City of Burlington looks to challenge Ontario Land Tribunal Ruling on Lakeshore and Pearl Street 29 storey development

By Staff

October 28th, 2021



Yesterday, the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) released its decision on Lakeshore Inc.’s proposal at 2069-2079 Lakeshore Rd.

The City strongly disagrees with and is shocked by the ruling, which allows for a 29-storey building at that location.

It’s tall – but not THE tallest development in the works. There is a developer with a 32 storey idea for Brant Street.

It’s This decision is not at all reflective of the planned context for the Downtown as expressed in the new Official Plan. It not only ignores the citizens of Burlington and Halton Region, and their Councils, it has ignored the stated intent of the Minister of Municipal Affairs to change the planning context by adjusting the Urban Growth Centre (UGC) boundary.

City Planning and Legal staff will review the decision in more detail to determine if a review of the decision by the Tribunal or a Court should be pursued, including their findings on the City’s motion regarding the impact of the Urban Growth Centre (UGC).

At a special meeting of City Council on Nov. 3, staff will present these potential options and next steps in-camera.

Burlington’s revised new Official Plan (OP) was approved by Halton Region on Nov. 30, 2020. The new OP includes stronger protections for green space, heritage, jobs, the rural community, established low-density neighbourhoods and a special focus on preserving the character of the downtown. The modifications presented in the final Notice of Decision address the issues of non-conformity, changes to Provincial Plans and policies, and Official Plan Amendments and the need to balance Regional and Provincial conformity requirements. In addition, the modifications capture endorsed policy modifications related to two areas identified by Council for re-examination and refinement. The policies of the Official Plan with the recommended modifications establish a comprehensive policy framework to a planning horizon of 2031.

Things are getting crowded downtown. A number of developments in the talking and planning stages are not shown.

At the hearing, the City argued that Lakeshore Inc.’s proposal for 29-storeys was not appropriate for that location for a number of reasons, including the fact that the proposal far exceeded the height limits of 17-storeys allowed in that area, the City’s vision and planned context for the downtown as expressed in the new Official Plan, and the proposed building’s height and mass were not compatible with or provided appropriate transition to the surrounding area. In its decision, however, the OLT states that the development should be allowed as because provincial policy in the Growth Plan directs new residential growth to the Urban Growth Centre in a significant or ‘optimized’ manner.

The decision underscores the importance of the future boundary adjustment of the UGC to the Burlington GO station and the need for the new downtown policies in the new OP to be determined and brought into force. The OLT stated “The Tribunal finds that there is no evidence of negative impact or any other justification for the modifications as advanced by the City to support a 22-storey tower instead of the 29-storey tower under the Lakeshore Proposal. Moreover, there is also no basis for the resultant substantial reduction in the number of residential units stemming from the City’s proposed modifications. The height reduction alone would eliminate between 63 and 77 residential units. Reducing the tower floorplate to 690 m2 as proposed … would eliminate a further 64 to 80 residential units.”

The City further argued that it is on track to meet or exceed provincial growth targets and regardless, the number of residential units should not result in a development that is incompatible with the existing area.

This decision is not indicative of the best planning outcome for Burlington residents or City of Burlington planning goals.
Burlington is a City where people, nature and businesses thrive. As residents continue to rediscover many of their favourite spaces and activities in the city, City services may look different as we work to stop the spread of COVID-19. The City’s commitment to providing the community with essential services remains a priority.

The 29 storey development will be marketed under the name BeauSoleil

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward and Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns had this to say in a prepared statement they rel;eased jointly:
“This is a devastating and shocking decision imposed on our community, which completely disregards the vision of residents, council and staff for this area. And so, Council will be examining all of our options for a review of this OLT decision.

This decision completely dismisses the considerable feedback from residents in opposition to this file – and their valuable suggestions for what would be appropriate. This decision ignored over 100 people who took the time to attend a community meeting, delegate to council, and write pages of letters. There was no acknowledgement of our community’s voice in this decision.

We once knew it as the Pearle Street Cafe – those were the days.

The decision highlights the inappropriate application of Provincial Planning Policies to justify over development and underscores the importance of a speedy decision from the Minister to remove the Major Transit Station Area designation from downtown and adjust the boundaries of the Urban Growth Centre to the Burlington GO Station, where this scale of development should be. We will continue to work to defend our plan and put growth where it belongs.”


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Mayor describes the tax increase of 5.45 % as a staff wish list that won't pass

By Pepper Parr

October 28th, 2021



Tom Muir, a regular Gazette reader and commentator said he “ saw the Mayor on CHCH TV this morning and the budget was covered. She said 5.45% is a wish list, is too much, and will not be approved.”

In the budget discussions we have heard so far not a peep from the Mayor on what she thought was an appropriate level of tax increase Council could accept.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward reported to have described the 5.45% budget increase as a “staff wish list” that would not be passed.

To say publicly that the budget is a “Staff wish list” is disrespectful and condescending in the extreme.

Joan Ford and her crew work hard on the budgets and they look for ways to trim costs where they can.

Ford, who fully understands how municipal budgets work, struggles to get this Mayor to understand that reserves are in place for a reason and they are to be respected.

How Meed Ward convinced herself that more than $4 million could be taken from the Hydro Reserve fund and used to pay for a wave break at the LaSalle Marina.  The decision was so egregious that City Manager Tim Commisso said aloud that he would begin looking for ways to group the Reserve funds so that it wasn’t so evident just how much money was kept for extreme situations.

There are still those recovering from the flood of 2014.  The city had reserves in place then that allowed immediate spending to clear up the creek beds and repair the bridges that had been damaged.

Staff takes their lead from Council.  To have people in the finance department working their tails off only to learn that their efforts are seen as a “wish list” hurts.

An apology might be in order.

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A year after a 50 foot fall into a Mt Nemo crevasse survivor Anita Ceh returns to thank the firefighters.

By Ryan O’Dowd: Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

November 5th, 2021



One year ago Anita Ceh had a life-changing hike at Mount Nemo.

Anita and her friend, Jennifer, met in the parking lot last October to walk a Mount Nemo trail. Anita has always been active but doesn’t consider herself much of a hiker, favouring more leisurely walks – what followed was anything but. Mount Nemo’s cliffside trail looms large on the escarpment skyline and looks out over rural parts of the city adorned with autumn foliage of golds and reds. Anita doesn’t remember how long they walked before the fall.

Anita jumped across a small gap in the trail and she immediately knew something was wrong. The earth gave way and Anita lost her footing, she grabbed hold of a tree on the other side of the clearing but too much ground had given way, soil and stone gobbled up by the jagged mouth of a deep crevasse. Her grip couldn’t hold. The tree slipped out of her grasp and Anita’s friend tells her she grabbed at the edge of the ground, but the cliff face crumbled too.

After losing purchase on the cliff face Anita curled into the fetal position to protect her head and neck. She doesn’t remember the fall.

Anita fell fifty feet into the gaping crevasse. She remembers coming to, here and there, as emergency responders fastened ropes to a stretcher for a vertical elevation because the crevasse was too narrow for any other kind of evacuation. Although Anita’s recollection of her time caught in the crevasse is spotty, Jennifer Massel , who found a passerby to call 911, tells her they communicated the whole time. Jennifer never thought Anita was going to die, Anita says the firefighters thought differently.

