious projects and future plans.

US border closed PAID

Border to the United States closed – with no clear re-opening date in place.

All of Canada’s industries and businesses came under extreme pressure as the government decided to close its border with the United States. The Americans are the biggest Canadian economic partner with over 85% of exports going to the United States. Under such circumstances, not only exporting businesses but also local companies were impacted negatively. Countless Canadian businesses used to benefit from Americans visiting them over the weekend.

The gambling business in a tricky position

With the mid-march decision of the Canadian government and the prime minister Trudeau, all entertainment businesses were closed indefinitely. These changes naturally affected gambling venues across the nation. They had to cease operations immediately without a chance to evaluate the situation and come up with a solution in a timely manner. Many of the businesses managed to go online within the few days of the new regulations but others had to work and invest heavily in order to survive the turmoil.

In general, the online gambling sector has been on a steep rise throughout the past decade. The representatives of Playamo Canada say, that the incomes from the business across the nation have also been growing.   For firms that were always focused on online gambling, the new regulations were a positive change. They now have a chance to attract customers that can no longer visit brick-and-mortar venues in Canada.

But what happens with those who were dependent on visitors for the majority of their incomes? Canada, particularly Northern Ontario, is home to a high number of luxurious casinos and resorts that have been completely shut for almost the past three months. Their bookings and were canceled while loyal customers have no option but to visit online gambling platforms run by other operators.

Gateway Casinos forced to halt its construction in North Bay

Among many of Canada’s famous gambling operators, Gateway Casinos and Entertainment is truly a shining star. The customers’ favorite company provides high-quality luxury venues to its loyal customers across the entire country. It has popular venues located in Sudbury and Sault St. Marie.

Gateway North Bay PAID

North Bay Casino construction site.

However the pandemic meant operations of Gateway-owned casinos had to be closed.  Those crucial venues for the company remain closed to the public. The representatives of Gateway say, that the timing of the pandemic could not have been worse. Their new major project in North Bay, a casino resort that already has a green light for construction, had to be stopped. There is simply not enough certainty in the industry to continue the construction of a major venue. The costs of the construction are absolutely tremendous and the company can not afford it unless the already-existing venues are back up and running.

Therefore, ‘Gateway casinos and entertainment’ is now focusing on opening up its Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie venues to the public. The cash inflow from those venues is unlikely to result in the construction of the new North Bay venue. However, operational casinos would ensure the safety of jobs, as well as more security for the business. The latter is of utmost importance since, without any certain and specific timeframe on the process of opening casinos, Gateway’s future plans remain halted.

How can casinos open going forward?

Gateway Sudbury PAID

The thrill of the win

The chief of Gateway’s Sudbury venue, Richard Paquin commented on the company’s future plans: “We haven’t spoken to anybody about that because it’s too early in the process,” However, the Ontario’s government has recently announced its plans to gradually re-open entertainment businesses that could potentially include casinos. Gateway also had a brief communication with the government regarding the issues but no specific answers were given from the authorities.

However, what we know today for sure is that sooner or later, the casino business will start coming back. The question is in what form will it operate? What sacrifices will operators have to make? The expectation is that the opening of venues will be discussed individually.

Every space comes with its own specifications and needs to be rearranged considering those factors. One thing is apparent: the most affected part of the casino business will be the venues’ capacity. Fewer people will be allowed per room with fewer people sitting around tables. This could mean significantly lower incomes for businesses, but with social distancing remaining the only known and effective tool against the spread of the virus, the venues will have to adjust.

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Spray pads to open June 26; Redesigned summer camps and outdoor pools open July 13

News 100 yellowBy Staff

June 25th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The City announced the opening of spray pads on June 26. Redesigned summer camps and outdoor pool programs will begin on July 13.

Following public health recommendations and the Province’s emergency orders, COVID-19 precautions and preparations will be in place to reduce the spread of the virus. All redesigned programs and services will look very different from pre-COVID-19 programs and will still be high quality, fun, active and create great summer memories.

Kids in splash pad

This place will be busy on Friday.

To ensure crowd management, all programs and pool use (including lap and rec swims) will require pre-registration and payment. There is no registration required for spray pads.

All programs and offerings can be viewed online at burlington.ca/summer.

Registrations are only being accepted online at liveandplay.burlington.ca. If you need assistance, please call 905-335-7600 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday or email liveandplay@burlington.ca.

Anyone attending a camp or swim must follow strict COVID-19 procedures. Staying home if the participant or any family member is sick or has come in contact with anyone who is sick. Wash hands frequently, cough and sneeze into sleeve/arm and follow all City rules and regulations. Masks and face coverings will be optional.

sociial circles

Is this a summer day camp setting?

Summer Camps
Full-day summer SNAP camps for kids aged four to ten years will be held at Brant Hills Community Centre, Tansley Woods Community Centre, Aldershot Arena and Haber Recreational Centre.

Performing Arts Camp for kids ages nine to 15 years will be held at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre.
Camp activities will include outdoor games, crafts, art and nature-based activities.

Funny hats and smiling faces - all part of the summer day camp experience.

Funny hats and smiling faces – all part of the summer day camp experience.

Camper’s safety is the first priority. Staff will receive enhanced training on the additional health and safety regulations. There will now be one dedicated staff to every four children, with a maximum of two staff and eight campers in a room.

Each camp group will stay together for the entire week, and not interact with other groups.

To support and enhance the safety of campers and staff, caregivers will receive a phone call before camps begin to emphasize the importance of following the camp code of conduct and do a pre-camp health check.

