Is it a fore gone conclusion that many husbands will disappear Saturday morning - Tyandaga opens!

News 100 greenBy Staff

April 15, 2016


Looks like a lot of people believe Spring is indeed here.


Getting ready for golf?

All those guys with the funny trousers are hauling out their bags of clubs and heading for the open spaces.

Tyandaga Golf Course will officially open for the 2016 golf season on Saturday, April 16. Golfers are invited to take advantage of a spring special on green fees which includes $45 to ride with a golf cart and $30 for golfers that are walking.

“Thanks to our maintenance crew, the course is in great condition and ready for a new golf season” so says Chris Glenn, the city’s director of parks and recreation.

Tyandaga Golf Course is located at 1265 Tyandaga Park Dr. and is one of Burlington’s most picturesque and challenging golf courses. Players wishing to book a tee time can do so online at

Save media that mattersTyandaga offers memberships, tournaments, clinics, private lessons, men’s and women’s league play, and in-season and off-season rentals. For more information about golfing at Tyandaga, call 905-336-0005 or visit

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Get that bike properly prepared for safe use in the weeks ahead.

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

April 14th, 2016


This probably means that warmer weather is going to arrive and stay for a while.

The Cycling Committee has invited residents to attend a series of free cycling seminars to help prepare for the 2016 spring and summer cycling season.

There are four topics that will be covered during the seminars, which run at Burlington Public Library branches this spring.

For Rob Nxx a good ride on one of his bikes is better than a night out. A passionate believer in greater use of bicycles, N has served on the city's cycl;ing committee for some time. He redenly led a night ride that had some 20+ people out on the roads at nighht.

For Rob Narejko a good ride on one of his bikes is better than a night out. A passionate believer in greater use of bicycles, N has served on the city’s cycling committee for some time. He recently led a night ride that had some 20+ people out on the roads at night.

Awesome Bike Gear for 2016 – Wednesday, April 27, 7 to 9 p.m. – Central Branch
A variety of local bike shops will share the latest in cool cycling gear for 2016. From stylish cycle-friendly clothing to tech/training gear, to fun and trendy bike accessories and fabulous equipment for family rides. Local bike experts will answer gear questions after the seminar.

Bikes at Beaudoin school

Bikes parked outside a Burlington school – both board of education and city hall would like to see more students biking to school and fewer parents driving their children to school.

Bike Maintenance 101
Saturday, April 30, 10 to 11:30 a.m. – Central Branch
Wednesday, May 4, 7 to 8:30 p.m. – Central Branch
Saturday, May 14, 2 to 3:30 p.m. – Alton Branch
Learn about basic bike maintenance that can be done at home. Start the bike season off right with a properly maintained bike for an easier and safer ride. This includes a keynote presentation from Rolling Horse Community Cycle.

Bike Safety
Saturday, May 7, 2 to 3 p.m. – Alton Branch
Monday, May 16, 7 to 8 p.m. – Central Branch
Saturday, June 4, 10 to 11 a.m. – Central Branch
This seminar will cover the rules of the road, must-have bike accessories, the roles and responsibilities of cyclists and motorists, hazards and the proper way to ride on-road bike lanes, bike sharrows and bike paths.

Bike Infrastructure around the World – Wednesday, June 1, 7 to 9 p.m. – Central Branch
Which cities are doing cycling infrastructure right? What creations of pro-cycling design around the world could Burlington learn from? Explore cycling infrastructure projects from around the world.

The seminars are free but sign-up is required.

Save media that mattersFor more information about the Burlington Cycling Committee and these free seminars, visit To sign up for any of the seminars, call Burlington Public Library – Central Branch at 905-639-3611, ext. 1321.

All this attention to getting bikes ready just might do something for the city’s transportation modal split – and if you don’t know what a modal split is – ask the people who tell you how to get your bike ready – this is what they are all about.

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Halton British Club Downton Abbey Theme Night - April 15 2016, 7:30 PM to 11:00 PM

eventspink 100x100By Staff

April 12, 2016


Will you be Carson or Cora?

Come to the April 15 meeting of the Halton British Club and have fun paying homage to your favorite Downton Abbey character. There will be prizes for the most authentic look, a quiz and a British style tea party to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday with some delicious birthday cake. Only $7 at the door.

When: 7:30 – 11 p.m. Friday, April 15

Where: Knights of Columbus Hall, 2400 Industrial St., Burlington


Which character do you want to be?

The Halton British Canadian Club Inc was established in 1984. Its purpose is to provide a setting where members can participate in social activities. The club meets on the third Friday of every month at the Knights of Columbus Hall.

Save the news feedFor more information: or contact
Jane or Russ Parker at:
or (905) 465-3480.

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eventspink 100x100By Staff

April 10th, 2016


A group of Burlington-area performers have joined together to present a benefit concert in aid of Syrian refugees. Burlington impresario and artists manager Robert Missen put the call out to all of his Facebook friends when the tragic circumstances in Eastern Europe came to a head. He wondered if they would be interested in participating in a special concert to provide financial support to the cause. The reaction was swift and decisive.

Missen put the word out to his colleague, Stillman Matheson, Director of Music at Port Nelson United Church, who then took the idea to the church’s Syrian Refugee Sponsorship Group . Their response was equally positive. The church will provide the use of the sanctuary for the concert, and will support the presentation of the event from marketing and logistical perspectives. Mr. Matheson and the church choir will participate in the concert.


Stuart Laughton

Musicians from all genres- classical, jazz, folk, blues, musical theatre- will come together at 3:30 pm on Sunday April 17th. All of the artists will be donating their services. They include singer-songwriter Jude Johnson, trumpeter , sopranos Carol Ann Thomson, Elise Naccarato and Alix Kingston, KooGle Theatre’s Leslie and Chris Gray, pianist Charles Cozens, flutist Claire Sweeny, mime artist and singer-songwriter Andy Griffiths. Robert Missen will serve as Host.

All of the proceeds will be shared equally between The United Church of Canada’s Emergency Response – Syria Relief campaign for those in refugee camps overseas and the Port Nelson Refugee Sponsorship Group.