Meeting with fire fighters a year after a 50 foot fall into a crevasse on Mount Nemo.  Anita Ceh is in the leather jacket, and friend Jennifer

“They thought they’d be bringing a body up,” said Anita. “And so I don’t know how I survived, I guess determination, divine intervention. I’m not a religious person, but I have to believe that there is somebody watching over me.”

Anita spent seven weeks in the hospital, much of it she described as lost time in a brain fog. Anita worked as an x-ray technician, she remembered seeing the terrible x-rays of badly injured patients during her career and never imagined she’d be one of them. The brain fog was mostly lifted by the last two weeks of her hospital stay and Anita, grateful to have survived, grew restless and frustrated with her hospital stay, eager to return to her life.

Now she has.

“Amazingly, I’m feeling really good,” said Anita.

Following her long hospital stay, Anita walked around with a cane for two weeks due to a fracture in her spine. She attributes ditching the cane to her stubbornness and is back to being active now. She left the crevasse with a “fair bit of hardware” in her shoulder and wrist. Anita has started riding her bike again, one of her favourite ways to stay active, but she’s more cautious than before.

Despite how foggy the incident at Mount Nemo has become it weighs heavy on Anita’s mind.

Mt Nemo has dozens of hidden crevasses – wiser to walk along the well marked trails.

“I kind of was concerned about going back to Mount Nemo because of post-traumatic stress, which I know I’m suffering from now. But I want to go back and see, and have a look at the crevasse.”

One year after the event Anita had the opportunity to meet the firefighters who saved her life. Anita said she got the idea to meet the first responders again from a friend who told her they’re always appreciative of the gratitude. Anita was emotional speaking about the firefighter’s heroism.

Acting Platoon Chief Jason Laporte standing with Anita Ceh, (on the right) and her friend Jennifer

“I have such respect for them, I always have, but when you actually have to be saved from such a dangerous situation you realize they risk their lives to save our lives.”

Acting Platoon Chief Jason Laporte mentioned it is a rare opportunity to reconnect with someone they helped during an emergency but says when it happens it’s “one of the most rewarding parts of the job.”

The Burlington Fire Department is using a mobile application called what3words to help emergency responders find callers in remote areas without a known or specific address. Residents are encouraged to download the free app to mobile devices so public safety telecommunicators can quickly identify your location, down to a 3-meter square area, during an emergency.

When the passerby called 9-1-1 for Anita they were unsure how to describe the location, but eventually were able to coordinate with first responders. Burlington Fire Chief Karen Roche pointed out what3words will help responders and citizens in emergency situations.

“We’re thankful the 9-1-1 caller was able to help us locate her. Every second we spend trying to search for a caller could mean their chances of a positive outcome is reduced. The faster we can get to the person, the better the outcome. Downloading the what3words application on your mobile device helps us help you,” said Roche.

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Burlington Man Charged with Human Trafficking Offences

By Staff

October 27th, 2021



The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) has made an arrest and laid multiple charges after a human trafficking investigation in Oakville.

Frank Yeboah of Burlington: charged with Trafficking in Persons

On Monday October 25, 2021, investigators arrested 25 year-old Frank Yeboah of Burlington. He has been charged with the following:

  • Trafficking in Persons
  • Adult Procuring
  • Sexual Assault (x2)
  • Extortion

Yeboah was held in custody pending a bail hearing in Milton.

Police believe there may be additional victims and ask that anyone with information contact the Human Trafficking Unit at 905-825-4747 ext. 5331.

The Halton Regional Police Service firmly believes that every person has the right to feel safe in our community.

Victims of violence and/or sexual assault and witnesses are encouraged to contact the Halton Regional Police Service. The following is a list of valuable support services and resources in our region for victims of violence and/or sexual assault:

  • Halton Regional Police Service Victim Services Unit 905-825-4777 ext. 5239 or by email at
  • Nina’s Place Sexual Assault and Domestic Assault Care Centre 905-336-4116 or 905-681-4880
  • Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Services (SAVIS) 905-875-1555 (24-hour crisis line)
  • Radius Child & Youth Services 905-825-3242 (Oakville) or 1-855-744-9001
  • Kid’s Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 (24-hour crisis line)
  • THRIVE Counselling 905-845-3811 or 905-637-5256

Signs / Indicators of Human Trafficking

  • Not being allowed to speak for themselves;
  • Not having control of their own money or cellphone;
  • Suddenly having a new or second cell phone with a secret number;
  • Being controlled by others and escorted at all times;
  • Not being allowed to contact family or friends;
  • Withdrawing from family and friends;
  • Providing rehearsed answers to casual questions;
  • Being secretive about their activities;
  • Showing signs of abuse, such as bruising, cigarette burns, fractures, etc.
  • Having a new boyfriend, girlfriend or friend who they won’t introduce to friends/family; and
  • Having new items (clothing, jewelry etc.) outside their financial means.

What Should I Do if I Think Someone is a Victim of Trafficking?

If there is immediate danger or if you suspect someone is being trafficked, call 9-1-1.

You may also call the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-833-900-1010.

The Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline is a confidential, multilingual service, operating 24/7 to connect victims and survivors with social services, law enforcement, and emergency services, as well as receive tips from the public. The hotline uses a victim-centered approach when connecting human trafficking victims and survivors with local emergency, transition, and/or long-term supports and services across the country, as well as connecting callers to law enforcement where appropriate.


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What happened to the Waterfront Hotel study that got mentioned in 2005 ? It doesn't seem to have a timeline - however, the owner of the hotel site has a timeline

By Pepper Parr

October 26th, 2021



This is one of those chicken and egg situations – which came first ?

We’d like to revise that just a little bit and ask – which should come first?

The public was recently treated to a pre-application presentation by Bousfields, the planning consultants hired by Vrancorp to re-develop the Waterfront Hotel site.

The twin towers would change more than the skyline of the city.

The designs that were made public were stunning – but much of the public reaction was less than enthusiastic – what stunned them was the idea of putting two towers on Lakeshore Road, one that would be the highest in the city.

Nice buildings but not in Spencer Smith Park, was the predominant comment.

The two towers were proposed for what the planners called the iconic ground zero location – the intersection of Brant and Lakeshore Road where a 35 storey and a 30 story tower were to replace the nine storey hotel.

The site has been the focus point for a lot of planning – some of it going back more than a decade.

An agreement had been put in place to have a study done on how best to develop the hotel site and have it compliment Spencer Smith Park and the Promenade.

The area to be covered in the Waterfront Study that started back in 2005. At this point there isn’t a completion date – there is a report that is scheduled to go to Council in 1Q of 2022

Vrancor, the corporation that owns the hotel, is reported to have put up the $150,000 to have the study done. They are understandably upset. They paid for the study but the study was not completed. The city doesn’t have a planner assigned to the study – the most recent word is that the planning department will be getting something to council in 2022.
This may be one of those times when the horses are out of the barn and it’s too late to close the door.

In June 2018 Council went along with a revised Work Plan for the study that was to be completed by Q1 of 2019, (This was before Meed Ward became Mayor.)

The re-thinking of what could be done with the site goes back to 2005 with a follow up report in 2006.

There was a subsequent site-specific policy requiring that a planning study process be completed prior to any redevelopment of the subject site.

Residents at a workshop setting out their ideas with planner Thomas Walker.

The 2018 report called for a high quality of urban design reflecting the landmark nature of this site, that “shall be contingent upon the completion of a master plan to the satisfaction of City Council.”

Public meeting to consider what the waterfront area should include.

In 2015 Council approved the terms of reference for the Waterfront Hotel Lands Planning Study.

