The Supreme Cheerleaders take several National Championships in cheer leading.

element_sportsBy Staff

April 23, 2015


For the second consecutive year Burlington’s Supreme Chearleading won the senior level division of the Ontario Cheerleading Federation’s National Championships last weekend,

The Burlington participants along with participants from Oakville and Hamilton were crowned Grand Champions for their respective levels.

Cheerleading - Champs

Burlington’s Supreme Cheerleaders win 1st place and are named National Champions

The event took place in Brampton and featured hundreds of performances by teams representing clubs from across the country. The Supreme athletes represented our city well and produced fun and entertaining performances, which left their coaches, parents and spectators feeling proud! All athletes represented Supreme Cheerleading and the City of Burlington with great pride, energy and sportsmanship throughout the entire event.

The final results of all the Supreme teams:

Tiny Twinkles (Ages 4-5): Tiny Prep level 1 division – NATIONAL CHAMPIONS!
Mini Starburst (Ages 6-8): Mini Level 1 division – 7th place
Mini Shooting Stars (Ages 6-8): Mini Level 2 division – NATIONAL CHAMPIONS!
Youth Stardust (Ages 9-11): Youth Level 2 division – 4th place
Junior Starlights (Ages 9-11): Junior Level 1 division – 2nd place
Junior Starstruck (Ages 10-14): Junior Level 3 division – 3rd place
Senior Stardom (Ages 11-18): Senior Level 4.2 division – NATIONAL CHAMPIONS AND LEVEL 4 GRAND CHAMPIONS!

Cheerleading - Stardustpyramid

Supreme’s doing a Stardust Pyramid

Supreme Cheerleading will be hosting their annual Showcase at Notre Dame Secondary School on May 9th, 2015. The event will feature performances by all competitive teams, pre-competitive teams and even a special parent performance.

Athletes ages 4-18 who wish to join the program for the 2015-2016 season can attend Team Placements which take place at the Supreme Cheerleading Gym – Burlington’s only dedicated All-Star Cheerleading facility (at 4-845 Harrington Court) on May 19th-23rd 2015. More details can be found online at or by emailing

Return to the Front page

City taking the educate them route - putting on an Arbor Day - on why trees matter. Are there people who don't know this?

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

April 22, 2015


Burlington has struggled mightily to get a private tree bylaw in place – it wouldn’t fly with this council.

Belvenia trees-1024x768

The best argument there is for a private tree bylaw

The city is now going to try the educating them route – and with that objective in mind they are going to hold an Arbor Day on Saturday, May 2, at Central Arena, 519 Drury Lane, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Almost a Trees 101 event, the city’s first Arborfest event will provide the public with an opportunity to learn more about the benefits trees bring to our community.

“Recent community surveys and public engagements have revealed a desire among residents to increase their education and awareness about trees and the value they bring to our community,” said Scott Stewart, general manager of development and infrastructure. “We are excited to invite residents to this free, fun, family event held just in time to celebrate Arbor Day.”

Arborfest 2015 will feature:

• Exhibits from local community groups, gardeners and landscape vendors who play a key role in promoting the health and benefits of Burlington’s urban forest
• Tree planting in Central Park
• Fun activities for children.

At the several public meetings to explain the why of a private tree bylaw we heard some pretty stupid arguments as well as some of the most reasoned, reasonable thinking put forward in this city. But there is still a significant – “my home is my castle and I will do whatever I want on my property” viewpoint floating around out there.

BurlingtonGreen fought mightily to persuade Council to put a private tree bylaw in place.  It failed but the environmentalists just don’t give up

Who voted for the private tree bylaw and who didn’t?

Why a private tree bylaw

Return to the Front page

Mayor to speak about intensification: One hopes there will be vigorous debate and a fulsome exchange of views – both are needed.

opinionandcommentBy Pepper Parr

April 22, 2015


Later this month we will see, for the first time, a policy initiative that the Mayor has put his mark on.

During Rick Golding’s first term, much of the thinking was done during his election campaign. He produced a number of excellent position papers that we will review once we hear what the Mayor has to say on intensification.

Mayor Goldring has realized that his constituents, to a significant degree, do not fully understand what is meant by intensification and how Burlington is going to face that challenge – and for Burlington this is a challenge.

Burlington flagsThere are parts of the city where any form of intensification is not going to get past the first sentence. The backlash in some communities will be so strong that the Mayor, and every member of this Council, will quickly move on to a subject that leaves smiles on the faces of the voters.

Ontario is changing and Burlington is going to have to change with it – it will not be an easy transition and the Mayor has decided this is a subject he can show some leadership.

During his first term of office Mayor Goldring sponsored a series of talks on subjects that he felt were important to the city. He brought in some excellent speakers, including Andre Picard one of the foremost thinkers in the country on health related policies. Goldring brought in Ken Greenberg, a noted planner who works out of Toronto for the most part and has been instrumental in changing some of the thinking on how municipalities relate to developers and how the two can work together.

This time the Mayor is going to make the presentation – it will be his show. He will pull together the content and decide how he wants to present the data he will have collected.

He will, we assume, explain the policy guidelines within which the city has to work and what he feels are some of the directions the city can take as it works to meet the population increases the province has imposed on the city.

“Intensification is an issue that has captured the interest of many Burlington residents” said the Mayor on his web site. “People want to know why our community is seeing more buildings, particularly in the form of mid-rise and high-rise structures. Hear about the federal and provincial policies that are driving intensification and how Halton and Burlington are managing these pressures. Learn where we are growing, as well as innovative ideas we are investigating.”

The event is titled: Building Burlington: Where to build in a city that is built out. Problem with the title is that the city is not built out. There are hundreds of acres of land left for residential properties and more than we need in the way of employment lands.

The free event is “sold out” ; with the room full the Mayor will be speaking to an audience that wants to hear what he has to say. One hopes there will be vigorous debate and a fulsome exchange of views – both are needed.

Return to the Front page

Resident suggests public was kept in the dark about a developers plans for a part of Plains Road near Waterdown in Aldershot.

News 100 blueBy Greg Woodruff

April 21, 2015


On March 24th city staff held a meeting to discuss possible zoning changes to a large section of Plains Road. The area discussed was on the South side of Plains Road positioned East of Waterdown Road. Later residents discovered a developer is already advertising to sell 75 condo units at 40-58 Plains Road East in violation of current zoning character provisions.