Completing the call with staff is required for your child to be admitted to camp. In addition, parents will learn about the cleaning of facilities with special attention to high touch surfaces like door handles and counters. Each camp group will have dedicated spaces and washroom facilities to further reduce exposure to other groups.

Caregivers will also be sent an email with a video link to where to drop campers off, facility layout and set up as well as were to pick up the camper at the end of the day.

 

Registration dates, beginning at 9 a.m.:
• Monday, June 29 for camp programs July 13 and July 20
• Monday, July 13 for camp programs July 27 and Aug. 3
• Monday, July 27 for camp programs Aug. 10 and 17
• Monday, Aug. 10 for camp programs Aug. 24
Outdoor Pools

Nelson Pool and Splash Park, Mountainside Pool and Splash Park and LaSalle Splash Park will be ready on July 13.

The number of people allowed in at any time will be kept low so people can maintain physical distancing. The play features at Nelson and Mountainside will remain closed. To register online for lap and rec swims 25 hours prior to start of program time, go to liveandplay.burlington.ca.

Splash pad LaSalle - swimming

The number of kids in those wading pool will be lower.

In addition to the outdoor pools, spray pads will open on Friday, June 26. For a listing of locations, go to burlington.ca/waterplay.

At the spray pads, please ensure your child stays two metres away from anyone not in your social circle or household. If a spray pad is crowded, please try another spray pad or come back another day.

As residents continue to rediscover many of their favourite spaces and activities in the city, City services may look different as we work to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The City’s commitment to providing the community with essential services remains a priority. Sign up to learn more about Burlington at Burlington.ca/Enews and download the free City of Burlington app.

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Parks and Recreation are thinking about how they might re-open the Seniors' Centre

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 24, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Parks and Recreation department is sounding out people on opening up the Seniors’ Centre.

People who provide some of the programing to the city on a contract basis have been called to see if they would be interested in running classes that would be limited to 10 people.

Seniors taking in the music

There won’t be audiences this size at the Seniors’ Centre – but small programs are being considered.

There would be a limit on the number of people permitted to be in the building – the number we are getting is 90.
Cleaning crews would do a wipe down after every class.

Parks and Recreation Director Chris Glenn said: “ We are preparing a report to bring to council in the next cycle of meetings, that talks about the proposed redesigned adult / older adult programming plan, based on the stage 2 provincial guidelines. More to come as council discusses the redesign plan.

Members of the Seniors Advisory Committee are reported to not have heard from anyone within Parks and Recreation.

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LaSalle Park Community Marina update: Marina and sailing programs closed for2020 summer season

News 100 blueBy Staff

June 24th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

LaSalle Park - bring about a boat on its way to the water.

Tough year for the boating community. The boats will not be going into the water.

 

In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the safety of volunteers and boaters, the boards of directors for the LaSalle Park Marina Association (LPMA) and the Burlington Sailing and Boating Club (BS&BC) have announced the LaSalle Park Community Marina and BS&BC sailing programs will not operate for the 2020 summer season.

The decision to close the marina made sense – it puts into stark relief the decision to use $4 million from the Hydro Reserve fund to pay for the building of the wave break.  Talk about unintended consequences.

The decision to close the marina was made by the LPMA and the BS&SC, who took the following into consideration:

• Volunteer safety – in order to install the docks at the marina, volunteers are required to work within small boats where physical distancing is not possible.

• Shortened boating season – construction of the new wave break at the LaSalle Park Community Marina was delayed due to impacts from COVID-19. While the wave break is now completed, the LPMA estimates the installation of the docks and placement of boats in the water would take four to five weeks, resulting in a significantly shorter boating season.

• Financial impacts – with COVID-19 precautions and a shortened boating season, many boaters have indicated they will not be launching their boats, impacting the funding needed to operate the marina.

Public Boat Launch
The public boat launch at LaSalle Park Community Marina will also remain closed for the summer for boats on trailers. A portion of the parking lot typically used for boat trailers will not be accessible as it continues to be used for the storage of boats and finger docks.

Residents are still able to use the marina area to enjoy views of the water, bird watching and to launch canoes and kayaks that are not on a trailer.

Lurking in the background is the matter of how will Burlington manage to renew the lease they have on property owned by Hamilton and used as both a public park and the Marina Association.  Two years left on that lease.

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There will be a Lakeshore Rotary Ribfest on Canada Day - in a parking lot. All the details

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 24th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We had the gist of the story – but that wasn’t enough.

Our friends at the Bay Observer beat us to this one – it doesn’t happen very often.

The Observer reports that:

This Canada Day July 1 from 11am-8pm, the public is invited to stop by the Burlington Centre parking lot, at 777 Guelph Line (corner of Fairview Street and Guelph Line) to experience the fun and flavour of Ribfest in a safe, socially-distant way.

mall-parking

Ribfest will take place on Canada Day at the Burlington Centre on Guelph Line.

Guests are encouraged to enter from the Guelph Line entrance and will be asked to stay intheir vehicles for the duration of their visit. Food vendors will take orders and payment (cards preferred) from vehicles and will deliver each completed order to the vehicle. All staff, vendors, and volunteers will be wearing gloves and masks.

Four award-winning BBQ teams will be in attendance, serving the ribs, pulled pork, and chicken that guests have come to expect from Ribfest. Rib teams in attendance will include Camp 31 BBQ, Billy Bones BBQ, Pistol Pete’s Smokehouse, and Uncle Sam’s BBQ. There will also be food offerings from East Side Mario’s and Blaze Pizza, ensuring that there’s something for the entire family to enjoy.