In 2017 the Waterfront Hotel Planning Study was publicly launched, beginning with a pair of visioning workshops in May.

In November of 2018 the site’s significance was affirmed at the Planning and Development Committee meeting, evidenced by a number of delegations that presented a varied set of interests and development concepts.

A series of drawings that got whittled down to two Preferred Concept – and that as far as the study of the Waterfront Hotel site has gone.

At this point, 2018, the public had a series of drawings that resulted in two preferred concepts for development.

A group known as Plan B inserted itself into the process with their position that a thin red line be drawn beyond which there would be no development west of the hotel site.

Despite extensive engagement opportunities, a clear consensus on direction had not yet been achieved. Staff then built upon the consultation work done through three community workshops (a total of six sessions); what came out of the Planning and Development Committee held on November 28, 2017, and significant contributions from the Vrancor Group and the Plan B Citizen Group; they created key policy directions to move forward.

The key policy directions were intended to align with the vision statement, accommodate an iconic landmark building, and reinforce the site’s unique location as a major gateway to the waterfront.

One of two renderings of what the site might look like. The entrance to the development would be from John Street not Brant


Early concept didn’t have the height that was shown in the pre-application presentation.

The key policy directions have been organized around the study’s three frameworks and guiding design principles of Land Use and Built Form, Public Realm, and Mobility and Access, as follows:  Land use and built form and Public Realm are important and it is vital that everyone share the same understanding as to just what this means.

Land Use and Built Form
1) Create building frontages along Lakeshore Road and Elizabeth Street with building placement that establishes a defining street wall and frames the street zone.
2) Provide active uses at grade along Lakeshore Road and Elizabeth Street.
3) Achieve active and animated edges adjacent to Spencer Smith Park, with a requirement for retail and service commercial uses at grade:
a. Built form next to the south property line shall activate and animate this edge, respect the existing grade, and be scaled to the waterfront trail with higher levels stepping back as necessary.
b. Built form next to the west property line shall activate and animate this edge, respect the existing grade, and be scaled to Spencer Smith Park with higher levels stepping back as necessary.
4) Require a minimum of two uses within buildings and where feasible, encourage three uses.
5) Establish an iconic landmark building on the site subject to the following:

a. A new public, pedestrian space is provided at the foot of Brant Street where public views to the Lake and Pier are enhanced;
b. The iconic landmark building must contain a destination use or function;
c. The iconic landmark building shall enhance the City of Burlington’s image/identity.
6) Require design excellence in all matters of architecture, landscape architecture, sustainable and urban design and require that all public and private development proposals on or adjacent to the site be evaluated/reviewed by the Burlington Urban Design Advisory Panel.

An unobstructed view of the Pier from Brant Street was objective number 1 for almost everyone.

Public Realm
7) Protect public view corridors to Lake Ontario from Brant and Elizabeth Streets, and where possible John Street.
8) Enhance the Brant Street view corridor to frame views to the Brant Street Pier, and require a significant building setback from the west property line.
9) Create new and enhanced publicly accessible green/open space, which would include new north-south pedestrian connections between Lakeshore Road and Spencer Smith Park (mid-block and along the site’s edges).
10) Minimize changes to the existing grade along the southern edge of the site and enhance the interface with Spencer Smith Park.
11) Integrate a public washroom within the future redevelopment; with an entrance that is accessible, highly visible and within close proximity to Spencer Smith Park.
12) Identify opportunities for the placement of public art on and adjacent to the site.
Staff was to continue with background work and in early 2019, re-start the process with a refreshed look and feel building on the above policy directions. This will include a revised work plan and new public engagement plan which leverages the city’s newest communication and engagement software and tools.

Changes to the existing land use designation and permitted building height are not included in the new Official Plan – as it was in the then current Official Plan – not the one that the new Council adopted in 2019.

The process would involve a site-specific amendment to the Official Plan at such time as the study is completed by the City and approved by City Council.

What muddies up a clear understanding was the existence then of a downtown mobility hub, that problem was resolved; then a change in the Urban Growth Centre boundary.

The ICBL – Interim Control By Law was imposed and then the world was hit with a pandemic brought about by the Covid19 virus.

We are now at the point where a sense or normality seems to be returning.

Add to that a frenetic increase in the development applications that required the city to hire more than a dozen new planners.
Then along comes the planner for the hotel site owner saying they were tired of waiting and did a pre-application presentation that shocked many.

That pre-application is the beginning of a process that has a ticking clock.

The towers are closer than many realize – closer to the street than the hotel on the site.

So back to that first question:  which should come first – the completion of the Waterfront Study or the accepting of a development application.

There is an important connection between this Waterfront Study and the City’s new Official Plan, the Downtown Mobility Hub Area Specific Plan, the City’s Transportation Plan, Cycling Master Plan, Community Trails Strategy, the Transit Plan and the Tall Building and Downtown Streetscape Guidelines, all of which are necessary to ensure that redevelopment of the subject property meets the City’s urban design and growth management goals, as well as enhances the adjacent public space and waterfront.

People began asking – what about the Waterfront Hotel Study and wondering how a pre-application presentation could be done before the study was complete.

There is a lot riding on what is to be built on the hotel site; people are getting anxious.

Will the downtown core begin to look like the Toronto waterfront where a lot of the land south of the Gardner Expressway is studded with towers that limit the view of Lake Ontario?

Not much is being heard from the politicians – they have taken the view that they can’t say much at this point without being accused of being biased.

The point at which they feel they can comment is when planning staff produce their report that either recommends that a development proceed, or that the development not proceed or that they should continue working with the developer.

The stickler at this point is this: the city has 120 days to produce their report to council – something that is close to impossible for a development of this size.

Once the 120 point has been met the developer has the right to go to the Ontario Land Tribunal to ask for permission to proceed with the development.

Burlington has not done very well at the tribunal level, partly many feel because of the direction that comes out of Burlington’s legal department.

With all those agencies commenting the project begins to create some momentum that it might not be possible to hold in check.

The Gazette has made the telling of this story a mission.

The people of Burlington are going to have to make it a mission to ensure that Council hears what they think and feel.

In the next 13 months we are going to go through a provincial election and a municipal election.  The strategy for those who care about where growth takes place and the kind of growth that takes place should be a mission as well.

Related news stories:

The pre-application presentation

Is there a different approach to how the site can be used?  A land swap perhaps?



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Gould made Minister of Family, Children and Social Development

By Pepper Parr

October 26th, 2021



Karina Gould.

She is now the Minister of Family, Children and Social Development.

It isn’t a promotion and it isn’t a demotion.

She had to leave the International Development Ministry in order for the former Minister of Defence to have something to do.

Having all but raised her son in the House of Commons she will do well in this new Ministry.

Karina Gould getting the official PM elbow bump during her searing in this morning.

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Council needs to take responsibility for the tax levels it sets and not use 'funny ' numbers to disguise the real tax hit

By Pepper Parr

October 25th, 2021



The cat is out of the bag.


Financial people are expected to put forward a budget asking for a 5.45% increase over last year.

That didn’t come as a big surprise.

In the media release from city hall they explained that “This represents a 5.45% increase to the City’s portion of the tax bill.”

The statement is totally true.

In the beginning she was all about transparency and accountability. Something changed.

The media release also said: “When combined with the estimated regional and education tax levies, the overall projected tax increase for a Burlington homeowner in 2022 is 3.18% or $24.76 per $100,000 of assessment. For example, homeowners with a home assessed at $500,000 would pay an additional $123.80 per year or $2.38 per week.

