One victim deceased,another loses a leg in an accident on Fairview at Woodview this morning

News 100 blackBy Staff

July 14th, 2018



At approximately 10:00 am this morning , a citizen reported a motor vehicle driving erratically on Fairview Street in the City of Burlington. Moments later the motor vehicle left the roadway and struck an adult male pedestrian who was walking along the sidewalk.

HRPS crestThe motor vehicle continued moving and struck an adult female who was standing nearby in front of a business. The business was a former restaurant named “Chaps” located at 3419 Fairview Street, Burlington, Ontario. The motor vehicle then collided into the outdoor patio structure of the former restaurant that is adjacent to Fairview Street.

The adult male pedestrian suffered a life threatening injury as one of his legs was amputated below the knee as a result of the impact of the collision. This male victim was taken via air ambulance to the Hamilton General Hospital with life threatening injuries.

The adult female pedestrian was pronounced deceased on the scene of the collision.

The adult male driver of the vehicle was taken by ambulance to the Hamilton General Hospital as a result of head injuries sustained in the collision with the patio structure.

There is currently a road closure on Fairview Street between Woodview Road and Commerce Court in the City of Burlington. The road is expected to be closed for several hours pending the traffic investigation.

The Halton Regional Police Service – Traffic Reconstruction Unit is investigating this fatal motor vehicle collision.

The deceased female pedestrian is 58 years of age and is a resident of the City of Burlington. Police are continuing to attempt next of kin notification.

The male pedestrian injured in this incident is 19 years of age and is a resident of the City of Burlington.  His family were notified and are at the hospital with him.  He is in serious medical condition at the hospital.

The male driver of the motor vehicle involved in this incident is 73 years of age and is a resident of the City of Burlington.  His family was notified and will be attending the hospital.  He is in stable medical condition at the hospital. 

The investigation is continuing and it is believed that the male driver may have had a medical issue while driving his motor vehicle which may have contributed to the traffic collision.

The police have not released the name of the victims or the driver of the vehicle.

graphic01Anyone with information on this crime is encouraged to contact Detective Constable Oliver CAVES or Detective Constable Thien VU of the Halton Regional Police Service – Traffic Reconstruction Unit at 905.825.4747 Ext. 5124 or Ext. 5056 or Ext. 5065

Tips can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers “See Something? Hear Something? Know Something?”  Contact Crime Stoppers at 1.800.222.8477 (TIPS), or through the web at:

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A totally cock-a-mammy idea from people that should know better. Get a grip on reality folks.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

July 13th, 2018



A candidate for one of the city council seats sent us a proposal that had come to his attention via ECoB: Engaged Citizens of Burlington that he felt council should consider.

The proposal is to use some of the community benefit money that would be a part of the process if the 409 project proceeds to move the Kelly’s Bake Shop from its current Brant street location to an empty city lot at John and Caroline, allowing Kelly’s Bake Shoppe to remain in the downtown core.

Ford + two others at Kellys

Kelly’s Bake Shop has become a destination for many. A condo development threatens the existence of the buisness.

While the sentiment is nice – this idea is fraught with problems.

First, John Street north of Caroline is not actually a street – it is a lane way and there might be issues over what can be built on a lane way.

Second, City Manager James Ridge brought to council’s attention that any rental the city might do would have to be at market rates – the Municipal Act requires him to do that.

Third, should the city be in the business of favouring a specific commercial operation? This is not the purpose of municipal governments. It opens the door for all kinds of cronyism – and if Ridge is against anything, his stomach would turn if he saw that happening on his watch.

The desire to do something for the cupcake store is based on an emotional concern – that’s not what city hall is about.

Kellys - her with cup cakes-edit

Kelly Child’s is a very talented marketer – trying to convince a city to give her special treatment.

It is the Gazette’s understanding that Kelly Child’s has yet to meet with the Economic Development Corporation; that organization is in place to work with commercial operations that need help.

What Kelly Child’s has done is play the “crying in public” card for sympathy and support.  This is a business situation and we are talking about public money – be very careful.

The candidate said he has “spoken to Kelly Childs and confirmed that this is a proposal she would be happy to consider.”

I’ll bet she would be happy to consider the proposal.

The candidate, who we have deliberately not identified; (we don’t want to embarrass him any more than he has embarrassed himself by promoting a totally cock-a-mammy idea), said he “believes this is an excellent and inventive idea worthy of full and urgent examination by Council and Staff, and I will be supporting that examination.

