Swan Supporters to have Input on LaSalle Marina Expansion; Marina doesn't mention any involvement in their media release. Trouble in paradise.

News 100 blueBy Staff

July 28, 2015


The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change announced last week they will not seek further environmental assessments at this stage for a controversial LaSalle Park Marina expansion proposal that includes building a permanent breakwall and doubling the marina’s boat capacity.

The report, released July 21, does not rule out potential harm to the recovering Trumpeter Swan population that overwinters in the area and imposes tighter protection measures for the project.

Trumpeter swan - wings wide

The Trumpeter Swan has always had a strong emotional tie to the public – they are beautiful birds.

Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Glen Murray required the City of Burlington and the LaSalle Park Marina Association (LPMA) to include Trumpeter Swan supporters in the design process if the project does go forward.

The advisory committee is proposed to include representatives from Conservation Halton, the Hamilton Conservation Authority, and the Trumpeter Swan Coalition, as well as representatives from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, the Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan Stakeholder Group, Environment Canada, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

The much-anticipated report is the response to calls for an advanced Part II Environmental Assessment that would have further examined the proposed breakwall’s impact on wildlife who call LaSalle home – including the Trumpeter Swans, a bird that had previously been completely wiped out in Ontario.

LaSalle Park MArina

Sun shining on boats at the LaSalle Marina

Three requests for deeper study were made in the summer of 2013 including submissions by Conservation Halton and the Trumpeter Swan Coalition, of which BurlingtonGreen is a member. The requests cited concerns for the Trumpeter Swans’ survival and numerous flaws and unanswered questions in the proposal’s initial environmental review.

Despite the Part II study denial, the Ministry decision orders the creation of a Stakeholder Advisory Committee that would include representatives from the environmental watchdogs who first raised the concerns.

The expansion initiative can only move forward with the committee’s participation in the creation of what the Minister called an Aquatic and Terrestrial Environmental Monitoring and Mitigation Plan to “address any potential impacts from the project on the aquatic environment and/or overwintering Trumpeter Swans in the vicinity.”

The imposed conditions do not exclude the possibility of denying further environmental approvals if the project does prove harmful to the swan population and their habitat. The committee’s involvement will be crucial in highlighting those potential issues and ensuring appropriate actions are taken.

BurlingtonGreen is pleased the Environmental Ministry is insisting on the inclusion of a Stakeholders Advisory Committee to provide input on habitat and wildlife protection and believe we are an important voice in that process.

However, some concerns remain about the effectiveness of even the best- intended mitigation efforts at the LaSalle site. As an organization, we are committed to protecting natural habitats.

Trumpeter Swans are native to North America and are the largest swans in the world. The birds were wiped out in Ontario in the late 1800’s; by 1935, there were only an estimated 69 Trumpeter Swans left in all of North America.

LaSalle Marina - baots lined up

The LaSalle members with their boats up on blocks.

In 1982, retired Ministry of Natural Resources biologist Harry Lumsden made it his mission to bring them back. After 30 years of efforts, there are close to 900 Trumpeter Swans in Ontario – roughly one quarter of the entire provincial flock calls LaSalle Park home.
The Trumpeters first chose LaSalle as their wintering grounds in 1993, making it an established habitat for more than 20 years. Habitat loss, especially of wintering areas, has a significant negative impact on recovery efforts

In kits media release the LaSalle Marina Association had the following to say:

“The Board of Directors of the LaSalle Park Marina Association are pleased to announce that the Hon Glen Murray, Minister of the Environment & Climate Change, after due and careful consideration of the City of Burlington’s LaSalle Park Marina Wavebreaker Environmental Assessment / Environmental Study Report (ESR) tabled July of 2013, has on Tuesday (July 21, 2015) made a decision with respect to the Study Report and the Part II Order Requests for an even more detailed Environmental Assessment.

LaSalle Park Marina Blue Flag ECO Award Flag Photo Floyd Doctor - June 6 2015

The LaSalle Park Marina is using its own environmental creds – they earned Blue Flag ECO Award. Sown is John Birch on the left of the flag along with Ward 1 Councillor Rick Craven and Floyd Doctor

“The Minister has signed off on the LaSalle Park Marina Wavebreaker Environmental Assessment / Environmental Study Report (ESR), declined the Part II Order Requests for a more extensive Environmental Assessment, and issued workable conditions which will allow the proposed project to move forward to the detailed construction level engineered design phase.

“As we go forward, LPMA is committed to working with agencies and stakeholders to ensure compliance with the Minister’s wishes in furtherance of the goal of a true Safe Harbour for Burlington, boaters, the community, fish, birds, wildlife and the environment.

“We thank the Minister for his learned decision, Eleanor McMahon MPP, Ward Councilor Rick Craven, the City of Burlington staff and council, the consultants, agencies and stakeholders involved as well as those who have expressed concerns.

“The proposed project will bring benefit to all. We are committed to following process.”

Trouble in paradise for sure.

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Brant Day at LaSalle Park will have a strong Americas theme this year and a tie in to the Pan Am Para Pan games plus an interesting Food Truck Rally.

Event 100By Staff

July 29th, 2015


Poor old Joseph Brant – at least he will be at the day we celebrate his name and what he did for the city in spirit. And there will be WORDS

This year, the Joseph Brant Day Festival is an official partner of the Toronto 2015 PanAm / Parapan Am Games and is taking on a significantly different tone.

It will be a lively day at LaSalle Park where events start at 11 am and run through to 5 pm.

The captivating Beshano Bike Trials will be featured Burlington Soccer Club field games and a slew of music, art and cultural performances of the “Americas” will be featured.

The day will have an Americas flavour to it recognizing the diversity that the PanAm games brought to the Region.

Beshano Bike Trials

The Beshano Bike Trials will be something to watch – expect crowds larger than those in this picture.

Beshano Bike Trials – 3 shows complete with incredible bicycle stuntmanship!

Musicians from the official band of the Toronto FC Major League Soccer accompanying dancers choreographed by the dance instructor and performer who opens the Mas Band launches for Carnival!

Saul Torres

Saúl Torres has emerged as one of the most singular talents of Spanish Rock on the continent, capable of seamlessly tying together Latin, Funk, Rock, and Flamenco!

Saúl Torres has emerged as one of the most singular talents of Spanish Rock on the continent, capable of seamlessly tying together Latin, Funk, Rock, and Flamenco!

Dan Secord native dancer in full dress

White Pine First Nations Drum and Dance participant Dan Secord.

White Pine First Nations Drum and Dance!

Dancescapes Studio with Salsa and Latin dance demonstrations and lessons!

ilaria-spada- Laura Spada

Laura Spada

Farrucas – a Latin Fusion Duo of Laura Spada and Jorge Cuama hailing from Ecuador!

Throughout the day the Children’s Area, Museum Educational Crafts & Activities, Giveaways, PanAm Sports Challenges, Games and Obstacles, Interactive participant events including: Crossfit Altitude, Oakville Fencing Academy, Burlington Youth Soccer Club, Monkeynastic Gymnastics, Bradbury, Splitsville Entertainment & Better State Crew! Splash Park for Kids available, Hands-on Activities, Artisans and Vendors, the Famous Brant Day Silent Auction will be part of an event filled day.

And this year the food offering will be going far beyond the traditional hot dogs and burgers. Sylvia Hentz, Special Events Programmer has arranged for a food truck rally with delicious offerings from gourmet food trucks!

Food truck LUCHADOR

Taste buds will be in for a real treat given the selection of Food Trucks that are being brought in for the Brant Day Festival at LaSalle Park

The rally includes

LUCHADOR – Mexican Fusion / International Cuisine
DOBRO JESTI – Slovenian / German-inspired Cuisine
NUDULZ – Italian Food
URBAN EXPRESS- North American & European-style Steakery
CAFE DU MONDE – French-Parisian & International Crepes
TROPICAL TEMPTATIONS –Premium drinks & desserts

Burlington’s taste buds are in for a treat.

Parking is always a challenge at LaSalle Park on Brant Day. Shuttle buses will be available to transport visitors from Aldershot GO Station once limited onsite parking at LaSalle Park is filled.

First shuttle bus run leaves the Aldershot Go Station at 10:00 a.m. Last bus will leave La Salle Park at 5:00 p.m.

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Gothic now includes Horned Curmudgens; they don't look the least bit scary - on display at the Art Gallery.

theartsBy Pepper Parr

July 27, 2015


Not sure what one does with a piece like this – it does have a character of its own doesn’t it.

AGB goes gothic

Christina MacEwan’s, Horned Curmudgen Jar, circa 1985

Christina MacEwan’s, Horned Curmudgen Jar, circa 1985 is part of an exhibit with the title Gothic, which opened late in June at the Art Gallery of Burlington.

The exhibit brings a new extension to the word Gothic. As times change, the meaning of our language changes with it.

AGB Monk

Janet MacPherson’s – Monk (2014)

Three artists – Christina MacEwen, Janet MacPherson, and Mary Philpott, all create work that could be described as ‘gothic’, but each has developed a unique style that has tapped into an original source.