That statement is totally true as well.  The point that never gets made is this:  The city collects taxes for the education sector and the Regional government but has absolutely no impact on the amount taxes levied by the Boards of Education and a minimal impact on the Regional taxes levied.  Burlington has just 7 of the 24 votes at the Regional level.

The combined tax level tends to make the Burlington 5.45 % look better, the reality is that the city is taxing its citizens at a level well above inflation.  Two percent increases are not going to be seen for a long time.

Citizens looking over a budget document that they have next to no chance of changing. Better that they be given a piece of cake.

As for the public having any impact – the numbers are all but cast in stone well before the public gets to see them.  For Mayor Meed Ward to say she wants the public to “ assist City Council in the budget process” and “to share their input and tell us what services are important to them.”

To what end?  Adding insult to injury this Mayor does not appear to be doing anything to find ways to let tax payers meet in a live setting and express their views.  She would rather have you “join in the conversation at the November 22 virtual town hall that she will be hosting.

Salt with Pepper is the musings, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette, an online newspaper that was formed in 2010 and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.

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Councillor uses a hybrid approach to meeting with constituents - seems to work quite well

By Pepper Parr

October 25th, 2021



Each member of Council finds their own way to meet with constituents.

When she is on a roll – Kearns is a dangerous lady with a microphone.

Lisa Kearns (ward 2) has the most active ward in the city, although the folks in Aldershot would differ with her on that.

She has broken the meeting mold that most members of Council are using and is now meeting with her constituents both virtually and live. She held her second hybrid meeting last week and found herself spending most of the two hours explaining what was happening on the development side of things.

It is hectic and it is complex.

Council decided recently to proceed with the hiring of about 15 additional planners who will be needed to cope with the development applications that have kept the planning department stretched to the limit.

Councillor Kearns suggested she might take constituents on a walking tour of the developments in her ward.

Kearns put together a map of where the development is taking place in her ward and the status of a number of those applications.

Brant Street is on the right hand side and Prospect is on the left side. Prospect curves around the development.

A pre-application from Camarro Developments for the proposed development at Brant and Prospect had already been appealed to the Ontario Land Tribunal – it has been there for some time.

It took a number of questions to get the people giving the pre application presentation to say just how tall the building is going to be.

The plan is for 293 units with 275 parking spaces in the four underground parking levels.  61 – 3 bedroom; 100  – 2 bedroom, and 132  – 1  bedroom.

There will be retail at grade level.  It wasn’t clear just what would be in the 7 level podium.

During their presentation last week we got some detail on what is going to be a 31 storey structure with a seven level podium with 25 storey’s on top of the podium – which sets a new record for height in the city.

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By Staff

October 25th, 2021



The Halton Police Board meeting is scheduled for this Thursday, October 28, at 9:00 a.m. If you would like to register and observe our meeting you can do so by clicking on this link:

The Police Service Board oversees the Halton Regional Police.
The Chief of Police and his senior staff attend and report regularly on what has happened, where the porblems are and explain what they are doing about the problems.

Key parts of the Agenda for Thursday are:

3.1 Halton Happenings – September 2021
3.2 Quarterly Human Resources Summary
3.3 Seized Fund Statement – August 31, 2021
3.4 Communications Update – October 2021
3.5 Minutes of Advisory Committee Meeting – October 19, 2021

4.1 2022 Funding Request & 10 Year Capital Forecast
4.2 Proposed Governance Policies
4.3 Proposed 2022 HPB Governance Budget
4.4 Funding Request from Canadian Caribbean Association of Halton

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Caregivers and Support Persons Required in Joseph Brant Emergency Room NOW!

By Tamara De Dominicis

October 25th, 2021



When you go to the emergency room of the hospital, you are at your most vulnerable. No matter the reason that you need to see a doctor, something prompted you to seek out medical attention and you need help. At Joseph Brant Hospital, current rules state that patients visiting the emergency department may only have a caregiver or support person under “special circumstances, such as for patients with cognitive, mobility or language difficulties” (Joseph Brant Hospital). This is unacceptable for numerous reasons, which I will outline below.

The necessity of a support person in emergency should not be limited by Covid 19 protocols says resident.

Let us first review the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic in Burlington, Ontario at the end of October 2021. At present, there are 5 active cases of COVID at the hospital, with 120 cases reported in the entire City of Burlington in the last 30 days (Joseph Brant Hospital) (Halton Region). Vaccination rate is 84% for the eligible population in Halton and with the system of vaccine passports in place, it is possible to access nonessential services (Hennessey and Rosella). That is, one can eat indoors at restaurants, go to movies, concerts, or games, use sports and recreation facilities, and even go to nightclubs (Ministry of Health).

If you decide to go to a restaurant, all you must do is provide your name and information for contact tracing to the host, then show your proof of vaccination and identification. But if you try and go to the hospital to support your spouse, family member or child, you are not permitted to do so unless that person isn’t able to advocate for themselves at that moment, regardless of whether you are vaccinated or inhabit the same household as the patient in question.

I understand the need to limit the spread of COVID-19; however, the pandemic is not the only medical concern that affects Burlington citizens. A year and a half into the pandemic medical professionals are busy, overworked, and exhausted (Science Table COVID-19 Advisory for Ontario). Wait times in the emergency room are long and the waiting area is unattended by medical personnel (Joseph Brant Hospital). Arriving at emergency, the person who determines the patient’s capacity to communicate their medical needs is not a medical practitioner at all but rather a volunteer. I do not believe that a person who possesses no medical training or licensing should be permitted to give medical advice that must be followed. Furthermore, a critical medical situation can change rapidly, with a patient perhaps being able to advocate for themselves when they first enter emergency, and their health changing so that they are no longer able to do so.

Burlington MP Karina Gould, centre, with Minister of Defence Harjit Singh Sajjan looking through a scrapbook with a veteran at the hospital.

I have personally witnessed several situations that illustrate the necessity of a support person in emergency. One patient insisted they did not need a caregiver; the person who accompanied them then informed the volunteer their parent had dementia. A father brought his teenage son for care after a concussion who was also told to leave; he refused, the patient’s symptoms worsened, and he was not able to explain his medical history without his father’s help. An elderly woman fell in the washroom and spent 15 minutes on the floor despite her daughter calling repeatedly for help. How much worse would these situations have become without a person present to advocate for the patient?

Other hospitals in the Halton and surrounding area have recognized the need for caregivers to attend their loved ones in the emergency room. At the hospitals included in the Halton Healthcare Network, emergency room patients are permitted two support people (Halton Healthcare). It is time for Burlington’s hospital to support both its staff and its citizens by allowing caregivers and support people in the emergency room.

Works Cited

Halton Healthcare. Emergency Department. 2020. Web. 23 October 2021.

Halton Region. Halton Cases By Neighbourhood. 22 October 2021. Web. 23 October 2021.
Hennessey, Melanie and Louie Rosella. Tracking the COVID vaccine rollout in Halton.

23 October 2021. Web. 23 October 2021.

Joseph Brant Hospital. COVID-19. n.d. Web. 23 October 2021.

—. Emergency Department. n.d. Web. 23 October 2021.

Ministry of Health. Proof of Vaccination. 15 October 2021. Web. 23 October 2021. Science Table COVID-19 Advisory for Ontario. “Burnout in Hospital-Based Healthcare
Workers during COVID-19.” Science Briefs (2021): 1-24. Web.

