You can be Irish on the 17th - just don't be behind the wheel and inebriated at the same time.

News 100 greenBy Staff

March 16, 2015


The Regional Police are making one of those extra efforts to enforce the traffic laws on St. Patrick’s Day.

HRPS St. Patrick's DayFor the First Time offender there is a
• 3-day licence suspension
• $150 Administrative Monetary Penalty

For the Second Time offender (within 5 years)
• 7-day licence suspension
• Mandatory alcohol education program
• $150 Administrative Monetary Penalty

For the Third Time offender (within 5 years)
• 30-day licence suspension
• Mandatory alcohol treatment program
• Six-month ignition interlock licence condition
• $150 Administrative Monetary Penalty

Subsequent infractions (within 5 years)
• 30-day licence suspension
• Mandatory alcohol treatment program
• Six-month ignition interlock licence condition
• Mandatory medical evaluation
• $150 Administrative Monetary Penalty

These roadside licence suspensions cannot be appealed. Suspensions will be recorded on the driver’s record. For up to five years, these roadside suspensions will be considered when determining consequences for subsequent infractions.

Now if they can get as tough with drivers who deliberately distract themselves using a cell phone – we will have made some progress.

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Smart kids - looking for that first job - bureaucrats put up unnecessary hurdles.

Event 100By Pepper Parr

March 15, 2015


Whenever your city council talks about the economic growth needed – the words “high tech, high paying jobs” get used. Everyone wants those jobs – Burlington wouldn’t chase after an abattoir.

Those technical jobs are what every municipality wants; starts up would be nice too. Having those young people with nothing but ideas and energy are what make new things happen – these are the men and woman who come up with technical/digital solutions to some of the problems we have. This under 20 cohort is in the process of changing the world – partly because the world they are struggling to grow and prosper in has changed from the world there parents grew up in

But who are these kids – and they are kids for the most part; where do they hang out, how do you identify one of them
About 50 of these under 20 techies gathered at the Art Gallery earlier in the week and gave presentations about what they have done in the past and what they were doing now – but more importantly they talked about what they were looking for.

L3Wescam at Tech 20

Vincent Hamel, Manager, Electro-Optical Engineering, L-3 Wescam

These were smart young people; several had already made significant contributions. The problem for then is going to be reaching them

For reasons that we can’t understand all I can tell you is the Amanda R has got a really strong grip on what it means to network and how to get her face in front of the people she wants to work with and for – but I can’t tell you how to reach her – privacy issues – which is really bureaucracy run amuck.

Ella E gave her peers some of the best advice they are ever going to get. “People hire people” she said – the resume is part of the job search process but they are not going to hire you from a couple of piece of paper. Ella talked about young people going to meet up events and handing out resumes and not sticking around to talk to people “or worse” she said. “They stand in small groups talking to each other.”

These are smart young people who no longer need the privacy protection that early teens need.  Having said that – let me tell you what I can about these people

Oleg - TU20Oleg L.; a grade 12 student from Oakville who wants to become a Software developer. He recently completed a semester-long co-op with Promys Inc. that led to a full time summer job offer. He talked about how demonstrating a high level of skill and commitment during a short-term co-op can lead to extended opportunities with an employer.

He is looking for internship/co-op opportunities in a computer security or with a software development firm.

Ella TU20Amanda R.; a first year University of Waterloo doing the Honors Mechatronics program is a Schulich Leader scholarship winner. After competing in robotics competitions for 6 years and volunteering in LEGO robotics since 2011, she is currently working on her first co-op placement as an Automation Engineer at Camcor Manufacturing. Part of the Linamar Group

Amanda talked about the importance of networking before, during and after internships and co-op programs. Her presentations skills were remarkable for a woman her age. She is looking for opportunities to work with engineering companies involved in national defense.

Amanda TU20Ella R., a grade 12 student from, Oakville is studying to become a competitive robotics software developer, autonomous programmer and on-field strategist. She completed an Internship with Hatch Inc. last summer in the Thermal and Nuclear Sector.

Ella talked about how her internship opened her eyes to the variety of roles available on engineering teams in a large company setting.

Ella is looking for a multitude of engineering experiences that will expand her skillset in multiple different sectors, from electrical engineering to software engineering. Ultimately, her long term goal is to work on projects involving robotics and artificial intelligence.

Eddie TU20Eddie S., grade 12 student, Milton. Is studying competitive robot design, build team leader and on-field strategist
Eddie hasn’t taken part in an internship program yet, but wants to learn more about opportunities related to engineering and design. His has advanced skills in design, engineering and robot fabrication, but he is unsure of where to turn for information on internships that would suit his interests and future career development. He is interested in the biomedical side of engineering, and hopes to be working in that field in the future. He is looking for opportunities that will progress his career toward this goal.

Sam TU20Sam R., 1st year student at OCAD University where he is majoring in Graphic Design. Sam completed a communications internship with Appleby College two years ago that led to a paid, full time position with their communications team the following summer.

Sam talked to the group about how his technical and creative skills in graphic design and digital photography were expanded while meeting the needs of the internship, and how he benefited from the responsibility and creative freedom provided by both the internship and full-time summer positions.
Sam is interested in working with organizations that will stretch his technical and creative skills further, while providing opportunities to continuing developing his portfolio of graphic design, photography, videography and motion graphics work.

A smart bunch of young people getting ready to enter the work force; taking those first hesitant steps and for the most part doping rather well.  The government agencies and volunteer groups who put on the event – and it was a good event – do these young people a dis-service by not identifying them and giving out their coordinates.

The meet up is arranged by volunteers who do their best to dig out students who are into high tech. “We know they are out there” said Kimberly Neale, one of the volunteers, “but finding them and catching their attention is not that easy.  We use social Media as much as we can – but its pretty much word of mouth.  The 50 that showed up are people we’ve not seen before.

Most of those involved in this second meet up were from Milton and Oakville.

Anyone interested in taking part or if you know someone who might be interested have them get in touch with Kimberly Neale.

Meanwhile we will work on getting those full names for you.

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Gillies thinks civic recognition of John Waldie embarrassing and pathetic, suggests naming something significant after the 'Father of Burlington'

Who Knew 100x100 2015By Mark Gillies

March 13, 2015


John Waldie was an incredible man; a son of Burlington, who from humble origins rose to fame and fortune. He was a great philanthropist, and a man who was proud to call Burlington his home.

John Waldie Portrait 1906 P4

In 1906 in St Paul’s Presbyterian Church, Victoria Harbour, this portrait of John Waldie was taken to honour the man that built the church. St Paul’s opened that same year. In 1907 John Waldie died of heart failure and was buried at historic Greenwood Cemetery in Burlington.

John Waldie made a huge impact on the small community of Victoria Harbour with the establishment of the Victoria Harbour Lumber Company. Today, the Waldie sawmills are gone, the lumber business is no more, but many of the local buildings that John Waldie built, are still in use today.

These landmarks, including St Paul’s Presbyterian Church, the General Store and the Library have been officially recognized as historical, and are an integral part of Victoria Harbour’s exciting past life as one of Canada’s largest lumber producing communities.

Victoria Harbor Heritage Properties P4

The Village of Victoria Harbour has recognized 22 buildings as having historical significance. Half of this total are buildings built by John Waldie and the Victoria Harbour Lumber Company including St Paul’s Presbyterian Church, the General Store and the Library, all three donated to the community by the philanthropist John Waldie and the Victoria Harbour Lumber Company.

“The Legacy of John Waldie and Sons”, is the history of the Victoria Harbour Lumber Company, and the Waldie family. Written by Kenneth A. Armson and Marjorie McLeod it does both the man and his work justice. Might not be available in local bookstores but it can be purchased on line at |Amazon.

The Legacy of John Waldie P4

 You won’t find this book on the best seller’s list, but “The Legacy of John Waldie and Sons” is a very interesting read. You will learn so much more about this incredible man and his family.

Out west in Castlegar, British Columbia, the Waldie sawmills are also gone, having closed in 1961. But, the residents of Castlegar still remember the Waldie legacy. Today, Waldie Island on the Columbia River has been turned into a nature park with hiking trails. A bird sanctuary, has been set up for the revival of the blue heron on the Waldie Island Heron Reserve. The idea is to reclaim the historical heritage of this part of the Columbia River.
The Waldie family has left a huge economic legacy in Canada, and the little communities of Victoria Harbour and Castlegar have done their part and remembered the Waldie family and their enormous contributions to these two communities.

Waldie Island P4

Pic: Waldie Island The citizens of Castlegar, British Columbia, to honour the Waldie family were pro-active and developed Waldie Island located in the middle of the Columbia River into a beautiful wilderness location complete with hiking trails and a bird sanctuary.

Burlington, as we all know, has been reported to be one of the best places to live in Canada, and this community has also remembered and recognized the Waldie legacy, but not quite in the same manner as Victoria Harbour and Castlegar.

Dan Chalykoff p4

 Dan Chalykoff is a professional heritage consultant, with outstanding credentials, retained by the City of Burlington to assess the city’s historical properties. His recommendations were pretty much ignored by the volunteer committee Heritage Burlington.