John looking south - empty lot

John Street at Caroline looking south – a proposed new location for Kelly’s Bake Shop. The building on the property has been demolished

“Kelly’s Bake Shoppe is a Burlington success story that may become a Canada-wide and international success story. Burlington should do everything it can both to protect the heritage property and recognise the tenant’s special contribution to the downtown.

“I believe that this is a proposal well worth getting out to your readers today.”

Hmmm … is this what we want on city council?

Salt with Pepper is a column reflecting the opinions, views, observations and musings of the Gazette publisher.

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Rivers: 'Canada’s position on military spending is untenable.'

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

July 13th, 2018



“What good is NATO if Germany is paying Russia billions of dollars for gas and energy?” (Donald Trump July 11, 2018)

It’s not often that the US president is right but Trump’s argument here is pretty solid. His European bloc allies are still living in the ’90’s when Russia was (maybe) one of the good guys. So when Russia was invading Ukraine, France and Germany, the two strongest mainland powers just watched in dismay. Only after a Malaysian air flight carrying some two hundred European civilians was blown out of the sky by a Russian missile did they impose some economic sanctions on the aggressor.

Putin and trump

Does anyone trust either of them?

Perhaps the US president is just trash talking Russia to quash criticism of his summit next week with Mr. Putin. But to his point, even after Russia invaded Georgia Germany was still training Russian soldiers, and the French were building two of the largest helicopter carriers ever for Mr. Putin. Still, Germany’s leader, Merkel, claims she doesn’t need any lectures on the evils of Russian occupation, having been raised in East Germany.

The other shoe Trump dropped on his breeze through Brussels was about the disproportional commitment to national defence by his NATO partners. Canada’s position on military spending is untenable. We did agree to commit more money into our military, we need to bite the bullet. And yes, so long as the US military can be relied upon to respond to any violation of our sovereignty under NATO, Mr. Trudeau can be smug about our need to spend more on our own defence.

And it’s not that Canada shouldn’t be enhancing its defensive capabilities, certainly when it comes to that sparsely populated part of our geography facing the Russian bear. Defence of our interests in the north will become more critical as the ice continues to recede with climate change, facilitating greater international navigation. And the best argument for meeting our 2% commitment may be to get the Donald off our back.

The PM boasting about how we’ve had a role in every NATO mission doesn’t buy him any credit with the US president. And seriously, one has to ask about the merit of some these NATO adventures the US has pushed us into. What does Afghanistan have to do with the defence of the North Atlantic? And if NATO is supposed to be strictly defensive, what were we all doing bombing Gaddafi in Libya?

Russian ice breaker North pole

Russian ice breaker at the North pole.

Has NATO so outlived its original purpose – its usefulness and rationale – that it has to go looking for fights? Perhaps Trump is right – it’s time to pack it in. Why did NATO bomb Serbia in response to its military aggression in Bosnia, but not Russia for its aggression in Ukraine?

To be clear the US maintains a large military establishment with bases and troops in many places, largely of its own volition and mostly to defend its own interests. A Russian annexation of much of western Europe, for example, would weaken US economic and political influence even more so than when the Soviet Union controlled only eastern Europe – the cold war. And that would hurt the US more than any kind of America First would ever compensate for.

So it’s all about managing potential strategic threats to America. And Trump either doesn’t get that or is talking through his fake hairdo when he makes the argument that America is defending Europe and Canada. America is only, after all, defending America. But America’s boss is less than happy with its partners. Perhaps that is because their governments are largely run by weak democratic leaders in his eyes, unlike his tyrannical heroes running China and Russia.

America First in all things but starting with trade. There must be enough economists in the US who if stacked end-to-end would reach to the moon. And they are all of one mind except for the man advising the president on trade. The US economy would only be smaller without trade and immigration, After all the dust has settled on all the tariffs and other trade and immigration barriers, US GDP and the US standard of living will be lower, not higher.

Work being done on tanks at the General Dynamics Land Systems Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima, Ohio. NOT BLADE PHOTO handout from General Dynamics

It takes some Canadian steel to manufacture these tanks in Lima, Ohio.

But Trump doesn’t need to hear from the elitists. You need steel for tanks and aluminum for jet fighters. And in Trump’s world America will never be secure until and unless it controls every aspect of its economy and doesn’t have to rely on trade with the rest of the world. That is also his point about Germany and Russian gas.

But cutting trade and possibly military relations with America’s closest neighbours will only push Canada into a closer relationship with Europe. It’s just across the pond so why wouldn’t Canadian snowbirds think about moving their winter homes to Spain and southern Italy, instead of a Florida soon to be under water anyway.

As for Trump’s musing about leaving NATO? How comfortable would the next American president be with a nuclear armed (non-US) NATO sitting on her Canadian border? Trump sure says some of the darnedest things.