Copp - air - cropped

Trevor Copp

5000 Miles Burlington is but one of several similar benefits that are being held across southern Ontario: Rosedale United Church in Toronto on Sunday November 8th ; Knox Presbyterian Church in Elora on Saturday November 28th ; and St. John’s Anglican in Ancaster on February 28th.

Tickets are $25 and are available through the Office of Port Nelson United Church, at Different Drummer Books, through Eventbrite and at the door. Children under 12 are admitted for free.


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Photographers looking forward to the annual Latow photography weekend: April 16th - 17th

eventspink 100x100By Staff

April 9, 2016


“ Yes we know you’ve heard it all already”, said David Low, president of Latow, the Burlington photography Guild, “but a week from now Latow will be holding its Annual Photography Weekend with David duChemin, who is regarded as one of the top photography educators anywhere.”

David du Chemin

David duChemin

David duChemin is a world and humanitarian assignment photographer, best-selling author, digital publisher, and international workshop leader whose nomadic and adventurous life fuels his fire to create and share. When on assignment du Chemin creates powerful images that convey the hope and dignity of children, the vulnerable and oppressed for the international NGO community. Drawing on a previous career in comedy, du Chemin is a dynamic and engaging presenter and educator. A driven artist, creative professional, entrepreneur and life-long adventurer, du Chemin educates and inspires through stunning visuals and hilarious travel stories.

David du Chemin picture - man at mosque

From the David duChemin collection.

Saturday’s full-day seminar, Photographically Speaking, – a day of inspiration and

Sunday mini-seminars: three 2-hour sessions: A Stronger Approach to Travel
Photography, Stronger Landscape Photography, and The Visual Imagination.

Saturday evening Latow AV Festival – 10 presentations combining images and music in
innovative ways.

Latow is the photography guild associated with the Art Gallery of Burlington.

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Air cadets march to celebrate the 1917 battle at Vimy Ridge

News 100 redBy Staff

April 8, 2016


The Air Cadets of 715 Mohawk Squadron, Burlington, will be honouring the 3,600 Canadian lives lost at the Battle of Vimy Ridge by marching 3.6 kilometres from the
Royal Canadian Legion, Burlington Branch 60 to City Hall beginning at 9 a.m. on April 9.

Mohawk air cadets marchingThe march will result in lane closures. Streets will reopen as soon as possible following the completion of the march.

Traffic Lane Closures – 9 a.m. start time

The march will use one lane, expect delays:

Fairview Street travelling east, between Brant Street and Drury Lane; Drury Lane, south to Prospect Street;  Prospect Street, west
to George Street’  George Street, south to Ghent Avenue Ghent Avenue, west to Brant Street.

Brant Street, south to City Hall, Civic Square

Emergency Services access will be maintained at all times along the event route.


Police will direct traffic at major intersections and event volunteers will assist motorists at multi-residential driveways and on side streets.

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Psychologist will explain why some children and adolescents have difficulty managing their behaviour.

eventsred 100x100By Staff

April 7, 2016


The Halton Board of education is going to host behavioural expert who will talk on dealing with challenging behaviour in children and teens on April 27, 2016. The event starts 7 p.m., and will be held at Burlington Performing Arts Centre

Ablon Stuart J.

Dr. J. Stuart Ablon, on the right, will speak about why some children and adolescents have difficulty managing their behaviour.

Dr. J. Stuart Ablon will speak about why some children and adolescents have difficulty managing their behaviour. His presentation will provide an overview of Collaborative Problem-Solving, an evidence-based approach to understanding and helping children and adolescents with behaviour challenges.

Specifically, the Collaborative Problem-Solving Approach provides an alternative conceptualization to help parents with explosive noncompliant children and adolescents. The CPS model helps adults teach children lacking cognitive skills in the domains of flexibility/adaptability, frustration tolerance and problem‐solving.

Dr. Ablon is the Director of Think: Kids in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, as well as an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

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Breakfast and entertainment at the Seniors' Centre - Saturday morning

eventspink 100x100By Staff

April 6, 2016


There is a program at the Seniors’ Centre that gives you a reason to get out of bed on Saturday’s!

Breakfast @ the Bistro keeps seniors and volunteers of all ages engaged as they cook and serve breakfast to community members at the Burlington Seniors’ Centre,” said Chris Glenn, director of parks and recreation. “Burlington Seniors’ Centre welcomes the community to enjoy an affordable breakfast and entertainment once a month, thanks to a donation from the Lions Club of Burlington

There is nothing fancy about the place. It's simple, serves the purpose with a bus stop almost outside the door and plenty of parking. And the kitchen will rustle you up a sandwich if you're hungry. The Seniors like it the way it is.

Breakfast @ The Bistro – entertainment follows at the Seniors” Centre this Saturday.

This Saturday the Lions will present a cheque for $500 to the Burlington Seniors’ Centre to help sustain the popular monthly breakfast program and keep costs low and affordable for seniors.

On Saturday, April 9, Lions Club executive members Blair Greer, club president, Jim Mc Laughlin, first vice president, Barry Leppan, second vice president and Jim O’Breza, treasurer will be at the Seniors’ Centre Breakfast @ the Bistro to serve coffee and breakfast after the cheque presentation at 8:55 a.m. Breakfast will begin at 9 a.m. and is served until 10 a.m.

The Escapade Trio, a vocal and piano trio specializing in Jazz and popular music from the golden age of the hit parade will perform at 10 a.m. Their music includes Louis Armstrong to Elvis and Frank Sinatra to Motown songs.


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Local resident wants to prove that Burlington is a ‘sharing city’ - join him at the library on the 14th.

News 100 greenBy Staff

April 5, 2016


“From the time we are little, we are taught to share” declared Lawson Hunter. ”However, as we age, the desire to acquire ‘stuff’ grows as soon as we earn a little bit of money and join the consumer society. Advertising pushes us to buy the next best thing, a bigger, better, newer version, a complete set, to find happiness and fulfillment. That may be good for the economy but is it good for society?

Uber taxi

Uber taxi, while disruptive to the taxi industry, is one of the more popular sharing services.