Each has put their personal stamp on their inspiration. From sculpture, architecture and literature, these sources have each touched these artists’ visions.

Curated by Jonathan Smith, this AGB permanent collection exhibition will run from June 27, 2015 to September 6, 2015.

The Art Gallery of Burlington is located at 1333 Lakeshore Rd, Burlington, ON L7S 1A9 Gallery Hours:

Monday: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Tuesday – Thursday: 9:00 am – 10:00 pm Friday – Saturday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Sunday: 12 noon – 5:00 pm

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Burlington Transit asking its riders what they want – expect to see the words better service in many of the responses.

News 100 greenBy Staff

July 27, 2015


Burlington Transit is conducting ridership surveys on various bus routes, at the downtown transit terminal and online at www.burlingtontransit.ca to help develop new service standards.

“We are gathering information from our riders to determine what is important to them,” said Mike Spicer, director of Burlington Transit. “These findings will be part of a report presented to City Council later this fall to help shape the future of Burlington’s public transportation.”

Transit - breakouts - Youth

A transit users conference held in Burlington had everyone who cared about transit in the room – except anyone from Burlington Transit. Now they are holding surveys to find out what people want. Go figure!

On-route surveying has been completed on Routes 1, 2/3, 10/20 and 80/81.

Remaining on-route survey schedule

Tuesday, July 28, 4:40 to 6:45 p.m. – Route 15

Downtown Terminal schedule

July 27 to July 31, 7 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 5 p.m.

Online Survey

The online survey (click here) will be available until Aug. 10, 2015 at

Burlington has always been chintzy about transit;
intensification is going to add to traffic congestion;
transit is seen by the politicians as the answer.
Now they have to convince the public to use it.

While the city figures out what transit users want there is a Transportation Master Plan that is being created that makes it very, very clear that transit is going to play a very big part in how the city handles its intensification.

The Region of Halton is going to have to absorb a million additional residents – just how many of that million Burlington is going to have to take in has not yet been determined.

More people usually means more cars which in the past has been translated into more roads. But those days are over. Burlington cannot widen its roads nor can it afford to build any more roads and add to the traffic congestion we are already dealing with.

In the near future you will hear the words “complete streets” working its way into the language used by the planners – how the politicians get that message across to you will be something to watch.

The province has decided that it will try using tolls to change public behaviour on how they use the QEW. Burlington is going to make transit better and convince the public that transit is the more convenient way to get around town.

Smart Transit System has been in the works for
a couple of years.  Costing millions it will give transit
users up to date data on bus arrivals.

Burlington Transit will be launching a Smart Transit System (STS) in phases starting late Fall this year. The STS will improve how customers access transit information. Conventional transit users will be able to use an on-line trip planner which will provide detailed bus location information in real-time. As well, all bus stops are being replaced with new signs which will include information on the routes that service each stop and have a numerical code allowing passengers to access next bus arrivals in real-time through their mobile devices.

Transit wkshp = Edwardth = Mayor with cell

Mayor Goldring getting the hang of reading the bus schedule from his Smart Phone.

New electronic visual and audio displays will be installed on all buses to allow passengers to read and hear each bus stop location as it approaches.
Handi-Van passengers will no longer have to rely only on contacting dispatch during hours of operation to book their trips as they will have access to a new on-line feature and phone system allowing them to book and manage their trips 24/7. In addition, they will receive a programmed automatic call-out to let them know when their van is about to arrive.

Real-time bus data will also be available through the City’s Open Data feed allowing app developers to access this information.

Goldring selfy

The Mayor of the city took a “selfie” on one of the days he took the bus to work – it wasn’t one of his better moments – was it.

Of note is that Burlington Transit didn’t use the Insight Survey the city bought and paid a pretty penny for – which has all kinds of flexibility and allows for good follow up questions.  Transit is using the Survey Monkey service – the software that high school students use for their projects.

When the results are out we will have some idea as to how good the transit people are at asking questions and actually mining the data they collect.

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City looking for school crossing guards - high need in Orchard community and Pineland area.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

July 21, 2015


Burlington is now hiring school crossing guards for the upcoming 2015/2016 school year.

School crossing guardAreas of the city in the greatest need of crossing guards are the Orchard community and southeast Burlington, near Mohawk Public School and Pineland Public School.

“Burlington’s crossing guards play an integral role in our city, working tirelessly to keep our children and pedestrians safe,” said Scott Stewart, general manager of development and infrastructure. “We are looking for dedicated leaders to help fill this important role in the community.”

The city’s crossing guard program includes full training, a uniform and reimbursement of mileage. Applicants selected for interviews will be required to complete a police check. All successful applicants will be paid for two hours of work a day.

For more information on how to apply to be a crossing guard in Burlington, visit www.burlington.ca/crossingguard.

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Three Burlington entrepreneurs chosen to receive support for summer businesses

Private Sector  100By Staff

July 20, 2015


This summer, Halton Region is offering funding and mentor-ship to thirteen student entrepreneurs through the Summer Company program. A provincial entrepreneurship initiative, Summer Company helps youth between the ages of 15 and 29 run their own summer businesses. The competitive program is co-ordinated locally through the Halton Region Small Business Centre annually and participants are selected from across the region.

“Entrepreneurship encourages innovation, job creation and economic growth, which is a part of Halton Region’s four-year Strategic Action Plan,” said Regional Chair Gary Carr. “Supporting today’s youth with the tools and guidance they need to bring their business ideas to life will provide a strong economic future for the region.”

Madeline Webb

Madeline Webb, The Alternative Baker sells her gluten free product at the Burlington Farmer’s Market.

Three of the thirteen are Burlington students:  Evan Attard, Art Hero Summer Camp: Marlee Armour, Summer Swim Academy and Madeline Webb, The Alternative Baker.  There was no photograph available for Evan Attard

The other entrepreneurs in the Region are:

Darryl Apple, InFaction Studios, Oakville; Leslie Ashworth, Suite Melody Care, Oakville; Neha Bhasin, Summer Soaps Co., Oakville; Michael Clegg, Clegg’s Athletic Program, Oakville; Julia Dedic, Jewels by Julia, Oakville; Lucy He, Keys to Success Piano & Tutoring, Oakville; Emily Hollick, Golden Years Training & Care, Oakville; Stephen Johnson, Jeunessis, Oakville; William Lomoro, Glen Valley Photography, Oakville; and Nia O’Brien, Nia O’Brien Creations, Oakville

The Summer Company wouldn’t exist without the expertise and support from the local business community.

Marlee Armour

Marlee Armour, Summer Swim Academy teaches people to swim in one-on-one sessions in private pools. They also provide lifeguard services for pool party’s

Offering mentorship to the Region’s 2015 Summer Company participants are: Tom Cochrane, Retired Businessman with Oakville Business Advisory Group, Oakville; Kathleen Dills, General Manager, Halton Hills Chamber of Commerce; Maralyn Ellis, Entrepreneur, FuturesFound; Kelsey Leedale, Youth Outreach Worker, YMCA. Phil Von Massow, Owner of CPL Group, Oakville; Jayme Moorcroft, Senior Account Manager, Business and Personal, RBC; Fatima Pereira, Accounting Supervisor, BDO and Pamela Pereira, Senior Account Manager, Business and Personal, RBC

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Hamlet performance at Thinkspot in Lowville gets the first festival off to a great start - runs through till Sunday.

Event 100By Pepper Parr

July 17, 2015


If the Kick Off event is any indication of what the Lowville Festival is going to be like – this isn’t something you want to miss.
Driftwood Theatre put on a performance of Shakespeare’s Hamlet on an outdoor stage where people got to hear phrases that have become part of the English language: “Take thee to a nunnery” was the one that brought a smile to my face. It was something we said years ago – can you imagine saying that to a young woman today?

Hamlet - Lowville Festival Thinkspot

The setting for the outdoor production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet was superb – the performance was just fine. Everyone needs to hear Shakespeare at least once a year

The play started in the cool of an evening and ended with people gathered around camp fire to talk about the play and the way it was performed with the Driftwood Director.

The THiNKSPOT location in Lowville, amongst Walt Rickli sculptures, is about as good as outdoor theatre can get.

The Lowville Festival ramps things up Friday evening with:

Laughton - pensive with trumpet

Will Laughton play Sinatra tunes on his trumpet? A gift to all if he does.

FRIDAY JULY 17, 2015 7:30 PM
Loretta Bailey and Robert Missen, hosts.
Artists include Stuart Laughton, Renee Barabash, Andy Griffiths, David Warrack, Lorraine Foreman, Michael Mulrooney, Jude Johnson, Charles Cozens, Wayne Strongman and the Lowville Festival Choir,

The first Lowville Festival with a Gala Concert featuring a wide range of superlative performers, most of whom hail from Burlington.
Classical, pop, jazz, blues, folk, musical theatre. The second half of the concert will be a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Frank Sinatra. Proceeds from this benefit concert will be dedicated to the establishment of the festival.