Rivers hand to faceRay Rivers writes regularly on both federal and provincial politics, applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat to his thinking.  Rivers was once a candidate for provincial office in Burlington.  He was the founder of the Burlington citizen committee on sustainability at a time when climate warming was a hotly debated subject.     Tweet @rayzrivers

Background links:

Trump and Germany –     Trump and NATO –     NATO Spending

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Roland Tanner: 'We cannot keep telling residents, in effect, that what they want is not actually what is good for them.'

opinionviolet 100x100By Roland Tanner

July 12th, 2018



I’d like to thank the council for hearing me this evening. As a candidate running for office in Ward 2 it is important I make a public statement on the issue of the 409 Brant St development. I also recognize there is little point in my taking up time by repeating statements which are going to be made or have been made by others in more detail. So I will keep this as short as possible.

In terms of the two heritage properties which are at risk by this development, I will simply state my opinion, backed up by hours and days of interaction with the community, that council should do everything in its power to make sure those properties receive every possible protection, and urge that whatever can be done to protect the interests of the current tenants and their businesses is done. Others can speak to that in more detail.

Brant st city hall on left looking north

City rendering of the east side of Brant Street across from city hall.

In terms of the overall development under discussion, I recognize the staff recommendation contains considerable improvements over the developer’s original plans, and has attempted to bring the development closer to the requirements of the new Official Plan. But my experience of resident’s desires for development in the core and in particular on Brant Street is very different from that outlined in the staff recommendation.

As you know, zoning for the rest of the Brant St Precinct is for 11 storeys with a 45 degree setback from the centre of Brant St, under the new Official Plan. Residents are willing to live with that. They understand the need for intensification, and some change in downtown is inevitable and desirable if done right. However, they have expressed a clear preference over many years for careful moderation in building height in downtown Burlington, especially on Brant St and on the Lakeshore.

Simply put, 18 storeys does not meet that preference.

Tanner standing

Roland Tanner: Candidate for the Ward 2 city council seat was also a member of the group that wrote the Shape Burlington report.

Your worship and Councillors, I suggest we either believe in local democracy, or we don’t. When a community expresses a clear, settled, longstanding and unambiguous consensus on a particular issue, elected public servants have a duty to listen and respond. And let me be clear, that consensus is completely unambiguous. It isn’t possible to speak to residents in Ward 2 in any number without it quickly becoming clear exactly what the overwhelming concern for them is. Unhappiness about over-development of the downtown is not just the preserve of the small number of people willing to spend a cramped evening at City Hall. Unhappiness is bordering on universal.

Yesterday at the Committee of the Whole meeting, there was a lot of talk about finding ‘win-wins’. The staff recommendation under discussion today represents a win for the developer and a win for City Hall, but not a win for citizens. We cannot keep telling residents, in effect, that what they want is not actually what is good for them. We can’t keep telling them that if they’ll only wait and be patient, they’ll like it once it’s built. That was what I was told by the then Ward 2 Councillor ten years ago and it’s what the citizens are still hearing today.

As long as that remains the message, the high levels of anger towards Council that unfortunately currently exist will continue to be the standard atmosphere in which Council is forced to operate. That’s not good for anybody. More importantly, it’s not the way it has to be.

Instead, let’s take the opportunity to make it clear that Council is on the citizen’s side and that it does hear and respect the overwhelming consensus of residents in Ward 2. We can’t keep treating citizens as the least important stakeholder on the list of people whose opinions need to be addressed. We can do development in a way that works for everybody.

I respectfully submit that Committee should reject the staff recommendation as outlined and request that the plans for 409 Brant St be brought in line with the Zoning envisaged for the rest of the Brant St Precinct, and not the Special Planning Area.

Please make this development a ‘Win, Win, Win’.

Council, meeting as a Committee, voted 6-1 to approve the Planning Staff recommendation.

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Dorothy Borovich named the 2018 Distinguished Philanthropist of the Year Award.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

July 12th, 2018



Burlington Foundation has announced that one of Burlington’s finest Everyday Community Heroes is being honoured with the 2018 Distinguished Philanthropist of the Year Award.

Dorothy Borovich will be honoured at Burlington Foundation’s People Power 2018 celebration of giving event on October 18.

Dorothy Borovitch

Dorothy Borovich in her physiotherapy clinic.

“Dorothy’s contributions to the Burlington community have had an incredible, positive impact in countless ways,” says Colleen Mulholland, President and CEO, Burlington Foundation. “A tireless giver, volunteer and leader, Dorothy consistently demonstrates a caring and generous commitment to our city, particularly in the areas of youth, police services and health and wellness.”