“Capitalism may be built on competition,” says Lawson Hunter, “but history shows that we progress much further if we co-operate with one another.” Collaboration, the sharing of ideas and resources, takes us leaps and bounds beyond the private, proprietary approach. Community has always meant working together to achieve good for everyone, not just the individual. Inequality results when many hands do the work but only a few grow wealthy because of it. Sharing brings everyone up to the same level and everyone benefits.

Some call it the ‘sharing economy’; the gig economy; the gift economy; peer-to-peer accommodation; or collaborative consumption, but at its core it is very simple – if you’re not using something why not let someone else use it?

Though not officially counted in the GDP, the sharing economy could grow to $335 billion by 2025, according to PriceWaterhouseCoopers. This is the foundation behind such revolutionary start-ups such as Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, TaskRabbit and dozens of other disruptive technologies that citizens and cities are embracing or challenging, depending on your point of view.

To that end, Hunter met with the Mayor to see if he could get something going at that level – the Mayor is going to think about it.

He has run the idea by a couple of council members – they didn’t day ‘not a hope’. Hunter, who is a letter carrier dabbles in some public relations consulting.

Library shelves with books

Libraries are perhaps the original sharing service.

The sharing economy has opened the door to more efficient uses of everyday items we own but do not use to their fullest capacity. For example, car ownership is ubiquitous and yet most cars sit parked for most of the day. Someone may purchase a drill only to use it a half a dozen times in total leaving it to lay in the toolbox for years. Books, clothing, household items may be used once or twice and then discarded. This is an incredible waste and unsustainable. Why not ‘share’ with someone else, reducing cost, optimizing resources, and extending the usefulness of thousands of articles?

Hunter points out that we already share quite a lot! We just don’t know about it or take it for granted. Libraries, food banks, used clothing stores, parks, public transit, recycled building materials, and even co-operative housing are examples of the sharing economy.

Volunteering to coach hockey, teaching someone to read, driving a patient to the hospital, carpooling, shoveling your neighbour’s sidewalk are just some of the ways we already ‘share’ our time and effort, goods and services. It’s important to measure, and celebrate, the many ways society shares its common resources. There is an international organization that wants every community to stand up and be counted in The Sharing Cities Network –

Getting it - blackHunter explains an event called a mapjam – a time when people get together and map out just where sharing is done in a city. “You would be surprised ay just how much sharing goes on” and points to a number of situations in Burlington where people on a street collectively own a heavy duty snow blower.
More than 500 MapJams have been hosted in 60 countries – two have taken place in Canada – Elora and Toronto.

bikes for rent

Many cities around the world have created bicycle sharing services.

Hunter wants Burlington to join that Network. To kick things off, he is hosting a ‘#Map Jam’ on Thursday, April 14, 7:30pm, Frank Rose Room, at the Burlington Central Library. Every organization that shares, opens its doors, facilitates exchanges, co-ordinates time-sharing or carpooling or food banks or little league sports, arts, and activities is invited to network, meet other sharing activists and exchange information. The general public is also invited to learn more about the sharing economy. “We may all be amazed at how we already are in the sharing economy,” says Hunter.

What Hunter is promoting is exactly what the Parks and Recreation department is trying to get going in the city.

Related news story – city prepared to fund projects

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Have you got the plans made for what you're going to do with Mum on Mother's Day?

eventspink 100x100By Staff

April 4, 2016


Mother’s Day – May 7th this year. The florists will pick up on that one. All the pushy advertising aside – it is a special day. For many – their parents live in Burlington and their adult children live elsewhere.

With the warmer weather coming (it is coming isn’t it?) there are opportunities to get out.

The restaurants will be packed that Sunday and besides – you get out to restaurants often enough.

Gallery 2 logoCheryl Golding and her colleagues at the Gallery 2 on Spring Garden Road are hosting a Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea on Saturday, May 7, from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

They will be serving: tea/coffee, scones with cream, and a variety of sweet treats.

Cost: $30.00 per person.

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Do the festivals and events tell the world what Burlington is all about - or are we more than two twenty year old events

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

March 31, 2016


They decided to call it a party rather than a meeting and made a good effort to give the Parks and Recreation Event Strategy workshop a different tone and feel.

Workbook coverIt worked – sort of. There was half an hour at the front end of the meeting (oops, party) for socializing that included an open cash bar (two bottles of beer and one soft drink were sold) and then into the Workshop.

The purpose was to get ideas and feed back on what the city’s event Strategy should be – what worked and what doesn’t work asked the facilitator and what would you like to see, what would your vision be even if the idea was not feasible or practical. This was an occasion for some blue sky thinking – they didn’t quite rise up to the challenge.

Beard studious

Manager of Community Development Services, Denise Beard

A year and a half or so ago Manager of Community Development Services, Denise Beard got to listen to James Dier at a conference – she was mesmerized. Within months Beard got Diers to an event in Burlington where he blew the socks off a lot of people and showed an approach to building community that had a lot of people excited and wanting more.

Those who worked closely with communities understood immediately what Diers was saying – it took others a little longer to “get it”.

When Diers made a presentation to a Committee of the Whole at Geraldo’s it was priceless to see the expressions on the faces of the buttoned down consultants. Diers is a very “in your face” advocate for what he calls “Neighbourhood Power”. He changed the way Seattle involved its neighbourhoods in figuring out what was needed at the street level.

Much of what we now see coming out of the Parks and Recreation department now is the result of the Dier’s approach.

Table setting

Staff tried to create a sense of a play party with gimmicks that could be used illustrate some of the creative ideas.

He isn’t for everyone. He is loud, forthright and gets excited. He once threw a live chicken into the office of the Mayor of Seattle to make a point. Watching the look on Councillor Craven’s face as Diers got himself wound up while explaining a point set out the stark contract between the two men – and contrasted the difference between the way the ward 1 Councillor works with his constituents and how others involve their citizens.

It’s pretty clear that the Parks and Recreation people are going to follow as much of the Diers philosophy as they can. The Gazette will report in more detail the approaches Diers created and what Burlington can expect to see in the months ahead.

The Tuesday evening “party” was the first time Parks and Recreation staff had an opportunity to field test some of their ideas.