Ribfest north side 2017

The Billboards and the grass – not the same as sitting in your car.

The event will also include live music for guests to enjoy from the comfort and safety of their vehicles, curated by the team from Rotary, so expect to hear some local favourites and familiar voices.

This event is a fundraising initiative of Rotary Burlington-Lakeshore, which for the last 23 years has hosted Canada’s Largest Ribfest in Burlington at Spencer Smith Park. They have raised over 3.5 millions dollars for local, national, and international charities through this event, and wanted to ensure their charitable giving could continue this year, despite the difficult decision to cancel their regular Labour Day Ribfest event due to the ongoing public health situation.

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Ribfest in a parking lot - on Canad Day? Really!

Newsflash 100By Staff

June 24th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

Story Update – link below

Chasing the one down.

wev

This is what a Ribfest is – picking up your Ribs in a paper bag through the window of your car isn’t the same.

Word is that there will be a Drive Thru Ribfest at the Burlington Centre (formerly The Mall) on Canada Day.

Nothing specific as to when on Canada Day.

More when we have more.

Drive Thru Ribs eh!

It just won’t be the same will it.

Story update

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New local art program will give 12 artists each an $800 commission to create art that will be put on traffic signal control boxes

artsblue 100x100By Pepper Parr

June 24th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The city has been doing this for a couple of year.

The Local Artist Program is an opportunity for  Burlington artists – they MUST live in the city – to apply for an $800 commission to tell a local story through their art. There are 12 Design Commissions Available

The application deadline: August 21, 2020

Budget: $800 per commission

The objective in the past was to tell local stories through medium-scale artworks throughout the city. They took a variety of forms including murals, small-scale sculptures and functional artwork such as bike racks and benches. Free professional development opportunities are available to assist artists with the application process and project development.

2020 Program

Angela Papariza was a recreational planner when this picture was taken. Her job was changed to that of a cultural planner and she is now the goto person on the cultural file - at least until a cultural Manager is hired. Is she a candidate for the Cultural Manager position? Papariza talks with Trevor Copp one of the movers and shakers within the arts and cultural community.

Angela Paparizo, now the Manager of the City’s cultural program, talking with Trevor Copp, a Hamilton based performer during the unveiling of the Spiral Stella at the Performing Arts Centre.

Angela Paparizo explains that “Art plays a powerful role in bringing people together to share common experiences and explore new ideas.” Sometimes the agreement is that no one likes the work.

Artists deal in hope and inspiration – even in a time of crisis.

This year the city is inviting local artists to submit digital artwork that will be reproduced and installed on traffic signal control boxes throughout the city.

Artists are encouraged to submit artwork that will inspire and uplift the community during these challenging times. This artwork will form an urban art gallery that can be experienced by residents while still practicing appropriate social distancing.

More information and entry forms – right HERE

In the past there have been some interesting work put up on public places.

ART Apples-400x261

On the left, Tamara Kwapich did the mural in Orchard Community Park; once the location for some of the best apple orchards in the province.  On the right: Hannah Sell and Liam Racine did the art work that is located in the small Port Nelson Park.

ART Port Nelson site Couple-coloured-box-400x415

ART Freeman-public-art-400x248

This pice of art work was painted on the side of the Freeman Station.

ART King-Road-400x249

The public art painted on the King Road grade separation a number of years ago was done by Judy Mayer-Grieve.

 

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Mask making takes on a life of its own -3000 being put together by volunteers

News 100 yellowBy Connie Price

June 24th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

When the Burlington Gazette envisioned providing some free fabric face masks using donated material, to those in the community who most needed them, it wasn’t imagined that it would evolve into a small manufacturing operation with 20+ people involved.

Mask Heather Sewing

Heather sewing masks with all the parts in front of her.

Jan at sewing machine

Jan Mowbray stitching together the four ties needed for each of the 3000 masks.

The process starts with cutting the bolts of material to mask size, as well as the making of 1000s of ties, which then needed to be transported from Jan’s home in Milton to two Transfer Houses (in east and west Burlington), where the bags of material with 50 masks each are held by Lynda and Nadine, until the Sewers need them.

Design improvements, upgrades and suggestions have been welcomed and implemented from the dedicated volunteer Sewers, Heather, Helen, Sharon, Chris, Tina, Ann, Ruth, Bernie, Rosa & Clair, who are located across Burlington and even into Milton.

Several volunteer Drivers, John, Fred, Cathy & Wayne have the responsibility of transporting the material bags to the Sewers’ front porches and then picking the sewn masks up and returning them to the Transfer Houses, to be packaged, along with Canada’s Guidelines for the Use and Care of Fabric Face Masks, held for 72 hours in quarantine, before a member of the Burlington Lions Club picks them up, delivering them to the Agencies for distribution to those most in need of masks.

mask ties

Tie strings ready to go to the mask assemblers.

Masks at St. Luke's

Rev. Sheila Plant giving a quarantined mask to a food package from the St. Luke’s Food For Life Program

These masks are included in the porch-delivered Food Hampers to anyone in need of extra food by the Burlington Food Bank, with many also supplied for the people receiving the Take Home Dinners at Wellington Square Church on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays, 12 noon to 4pm.

These meals are cooked and prepared by the many dedicated volunteers from Wellington Square Friday Dinner crew, St. Christopher’s Open Doors and Glad Tidings Church cooks, as well as soups made by the cooking group at Next Door Social Space. Approximately 1000 meals a week are distributed by this very worthwhile endeavor.