Griffith at the microphone

Andy Griffith – breaking new ground at the Lowville Festival – his Kids event should be a real hoot!

Burlington singer-songwriter Andy Griffiths launches his new kids’ show, which will also entertain the kid in all of us.

Andy Griffiths and Frank Koren and Kim
Join Andy and his Burlington musical friends for an intimate evening with local songwriters in the Victorian stone schoolhouse in the centre of Lowville.

NIA; a joyful, mindful, and expressive physical conditioning practice
LOWVILLE PARK, between the playground and the creek, under the trees
NIA is a joyful, mindful, and expressive physical conditioning practice, incorporating moves from dance, martial arts, yoga and other alignment arts, as well as individualized, free form movement. NIA offers fun and fitness to men and women of all ages and fitness abilities. Join Nia Black Belt teacher Anna Schantz for a NIA dance fitness experience in Music, Movement, and Magic. Theme: Psychedelic Sunday. Bare feet, hippie attire, and flowers most welcome. Suitable for everybody. www.nianow.com


Gordie Tapp – will he do some of his naughty routines this time? He did when her took part in the Blue Jeans event at the Performing Arts Centre

Lorretta Bailey and Robert Misen, hosts
Artists include Melissa Bel, Janet Turpin Myers, Loraine Foreman, Jude Johnson, Lorreta Bailey, Robert Missen and Daryl Webber.
Special Guest: GORDIE TAPP
Celebrating the rich historical and Escarpment heritage of the hamlet of Lowville in a concert that combines music and the spoken word. Local musicians Melissa Bel and Lorretta Bailey are joined by novelist Janet Turpin Myers. Legendary Burlington entertainer Gordie Tapp, formerly of Lowville, will be reunited with Lorraine Foreman, his colleague on Country Hoedown, one of the most popular Canadian television shows of the fifties.


Rebecca Caine – going to be great to see what she decides to do on stage.

Rebecca Caine of Les Miserables fame will be part of the Lowville festival
ROBERT MISSEN is hosting this event.
Artists include Rebecca Caine, soprano; Robert Kortgaard , piano; Rachel Mercer, cello; Stuart Laughton, trumpet; Renee Barabash, piano; Michael Mulrooney, piano
Missen says they will be bringing the inaugural festival to a glorious conclusion with a concert featuring some of the country’s finest classical and musical theatre artists. Rebecca Caine, the original Cosette in Les Miserables and star of the Toronto production of Phantom of the Opera; Oakville-born cellist Rachel Mercer; and virtuoso trumpeter Stuart Laughton will present a concert featuring Bach, Chopin and Schafer as well as a special tribute to The Sound of Music.

Lowville doesn’t see this much action even during the Winter Carnival. Getting around Lowville is easy once you know where you are going.

The United Church is at the corner of Guelph Line and Britannia Road with a decent parking lot behind the church.

St. Georges isn’t actually in Lowville, it isn’t even in Burlington. It is on Guelph Line just above Derry Road – can’t miss the place – it is a beautiful stone building built in 1896

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35 years ago today Terry Fox stopped in Burlington - how many of you were there?

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

July 12, 2015


TerryFox  - full length

The farther he went – the worse the pain – until the cancer that was ravaging his body spread to his lungs

It was 35 years ago today – a guy with just the one good leg – the other a prosthetic that was pretty crude by today’s standards but there he was coming through the city with that step and a hop gait that we know by heart now.

Terry Fox had made it from the east coast of Newfoundland where he dipped the toe of his good foot into the waters of the Atlantic and vowed to make it to British Columbia.

The Marathon of Hope ended in just outside Thunder Bay

Today the group of people who meet for hours organizing and setting up the Terry Fox run every September gathered as a group to remember and celebrate the young man who showed Canada what hope and courage is really all about.

We owe you big time Terry.

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Figuring out what a Transportation Master Plan should recommend is no small task - and you want to get it right the first time - Part 2 of a series

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

July 9, 2015


Part 2 of a series

City council got their first detailed look at the draft of the Transportation Master Plan.  They didn’t exactly cheer when the presentation was finished – it is going to mean some hard political decisions – which this council tens to do its best to avoid.

The draft plan however laid out a number of realities the city has to face.  In the first of this series we set out the players involved in transportation planning and the rules, regulations and provincial policy that impact on decisions the city makes.

With those limitations – and they are not insignificant, the transportation department is beavering away at completing the study and aligning it with the Official Plan in order to support and expand upon new and updated policies.

While the transportation department works on its plan – the planners work on the review and revision of the Official Plan and a team at city hall, plus city councillors develops the Strategic Plan the city wants to work to for the next four years.

Mobility hubs

What also has to be added to the transportation mix is what role mobility hubs will play in future thinking.

The transportation people, led for the time being by Vito Tolone, are doing a solid review of transportation trends in conjunction with our changing demographics, travel patterns and future community planning. Part of the team is planner Kaylan Edgcumbe.

They are Identifying the transportation facilities and services that will be required to meet the needs over the next twenty years and then develop the policies, guidelines, plans and actions that will guide day to day transportation programs and provide a basis for future capital budgets.

That is a mouthful!

What is NOT included in the TMP is a detailed analysis of specific intersections and roadways nor will it consider site specific impacts.  Detailed assessments will be addressed through project specific studies and may be recommended as a result of the TMP

What happens if the city doesn’t complete the TMP ? Well, all hell isn’t going to break loose but over time things will stop working the way people want them to work.

Day to day transportation programs would not be current with community needs or emerging trends; Capital infrastructure planning and budgeting would not be able to address evolving development trends and growth management policies.

Council and staff would not be able to respond to changing development standards and major planning considerations.

Regulating agencies at the Region, Ministry of Transportation and Conservation Halton would not be apprised of Council’s transportation vision and its preferred strategy for moving forward.


It sounded like a good idea at the time but there was too much that both IKEA and the city didn’t know about what Conservation |Halton and the Ministry of Transportation had to say about putting a large retail operation on the North Service Road at Walkers Line

Burlington ran into this problem when IKEA announced it wanted to move its location from Aldershot to the North Service Road at Walkers Line – that proved to be something that wasn’t possible given the views of Conservation Halton and the Ministry of Transportation. Tuck Creek was a significant conservation problem and the MTO couldn’t do what needed to be done with the QEW/Walkers Line intersection in time – which brought an end to any IKEA moved and put a significant dent in the careers of a number of people involved in the project.

Had there been stronger policies in place and a clearer planning vision, and better communication between the parties, a couple of years of grinding away at something that couldn’t happen might have been avoided.

Will a solid TMP avoid problems like that? Maybe – but what is clear is the need for a plan that fits into the requirements the province and the Region lay on us; that meshes well with the Official Plan and helps achieve the Strategic Plan – and is possible with the budget the city creates.

Council vote Dec 18-14 Water Street

Council members have to stand up and be counted – Councillor Meed Ward wasn’t with the majority on this vote

For all those people who think our municipal council doesn’t have a tough job, that they don’t work all that hard and it is really a part time job – think again.

This is hard work that requires the ability to think at several levels at the same time. Every member of the current council is challenged daily to keep on top of it all. Some of them don’t do all that well at it either.

The Transportation Master Plan study will:

Identify transportation policies and initiatives that are working in other areas that could be considered in Burlington
Ask citizens – where do we want to to go – how do we want to get there and how do we develop a solution that meets the needs of all residents.

Develop actions and policies that will guide day to day transportation projects providing a basis for future budgeting activities

So what is Burlington dealing with?
The infrastructure we have was designed for the car – what we have was designed to efficiently move the automobile and that has left us with urban sprawl. That urban sprawl is no longer sustainable

Population auto trips

Auto trips are rising faster than the population – building more roads will not get us out of this spiral.

90% of all trips in the city are by car

Levels of congestion are increasing; Commuting time is increasing; Cost to operate and maintain the current infrastructure is increasing; City revenue are not increasing at the same rate as growth or congestion.

This is not sustainable.  And we cannot build our way out of congestion

Modal share 2011The way we move around the community is heavily influenced by where we live, work and play. The way we travel impacts our quality of life, our health and relationship with our community

The majority of the trips are SOV – single occupant vehicle

To reduce congestion on our roads other travel modes must be available for both local and long distance travel.

Length of trips taken

Can those 2 km trips be made using a different mode of transportation? Is the car the only option? The current transit service is not going to coax people out of their cars and there are limits to how many people are going to ride bikes.

In 2011 over half of all daily trips in Burlington were 5 km or less. These trips could be easily replaced with walking, cycling or taking transit.

Where our workers livr

40% of the people who work in Burlington also live in Burlington – that means 60% of the working people use some form of transit

Where we work

Most of our residents work outside of the city – that represents a major transportation challenge.

Is the answer to all the questions that get raised in the data we have?  Because there is a lot of data.

Part 1 of the series

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Burlington Fire Department releases video based on family’s close call with carbon monoxide.