The Waldie home at 3265 Mayfair Place, known as “Erin” was added to the Heritage Registry several years ago. The historic home was built around 1845 by Henry Sovereign, an original United Empire Loyalist descendent. His father John bought the land from Christiana Hill, a daughter of Joseph Brant in 1812.

Recently, a heritage report was commissioned by the City of Burlington with Mr. Dan R. Chalykoff, a professional heritage consultant with outstanding credentials, to create an Interim Evaluation which was made available in January 2013.

Mr. Chalykoff stated in his report that the home (3265 Mayfair Place) remain on the register for possessing cultural value and interest under all three of the main criteria listed in Ontario Regulation 9/06 from the Heritage Act. His detailed report also stated, “without this property all built vestiges of Burlington’s settlement era in this neighbourhood will be extinct”.

Sovereign House & Erin P4

 On the right is 3265 Mayfair Place, or “Erin” as it looks today. This beautiful residence has undergone several changes over the years since it was originally built around 1845, but it is still historical and is a very important part of Burlington’s heritage. The home on the left is “Sovereign House” in Bronte. Now owned by the Bronte Historical Society, this historic home was built over several years from about 1825 until around 1846 and today operates as a heritage museum. The two homes are strikingly similar in design. David Sovereign built the “Sovereign House” residence, while Henry Sovereign from the same family built “Erin”.

In  May 2013, James M. Clemens, Chairman of Heritage Burlington, which is a committee of volunteer citizens that report to the City of Burlington, overturned Mr. Chalykoff’s professional opinion and recommended that “Erin” be removed from the Heritage Registry. With vague non-proven references to the house, Clemens goes on record and states, “the present dwelling has perhaps been incorrectly dated to 1845”, and that parts of the house do not line up to the stone rubble basement, and “it may be that the original dwelling over the rubble basement was razed”, and parts of the house appear to be late Victorian and part Edwardian.

These were the main non-professional reasons given for the reversal of keeping this historic 170 year old residence on the Heritage Registry. Mr. Clemens and his committee have apparently ignored the fact that it was not uncommon for residents of that time to alter their dwelling over several years, something that does not usually affect the heritage and historical value of a residence.

I share the views of Chalykoff   that there is an incredible amount of historical significance to this famous 170 year old residence called “Erin”, despite it being cosmetically updated. In my opinion, Heritage Burlington under the guidance of Chairman James Clemens have made a very serious error. This is unacceptable.

James Clemens was Chairman with the same Heritage Burlington committee that recommended 504 Burlington Avenue be removed from the Heritage Registry for lack of historical significance. May I remind Mr. Clemens that 504 Burlington Avenue was the Lorimer residence for 50 years. It was built by renowned custom home builder George Blair, whose other homes in the core area have been recognized as historically significant, and I might add with much less historical relevance than that of the Lorimer residence.

One of Burlington’s greatest historical magnetic personalities of the early 20th century was the owner Harry Lorimer, who was the station master at the historic Freeman Station when it opened in 1906, and he was also the station master for the previous Freeman Station, before it burned to the ground in 1904.

Harry Lorimer changed careers and went into the retail business and purchased Allen’s Hardware Store, at the corner of Brant & Pine Streets, from James S Allen, a former Mayor of Burlington, and turned it into a retail legacy providing local market gardeners and homeowners with everything they needed.

The Colton & Lorimer Hardware store was the leading retail catalyst for Burlington moving quickly into the 20th century as it began to transition itself from an agricultural town to a suburban community. Yes, Mr. Clemens, there is great historical significance to the residence at 504 Burlington Avenue. It was the home of an outstanding citizen of Burlington. You sir, and Heritage Burlington have made another serious error. This is unacceptable.

Harry Lorimer & 504 Burlington Avenue p4

 Harry Lorimer is another outstanding citizen of Burlington from the early 20th century whose great contributions to Burlington’s development have gone unnoticed and unrecognized. Heritage Burlington has removed the Lorimer residence at 504 Burlington Avenue from the Heritage Registry. From their ignorant point of view there was a lack of historical significance.

These are just two glaring examples of incredibly bad judgment by this committee. Heritage Burlington under the questionable leadership of James Clemens have recommended to City Council the removal of many more historical properties from the Heritage Registry designation. In my opinion, Heritage Burlington appears to be more counter- productive than anything else. They are failing miserably to recognize and preserve our most valuable historical properties. This is unacceptable. Is this how Heritage Burlington is going to recognize John Waldie and the Waldie family’s contribution to Burlington?

James Clemens and Marianne Meed Ward p4

James Clemens is the Chairman of Heritage Burlington. With Mr. Clemens is Councillor Marianne Meed Ward who also sits on the Heritage Burlington committee and represents the City of Burlington. Heritage Burlington has been systematically recommending removal of some of Burlington’s most historical properties from the Heritage Registry.


John Waldie Study Hall p4

On the second floor of the Burlington Central Library you will see for yourself what the City of Burlington has done to recognize one of its greatest philanthropic citizens. There is a small sign hanging overhead, “John Waldie Study Hall”. On the wall to the left of the door is a framed portrait of John Waldie. This is the same 1906 photograph from St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Victoria Harbour. Do the words pathetic or embarrassing come to mind?

Not to be outdone by Heritage Burlington, here’s how the City of Burlington has recognized John Waldie, Canadian philanthropist, the “Father of Burlington”, and the “Father of the Burlington Library”. Need I say more.

James Clemens is the Chairman of Heritage Burlington. With Mr. Clemens is Councillor Marianne Meed Ward who also sits on the Heritage Burlington committee and represents the City of Burlington. Heritage Burlington has been systematically recommending removal of some of Burlington’s most historical properties from the Heritage Registry.

Here are a few of my suggestions in my order of importance to better recognize John Waldie as one of Burlington’s greatest citizens.

1.) The Burlington Central Library is a very boring and uninspiring name. We can do better. My suggestion is to rename it “The John Waldie Memorial Library”.
2.) Erect a bronze statue at City Hall and locate it on the City Hall grounds in an appropriate open space complete with a small engraved biography of the man.
3.) Name the City Hall property “John Waldie Square” with the sub-heading,
“Father of Burlington”. Add a plaque to a prominent position on the grounds of City Hall.
4.) Add John Waldie’s portrait complete with a description to the lobby of City Hall, local fire and police stations, schools, and any other local public buildings.
5.) John Waldie was involved in shipping, owning several lake freighters, that operated from the three wharves at the foot of Brant Street. Consider naming the new pier after John Waldie.
6.) Rename Mayfair Place where the Waldie home now stands. Call it John Waldie Place or something similar.
7.) Name a park after John Waldie. How about Central Park? That’s not a great name.

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Pauline Johnson public school students are to be part of a national broadcast involving 79 schools.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

March 10, 2015


The 50th anniversary of the Canadian flag is an ongoing thing – Burlington is feeling the celebration with students at Pauline Johnson Public school singing their little hearts out while a voice recording technician captures it all. Children from different classes are paraded into the gym and get put into place and given instructions.

The recoding technicians does several takes – one that was going very well got cancelled when one of the boys had a very impressive sneeze

Another got scrubbed from the sound of a camera clicking – it was my camera

Alice Mary St. James, principal at Pauline Johnson is justifiably proud of the students – the pictures tell the story.

Pauline Johnson - lined up

They stayed this still during the four recordings of O Canada they did.

Pauline Johnson Public School has a student population of 285 – it’s an older school; a place that gives you the sense it is well run. Like a comfortable pair of slippers.

Before each recording session the technician chats with the students: How old is the Canadian flag? Who was the first Prime Minister of Canada – no one got that one but when asked what Canada had before the Maple Leaf was adopted one boy knew every detail of what we used to call the Red Ensign.

Pauline Johnson - close up kids + girl

That young lady was not going to miss a word

Another little girl in that halting voice only a grade four student can have, explained in almost excruciating detail why we have the Maple Leaf.

When all the recordings are done they will be merged into a single sound track that anyone can download.

Hint here to city hall – the recording of O Canada that is played before each city council meeting is just plain terrible. Someone in the Mayor’s office could get on the phone and arrange to get a copy of the recording.

The school is one of 79 across the country selected for this program

Pauline Johnson - grouped with St. James

Rapt attention to the recording technician – waiting for the cue to start

Pauline Johnson with Steph MacLellan

Everyone is paying close attention – well almost everyone; four takes and the singing session was a wrap.

Part of the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the first hoisting of the Canadian flag is to have a student at each participating school write an essay.

Alice Mary St. James

Pauline Johnson Public School principal Mary Alice St. James

Because Pauline Johnson Public school was named after the aboriginal poet, grade 6 student Avery Cline wrote a poem

Why I’m proud to be a Canadian

Waking up every morning
Knowing I a free
A peaceful day lies ahead of me
To believe, think, talk and ask as I please
The potential of all rising up like a seed

From PEI beaches to Yukon Mountains
Kindness from others flows like a fountain
We all pull together and work as a team
With blue skies above
While the sun beams collide
Our destinies forever abide.

The great four seasons we hold so dear
Their own special qualities
That bring so much cheer

Now I’ve laid it out clearly
Why Canada’s close to my heart
A love for our country
Set each day apart, fresh starts.