Some masks have also been delivered to the tenants at Wellington Terrace Seniors’ Apartments, made available to Donors at St. Matthews Drive-through Drop-off Monday & Wednesday 12 noon-3pm Food Collection Blitzes for the Food Bank and Compassion Society and also to St. Luke’s Church, Food For Life Food Bag, Tuesday distributions.

Masks - Packaging Lynda & Connie

Connie P and Lynda H putting masks in envelopes where they are quarantined for 72 hours and then distributed within the community.

Behind the scenes of the mask making project, there are the very important support workers like Jim, at Burlington Baptist Church, who orders, prints the instruction sheets and Sponsor labels then affixes them to the mask packaging envelopes, Fred and Peggy who warehouse extra material and supplies, Penny overseeing distribution and ideas for upgrading with the Sewers, and Connie who does the overall organizing of where and what stages the masks are in and who needs what, when.

Shawna and daughter

Ward 3 Councillor Shawna Stolte and her daughter model the masks.

To date over 1600 masks have been distributed, with another 1400 in various stages of construction. These are planned to be supplied to other Food For Life locations, tenants at subsidized Seniors’ apartment buildings, as well as new clients at the Food Bank and Take Home Dinner project.

Two of the city’s council members wear and distribute the masks.

Masks Grace Anne Thank You 2

Grace at St. Matthews church where food donations are collected and masks handed out.

Masks are being supplied to other Food For Life locations, tenants at subsidized Seniors’ apartment buildings, as well as new clients at the Food Bank and Take Home Dinner project.

This mask endeavor has shown, without doubt, that there is a village of volunteers in our community, who care about and are willing to step up and help their neighbours keep as safe as possible during this difficult pandemic.

A HUGE Thank You to every one of the volunteers involved in the Gazette Community Face Mask Initiative.

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Lowville Park will partially reopen on Monday, June 29, 2020.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

June 24th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Lowville sign - orange aLowville Park will partially reopen on Monday, June 29, 2020.

Visiting Lowville Park will look different than it did prior to the COVID-19 pandemic; the City of Burlington is putting measures in place to help visitors have a safe park experience during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Parking

Parking lot capacity has been reduced to 50 per cent to allow for physical distance spacing and prevent overcrowding. The entrance will be monitored and vehicles may be turned away when parking has reached capacity. Street parking is not permitted, parking enforcement will be in effect. Illegally parked vehicles will be tagged and/or towed.

A river runs through the park where the salmon spawn and children get to play.

Bronte Creek runs through the park where the salmon spawn and children get to play.

What’s open and closed in Lowville Park
Washrooms will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Water is not potable and visitors are reminded to bring their own drinking water.

The playground portion of the park remains closed. Staff levels are reduced so please clean up your area and put waste in receptacles or take it home for disposal.
No picnic permits are being issued at this time to comply with municipal and provincial state of emergency group gathering restrictions.

 

Reduce the spread

Rob Peachey, on the left, Manager Parks and Open Spaces for the city, talks through some solutions to managing the very large weekend crowds.

View of the park from thee steps of the school house.

Visitors are reminded to continue to be vigilant about public health practices and provincial directives to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including:

Maintaining 2 metre physical distance from others
Gathering in groups of 10 or fewer
Staying home if you feel sick
Washing and sanitizing hands before, during and after visiting the park.

The Lowville Park is a neighbourhood park during the week in the off season. During the summer it is a place where large families gather and cook meals on hibachis and enjoy their food.  On occasion there are several large families that become an event for everyone.

There will have to be some adjusting as we give people a place to enjoy themselves, respect the safety requirements and make allowances for each other.

Walt Rickli, often the spokesperson for the Lowville community, reported on their meeting with the Mayor and the ward councilor. “A number of Lowville residents”, reported Rickli, ” had expressed concerns about the potential for over-crowding, traffic management and the ability to adhere to Covid regulations, as we lead into Canada Day.  As a result of these concerns, the city advised us that over the short term they will be employing the follow measures for weekends and holidays when the park is most used:

Lowville Regulars - Rickli +

Walt Rickli, on the left, is often the spokesperson for the Lowville community.

“The city will be hiring two off-duty police officers.  One will be situated at the corner of Guelph Line and Lowville Park Road to control traffic coming in and out of the park.  If the park is full, traffic will not be allowed to enter Lowville Park Rd.  The second officer will be patrolling the park to ensure visitors are abiding by Covid social distancing requirements as well as park rules.  There will also be several Park Ambassadors to help out.

“The parking lot will only be permitted to fill to 50% of capacity.  To ensure this, there will be a parking enforcement/by-law officer at the entrance to Lowville Park.  As well, 1/2 the parking lot will be barricaded to prevent parking there.

“The children’s playground will be cordoned off to abide by current Covid regulations. Garbage cans which were removed during the Covid lockdown, will be returned.

“And finally, as per provincial Covid regulations, the washrooms will be manned and supervised to limit the number of people allowed in at any given time, and will be frequently cleaned and sanitized.

“During the meeting, a few points were raised that the city will be getting back to us to confirm. First are the hours the park will be manned on holidays and weekends ?  Residents advised that traffic on weekends and holidays often goes from 7:30 am to well into the evening.  The second point was regarding picnic tables.  Currently picnic tables are all grouped together which does not facilitate social distancing.  A suggestion was to remove some of the tables to ensure all are appropriately distanced from each other.

