30 get nominated as Burlington's BEST - eight will be named on May 9th at Performing Arts Centre

News 100 yellowBy Staff

April 4th, 2018



This year, the Burlington’s Best Committee received 30 nominations in eight categories, besting the total number of nominees from last year.

BEST logoNominations were accepted Jan. 2, 2018 through Mar. 7, 2018.

Burlington’s Best Awards is an awards program that honours Burlington’s most outstanding citizens. The winners in all categories will be revealed at a gala celebration on Wednesday, May 9, 2018 at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre.

Tickets to this event are $35 per person. A dessert reception will follow the awards ceremony. Tickets can be purchased at the Service Burlington counter at City Hall, 426 Brant St., or by contacting Wanda Tolone at 905-335-7600, ext. 7458 or wanda.tolone@burlington.ca.

One winner will be selected in each of the eight award categories. This year’s nominees are:

Citizen of the Year
• Osob Adus
• Jason Stajan

Junior Person of the Year
• Kathleen Burgess
• Carter Creechan
• Chloe DeMers
• Aleksandra Srbovska
• Addison Wood

Senior Person of the Year
• Jennifer Earle
• Frank Miele
• Mae Redford
• Paul Tomlinson

Environmental Award
• Gloria Reid

Arts Person of the Year Award
• Teresa Seaton
• Jonathan Smith

Community Service Award
• Carol Baldwin
• Elizabeth Barrowcliffe
• Laura Clark
• Julie Cordasco
• Yanet DeLeon
• Louise Donnelly
• Knights of Columbus
• Kim Moss
• Rory Nisan
• Tracey Oborne King
• Belinda Roberts
• Jill Stickney

BEST awardHeritage Award
• Louise Cooke
• Friends of Freeman Station

Accessibility Award
• John Krasevec
• Bill Murray

For more information, visit www.burlington.ca/best.




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Live Chamber Music Series doing a gig in Hamilton April 14th.

eventsblue 100x100By Staff

April 3rd, 2018



They are Burlington musicians doing a gig in Hamilton April 14th.

Live hi rezLive Chamber Music Series will be holding their second concert of the season featuring Andrea Battista on Violin, Phillip Corke on Guitar and Irish Bouzouki, Karen Gross on Mezzo Soprano

Trio Sorbetto: Cristina Sewerin on Oboe, Elizabeth Day on Clarinet and Larkin Hinder on Bassoon will be part of the performance.

The concert is  presenting three 17th century composers, one from each of Scotland, England and Ireland.

Philip Corke arranged the music; Karen Gross is doing a great job of interpreting them.The words of some of the songs are very timely and the music is charming.

Hamilton Mennonite Church, Saturday April 14th, 2018

143 Lower Horning Road

Tickets: Adults: $20; Seniors/Students $15

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Google could have everything you ever said on a cell phone, could have everything you ever wrote and where you travelled. It is not easy to keep their nose out of your business.

News 100 redBy Staff

March 31st, 2018



The headline read: Want to know everything Google knows about you?

It was part of a Saturday morning CBC radio program Day 6. Incredible, frightful and not really a damn thing you can do about it.

They know it all – and they will sell it to anyone who will pay the price. That includes political organizations; national brand advertisers and literally every police or security authority out there.

We have set out a transcription of the conversation that is to be broadcast.

Day 6 GoogleIt is between Ireland-based data consultant and web developer Dylan Curran  and Day 6 host Brent Bambury, who is interviewing Curran, who explains,  step by step, how anyone can check what information Google has on them — from where they’ve travelled to their political views and even which stickers they’ve used online.

The broadcast of course doesn’t have any visuals.  Those can be seen at this link:

You can follow Curran on Twitter at: @iamdylancurran

It’s no secret that Facebook and Google collect data from people who use their services. But Curran was shocked by just how much he found about himself on Google.

He talks with Day 6 host Brent Bambury about why companies like Google store so much personal data, and what it could mean for the future.

CBC Day 6 with BrentBrent Bambury: What prompted you to look into how much data Google has collected about you?

Dylan Curran:I was on Twitter one Saturday, a little bit hungover — I have a life — and this person had essentially posted a thread, which was very similar to mine, but all they were going through was the Facebook data rather than the Google data as well. They showed that Facebook was storing your phone text messages or phone call records, and these collections are external to Facebook so they were storing things that they didn’t need to store. And then after seeing that, and seeing the shock that so many people were experiencing, I decided to go in and do a little bit of investigation myself and compile it into something that people could easily read.

Brent Bambury So what other types of information were you able to find out had been collected about you online?

Dylan Curran:  Oh God, so much. Number one was that they were storing Google incognito history. So if you were using private browsing, where they don’t track your data, they did actually store it. So, say your wife wouldn’t be able to see what you are doing in Google incognito, but Google will. And number two, they were mapping out your location every time you turned on your phone. So if your location setting is turned on, Google will log your location every time you turn on your phone. They store that and then they’ll basically put it into a big database and you can go onto maps.google.com/timeline and see where you’ve been for the last four or five years.