Principal St, James, nearing the end of a public school career, is one of the schools that has Core French starting at grade 4 – she wasn’t disappointed when Core French starting at Grade I was not offered to her school. “Some of these children are not quite ready for language instruction”she said. There is no doubt in the mind of St. James that French is essential – the pedagogical question for this principal is –  when do you start?

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City planner gives his viewpoint on Planning Act changes; it will be a lengthy process.

backgrounder 100By Staff

March 10, 2015


The province recently announced changes it wants to make to the Planning Act and the way Development charges are to be implemented.
Everything the city does in the Planning and Building department is impacted by these changes – getting the views of the Bruce Krushelnicki, the city’s director of |Planning then are useful – what does he think this is going to mean?

“Of course this is a Provincial legislative proposal and will be the subject of wide review and debate. This will I am sure, evoke an important conversation, one that has been expected for some time following the announcement last year that the Planning Act was undergoing a scoped review.
My initial comment is that there is a lot more detail necessary before we can understand the impact of the changes that are proposed. The note identifies a “stakeholder working group” that will assist in implementing some of these changes, so the details may be some time yet in coming.

The proposed changes that would enhance public engagement are welcomed and I look forward to some additional information about the proposed “community permit planning system”. Planning Advisory Committees – which can even now include citizen membership – have been part of the Planning Act for many years and I await the details regarding the changes that are proposed. It appears that when such committees are formed, citizen membership may be required.


What will the revisions to the Planning Act mean to citizen input on what gets built?

The change to a ten-year review requirement for Official Plans is very welcomed. When the Act was revised some time ago, the previously optional five year review was made a mandatory requirement. As Official Plans have become more complex, the five year review (including OMB appeals) was often scarcely completed when a new review would commence. Some in the planning profession expressed concerns that plans were almost constantly under review. Some argue that this has resulted in a lack of stability in the policy framework. This may be intended to address this concern.

Providing more stability over planning documents addresses the concern expressed by some that it is too easy to apply for amendments and if unsuccessful, too easy to appeal an Official Plan, even one that has been recently approved. The two year moratorium on private appeals as they are called – that is appeals lodged by persons when an private application for amendment is refused or ignored – means that councils can expect their plans to remain unchallenged for a period of time.

According to the proposal as described, a council will nevertheless be able to amend their Official Plan on their own initiative.
The proposal also seeks to remove the opportunity to appeal some issues to the OMB. Removing appeal opportunities cuts both ways. That is, appeals can be made by citizens against a decision of council and appeals can also be made by developers against a decision of council. How appeal opportunities for all parties will be affected will be important to learn as details become known.

New City park - bulldozers

What will any Development Charge changes mean to the cost of housing?

It is also proposed that more clarity will be provided in determining what constitutes a minor variance to the zoning by-law. Minor variances are decided by the Committee of Adjustment, an independent body appointed by council.

Currently there are four long standing “tests” for a minor variance. Presumably the criteria for approval by the Committee will be clarified by the stakeholder working group. This is yet another is area where much more information is need before the implications can be assessed.”

This process of revising two very significant pieces of legislation has clearly just begun.

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Five more Burlington public schools to have Core French in grade 1

News 100 blueBy Walter Byj

March 9, 2015


The Halton District School Board voted to expand the Core French program in September. The expansion was to be for not less than twelve additional schools but not more than fifteen.

Tecumseh Public school

Tecumseh is one of five Burlington Public Schools to get Core French in September

The Board announced that the following Burlington schools will have the Core French program in September.

King’s Road Public School
Paul A. Fisher Public School
Ryerson Public School
Tecumseh Public School
Alexander Public School

This will create a total of 39 elementary schools that will now carry this program as of September 2015. This represents slightly more than half of all elementary schools in Halton. The remaining schools should have the program, pending its success, within the next two years.

Ryerson public school

Ryerson will have Core French for grade 1 students in September.

These students will receive 40 minutes a week of Core French instruction starting in Grade 1 with instruction expanding to 200 minutes in grades 6-7-8.

The program will continue to be monitored and an interim report will be brought to the trustees in November 2015.

If this program continues to grow and is deemed to be successful, what pressure will it bring to the current French Immersion program and how will it affect schools that are both single and dual track French Immersion schools? Time will tell.

The expansion has five schools in the western part of the Region; five 5 in the east and five in the north providing core French in grade one.

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Beaudoin stuffed; sex ed curriculum could be controversial and core french being extended across the board

News 100 redBy Walter Byj

March 9, 2015


It didn’t take long for the Halton District School Board to decide how it was going to handle the proposed new curriculum on sex education. They unanimously approved the motion by trustee Gray (Halton Hills) that the board send correspondence to the ministry requesting both funding and appropriate training for elementary and secondary teachers in reference to the new Health and Physical Education curriculum.

Halton District School Board wants funding and training before it gets into the new sex education curriculum.The trustees acknowledged this could be a controversial bill and wanted assurance that the teachers in Halton have the resources and knowledge to teach the curriculum appropriately. Trustee Collard (Burlington) stressed that all teachers should be consistent in their training; this was echoed by the student trustee Sophie Schneider. There was no disapproval of the new curriculum by any of the trustees although they did acknowledge that it could be controversial. There are rumblings in the community – a lot of people are not comfortable with this change.

The board also approved the motion that the primary Core French program be extended with for September 2015 with a minimum of 12 new schools and no more than 15.

Although all trustees were impressed with the program to date, there was some question as to the continuation of the program to all schools in the board. Not so said trustee Harvey Hope (Oakville). This is not a pilot project, it is a go. This was reiterated by Associate Director of Education Miller. “Staff does not see this as a pilot program” he said. We are currently cautious only due to staffing issues.

This is not a pilot project, it is a go.If an additional 15 schools are added this year, more than half of the schools would have the program this September with all schools on board within two years. The board will be forwarded the list of new schools for their review by Friday of this week.

The board then faced the issue of filling two current vacancies. Superintendent of Education Yaw Obeng is leaving for a higher position in Burlington, Vermont while David Eaule, Director of Education, announced his retirement effective August of this year.

Although hiring committees will be formed for both positions, both trustee Danielli (Milton) and Collard (Burlington) wanted as many trustees as possible involved in the hiring of the new Director of Education. This is a very detailed and complicated procedure and any experience gained through this process would prove to be beneficial in future hiring’s. The initial step would be to hire a search firm and this should be done by April.

With the upcoming elections of two student trustees by April 30th of this year, the current student trustees, Schneider and Sahi, forwarded a motion that the voting procedure should change.

They didn’t want to see voting become a popularity contest. The board will work with the student trustees to draft a new procedure by the next meeting.

Beaudoin school

Beaudoin Public school is stuffed – no room left.

Beaudoin stuffed - Ryerson has six emply classrooms - changes coming.The Board is struggling with a situation where some schools are filled to capacity while others have room to spare. This is apparent at Charles R. Beaudoin public school; it is a triple track school – dual track English and French Immersion along with gifted self contained classes and is exceeding capacity.

Ryerson public school

Ryerson Public school has six empty classrooms

Ryerson has six classrooms available. Superintendent of Education Zonneveld proposed that self-contained gifted classes include grades 3 to 8 at Charles R. Beaudoin while Ryerson would include grades 1 to 2. The self-contained classes would continue to expand over the coming years to include grades one to four while Beaudoin would have classes from five to eight.

Trustees expressed concern about students having to transition schools after grades four. There are parents who will express that concern as well.
Beaudoin has had problems with the size of its student population for some time.

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John Waldie had two wives and thirteen children: all were brought back to Burlington where they were buried.

Who Knew 100x100 2015By Mark Gillies

March 9, 2015


Part three of a four part feature.

Waldie John  & Mary Waldie with their children part 3

This picture of the 13 Waldie children, Agnes, Marion, James, John, Lillian, Ida, Ernest, Frederick, Robert, Walter, Jessica, Charles and Mary was photographed around 1886 or 1887, after their mother had died in 1884. On the top left is John Waldie, the father, at about 52 years of age; and below John, is the children’s mother Mary Thompson Waldie at about 40 years of age.

One of Canada’s greatest business leaders at the turn of the 20th century was John Waldie; a man with humble beginnings and amassed unbelievable wealth, and became one of Canada’s most powerful lumber barons was also a true philanthropist, a refined gentleman, and a man who was passionate about calling Burlington, his home.

John Waldie married twice. His first wife was Mary Ann Thompson. Mary was born in 1841, but died at the age of 43 in January 1884, just three weeks after giving birth to her 13th child Mollie. John’s second wife was Sarah Ann Jarvis from Milton, a young lady of 29, who married the 53 year old widower in December 1885. Sarah Ann, at the age of 61, suffered a stroke and died June 6, 1918.

Waldie - Sarah Ann Jarvis 3

Sarah Ann Jarvis was a remarkable young lady. At 29 years of age, she entered into marriage with John Waldie who was 52 years of age; and then Sarah became a stepmother to John’s 13 children.

John Waldie had 13 children, and their lives continued on with much diversity after John Waldie’s death in 1907. Some children had tragic endings, while some had successful careers, some married into wealthy families, while others played and lived the life of the rich and famous.