“Over-crowding has been an ongoing issue for Lowville Park, so the Mayor and Ward Counselor also advised us that a pilot project is in the works to help ease the stress on the park environment and the surrounding community over the long term.  They are looking at following a similar approach to what Conservation Halton has done with their parks, which would include installing a gatehouse with an arm among other things. This will replace the above measures once Covid regulations are reduced.”

 

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Burlingtonians being Burlingtonians

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

June 22nd, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The city opened up and people did what they have been wanting to do for months – get out and relax and be themselves.

The restaurants weren’t able to invite people inside – but they were able to open up patios and invite people to newly created pop up patios that met some of the need.

Social distancing was respected in most places – a few exceptions – hopefully no infections were passed around.

We will know in about ten days if we were behaving well enough to allow a further opening up.

It was great weather and a number of additional locations will be opening for the National holiday.

Gibbins Lord Nelson

Relaxing and enjoying being out with friends.

Gibbons - on tap

He wants his Mother to know where he was.

Gibbons cigar smoker

It was all about a good smoke.

Gibbons Wendell Clark

The restaurants wanted you to know that there patios were open.

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So this is what Stage 2 looks like - we could do with more of this

News 100 yellowBy Staff

June 20th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

The Gazette web site, we call it our press room, is undergoing a security upgrade.  The content has been hacked into several times and someone is playing with the comments section.  Thus, unfortunately, the comments section will not be available until security is solid enough to prevent people from removing what you want to say.

The city came out of its ‘lockdown” yesterday; people walked the streets and had a beer or a glass of wine and met with neighbours and friends.

Some of the distancing rules didn’t stick as well as they perhaps should have.

Earlier in the week city council decided they would go all out to give the hospitality sector all the help they could.

The rules for pop up patios were relaxed; fees were waived and there was staff in place to process applications.

Citizens saw how city hall could move when it wanted to. There was no bureaucracy to trip over.

The pictures tell the story.

Queens head BEST

The Queen’s Head was open for business and the suds flowed – masks for all the staff.

Joe Dogs

Joe Dogs made sure you understood the rules – happy hands during the Happy Hours.

Claachio on Brant

Social distancing strictly observed.

Lisa at Joe Dogs

Did they check her ID? She could walk home if it came to that. Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns checking on the hospital sector on the first night of limited re-opening.

Hairstylist

In the up close and personal services market – everyone wears masks. Getting appointment with a hair dresser is not as simple as a single phone call.

Emmas we knew

Not everyone bounced back right away. The Back Porch at Emma’s looks abandoned.

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Seamstress crafts face masks designed for deaf people

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

Jan 20th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Wearing a mask we are told is now what we should be doing to prevent the Covid virus from being transmitted from person to person.

Many of the handmade masks are quite creative and many retail locations now have a supply.

deaf masks 1

Kim Reid and Lisa Faria use sign language to communicate and rely on being able to read the faces of people they are communicating with. The masks allow their mouths to be seen. Both are at the Bob Rumball Canadian Centre of Excellence for the Deaf

What about segments of the population – particularly the deaf who depend on the facial expression of the person they are “talking” to?

Deaf mask 1

The masks are made of 100% cotton and come in bright patterns.

A former Milton Town Council member, Jan Mowbray, who led the making of 3,000 masks for Burlington residents serves as a Board member of the Bob Rumball Canadian Centre of Excellence for the Deaf.

She was acutely aware of the problems deaf people have and designed and then made 400 masks for Rumble residents.

Jan at sewing machine

Jan Mowbray at her sewing machine stitching the ties for the masks

Mowbray worked out a design, then created a template from which she cut the fabric and then glued in the piece of plastic that covers the mouth.

“It was long painstaking work” said Mowbray, who went through several designs to come up with what she was finally satisfied with.

Kim Reid and Lisa Faria are delighted with the masks they now have.

Note: Anyone wishing to purchase masks made for those who are hard of hearing and need to be able to read the lips of those they are communicating with please be in touch with:  seamstress@hwkp.com

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Rainbow crosswalk now on Lakeshore at the foot of Burlington Street

News 100 yellowBy Staff

June 19th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The City of Burlington announced its first rainbow crosswalk with Mayor Marianne Meed Ward, City Councillors and a few representatives from the LGBTQ2IS+ community.

To keep within the COVID-19 Provincial State of Emergency, the announcement was made virtually using Facebook Live from the new crosswalk location on Lakeshore Road at the base of Burlington Avenue. The crosswalk is in recognition of Pride and inclusivity.

On Sept. 23, 2019 Council approved a motion to bring a rainbow crosswalk to the city. Staff received requests for crosswalks at about 15 different city intersections. Some popular locations such as Lakeshore and Maple and Lakeshore and Nelson were not viable locations for the rainbow crosswalk because of the already existing coloured, patterned concrete.

Rainbow xwalk

Two stripes added to the traditional six; Brown for the Latino people and Black for the Black Community.

Transportation staff formed a Rainbow Crosswalk Project Team made up of representatives of the LGBTQ2IS+ community:

• Burlington Inclusivity Advisory Committee & HRPS
• St. Christopher’s Anglican Church
• Halton District School Board
• Positive Space Network
• Pflag Canada – Halton

The project team was provided a list of potential locations and criteria to consider when selecting their choices on behalf of their organization:

• Exposure -number of cars and/or pedestrians who could potentially see this location
• Future construction work
• Existing conditions, such as type of crosswalk, pavement treatment and how it ties into preferred design
• Greater community support around location

Using these criteria, each team member was asked to review the information and provide their top three locations. Once their selections were submitted, Transportation Services staff assigned points to each ranking to identify the preferred overall location at the base of Burlington Avenue on Lakeshore Road, leading into Spencer Smith Park.