Brent Bambury At the end of six hours how many gigs of information did you have that Google had on you?

Dylan Curran

Dylan Curran: We don’t have the lady’s name.

Dylan Curran: Facebook has 600 megabytes and Google had 5.5 gigabytes — which, for context, is about three million more documents.

Brent Bambury Now, if Google is storing that amount of data for every person who uses a Google product or a Google app, that’s a lot of raw data. How is it all stored?

Dylan Curran:  I did an estimation where around 2.2 billion people — 70 per cent of the internet— use Google, and this is conjecture, but I would say [they are storing] on average maybe one gigabyte per person. So if they have 2.2 billion gigabytes, that’s 2.2 exabytes. That’s three per cent of the world’s online storage.

Just try and keep in mind that everything you do online does leave a footprint and it will be kept forever.

Brent Bambury  How much does it cost to store three per cent of the world’s online information?

Dylan Curran: Because of economies of scale, it’s quite easy for them to store. Google makes on average $12 per person for their information, and the cost of storing it, I would say, is less than a fraction of a cent.

Brent Bambury  You said that Google’s making $12 per person through our data. How did they monetize it into a profit?

Dylan Curran:  What they essentially do is they take your information and then they build an advertising profile based on you. Advertisers pay to use that advertising profile to target you with the products and services that they want to sell you.

Brent Bambury People were shocked by the amount of information that you uncovered that Google had on you. What are the implications of all of this, of these private companies having so much data about so many people?

Dylan Curran: My problem really is that we don’t know the implications. So I have no doubt that Google, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter, etc., aren’t doing anything too nefarious with the data. I don’t think that’s what’s happening. It’s just that they are cataloguing all of this information. So if Google has information on a third of the population on the planet, down to everything they’ve done for the last 10 years, that does have a lot of negative connotations for the future. Especially in an ever-changing world. I do strongly believe that it’s safer just to not have that kind of potential bomb available. I think it can be a little less extensive.

Brent Bambury:  But there doesn’t seem to be a clear way of opting out. I mean, even if people change their privacy settings, is there any way of escaping having your data collected by Facebook or Google?

Dylan Curran: No, that’s the thing. These are free services, and I don’t have any problem morally or ethically with them collecting information in return for using the service. They’re companies and they’re trying to make money. What the issue is, really, is that they’re just collecting too much. They’re going too far.

What people can do is just be a little bit careful online. I’m not suggesting to delete Facebook or delete Google or anything like that. Just try and keep in mind that everything you do online does leave a footprint and it will be kept forever.

CBC radioThe transcript has a note saying: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

The full Day 6 broadcast can be heard on CBC Saturday morning at 10 am and then found on the CBC archives.



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Gazette has been around for seven years - started out as Our Burlington - When do people read the Gazette?

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

March 29th, 2018



The Gazette is now in its seventh year of publication.

We first hit the streets, via the Internet, in October of 2010 – that was an election year.

For a short period of time we were known as Our Burlington – I didn’t choose the name.

The paper came out of a friendship with the late John Boich who was working with a number of people on creating a better way to deliver local news. In the early stages the people behind that initiative were thinking in terms of getting low frequency radio license – that wasn’t something I was interested in.

The Shape Burlington report had just been published – Boich and former Mayor Walter Mulkewich were the authors of hat report which, in part said:

Engagement: Transform the City Hall culture to promote active citizenship and civic engagement

Promoting active citizen engagement and meaningful public dialogue requires a culture shift at City Hall. A crucial first step is the development an Engagement Charter – a plain language policy document developed with public involvement that incorporates benchmarks and accountabilities, and describes the value, purpose and opportunities for citizens to influence city policies.

The charter would explain how to navigate City Hall and its services. It should stipulate best practices for various kinds of public consultation and affirm the city’s commitment to inform citizens and respond to their ideas and contributions. t would address the question of reaching out to a diverse population.

The charter would incorporate an early notification system to provide citizens and groups information about meetings, events and issues, and to allow reasonable amounts of time to understand, discuss and develop positions before decisions are made.

I managed to convince Boich that a newspaper on line was the route to go – the Executive Director of the non-profit he had set up wasn’t a newspaper person. Boich asked me if I would put together a business plan –

I did – and he said – great – make it happen.

And that was how Our Burlington came to be.

I soon realized that “Our Burlington” was not a fit name for a newspaper and chose the name Gazette for two reasons: Burlington once had a print newspaper called the Gazette and the first photograph I had published as a boy 12 was on the front page of the Montreal Gazette – I also delivered that newspaper as a boy.

When I started the Burlington Gazette I was pretty sure the editorial model I had in mind would work – but it needed to be tried to be certain. The model works.

We have had our ups and downs but the readership growth has been consistent; not massive but consistently incremental.

So who reads the Gazette?

As many readers know we are in the midst of running a readership survey. The practice going forward will be to do a new survey every month – shorter next time; three maybe four questions.