Tamara De Dominicis (she/her) is a poet in ceaseless conversation with the natural landscape. Her two poetry collections, “Where the landscape listens” and “wayward weeds” communicate the parallel and sympathetic concerns of people and the natural world while excavating the connections of memory and place. She is the founder and editor of Wildflower Press, a small digital press with the aim of giving voice and distribution to local talent. Her pandemic project, The Window Zine, brought together art and artists of different mediums to convert creativity into funds for community organizations. She lives in Burlington, Ontario with her spouse and their pets.


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Tax hit from the city set at 5.45% increase over last year. Town Hall to hear from the public November 22nd

By Staff

October 25th, 2021



Shaping Burlington’s 2022 budget: key meeting dates coming up, including a virtual town hall with Mayor Marianne Meed Ward on Nov. 22

Work to determine the 2022 budget continues. An overview of the budget will be presented to Burlington City Council at a virtual Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk and Accountability Committee meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 3 at 9:30 a.m. The overview will include a look at the proposed 2022 operating budget as well as the 2022 capital budget and forecast.

Key areas of focus for the proposed 2022 budget
Each year, during the City’s budget process, decisions are made to ensure an appropriate balance between affordability, maintaining service levels and financial sustainability over the long term.

The proposed 2022 budget focuses on:

  • Mitigating the financial impacts of COVID-19
  • maintaining service levels
  • ensuring city assets are maintained in a good state of repair
  • continuing to provide strategic investments aligned to the City’s work plan, 2018 to 2022: Vision to Focus
  • upholding legislative requirements while ensuring competitive property taxes.

City plans to add more bylaw enforcement officers.

Proposed capital budget
The proposed 2022 capital budget is $77.3 million, with a ten-year program of $829.5 million. From this total:

  • 68.5% is for infrastructure renewal
  • 15.1% goes towards growth-related projects
  • 12.8% is for new/enhanced projects
  • 3.6% goes towards green projects which support the City’s climate goals.

Proposed operating budget
The proposed 2022 operating budget is $284.8 million and includes new funding to support:

  • Sustaining city services ($685,333)
    • Additional funding for on-going recreation facility maintenance to meet lifecycle requirements and reduce risk
    • One-time funding to support a Gypsy Moth spraying program in 2022
    • One-time funding to extend the contracts of two bylaw officers
  • Burlington Transit will want more buses to continue with the free for seniors service.

    Enhancing services ($199,130)

    • Funding to make the free transit for seniors pilot a permanent program
    • Operating expenses to support the new Orchard Community Hub
  • Modifications to services to address COVID-19 ($332,733)
    • Funding to make the bus cleaning pilot program permanent
    • Dedicated operations space for building inspection and bylaw enforcement staff.

Proposed tax increase
This represents a 5.45% increase to the City’s portion of the tax bill.

When combined with the estimated regional and education tax levies, the overall projected tax increase for a Burlington homeowner in 2022 is 3.18% or $24.76 per $100,000 of assessment. For example, homeowners with a home assessed at $500,000 would pay an additional $123.80 per year or $2.38 per week.

A copy of the proposed budget for 2022 will be available online at

Pre Covid19 there were meetings with staff where questions could be asked. Now it’s all virtual.

Public Input

To gather feedback from residents about how municipal services are valued and which ones are a priority for residents, the City hosted an online budget survey from July 5 to Sept. 30, 2021, at A total of 539 responses were received.

Survey results:

  • 71.7% indicated they are satisfied with the services provided by the City of Burlington
  • 64.5% rated the value they receive for their tax investment as good or very good
  • 70.3% said it is important to them for funding to be put aside for infrastructure renewal
  • 86.3% said it is important to them to set aside additional funding to address potential future emergencies like a pandemic or natural disaster.

Get Involved Burlington also features an interactive budget simulation tool where residents and taxpayers can show the City how they would balance the budget. Users can increase and decrease funding for different City service areas as they see fit while still maintaining a balanced budget.

Virtual 2022 Budget Town Hall – Nov. 22 at 7 p.m.
An additional opportunity for public input on the 2022 budget will be held on Monday, Nov. 22, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. during a virtual town hall hosted by Mayor Marianne Meed Ward. The live, online meeting provides residents an opportunity to learn more and ask questions to City staff about the proposed 2022 budget priorities. More details about the link to join the virtual meeting will be available on in the coming days.

Marianne Meed Ward has never shied away from budget increases. Her approach reflects the Red Liberal in her.

 Mayor Marianne Meed Ward explains: “The budget process is one of the most important exercises the city undertakes each year.  Determining key spending priorities in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is challenging as COVID continues to present significant financial impacts.

“To assist City Council in the budget process, we want residents and taxpayers to share their input and tell us what services are important to them. Please join in the conversation at the Nov. 22 virtual town hall that I will be hosting. We know our citizens expect us to maintain a high quality of services as our city continues to grow and evolve and we want everyone to share their feedback with us, so we can continue to deliver on their expectations.”

Joan Ford knows her numbers inside out.  She gives council the facts and advice when they ask.  They don’t ask very often.

Joan Ford, Director of Finance gives her side of the budget story:  “The City’s annual budget process provides an opportunity to review existing operations and make investments in key City programs and services. While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to provide significant financial challenges for the City, the 2022 budget process will focus on maintaining the city’s financial position, addressing corporate risks, and ensuring residents continue to receive the programs and services that provide a high quality of life in Burlington.”


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Engagement Plan that is detailed and filled with information that hasn't been discussed yet at MTSA meetings

By Pepper Parr

October 20, 2021



This Background piece is on the long side.  It is the first time we have seen such a comprehensive engagement plan with so much detail and really relevant information.  While we are surprised we also want to thank the Communications people for being this candid.

Burlington is in the next phase of city-building as it approaches full build-out of the urban area. The undertaking of area-specific plans (ASPs) for Burlington’s Major Transit Station Area (MTSA) represents the City’s continuing implementation of its vision for appropriate intensification and the protection of established neighbourhoods by focusing future population growth to key areas, and in particular, a focus around higher order transit.

Way back in the beginning the GO stations were called Mobility Hubs and at that time the bus terminal in the downtown core was included a Hub. That mistake made it possible for a developer to put up a 26 storey tower which opened things up for other developers.

This is a big big deal – it involves something in the order of 20,000 people and or jobs in what will be a small village of its own.  It will take decades to get through it all and it may well change in some form going forward.

The city has put together an Engagement Plan – it runs 13 pages long – with a lot of surprising information.

Area Specific Plans for the properties within each MTSA  have to be created.

This work started out as a Mobility Hub study which was placed on hold in Q1 2019 to allow for a shift in focus to emerging planning priorities, including the Region’s Municipal Comprehensive Review, the scoped re-examination of the adopted Official Plan and the Interim Control Bylaw Land Use Study.

There are a number of key differences that resulted in significant changes to the scope and considerations of the work that had to be done including the completion of all required technical studies, further public and stakeholder engagement and the completion of three (3) area-specific plans, as well as the associated implementing Official Plan and Zoning By-Law amendments and other implementation strategies which may be required to get everything before Council.

Citizens will show up for a meeting if you make it interesting enough and promote it effectively. We will have to wait until we are out of Covid19 rules for events like this to take place

The Engagement Plan highlights the points in the process at which engagement will take place, who will be engaged, and the level of engagement. The plan also clearly defines which aspects of the process the City and public can influence throughout the discussion.