A Workbook was given to all the participants who gathered in groups of six to eight around tables that had all kinds of play toys – plasticine, coloured paper and markers and large sheets of butcher paper to draw plans on.

The questions put to the groups were focused on the current experience people had had on an event that took place:

Current experience poster

What did they think about the current experience ?

What is your experience with events held on City property now?
What do you love?
What’s working well?
What bugs/concerns you? Why?
What keeps you from attending? What draws you to these events?

Each group of people beavered away at the questions and then reported back.

Future poster

This is what the facilitator gathered from the participants – the future of festivals and events as they saw them.

Next up was Future Experiences:
Given the trends and increasing demand for festivals and events in Burlington, the Workbook outlined, what would you like the experience of attending Future events to feel like? Look like? Who would be attending?
• What should we continue to do?
• What should we stop doing?
• What should we start doing?

Again the different groups worked through their ideas and reported back and the results were put up on a huge banner.

The last session was Advice to the city:

The workbook set out criteria the City could use to help them select appropriate festivals and events to host on City property.

Those taking part, there were about 75 people taking part – they were asked to:

1. Take a look at the criteria and choose the ones that you feel the City should use. Why should they choose these ones?
2. Have a discussion at your table.
3. As a table, look at the criteria again and together choose the top five criteria

Advice poster

This is what the facilitator heard the 75 + participant say – it wasn’t as imaginative as some had expected.

What advice do you have on criteria for the downtown festivals/events? What advice do you have on criteria for the neighborhood festivals/events? What did you clearly agree on at your table?

What did you have difficulty agreeing on?

The criteria put before the participants for selecting events:

Type of Sports Events

One time event attracting out of town athletes
On-going community/local activity (e.g. house league)
Fee to Attend Event
Paid Admission
Supporting our Community

Healthy and greener City by ensuring healthy food and activity options, environmentally friendly practices, encourages modal split

Focus on local talent, food, businesses and organizations
Diverse types of events
Celebrates diversity in our community
Family friendly for all ages

Who and what type of events should we give preference to when we’re deciding on applications for festivals and events on City property? Choose your preference to the following:
Type of Host

For Profit

Preference for Hosts of Events

from Burlington
from outside Burlington

Purpose of events

Community Development – build sense of community
Economic Development – bring dollars into community.

The community level work being done was part of a larger exercise. The people at city hall had begun to rethink the city and it brand. The two biggest festival events the city holds – Sound of Music and Rib Fest have both taken place in the city for more than 20 years.

Are they getting stale?

Did they really portray what Burlington is in the minds of its citizens?

Have times changed and is it perhaps time to look at what the city permits on the waterfront space?

Sand castle

The sand castle competition is no longer a summer event in Burlington.

While there hasn’t been a big announcement – the sandcastle competition held in the Beachway part of the waterfront will not take place in 2016.

The debate over what should be done with the 25+ homes in the Beachway clouded the discussion over the several different parks that are going to be created on that stretch of land from the Joseph Brant Museum and the canal.

Event Strat table group - Sean Kenney

Discussion at all of the tables was wide open and wide ranging – there were some that felt there should be stronger security and that the festivals intruded on life for those who lived downtown.

Unfortunately the public is not all that involved in the design of that park – planners at the Regional level are putting together the ideas. It will be a couple of decades before anything significant appears.

The intellectual guru behind the thinking taking place within the Parks and recreation department – and make no mistake about this – the city has swallowed the Kool Aid – they are all in at this point on the Diers philosophy.

The challenge now is to get the citizens to the point where they begin to understand that Neighbourhood Power is the direction staff is going – the biggest part of their job is to get citizens to buy in and begin thinking aloud what they want their city to look like; what kind of events do they want to see in the public places?

The facilitator, who brought a different visual approach to the documenting of the data and the comments made, asked the audience to do some ”blue sky” thinking – to talk about their vision which may not be feasible, probably no very practical either – she just wanted them think bigger than they normally do

Chris Glenn

Chris Glenn,Director of Parks and Recreation.

There wasn’t all that much in the way of responses. One table thought more use should be made of the water – and hold water based events.

Photo op

They decided to go for the big photo op – just the one city Councillor attended – the Mayor popped in to make the opening remarks.

Another comment was to have more focus on the city’s history and tell more about the veterans.

The biggest concern was traffic – getting out of an event when everyone was heading for the same exists at the same time. There were suggestions about using shuttle buses and holding alternative events that would be part of the larger festivals.

No mention was made of the hydro towers and the thought that is being given to burying them.

There was a member of Rotary in attendance and the Sound of Music had several of their big guns at several tables.  They, along with Brian Dean, General manager of the Burlington Downtown Business Association chose to be in a listening mode for the most part.

The task now for the parks and recreation people is to pull together all the data and comments they have collected from the various stakeholders and community groups and prepare a recommendations report for city council.

Festivals and events are one part of the mix that get reflected in the Strategic Plan –  document the city will make official later this month.

Then what?

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City planner puts her staff out onto the street to meet the public - they can help with the paper work.

notices100x100By Staff

March 30th, 2016


City of Burlington building staff will be at local home improvement stores for three Saturdays in April to answer questions and provide information about building permits.


City building permit staff will set up shop at different building supply stores during the month of April to help out with the paper work.

“With the mild weather we’ve had the last few weeks, many residents will be getting a start on spring renovation projects around the house,” said Mary Lou Tanner, the city’s director of planning and building. “We hope that by having staff where people shop, available to answer any permit questions, people will get the information they need to know about permits and home projects.”

City staff will be available between 8 a.m. and noon on the following dates at these locations:

  • Saturday, April 9 – Rona Lansing (1830 Ironstone Dr., Burlington)
  • Saturday, April 16- Home Depot (3050 Davidson Court, Burlington)
  • Saturday, April 30 – Lowe’s (3270 Harrison Court, Burlington)
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People don’t use the system because it’s cheap, they use it because it’s convenient. So, when it’s not convenient to navigate, they won’t use it.

News 100 redBy Staff

March 30, 2016


Bfast –   (Burlington for Accessible Affordable Transit)   will be holding its second annual Forum on the state of transit in the city – and issuing report cards on the quality of the service. We are told that while overall the service hasn’t improved enough – they will be issuing at least one A in that report card.