From eldest to youngest, the first born was in 1862, and the last born was in 1884; their names are in chronological order; Agnes, Marion, James, John, Lillian, Ida, Ernest, Frederick, Robert, Walter, Jessica, Charles and Mary.

Agnes Waldie was born in 1862. On June 22, 1882, Agnes married into the affluent Marlatt family of Oakville. Her husband was Cecil Gustavus Marlatt, a dashing young man, a yachting enthusiast, an industrialist, and one of Oakville’s favourite sons. The Marlatt family owned the local tannery which at the time was the largest employer with over 200 employees.

The couple had two children. Roy Waldie Marlatt died in 1885 from cholera, at the age of 5 months. Their second son Kenneth Dean Marlatt was born in 1888 and passed away in 1942. One month after Kenneth’s birth in November, Agnes died on December 22, 1888 from spinal meningitis.

Gillies - Agnes Waldie

Agnes Waldie (L) married into one of Oakville’s wealthiest families. In 1882 Agnes married Cecil Gustavus Marlatt. It was Agnes who laid the cornerstone for the new Knox Presbyterian Church in Oakville (C), a building mainly financed by the Marlatt family.

Agnes and Cecil were members of Knox Presbyterian Church located on Lakeshore Road in downtown Oakville. It was Agnes who laid the cornerstone for the church in 1884. The Marlatt family financed the construction of Knox Presbyterian Church.

Gillies Marion Waldie Combo 1 & 2

Marion never married, preferring a life of world travel and high class living.

Marion Waldie was born in 1864 in Wellington Square. Marion, the second eldest daughter never married. Preferring the single life, Marion lived most of her affluent life travelling around the world. On Aug 29, 1949 Marion passed away at the age of 85, in Toronto.

Gillies -  John Edward Waldie

John Edward Waldie’s life was tragically cut short at the age of 26 when he drowned in a canoeing accident on the French River.

James William Waldie was the eldest son. William, as he was known, was born in 1867, at their home in Wellington Square. William followed in his father’s footsteps and became involved in the lumber business.

Gillies - James William Waldie

William Waldie was the first son to follow in his father’s footsteps. William moved his own family to Castlegar, British Columbia, and began the west coast operation of the family’s massive lumber business.

The Waldie’s expanded their business across Canada, and William went to Castlegar, British Columbia, and set up the William Waldie & Sons Lumber Company. This west coast business was highly successful and operated until 1961.

John Edward Waldie was born in 1868 in Wellington Square. John also followed his father and older brother into the lumber business, but in 1894, the family was devastated at the news of the sudden death of John Edward Waldie. At the age of 26, John drowned in a canoeing accident on the French River.

Gillies - Eliza Lillian Waldie

Lillie, like her older sister Marion, never married. Lillie travelled the world and lived the life of luxury. At her Toronto home, she suffered a heart attack and died when she was only 68 years old

.Eliza Lillian Waldie was born in 1870 in Wellington Square. Lillian, just like her older sister, never married. She too, preferred to travel around the world, living the life of the rich and famous. Two days after Christmas in 1938, Lillian suffered a heart attack at the age of 68, and died in her Toronto home.

Gillies - Ida Waldie

Fanny married Dr. Charles Temple. The wealthy Temple family were prominent surgeons in Toronto.

Ida Frances Waldie was born in 1871 in Wellington Square. Ida was known as Fanny. In 1895, Fanny married Dr. Charles Algernon Deveser Temple, a surgeon. The Temple family were prominent Toronto doctors. In February of 1940, Ida Waldie Temple at the age of 69, died.

Ernest Tasker Waldie was born in 1873. Ernest had a difficult life. Apparently, he was dropped on his head as a baby, and suffered his entire life with mental disorders. Ernest lived most of his life at the “Orillia Asylum for Idiots”, tnhat was the original name of the institution. This same institution is now involved in a $2 billion dollar class action lawsuit with the Province of Ontario for alleged mistreatment of patients, which is scheduled for court in September 2015.

Gillies - Ernest Tasker Waldie

Ernest Waldie suffered from medical conditions and spent most of his life at an institution once called the “Orillia Asylum for Idiots”, now called the Huronia Regional Centre in Orillia.

Heading up the class action, are two former residents from the psychiatric facility, who told how they had been beaten, sexually abused, held upside down in ice-cold water and medicated against their will at the Huronia Regional Centre (Orillia Asylum for Idiots). Ernest at 58, died from pneumonia and heart failure in 1931 while he was a patient at this same institution. There was a contributory cause of Ernest’s death listed on the Death Certificate. It was recorded as “Idiocy”.

Frederick Norval Waldie was the fourth eldest son of John Waldie. Fred was born in Burlington in 1875. After his father’s death in 1907, Fred became president of the Victoria Harbour Lumber Company. At the age of 52, Fred died from heart disease in Shanty Bay, Ontario.

Gillies - Robert Stanley Waldie

Robert pursued law as a career and did not go into the lumber business. Robert Waldie became the President of the Imperial Bank of Canada, and also held the position of Vice-President with the Canada Bread Company.

The fifth son was Robert Stanley Waldie, who was born in Burlington in 1877. Robert did not follow in his father’s footsteps and venture into the lumber business. Robert chose law as a profession. As a lawyer, Robert was successful in the business world, and rose to become the president of the Imperial Bank of Canada. The Imperial Bank merged with the Canadian Bank of Commerce in 1961; the largest merger of two chartered banks in Canadian history. Robert Waldie was also the vice-president of the Canada Bread Company. Robert Stanley Waldie died in 1966.

Gillies - Walter Scott Waldie

Walter left the Victoria Harbour Lumber Company to join the military at the beginning of World War 1. While overseas, Walter died from influenza in 1919. His father-in-law was Sir Albert Edward Kemp (L), the Minister of Militia and Defence for Canada, in Sir Robert Borden’s Government

Walter Scott Waldie was born in 1879 in Burlington. Walter like most of his brothers went into the lumber business. When World War 1 broke out, Walter enlisted into the military and went overseas. In 1919, while still in the service and located in Wales, Walter died from influenza on February 2, 1919. He left behind his wife Alice and 3 young children John, Alice and Ian. Mrs. Walter Waldie was the daughter of Sir Albert Edward Kemp. During World War 1, Sir Albert was the Minister of Militia and Defence, and the Minister of the Overseas Military Forces for Canada.

Jessica Waldie was the eleventh child born to Burlington’s Waldie family in 1880. Jessie had more of an ordinary married life, and one not so much wrapped around all of the wealth that the Waldie family enjoyed. In 1905 Jessie married Godfrey Edward Spragge. The Spragge family had four children, John, Edward, Elizabeth and Peter. John Godfrey Spragge, the eldest son born in 1907 chose a military career and rose in rank to become a Brigadier-General in World War II.

Gillies Charles Percival Waldie

Percy was the youngest son of John and Mary Waldie. He joined the war effort and died in battle, with the rank of Lieutenant, at Hulloch Village, Loos, France. Percy was just 33 years old.

Charles Percival Waldie was John Waldie’s youngest son. Percy was born in 1882. When World War 1 came along, young Percy enlisted. The Great War was to claim his life, and on September 26, 1915 at the battle of Loos near Hulloch Village, France; 2nd Lieutenant Waldie was killed in action.

Gillies - Waldie Family Plot in Greenwood Cemetery

John Waldie and his family all returned home to Burlington and are buried in the family plot in historic Greenwood Cemetery.

The youngest child of John Waldie was Mary Waldie, and the family called her Mollie. Mollie was born in Burlington in 1884. Mollie enjoyed a privileged life. At the age of 21 in 1905, young Mollie married Robert Cecil Hamilton Cassels. The Cassels family were prominent lawyers in Toronto. Today, Cassels, Brock and Blackwell is one of the largest law firms in Canada, and has been established for over 125 years. Mollie at the age of 75, passed away June 16, 1959.

My next article, Part 4 of a 4 Part series, will be what the City of Burlington has done to recognize this great Canadian philanthropist, a one of a kind business leader, who was a distinguished local and federal politician, and was the “Father of Burlington”, plus the “Father of the Burlington Public Library”.

Mark Gillies is a lifelong resident of Burlington, who grew up in Aldershot and developed as a local historian, researcher, master genealogist and writer who has a passionate interest and extensive knowledge of the many early pioneer families.
Mark will write a regular column about colourful local history introducing Burlingtonians to the people that made this city what it is today.



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Five flicks to be screened by BurlingtonGreen this year - first on March 25th - worth your time.

News 100 greenBy Staff

March 7, 2015


While a larger community is gearing up for the review of the provinces ecologically parts of our environment BurlingtonGreen has announced its 2015 line up of award winning films for their 2015 Eco-film Festival which will start later this month – on March 25th.

The screenings will be at the Burlington Central Library (2331 New Street), followed by take action initiatives, guest speakers, and audience discussion on how individual and collective action can help the planet locally.

Doors open at 6:30pm with the film beginning at 7:00pm – $5.00 donations are welcome upon arrival to support event costs.

The eco-film festival line up includes:

Watermark (March 25th) An extraordinary awarding winning documentary by Canadian filmmakers that examines our relationship with water and how it shapes humanity.

Surviving progressSurviving Progress (April 29th) Martin Scorsese’s provocative documentary that delves into concepts of progress focusing on technological advancement, economic development, and population increase in the modern world.