Here is what we can tell you about when the Gazette is read:

Gazette readers story

Just over 40% of our readers are daily readers. We notice that during the winter a decent number of “snowbirders” read us from the United States – we don’t know which state they are reading from – just US of A.

There is more in the way of readership from Hamilton and Toronto than we expected.

survey04The data show in the graph above is “raw” in that we don’t tell you which ward those readers live in.  we will include that data in the full report which we will publish when the survey is  closed.  We wanted the survey open for at least 15 days.  The Sunday readership is always quite high and we want to keep it open beyond the Easter holiday.


Related news stories:

The Shape Report

The city’s Community Engagement Charter

Why the Gazette?

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Bye Bye Birdie will be the Koogle Theatre summer production - audition/workshop to take place in May.

News 100 redBy Staff

March 28th, 2018



Koogle Theatre has been putting on superb theatrical productions in Burlington for at least five years.

Each summer they do a production that invites young people to a workshop where they can get a sense of what they have in the way of talent and how they might fit into a planned production of Bye Bye Birdie

Bye Bye Birdie logoThe workshop/auditions take place from 9:00 am-12:00 pm for Ages 8-12 and from 1:00 pm-4:00 pm for Ages 13-18 – both on Saturday May 26, 2018

There is a workshop/audition fee of $25 before May 1, $30 as of May 1

Audition Workshops are for the Koogle two week Youth Musical Theatre Summer Intensive that will run during July of this year.

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More than 900 students from across the Region take part in a two day Band Extravaganza.

eventsred 100x100By Staff

March 28th, 2018



Two solid days of students and their instruments learning a new piece of music and then coming together as a massed band to perform what they have learned.

The event is part of what the Halton District School Board calls a Band Extravaganza taking place in Burlington Tuesday and Wednesday.

Girl with trombone

The students paid close attention tot he instructions they were being given.

Listening to the students as they warm up with their instruments and get instructions on instrument specific clinics from instructors that were donated by Long and McQuade.

Girl with base sax

There was this beautiful deep sound that just enveloped the room. Then the other instruments joined in.

Being in a room with 15 to 40 students who are being directed by an experienced musician learning to get the best sound possible from the instrument is quite an experience. The rooms were on the small side where the sound bounced off the walls.

Boys with clarinets

Boys being boys – talking up what they were being taught?

Students start each day with a concert by the Halton Junior Jazz Band. Afterwards, students go to breakout clinics specific to their instrument. Later they convene for a massed band rehearsal, with guest conductors on both days.

Getting the instrument ready

Concentration and getting it just right.

The board has commissioned two original concert band compositions for the event: The Call to Adventure by composer David Marlatt, and The Conquest by Ryan Meeboer, a teacher at Alexander’s Public School in Burlington.

The pieces will be directed by the composers and played for the first time by Halton students.

Rebecca MacRae, the board’s instructional program leader (the arts, K-12) is overseeing the event.

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Hilda's Yard - the kids come back - 0n at Theatre Burlington in April

eventsblue 100x100By Staff

March 25, 2017



It is being billed as another “crowd pleaser”: A comedic look into the realities of family life. The play, written by Norm Foster, will be directed by Maureen Dwyer and produced by Penny Oliver.

Theatre Burlington poster March 2018Foster portrays a couple in their golden age, living in the late 50’s, enjoying life after their children have left home. Their idyllic future plans are cut short as a chain of events brings each one of the children ‘hopping the fence’ into Hilda’s yard and are suddenly back home for unexpected and extended stays.

When Gary suddenly appears he is on the run from a couple of thugs for ‘stiffing’ their boss.

Then “Janey” shows up too after leaving her husband. The generation gap between the parents and the children is large and what seems far out to the parents seem quite reasonable to the newer generation and the freedoms that came with this new era.

As is often the case, the mother is the glue that holds it all together, as a housewife she learned to think out of the box and though father believes he knows best, she is the one that ties it all together bridging the generations.

Foster’s incredible wit and insight make dealing with uncomfortable subjects, something that can still be laughed at. Shows like this help us realize that we need to take life a little less seriously.

Running April 13-14; 20-21; and 26-27-28.

Curtain 8:00 PM

Tickets: Adult: $25; Students: $15; Seniors $22 at the Box office 905-639-7700 or visit www.theatreburlington.on.ca

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Afternoon tea at the AGB this afternoon

eventspink 100x100By Staff

March 25th, 2018


Little did we know.

Our original headline on this story read: High tea at the AGB this afternoon.

We got our ears boxed when the CFUW advised us that – Please note that the phrase “high tea” refers to the evening meal of the working classes in Britton, sometimes even just referred to as “tea”. What University Women are holding is “afternoon tea”.  The correct spelling for Britain is <

The Canadian Federation of University Women is holding a 40th anniversary March Hare fund raiser this afternoon at the Art Gallery from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

The CFUW is an organization that is dedicated to fellowship, advocacy and education. They have in the past sponsored debates during election campaigns and have a scholarship program.