Doug Brown, chair of Bfast, wants to see a bus schedule with routes that work for people and not the current bus route set up in place. It doesn't work claims Brown.

Doug Brown, chair of Bfast, wants to see a bus schedule with routes that work for people and not the current bus route set up in place. It doesn’t work claims Brown.

The biggest problem, according the Doug Brown, is the transit service is very under-funded – and until the service is given the resources it needs it will always be sub-standard.

Brown who knows more about the history of service in Burlington than anyone alive seldom gets the hearing he deserves from the transit people.

The 2015 Forum attracted about 90 people with much to say about their experiences using the Burlington’s buses. There in the role of listeners were four of the seven members of Burlington City Council, including Mayor Rick Goldring, as well as Burlington’s MPP, Eleanor McMahon. Not present, unfortunately, was anyone responsible for designing and operating the transit system—Burlington Transit.

Positive messages from the participants can be quickly told: everyone praised the friendliness and thoughtfulness of the bus drivers, who often help passengers in unusual circumstances.

Because of cuts to service and frequent route changes during the last three years, Burlington Transit’s system is no longer convenient, resulting in a considerable drop in ridership. And two fare increases during that time have made it unaffordable for many potential users.

The Presto card service is not as simple as saying “Hey, presto!” One attendee last year said that Presto ought to be as convenient as cash in order for it to replace cash fares.

Bus service was rerouted an cars kept off the street for most of the afternoon. Should it be an annual event?

Short term notices work well – its the signage throughout the transit system that is less than satisfactory.

Signage at bus stops throughout Burlington presents a problem for many, especially occasional transit users. Ideally, every bus stop should display the route numbers of the buses stopping there and the scheduled times of arrival. The reality is rather different: bus route numbers and arrival times are nonexistent.

Burlington Transit has been touting a new electronic system that will do everything but place your coffee order hasn’t seen the light of day yet. Maybe there will be an announcement at the Forum this Saturday at the Central Library – where there is a complimentary breakfast for those who arrive early.

Burlington Transit’s Handi-Vans provide an essential service for people with disabilities unable to use the regular bus service. Unfortunately, as BT’s nine Handi-Vans cannot handle the current demand, users must book at least a week in advance. To deal with requests at short notice, such as necessary medical appointments, taxis should be used to supplement the Handi-Van fleet when required.

All the shortcomings of Burlington transit system that came out of the 2015 Forum are the result of a common cause: serious underfunding of transit by the City Council. It seems that the guiding principle when making decisions about transit is to save money, not to provide a good service.

The key message from the Forum last year was:

“People don’t use the system because it’s cheap, they use it because it’s convenient. So, when it’s not convenient to navigate, they won’t use it.”

Links to previous transit news stories:

Details on the April 2nd Forum

Seniors advocate for Free Monday bus service



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Transit advocacy group to issue report cards on the quality of bus service - will anything get a B? A's are not likely to be handed out.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

March 28, 2016


The difference this year is that the transit people will be at the Burlington for Accessible, Sustainable Transit (BFAST) second annual Transit Users’ Forum, which gets underway this Saturday, April 2, from 9:30AM to 12:00 noon at the Central Library.

Last year they were missing in action.

Transit - seniors with Gould

Seniors discussing what the transit system does for them – has anything changed since this event last year?

Eight community organizations have combined efforts to sponsor the Forum that has announced it will be issuing a report card on Burlington Transit’s performance based on areas identified as priorities by last year’s gathering. Nearly 100 people attended in 2015.
Mayor Rick Goldring and Councilor’s Marianne Meed Ward and Paul Sharman have accepted invitations to attend this year’s event. Burlington Transit will also have a representative.

A free continental breakfast will be provided between 9:30 and 10:00 AM.

“The objective of this forum is to provide an opportunity for Burlington Transit users to describe their riding experience and to provide their views on how the system should be improved,” says Doug Brown, chair of Burlington for Accessible, Sustainable Transit. .”It will be an opportunity for transit users and transit advocates to meet and discuss potential strategies for improving transit and special transit.”

Transit wkshp = Edwardth = Mayor with cell

Mayor Goldring, checking the bus schedule on his Smart phone while Joey Edwardh looks on – not certain the Mayor knows what he is doing.

Due to construction on New Street, Burlington Transit is providing special shuttle buses between the Central Library and the Downtown Bus Terminal both before and after the meeting. Consult or the Burlington Transit website at for more details.

The co-sponsoring organizations are as follows:

Burlington for Accessible Sustainable Transit (BFAST)
Burlington Age-Friendly Seniors Council (BAFSC)
Burlington Green
Canadian Federation of University Women – Burlington
Community Development Halton
Halton Environmental Network (HEN)
Poverty Free Halton
Voices for Change – Burlington (VFCH)

Why is transit always seen as something for poor people?  Those with income limitations don’t own a vehicle and they depend on public transit – but ta the same event last year there were a number of people with good jobs in Toronto who depended on transit to get them to the GO station and they talked candidly and appreciatively about the quality of the transit service and how it had been able to make those small changes at work for them.

Goldring selfy

A “selfie” the Mayor published on an occasion when he created a photo op by taking the bus to work. Where was his communications adviser when this was released?

Modern buses with schedules that meet the needs of as many people as possible and don’t undergo changes all the time will draw a clientele that becomes loyal.  We could stop framing transit as something people with limited means need – and position it as something that meets the transportation needs of a bigger cohort.

And if the politicians can stop using the occasions when they do take a bus as more than a photo op and become regular users – we will have come some distance.  You weren’t holding your breath were you?


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Spring Clean up - art exhibit with glorious paintings of flowers and hilarious entertainment at the Legion - all in the month of April.

artsblue 100x100By Staff

March 28, 2016


April is going to be a really busy month – we can all come out of the winter cocoons and begin to enjoy the city.

BG clean up graphic

Spring Clean Up – Green Up is Saturday April 23rd this year

Late in the month of April Burlington Green will be doing its annual Clean Up Green Up campaign.