Though it was casually mentioned the city had been “approached” by a developer; no indication was given that a specific plan was in motion.

Aldershot mobility hub study area

The public meeting was an information gathering occasion for the city planner who said he was there to listen to the community and what they wanted. He did make mention of an project that was not formal yet – the residents think the project is well along the development path. The graphic above shows the portion of Plains Rod that was under review and its proximity to the Aldershot GO station and the suggestion that the pink area could be developed as a “mobility hub”

This leaves the distinct impression that this meeting was in bad faith. It seems like the purpose of the meeting was only to say the public was “consulted” on an issue staff already had a plan to change. I realize that staff may not have been in a position to mention this specific development. At minimum the staff could have indicated that if the zoning was changed they would expect to see condo buildings in the “range of 70 plus units”. Why they did not could be anything from simple lack of communication to an outright attempt to misslead the public.

I think traditionally the public has considered staff as neutral parties implementing zoning regulations and changes in a balanced way. To some it seems like staff have now been co-opted into provincial employees with “intensification” as the decisive factor in decision making. If staff failed to mention this development or the like because someone judged that residents would have a negative reaction; then they are no longer operating in a neutral way. This is unfair not only to residents and developers, but also to the staff themselves.

Some basic questions now need answering:

1) What exactly is the current function and purpose of staff in regard to planning and development?
2) Was the city made aware of this 75 unit proposal from the developer?
3) Was there any conversation among or direction to staff about hiding the nature of probable developments if the zoning was changed?
4) Did any staff indicate that they would work for the developer to get the zoning changed?


1) All communication between staff and this developer on this matter needs to be made public.
2) Staff are “trading” zoning violations for attributes to buildings. “Horse trading” zoning violations needs to be made into a transparent public process.

In this area we have less trees, less businesses and more congestion.

I reject outright the suggestion that the liveability of our community needs to be sacrificed for the provincial “intensification” mandate. Intensification is designed to spur positive changes in our community; not serve as a rationalization for negative ones.

Greg Woodruff runs the Citizens for Responsible Development.  He was a candidate for the office of Chair of the Region of Halton.  There is more about that organization here.

The Gazette reported on that March meeting. 

Return to the Front page

Best Award nominees announced; a number of very deserving people on the list.

Event 100By Pepper Parr

April 20, 2015


The nominations for Burlington’s Best awards are in, and similar to previous years, the quality of individuals who were nominated is very high. It apparently took an extended deadline of seven additional days to pull in all that quality.

Having said that there are some exceptionally deserving names on the list.

“There is no shortage of incredible leaders and volunteers among our residents who help make Burlington the city we know and love,” says Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring. “This event gives special recognition to those who go above and beyond in their contributions to our community.” Paragraphs like that are what we pay Mayors to say.


The 2012 winners recognized in 2013

Residents are invited to join some of Burlington’s finest civic-minded volunteers, advocates and community leaders on Thursday, May 14, 2015 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.

“Every year I can’t help but be impressed by the incredible individuals who have received nominations,” said Mary Kay Aird, Chair of Burlington’s Best Committee. “Each Burlington’s Best nominee exemplifies the leadership and compassion shown among our residents, and we are proud to be able to recognize them for their tireless work.”

I have some difficulty squaring the above with the media release put out earlier extending the deadline

BEST 2013-Winners

The 2013 winners who were recognized in 2014

Tickets to this event are $35 per person; a table of the 10 is $280. The event includes a light buffet and cocktail reception. Tickets can be purchased at the Service Burlington counter at City Hall, 426 Brant St., or by contacting Wanda Tolone at 905-335-7600, ext. 7458 or

Has the price of those tickets gone up? I have the sense that they were a little lighter on the pocketbook previous years.

The food on the buffet table came close to running out last year

The award winners will be announced at the event. This year’s nominees are:

Citizen of the Year – Angelo Bentivegna, Ron Foxcroft, Maibritt Bergman

Senior Citizen of the Year – Esperanza Peacock, Helen Deadder, Bonnie Purkis

Junior Citizen of the Year – Kevin Han, Caitlyn Kay, Connor Fraser

Environmental Award – Susan Fraser, Monte Dennis

Heritage Person of the Year – Alan Harrington, Mary Jane Pilling, the late Dave Morris

Arts Person of the Year – Chris Giroux, John Kemp, Leslie Gray, Tomy Bewick

Community Service Award – IronDames Group, Mary Nichol, Bob Vandenberg, Christine Karczmarczyk

There are some fine people on that list; there are some we have seen before.

The Gazette will publish profiles on each of the nominees later in the week.

Return to the Front page

EARTH DAY is April 22nd - earth-loving celebrations are happening all month long!

News 100 yellowBy Staff

April 13, 2015


2015 is shaping up to be a monumental year for the international climate movement, and Earth Day Canada wants to show the world that Canadians are ready, willing, and able to take meaningful action to support the health of our one and only planet.

A child with "Kids for a Clean Environment" helps

An Earth Day flag on display in Washington DC

Inspired by their 1992 Earth Day Flag that collected a total of 500,000 signatures from across the country, Earth Day Canada is again calling all Canadians to sign their 2015 Earth Flag and make a commitment to make Earth Day every day by doing your part to reduce carbon emissions 20% by 2020.

The 2015 Earth Flag will be taken to the COP21 International Climate Conference held in Paris this December where a new international agreement on carbon emissions will be signed.

How it works:
Signatures will be collected in person (at community events, schools, specific sites) and electronically through our website over the five months period from Earth Day, April 22, to September 22, 2015. These signatures will be placed or printed on pieces of cloth that will be sewn together to create a mosaic flag.

What unfortunately is not clear is how a person can send a signature or who in Burlington is collecting signatures. We asked the Earth Day organization but have not heard back from them.  We will do our best to keep you posted.

The flag will feature the Earth Day Every Day logo, as well as a 2015 pledge or pledges that represent the goals or commitments of Canadians to make deep carbon reductions.

The pledge:
I pledge to the best of my ability to help make the earth a safe and hospitable home for this and future generations.

We are working with school groups, youth organizations, First Nations, Faith Communities, Non-Governmental Organizations and individuals to revise the pledge for the 2015 Earth Flag. Stay tuned for the new pledge!