March Hare

2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Art Gallery of Ontario 1333 Lakeshore Rd. Burlington ON

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Construction of a transformed Brant Museum is well underway; public acceptance of the project now has to catch up.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

March 24th, 2018



The transformation of the Joseph Brant Museum is well under way.


Architectural rendering of what the new home for the Joseph Brant Museum will look like when it is completed – scheduled for late 2019 – weather permitting.

Brant house on blcks Mar 2018The replica of the house Joseph Brant built now sits on steel beams and pushed closer to North Shore Blvd, where it will remain until the new part of the museum is built.

In an ongoing survey we asked our readers what they thought of the decision to transform the existing museum into something that 3 times bigger; it will have 17,000 sq ft of exhibition space.

The public will not be able to tour the actual house – that is to be used for administration purposes.

Few realized it at the the time but the day of the ground breaking ceremony was the last time the public was going to be in the building.  At least it was packed that day.

brant museum survey - partial

The readership survey has been running for less than a week This is what some of the Gazette readers responded to the question: The decision has been made to transform and significantly enlarge the Joseph Brant Museum. Was this a good idea?

City council vote to proceed with the project was not unanimous.  Councillors Jack Dennison and Marianne Meed Ward were not onside for this nor was Councillor John Taylor all that enthusiastic about the plans that were put forward.

The original house was the building Joseph Brant died in – the structure on the site is a 1937 replica of the house Mohawk native Joseph Brant, Thayendanegea, built on a 1798 Crown land grant.

A man named Thomas B. McQuesten was a province of Ontario Minister who was responsible for the early version of what is now the QEW.  He is said to have used highway building funds to pay for the construction of the replica.  The original had been destroyed by fire.

The total project amount is approved at about $11 million, which includes a contingency fund and allows for cost increases due to a winter construction period. Funding includes:


Grass dancer

An indigenous dancer performs during the ground breaking for a transformed Joseph Brant Museum. Few new at the time that it was the last day the public would actually be in the house part of the museum.

$3.4 million from the City of Burlington

$4.7 million from the Government of Canada

$1.5 million from the Province of Ontario

$2.5 million from the Joseph Brant Museum Foundation

The land the Museum sits on was owned by a Trust that was part of the hospital land holdings.  The Museum was moved several decades ago when the hospital underwent an expansion.

A transformed Museum is being built – the public now needs to get behind the idea and ensure that there are high quality programs and that the Museum is professionally run.



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Sound of Music adds performances to their Kick Off program - a hotel package is now available.

eventspink 100x100By Staff

March 23, 2018



Sound of Music Festival has added performances to their Saturday, June 9th Kick Off concert.

Sublime with Rome, Simple Plan, and Eve 6 will be joining The All-American Rejects and Everclear!

The Kick Off is a two day series with gates opening at 1:00 pm – show ending at 11:00 pm on Saturday and 9:30 pm on Sunday.

That red light was a sign - Sound of Music didn't get the $37,000 they felt they needed as fall back money if the weather turned on them and events had to be cancelled. Note that the pier in this 2011 picture isn't visible because there was nothing to see. The city plans on offocially opening the pier during the Sound of Music festival this summer. SOM should charge the city a fee for horming in on theior event.

The warmer weather can’t be too far away if Sound of Music is telling us about their program

Tickets for Saturday are $65, tickets for Sunday are $55 and the 2 Day Pass is $110 + fees/tax. Prices will go up. VIP and FrontRow upgrades will be available mid-April.

The free Father’s Day weekend concert lineup for June 14 – 17 will be announced on April 25, 2018.survey04

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Gazette doing a poll of our readers - where do you live and what do you think?

News 100 redBy Staff

March 23, 2018



Gazette logo Black and red

The Gazette has been publishing since September of 2010

Every publisher wants to know – who reads what we write; where do they live, what do they like and what do we know about the demographics of our readers.

We have done readership surveys in the past: there were some surprises. We found that the readership was spread pretty even across the city – except for ward 6.

When the survey was being done the issue of the Air Park and the tonnes of land fill being dumped on the property without the proper papers – at least the ones city hall felt the property owner should have obtained – was a major story. The stories got significant readership in the other five wards – but was much lower than we expected in ward 6.

Air Park - trucks lined up

Tonnes of landfill from locations that were never entirely clear was dumped on the Air Park property. It took more than one court case to resolve that issue.

The current survey has been running for just a few days – far too early to tell us very much – but there are trends and in the public opinion polling business it doesn’t take thousands of responses to see a trend.

museum views - survey

The decision has been made to transform and significantly enlarge the Joseph Brant Museum. Was this a good idea?

While the views on the overhaul being done to the Joseph Brant Museum are far from valid – here is what we halve at this point.

We are going to run the survey for a couple of week.

You can only do the survey once. If you try to do it twice the software tells you that the survey has already been done.

survey04Privacy is a big big issue these days.

All we get to know about you personally is your gender, the ward you live in.

We will publish an in depth article when they survey is closed.

Click on the box to the right – take part and tell us what you think.