Decision Statement
At the beginning of an engagement process, it is helpful to know, “what is the decision to be made?” A decision statement clearly identifies:
• what decision needs to be made;
• who is the decision maker; and
• when the decision is required.

The decision statement for the MTSA ASP project is as follows:

“By June 2022, Burlington City Council will vote to adopt amendments to the Burlington Official Plan, 2020 to incorporate Protected Major Transit Station Area (MTSAs) area-specific plans to guide development and investment around the Burlington, Appleby and Aldershot GO Station Areas.

“Amendments adopted by Burlington City Council will then be forwarded to the Region of Halton for approval.”

Summary of Stakeholders

A stakeholder is anyone who has an interest or concern about a specific topic. To identify the stakeholders for the MTSA ASP Project, a mapping process will be used to confirm all the people who are affected by this work, those who have influence or power over the work and those that have an interest in its outcome, based on the stakeholders previously identified through the Mobility Hubs Project. It is expected that various individuals and groups will be identified across the following categories:

• Residents and resident groups (including newcomers, young families and young people) • Community organizations; special interest, advocacy, and activism groups
• Government and public service providers (internal and external) • City Advisory Committees and arms-length city agencies
• Indigenous Communities • Development industry
• Businesses and business groups • Major facilities1 within or adjacent to study areas
• Private and non-profit community service providers • Elected officials
• Media

Once the stakeholders and interested or affected individuals and groups have been confirmed, the engagement milestones in this plan will be refined to reflect the tactics and level of engagement required for each party throughout the MTSA ASP Project.

Objectives of Engagement
The following objectives provide a clear understanding of what the public engagement will strive to achieve through the community discussion about the MTSA ASP Project:

• Provide relevant information about the project, decision-making process, and how the public can provide input and feedback;

• Work with City communications and engagement staff, as well as consultants, to provide a coordinated approach to engagement, communication and evaluation of the MTSA ASPs and their implementing policies.

• Provide multiple channels for people to provide meaningful input virtually and, if possible, in-person at appropriate decision points;

The Getting Involved web site has loads of information and is the place documents are stored for quick retrieval. It takes some practice to get the hang of it all – but it works.

• Create an ongoing record of what is said during engagement opportunities and make it available to the public throughout the process, so they can track the progress of the project, including reports back to the community that highlight how feedback was or was not incorporated into the final recommendations to Council;

• Gather meaningful input from members of the community whose voices are historically underrepresented in conversations about city issues;

• Establish a project page on as the main online platform for up-to-date information about the project and upcoming engagement opportunities;

• Use clear, plain language in the delivery of the Engagement Plan to inform the public about what can and cannot be influenced through the MTSA ASP Project.

Project Stages and Engagement Milestones
At a Special Meeting of Council on June 8, 2021, City Council [modified/endorsed] the work plan for the MTSA ASP Project. The key project stages and associated engagement milestones are presented below. For each project stage, the engagement plan identifies where public input will take place, who will be involved in the engagement and what level of engagement will occur.

The strategies that will be used for public involvement in the MTSA ASP Project reflect the feedback provided to the City in the May 17, 2021 Council Workshop. Relevant feedback from related projects has also been considered, including the new Burlington Official Plan, the Scoped Re-Examination of the Downtown and the Interim Control By-Law Land Use Study. These strategies will be further refined by the MTSA ASP Project Steering Committee.

Policies and Factors That Cannot be Influenced
In every public engagement process, it is important to be aware of the things that cannot be influenced: either because they are beyond the City’s control (for example things that are required by regional or provincial policy or law), or because they are outside the scope of the project as set out in the Council-approved work plan. In discussing the Major Transit Station Area (MTSA) Area-Specific Planning (ASP) Project, the following aspects are considered ‘givens’ and will not be included in engagement activities:

1. Planning policy at the local municipal level is informed by legislation, policies and plans such as the Planning Act, Provincial Policy Statement, Growth Plan, Halton Region Official Plan, Metrolinx Regional Transportation Plan and others.

2. City Council can adopt proposed amendments to the Burlington Official Plan, but Halton Region is the designated approval authority. Halton Region may modify City-proposed amendments prior to approval and, if appealed, the approved amendments may be subject to further change through the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal, (Now named the Ontario Land Tribunal) except for PMTSA policies and zoning regulations protected from appeal under the Planning Act.

3. The proposed Area-Specific Plans and associated implementing mechanisms will be prepared for the Burlington Official Plan (2020), not the Burlington Official Plan (1997).

4. This study is focused only on the Downtown Burlington Urban Growth Centre/Burlington GO MTSA, Aldershot GO MTSA and Appleby GO MTSA. MTSA boundaries and the corresponding minimum growth targets are being set by Region of Halton through its Municipal Comprehensive Review. Draft Halton Regional Official Plan Amendment (ROPA) 48 proposes updates to the Regional Structure and includes formal boundaries for each of the MTSAs within Halton Region. Once approved by the Province, these boundaries and targets cannot be appealed.

5. Urban Growth Centres (UGCs) are strategic growth areas that are planned for greater population and job growth and higher rates of development than other areas in the City and Region. Provincial policies set out minimum density targets for these areas, which are implemented through the Regional Official Plan, and then through the Burlington Official Plan. Draft ROPA 48 includes an adjusted boundary for the Burlington Urban Growth Centre (UGC). If approved by the Province, the adjusted UGC boundary will center around the Burlington GO Station Area.

6. In 2017, a new policy framework for “Protected Major Transit Station Areas” (PMTSAs) was established in the Planning Act, R.S.O 1990. PMTSAs are a municipal tool used to support Higher Order Transit infrastructure around Major Transit Station Areas by establishing minimum density targets and transit-supportive land uses which are protected from appeal. In accordance with Planning Act section 16(16), once identified in an upper-tier municipal official plan and approved by the Province, PMTSA policies cannot be appealed.

Similarly, once implementing policies and zoning have been enacted at the lower-tier municipal level, the prescribed policies cannot be appealed.

PMTSAs may also require Inclusionary Zoning to support affordable housing objectives. Specifically, official plan policies may authorize Inclusionary Zoning by authorizing the inclusion of affordable housing units within buildings or projects containing other residential units, and by providing for the affordable housing units to be maintained as affordable housing units over time.

7. This project will refine and build upon the draft precinct plans developed through the former Mobility Hubs Study in 2018. However, as these plans were released as preliminary and were neither endorsed nor approved by City Council, they are subject to change based on further public engagement and the completion of technical studies.

8. Certain aspects of this project will be informed by the outcome of various technical studies, many of which are required by legislation and policy. These technical studies are undertaken in accordance with established criteria and completed by qualified experts.

9. The Burlington MTSAs are complex, previously developed areas with multiple landowners. The City does not have control over the speed of change related to development. Property owners decide when and if they will develop or redevelop their property.

10. The implementing Official Plan Amendments must be adopted by City Council by June 2022.

11. The implementing Zoning By-Law Amendments must be approved by City Council by December 2022.

Kwab Ako-Adjei, Director, Corporate Communications & Engagement at City of Burlington, has set out a demanding criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of the Engagement Plan. Burlingtonians haven’t seen an approach like this before.

How the City Will Collect and Respond to Feedback
Throughout the engagement process, City staff will diligently collect and record all input provided by stakeholders. All input will be recorded by theme into response tables, showing in detail how the comments were considered and how they did or did not shape the study process, the Area Specific Plan and their associated implementing Official Plan amendments recommended to Council, and why.