We plan to reveal the Earth Flag at an event in early November and collect the final signatures on the Earth Flag by those who will be representing Canadians at the Paris COP21 climate meeting.

In December at the COP21 meetings, Earth Day Canada will display the Earth Flag at a prominent location/event to portray the collective resolve of Canadians to reduce their carbon emissions.


Return to the Front page

Volunteers - the people who are there when you need them and ask for nothing in return are recognized.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

April 16, 2015


Would the world continue to turn without volunteers? There are a lot of people in the Burlington whose lives are better because of the many volunteers – and the lives of those volunteers are richer because of the work they do.

At about this time last year Community Development Halton created an award in the name of former Burlington Mayor Walter Mulkewich to recognize the work volunteers do.

Ann Coburn’s Director of Volunteer Halton, in handing out the awards made these comments:
We are witness this morning to the recognition of the work, generosity and impact of individual volunteers across Halton’s four communities. You and other extraordinary volunteers have said to us repeatedly, “it isn’t really me, it is about the group, it’s about the energy and commitment of my neighbours”.

This rippled through us at Community Development Halton that we created an award to celebrate those amazing and dedicated people who come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems in their community.

Mulkewich llistening

Walter Mulkewich, taking in a political speech on a sunny summer afternoon.

This award honours a citizen of Burlington, a citizen of Halton, Walter Mulkewich, who has worked and is working tirelessly to influence evolution and advancement in sectors such as the environment, economic development, social development, mental health, and the arts and culture. Walter epitomizes the characteristics of leadership: honesty, integrity, courage, and inclusion. He is a man graced by the passion for fairness, for social justice, and for human well-being.

In 2015, the committee is honouring, T.E.A.C.H., with the Mulkewich award.
T.E.A.C.H. is an acronym meaning Teach, Empower, Advocate for Community Health. T.E.A.C.H. is a Consumer Survivor initiative operating across Halton that provides peer support and advocacy to individuals experiencing mental health and substance use. All thirty+ volunteers have lived experience with the mental health and addictions system. Volunteers have been actively involved in numerous facets of education, support, training, counselling, outreach and promotion, even back office and administrative duties, marketing and event planning.

T.E.A.C.H. is an organization whose foundation has been built on the effort and inspiration of community volunteers. T.E.A.C.H. is guided by the “Recovery Philosophy”, which affirms that all people experiencing challenges have inherent strengths, and that they can – and will – get better.

Joseph Kiss - volunteer

Joseph Kiss, Rolling Horse Community Cycle. Joseph provides free bicycle repair and basic bike mechanics for children and adults in neighbourhoods across Burlington.

Having an organization such as T.E.A.C.H. has allowed individuals and their families to start a dialogue in the community surrounding mental health and addictions. T.E.A.C.H. assists us to better understand mental health and additions so that we can be supportive and inclusive. T.E.A.C.H. partners and collaborates with numerous social and health agencies building their collective capacity to support the growing needs of our citizens suffering from mental health and addictions.

For example, T.E.A.C.H. works with our local hospitals, P.O.S.S.E. (Peer Outreach Support Services & Education) , Halton A.D.A.P.T. (Alcohol Drug and Gambling Assessment Prevention and Treatment), Summit Housing, S.T.R.I.D.E. (Supported Training & Rehabilitation in Diverse Environments) and the Region of Halton, to name a few.

Yvonne Kato volunteer

Yvonne Kato is a holistic therapy volunteer at Breast Cancer Support Services, offering Reiki to members. Breast Cancer Support Services provides a variety of healing modalities to women living cancer, to help them ease the stress and side effects of treatment.

While much of the audience was made up of Volunteers taking part in the Breakfast event, Joey Edwardh, was not just speaking to the converted when she said: “The theme this year for National Volunteer Week is the ripple effect of volunteerism. A volunteer action is like a stone thrown in a lake: its effect has a direct impact. At the same time, like ripples, volunteer efforts reach out far and wide to improve communities..

Quoting Christine Mason Miller, Edwardh said: “When we focus our energy towards constructing a passionate meaningful life, we are tossing a pebble into the world creating a beautiful ripple of inspiration. When one person follows a dream , tries something new, or takes a daring leap, everyone feels that energy and before too long they are making their own daring leaps and inspiring yet another circle. “

Cavan Cook volunteer John Howard

Cavan Cook, John Howard Society, Burlington & Area. Cavan is a Mentor for Youth At Risk Development (YARD) program. He provides individual support to a young person focused on setting up and achieving positive goals.

She added: Like a pebble thrown into the water, volunteer action creates many ripples of inspiration and encouragement . Volunteers reach out beyond themselves to engage in kindness and caring for others. They are special people, with busy lives, who make time for others. They see and respect the dignity of their fellow men and women. In a thousand different ways they lighten the load for those who are burdened by illness, troubles or disadvantage.

Volunteerism has always been with us, we call it neighbours helping neighbours, supporting one another when affected by disaster, concerned citizens see a need in their community, form groups of like-minded individuals to address the need and create change.

Our Governor General, his Excellency The Right Honourable David Johnston, said the third pillar of Canada will be encouraging philanthropy and volunteerism. He went on to say that “Canadians have a long history of coming together and helping one another. Service to country shaped us, service to family and community sustains us, and this tradition of service will carry us forward into the future”

The Ripple Effect! Throughout history we can trace back to organizations that were formed to address areas of injustice and the social needs of society. In Canada, organizations emerged in direct response to a need in community all of which involved Volunteers as founders, supporters and front line workers.

Linda McKay with Mayor and Searles

Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring on the left with John Searles and Linda McKay who is with the Burlington Public Library. Linda McKay is a dedicated Visiting Library Service Volunteer at the Burlington Public Library. She delivers books to several customers, who are unable to travel to the library themselves, and they think the world of Linda.

One such as example , as it happened in our neighbouring community of Hamilton. In the 1950’s a group of mothers desperate to find a cure for polio, which was an epidemic at that time, formed the Marching Mothers and went door to door in their neighourhoods, collecting dimes for research. The Marching Mothers were instrumental in supporting the research of Dr. Jonas Salk, whose polio vaccine was released in 1955, putting an end to the epidemic. The Marching Mothers movement today is known as the March of Dimes.