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City services during the Easter weekend - good luck on figuring out what is open and what isn't open at community centres.

News 100 blueBy Staff

March 22, 2018



Easter weekend

City hall will be closed Friday, March 30 and Monday, April 2, 2018 for Easter weekend.

Burlington Transit and Handi-Van


Burlington Transit will operate a holiday service.

On Friday, March 30, Burlington Transit will operate a holiday service and the downtown Transit Terminal and Handi-Van Dispatch will be closed. Regular service resumes Saturday, March 31. The administration offices are closed Friday, March 30 and will reopen Tuesday, April 3.

For real-time schedule information, please call 905-639-0550 or visit www.burlingtontransit.ca .

Roads, Parks and Forestry
Closed Friday, March 30 and Monday, April 2. Only winter control and emergency services will be provided.
Halton Court Services
Provincial Offences Courts in Milton and Burlington will be closed Friday, March 30 and Monday, April 2.

Free parking is available in the downtown core, on the street, municipal lots and the parking garage on weekends and holidays.

Parks and recreation: Hours vary for Parks and Recreation Programs and Facilities
Activities and customer service hours at city pools, arenas and community centres will vary over the holiday weekend. For program times, please visit burlington.ca/play. For customer service hours, please visit burlington.ca/servicehours.

Good luck on figuring out what is open and what isn’t – the web site information is very poorly organized.

Skating rink Discovery Landing

Skating rink on the Burlington Rotary Centennial Pond at Discovery Landing has officially closed.

However city hall continues to remind us that: Burlington is one of Canada’s best and most livable cities, a place where people, nature and business thrive.

The outdoor skating rink on the Burlington Rotary Centennial Pond at Discovery Landing has officially closed for the 2017-2018 season.

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Dancers will portray how we care for each other at the Art Gallery of Burlington.

eventspink 100x100By Pepper Parr

March 22nd, 2018



Think in terms of dance that is both fluid and dramatic that runs for more than an hour while you are expected to walk about the space to observe.  It is called installation art. Not sure what that is?

Spend some time at the Art Gallery of Burlington on Sunday April 8th, starting at 3:30 in the afternoon in the Lee Chin Gallery and learn more about it.

The performance runs for 70 minutes but you’re not expected to stand around for the full 70 minutes.

Peggy Baker, a dancer who has choreographed an event that is about how we care for each other will be performing with a group of dancers.

The event is a collaboration between the Performing Arts Centre and the Art Gallery of Burlington.

The rehearsals took place at the Performing Arts Centre where 16 local performers – community members, dancers, actors, yoga practitioners worked with Baker to refine the program that explores the nature of both giving and receiving care.

MOVE Peggy Baker

… the basic duality of caregiving – the giving and receiving of water.

While working in pairs, the performers will use one-of-a-kind pitchers and bowls – contributed by local ceramic artists – to represent the basic duality of care-giving – the giving and receiving of water. The audience is encouraged to move around the space and view the dance installation from all sides and differing perspectives.

This unique experience is a free event.


Peggy Baker, dancer, choreographer.

Peggy Baker, the dancer, choreographer that created this work describes it this way: “MOVE calls up a multitude of ancient and timeless images; earth being plowed, the molding of clay, the kneading of bread, a midwife at work, a storm gathering, the swell of an ocean, the movement of a glacier, the heaving of a continent, the passing of time…”

It is dance that is energetic and at the same time contemplative and quiet.

At The Art Gallery of Burlington, Sunday, April 8 at 3:30pm

This event is a partnership between the Burlington Performing Arts Centre and The Art Gallery of Burlington.

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Around the Bay Race is this Sunday - be prepared road and lane closures

eventsblue 100x100By Staff

March 21st, 2018



It is that annual run around the Bay that has been taking place longer than the Boston Marathon. It draws thousands of people and closes roads all over the place.


It is a big crowd for the oldest road race run in North America.

The Around the Bay Road Race takes place on Sunday March 25, 2018 and will result in road and lane closures between 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

• QEW Toronto-bound exit ramp to North Shore Boulevard East. Detour via Fairview Street

• North Shore Boulevard East, Niagara-bound entry ramp to the QEW. Detour via Fairview Street
• Plains Road West at York Boulevard. Detour via Highway 6 and 403

Traffic Lane Closures, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

• Southbound lane of King Road from Plains Road East to North Shore Boulevard East. Local access only. Northbound traffic is not affected

• Eastbound lane of North Shore Boulevard East and North Shore Boulevard West from Plains Road West to QEW exit ramp west of Joseph Brant Hospital. Westbound lane open to westbound traffic only

• Eastbound curb lane of Plains Road West from York Boulevard to North Shore Boulevard West. Two-way traffic will be maintained

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Freeman station is now in the final stretch to having the station ready for the public.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parrsurvey01

March 19th, 2018



The most impressive community development event in the city has to have been the saving of the Freeman train station.