The Comedy Night is back at the Burlington Legion on April 2nd. This amazing night of comedy for a great cause – Burlington Army Cadets The Facebook page says Air Cadets – media release says Army – tickets are just $15; doors open at 7:00pm with the show beginning at 8:00pm. Two amazing professional headliners who have toured all over Canada will be at the Legion.

Maurik white peonies Louvre

White peonies by Michelle Maurik was shown at the Louvre in Paris.

Very early in April Michele Van Maurik will be showing her art work at the Seaton Gallery on Spring Garden Road from April Ist – May 29th 2016. The artist reception will be held Sunday April 3rd, 1 – 4 pm

Maurik is a much underappreciated and under recognized artists in the community. She is best known for her bold floral oil paintings, the dramatic use of light and her mastery of colour.

Her work has been displayed at the Louvre in Paris – not something anyone else in the region can lay claim to. This is a show you don’t want to miss.

The Teresa Seaton Studio & Gallery is located at Spring Gardens Road, just across from the Royal Botanical Gardens.

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Board of education holds meetings for parents transitioning their children with special needs into Kindergarten

News 100 blueBy Staff

March 21st, 2016


The Halton District School Board invites parents to attend an information session in the next several weeks to gain information, meet other parents and ask questions about transitioning their children with special needs into Kindergarten. The following meetings will be held:

Wednesday, March 30, 2016 – Emily Carr Public School at 4-5:30 p.m., 2255 Pine Glen Rd., Oakville

Monday, April 4, 2016 – M.M. Robinson High School at 9:30-11 a.m., 2425 Upper Middle Rd., Burlington

Monday, April 11, 2016 – Ethel Gardiner Public School at 7-8:30 p.m., 14365 Danby Rd., Georgetown

Monday, April 20, 2016 – P.L. Robertson Public School at 7-8:30 p.m., 840 Scott Blvd., Milton

Getting it - blackTopics for this information session will include:

● Learn about support and programs offered by the Halton District School Board
● Speak with parents whose children with special needs have recently entered Kindergarten
● Learn more about the Community Care Access Centre (CCAC)
● The role of the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC)
● Meet Special Education staff from the Board and ask questions
● Visit a Kindergarten classroom (except at M.M. Robinson High School)

Information sessions will begin with a brief overview presentation followed by a choice of small breakout sessions focusing on specific topics.

There will be childcare available at all information sessions.

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And what has the Air Park been up to recently? City solicitor has a lot of questions.

airpark 100x100By Staff

March 16, 2015


One never knows what is going to appear in the mail box.
The following was passed along to us – interesting.

March 11, 2016

Fax: 416-314-8452

Application Assessment Officer
Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change Operations Division
Environmental Approvals Access &
Service Integration Branch Application Verification Unit
135 St. Clair Avenue West, Floor 1 Toronto, Ontario M4V 1P5
E-mail: Ms. Tina Dufresne, District Manager
Halton-Peel District Office, Central Region
4145 North Service Road, Suite 300 Burlington, Ontario L7L 6A3

Dear Sir/Madam:
Subject: EBR Registry Number: 012-6693
Ministry Reference Number: 1720-A59NX4 Proponent: 2120901 Ontario Limited
Instrument Type: Environmental Compliance Approval – EPA Part 11.1-sewage
Location: 5432 Bell School Line, Burlington, Ontario

I am writing on behalf of the of the Corporation of the City of Burlington, in response to an application for a new Environmental Compliance Approval for 2120901 Ontario Limited posted to the EBR on February 4, 2016. For the reasons that follow, the City of Burlington is requesting that the application be returned to the proponent as incomplete for the reasons as will be set out below. In the alternative, the City is requesting that the time for the submission of comments be extended for an additional 60 days beyond the current deadline of March 20, 2016 to permit adequate time for consideration of the issues by Burlington City Council, and affected residents.


The City of Burlington and the Burlington Airpark Inc. have been engaged in litigation for several years arising from an illegal fill operation taking place at the Burlington Airpark. The sewage works that are the subject of the application before you drain water from the landfill at the airport that is the subject of the litigation between the City and Airpark. The Airpark is located between Appleby Line and Bell School line, north of Highway 407, all of which is located in the northern rural area of Burlington.

Air Park dump truck

It was the dumping of landfill that resulted in neighbours calling the Gazette – we published the first stories on the problem which woke up people at city hall who began to look into the problem.

A fill operation on the Airpark property commenced in late 2007. The City of Burlington was never consulted about the fill operation or about any proposed expansion plans that the Airpark might have with respect to its operations. On or about March 2013, the City began receiving a significant number of complaints from new landowners in the vicinity of the Airpark. The nature of the complaints ranged from grading activities, drainage, noise, dust, traffic safety and about the possible effects of contaminants in the fill on drinking water. After having investigated these complaints, staff concluded that the Airpark was using its lands as a fill site in order to generate revenue and was not depositing fill to implement a planned and/or imminent expansion of its airport facilities.

As a result of its investigations, on May 3, 2013 the City issued an Order to Comply pursuant to its site alteration by-law by obtaining a permit for the ongoing fill operation. After the Airpark failed to comply, the City issued a Violation Notice under its by-law. Since that time, the City has been engaged in protracted litigation with the Airpark to bring the Airpark into compliance with the City’s by­ laws to address the off-site impacts caused by its fill operation.

Litigation Round 1

The Airpark brought a court application in July 2013 to prohibit the City from enforcing its Topsoil Preservation and Site Alteration By-law against the Airpark and the Airport. The City responded with a counter application seeking a declaration that the City’s Topsoil Preservation and Site Alteration By-law 6-2003 was valid and binding upon the Airpark and to its fill activities.

In November 2013, the court dismissed Airpark’s application against the City and declared that the City’s Topsoil and Site Alteration By-law was valid and binding upon it. The Airpark subsequently appealed the decision to the Ontario Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal on June 13, 2014.