This is only one example of an organization that made a significant difference in the lives of Canadians and exemplifies the Ripple effect of how the action of a few can and do change the lives of many.


The Seniors Ambassador Connector Program was pilot project in Burlington and the ripple effect is that it is now expanding to Halton Hills. Shown here are the Burlington Ambassadors.

The Seniors Ambassador Connector Program was pilot project in Burlington and the ripple effect is that it is now expanding to Halton Hills.
Volunteer Halton is privileged to work on a daily basis with like-minded individuals and groups who identify a need and move into action. We see every day individuals who answer the call for change, come together as strangers, connect through a cause and end up with lasting friendships. When asked volunteers always mention that they could not do the work without the support of their Coordinator, Manager of Volunteers.

These professionals dedicate long hours organizing, preparing and supporting the work of volunteers and volunteers themselves.  Today we recognize and celebrate the wonderful volunteers who come from all walks of life, different experiences and from all ages to create the ripple effect that changes lives and communities!

Edwardh chose to leave her audience with a pungent thought to ponder.

Noah’s Ark was built by volunteers
The Titanic was built by professionals.

That sort of sums it up – doesn’t it?

Return to the Front page

Local McDonald's franchise owner adds four new people during national hiring day.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

April 16, 2015


He was young, proud and a little edgy.

Ryan Sgro

Ryan Sgro, owner of three McDonald’s franchises in Burlington is always inches away from his cell phone

I was meeting with Ryan Sgro, owner of three McDonald’s franchises – between Ryan and Ralph Sgro, his Dad, they have 10 McDonald’s franchises in Burlington and Waterdown

It was McDonald’s National Hiring Day and Ryan was talking to me and keeping an eye on the shop at the same time. His eyes would dart back and forth from me to the counter where people placed their orders.

Ryan came out of Western University and went right into the family business. He and his sister are both franchise owners.

Ryan gets the word family into almost everything he says. Franchise managers talk of being with Sgro’s for ten, fifteen and twenty years.

“We hold a Family Day once a year – everyone gets their meal at half price and we take them on tours of everything; the kitchen, the storage room – the kids get to know all about the place where their parents work.

“We hand out two $500 scholarships every year” says Ryan and adds – “we might do more.”

McDonalds - sales counter

For thousands of high school students in Burlington – McDonald’s is their first part time job.

“We used to donate to Ronald McDonald House but moved the $250,000 donation to the Joseph Brant Hospital where their donation is spread out over five years.

The national hiring target for McDonald’s was 6,500 – 2,700 of them in Ontario. Four people were hired in Burlington. Ryan Sgro does point out that they have a rosters of 101 people at their busiest location – Upper Middle Road and Guelph Line, with staff counts in the high 80’s in other locations.

“For us three things are important: how well our student employees are doing in school; how good their extracurricular life is and then McDonald’s” said Ryan.

McDonalds - first job interview

Getting through that first interview is always awkward. A McDonalds manager takes a high school student through the process.

“We want to be the first work experience students have because we know we are providing a fun place to work where people work very hard and gain a strong work ethic.”

While the National Hiring program might be necessary in some communities – we don’t have a problem getting students to work with us.  Our flexible scheduling works for the students.

Ryan Sgro is quick to add however that he could put at least for managers to work tomorrow.

Return to the Front page

Justin Trudeau tours Seniors' picks up votes and dances like a Gypsy.

News 100 redBy James Smith

April 14, 2015


On Tuesday,  Justin Trudeau toured the Burlington Senior Centre, shook more than a hundred hands, made a brief speech and made more than a few converts to the Liberal cause.

Accompanied by Burlington’s Liberal Candidate Karina Gould and Oakville’s John Oliver, who also both made some brief remarks, Mr. Trudeau spent more than an hour touring the Centre, took in a game of pool, and even had a turn at Gypsy Dancing.

Trudeau at Seniors Apr 14-15

Justin Trudeau chats up a senior at a Seniors’ Centre reception in Burlington

He also expressed his disappointed there wasn’t any Sangria to go along with the dancing! In attendance at the centre to welcome Mr. Trudeau in addition to Mr Oliver and Ms Gould was Oakville Town Councillor Pam Damoff and Burlington City Councillors Marianne Meed Ward, Blair Lancaster and Halton School board trustee Leah Reynolds.

Curiously Ms Lancaster, who has announced her intention to seek the Conservative nomination for Oakville-North Burlington in this autumn’s election, had a brief chat with Mr. Trudeau, and stayed to listen to Mr. Trudeau’s remarks.

In his remarks, Mr. Trudeau complemented those present on the Senior Centre, and the suggested Burlington’s centre is a model for many other communities and it should be replicated across the country. In thanking the many seniors present for their contribution to Canada, Mr. Trudeau at the same time accused the present government as dismantling what those present helped to build.

Trudeau suggested the present government was implementing a policy of division that was pitting groups and regions against one another. He also suggested that an outcome of the present government’s policies has been to produce the first generation in Canadian History that will not do as well as their parent’s generation. Based on the reaction to this statement, this fact seemed to alarm some in the audience.

The crowed seemed impressed with Trudeau and his approach, although some wanted more substance and policy. To that complaint of a lack of tangible policies, Trudeau was heard to say, “It’s too early for that” and “you’ll see lots of policy soon enough”. When asked for his thoughts on the event after speaking to Mr Trudeau, Senior Centre member, and “long time lakeshore road resident” Jim Frohlick said it was “refreshing to hear such positive things from a politician. I think some minds were changed today, I know that Mr Trudeau won over more than a few of my Conservative friends just now.”

When asked about the upcoming campaign and her chances, Ms Gould let it be known that she’s not taking anything for granted and has been knocking on doors for months now to connect with Burlingtonians.

The election isn’t officially underway and one leader’s visit doesn’t make a campaign however; judging on the mood of this crowd, for this leader it should be a very interesting election here in Burlington. If one can draw any parallels from the 2014 provincial election in Burlington, it also started unofficially with a Liberal Leader touring a senior facility with a candidate who made a big impression on those seniors who were at that event.

MP Mike Wallace may be hoping that what was seen today at the Burlington Seniors Centre was not similar to the trend started by MPP Eleanor McMahon.