The 1906 era railway station that served Burlington for ages was due to become scrap until a dedicated group of citizens pleaded with city council to be given an opportunity to save the structure. The members of the current council, with two exceptions, didn’t make it easy.

We are asked if we have to always bring this up – and yes we do. Because the day that a ribbon is cut to celebrate an Official opening of the station to recognize the financial support the city finally gave the Friends of Freeman Station(FoF) – you can bet the farm that every member of Council will be in the photo op, including those that didn’t support the idea.

They had every reason to be smiling. Councillors Meed Ward and Lancaster pose with five members of the Friends of Freeman Station after the Council meeting that approved the entering into of a Joint Venture that would have the Friends moving the station and taking on the task of renovating the building.

They had every reason to be smiling. Councillors Meed Ward and Lancaster pose with five members of the Friends of Freeman Station after the Council meeting that approved the entering into of a Joint Venture that would have the Friends moving the station and taking on the task of renovating the building.

The people that deserve the credit are those that put in weekend after weekend painting, sanding, sawing and moving things around the station.

The Freeman Station now has a very extensive collection of artifacts – most from citizens who remember the occasions when they caught a train from that station that used to be on the CN line off Brant just north of Fairview. Of course Fairview hasn’t always been a Burlington Street.

Basement - towards the entrance - before diorama

The basement space will house a computer control system fora historic model railway. The interactive, museum-quality model railway diorama will depict life in the village of Freeman (now part of Burlington) in the early 1900’s.

The transformed Freeman Station is close to being completed – the final drive to finish the basement level that will have model railway that will replicate what Burlington looked like when the railway station was a major mode of transportation.

There is still some work to be done on the flooring and some display case issues that need to be worked out.

One of the bigger problems is where to put everything – there is far too much to put everything on display at the same time.

The focus – and the big push at this point – is to make the best of the offer the city made: Raise $50,000 and the city will match it dollar for dollar. .

The FoF have had much success selling Whinstones. About 100 are sold and there are about 100 more available.

About 80 of the Whinstones are reserved for soldiers whose names are written on the Burlington Cenotaph. We know many soldiers left from the Freeman Station to go to war and we want to remember them in granite as well.

The scope of the restoration work can be seen - lots of work to be done. willing hands ready to do it. Give the Friends of Freeman a call - they will keep you busy for the next while.

That pile of stones are a big part of the city’s history. They used to be used as ballast in ships that tied up at Burlington wharves. They are being sold as part of the fund raising program.

The fund raising committee wants to sell the remaining 100 Whinstones at $100 each that will generate $10,000 that will be matched by the city. Those who purchase a Whinstone also get a tax receipt for the full $100 amount for their 2018 tax year. Once we sell the last one later this year – the donor’s names will go on the north wall of the Station.

The FoF have received over $10,000 in donations since January 1, 2018. That $200,000 target is very real – so there is a lot of work to do.

A Spaghetti Dinner night is an idea that is being thought about. One of the biggest problems on the fund raising side is getting people to take on the organizing of these events. The FoF volunteers tend to be people who are good at woodworking and refurbishing stuff. They need help on event management.

There are about 3 T-shirts in Blue size XL for $25 each and a dozen mugs at $40 each which includes a mug (with a picture of the Station on it) +$10 Tim Card (with a picture of the Station on it) plus a 1 year membership card (with a picture of the Station on it).

This is a project that has brought out the best in the city. They need a bit of a boost to get over this last hump.

Freeman station Sept 18-17

The Freeman Station just before sunset.

What happens when the work is done and the station is ready for the public on a regular basis? What will the hours be? What will the station need in terms of staffing? The building belongs to the city even though the volunteers have made it as valuable as it is.

Could – should the Freeman station become part of the Museums of Burlington operation?

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Seniors will get to hear students doing a Band Extravaganza

News 100 yellowBy Staff

March 19th, 2018



Approximately 900 Halton District School Board Grade 7 and 8 music students representing 24 elementary schools, will be convening for two special days of music collaboration, called Band Extravaganza on Tuesday, March 27 and Wednesday March 28, 2018.

Students playing instrumentsThe event will be held each day at the Burlington Music Centre (2311 New Street) and Burlington Seniors’ Centre (2285 New Street).

Students will start each day with a concert by the Halton Junior Jazz Band. Afterward, students will travel to breakout clinics specifically for their instrument and will later convene for a massed band rehearsal with guest conductors both days.

This should work out to be a great opportunity for the seniors.

This year, the Board has commissioned two original concert band compositions for this event: The Call to Adventure, by composer David Marlatt, and The Conquest by Ryan Meeboer, a teacher at Alexander’s Public School in Burlington.

These pieces will be directed by the composers and played for the first time by Halton students.

survey01“The students are looking forward to rehearsing and performing in this massed band as it is inspirational and grandiose,” said Rebecca MacRae, the Board’s Instructional Program Leader (The Arts, K-12). “Music performance is the major curriculum connection during Band Extravanagza, as the students learn and perform two brand new pieces in one day.”