The crosswalk is an important feature and a key landmark geographically and socially for the city.

Meed WardMayor Marianne Meed Ward said:  “Our Rainbow Crosswalk is one visible way to stand with our LGBTQ2IS+ community here and across our nation and world. It’s one way to send a strong message of support and welcome that Burlington is everyone’s city. We know that our residents have stories of experiencing discrimination and intolerance because of who they love, and this must stop. We have plans for more crosswalks around the city, and many requests from our young people to put these near schools to clearly show our support and welcome for all members of our LGBTQ2IS+ especially our youth.”

Audit Kearns 5

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns chimed in with: “I am thrilled to see Burlington showing support for Pride and the LGTBQ2IS+ community through the installation of this rainbow painted crosswalk. It is an important public statement of welcome and inclusion that will be available year-round in our City.”

HDSB Director of Education, Stuart Miller added:  “The Halton District School Board applauds the City of Burlington on the installation of the Rainbow Crosswalk. This show of support for the 2SLGBTQI+ community demonstrates a commitment our school board shares with the City to promote inclusion and acceptance of all students, families and staff. Through our actions in our schools and beyond, we will continue to advance a culture of respect, safety, acceptance and inclusion for all.”

This symbol is an important one and everyone will jump on the bandwagon rolling through the city.  Those who are opposed will not say a word.  Our issue is with the way the city pussy-footed around this.  They used the words multi-coloured instead of rainbow in an earlier public announcement.

Then they added a brown stripe and a black stripe to the design to represent the discrimination the Latino and Black members of society.  What will be used for the Aboriginal and Metis communities?

The first Rainbow crosswalk should have been in front of city hall or better yet at the foot of Brant Street with one on the east and another on the west side of Brant.

The stunner for a number of people might be the $10,000 it cost to paint the stripes.

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Ontario's driver testing services provider, DriveTest, will begin to gradually offer limited driver testing services in a staggered, phased approach across the province

News 100 blueBy Staff

June 19th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

On Monday, June 22, 2020, Ontario’s driver testing services provider, DriveTest, will begin to gradually offer limited driver testing services in a staggered, phased approach across the province. Driver Examination services will be reintroduced in three phases until full services are restored this fall. The gradual approach will ensure that strict protocols are in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This is part of the government’s efforts to ensure that critical services are in place so people can return to work as Ontario reopens.

Visiting DriveTest Centres

To reduce crowding and support new requirements for physical distancing, health checks and enhanced sanitation, most DriveTest centres will serve customers who want to take a knowledge test, exchange a driver’s licence and apply for or upgrade a commercial driver’s licence based on when they were born.

People with birthdays between January to June will be allowed to visit a centre the first week of reopening and people with birthdays between July to December will have access to DriveTest services the following week:

Driver test dates McKenna

Access to DriveTest services will continue to alternate weekly until full services are restored.

Plan Your Trip to DriveTest Before You Go

Learn more about available driver testing services, how to access DriveTest centres, and which customers are being served each week at DriveTest.ca.

Information will be updated every Monday.

Extended Driver’s Licence Status

The Ontario government has extended the validity of all Ontario driver’s licences to keep people safe and reduce the need for in-person visits to ServiceOntario and DriveTest centres to contain the spread of COVID-19. No one will lose their licence due to COVID-19.

Access to the different services available is being phased in.

Phase 1

On Monday, June 22, 2020, all 56 full-time DriveTest Centres will reopen for the following transactions:

G1 knowledge and vision tests

M1 knowledge and vision tests

Driver’s licence exchanges
Out-of-province licences
Out-of-country licences (jurisdictions with reciprocal driver’s licensing)
Out-of-country licences (non-reciprocating jurisdictions)

Commercial driver’s licence applications and upgrades
Knowledge tests
Vision tests
Medical report submissions
Criminal Record and Judicial Matters (CRJM) Check or equivalent document submissions
School Bus Driver Improvement Course certificate submissions

New Entrant Education and Evaluation Program (NEEEP)/ Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration (CVOR) Test

Commercial road tests (Class A, B, C, D, E, F and Z) at 28 locations across Ontario:
Barrie, Belleville, Brampton, Brantford, Burlington, Chatham, Clinton, Cornwall, Downsview, Guelph, Hamilton, Hawkesbury, Kitchener, Kingston, Lindsay, London, Newmarket, Oshawa, Orangeville, Orillia, Ottawa Walkley, Peterborough, Sault Ste Marie, St. Catharines, Simcoe, Sudbury, Thunder Bay and Timmins

Phase 2

Starting on Tuesday, August 4, the following services will be available:

Road-testing for G2 driver licences

Road-testing for all motorcycle licences

Commercial driver road testing will expand to the remaining 22 DriveTest locations across Ontario that road test commercial drivers.

Part-time Travel Point locations will resume driver examination services as locations become available for the public’s use.

Phase 3

Starting on Tuesday, September 8, all DriveTest centres and Travel Point locations will be fully operational, including G road-testing services.

Ontario will work with the service provider and with public health officials to ensure that the above dates are appropriate depending on the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

New Health and Safety Protocols

To protect the safety of Ontarians, DriveTest will also require customers to wear face coverings inside centres and during road tests, sanitize their hands when they enter the building and undergo temperature checks before road tests.