Chasing IceChasing Ice (June 3rd) An Academy Award winning film that details the story of one man’s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet.

Dirt! (September 23rd) An astonishing look at the glorious and unappreciated ground beneath our feet.

Journey of the Universe (November 4th) An epic story of cosmic, earth and human transformation from the Big Bang to today.

Complimentary refreshments will be available along with free eco-prize raffle draws at each event. BurlingtonGreen aims to host green events and asks that all guests walk, cycle, carpool or use public transit whenever possible, and bring their own mug for refreshments.

BurlingtonGreen is very grateful to local Burlington company O. C. Tanner for their continued support of the Eco-Film Festival. Event refreshments provided courtesy of Whole Foods Market.

Together they make a difference when we think global and act local

For those who may be new to Burlington and haven’t heard about BurlingtonGreen it was established in 2007. It is a citizen-led, not-for-profit environmental agency. Their mission is to protect the diversity of nature and to create a healthier environment, now and for the future. Through awareness, advocacy, and action they collaborate with all sectors of the community to protect the natural environment and to make Burlington a cleaner, greener, more environmentally responsible city.


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Police media releases now using Latin? Project Viocurus - Collision Reduction Initiative Pays Off

News 100 redBy Staff
March 6, 2015



The results of Project Viocurus (Latin for Master of the Roads) are in and they point to a significant reduction in personal injury and damage collisions within the Towns of Milton and Halton Hills.

Between February 5th and March 5th officers from 1 District proactively targeted the major east west commuter routes and collision “Hot Spots” within both Townships targeting the “Big 4” bad driving behaviours; aggressive driving, distracted driving, impaired driving and failure to wear seat belts.
For the same period last year there were a total of 22 injury collisions. This year there were 11 injury collisions. The project had the same positive impact on property damage collisions with 186 being reported last year compared to 81 this year.

Officers continued to target those drivers who present a significant risk to the motoring community, focussing especially on those who are prohibited from driving and driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol. During the project a total of 10 drivers were arrested and charged for impaired driving and 38 drivers were charged with driving while under a suspension.

Officers continued to target those drivers who present a significant risk to the motoring community.During the project a total of 1130 Provincial Offence Notices were issued compared to 949 for the same period last year.

Halton Police would like to remind the public that we take traffic safety and enforcement extremely seriously and remain committed to working with our community partners to make our roads as safe as possible. If you suspect that a driver is impaired please treat this as a crime in progress and call 911.

If any member of the public wishes to report an incident involving dangerous and/or aggressive driving they can visit our website and file a Road Watch report.

The mission of the Halton Community ROAD WATCH Program is to reduce aggressive driving on the streets and highways of Halton Region. The Halton Community ROAD WATCH Program encourages the community to take responsibility for their driving behavior and attitudes.

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The Victoria Harbour Lumber Company; the source of the Waldie wealth.

Who Knew 100x100 2015By Mark Gillies

March 5, 2015


Part two of a four part feature

Gillies - Waldie John Waldie, Father of BurlingtonJohn Waldie spent most of his time in Toronto during 1886 preparing to create his biggest business venture to date.

Gillies Waldie Erin Residence

The historic home called “Erin” was purchased as a wedding present for his second wife, Sarah Ann Jarvis. Sarah was to become the stepmother to John’s 13 children. While John Waldie was in Toronto, the family stayed in Burlington until John was ready to move his family into “Glenhurst”, the first mansion built in Rosedale.

John, a widower for one year, had just remarried December 16, 1885 to Sarah Ann Jarvis, and almost immediately, he went to Toronto by himself to start his new company leaving Sarah in Burlington with his 13 children. As a wedding present, John had purchased “Erin”, a home for Sarah at 3265 Mayfair Place in Burlington. Sarah was to care for the children at this home until it was time to have them all move to Toronto.

On November 20, 1886, the Victoria Harbour Lumber Company was incorporated. John had purchased a failing sawmill in Victoria Harbour named Kean, Fowlie and Company. The former company had gone through rough times and were unable to continue.

The Victoria Harbour Lumber Company grew and prospered under the management of John Waldie. In order to make the business successful, it was necessary to create a village for the employees. The area was fairly remote at the time. Streets were laid out, and in 1888 construction began on buildings and houses.

Gillies Waldie Victoria Harbour General Store

To make the Victoria Harbour Lumber Company successful, John Waldie built most of the town, enabling his employees to live and work locally. The general store was a company store, owned and operated by the Victoria Harbour Lumber Company.

Gillies Waldie Victoria Harbour GTR Train Station

Fortunately for John Waldie, the Grand Trunk Railway built a train station in Victoria Harbour. The location was ideal, as it was right across the road from his sawmills. The station was used to transport logs into Victoria Harbour, and to ship finished cut lumber out of the community.

The Grand Trunk Railway had arrived and built their own train station. John Waldie built a general store. He had more than enough experience on how to build and run a successful general store, having purchased his first in Wellington Square when he was just 22 years of age. John had a second store built in Wellington Square, and it is still there to this day, at the northeast corner of Lakeshore and John Street.

Gillies Waldie 1916 Victoria Harbour Library

John Waldie built a library for the residents of Victoria Harbour and furnished it with books, just as he had done for Burlington. Pic: St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church

John, always an avid believer in reading made sure that they built a library for the residences of Victoria Harbour. It was a beautiful facility, and is still in the village to this day, as well as the general store.

Gillies  Waldie St Paul's Presbyterian Church

John Waldie was a Presbyterian. He financed the construction of St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Victoria Harbour. The church opened in 1906.

Waldie, a devout religious man, built St Paul’s Presbyterian Church in 1906 for this little hamlet. The church is still functional to this day.

Gillies Waldie Victoria Harbour 1920

This rare aerial view of Victoria Harbour was how the village looked around 1920. The intersection of William & Albert Streets is at the top and in the middle of the photograph. In the background, you can see the three mills, the log booms in the bay, the Grand Trunk Railway station to the upper left, railway box cars are to the upper right, the General Store and Library are across the street from each other on either side of the main intersection.

If you’re going to have all these buildings for your employees, then you better have houses for them. John set out to build most of the houses in Victoria Harbour. They were small, but efficient. The houses had an early nickname, and were called “saltboxes”, but that went by the wayside when John had the houses painted in the company’s colours of white and yellow. The trim was white and the exterior walls were yellow. The new nickname was “canary houses”, and many are still referred by that name today.

Gillies Waladie Victoria Harbour Planer Mill

Once the logs had been cut, they were transferred to the planing mill. Here they were prepared into a finished product.

Gillies - Waldie Victoria Harbour Lumber Mill 1

Victoria Harbour Lumber Company consisted of three sawmills: Mill #1 & planing mill; Mill #2, and Mill l#3. Workers poured in from all over Canada, the United States and Europe eager to work at the Victoria Harbour Lumber Company.

There were three mills at the water’s edge, and they were kept busy, sawing and planing lumber. Timber was brought to the mills from all around the Muskoka area, even as far north as Sudbury and North Bay. The railway brought some logs and so did the ships. Logs were also floated to the mills from many different locations. Upon arrival to the mills logs were kept in the water with huge booms, and were dragged to the mills when ready to cut. The finished lumber was then loaded in to railway boxcars or ships and sent to their destination.

Gillies Walddiw  Victoria Harbour Sailing Ship

Ships provided a second option to transport logs and finished lumber. The Victoria Harbour Lumber Company utilized both ships and rail for their products.

The tiny hamlet of Victoria Harbour with about 200 dedicated workers at the Victoria Harbour Lumber Company had made John Waldie the second wealthiest lumber baron in Canada by the turn of the 20th century, in just over 20 years.

My next article will be a continuation on the wealthy philanthropist, John Waldie and his family. Whatever happened to his 13 children, some lives ending in tragedy? What happened to John’s two wives? Find out next time.

Mark Gillies is a lifelong resident of Burlington, who grew up in Aldershot and developed as a local historian, researcher, master genealogist and writer who has a passionate interest and extensive knowledge of the many early pioneer families.
Mark will write a regular column about colourful local history introducing Burlingtonians to the people that made this city what it is today.


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Developing talent, discovering opportunities; techies under 20 to strut their stuff at the AGB

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

March 3, 2015


Employers need to continuously develop new talent, acquire new skills, and be open to fresh insights and ideas.

Tech Under 20’s need hands-on work experience that will strengthen their resumes and take their skills and careers to the next level.

These two groups need to meet each other – which is part of what Silicon Halton is trying to do with their Meet Up at the Art Gallery of Burlington March 10  at 7 in the evening.

A team of teens and adult mentors are working together on this meet up, inviting local Employers and Tech Under 20’s to present ideas and discuss the importance of Tech Internships to the ongoing growth and success of all types of businesses in the region.


The technically trained students are showing us a different world. There are forms are as different as their thinking.

On the agenda are:

Tech-focused students who have recently completed internships and are looking for new opportunities’
Employers who have recently offered (or are looking to fill) tech-focused internships in Halton’
Government program representatives with information about funding (for employers) and opportunities (for students / grads).
Discussion after the presentations on helping Silicon Halton develop a new Tech Internship Program for the region.