Long and McQuade of Burlington is generously providing music equipment and clinicians. Halton Board music teachers will also be directing instrumental workshops with students.

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The Irish eyes were smiling in Lowville Saturday night

eventsblue 100x100By Pepper Parr

March 18th, 2018


Ruth Coverdale played drums and Joan Fox played the Guitar.

It was an Irish event without the Guinness.

A healthy little crowd gathered at the Lowville United Church for a Lowville Festival fundraiser that celebrated the Irish in the community.

Woman on guitar

Joan Fox played the Guitar.

The music was fine; they sang every Irish song you’ve ever heard and closed with wen Irish eyes are smiling, done by Rob Missen Loretta Baily and Bronwyn, the daughter of Minister Daryl Weber who wasn’t able to attend – flu.

Stuart Laughton, a musician who plays a number of instruments did a really cute little piece on what he called a tin whistle and then added a number of ballads that were very nicely done. Someone named George told stories which gave the evening a nice local feeling.

fat lady

Ruth Coverdale, marking up the music during the Irish eyes are smiling concert in Lowville. She played the drums

The music was the draw – the health of the community church is what people in the foyer wanted to talk about after the concert – the size of the congregation is the challenges they are facing.

Missen and Loretta

Bob Missen and Loretta Bailey doing Irish eyes are smiling – the closing piece for a really enjoyable community concert.

The pastor has what is known as a two point parish – he handled two churches. The Nelson United Congregation decided some time ago to sell their property and join the Tansley congregation which meant the cost of running the church fell on Lowville. It isn’t something they are going to be able to do for very long.

Like almost every church in Burlington, the congregation is made up of seniors’ who are looking for a way to keep their church alive. They are not without ideas but it is a serious challenge.

More on that story as it evolves.

Nisan at Lowville

Rory Nisan, a yet to be announced candidate for the Ward 3 seat at the Lowville United Church on Saturday.

Ward Councillor John Taylor didn’t make an appearance – the church is often ground zero for Taylor. Two of the numerous people who have their eye on the council seat Taylor has held for more than 20 years were in attendance, shaking hands and making themselves known.

Gareth in Lowville MArch

Gareth Williams, on the left attended the Irish eyes are Smiling concert at the Lowville United Church.

We got a good look at the campaigning skills of Rory Nisan and Gareth Williams; one of the two was much much better than the other.

There are three other people who are understood to be interested in the ward 3 council seat. It should prove to be a lively election in that ward.

During the chit chat with people after the concert it became clear that the congregation doesn’t expect to see much support from the city even though they feel they deserve some help.

The good news announced that evening was the dates for the fourth annual Lowville Festival – June 8th to 10th – with two top name performers on the program.

Bob Missen who handles some of the talent was keeping the names close to his chest and has asked that we not announce who they are quite yet. Both will take the Festival one more step to becoming an event that people will plan to attend.

Leona Boyd was on the stage last year – the Festival organizers have improved on that; they expect to  announce the program for next June very soon.

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Teaching girls to become radiant during Spring Break; it worked!

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

March 17th, 2018



Planning for Spring Break – what are the options for parents?

Is it just part of the school year when parents have to find something else for the kids to do outside the classroom? Is it a time for a holiday break?

Time to go skiing or go south and frolic on a beach?

It can get expensive but households that have both parents working need to do something – the last thing a parent wants is to have kids wandering around aimlessly.

At some point someone or somebody is going to have to come up with programmes for parents of moderate means that keeps the kids out of trouble and harms way.

Gina Faubert is a “personal coach” who has a string of initials after her name that certifies her to work with people on their health and their life issues – and we all have those don’t we.

Donations and Nina

Some of the food donations in the background – the four girls raised $1500 in cash – the balance of the $5000 raised was in food and Cash Card donations.

Along with the career that includes a very robust coaching practice she has a sideline that is a special project for her; she calls it Radiant Girls where the focus is on working with girls on their leadership skills and their personal sense of self-worth.

After watching Faubert take four girls through the last day of a Spring Break session one comes away with the sense that this for her is a personal passion.  She lets the group set their own pace but is there to remind them of just what the objective is. The experience gained through the full time coaching practice is used to work with girls that are going to grow up in a world a lot different than their parents.

Preparing the LEGO path

Cashelmara in the background, Nina and Zoe prepare the LEGO for the traditional 23 foot walk that they stretched to 41 feet..

The March Break program this year started out with 11 students but got cut back to four with last minute decision changes. So, while the class was smaller – it was what it was supposed to be – an opportunity for a group of girls who didn’t know each other when the week started to set out with an objective and make it happen.

Sending the video to FAcebook

Nina, Dana Sperling and Gina Faubert setting up the cell phones to broadcast the LEGO walk live to a Facebook page.

Faubert describes the program as one where girls will develop self-love, self-expression and emotional intelligence skills. Girls will learn the importance of being brave and kind; discover the power of gratitude and the meaning of empathy. It is all this as well as a leadership camp designed to teach girls between 11-15 how to make a difference in their community which they do by designing and implementing a charity fundraiser for underprivileged youth in Burlington.