News 100 redBy Staff

July 8, 2015


A crack in a furnace released carbon monoxide into a home –

CO is a gas you can’t see, smell or taste so the only way to detect it inside the home is with an alarm.

The Burlington Fire Department has released a public safety video to create awareness about the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO). Julia’s Story captures the emotional account of one family’s close call with CO after a crack in the home’s furnace led to a CO leak inside the home. The video addresses the signs and symptoms of CO exposure and how to prevent the threat of CO poisoning at home.

“Julia’s story is part of a storytelling campaign aimed at sharing the experiences of city residents during emergency situations,” said Fire Chief Tony Bavota. “We are grateful to Julia and her family for allowing us to tell their story, which underscores the importance of working carbon monoxide alarms.”

If you live in Burlington and have experienced a fire or life safety emergency, the fire department would like you to share your story; email them at – firedepartment@burlington.ca.

“The intent of the video is to tell a real and meaningful story to spark conversation within our community about CO,” said Public Education Officer Kim Sopko. “There are many stories out there like Julia’s. Our goal is to find and share those personal experiences to hopefully prevent the same situation from happening to others in our community.”

Julia’s Story and other fire and life safety education videos can be viewed on the fire department’s YouTube channel.

CO is a gas you can’t see, smell or taste so the only way to detect it inside the home is with an alarm. If it the alarm sounds, get outside immediately and call 9-1-1. More information on CO can be found at: www.burlington.ca/co.

The Burlington Fire Department is a composite force that includes career staff and volunteers serving the diverse needs of the community. The department’s activities include fire suppression, fire prevention, education, training and emergency planning.

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The Aboriginal story and the damage done in the Residential schools will be taught in Halton schools.

News 100 redWalter Byj

July 3, 2015


What have the aboriginal problems and grievances got to do with the schools in Burlington?

A lot more than you might imagine.

After years of neglect and basically nothing in the way of information for the public the National Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) issued a report that spelt out in language no one could misunderstand.

The Commission spent more than five years listening to the witness and testimony of the thousands of aboriginal people about the children who were taken from their parents and placed in residential schools.

TRC woman

The face bears the pain and the suffering after years in residential schools – away from your family and your culture.

TRC man

So much damage – and yet many survived the residential school experience to tell their story. Our part of the Truth and Reconciliation experience is to ensure that something like this never happens again.

Of the 94 recommendations that were included in what is now known as the Truth and Reconciliation Report there are two that relate directly to what will be taking place in our schools.

Two of the recommendations were to “inform all Canadians about what happened in Indian Residential Schools in Canada. The commission would document the” history of the residential schools system and the experience of former students and the ongoing legacies within the communities”.

On June 2nd, the commission issued a 418 page executive summary. Their quick summary is as follows;

“ For over a century, the central goals of Canada’s Aboriginal policy were to eliminate Aboriginal governments; ignore Aboriginal rights; terminate the Treaties; and, through a process of assimilation, cause Aboriginal peoples to cease to exist as distinct legal, social, cultural, religious, and racial entities in Canada. The establishment and operation of residential schools were a central element of this policy, which can best be described as “cultural genocide.”

Of the 94 recommendations of the commission, #62 and #63 called on school boards within Canada to develop and implement from Kindergarten to grade 12 a curriculum on Aboriginal peoples in Canadian history and the history and legacy of residential schools.

TRC walk in the rain

They marched in the rain to witness publicly and let the rest of the country know that serious mistakes were made.

York University Professor, Susan Dion made the point when she said: “education is the key to reconciliation because we need to know what we are reconciling about. You may not be responsible for what happened, but you are responsible for knowing the history.”

This background was the setting for a recommendation submitted to the Board of Education by trustee Ehl Harrison (Oakville) for decision on June 24th.

RECOMMENDATION brought to the Halton District School Board:

Whereas the work of the National Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) regarding residential schools in Canada concluded its work in June 2015, resulting in 94 far reaching Calls to Action, including a number specifically focused on education;

Be it resolved that the Halton District School Board:

i) Foster and continue to develop a culture where all students gain knowledge of residential schools and their effects on Aboriginal communities of Canada and see themselves as contributors to reconciliation.

ii) Report annually on our actions.

iii) (At least) Annually during a Board meeting recognize the history of our area and give respect and honour to its First Peoples, by including in the Chair’s welcome, “We would like to acknowledge that we are on the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation.”

iv) Correspond with the Ministry of Education, urging collaboration with Aboriginal communities and the Ontario Public School Board Association to include treaty education, the history and legacy of residential schools and the impact of the Indian Act in
curriculum in a way that gives voice to First Peoples. Recognizing that this will take time, also requesting that the Ministry immediately provide school boards with resources to develop and share best practices that support reconciliation.

There was never any doubt that the motion would pass unanimously; it had been discussed and tweaked at previous meetings. However, prior to the vote earlier in June, the board recognized the delegation of Stephen John Paquette (birth name John Andrew Kimewon) a member of the Ojibwa tribe and a victim of the Residential School experience.

TRC box

The Truth and Reconciliation Box was set out during every hearing – the image of eyes closed represented what most Canadians did – we kept our eyes closed – we did not know.

Speaking in a methodical, simple, poignant and emotional manner, he initially acknowledged not only all those in the room, but also their ancestors. The teaching of the elder’s state you not only acknowledge the people you meet, but also their ancestors and their land of origin he said. He referred to the immigrants to Turtle Island as partners that need to work together and build a relationship.

He asked that we return to the spirit of the original treaties and build respect by understanding each other. He mentioned that when his two daughters entered the Halton school system they were warmly acknowledged and he was asked to speak to students about their history.

There was no bitterness in his words, but rather an olive branch so that we could all build dual respect. The passing of the recommendation was a good start.


The title reads like something that was done in Germany during the Second World War – but this was Canada and those children were what we called “indians” then. Were learning the truth now – reconciliation will follow.

His presentation was particularly felt by this reporter: I grew up in Brantford Ontario, close to the Six Nations Reserve, and was totally unaware of the residential schools and the damage that was done to so many young people.  My grandchildren will sit in classrooms where they will know what was done and hopefully ensure nothing like that every gets done again.

The motion passed unanimously.

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Fibre artists return the collection of Guilds at the Art Gallery of Burlington.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

July 3, 2015


Guilds were a medieval association of craftsmen or merchants, often having considerable power that determined the rules for the practice of a trade. The name stuck and is now applied to groups of people who get together to do a particular form of art.

Burlington has had six guilds working out of the Art Gallery of Burlington; Arts Burlington recently announced a seventh guild that will focus on Fibre Arts

Losier - Red poppies

Apiece by Claudette Losier that was included in an Art Gallery exhibition. Losier has gone on to be invited to take part in an exhibition in New York city.

In truth, this is not a new guild. The fibre artists have been a guild of Arts Burlington in the past but were smaller at that time and were unable to provide support to the activities of Arts Burlington at that time.

However today, to our benefit, the Fibre Arts Guild has grown and is able to rejoin us in this exciting new stage of activity of the Arts at the AGB.

There are more than 400 paintings in the Art Rental inventory

There are more than 400 paintings in the Art Rental inventory; just some pf the work done by Burlington artists,

There is a renewal of activities, a spirit of adventure as new things emerge from the Guilds.

The new Juried Show format for 2015 was a resounding success. Arts Burlington looks forward to more great things in the coming years and are happy to have the Fibre Arts Guild join us in the adventure!

The current guilds are:

Fibre Arts
Handweavers and Spinners
Hooking Craft
Latow (Photography)
Sculptors and Woodcarvers

Fine Arts

Everything you ever wanted to know about the Guilds can be found at Arts Burlington

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Performing Arts Centre plans to make space on its Main Stage for growing talent - application deadline is July 24!

Arts and entertainment graphicBy Staff

July 2, 2015


The Burlington Performing Arts Centre has created a new feature: the Lobby Showcase. Auditions are being held on September 19 and 20, from 10 am to 5 pm, for the Centre’s Lobby Showcase Project which will take place during the professional presenting season that starts in September/October 2015.

This is part of the Performing Arts Centre Community Engagement initiative that is intended to find new amateur talent in Burlington and surrounding areas to showcase local artists or acts that are in the process of developing their material and need some experience before a live audience.

Showtime logoThese performances will take place on a particular night to introduce these artists to our patrons and a wider audience.

The groups selected will perform in the theatre’s Family Room, that really grand space that a performer can do almost anything with.  In the past there have been some superb events put on in that space.

The artists chosen for the Lobby Showcase will perform in the lobby before the main event starts.

BPAC with BTTB in Family room

Room enough for the Burlington Teen Tour Band to perform – what do you have in the way of an entertainment event for this space?

The intention is to assist local artists or groups on their way to becoming better known in the community. The hope is that some will eventually become professional.

There is no remuneration for the Lobby Showcases but artists will get an opportunity to market their brand at that time, while reaching a new audience. The artists may also be added to the City of Burlington’s Artists database, with their permission.

The selected performers will get one of eight available Lobby Showcase spots available throughout the 2015-2016 Presenting Season and they, as well as others selected, may also get a chance to be featured in the Culture Days celebrations, September 25 to 27, 2015.