James Smith is a well known political activist who has campaigned for more than one Liberal

Return to the Front page

Free movies in the park - and you get to take part in choosing the movies.

News 100 blueBy Staff

April 15, 2015


Burlington is giving residents the chance to help decide which movies will be played this summer at Movies Under the Stars through online polls.

“For this summer’s program we’re asking residents to help us pick from a list of movies to be shown in their neighbourhood parks.” Said Director of Parks and Recreation Chris Glenn

movies in the park

Make it a Family Night – take pop corn and a blanket.

Movies Under the Stars, a city movie series supported by Tim Hortons, allows families to enjoy movies in City of Burlington parks. The series will run this summer on Thursdays at dusk from July 9 to Aug. 20 and feature a different movie each week, shown on a 7.62 by 4.27 metre (25 by 14 foot) outdoor screen.

An online poll is available on the City of Burlington’s website that offers a choice from three movies. Each poll will be open for seven days, and will give voters a choice among three movies. The city has made the waiting a little easier on voters by instantly showing which movie currently has the most votes. The poll can be found at

The poll to decide the movie for July 16, 2015, in Aldershot Park is now open. Voters have until April 15 to pick their first choice. Watch the votes climb and join the City of Burlington in thinking ahead to the warm days of summer. Residents are encouraged to visit the city website to vote each week:

Voting Poll dates     Movie date and park

April 16 to 22         July 23, Civic Square

April 23 to 29         July 30, Emerson Park

April 30 to May 6    Aug. 6, Kilbride Park

May 7 to 13           Aug. 13, Mohawk Park

May 14 to 20        Aug. 20, Spencer Smith Park

Bring your own pop corn

Return to the Front page

Early designs for the Windows on the Lake appear to get public support - local residents don't seem to be as impressed.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

April 13, 2015


There are some differences about what is meant by minimal – those differences appear to have feathers ruffled.

With the city having sold its parcels of land to the three property owners who abut what has been public land,  the concern now moves to just what the Windows on the Lake will look like.

A public meeting in March didn’t go all that well.

Janice Connell after delegating to city council i committee - She thinks she just might have nailed it!

Janice Connell after delegating to city council  committee – She thinks she just might have nailed it!

Janice Connell apparently made life difficult for a city staffer – so much so that a complaint has worked its way up to the office of the city manager.

Connell was the sole delegator for the three property owners who wanted to buy the portion of the old Water Street allowance that was at the edge of the lake.  She was very effective; she did her homework but seemed to need to tangle with ward 2 Councillor Meed Ward.

Windows map - Market-St paul-Green

Windows to the Lake were designed for three streets: Market, St. Paul and Green.

The intention at the public meeting in March was to have feedback from the public and then a Staff Report that would go to the Community and Corporate Services Standing Committee on June 16 and then along to Council on June 22nd for approval.

Windows Market st concept

Market Street has the most direct line of sight to the Lake – but at this point is the hardest to realize is public space. The design shown will make it very clear that this is public property – which is what has those living on the street upset. No mention was made of any signage.

Once approved, staff would prepare construction drawings, send the work out for tender after which construction will begin.

Somehow – we don’t think it is going to be quite that easy.

Windows St. Paul concept 1

St Paul Street has the longest stretch of public property which at this point has obstacles in place that make it pretty clear it is private property – which it isn’t. The design allows the public to get deep into the lot and appreciate one of the finest views in the city.

When the decision was made to sell the land Council agreed that there would be Windows to the Lake at the foot of Market and St. Paul streets – Green Street has been added.

Councillor Dennison was quite vocal at the time when he described what he meant by minimal – a bench and a can for garbage was what he appeared to have in mind.

Staff obviously didn’t get the message – their designs go quite a bit further – however they don’t appear to include any lighting.

The Burlington Waterfront Committee, a collection of citizens with representation from every ward have been tracking the discussion and comment on just what will be built on the road allowances that reach to the waters edge of Lake Ontario.

The group is what is left of the Waterfront Advisory Committee that originally brought up the problems surrounding the Windows on the Lake.

Rob Peachey, currently a manager in the Capital works department  attended that meeting  in 2012 and commented then  that this wasn’t his “favourite file”  The people who have private access to the lake aren’t at all keen on sharing it.

In an earlier article on that March meeting, which the Gazette did not attend, we reported that “The owners of property in the streets that lead to the windows are wondering just how much pedestrian traffic there will be and will people be sitting close to the edge of the lake at all hours of the day and how much noise will there be?

Discussions amongst the people who live on Market and St. Paul have taken place and they apparently now want to know just how minimalist are these windows on the lake going to be.

Will it be just a bench and a waste container? Welso reported that: “Some people are getting the sense that there is a push to get rid of the windows all together or to make them so inaccessible that no one will want to go near the things.

In that article we mispelled Janice Connell’s name and corrected that error.

In a response to us about the correction we made Ms Connell adds:

The mis-spelling of my name is not the only information that is incorrect.

The truth is we support the Windows-t0-the Lake at St.Paul and Market Street and have done so since our very first discussion with Ward 2 Councillor Meed Ward. in July 2012. At this meeting, one of the three owners offered to engage landscapers to clean up the area at end of Market St., enhance it as a Window-to-the -Lake for the public and maintain it at his expense. The public was never informed of this offer.

Our concern at the public meeting is the discrepancy between the wording of Council’s approved motion and what was actually presented and discussed. Council invested considerable time (including visiting the properties) researching this issue and they were clear in their motion …”minimalistic manner (bench and signage) at St Paul and Market St.”and the “enhancement of Port Nelson Park with available funds.”

In the presentation, Staff was asked about the motion including “enhancing Port Nelson Park with available funds.” Staff replied that this was not part of the motion. This statement differs from the wording in the motion.

You wouldn't know it - but this is public property and anyone can walk out to the end and look over the lake.  City will now put signage indicating that the land is public.  Great views.

You wouldn’t know it – but this is public property and anyone can walk out to the end and look over the lake. City will now put signage indicating that the land is public.   A portion of a driveway is apparently going to be taken – was that portion on public property?

Other residents had different concerns…locals from Green St. area were upset as they had no prior notification of the proposed Windows -to- the -Lake at the end of Green St. (Green St. Windows was not part of the approved motion.). There was heated discussions amongst residents as to what the “Windows- to -the- Lake” should consist of…bike racks, bench under trees in the sun, bench under trees in the afternoon shade, lighting, fences, garbage bins, walkways and shrub plantings .