All DriveTest staff will wear personal protective equipment when serving customers. Driver examiners will also be equipped with face shields, sanitizer packages and seat covers when conducting road tests.

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Life gets a little more pleasant and bearable - the suds will flow on Friday. City is still at Level 3 of the Emergency rules.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 17th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The city will begin to open up later this week – people will be getting out and experiencing a much different dining experience.

The Gazette will have photographers out documenting how the city responds and behaves.

Brant street getting ready

Queen’s Head setting up for Sound of Music in better days. Will we see this on Friday?

Will there be lineups next to the pop up stands – How many patio places are there going to be?

The city is currently at a Level 3 under the provincial emergency legislation. City manager Tim Commisso reports that the city declared a level 2 on March 12th and moved to a level 3 five days later.

He said earlier today that the Emergency Coordination Group reviewed the criteria and said “we still meet the criteria for level 3 so no change.

The documentation and legislation, including the regulations amounts to a decent sized book. Commisso did say that he hasn’t read every page but is “generally aware of the policy” adding that he has “the benefit of having Amber Ruston advise me as our Emergency Manager – she is an expert staff resource in all things related to provincial and emergency municipal management.

So – we are still at level 3 but we can get out for a meal – with wonderful weather seats at Emma’s Back Porch and Spencer’s overlooking the lake will be at a premium.

There will be some pretty tight rules to be followed – follow them – they are in place for our benefit. When you come across an establishment that isn’t following – remind the operators that the rules are in place for a reason – your health.

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One Burlington supports Black Lives Matter

News 100 redBy Staff

June 17th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

One Burlington, the multi-cultural organization that holds a not to be missed event in the summer (it will not take place this year) released a statement earlier today supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.

Let us hope that their involvement goes beyond a Statement.

One Burlington statement.

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Soar by Hooman Mehdizadehjafari selected for the City View Park public art commission

artsorange 100x100By Staff

June 16th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Mehdizadehjafari’s artwork, Soar will be installed in front of the new pavilion being constructed at City View Park.

A Request for Expressions of Interest was released in October 2019. Over 50 artists’ submissions were received and reviewed by a community jury made up of residents, local artists and project stakeholders.

Soar - art work city view park

Mehdizadehjafari’s artwork, Soar will be installed in front of the new pavilion being constructed at City View Park.

The jury selected three finalists to develop preliminary artwork concepts.

These three submissions were shown to residents for feedback on Get Involved Burlington and at two in-person displays at Brant Hills Community Centre and Burlington Public Library – Central Branch. More than 400 comments were received. Public feedback and the artist’s technical proposal were factored into the jury’s final scoring and decision.

City View Park Project
The council approved City View Park Master Plan is being implemented through several phases. To date, three artificial turf fields, creative playground, parking, pond/wetland, trails, natural restoration and a park maintenance facility have been added. The next phase for a pavilion is currently out for construction tender with that work scheduled to start in September 2020. The artwork will complement the park building.

Artwork Location
The artwork will be in a large naturalized area in front of the pavilion. This area will link together pathways from the future parking lot to the front entrance of the pavilion and a central roadway. The artwork will be viewable from inside the pavilion’s main lobby through large glass walls looking out.

Soar artist City View park

Hooman Mehdizadehjafari,, an Iranian-Canadian artist with an impressive body of work.

Artist Statement
Inspired by the oldest living creature in Eastern North America, the public art design Soar inherited its form from the Eastern White Cedar.

The 17-foot-tall metal sculpture reflects the rich natural heritage of the region, in particular the Niagara Escarpment.

The diversity of materials used creates a beautiful play of colours that can often be seen in nature and alludes to the diverse and united community of Burlington. Soar is a reflective mirror of the rich natural heritage of the site and celebrates the gracious and honourable ambition of appreciating and protecting the environment and ensuring its passing on to future generations.

The applied words THROUGH – NATURE – WITH – LOVE – WE – THRIVE in Soar, create an infinite circulation that reflects the ultimate message of this piece: by loving our nature, valuing and protecting it, we may grow and thrive within it peacefully.

Artist Biography
Hooman Mehdizadehjafari, creator of Hoomanart is an award-winning Iranian-Canadian visual artist and designer based in Vancouver, Canada. He was born in 1985 in Kerman, Iran and graduated from the Tehran University of Art with a Master’s in Sculpture and Painting.
https://www.hoomanart.com/about

 

 

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Gateway Casinos Slowed Down by the Pandemic

eventspink 100x100By George Keburia

June 16th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

The coronavirus pandemic reached Canada quite some time ago, resulting in thousands of deaths.

Despite the timely measures and restrictions that were introduced by the province, the deadly virus still managed to spread all across Canada. Moreover, the nation’s biggest trade partner and neighbor the United States remains the most severely affected country in the world as the number of total coronavirus infections exceeds a thumping 2 million mark.

US border closed PAID

Travel into the United States has been suspended for all except vital transportation of goods.

When talking about the impact of the global pandemic on Canada, there are many factors that should be considered. Except for the internal issues that have emerged after the lockdown, the closure of the US/Canada border has also resulted in devastating consequences for Canadian businesses. Many gambling venues along the border were highly dependent on American visitors that would visit over the weekend and spend considerable sums of money. Yet, for almost three months now, these venues have not been able to accept even the local customers.

In mid-march, the government of Canada led by the prime minister Justin Trudeau announced that due to the global pandemic, all enclosed entertainment venues would have to shut down indefinitely. This changed the country drastically over the past two and a half months. The list of affected businesses included casinos, restaurants, bars, and entertainment centers. The gambling venues ended up being one of the hardest-hit businesses in the industry. Unlike restaurants, casinos can’t deliver orders and offer takeaways.