Walking the LEGO path

Nina and Hayley do the LEGO walk on the 41 foot pathway they laid out.

The program adds in a physical challenge – a 25 foot LEGO walk – yup – they set out 25 feet  (turned out to be 41 feet) of LEGO in a pathway which the walk over in the bare feet. It isn’t as painful as it sounds but these girls didn’t know that when they started.

The organization the fund raising was going to be done for was determined beforehand. What the girls had to do was design and then execute the program.

Funds were going to be raised for the community homes unit of the ROCK – the Reach Out Centre for Kids. The group getting whatever was raised was the EarlyON Program.

The girls first had to learn about who they were raising funds for and then figure out how they were going to do it.  These were girls who had no idea that there were people who weren’t as fortunate as they were. Food challenged households were just not a part of the world they lived in.

The four girls did a remarkable job of raising $5000 in cash, food donations and toys.  The manager of the Michael’s No Frills on Guelph south of Dundas made a donation and added to that the donation of a $100 Cash Card every month for the balance of the year.

They did this by cold calling on people and making phone calls asking for donations. This too was not the world they lived in day to day.


When everyone had done the 41 foot LEGO walk there is a celebration: Nina, Gina and Hayley share high fives.

All they had was the five days to get to know each other, make the accommodation and adjustments for the different personalities and learn to work together. There were significant differences in where each girl was on in their physical and emotional development with one girl bringing significant learning ability issues to the group.

While our time with the group was limited – it wasn’t hard to see how they worked through the challenges with Faubert reminding them of what they had been taught earlier in the week.

We live in a world where #metoo and #timesup are part of the language we use. Faubert wants to ensure that these girls have a strong sense of who they are and that they have real potential and will never experience #metoo.

The week long session ended with the girls gathered around an outdoor fire to review what they had learned and enjoy some S’mores, a delicacy I had never heard of  –  chocolate melted on Graham crackers with marshmallows.  These were Halal marshmallows. We do live in changing times.


Thank you notes

Hayley writes out personal thank you notes to everyone who helped raise the finds for the EarlyON provincial program run by the ROCK people.

Did it work? Hard to say but the four girls that started the session on the Monday were different girls on the Friday. Besides doing something that made a difference for someone else they came away with skills they didn’t have when they started.

I wondered what the hashtag they create might be.

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Sound of Music announces Kick Off events - ticketed shows.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

March 16th, 2018



The Sound of Music Festival announced today that the “All-American Rejects” and “Everclear” will be playing the Saturday, June 9th Kick Off to Sound of Music Festival.

Sound of Music will get no sympathy from Alexandre Kubrak were she to be elected a Council member. She thinks the event should be looking for additional sponsors - she's not the only one with that thought.

Sound of Music – pulls more people into the city than any other annual event.

Kick Off weekend is a ticketed event that launches a week of free music on Burlington’s Waterfront. The concert offers a two day, one stage show with more bands to be announced in the coming weeks.

The Kick Off Concert will be held on Saturday, June 9th and Sunday, June 10th with gates opening at 1:00 pm on both days, show ending at 11:00 pm on Saturday and 9:30 pm on Sunday.

Tickets for Saturday are $65, tickets for Sunday are $55 and the 2 Day Pass is $110 + fees/tax, purchase at soundofmusic.ca now. Prices will go up.

All American rejects - singers

All-American Rejects

Since the start of their career, alt-rock/power pop titans The All-American Rejects have sold over 10 million albums worldwide and helped define a post-emo sound that was the soundtrack of a decade. With smash hits “Gives You Hell”, “Dirty Little Secret”, “Move Along”, “Swing, Swing” and “It Ends Tonight”, their songs have become an indelible slice of the era.

It’s been 20 years since Everclear released their 1997 multi-platinum smash So Much For The Afterglow, yet the album remains a beloved fan favorite, and continues to inspire new generations of musicians & fans today.

Everclear performing live at the Saban Theatre Los Angeles by Alex Huggan.

Everclear performing live at the Saban Theatre Los Angeles Photo by Alex Huggan.

The free Father’s Day Weekend concert lineup for June 14-17 will be announced April 25, 2018.

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Hayley Verrall plays Nashville - at the Blue Bird Cafe.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

March 12th, 2018


Hayley Verrall - standing with guitar

Hayley Verrall in Nashville at the Blue Bird Cafe tonight.

Burlington’s Hayley Verrall will be at the famous Bluebird Cafe in Nashville tonight singing a new song.

Hayley has been creating a career in music for the past five years, performing at small locales in the Region, getting out to clubs around the province. And now Nashville. Not as a headliner – not yet but the grit and determination needed to make it happen are both there.

And there is talent – take a listen to Hayley Verrall doing the Johnny Cash classic Ring of Fire.  A little less audience chatter would have been nice

Creating a brand and a profile as an entertainer is not easy. It takes years and years, a lot of travel and a lot of hard work – and some luck.

Being seen and heard is what it is all about.

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