One of the proposals for  St. Paul  included removing a portion of an elderly residents driveway.

Some of the dissension could have been alleviated if a copy of the approved motion had been available at the presentation for the public to refer to. The wording of the approved motion is …”develop Windows-to-the-Lake at St Paul and Market St in a minimalistic manner(benches and signage).”

Over the past few years we have had ongoing concerns over misrepresentation of the facts regarding the Water St parcel as presented to the public. This has caused dissension and hard feelings amongst residents. We attended the public meeting hoping it would be an opportunity to connect with our neighbours in a positive setting. Needless to say the meeting caused further dissension amongst many residents.

As you were not at the meeting, the information in your article is second hand information and is not accurate as it relates to information in the approved motion. Also the information given to you by your informed observer about the three property owners is not truthful. The property owners support the approved motion as to the development of the two Windows to the Lake. We have not and will not “try to get council to change their mind.”

Local parks should bring residents together. When less than truthful statements are given to the public it causes further dissension amongst residents. And unlike the simple correction of a misspelled name, it is not easy to correct the negative relationships amongst neighbours or the reputation of residents.

In reporting on the March meeting the Gazette spoke independently to four people who were at the meeting.



Return to the Front page

Who gets to join Tapp and Noack at the Performing Arts Centre Hall of Fame?

News 100 yellowBy Staff

April 13, 2015


BPAC at nightThe Burlington Performing Arts Centre is accepting nominations for the third inductee of its Hall of Fame. Established in 2013, The Burlington Performing Arts Centre’s Hall of Fame recognizes people who have made significant contributions to the performing arts in Burlington. Recipients of this award demonstrate the diversity of artistic accomplishment that comprises the rich cultural tapestry of the City of Burlington. The Hall of Fame award will be presented to the inductee at the 2015-2016 Season Launch event held at The Centre on Thursday, May 28.

Nomination applications must be submitted on or before Friday, May 8th, 2015. The nomination form can be downloaded from The Centre’s website


Hall of Fame’s 2nd inductee, Rainer Noack

The Burlington Performing Arts Centre recognizes that the individual and group artists are paramount and fundamental to cultural development.

These individuals and groups contribute to Burlington’s reputation as a city with a strong and sustained commitment toward the development of cultural excellence.

On site almost daily is Burlington's Jimmy Tapp checking on the progress.  Here he talks with Pier Project Manager Craig Stevens.

Gordie  Tapp was onsite almost every day during the construction of the Pier.  He chats with Project Manager Craig Stevens.  Tapp was the first inductee into the Performing Arts Center Hall of Famwe

At the 2014 Cabaret, the Hall of Fame’s 2nd inductee, Rainer Noack, Founder and Program Director of Burlington Student Theatre, was recognized for providing training, camps and arts opportunities for children and youth in the Burlington area since 1978.

The Hall of Fame’s 1st inductee, was Burlington’s own, Gordie Tapp.

Return to the Front page

Angela Coughlan Pool closed due to mechanical problems

Newsflash 100By Staff

April 10, 2015


We got this late in the day –

Due to a mechanical issue at Angela Coughlan Pool, the scheduled Leisure Swim from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. is cancelled. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Swimmers are encouraged to attend the 7:30 to 9 p.m. Family Swim at Burlington Centennial Pool or 7:30 to 9 p.m.

Fun Swim at Tansley Woods Pool.

Return to the Front page

An event to brighten up the way we look at things - Spring is out there somewhere - maybe an art event will hasten its arrival.

News 100 redBy Staff

April 9, 2015


Spring is that time of year when we are filled with hope for warmer days and sunshine. It’s also that time of year when many of us are looking at our walls thinking “yep. it’s time for a change”.

WO dark greenNow that the weather is sort of starting to resemble spring Lana Kamarić has invited everyone she knows to the Spring Pop Up Art Market hosted by No Vacancy.

The market will be popping up at 408 John Street in downtown Burlington, dates are as follows:

Friday April 17th 6 – 9pm
Saturday April 18th 10am – 6pm
Sunday April 19th 12 – 5pm

The SPRINGPOP supports the work of contemporary artists and makers from within a 50km radius. Pick up an original piece of art from an emerging local artist or buy some funky handmade one-of-a-kind things.

Pop up graphicExpect more than a couple of tables with work you may have seen before. Here’s the list of those artists who will be displaying:

Giveable Greetings
F As In Frank Paper Goods Co.
Love, Ash X
On a Branch Soaps
Bill Davidson
Polar Stones
Sprouts Press
Jason Gray
Hatchet Made
The Shoppery
Debbie Borthwick (Dewdrop Gables)
Courtney Lee
Lana Kamaric
Wood Be Cute
Kyle Tonkens
Sanjay Patel
Richard Veeneman
Candice Bradley
Jennifer Burns
Nikkole Lebrun
Donna Grandin
Joelle McNeil
Kirby Booker

There may be additional artists added to the list.

The spring Pop Up is one of the events put on by No Vacancy – the group that held an event at the Waterfront Hotel in 2013 that seemed to crack open the interest in local artists that many felt was not being given the time, attention and resources they needed.

The No Vacancy organization will be holding their 2015 event on Old Lakeshore Road in September – the deadline for entries in the SuperNova event is April 30th

Since that event the city took a staff member who was serving as a recreational planner in the Parks and Recreation department and made her a manger of cultural events and had her reporting directly to a city general manager

The Artists Collective was very clear - they want the Patks and Recreation people out of the culture business.  They want people with training on something other than a trampoline, preferably with degrees in the arts and practical experience as well.

With a heightened interest in the arts a Collective was created that now has 500 people – they wanted the Parks and Recreation people out of the culture business. They want people with training on something other than a trampoline, preferably with degrees in the arts and practical experience as well.

Last September the city put on a very successful Culture Days event supported by government funding.

The Art Gallery of Burlington has recruited a new president who comes from a city a third the size of Burlington where he ran a Culture and Heritage department for the city of Grand Prairie.  Some of his bigger picture thinking might rub off on Burlington.

The Performing Arts Centre now has an Executive Director in place who has stabilized that organization and is growing an audience and expanding the performance offerings.