Oleg L.
Grade 12 student, Oakville
Sofware developer
INTERNSHIP EXPERIENCE: Recently completed a semester-long co-op with a software company that led to a full time summer job offer.
TOPIC: Oleg will discuss how demonstrating a high level of skill and commitment during a short term co-op can lead to extended opportunities with an employer.

Amanda R.
1st year UWaterloo
Honors Mechatronics program
Schulich Leader scholarship winner
INTERNSHIP EXPERIENCE: After competing in robotics competitions for 6 years and volunteering in Lego robotics since 2011, she is currently working on her first co-op placement as an Automation Engineer at Camcor Manufacturing, Linamar
TOPIC: Amanda will discuss the importance of networking before, during and after internships and co-op programs.

Ella R.
Grade 12 student, Oakville
Competitive robotics software developer, autonomous programmer & on-field strategist
INTERSHIP EXPERIENCE: Completed a Thermal and Nuclear Internship with Hatch Inc. last summer.
TOPIC: Ella will discuss how her internship opened her eyes to the variety of roles available on engineering teams in a large company setting.

Eddie S.
Grade 12 student, Milton
Competitive robot designer, build team leader & on-field strategist
INTERNSHIP EXPERIENCE: Eddie hasn’t taken part in an internship program yet, but want to learn more about opportunities related to engineering and design.
TOPIC: Eddie has advanced skills in design, engineering and robot fabrication, but he is unsure of where to turn for information on internships that would suit his interests and future career development.

Sam R.
1st year student at OCAD University
Majoring in Graphic Design
INTERNSHIP EXPERIENCE: Completed a communications internship with Appleby College two years ago that led to a paid, full time position with their communications team the following summer.
TOPIC: Sam will discuss how his technical and creative skills in graphic design and digital photography were expanded while meeting the needs of the internship, and how he benefited from the responsibility and creative freedom provided by both the internship and full-time summer positions.
LOOKING FOR: Sam is interested in working with organizations that will stretch his technical and creative skills further, while providing opportunities to continuing developing his portfolio of graphic design, photography, videography and motion graphics work.

Tom Murad – Ph.D., P.Eng., F.E.C., SM.IEEE; Head of Siemens Engineering & Technology Academy, Siemens Canada Limited

Vincent Hamel; Manager, Electro-Optical Engineering, L-3 Wescan

Ian Small; General Manager, AudioBooks

Mark Arteaga; President, RedBit Development
Mark will discuss “what we look for when we hire”.

Government organizations that have funding available will also be on hand.

Sandra Nuhn: Manager, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Halton Region
Sandra will highlight two young entrepreneur programs that the Halton Region Small Business Centre is delivering in the Region.
Summer Company: Provides hands-one business training and mentorship, with awards of up to $3,000 to help enterprising students between the ages of 15 – 29 start and run their own summer business.
Starter Company: provides training, mentorship and the opportunity to apply for a grant of up to $5,000 to youth between the ages of 18 – 29 to start, grow or buy a small business.

Kimberly Neale
Integrated Job Developer, Employment Services, Halton Region
Kimberly will highlight free employment services, programs and training incentives available to employers & job seekers in Halton Region. She will provide information / updates on Ontario’s Youth Employment Program, the Youth Job Strategy and Canada-Ontario Jobs Grant.

Sabrina Essner
Program Lead, Halton E-Mentoring & Newcomer Strategy, Halton Region
Halton Region is a welcoming, inclusive and supportive community. Sabrina will discuss the launch of Halton Region’s E-Mentoring program, community value and how to participate.

Registration can be done at Eventbrite


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John Waldie “The Father of Burlington” paid for the library and created the Greenwood cemetery.

Who Knew 100x100 2015By Mark Gillies

March 2, 2015


Part oneof a four part feature.

John Waldie was born in Scotland in 1833 to James and Jessie Waldie. The family immigrated to Upper Canada in 1842 when John was nine years old. The family settled in Wellington Square, a village of about 400 residents. Nearby Port Nelson located at the foot of Guelph Line had about 60 residents.

Gillies - Waldie John Waldie, Father of Burlington

John Waldie was an incredible businessman and philanthropist. He was “The Father of Burlington” & “The Father of the Burlington Library”.

James Waldie was a tailor,  one of four tailors working in Wellington Square until 1852. In that same year James, Jessie and their young daughter Agnes moved to Huron County and purchased 100 acres of farmland. Their son John, then 19 decided to stay in Wellington Square. Little did John Waldie know in 1852; that one day he would amass a great fortune and his decisions would affect so many people.

Gillies - Waldie John Waldie's General Store in colour

John Waldie’s general store located on the northeast corner of Lakeshore Road and John Street was the place to shop in Burlington for clothing and home furnishings. The store employed 12 clerks, and everyone was kept busy serving a large clientele.

John had been employed as a store clerk for one year at the dry goods store of local businessman William Bunton. John was adept at business, and at 22 years of age in 1855, he purchased the business from Mr. Bunton. Not long after, John Waldie built a new store at the northeast corner of Lakeshore Road and John Street. The building is still there, with most of the historic features not visible to most.

Gillies - Waldie Azov 4

The “Azov” was a freight sailing ship that transported both wheat and timber. The vessel was owned by John Waldie and William Bunton.

Gillies - Waldie Sweepstakes 3

In 1885, John Waldie’s sailing ship “Sweepstakes” sank in Big Tub Harbour at Tobermory. Today, this is Canada’s most famous dive site for ship wrecks.

William Bunton and John Waldie continued working together in other business partnerships. Both men entered into the shipping business and owned two sailing vessels. They were called the “Azov” and the “Sweepstakes”. Bunton already owned one of the three wharves located at the foot of Brant Street, and these two ships transported local timber and wheat. The name “Sweepstakes” may be familiar to diving enthusiasts.

The ship was built at Wellington Square in 1867 and sank in Big Tub Harbour at Tobermory around September 3,1885. Today the ship is the most visited dive wreck in Canada.

Gillies - Waldie - William Kerns

John Waldie and William Kerns were good friends, business partners and political foes. John was a Liberal, and William was a Liberal-Conservative. Both represented Halton County at different times.

From 1866 to 1885 John had been in partnership with William Kerns. The store was sold to Kerns when John Waldie moved to Toronto and began the Victoria Harbour Lumber Company. In 1887 Waldie decided to enter federal politics as a Liberal candidate, and represent Halton County. The riding was held by William McCraney, a Liberal, and a wealthy lumber merchant, who won the seat in 1882 when Sir William McDougall, a Father of Confederation, decided to run in another riding. When McCraney decided not to run for a second term, his friend John Waldie decided to run for office in the 1887 election.

Waldie’s Conservative opponent was local merchant David Henderson. The vote was close, Waldie 2,222 votes; Henderson 2,213 votes. Up to this election, John Waldie had been very active in the local community.

For two years, John had been the Reeve of Nelson Township and was elected to become the first Reeve of the Village of Burlington in 1873

Burlington was the name selected to replace the names Wellington Square and Port Nelson.

It was John Waldie who was the “architect” for combining the two communities together. In 1877, it was reported, “Whether for good or evil, the fact of incorporation is due to Mr. Waldie”. I think it is quite fair to say, John Waldie is the “Father of Burlington”. In 1877 John Waldie then moved on politically and became the Warden of Halton County for two years, a forerunner of today’s Regional Chairman.

Gillies - Waldie David Henderson

David Henderson and John Waldie had a mutual respect for each other. Both men battled for the same federal riding of Halton County several times.

John Waldie represented Halton County federally several times. His 1887 win was short lived, lasting only one year. Amidst allegations of bribery, a by-election was called, and David Henderson, a Conservative in 1888 won Halton County. John Waldie did not contest the seat. But Henderson also faced similar allegations of corruption, and another by-election was held, just six months into office.

This time Waldie and Henderson faced off for a second time. The election was close. Waldie 2,042 votes; Henderson 2,018 votes. The next election was in 1891, and the two were at it again. The vote was close, Henderson 2,441 votes; Waldie, 2,337 votes. Another by-election was called in 1892 and David Henderson was acclaimed. In the 1896 election, the two men squared off for the last time. The election was close, Henderson 2,460 votes; Waldie 2,376 votes.

Gillies - Waladie  Sir Wilfred Laurier

John Waldie while serving in Ottawa as the Liberal representative from Halton County, developed a close friendship with Prime Minister Sir Wilfred Laurier. This friendship helped Waldie after he left office. John Waldie was also President of the powerful Lumbermen’s Association, and he lobbied on behalf of the lumber industry, fighting against unfair trading practices by the Americans.

John Waldie’s political career had come to its conclusion. While in Ottawa, he did manage to make some great connections. One of his closest friends was Sir Wilfred Laurier.

John Waldie and his family moved from Burlington to Toronto in 1885, however they still regarded Burlington as home. It’s not that they wanted to move away; they had to move in order to properly develop his new Victoria Harbour Lumber Company.

Gillies - Waladie - Knox Presbyterian Church Burlington

Historic Knox Presbyterian Church on Elizabeth Street was the recipient of custom made imported stained glass windows; a gift from philanthropist, John Waldie.