Yet, the vast majority of gambling businesses saw an alternative in moving onto the internet. The list covered all types of venues and as of now, the number of VIP online casinos in Canada is simply tremendous. This way, venues that previously hosted thousands of visitors per day can offer similar services to those loyal customers online. Obviously, this does not tackle the problem at a large scale but most certainly helps businesses survive throughout this turbulent period.

Despite the fact that many gambling businesses found the idea of online casinos helpful, there are still some major operators that simply can not substitute huge revenues with just a mere fraction of it. Such companies had to abandon not only their active venues but also major projects underway in different parts of the country. Gateway Casinos and Entertainment is one of such businesses that now faces lots of obstacles on the way of getting back up and running.

Gateway Casinos and Entertainment evaluating the current state of legislation in Ontario amid the pandemic

‘Gateway Casinos and Entertainment’ is one of the leading operators in the industry across Canada. It owns venues all across the nation and employs hundreds of people. Overlooking the operation of this scale, the company became one of the hardest-hit businesses over the past few months. From mid-march, Gateway casinos and entertainment along with others nationwide had to take its operations to a complete standstill. The company is still unable to operate amid the ongoing restrictions.

Gateway North Bay PAID

COVID 19 put the construction of the North Bay Casino on hold

The government of Ontario has recently talked about the potential of re-opening businesses, including those that fall under the entertainment umbrella. This could mean opening up the Gateway casinos and entertainment to the public. However, there is another crucial part that comes with the process of lifting regulations. The company has its ongoing construction project in North Bay. The government has already given a green light for construction work to recommence. Yet, the company seems to be careful about spending with no  casinos open at the moment.

Gateway is now trying its best to reopen its casino businesses. Without the venues up and running, it will likely have trouble financing major construction works in North Bay and beyond. Despite the government’s remarks about the possible opening of certain entertainment businesses, there are still no specific guidelines or time frames about the future of the business.

Casinos will have to adjust to the current state
Sooner or later casinos along with other entertainment venues will open to the public. This day will likely come sooner than we think but the cost of this process might be overwhelming for many businesses. With social distancing being the only effective tool for us to curb the spread of the COVID-19, everything inside of venues will have to adjust to the new reality. This will mean fewer seats and slot machines while customers will have to constantly keep the safe distance.

Gateway Sudbury PAID

Patrons at the Sudbury Gateway Casino where the delight in plying the slots is evident.

The Sudbury casino by Gateway has 70 active employees that are ready to get back to work. However, as the capacity of venues will be significantly reduced, the likelihood of them all coming back is very low. There will most certainly be some spending cuts which might result in the reduction of the staff.

Without any specific guidelines or frameworks for how casinos should operate under unprecedented circumstances, the Casino Rama Resort by Gateway in Orilla is reportedly preparing to open. The Gateway representatives say that they are cooperating with the government of Ontario regarding specific venues that could potentially open first in the row.

Many ideas are being considered about how Gateway could get back to doing business actively. There were plans to expand the floor space and add a separate smoking room for the customers. Yet, the idea was scrapped as it potentially stood as a great health risk for employees.

With the total coronavirus infection number globally exceeding 7 million, many new innovative frameworks are introduced for venues to operate safely. Hopefully, Gateway will be one of such innovators in the field.

George Keburia is a commentator on the entertainment sector in Canada

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There will be a Parks and Recreation program - rules are not yet known.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

June 12th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

There will be something in the way of a summer program if and when the province decides to let Burlington move to Stage 2 of the re-opening of the province.

Kids in splash pad

Splash pads will be open.

Splash pads will open – not all of them.

Mountainside - ice rink with chnage rooms BEST

Some rinks will be open – Appleby and Aldershot will not be opened – nor will Skyway

Some of the ice rinks will be open but only for groups that have the permission of their Sports organization. The one expected to make the most use is the figure skating people.

The Parks and Recreation people need to be assured that there will be at least 40 hours of ice time rented, preferably 60 before they begin to make ice – a process that will take two weeks.

Nelson swimming pool

Outdoor pools will be open

Outdoor pools will be opened – subject to whatever the province puts in place in terms of rules and approval from the Regional Public Health Unit.

Mayor Meed Ward said she would like to see at least one indoor pool made available.

There will be something in the way of a Summer Camp program – here as well – the city is waiting for the rules.

How many children can there be in any one camp; where will the camps be held. At this point the Standing Committee that met virtually on Thursday has more questions than answers.

It did give the Parks and Recreation people an additional $300,000 to spend – that was on top of the $500,000 that was already in the budget.

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Kelley's Bake Shop to be the focus of a BLM protest on Saturday

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 11th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

This was just not Kelly Childs week and it doesn’t look as if it is going to get any better.

A couple of days of serious critical comment on how the Kelly’s Bake Shop reacted to the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement that exists in Burlington and the demonstration they held recently has resulted in a demonstration in Civic Square on Saturday from 4:00 to 7:00 pm

protest posterThe lead up to this can be understood in the back and forth on Instagram and Facebook.

Pretty ugly

blm pieceSeen as a superb marketer Keely Childs may have come against an issue she cannot skate around.

Kelly statementSocial media reaction to her reported views on the Black Lives Matter movement have been vicious.

Try as she might, it doesn’t appear that Ms Childs has been able to come up with a response that will satisfy the BLM people

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