Burlington just might be getting to the point where it will have a cultural profile that makes it unique and different –  meaning more people can come to the city and walk out onto one of the most expensive piers in North America which just happens to be in the BEST city of its size in Canada

Return to the Front page

Chamber of Commerce Excellence winners will be announced at Convention Centre gala.

News 100 blueBy Staff

April 9, 2015


Glam it up a bit was the word from the President of the Burlington Chamber of Commerce as they gather this evening for their annual Business Awards Gala is being held on April 9, 2015 at the Burlington Convention Centre.

In addition to the Chamber’s Business Excellence Awards, the Gala also features the presentation of the Tourism Burlington’s Ambassador Award and Mayor Rick Goldring’s Community Service Awards. It is a glamorous and exciting occasion.

After months of meetings and interviews, the Chamber announced the finalists for its 2014 Business Excellence Awards. They named 16 local organizations as potential recipients of awards in a variety of categories. Award nominations are based on overall business excellence and the criteria include excellence in business leadership, community contributions, entrepreneurship, environment, employee welfare, innovation, and market growth.

This Year’s Business Excellence Awards Finalists

CPC Pumps International
Zip Signs Ltd.

Christy’s Gourmet Gifts
Dr. Tracy Brodie & Associates

AIS Solutions
Dodsworth & Brown Funeral Home
STANMECH Technologies

Burlington Hydro
Emma’s Back Porch
Sodexo Canada Ltd.

Waqar Malik
Dave McSporran

Burlington Community Foundation
BurlingtonGreen Environmental Association
Camelot Centre

The award recipient in each category will be kept a closely guarded secret until the night of the Gala.

Return to the Front page

Public gets first look at the design for Beachway Park: it is almost five character parks strung together

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

April 8, 2015


It was a meeting with a number of agendas – the people whose homes were going to be replaced by parkland at some point in the future wanted to make their agenda the prime one but the event was to give citizens a chance to see what the first cut of a design for the Beachway park would look like – they got more than their money’s worth.

Another agenda was for the Regional Staff in attendance to assure everyone that there were no plans to expropriate anyone’s property – but during the presentation the phrase “priority properties” was used a number of times.

Full view with Scobie

Citizens get their first look at the design of the Beachway Park – there won’t be much built until the hospital construction is complete but when done the park will consist of five character areas that respect the environment and allow for all kinds of activities. The dark blue area will be the major swimming location.

The Mayor was on hand – he didn’t speak – stood silently at the back of the room but got vocal when the Cogeco news camera was turned on.

McIlroy Anne

Anne McIlroy and her team which included planners from the city created the design. McIlroy has done a lot of work for both the city and the Region in the past.

Council members representing the eastern side of the city didn’t make an appearance – the park land is Regional property and but how the park development is going to be paid for has yet to be worked out. Anne McIlroy, the outside consultant told the audience that the team has only just begun to get into what it will cost to develop the park.

Some staff members were assuring people that nothing was going to happen overnight – that this was a 40 to 50 year project. During the presentation McIlroy left the distinct impression that it was possible to do parts of the park in the near future.

The different agendas clashed at times but setting the politics of all this aside – and they do smell – the design that was shown to the public last night is exceptionally good.

It is sensitive to the environment within which it is going to be developed and it allows for a number of different uses of the space.

It is almost five different parks strung together.  The west end of Spencer Smith Park is the beginning of the Beachway. This section is directly opposite the Joseph Brant Hospital and the Joseph Brant Museum. Lakeshore Road, which will lead to the Beachway Park, is to be widened and raised and become a three lane road with a bicycle lane as well.

Living Shoreline

The Living Shoreline section of the Beachway Park will begin where Spencer Smith Park ends. It will include a gas powered fire pit; a native interpretation centre and a shore line boardwalk.

On the lakeside of the road the park area will be called the Living Shoreline.  This portion of the park will have shelters, a gas fed fire pit that will be used for special occasions. There will be a native interpretation centre and a shoreline boardwalk.

The trail that is built upon the old railway bed will remain much the same in this part of the Beachway Park.
This Living Shoreline will tie into parts of the western end of Spencer Smith – almost reach back to the compass in Spencer Smith.

The hospital parking garage and the hospital itself will be on the other side of the road. The Living Shoreline will stretch west to the Ministry of Transportation property.

Each of the Beachway Park sections will transition into each other with Beacons – which weren’t all that clearly explained – to demark the different parts of the larger park.


The Strand section of the Beachway Park will be the major swimming area and will include the pavilion, rest rooms. rental area.

The next section – working west – will be called The Strand. This section will have a very active beach – it is to be the major swimming area. The Pavilion will be in this section – one hopes that Pavilion is given a major upgrade. The Pump House – referred to as the “rental” place will be in this section. The Catamaran Club will be in this section as well.

There will be parking in this area – what was pretty clear from the drawings was that parking is not going to dominate. Mention was made of shuttle buses that would be used. If the assumption is that the hospital parking lot can handle the weekend traffic – that needs to be re-thought.

Wind Beach

The Wind Beach section of the Beachway Park will reach to the canal and include significant improvements to the pier area.

On the west of the Strand is what will be called The Wind Beach. It will end at the Canal which the park designers hope to turn into a much more inviting location with a better interface with the lift bridge.
The intention is to tie the Burlington Beachway Park to the Hamilton side and ideally see more bike traffic between the two cities.

At the very end of Lakeshore, where Lakeshore Court is located – a couple of yards from the Burlington start of the Waterfront Trail the Commons will exist. This part of the park will be more sports orientated. There will be volley ball courts, a storm water pond, a bacchii ball location, shade areas, and outdoor pavilions that can be used for market and art sales.

Beachway meeting April7-15 full house

By the time the meeting started there wasn’t an empty seat in the room with dozens of people standing.

The Skyway federal pier area will have Eastport Road cutting through it which creates some design challenges.
What wasn’t at all clear during the presentation was how parking would be handled. Many argued that the 27 private homes in the Beachway should not be torn down to create parking spaces. The drawings that were shown last night did not seem to have acres of parking.

McIlroy + Stirling Todd

The Beachway Park is a Regional initiative that will be run by the city of Burlington. Anne McIlroy on the left talks with Stirling Todd, Senior Regional Planner on the right.