BPAC stage

The Performing Arts Centre Community initiative is opening up some space for local amateur talent that will take place in the theatre lobby before a main production takes place. Their hope is that these events might be an early step towards an event that will get them to the Main Stage.

We are looking for singer/songwriters, dancers, singers (pop, jazz, blues, folk, classical), bands or combos, instrumentalists and soloists (classical, jazz, etc.), performance art, and comedy; show us what you have.

Please submit your idea by email to: BPACAuditions@burlington.ca

Include a couple of photos, a short bio and some background information and a short description of the act or performer, include any links to YouTube videos, if you have them; don’t forget your contact information.

Dateline for submissions is July 24, 2015.

There are a limited number of spots available; only the acts or artists selected will be contacted with an audition date and time.

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Sport Field Closures - Monday, June 29, 2015

Newsflash 100By Staff

June 29, 2015


For Monday, June 29, 2015 just the one sports field is closed:
Ireland D3

The Gazette publishes updates on sports facilities at city parks as soon as they are available.

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Conservation Halton celebrates its environmentalists with an awards night in Milton.

News 100 greenBy Staff

June 28, 2015


We talk about the jewels that make this city what it is – that Escarpment to the north of the city and that glistening lake that is there for us to watch and appreciate every day.

Those two magnificent geographic features were given to us- our task now is to enjoy that gift and serve as good stewards and ensure that what we have our grandchildren’s grandchildren will also be able to enjoy.

There are people who pay more attention to the environment that most of us – for them it is a passion and they spend countless hours just helping take care of what we have.

Turtle clan longhouse at Crawford Lake.

Turtle clan longhouse at Crawford Lake.

The Conservation Authority, formed after Hurricane Hazel did some very serious flooding in 1954 when more than 90 people in Toronto lost their lives as a result of the flooding. .

There are a number of Conservation Authorities across the problem – Conservation Halton looks after what we have. They are both a regulatory agency that comments on all development that relates to the lake and the creeks and the land on the Escarpment and the operators of a number of recreational and entertainment locations including Crawford Lake.

They play a critical role that is seldom seen and rarely appreciated. Each year they hold an awards night to recognize those who have done more – made an effort and made a difference. They held their 33rd annual Conservation Halton Awards on Tuesday at the Milton Centre for the Arts. The awards are presented to people and organizations that make outstanding contributions to conservation in the Halton watershed, which includes Halton, Peel, Hamilton and Puslinch.

Every person, group, or school, in the various awards categories (except for the Parks Volunteer Award) are nominated from the community. The 2015 award recipients are as follows:

Citizen:Bethlehem Sahlu; Citizen (Youth) Simone Mantel, Aldershot District High School; Community Toronto Bruce Trail Club; Education (Group or School) Trailhead – Bronte Creek Project; Education (Individual) Nick Bertrand and Kerry Sagar, Halton District School Board; Media / Blogger, Tourism Burlington; Parks Volunteer Kirsten Phillip, Mountsberg Raptor Centre and Chuck Sweet, Kelso / Glen Eden; Stewardship Andrew and Marites Lee, Milton Field and Stream Rescue Team; Ralph Sherwood Honour Roll Keith Bird, Oakville

More than 150 guests and dignitaries attended the awards ceremony. In addition to the award recipients, Watershed Stewards in the Halton Watershed Stewardship Program were recognized, as well as local schools and childcare centres that participated in the Stream of Dreams education program.

2015 Conservation Halton Awards Recipients

Bethlehem Sahlu – Citizen
Bethlehem Sahlu has led three local food initiatives in Oakville. She is the coordinator of two community gardens, Share Land Share Life Community Garden (which is on privately owned land, Owner Mr. Armin Gottschling) and Clear View Community Garden. She also led a Green Your Mind Green Your Plate Presentation Series.

Share Land Share Life Community Garden and Clear View Community Garden were started as joint initiatives between Conservation Halton and FutureWatch EDEP as part of the Natural Connections Program aimed at connecting new and diverse communities in Halton to their natural surroundings, promoting food sustainability, healthy eating and Community engagement. (ODEC) Oakville’s Diverse Environmental Club Program is also a partner on Clear View.

Green Your Mind Green Your Plate is an interactive presentation with the objective to give people who are new in the area an overview of the local food market, to emphasize the importance of eating healthy and locally, and introduce them to the basic concepts of food sustainability. Bethlehem enjoys sharing her passion and knowledge about food sustainability and she believes Environmental Education is the key to success in all the community initiative she has been involved in. Bethlehem has inspired people that change is possible and it starts from the community we live in!

CH Aldershot student

Simone Mantel – an Aldershot residnent

Simone Mantel of Aldershot High School in Burlington – Citizen (Youth)
Simone has been a true Environmental Champion for Aldershot School and the City of Burlington. She has been actively involved in her four years as a high school student, serving as President of the Aldershot School Environment Club and is a Graduate of the ECO Studies Program. Simone organized a community environmental film screening to raise funds for a school habitat restoration project. She also participated and planned invasive species removals at Aldershot School and Royal Botanical Gardens, and also organized school clean-up events for Earth Day.

Simone is involved in the community as well. She is an active member of Burlington Green, and worked to save trumpeter swan habitat at LaSalle Park Marina. She is a Burlington Transit Youth Ambassador for Aldershot School and organized several transportation-related campaigns. She also facilitated the ECO Rangers Environmental Leadership Program at RBG (grade 6 and 7 students).

Due to Simone’s dedication and commitment to the environment, Aldershot school and community, as well as the City of Burlington, have seen significant improvements in the awareness of environmental issues and improvement and protection of natural areas.

Toronto Bruce Trail Club – Community
Members of the Toronto Bruce Trail Club undertook the cleanup of downed trees and branches following the ice storm in December 2013 to reopen the Bruce Trail for hikers. Their clean-up efforts on the Main Bruce Trail in Halton Region involved more than 150 volunteers, who contributed over 600 hours and the cleanup was so extensive it took two years to fully complete.

The Toronto Bruce Trail Club encompasses the northern section of the Bruce Trail in Conservation Halton’s Watershed, this includes Crawford Lake, Hilton Falls, Kelso and Rattlesnake Point Conservation Areas.

Toronto Bruce Trail Club work parties cleared approximately 70% of the Main Trail from January to June 2014. The Bruce Trail and Conservation Halton has been extremely fortunate to have so many dedicated and interested volunteers show up so many times to get cold and dirty, and work very hard to clean up and maintain the trail for others to enjoy.

Trailhead – Bronte Creek Project – Education (Group or School)
Trailhead is a one semester environmental leadership program for 20 grade 10 students. The Trailhead class is made up of students selected from all Halton public and Catholic schools who have applied to be part of this unique and often transformative program.

Students spend every day at Sidrabene, which is located in a rural area, for the five-month high school semester. These facilities allow BCP students to have a mix of outdoor activities and indoor classroom lessons. Trailhead students teach grade 4 elementary students a one-day program called Novice Earthkeepers, where they practice and teach environmental stewardship. For the past three years, Trailhead students have participated at the Halton Forest Festival for Conservation Halton teaching grade 6 and 7 students about the importance of our local forests and the plants and animals that live within them.

Trailhead students explore current environmental issues and human impact, and discover their own relationship with nature. Hands-on learning is at the core of the program, allowing students to experience the curriculum while also learning about different career paths. The semester also involves an Adventure Trip canoeing in Algonquin Park. The program truly is a one of a kind experience for students, led by passionate and knowledgeable staff.

CH awards HDSB winners

Nick Bertrand and Kelly Sager of the Halton District School Board couldn’t keep away from their cell phones as they tweeted their award to everyone they knew

Nick Bertrand and Kerry Sagar from HDSB – Education (Individual)
Kerry Sagar is an Instructional Program Leader with the School Programs Department at Halton District School Board. She has been involved in Environmental and Sustainability initiatives throughout her career with a special emphasis on Social Justice, Equity and Inclusion, and First Nations, Métis, and Inuit perspectives.

Kerry has been instrumental in developing invaluable resources, as well as developing and presenting countless professional learning experiences to elementary and secondary HDSB teachers, administrators, and superintendents. Her longstanding work with environmental leadership teams at the board level has included the development of inquiry-based learning projects which are directly connected to care and protection of the environment, and include a deeper understanding of the underlying social and equity issues.

Nick Bertrand is also an Instructional Program Leader with the School Programs Department at the Halton District School Board. After a teaching career at White Oaks Secondary School, He joined the School Programs Department three years ago.

Nick has had phenomenal success in working directly to support the Ontario EcoSchools program with secondary schools. Nick Co-chairs the system level Eco Team, HELP (Halton Eco Leadership Partners), and the multiple community partner Outdoor Experiential Education Advisory Team. One of his major accomplishments has been the successful implementation of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Education at both the elementary and secondary level; his connections with local First Nations and other community partners has enabled him to provide powerful support to schools in integrating First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Education, Environmental Education, and Outdoor Experiential Education.