John Waldie was a Presbyterian, and a member of historic Knox Presbyterian Church on Elizabeth Street. When you drive by the church, have a look at the beautiful stained glass windows. John Waldie had them manufactured in Scotland and brought them over as a gift for Knox Presbyterian Church.

John Waldie believed in reading as the best means to develop your learning capacity. In the very early 1900s, the Village of Burlington was having difficulty with establishing any kind of a library system. At the time, various residents would keep a small selection of books in their own homes, and area residents would drop by and borrow one or two books. The system was not working  and in danger of closing. On hearing of this situation, John Waldie proposed a solution.

Gillies - Waldie Burlington Library

The new Burlington Public Library opened its doors in 1906. The building and books were donated by philanthropist, John Waldie. The Public Library was located on Brant Street, where the City Hall is today.

If the Village of Burlington could find some land,  Waldie would build the library building, and donate it to the village. When the new facility opened in 1906, Mr. Waldie also stocked it with a donation of 6,000 books. I think it would also be accurate to call John Waldie, “The Father of the Burlington Library”.

By a deed dated 30 September 1888, The Greenwood Cemetery Company of Burlington purchased eight acres for $2,000. The Greenwood Cemetery Company was owned by John Waldie and they purchased the land from local market gardener James C. Filman for the purpose of establishing a cemetery. Block 50, a large block near the centre of the cemetery was purchased by John Waldie on 2 December 1889.  Waldie’s parents, both Presbyterians, died in 1864 and 1868 and were buried in St. Luke’s Anglican Cemetery. Knox Presbyterian Church did not have a cemetery. These two burials motivated John Waldie into creating the Greenwood Cemetery Company.

Gillies - Waldie Sarah Ann Jarvis

Sarah Ann Jarvis was just 29 years old when she married the widower John Waldie, who was 52 years of age. Sarah was to become a stepmother, since John was the father of 13 motherless children.

On September 18, 1885, John Waldie, a widower married for a second time. The new bride was Sarah Ann Jarvis, who at 29 years of age was 23 years younger than John.   Waldie’s wedding gift to his new wife, Sarah was a home located at 3265 Mayfair Place in Burlington.

Gillies Waldie - Erin Residence

John Waldie purchased 3265 Mayfair Place as a wedding present in 1885 for his new bride Sarah Ann Jarvis. The residence was called “Erin” and the home still retains this name today.

It was called “Erin”. Originally built in 1845 by Henry Sovereign, a United Empire Loyalist descendent, owned later by Moses Wilkins, then owned by John Waldie, this historic home has undergone several cosmetic alterations. The residence is located behind the Water Treatment plant on Lakeshore Road, but at one time the home sitting on a small hilltop commanded a beautiful view of Lake Ontario. The Henry Sovereign residence “Erin” is very similar to “Sovereign House” in Bronte; another historic home that was built in stages by fellow relative Charles Sovereign between 1825 and 1846. Today, the home is operated by the Bronte Historical Society and is used as a museum.

John Waldie died at 3:00 PM, June 12, 1907 at his residence “Glenhurst” located in the prestigious Rosedale area of Toronto. A week prior to his death Waldie suffered from bouts of violent coughing. Waldie, already in ill health, had a weakened heart and was unable to survive.

The funeral procession for John Waldie originated in Toronto. The Grand Trunk Railway with a special funeral train transported the mourners and coffin from Toronto to Burlington’s historic Freeman Train Station. The coffin was removed and transferred to a hearse provided by the Edgar Williamson Funeral Home on Brant Street.

Gilliies Waldie - Edgar Williamson Funeral Hearse

Edgar Williamson operated the local funeral home in Burlington. Today, we know it as Smith’s Funeral Homes. Mr. Williamson provided the horse-drawn hearse to carry the late Mr. Waldie from the Freeman Train Station to his final resting place in Greenwood Cemetery.

The procession slowly made its way to Greenwood Cemetery traveling south on Brant Street, and turning right on to Water Street. Brant Street was lined with mourners as they paid  their final respects to a favourite son. It wasn’t a state funeral, but it was visually overwhelming.  At Mr. Waldie’s funeral, one of the many in attendance to pay respects to this great man was David Henderson, John Waldie’s political adversary. John Waldie, a self-made man, had returned home to his beloved Burlington for the last time.

My next article will be about John Waldie’s Victoria Harbour Lumber Company. This company made John Waldie one of Canada’s wealthiest men, and the second most powerful lumber baron in Canada.

Mark Gillies is a lifelong resident of Burlington, who grew up in Aldershot and developed as a local historian, researcher, master genealogist and writer who has a passionate interest and extensive knowledge of the many early pioneer families.
Mark will write a regular column about colourful local history introducing Burlingtonians to the people that made this city what it is today.

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Local public school part of 50th flag anniversary celebration

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

February 28, 2015


Burlington has thousands of people who remember all too well the public debate over the adoption of a new flag for the country. Lester B.. Pearson, the Prime Minister at the time was giving a speech at a Legion gathering – they came close to booing him off the stage.

Canadian flag first time raised

Noon of February 15th, 1965 – the \red \maple leaf was flown from Parliament for the first time.

But at noon on February 15, 1965 the red maple leaf went up the flag pole on Parliament hill – and at locations across the country – and has been there ever since. That flag had a very difficult early childhood.

The flag that is raised each day and taken down each evening on Parliament Hill is donated to some organization where it is proudly flown. The list for flag requests stretches four years into the future.

Now that it is part of who we are there are groups across the country who want to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the red maple leaf.

A massive Canadian flag was passed hand over hand amongst a huge crowd in Montreal days before the citizens of Quebec voted in their referendum to remain a part of Canada.

A massive Canadian flag was passed hand over hand amongst a huge crowd in Montreal days before the citizens of Quebec voted in their referendum to remain a part of Canada.

Hometown Proud, a unique national program, that is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Flag of Canada is doing a cross country recording session tour and will be in Burlington March 10th to record the students at Pauline Johnson public school taking part in a national version of O Canada.

This unique program commemorates and aims to educate students on the history of Canada’s national flag, as well as unite students in what may be the largest recording of O Canada.

Getting to the point where Canada could celebrate the 50th anniversary was not an easy process. The link below is a CBC clip on the raising of the new flag. It is lengthy – 20 minutes – but if you want to fully appreciate what we went through – take the time. Watch for that Canadian hero Georges Vanier who was Governor General at the time. Stooped and looking every day his 70 |+ years Vanier watches as a flag he loved and fought under – losing a leg in the process – is brought down.

The film footage is HERE

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A crusty Burlington salt will show a short feature film on the Beach Canal lighthouse.

Event 100By Pepper Parr

February 27, 2015


If you can get yourself over to the Central Library on Sunday the 8th of March you will have a chance to meet one of those old timers who has done it all but doesn’t know quite how to hang up his spurs.


Sandy Thomson recalling some history for Burlington |Gazette reporter Walter Byj

Sandy Thomson, the great-great grandson of Captain George Thomson, a Berwick, England native who was the Burlington Beach Canal’s lighthouse keeper and diarist for 29 years in the 1800’s has produced a short film on the lighthouse.

The diaries became the base documents for the short film that Sandy and his small film crew have completed.

The diaries were preserved and are at the Brant Museum along with the lenses from the lighthouse.

Sandy Thomson still drives a motorcycle and has a small film operation – Cine 16 that keeps him busy.

Burlington canal light house

The Burlington canal lighthouse

The original Burlington Canal Lighthouse and Light station were built in 1838 to guide ships into Hamilton Harbour. The current stone structure as it stands today was built in 1858 and sits adjacent to the Burlington Canal Lift Bridge under the Burlington Bay James N. Allan Skyway.

The Burlington Canal Lighthouse Group (BCLG) is a non-profit organization formed by Hamilton and Burlington community members to preserve the Burlington Canal Lighthouse and Lightstation. Current member of the BCLG, Sandy Thomson says, “It is important to preserve the lighthouse that has both historical and educational importance. Other lighthouses have been restored on the Great Lakes and this is the only one left to be restored on Lake Ontario.”


Captain Sandy Thomson at the wheel of a Russian tug

Thomson is the owner of marine-parts manufacturer, Thordon Bearings, in Burlington. He provides innovative products to the marine industry around the world. While building a market for his propeller shaft bearings, Thomson captained a Russian steam tugboat, Rudokop, and toured all the major ports in Europe in the 1990-2000’s promoting Thordon’s propeller shaft and rudder bearings to ship owners and shipyards in the Baltic, North, Mediterranean and Black Seas.
“My great-great grandfather maintained the lighthouse for those vessels entering Hamilton Harbour on those dark and stormy nights, and as a former sea-captain, I can appreciate what a welcome sight that light is”.

The video will be shown during the BCLG’s general meeting at the Burlington Central Library on Sunday, March 8, 2015 at 2:00pm. The public and new members are welcome!

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Mental health leader talks to female high school students about the importance of getting the right mentor.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

February 27, 2015


This was the 19th time former MP and Member of the Privy Council Paddy Tourney held her event for younger woman in Burlington. It was a sold out – not the first time that has happened.

Each year Torsney sponsors a breakfast and brings in a speaker to talk about woman’s issues.