Following the decision of the Court of Appeal, the City continued to press the Airpark to comply with the Order to Comply under the City’s Site Alteration By-law. The City adopted a new Site Alteration By-law #64-2014 which contained materially the same provisions found in the previous by-law. The City maintained that the Order remained outstanding and it continued to be entitled to enforce it. The Airpark subsequently did file an application, however maintained that it was in relation only to a small area at the north-west corner of the Airport. This position

ignores all of the fill unlawfully deposited at the Airpark between January 1, 2008 and August 2, 2013.

litigation Round 2

The City commenced an application to the court in April, 2015 seeking an order to remove all fill deposited on site between 2008 and 2013. In the alternative, the City seeks to have the court order the Airpark to submit a complete application for a site alteration permit pursuant to the new City’s site alteration by-law. The application was heard by the court on November 10, 2015 and at the time of preparing this letter, the court has not released its decision.

Nature of Burlington’s Interest

The City of Burlington has a clear and compelling interest in the application for Environmental Compliance Approval that has been submitted to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change and posted on the EBR. As demonstrated above, the City has been engaged in a protracted dispute with the Airpark to regulate the fill that was brought onto the site illegally in order to address the environmental impacts resulting from those actions. In particular, the City is concerned with the grading of the property, and the impacts on the drainage of the lands, all of which are related to the proposed sewage works identified in the current application for compliance.

Councillor Blair Lancaster walking through the property of a farm adjacent to the air port found the land spongy and soaked with water – now we know where that water is coming from.

Prior to 2008, which was the start of the fill operations, the Airpark had a storm sewer drainage system that was located generally in the vicinity of the North­ South runway and the airpark buildings. These storm sewers discharged into the existing pond at the SE corner of the property and into the adjacent farm fields.

With the start of the fill operations, additional storm sewers were installed in the areas of fill. These storm sewers discharge into a regulated watercourse and also at several locations along the west property line. This has resulted in changes to the stormwater discharge regime onto adjacent properties. The change has been from the previous “sheet flow discharge” to “concentrated flow discharge”. As a result, adjacent properties have been adversely impacted, as identified above in the form of complaints received by the City.

The City agrees that the MOECC Environmental Compliance Approvals were required for these storm sewer systems. In addition, Conservation Authority permits should have been applied for. It is the City’s position that detailed storm sewer and stormwater design calculations should be provided for these systems. The application does not include adequate information in this regard.

Irregularities with the Present Application

City staff has had the opportunity to attend at the Halton-Peel District Office to view the materials filed by the proponent. The City submits that the application as filed contains a number of irregularities that merit the rejection of the present application on the basis of incompleteness.

Name of Proponent

Air Park entrance uly 2013

The ownership of the Air Park and the taxes they actually pay are now being questioned.

The name of the proponent making application for environmental compliance approval is 212091 Ontario Limited. The Certificate of Incorporation and the Articles of Incorporation attached to the application for that numbered company date back to 2006. Our recent corporate search of this company discloses that the numbered company was in fact amalgamated with the Burlington Airpark Inc. on January 1, 2007, forming a new company, Burlington Airpark Inc. being Ontario Corp. Number 1721779. Burlington takes the position that the application has been made by a defunct corporation which cannot have legal responsibility for the proposed works to which the application relates. The documents submitted in support of the applicant’s name are neither current, nor do they provide proof of the name of a genuine applicant. Furthermore, the documents submitted do not include copies of the subsequent articles of amalgamation.

Burlington submits that the proponent’s name as posted on the EBR is misleading, and a reasonable person having an interest in postings on the EBR respecting the Burlington Airpark Inc. would not have adequate notice of the application as posted in its current form.

Location(s) Related to this Instrument

The posting to the Environmental Registry identify the relevant address as 5432 Bell School Line, Burlington. Our information is that the actual address for the site is 5342 Bell School Line, in the City of Burlington. Again, any reasonable person having an interest in activities related to the Airpark would not have adequate notice that an application had been made for those lands. Also, 5342 Bell School Line is only one of three land parcels forming the Airpark lands.

Statement of the Municipality (s. 5.1)

The City notes that section 1.5 of the Application – Statement of the Municipality has been left blank. The Municipality has to indicate that it has no objection to the construction of the works in the municipality. I can assure you, that the City of Burlington, where the works are located has not been contacted and has not been consulted. Furthermore, the box has not been checked as “NA”.

Our understanding is that a municipal declaration is required from the municipality in which the sewage works are or will be located. The Ministry’s own “Guide to Applying for an Environmental Compliance Approval”, identifies that this declaration, “is required to establish the municipality’s general concurrence with the proposal, to ensure that the proposed works would not contravene any municipal by-laws or other requirements.” Also, the common law requires that the City be consulted in these circumstances.

Based on the background provided in this correspondence, the City of Burlington has very serious concerns about the sewage works identified in the application, and the municipality ought to have been consulted prior to the application having been made. The City takes the position that the installation of sewage works was done concurrent with the illegal infill operation that was occurring at the site, in contravention of the City’s site alteration by-laws.

Burlington’s Request

Barbara Sheldon look at 32 feet of landfill less than 50 feet from her kitchen window. All dumped without any permits because an airport is federally regulated. The city is not done with this issue.

Barbara Sheldon look at 32 feet of landfill less than 50 feet from her kitchen window. All dumped without any permits because an airport maintained they were federally regulated and did not have to comply with city bylaws.

The City of Burlington is requesting that the application be returned to the proponent as incomplete for the reasons as presented. The application contains incomplete and inaccurate information, and has the effect of misleading any person with an interest in tracking environmental activity on the EBR. The proponent ought to correct the application, and ensure that discussions are held with the relevant municipal authorities, including the City of Burlington and Conservation Halton before an application for environmental compliance is re­ submitted.

In the alternative, the City is requesting that the time for the submission of comments be extended for an additional 60 days beyond the current deadline of March 20, 2016 to permit adequate time for consideration of the issues by Burlington City Council, and affected residents.

Please note that these submissions are preliminary and deal only with the adequacy of the application and process followed to date. Should the application continue to be processed for approval, the City will submit its technical comments on the application for environmental approval.

If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours truly,

Nancy L. Shea Nicol
City Solicitor & Director of Legal Services cc. Mr. Ian Blue, Gardiner

This is the kind of document that would get circulated to council members and discussed in a closed session of council.  Our thanks to the citizen who had the courage to pass it along to the Gazette.