Evaluating the Engagement Process
Throughout the MTSA ASP Project, City staff will capture interim feedback on the engagement process through measures such as feedback/satisfaction surveys. This will allow for ongoing and incremental evaluation of engagement efforts and will support an iterative process where feedback may influence the engagement process throughout the project.

To assist in measuring how the public participation contributed to the final project decision to be made, the following will be used to evaluate the overall public participation process.

1. Once the project is complete, measure the degree to which community members felt they:

a. Understood the project’s process and its limitations
b. Understood how the feedback they provided influenced the outcome of the City Council approval.

2. Evaluate each form of engagement. How did each of the engagement approaches used help to achieve the engagement objectives?

3. Analyze how the feedback received about the forms of engagement informed new or alternative approaches to the overall public participation process as the project moved forward.

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1st annual Burlington Literary Festival launches in November

By Staff

October 22, 2021



Booklovers and writers, take note!

The 1st annual Burlington Literary Festival launches in November, just in time for NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month.

“During this month-long celebration of literature, we welcome authors, celebrate books, and (virtually) visit with local and national literary treasures.

“All sessions are online this year due to the pandemic. We look forward to hosting in-person and virtual festival events next year. Please bookmark this page and follow #BurlLitFest to get the latest festival news.”


How to Research with Denise Davy, investigative journalist, social issues advocate & author

A Bookseller’s Perspective with Ian Elliot, A Different Drummer Books owner

National Novel Writing Month with Brian Henry, writer, creative writing instructor & former book editor

Digital Publishing with Mark Leslie Lefebvre, author, former bookseller & e-publisher

The Art of Writing Memoir with Dr. Ellen Ryan, pyschologist, professor emeritus, McMaster University

Story Development with Lynda Simmons, author & creative writing instructor

Haiku for Remembrance Day with Kimiko Horne, published haiku writer & teacher


Lana Button, children’s author, educator & entertainer

Tonia Evans Cianciulli, soprano, singer-songwriter & author

Ian Hamilton, crime/mystery writer & former journalist

Terry O’Reilly, author, broadcast producer & CBC Radio One podcast host

Zoe Whittall, poet, novelist & TV writer


AGB presents About Prison Libraries with Kirsten Wurmann and Ashley Huot, Prison Libraries Committee of Manitoba

HPO presents Composing Literature-Based Music with Abigail Richardson-Schulte, Composer-in-Residence

Treaty & What it Means to the Law of the Land presented by Elder Garry Sault, Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation

Participating partners

A Different Drummer Books
Art Gallery of Burlington (AGB)
Burlington Mundialization Committee – Itabashi
Burlington Writers Group
Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra (HPO)
Harper Collins Canada
McMaster Institute for Research on Aging (MIRA)
Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation
Southern Ontario Lyric Opera Company (SOLO)

Related links

REGISTER for BurlLitFest events – registration opens Oct 25, 12pm


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Library services limited during a software system upgrade, Nov 2 to 18

By Staff

October 22nd, 2021



Burlington Public Library will start a major move to a new library software system and service provider on Tuesday.November 2.

“The new system, designed to manage our collections and customer information, brings many improvements to help us serve you better. Still, we regret that there will be limited services while all our data relocates to its new home. We expect to complete all work and be back to business as usual by November 18.

“We need to minimize any data changes to make sure no information gets lost between the old and new systems.”  Here’s what to expect during the transition and important changes to note:

1. NO online catalogue access; CHECK OUT only.

  • No searching or browsing the online catalogue.
  • No access to your My BPL account.
  • No placing holds. Holds already waiting for you won’t expire. No new holds will be available for pick-up.
  • No renewals.
  • No returned items will be checked in. You can still return items but they will not show as returned in your account until after Nov 18.
  • No payments will be taken for fees or other financial transactions.
  • Check-out kiosks will be unavailable.
  • No online self-registration for a library card.
  • Some digital resources may be temporarily unavailable during the transition. This information will be posted on our website as needed.

You will be able to:

  • Check out books and other items available on our shelves.
  • Check out eBooks, eAudiobooks, and eMagazines and stream movies and music directly through the resource’s website (for example, OverDrive, Hoopla, Kanopy) or the resource’s app (such as Libby, Hoopla, Kanopy etc)
  • Register in person at any branch for a library card.
  • Register to attend virtual library programs.
  • Use public computers, printers, and free wireless access at all locations.

2. NEW – PIN reset
During the data migration, your PIN will be reset to the last four digits of the telephone number we have on file for you. You can reset your PIN after Nov 18.

3. NEW – Borrowing history
BPL now retains the borrowing history on all customer accounts to serve you better and bring collections of the highest interest to our community. We will use the data to understand our general use trends; we will not access information at the individual level. If you wish to access your borrowing history, you must enable this feature in your My BPL account. Library staff will only access your borrowing history with your permission.

We encourage you to contact us online, stop by and talk with our staff, or give us a call at 905.639.3611 if you have any questions.








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Families from Halton and beyond are invited to view livestream of virtual Open House to learn about the innovative four-year iStem program

By Staff

October 21st, 2021



The Halton District School Board (HDSB) is holding a virtual I-STEM Open House on Thursday, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. at for students, families and community members to learn about the innovative, regional program for secondary students. The four-year program begins with students entering Grade 9.

This was just part of the parent crowd that showed up for the first ever iStem briefing session. The program is one of the hottest educational programs in the Region.

The I-STEM program will be offered at Aldershot School in Burlington and Elsie MacGill Secondary School in Milton for the 2022-2023 school year.

Available to students in Halton and beyond, I-STEM (Innovation – Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) enables students to develop innovation skills related to engineering design and design thinking, entrepreneurial thinking skills and global competencies.

Students will have enhanced learning opportunities through community and post-secondary partnerships.

I-STEM Virtual Open House Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021
7 p.m.

The presentation will be hosted by I-STEM faculty, followed by a live Question & Answer session. The Open House will be recorded and posted on the HDSB I-STEM webpage. Those interested in viewing the Open House can submit questions, before and during the presentation, through this form:

During the Open House, students and families will learn about the:

four-year program and I-STEM certificate,
unique opportunities and partnerships (in person and virtually),
STEM learning resources,
new location for the program at Elsie MacGill SS in Milton (in addition to Aldershot HS in Burlington), and
the application process.

Terri Blackwell, Superintendent of Education for the HDSB.

“I-STEM has been designed to prepare students for future trends in the workforce and help students solve complex economic, social and environmental problems,” says Terri Blackwell, Superintendent of Education for the HDSB. “With the success of the I-STEM program at Aldershot School in Burlington, our Board is excited to expand the program at Elsie MacGill Secondary School in Milton.”

“We look forward to sharing with families and the community what current I-STEM students and faculty are accomplishing in the program and showcase the innovative learning space.”

The I-STEM program has been developed in collaboration with innovators, educators, industry leaders and community members. I-STEM Program Development and Advisory Partners include: McMaster University, Mohawk College, Canada 2067, Let’s Talk Science, Engineers of Tomorrow, Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC), TechLink, and I-THINK.

To learn more about the I-STEM program, visit (Search “I-STEM”) or email Follow I-STEM on Twitter @ISTEM_hdsb and Instagram @ISTEM_HDSB.

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Burlington Liberals starting their campaign to put Mariam Manaa in the Legislature.