There are men in the room – but they are vastly outnumbered. The room – usually at the Holiday Inn – always has a buzz to it. The buzz at a women’s event is always quite different than when it is mostly men gathered.

Torsney - hands out

Burlington’s Paddy Torsney being Paddy Torsney

While Torsney would like the ticket price to cover all the costs – it never quite works out that way. What she does is look for corporations or individuals who will take a table and cover the cost for young woman to attend the event.

Torsney is currently the International Parliamentary Union Permanent representative at the United Nations in New York – where she advocates for the IPU and comes to terms with living in New York City.

Zahn with students

Dr. Catherine Zahn talks to students about the importance of completing their education.

These high school students attending this annual event are at that stage in life when values and choices are being formed. This year Dr. Catherine Zahn, President and CEO of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, spoke about the importance of mentoring and the changing view the public is developing about mental health.

Dr. Zahn is advocates strongly for making mental health part of the health system. “The divisiveness between communities and hospitals is not doing anything for anyone” she asserted and pointed out that it is time for more in the way of both resources and an understanding of the needs of people with mental health issues.

Elizabeth Small and Sydney MPP office

Elizabeth Small, on the left, was recognized for her success in being trained as a construction worker.

Zhan shifted back and forth between the importance of young women finding the mentors they need and the changing public view of mental health issues.

There was a time she said that literally and metaphorically people with mental health issues were shut away and we knew nothing about them.
That day is gone – but Zahn doesn’t believe that we are yet at the point where mental health is understood and appreciated for what it is across the public health spectrum.

Corpus Christi table

Students from Corpus Christ attend the women’s breakfast.

She seemed to feel that we are much further along with women experiencing the equality they are entitled to – however she is quick to point to the huge income disparity between men and women.

Zahn suggested that the solution to getting a stronger understanding and acceptance of mental health issues is to treat it the way the fight to beat cancer was waged. “Make it an issue and focus on the impact mental health has on not just the individual but the families involved and the larger community” she said.

There is a shortage of professional’s in the mental health field – without the investment in these professionals we will not make any advances” said Zahn.
“I am very optimistic both about the changes taking place in the opportunities for young woman today and the advances we can make in the treatment of There is a shortage of professional’s in the mental health field – without the investment in these professionals we will not make any advances”.mental health” she added.

Torsney made the point with her comment to the younger audience when she said: “You are a different generation; things that are obvious to you were not obvious to us”.

You could almost feel the torch being passed from one generation to the next.

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Province opens up it student summer job program - it's all on-line.

News 100 redBy Staff

February 26, 2015


The province has announced that youth in Ontario can now apply for summer jobs.

Student - sumkmer jobOntario’s Summer Jobs programs, in place since 2004, has helped almost 1,100,000 students find summer jobs, start businesses and access employment services. Each year, the programs help more than 100,000 students and youth:

• Find a summer job through Employment Ontario or community agencies.
• Get help with résumé writing and preparing for interviews.
• Apply for funding to start their own summer businesses.
• Gain experience working with the Ontario government.

For more information click HERE.  for details on year-round programs to help youth under 30 build skills, start a business, or find a job.

Helping young people get work experience is part of the government’s economic plan for Ontario. The four-part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people’s talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives and building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire.

Ontario is offering employers a $2-per-hour hiring incentive to hire summer students.

In the media release the province provides two additional websites with additional information.  They seem to be saying the same thing – but do you research and learn as much as you can.  There are some very interesting jobs – got get em!

Employment for people under 30

General government employment information


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Extreme cold weather results in cancellation of talk on cyber crime at the library.

Newsflash 100By Staff

February 23, 2015


The good people at The Different Drummer bring you this news with their apologies.

As a result of the extreme cold weather alert, our event planned for this evening at the Central Library with Paula Todd will be rescheduled. We will be in touch when we have all the details.

Todd was going to give a talk on her most recent book: Cyber Mean

Ian Elliot is very sorry for any inconvenience and will refund all ticket purchases.

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French being taught at 12 Burlington schools. more to follow. Director of Education David Eaule announces retirement.

News 100 redBy Walter Byj

February 19, 2015


It was a class that was half an hour late – technology got the blame.

School board meetings are now projected onto a screen that is behind the chair facing the trustees.  Some had difficulty speaking and watching themselves in real time.

Votes will no longer be a simple show of hands – the vote count is taken electronically and projected onto the screen.  A lesson here for Burlington city council.

There was just the one delegation: Christian Dragnea of Oakville who thanked the board for their efforts in determining the boundaries for the new elementary school in Neyawagaya/Dundas Street area in Oakville. Recognizing that no decision is perfect, the recommendation brought forward was easily the best. The new boundaries for both the new schools in Oakville and Milton were passed unanimously. Kudos to the board.

Next was an item that will most certainly be quite controversial, not only for Halton, but also for the entire province. With the new Health and Physical Education curriculum to be released shortly, trustee Gray, Halton Hills, presented to the board the following recommendation.

“Based on the need to ensure common understanding and consistent messages about the curriculum expectations associated with the new Health and Physical Health Education Curriculum, be it resolved that the Chair of the Halton District Board be directed to write a letter to the Ministry of Education to insist the following:

-the time frame of the full implementation of the new Health and Physical Curriculum ensures professional training sessions for both elementary and secondary teachers and members of school admin teams take place prior to implantation to ensure a fulsome understanding of the knowledge and skills students are expected to demonstrate at each grade level.

-full funding and resources are provided to support Board training and curriculum implementation.

This was passed unanimously by all the trustees. No doubt this will occupy much of their time and efforts in the near future.

In September of 2014, the HDSB introduced a program whereby 40 minutes a week of Primary Core French teaching for grade one students began in 24 Halton elementary schools; 12 of those schools were located in Burlington.

Although a full year has not been completed, the feedback to date has been positive and the initial 24 schools will expand the program to grade two in the 2015/2016 school year. Along with the grade one students, they too will receive 40 minutes of French on a weekly basis. This program is to expand to an additional 12 schools next year with the hope of all schools being on board by 2018.

The additional schools for next year are yet to be determined. Chair Amos wanted more schools in the program as soon as possible.  Associate Director Miller explained that getting proper staffing would be difficult in the short term and that they were following the original plan to be completed by 2018.

Trustee Grebenc (Burlington) asked if a search outside the province was being conducted to locate additional French staffing. Miller responded that due to limited funding resources, recruiting was limited within Ontario. Robert Hamilton, Principal of French Programs, confirmed that New Brunswick would be a primary source of new teachers as the program expands and that they would plan to do some recruiting in that province.

Trustee Pappin (Burlington) asked where the time comes from to teach French. She was assured that it is not taken from literacy or numeracy but rather during arts or phys ed time periods. It should be noted that the Ministry of Education does not provide a primary Core program in French and that it is the HDSB staff that is developing the program.

The board will continue to monitor the program and seek additional parent input to determine its success. If fully implemented, the timetable will be as following,

Grades 1 to 3 40 minutes weekly
Grade 4 120 minutes weekly
Grade 5 160 minutes weekly
Grades 6 to 8 200 minutes weekly

Eaule David

David Eaule retires after 40 years in education – he has been with the Halton Board for five years.

The board was also told that a JK program will not be not be offered at Pineland this coming school as the target of 15 student was not reached. Only 12 students were enrolled as of February 15th. Superintendent of Education Eatough stated that all parents have been advised and are in the process of making alternate plans.

The evening concluded with Chair Amos emotionally reading a letter from Director of Education, David Eaule, announcing his retirement effective August 31st 2015. Eaule has been an educator for 41 years and decided it was time to retire. Euale said that during his five years with the Halton board he has worked with 25 trustees.  He has no current plans.

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Police crackdown on intersection safety begins Thursday - runs till the end of 2015.

News 100 blueBy Staff

February 18, 2015


The Halton Regional Police Service will be initiating a traffic safety campaign throughout the City of Burlington in efforts to reduce motor vehicle collisions.

Operation RISC (Reducing Intersection Safety Concerns) will run throughout 2015. The intention is to maximize police visibility and increase the public’s perception of safety while driving.

Last year there were 3,789 collisions in the City of Burlington Collisions at intersections have a high risk potential of serious injuries or even death, making intersection safety a priority for the Halton Regional Police Service. The most common contributing factors are inattentiveness, distracted driving (cell phone use), failing to yield, driving too fast for road conditions, following too closely and disobeying traffic lights signals.

The mission of Operation RISC (Reducing Intersection Safety Concerns) is to proactively reduce the amount of collisions occurring within traffic intersections throughout the City of Burlington.

Operation RISC will be supported by the 30 Division District Response Unit and Uniform Patrol and will implement a variety of strategic response options at these intersections. Police will utilize education and enforcement strategies in order to deter collisions from occurring within targeted intersections and to also promote safe driving habits.

The goal of this initiative is twofold: To deter drivers from committing the types of offences that increase the probability of a collision at or near an intersection. To educate drivers and promote safe driving habits.

Last year there were 3,789 collisions in the City of Burlington which equals an average of 10 motor vehicle collisions per day. The Halton Regional Police is committed to reducing motor vehicle collisions in an effort to providing a safer community.
Operation RISC will kick off Thursday February 19, 2015.

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