The Distinguished Philanthropist of the Year award presented by Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life offers the chance to publicly honour and thank a noted philanthropist for their positive impact on Burlington and surrounding communities. This year’s award recognizes and celebrates an Everyday Community Hero and Dorothy is the first female in Burlington to receive the stand-alone award since it was established in 2009.

Dorothy has been actively involved as a volunteer in Burlington for more than 20 years and was a member of the Burlington Foundation Board of Directors from 2002-2005. She also founded the Crystal Ball which continues to be a significant source of funding for Joseph Brant Hospital.

Dorothy’s extraordinary work has been instrumental in establishing a variety of endowment funds with the Burlington Foundation to support youth, police services, and health and wellness.

Shiel + Borovitch

Dorothy Borovitch with Shiel Patel during a 2014 flood fundraising event

She is co-founder of Youthfest, a group that established a fund and holds an annual event that connects youth to meaningful volunteer opportunities. As a committee member of Community Cares Halton, she was one of several leaders who created a fund and established the Halton Heroes Gala in support of police officers and their families who have been injured or killed in the line of duty. After being diagnosed with breast cancer, she established Healthy Reflections Canada and a fund that supports treatment for women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and are financially challenged.

Borovich was named the Citizen of the Year for 2016.

“I’m honored to receive this award from the Burlington Foundation. As a business owner since 1990 and Physiotherapist for over 30 years, it’s been a privilege to assist our clients in improving their quality of life,” says Dorothy Borovich. “As part of our business philosophy, civic duty is a responsibility that contributes to the health of our community. I’m blessed to work in a profession that I absolutely love. It provides me with the ability to give back and meet some incredible people along the way. For me, it’s the greatest gift!”

Our relationship with Ms Borovich is a personal one. Adjusting to a hip replacement wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be – I needed some help in learning to walk properly. I asked my friend Ron Foxcroft to refer me to someone – she is standing right over there said Foxcroft who pointed to Dorothy during a 2014 Flood Fund Raising event.

She kept me on a basketball court much longer than I expected said Foxcroft who refereed basket ball games around the world. “The knees could only take so much damage. Dorothy kept me in business as a referee.

My own therapy went well – the only downside was reading her handwriting – seems everyone in the medical field has their own unique chicken scrawl. The hands on instructions were great – when Dorothy tells you to bend – you bend.


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Is the Herd going to give up on Burlington?

sportsgold 100x100By Pepper Parr

July 12th, 2018



Ryan Harrison, an Ontario Hockey League referee and one of four co-owners of the Intercounty Baseball League’s Burlington Herd, is conducting the mission on behalf of his team that he will share with the eight-team league.

IBL July 11th

Herd standing in the IBL as of July 11th – they have never moved out of the bottom half of the league

The Herd is looking into a possible move from Burlington to Welland. He has the league’s blessing to conduct the search.

“We don’t lose money, said Harrison, “so that’s not an issue there, but we also don’t make money.”

Whether that will be as home to a team in the Intercounty Baseball League depends on the results of an ongoing “fact-finding mission.”

Ryan Harrison HERD

Ryan Harrison – President of the Burlington Herd.

Harrison said the people in Welland are all for the idea of an InterCounty League baseball team. “They wonder why there isn’t a team here already.”

The 28-year-old sales representative with an athletic wear company hasn’t ruled out the Herd relocating to Welland should a long-term business plan be viable, but ideally would like to see the southern Ontario league expand.

“I think having new blood in the lineup is healthy for us,” he said after touring the 2,500-seat stadium along with Welland native and fellow OHL referee Brent Coulombe.

“I’m not saying we need 14, 16 to 20 teams, but one or two more would make it 10.”

Harrison was impressed with the fan and player amenities offered in the single-deck facility built in 1989 to accommodate the Welland Pirates, then the New York-Pennsylvania League affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Herd manager 2017-18

Herd Manager during the 2017-18 season

In addition to dressing rooms for home and visiting teams and dugouts with washrooms, the stadium has a concession stand, press box, ticket booth and a change room for umpires.

“It’s quite impressive compared to other parks in the league,” Harrison said. “This would be the second-best park after Labatt Park in London.”

With five renovations since it was constructed near the forks of the Thames River in 1877, the home of the London Majors boasts a seat capacity of 5,200.

Like Welland Stadium, it briefly served as home to a franchise in the Canadian Baseball League. Billed as baseball’s version of the Canadian Football League, the eight-team league folded midway into its inaugural season in 2003.