By Staff

October 21, 2021



The Election writ hasn’t been issued but the date is set – the province will go to the polls on June 2, 2022 – the Liberals are putting their plans in gear and doing a door to door canvas on Saturday.

Mariam Manaa

Join candidate Mariam Manaa and other BPLA members in a Day of Action this Saturday, October 23rd. You can help us connect with Burlington residents by:

  • participating in a COVID safe door-to-door canvass between 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
  • making calls from your own home anytime between 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

No experience is necessary. Training for canvassing will be provided prior to the start of the canvass, or click here to register for virtual canvasser training session on Saturday at 10 a.m. .Phone bank training can be accessed at any time by clicking here

The Burlington Liberals appear to be planning on using a lot of technology this time around to talk to their membership base and their volunteers – not always the same.

This is also a great opportunity for any high school students looking to fulfill their required volunteer hours.

No word yet on what part of the city the door to door will take place.



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Another big one on Brant Street - seven level podium with no mention of how high the structure will rise

By Staff

October 21sr, 2021



Another Brant Street development – this one at Brant and Prospect – 789-795 Brant Street

Applicant is

Camarro Developments Inc.

Described as having a seven level podium with a tower that will have 307 units – but no mention of the actual height. The paucity of information has the ward Councillor upset.

The proposed development concept for redevelopment of the Subject Lands currently provides for a mixed-use development consisting of one residential tower containing 307 residential units, ground floor retail at the base of the tower. The application includes three ground-level townhome units integrated into the building. The proposed development will have a mix of 1-bedroom plus den, 2-bedroom, and 3-bedroom units.

No mention of how high the building will go other than noting that the proposed development includes a podium with a height of 7 storeys facing Brant Street. The townhome built form, with frontage along Prospect Street, will reflect the building height of the neighbouring apartment development to the east.

The Preapplication presentation will take place this evening at 7:00 pm

Oct. 21, 2021, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. (Virtual Meeting)



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Working towards a consensus on protecting and maintaining the forest canopy

By Pepper Parr

October 21st, 2021



It’s the trees again.

Burlington has this struggle going on within the bosom of the city over the trees

Some see a tree on their property as their tree that they can do anything they wish with.

Others see trees as something for which we are the stewrds – to ensure that they are cared for and preserved wherever possible.

Roseland residents writing comments on plans for tree preservation at a 2016 meeting. Finding a consensus and strong views for better preservation isn’t in place yet.

It’s an ongoing battle – and one that the city administration and Council are going to do everything they can to get a consensus – thus another Public engagement on proposed Tree Protection and Enhancement Guiding Principles and the Private Tree Bylaw Update.

They want feedback from residents, businesses, developers and forestry professionals on the proposed policy statements and bylaw amendments.

There are two opportunities to provide feedback: online survey and online public information session.

The online survey is open now until Nov. 12, 2021 at

Online information session:
Date: Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021
Time: 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Location: Online. Link will be posted on

Belvinea -one of the streets in the city that makes your heart swell as you drive along it on a Spring day.

Staff will be presenting information and receiving feedback on the proposed Tree Protection and Enhancement guiding principles which will form the basis of a new city policy. The focus of the discussion will be on how these guiding principles will help to develop city policies and how they will influence future amendments to the City’s Public and Private Tree Bylaws.

The Proposed Tree Protection and Enhancement Guiding Principles are:

A healthy urban forest improves the quality of life of City of Burlington residents. By providing a framework for protection and enhancement of all trees on public and private property, the City of Burlington’s urban forest will continue to grow with the goal to reach 35 percent tree canopy cover by 2041.

Roseland has an aging collection of trees that need attention and a replacement plan

A multi-faceted approach is required to meet this goal, which is addressed through four guiding principles:

Just two weeks ago trees were ripped out in rural Burlington and there was no one at the city or regional level that could do anything to prevent it.

• Tree Planting and Replacement
• Protection and Preservation
• Asset Maintenance
• Community Outreach, Education, and Collaboration

To get involved, please visit


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Is Burlington missing out on a chance to show some leadership on the electrification of buses?

By Pepper Parr

October 20th, 2021



Here is an interesting situation.

Our Mayor sits on the Burlington Hydro Board.

Electrical Utilities across the province are undergoing a process of consolidation – but not Burlington. Haven’t heard anyone asking why Burlington is going to sit on the sidelines.

But that is another matter.

CUTRIC – Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium has released a report reviewing and assessing the transportation electrification strategies of electricity generators and distributors – electrical utilities – from across Canada.

Titled Electrical Utility Strategies for Transportation Electrification: Canadian Market Scan & North American Case Studies, the insightful report reveals, amongst other things, a distinct shortage of utility-led transportation electrification strategies in Canada today.

If the transit fleet is going to be electric Burlington Hydro might want to invite Sue Connor, Director of Transit,  to talk to them about how this can be done.

“With utilities needing to play a vital role in the electrification of transit systems, including both battery and hydrogen electric transit systems, Canadian transit agencies recognize the need to develop robust utility relationships,” said Josipa Petrunic, President and CEO of CUTRIC. “However, this report shows that most major utilities in Canada are poorly prepared for transit electrification and have no or minimal transit electrification strategies.”

The report provides a full market scan of strategies launched by Canadian electrical utilities, as well as a review of electrification case studies and best practices across North America, including current initiatives from BC Hydro, Newmarket-Tay Power Distribution Ltd and Toronto Hydro, who are members of CUTRIC. The report also reviews legislation and regulation that promotes utility involvement.

As Canada strives to reach 5,000 zero emissions buses, utility-led transportation electrification strategies are a critical component and will aid a faster and more efficient transition.

Sue Connor, Director of Burlington Transit

The report can be had for $299 – the Director of Transit probably has one. The city is lucky to have one of the most creative and highly respected transit professionals in the country serving as the Director of Transit.  Sue Connor performed miracles when she ran Brampton’s transit operations and has made huge differences at Burlington Transit.  Ridership growth was soaring until Covid19 kicked that operation in the shins.

There is an opportunity for the city to lead on the electrification of the Burlington Transit fleet  – Mayor Meed Ward is a big fan of transit but has anyone ever seen her on a bus?

We learned recently that the fees for the C.Dir designation  Meed Ward earned last year were paid for by Burlington Hydro.  It was a perk that was available to every Burlington Hydro Board member.

The C.Dir. Board Director Education program is a globally recognized, university-accredited professional designation.

One has to wonder why Meed Ward just didn’t declare this when we asked the question some time ago. Where did her lofty cry for transparency when she was a ward councillor go?

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City of Burlington recreational facilities and vaccine status

By Staff

October 20th, 2021



The City of Burlington will continue to follow the Provincial mandate and require proof of vaccination in City recreational facilities for all who are eligible for the vaccines.

City-operated services and facilities not impacted include:

  • City Hall at 426 Brant St.
  • Outdoor sports fields
  • Diamonds, parks and playgrounds
  • Burlington Transit
  • Halton Court Services

Parents can watch – but they must show their proof of vaccination papers.

To enter a City facility, visitors will need to show a piece of identification with their name and date of birth and either:

• Show their vaccine certificate with QR code (paper or electronic), or
• Show their vaccination receipt (paper or electronic)

Parents and/or guardians may enter a facility for a maximum of 15 minutes to drop off and pick-up a participant for a program, without showing proof of vaccination. Parents who are required to stay in the facility for the duration of the program must be fully vaccinated.

All current regulations around screening, masking and physical distancing will not change based vaccine status.
To download your vaccine certificate, go to

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