CH awards - Tourism blogger

Linda Cvetanovic, blogger extraordinaire with Tourism Burlington was recognized

Tourism Burlington – Media / Blogger
Tourism Burlington consistently supports Conservation Halton’s recreational, educational, and environmental initiatives on their online account. They furiously share tweets about events at Halton Parks, like Maple Town or Endangered Species Weekend. By doing so, Tourism Burlington captivates the online community in regard to outdoor education and our environmental efforts. Not only does Tourism Burlington engage with Conservation Halton, but they also collaborate with other groups to promote and educate others about nature in Burlington. With over 8,000 followers on Twitter, Tourism Burlington is an industry leader in Tourism for online media.

Tourism Burlington tweets and retweets Conservation Halton’s content whether it is a blog about a baby barn owl, or a Facebook link about Endangered Species Weekend at Mountsberg.

Kirsten Phillip, Mountsberg Raptor Centre – Parks Volunteer
Kirsten volunteers at the Mountsberg Raptor Centre every Friday. She is always pleasant and excited to be at Mountsberg and is a joy for the staff to work with. She happily does whatever task is asked of her and has become a master at cleaning the flight cages. Staff don’t quite know how she does it, but Kirsten gets the Turkey Vulture flight cleaner than anyone – even the staff.

When asked to do a spring cleaning on a Wildlife Walkway pen, she remarked at the end of the day that it was her most fun day yet of volunteering! Kirsten has gone above and beyond the duties of a regular volunteer.

On her own time and with her own resources, she developed two matching card games to be used by visitors at the park and these games will be incorporated into the summer Raptor Camp activities this year. She has also started to join Mountsberg staff on offsite presentations and is a great representative of Conservation Halton both offsite and at the park. All of the Raptor Centre staff looks forward to Fridays, when they get to share their day with Kirsten.

Chuck Sweet – Parks Volunteer
During the winter months Chuck is a volunteer patroller at Glen Eden and during the summer months Chuck is a volunteer trail ambassador at Kelso.

Chuck performs at least 140 hours of volunteering per winter helping injured skiers and snowboarders. He is an inspiration to many of our volunteer patrollers through his attendance, commitment, and dedication.

Chuck is an exceptional communicator as a trail ambassador in regards to safety and offering direction. Chuck was seriously injured while on duty as a ski patroller during the 2013-14 season. He returned this season and fulfilled his responsibilities well beyond our expectations. His peers nominated Chuck as Patroller of the year at the end of the 2014-15 season.

Andrew and Marites Lee – Stewardship
Andrew and Marites were two stand-out participants of Conservation Halton’s 2014 Healthy Neighbourshed homeowner workshop program. At each week’s session, they were eager to learn and were inspired and motivated to implement a low impact landscaping project on their property.

Not only did they add to the community of the workshop series by asking questions and discussing topics with fellow participants, they took the projects they learned about home. Andrew and Marites completely revamped their backyard to incorporate low impact development principles. These include: a permeable walkway, native plants and a rain barrel.

Their efforts and enthusiasm are not only helping divert our watershed’s urban run-off, they are acting as environmental stewards to their children and their community by showing what can be done on a homeowner’s property can be both beautiful and environmentally friendly. Andrew and Marites have also demonstrated that even if you live in a suburban subdivision, you still can have a positive impact on your local environment.

Sheldon Creek - field and stream rescue

David Hulsman of the Field and Stream Rescue

Sheldon Field and stream rescue

Jeff Stock – Field and Stream Rescuer

Field and Stream Rescue Team – Stewardship
The Field and Stream Rescue Team is a not for profit group that works in Hamilton and Halton. They are 100 per cent volunteer based with a board of eight members and a project planning team of about the same. Their mission is to “Revitalize urban areas by restoring and rehabilitating watercourses, forests and natural areas through community education and hands on activities.”

They accomplish their mission by leading 15 to 20 volunteer workdays per year. Workdays include a variety of projects types such as invasive plant management, garbage cleanups and tree, shrub and wildflower plantings.

A niche that they have filled in Conservation Halton’s area is to clean up the nearly impossible. They rig up a system of pullies and cart garbage out of deep forested ravines that has likely been there for fifty plus years. One of their greatest achievements of late was a two day cleanup of an old dumping site in Bronte Creek Provincial Park. Tires, fridge, freezer and more were hauled out of the Bronte Creek floodplain and up a 150 foot ravine.

Keith Bird – Ralph Sherwood Honour Roll Award
Keith Bird recently served as Vice Chair of Conservation Halton and was a member of the Conservation Halton Foundation Board from 2011 to 2015. Keith served 37 years on the Conservation Halton Board, serving since 1974, except for two years when he was on the Conservation Halton Foundation Board.

During Keith’s time, the Foundation completed the Mountsberg Shrike Project breeding facility, the Deer Clan longhouse which was constructed at Crawford Lake Conservation Area, and the Foundation provided ongoing support for the Halton Children’s Water Festival and the Halton Forest Festival.

During Keith’s yeas on the Conservation Halton board there were a number of improvements at the conservation areas highlighted by the opening of the Crawford Lake Iroquoian Village and the building of the Kelly New Pavilion at Mountsberg. In addition there have been upgrades at Glen Eden to the chairlifts and snowmaking and a new pedestrian bridge built over the railway tracks to accommodate the growing demand. Another park improvement during Keith’s time was the opening of the Brock Harris Lookout at Mount Nemo.

CH Large HHWSP Stewardship Award

Proudly displayed on the gate of rural homes – some in urban areas as well.

Halton Watershed Stewardship (HWSP) Program Award Recipients
The Halton Watershed Stewardship Program award recipients are members of a group of more than 310 landowners voluntarily protecting over 12,800 acres of land, which includes over 7,800 acres of natural land, and over 160 kilometres of stream. It is important to remember that by simply enjoying these natural heritage features as they are, and conserving them for future generations, Watershed Stewards are making a significant contribution to the health of the environment, which leads to a healthy society.

Each year Watershed Stewardship Technicians assist landowners who are looking for advice and recommendations regarding activities they can undertake to restore woodlands, wetlands, meadows, and streams. The following landowners were recognized at this year’s award as Watershed Stewards:

• Alba DiCenso and Brian Hutchison in the Bronte Creek Watershed
• The City of Hamilton for Courtcliffe Park in the Bronte Creek Watershed
• Wayne Terryberry, who is the first recipient of the new Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System dedicated Stewardship award

CH Stream of Dreams

These Streams of Dreams are hand painted by students and affixed to school yard fences – a graphic and fun way to teach young students about the environment.

Stream of Dreams 2015
The mission of the Stream of Dreams Program is to educate communities about their watersheds, rivers and streams, while dazzling them with the charm of community art. Since its launch in 2006, Conservation Halton staff has delivered the program to 32,422 participants at 83 schools, as well as many community events, installing these magnificent murals across the watershed.

The teachers and parent volunteers at the participating Stream of Dreams schools put countless hours of work into each project to prepare their fish to be painted by the children and then install their murals on a fence at the school. Conservation Halton staff deliver the program with the message of protecting the fish and other wildlife who live in our community streams. The following schools participated over the past year:

• Balaclava, Freelton
• Bruce T. Lindley, Burlington
• Glenburnie, Oakville
• Hawthorne Village, Milton
• Our Lady of Fatima, Milton
• Palermo, Oakville
• Pilgrim Wood, Oakville
• Pine Grove, Oakville
• P.L. Robertson, Milton
• St. Mildred’s Lightbourn, Oakville

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Board of education settles down for their summer routine which includes finding a new Director of Education.

News 100 blueBy Walter Byj

June 29th, 2015


School is out for the summer; both the students and the trustees will return in September.

The trustees can enjoy the summer and tend to the projects they will have to deal with – including the selection of a new Director of Education, David Euale retires at the end of August.

Upon their return, the trustees will have a new face at their initial meeting in September: Jacqueline Newton, currently the principal at Dr. Frank J Hayden Secondary School, has been appointed as the new Superintendent of Education filling the void of departing superintendent Yaw Obeng who will head a school district in Burlington Vermont. Newton will move into her office at the Board August 24th.

Smart appointment

The June 24th meeting was relatively quick as the following action items were ratified;

Program Viability Report
Truth and Reconciliation Report
Capital Priorities Report
Draft Policy-Trustee Expenses
Policy Schedule Amendment

There was brief discussion on the Program Viability Report with Associate Director of Education Miller reaffirming that this motion was still in the infant stages and that nothing would happen until thorough public consultation was completed.

The Board passed the following resolution which sets out the options as they are seen at this point in time. There is to be considerable public consultation on this matter before any decisions are made.

Be it resolved that the Halton District School Board present the following options for the delivery of French Immersion to the public in the Fall of 2015 for the purpose of receiving feedback, considerations and comments. Feedback will be brought to the Board for consideration in the delivery of French Immersion programming:

1. Option 1: Grade 1 (early) French immersion remains a 50% French 50% English delivery model, but entry to FI will be capped. The method of capping would be determined at a later date.