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Burlington's Best nominees announced - awards to be given May 11th.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

March 16, 2016


The nominations for Burlington’s Best Awards are in. This year there are 20 deserving and devoted nominees for the seven categories.

Residents are invited to join some of Burlington’s finest civic-minded volunteers, advocates and community leaders on Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. at the Burlington Convention Centre, 1120 Burloak Dr., for the 2015 Burlington’s Best Awards, a gala evening in honour of Burlington’s most outstanding citizens.

Swarbrick AGB

Anne Swarbrick is the chair of the Art Gallery if Burlington Foundation. she has been nominated for the Community Service Award.

BurlingtonGreen president Ken Woodruff will chair the BurlingtonGreen AGM and participate in the "Think Tank" session they plan to hold. He is reported to be also participating in the Mayor's Dream Team that is meeting earlier in the same day. Busy man..

Ken Woodruff a former Burlington Green president was nominated for the Environment award.

Vince Fitorio

Vince Fiorito was nominated for the Environmental award.

The nominees are:

Citizen of the Year – Paul Echlin, Brenda Hunter
Junior Citizen of the Year – Chris Choi, Kelli Hornick, Erin Richardson, Olivia Walker-Edwards
Senior Person of the Year – Ed Dorr, Bob Pring, John Worobec
Environmental Award – Vince Fiorito, Herb Sinnock, Ken Woodruff
Arts Person of the Year – Cate Beech, Dan Murray
Community Service Award – Gilbert Deveer, Frank Lupton, Janice Martin, Anne Swarbrick
Heritage Award – Derek Martin, Winnifred Stewart

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City holding a party to get citizen input on what they want in the way of festivals and events.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

March 10, 2016


Festivals and events are big deals for Burlington.

In the summer months there is RibFest; Sound of Music, Canada Day and the Children’s Festival.

Rib fest signs and crowd

Does RibFest define Burlington? Should it? It is a very popular event.

People in the parks and recreation department are looking at what has been done in the past and what they might do in the future in terms of planning for events.

They want to develop a strategy to help guide the delivery of festivals and events in the community and they want public input on the types of events held in the city, how many events are held, where in the city events are held and if and how the city should help to fund events

There is an online survey where you can get your two cents worth in –takes approximately five minutes to complete.  Click here.

Community events popularity graph

The data shown are not the final results – the survey has not been completed yet.

There is a historical approach applied to the acceptance of events hosted within Spencer Smith Park. The park and some downtown roads have reached capacity and there is now a desire for a balanced approached to potentially expand events to other areas in our city.
Staff want to:

Set a vision for events in Burlington
Define the objectives for hosting events in Burlington
Determine guiding principles for event hosting including:
define different types of events and priority events
do risk assessments
look at the funding model for events
establish critera for considering new events and removal of duplicate or less desired events

The stage certainly wasn't city issue - shows what you can do witha coiple of 2x4's and a sheet on canvas if you have to keep the sun off you. Music was OK.

The city doesn’t stage much in the way of public events north of the QEW – everything happens along the edge of the lake.  This event was in Alton – stage certainly wasn’t city issue – shows what you can do with couple of 2×4’s and a sheet of canvas if you have to keep the sun off you.

A number of months ago council and staff met as a Committee of the Whole and talked about the direction the city might want to take with its festivals and events. The city consistently wins awards for the quality of the events it does hold – the question that was put before the meetings was:

Are the events we are currently holding the events we should be holding is a question that was asked. How you events get selected? More than twenty years ago city staff opposed the RibbFest being held in the park – but it was a Rotary project and Burlington city councils rarely oppose what Rotary wants.

There was discussion about the “Burlington brand” – are we more than the Sound of Music? Has RibFest met its best before date? Do we want to begin to move events out of the downtown core?

Committee of the whole meetings have an open approach – the rules of procedure that stymies council meetings don’t apply – comments are much more candid.

The Parks and Recreation people are taking an innovative and welcoming approach to citizen engagement – they are going to hold a “party” at Royal Botanical Gardens March 29th from 6:30 to 9:00 pm at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Auditorium B.

The creating of community seems to be replacing community engagement – we are seeing some interesting and innovative approaches coming out of the parks and recreation department.

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The value was in the land - making the club a contender is going to be a challenge. They are going to miss Dennison - he was the club for more than 35 years.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

March 8th, 2016


He bought the place in 1980 – when it was a 5000 square foot operation.

Dennison announcing

It was an emotional day for Jack Dennison – he announced cedar Springs had been sold.

This afternoon Jack Dennison announced the sale of the Cedar Springs Health and Racquet Club to Ivan Bradiaric, a Burlington businessman and property owner who has been a member of the club for more than ten years.

Dennison, in what was an emotional occasion for him, was reluctantly passing on the torch to someone who will immediately begin refurbishing the look of the lobby and making better use of the space.

The sale of the property closed on March 1st – why? The place was limping – it needed a freshening up and the corporation needed to make better use of the land.

Dennison and Ivan Bradiaric

A wistful Jack Dennison look on as the new Cedar Springs owner rolls up hi sleeve the grow the business.

Bradiaric has property holdings in the immediate area and he thinks he can do some cross marketing to boost the club’s membership – and – most importantly – see if he can get a zoning change to build a condominium at the south end of the property and tie it into the club.

Bradioaric said he expect to spend between $1 million and $1.5 million on upgrades that will be part of a new concept. He wasn’t prepared to say just what he had in mind other than to add that membership had become stagnant and he believed there was significant growth potential.

What happens to Jack? Well he is an avid sports person; he talks about more time for tennis and doing some cycling when the weather is better.

The club grew sort of “topsy turvey” in Jack’s hands. While Dennison earned an MBA at McMaster he brought his own unique management style to his business operations – much the way he brings his unique style to the seat he holds on city council.


More cycling time – that’s it?

Dennison was in the habit of holding his community meetings at the club where he consistently served popcorn and water to those who attended.

The sale of the club may surprise many – it’s something Dennison has been working at lining up for some time.

It was a tough emotional day for him.

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