What the public saw Tuesday evening at the Art Gallery was a decent first look – the questions for the most part were related to how the city was going to create a park on land they didn’t own.
That question is a Regional political issue and Burlington lost its chance to have an impact in 2013.

As parks go – what Anne McIlroy and her team put together is quality work – if they ever get to build it will be a well-used part of the city.

Return to the Front page

Take an “Egg-Cellent” Adventure on the City’s Website

Event 100By Staff

March 27, 2015


They want you to figure out how the city web site works and discover the new features and enhancements of the city’s website,

Hunting for easter eggs

Are these citizens of Burlington looking for information on the city’s web site or are they just stocking up on Easter eggs?

Starting with the homepage, adventurers will discover several new features of the redesigned website such as news and alert subscriptions, the events calendar and service requests. Upon completion, residents will be asked to fill out a short survey for a chance to win a chocolate prize pack including a Parks and Recreation gift certificate.

“Residents have told us they prefer to do business with the city online,” said Mayor Rick Goldring. “The new web enhancements and features make it easier to make service requests, stay informed and become involved.”

Another reason is – you usually can’t find or get through to who you want by telephone.

Let’s see how this on-line egg hunt works – The Gazette will try it and let you know how we do – you try it and let us know if you win a chocolate prize pack including a Parks and Recreation gift certificate. We wondering what is going to be in that gift certificate

The Egg-cellent adventure closes Thursday, April 9, 2015.

Return to the Front page

Sp'egg'tacular Easter Event at Ireland House - free fun day!

Event 100By Staff

March 27, 2015


The sisters are excited about the upcoming Sp’egg’tacular Easter Event being held at Ireland House to support The Museums of Burlington.

Rocca Sisters & Associates sponsor the event as a thank you to our incredible clients and community for all the support you have shown us throughout the year.

WHEN: Sunday, March 29, 2015
TIME: 11am to 4pm
WHERE: Ireland House at Oakridge Farm – 2168 Guelph Line, Burlington

Enjoy a day full of Easter fun that will include an exciting Easter egg hunt with free goody bags for children of all ages from 11am – 2pm!

Rocca Sisters Fashion Show

Sp’egg’tacular Easter Event is a Rocca Sisters Real Estate sponsored event with the Museums of Burlington taking place at |Ireland House.

Additional activities to enjoy include Princesses Elsa and Anna from Frozen greeting children until 1pm, visits with the Easter Bunny, Easter crafts, carnival style games, face painting, vendors and helium balloons plus a take-away from the Horticultural Society. There is also a fantastic silent auction for adults, a prize bazaar and free raffle for children, live entertainment and more!

Visit the Ireland House Homestead and imagine life as it was over 175 years ago. There will be baking demonstrations and sampling, natural egg dying, costumed historic interpreters, traditional artisan demonstrators, and tours of the house.

Return to the Front page

Become more Earth Savvy: Detoxify your life and keep more of your money in your wallet.

Event 100By Staff

March 25, 2015

An ecofriendly non-profit will be meeting at East Plains United Church in Burlington (375 Plains Rd East) starting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 22, 2015 to talk about Detoxifying Your Life.

Organic cleansingEarth-Savvy Living: will start with the screening of the short film “Story of Cosmetics” (8 minutes).
Mariah Griffin-Angus of Environmental Defence will lead a discussion on some of the toxic chemicals that we are exposed to in our daily lives and how they can influence our personal and environmental health.

Participants will then learn some easy ways to reduce exposure to these chemicals by making their own personal care and cleaning products through a demonstration led by the Program Coordinator of Halton Green Screens, Heather Govender.

The event will focus on greenwashing, marketing, and easy changes individuals can make to decrease exposure to toxic chemicals.

Each participant will go home with some products that they will make themselves. Participants are asked to come with two small jars and one spray bottle or squeeze bottle.

The event is free and refreshments will be provided.

The evening was made possible through the efforts of East Plains United Church, Hamilton-Burlington KAIROS, Greening Sacred Spaces, IDEA Burlington, and Halton Green Screens.

Return to the Front page

Free breakfast Saturday if you get to the library on time and talk about your transit experiences.

News 100 greenBy Staff

March 25, 2015


Now that travelling transit is about to experience a sharp increase in ridership – heck the Mayor takes the bus to work now – Burlington’s Friends and supporters of Transit (Bfast) wants to pull together people who have used transit and hear what they have to say about the service.

Bfast meeting March 28-15This is the third public meeting Bfast has held – their purpose has been to focus attention on transit in a city that hasn’t taken to that mode of transportation.

Bfast has had the view that city council isn’t really transit friendly – the Transit Advisory committee was shut down and some of the gas tax money the city gets from the province got put into infrastructure repairs rather than transit.

A newly formed transit will be known as Bfast - they intend to inform the debate on transit and insure the issue of transit service doesn't get lost in the Official Plan Review

The first Bfast event had Paul Bedford, a former chief planner for Toronto and a strong transit advocate spoke about Transit from an overall GTA wide Lets-Just-Get-On-With-It point of view.

The second session was a Panel Discussion with a City Councillor Rick Craven,
a VP from Metrolinx, MPP & Legislative Assistant to the minister of Transportation, Mike Colle, Burlington Green, and journalist Lorraine Sommerfeld

If there was ever a place to locate a transit terminal - that would be John Street where the only terminal in the city is now located.  Transit department is recommending it be removed and tickets sold at city hall.  Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward isn't buying that business case

There was a point during the last term of council that the city looked seriously at the idea of closing the small ticket office – that led many to wonder how serious the city is about transit. If there was ever a place to locate a transit terminal – that would be John Street where the only terminal in the city is now located.

This third public meeting they are attempting to shift the discussion to make it user focused. Bfast wants to be able to take the experiences of those who attend the meeting and work them into a set of Good, Bad, Ugly bits that we can then package up into recommendations for how to improve Burlington Transit.

There are 50+ registrations including the Mayor, and Councillor Paul Sharman plus the city’s MPP Eleanor McMahon.

Share your experiences and what it is like for you riding the bus with Burlington Transit

Share your ideas for improving transit and special transit

Register at electronically or by phone –  905-632-4774.

Complimentary continental breakfast provided.

Return to the Front page