2. Option 2: Grade 1 (early) French Immersion remains at 50% French and 50% English, however all FI programs will be delivered in single track FI schools. French Immersion will be phased out of dual track schools and no new dual track schools will be considered. The location of the single track schools will be determined at a later date.

3. Option 3: French Immersion will commence at a later entry point (mid entry); Grade 4. This will result in the delivery model of FI moving from a 50% model to at least a 80% French Immersion model. In addition the delivery of FI will occur in dual track schools only.

4. Option 4: French Immersion will commence at a later entry point (mid entry); Grade 4. This will result in the delivery model of FI moving from a 50% model to at least a 80% French Immersion model. In addition the delivery of FI will occur in single track FI schools only.


Amy Collard

Leah Reynolds

Leah Reynolds

Andrea Grebenc

Andrea Grebenc


Richelle Papin

Three of Burlington’s four school board trustees have completed the school season part of their first year in office.  How have they done so far – what kind of a contribution have they made?

Spotty is the best way to describe what we have seen so far.

Harvey Hope (Oakville) insisted that the word “will” in the original motion be changed to “would”. She felt that “will” was too strong a word and should be changed to “would”. Flipping through my thesaurus, I found that would is the past tense of will but her fellow trustees approved the change. Perhaps our scholarly readers could impart some point of view on the correct word. Either way, this report will continue to be followed in depth in September. Details on the other motions will follow.

This was followed by G. Cullen (Superintendent of Facility Services) presented a report that reflected the current facility deficiencies at the administrative offices of the Halton board and the need for new facilities in the not too distant future. They are in the initial stages and further details will follow. The office would move to the best location possible; it could move out of Burlington. Any change is five years out.

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Strike against the city and the transit system are now distinct possibilities - picket lines around city hall?

News 100 redBy Staff

June 27, 2015


James Ridge Day 1

City manager James Ridge wants union workers to understand the issues before the walk off their jobs.

In a message to the citizens of the city Burlington city manager James Ridge, who seldom makes public comments, said on the city’s web site:

The City of Burlington’s bargaining committee is scheduled to meet with the union’s bargaining committee on Monday, June 29, 2015. The city is committed to working hard to reach a resolution that is fair to our employees and responsible to our taxpayers. If we are unsuccessful, the union has advised us that we can expect a strike.

To be very clear, the city does not want a strike. Strikes are hard on everyone–union members, management, City Council and, most especially, city residents.

Before you go on strike, we urge you to understand the issues and make sure you communicate your views with your union. We simply ask that you know what is at stake and make good decisions.

Burlington city hall with clock

Will there be picket lines around city hall?

That last sentenced had the thread of threat in it – well what are the issues and what is at stake?

Corporations are usually loath to involve media in the labour bargaining process – it muddies things up. The city is negotiating collective agreements with two unions: CUPE Local 44, outside workers and arena/outdoor pool operators, and Local 2723, Burlington Transit workers. Both unions have stated that if there is no agreement by the end of June, they will begin strike action as of midnight (12:01 a.m.) on July 2, 2015.

The unions maintain that benefits for workers over the age of 65 are written into the existing collective agreement but are not being paid. A staff member at a senior level who asked not to be named has said that the city and the outside workers are “not that far apart but that there is considerable distance between the city and the transit drivers.”

Burlington’s transit drivers earn considerably less than their counterparts in Hamilton and Oakville.

If there is a strike there will certainly be picket lines – will the inside workers cross those pickets lines.

Get ready for some disruption.

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Vince Fiorito; a man with a mission - to clean up Sheldon Creek and keep it clean.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 29th, 2015


Vince Fiorito teaches and instructs people in the arcane science of information technology. He knows all about Virtual Private Networks; how to set them up and how to keep them both running and safe from the cyber bandits.

He has been around information technology since its inception and while he hasn’t invented anything or become ridiculously rich he is content with what he is able to earn.

Vince Fitorio

The Halton Hamilton Watershed Protection group and Conservation Authority issues these placards – they are prized possessions in the rural part of the region.

The passion for Fiorito is the environment – and here he has become an absolute bulldog. Fiorito will see a lush green lawn and know that it was treated with some chemical that is polluting the creeks and streams that run through Burlington and into the lake – our water supply. That makes the hair on the back of his neck bristle.

When Fiorito and his wife went looking for a home in Burlington he knew that he wanted a ravine property; it was his wife who found what they were looking for. His back yard is a slope that is landscaped with stones – not as much as a blade of grass to cut but a clear view directly into the flow of Sheldon Creek that runs from the watershed in the Escarpment through the city and into Lake Ontario.

Sheldon Creek - farm equipment + Vince

This hunk of metal has obviously been in the creek since before the development surrounding the creek was constructed. A farmer or the developer that bought the farmland just left it; does the city not inspect the land at all during the construction phase. Getting it out is going to be a challenge.

Sheldon Creek is Vince Fiorito country – he has a sign into his back yard that declares he is the Friend of Sheldon Creek. His reputation has spread throughout the city. During one of his Inspire speeches Mayor Goldring was taking questions from the audience – Vince was on his feet and asking the Mayor what his position was on the cleaning of the creeks. Goldring recognized the name and said “you’re the guy that cleans the Sheldon Creek” – not bad in terms of recognition.

Fiorito has walked every foot of the creek from Upper Middle Road to the Lake – during the summer he expects to trace the path of the creek from Upper Middle Road to its headwaters in the Escarpment

During a delegation before a city Standing Committee Fiorito upbraided council for not keeping the creeks cleaner – pointing out that they were city property.

Councillor Craven took exception to that comment and said it wasn’t city property but the property of people whose property who bordered on the flood plain. Staff corrected the Council member – it was for the most part city property they said; the decent thing to do would have been for Craven to apologize to Fiorito and listen to what the man had to say but that isn’t the currency Craven deals in.

Fiorito can recite chapter and verse on how many tonnes of garbage have been removed from Sheldon Creek and had the photographic evidence to back up his point.

Sheldon Creek - chemicl cans

Not toxic but not the kind of thing you want adventurous boys coming across when they play in the creeks.

When Fiorito came across the two 40 gallon barrels and the cans of chemicals in Sheldon Creek his first instinct was to inform the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. Easier said than done. There was no phone number; there was a form he could complete and did.

Fiorito didn’t understand why he couldn’t send a GPS marker to the Ministry so they would know exactly where to look.

Sheldon Creek - small dam - fallen tree

The back up here is due to a fallen tree – there is no one culling the forestry – the result is small damn that get created and catch everything flowing through the creek.

There is more work to be done on the Sheldon Creek and while Fiorito gets quite cranked up about the environmental mess and isn’t the least bit shy about warning neighbours about the potential harm – the truth is Sheldon Creek is a mess and it is city property and while it will cost a pretty penny to clean it up from top to bottom there is the potential for flooding and the backing up of the spring runs offs – and there might be some junk in there that could be dangerous.
Burlington has 10 creeks that flow through the city and into the lake. They are for the most part abandoned with no one paying much in the way of attention to them. The city got a very rude awakening when the August 4th flood hit the city last summer. The practice before the flood was not to do all that much to the creeks; the natural approach, just leave everything that falls into the creek bed wherever it falls, was both cheaper and though to be environmentally sound.
That 191 mm of rain in a single day resulted in water roaring down those creeks and that harmless tree stump became a battering ram that lifted large pieces of concrete on New Street.

Flood weather network bridge

It was a backed up creek that brought the flood water over this bridge

Creeks got plugged and water began flowing into the streets and basements were flooded – the wonder is that some lawyer in town didn’t see the potential for a class action law suit and go after the city for tens of thousands in claims arguing that the city was negligent – which it has been.

Last week Conservation Halton held its annual awards night in Milton where it recognized those who had made significant contributions to the preservation of the environment

After the flooding brought on by Hurricane Hazel in 1954 that resulted in more than 90 deaths, flood control in Ontario and Canada as a whole became a more important issue.

Fiorito has nothing but positive words for the work BurlingtonGreen does each year when it spends the best part of a Saturday organizing thousands of people to help clean up the trash in the city – but makes this observation:

We have thousands of people helping clean up but we appear to have thousands who are littering our creeks – hundreds of vehicle tires have been pulled out the creek and they didn’t just fall of a passing car.

Sheldon Creek - vince in high water

Vince Firoito thinks there might be some scrap metal revenue in the creeks – is is salvageable? Part of his mission is to clean the creeks and keep them clean.

Fiorito has a mission: he is the Friend of Sheldon Creek – now wants every creek in the city to have a friend and people who will serve as stewards of the creeks to oversee their environmental health.

In the fullness of time Fiorito hopes that the stewards of the city’s creeks will begin to have some influence on the city’s elected council and encourage them to put some resources into rehabilitating the creeks.

In some city’s the ravines are quiet laces for people to walk and just enjoy being outside. Burlington has been spoiled – most people are just vaguely aware that there are all those creeks running through the city. Vince Fiorito is setting out to change that perception.

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How big a difference can the tools designers use make on what eventually gets built? A surprising difference

backgrounder 100By James Smith

June 28, 2015


Can a tool change the world?

What about a tool to change Burlington?

Marshal McLuhan said, “We shape the tool, then the tool shapes us”. Don’t agree? If you’re reading this, an online newspaper, the very action of reading stuff online has, in fact, transformed you.

This is a piece about how choices of designers’ tools have shaped not only the practice of design, but more importantly how the results may shape our city.

Burlington’s had its share of great plans but executing these plans may be why Burlington is a place where NIMBY is king and why Burlington as a city has never lived up to its potential. Perhaps with a better set of tools, designers can help citizens and politicians awaken Burlington to its potential.

As a designer, I’ve a fascination how the tools of the trade have changed the approach to our work and how these changes have modified our designs. Technological change is often at the heart of transformation; think of it this way: before movies, no movie stars, before Video Games, no 3D animators. Similarly, in architectural design, before Computer Aided Design and Drafting (CADD or CAD) the architect’s world was a very different place than it is today. A place where changes to a project, even in conceptual design were difficult to implement due in part because a huge commitment of resources was required to produce a building project’s design as everything was drawn by hand.

Masonry Court - Stacked townhouses

How much “cut and paste” was there to this design? Citizens who saw early drawings complained that there wasn’t much creativity to the project. Not very livable was another comment.

Why should we care? The development industry may be the impetus behind any building project, but the work of the urban planners, architects and other designers’ shape these projects. The city and its residents live with the results of their work. When tools allow a design firm to simply Copy and Paste a developer’s requests, a resulting project perhaps technically sound, is likely more of a commodity than handsome design. The city is poorer for this kind of design.

Intensification, for example, gets a bad reputation if produced as the result of a Copy and Paste process rather than employing more innovative design. As a city we need to demand better from our development community and the designers engaged. But good design takes time; and time is money so to better manage the process effectively, perhaps design firms need better tools.

Twenty-five years ago, most architects, engineers, interior designers, landscape architects, and urban planners’ tool sets had not changed a great deal in a hundred years. Paper, pencils, ink and blueprints were still the stock-in-trade for most professionals. In part because the design of anything is very labour intensive with much proprietary information; plans tend to be closely guarded secrets between client and design firm. Even when these plans are for projects to be executed on behalf of the public. The process now is generally better, but improvements to the process need to be made.

vector - drafting tables

Before electronic digital design tools were available everything was drawn by hand – and changes were minimal which meant less creativity.

Change may be coming if some of the architects and urban planners I spoke to recently have anything to say about the issue. I joined about 300 designers from many disciplines from around the world to talk shop about the tool they use to change their part of the world at the Vectorworks Design Summit in Philadelphia. (https://www.vectorworks.net/design-summit) Noted Landscape Architect and urban planner Adrian McGregor (https://is.gd/S6Dq0h ) of Sidney Australia claimed “Cities are the greatest cultural achievement of human kind”.

A pretty bold statement, especially when we look at the kind of car-centric city and region we live in. McGregor went on to qualify his statement by saying in executing city design and construction “… we’ve forgotten what was important to the foundations of cities”. Could this be due, in part to the technology used by designers? I would argue yes.

Vectorworks CAD software users are an interesting, and eclectic group of professional designers from a number of disciplines. Half a million very loyal users and 30 years later founder and Chairman Mr. Richard Diehl told me at lunch the other day, part of his inspiration in developing CAD software came in a university class. A professor wrote a formula on the blackboard and said to the class “you can make money and found a company with this algorithm”. Rich quickly wrote down that algorithm! Thirty years ago CAD on a Mac was a breakthrough; at the time CAD systems took up entire rooms and were only available to NASA, Boeing, GM or SNC/Lavalin. Products like Vectorworks (then called MiniCAD) and AutoCad have transformed the design industry as firms could produce and store documents required for building anything, in a mechanized way, even in very small practices. This had profound implications for design companies, as armies of people at drafting boards were no longer required to complete a project.

The Vectorworks  CEO Sean Flaherty  demands his company focus on a desire “to change the design process”. Vectorworks according to Flaherty has “never fit neatly into a slot” and he told me candidly the “why of the company” is rooted in asking, “what are the needs of designers” who use this tool. Somewhat refreshing to hear a CEO not hammer on some marketers’ tag line or so called mission statement. Mr. Flaherty seems genuinely committed not just to his company, but to the needs of the design community and wants Vectorworks to assist the Design community in addressing many challenges we face as a society.

Vector works - site plan

The software available to day can be used to create images of project sites that give the public a view of what is planned and ideally give them an opportunity to comment.

Mr. Flaherty’s passion seemed evident when he said “.. we are currently teaching our kids that architecture is now a luxury good” and that this is “a trend I fear for the whole built world”. In an effort to move away from this trend of making design just for the 1% Flaherty, who thinks, “design really matters” wants to ensure “Vectorworks goal is usability and simplicity”.

Usability and simplicity are goals everyone wants but achieving it’s a difficult process. Sean Flaherty told me his company’s approach is “not to focus on technology but on the users goals” and that “moving data around is not the problem”. ” Telling the customer: You’re doing it wrong! ” is something his engineers need to avoid, and rather the user needs to be “an active participant” where the process of evolving software “needs to be a conversation, not to limit a designer’s choices, but rather you (the user) should be able to choose your own tool and mix and match to get desired result”.

Vectorworks yellowish bldg

Realistic renderings of proposed building developments lets a public see what a building is going to look like.

In the old days of pencil and paper world, designers used many tools to achieve their desired effect, and the tension to be told to do something one way tends to irk a creative mind. Many CAD software products limit user’s choices on how to produce construction documents. Sean Flaherty suggests with Vectorworks a “multi discipline approach” to architectural design “could change the way architecture is practiced”.

While there are dozens of pieces of CAD software in the world and designers have been using them for years now. If Vectorworks, as a tool, has at its core an interface and a structure more collaborative this may open the door to a more collaborative city building process. Time will tell.

Allston 1990s  SCAN0015 + SCAN003 = (1990’s)

The software available today allows designers to provide a very large scale view of the expected result. It also allows all the contractors involved in the construction to interact with the various levels of the software.

What is about to have the most transformative change to CAD, and in turn to city building is something called Building Information Modeling, or BIM. Much of this conference was devoted to the future of BIM, how it works, and how to collaborate with other disciplines using Vectorworks.

So what is BIM? Dr. Biplab Sakar, chief technology officer of Nemetschek Vectorworks told me “BIM is not a piece of software or a thing, but a process”. This process allows all experts who contribute drawings and specification to a building project to share these components back and forth. Most significantly BIM also allows for each component to be shared as a 3D object.

Vectlor pipes

Building Information Management allows designers to drill down to a specific part a part of a large building – the pipes that will carry water and electrical conduit and steam for heating for example to be looked at closely when they want that level of detail.

Think of BIM as the rules of a giant LEGO set on a computer where each consultant sends the Architect his or her pieces of LEGO. BIM would be the rules allowing all pieces conform to so regardless of shape size colour or use the parts will work with other pieces of LEGO. BIM allows pipes, beams, shafts, walls doors or windows from, whatever software, to be shared.

Bare bones Pier from high with trestle

Had Building Information Management software been used on the construction of the pier would we have had a different, less expensive pier?

In a BIM model a building is constructed as a 3D model on a computer so potential conflicts are resolved in planning stages rather than on a construction site. One has to wonder if Vectorworks and BIM might have ensured the Burlington Pier might have been built in less time, with fewer mistakes and in a more cost effective manner.

BIM has potential not just for building science, but also for large development projects to improve community engagement at the start of a project, and further improve communication of the designer’s intention of a project with the community.

The tools we use can and usually does determine a large part of the quality of the project that is being built.

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Citizens will be signing the Book of Best Wishes for Prince George at the Brant Museum on Canada Day.

Event 100By Staff

June 26, 2015


For the second year the citizens of Burlington will have an opportunity to sign a Book of Best wishes to Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge who will turn two on July 22nd this year.


The cover of the 2014 Book of Best Wishes sent to Prince George to commemorate his first birthday.. Citizens will be able to sign the second birthday Book of |Best Wishes outside the Brant Museum on Canada Day

The Burlington Gazette has sponsored this initiative. Last year beautifully leather bound book was shipped to the Governor General at Rideau Hall who sent it along to Kensington Palace.

The Book of Best wishes will be set out at several locations around the city – and will be on display outside the Brant Museum where people can sign the book and take away a commemorative book mark.

Bookmark - front

A commemorative book mark will be given to all those who sign the Book of Best Wishes.

Our eager promotional team will be on the grounds wearing their Burlington Gazette T-shirts and directing people to the museum where the Book of Best Wishes will be available for signing from 10 am to 4 pm on Canada.

The Book of Best Wishes was bound in a deep burgundy leather with green trip.

The 2015 edition will be bound in red leather with blue trim.

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