My beautiful picture

Welland Stadium – has more going for it than Nelson Park

Harrison followed up his tour of the municipally-owned stadium by addressing such issues as the park’s availability, concession and advertising signage rights with City of Welland.

“Right now, it’s very preliminary.”

Casey poster

A move to Welland would mean moving from the Cosgrove Baseball field.

Casey Cosgrove Field, the Herd’s current home, can only accommodate 1,000 spectators and while the team can put up advertising, it has to take the ads down after every game.

“It’s not conducive to what this league is now,” Harrison said of the community park. “We’re a fan-based league, we need ticket sales, we need everything like that.

“Here, everything is ready for us to show up, open the doors and go, whereas in Burlington, it’s a lot of setup and tear-down every night.

“This would be a lot easier on us, for sure.”

While relocation of the Burlington franchise remains a possibility, a move down the Queen Elizabeth Way to Niagara Region is far from a certainty.

“That’s still up in the air,” Harrison said. “We’re still working with the City of Burlington on different things to improve our park there.”

While imports – a maximum of five for the bottom two teams, four for the others – receive daily stipends of up to $35 in addition to being housed in billet homes, the Intercounty is regarded as an amateur under National Collegiate Athletic Association eligibility requirements.

Teams generate revenue through ticket sales, concessions as well as advertising and sponsorships.
Attendance fluctuates dramatically according to the individual markets. Harrison said London draws 500 to 1,000 fans per game, while attendance in Burlington averages about 200 to 250 per game.

Herd-logoWelland Stadium has not been without baseball since the Niagara Stars left in 2003. Both the Rose City Thorns and Welland Chiefs senior teams in the Niagara District Baseball Association play the home half of their 24-game schedules there at the stadium, but neither charges admission. The last fan-based team that depended on sponsorships and ticket sales was the Niagara Stars.

Pittsburgh’s New York-Penn League affiliate played six seasons in Welland, 1989 to 1994, before relocating to northwestern Pennsylvania and becoming the Erie SeaWolves.

Welland Stadium’s next pro tenant, the Welland Aqua-Ducks of the North Atlantic League, lasted two seasons, 1995-96, before they folded along with the entire league.

After touring the stadium, Harrison was at a loss to explain why the ballpark hasn’t had a ticket-based team since the Stars.

Welland’s perceived location as off the beaten path could be a factor, as could the Intercounty Baseball League’s $40,000 expansion fee.

“People think it’s a little far away, but it’s actually not that far considering there are teams in London and Barrie.

“We used to have a team in Ottawa, so distance is relative.”

Other Intercounty teams and the seating capacity of their ballparks: Barrie Baycats, 1,500; Brantford Red Sox, 2,000; Guelph Royals, 1,400; Hamilton Cardinals, 3,000; Kitchener Panthers, 1,400; Toronto Maple Leafs, 3,000.

Most of this news story came from the St.Catharines Standard.

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Mayor Goldring sets out why he voted for a 17 storey condominium opposite city hall

opinionred 100x100By Pepper Parr

July 12th, 2018



Minutes before city council, meeting as a committee, voted on a Planning Staff recommendation to approve a modified version of an application to develop the east side of Brant Street south of James to the parking late next to Kelly’s Bake Shop.

The vote was 6-1 to accept the Staff Recommendation which goes to city council on July 16th for a final vote.

The time between a July 11th committee meeting and July 16th meeting for final vote is precious little time for the public to come to terms with the decision that has been made.

Before the vote Mayor Goldring read some notes he had prepared on why he was for voting for the Staff recommendation, what his concerns were and what he expects from the development industry.

“This is the first downtown planning proposal to be considered following the Council adoption of the new Official Plan in April.

“While the new Official Plan policies are only informative, they are important in that they provide Council’s vision for development with new growth framework which affects the downtown.

Site - south of 421

The red square is the location of an approved 23 storey structure; the black square is where a developer want to build a 22 storey building – council committee has approved a 17 building.

“The Plan was developed with intensification framework that highlights the importance of the Downtown Urban Growth Centre. The downtown is desirable and people want to live here and enjoy all that it has to offer. This is something we should all be proud of.

“It has been my view for sometime that I am confident that the Council-adopted Official Plan will bring greater certainty to planning outcomes. In doing so, we can address the frustration expressed by many residents that planning decisions should not be inconsistent with our Official Plan. This report moves us in that direction.

“November 1st Committee when we considered the proposal for 23 storeys at 421 Brant Street. In that case, I was unequivocal in my opposition based on some key points:

the conflict with the policy directions for this Special Policy Area which contained a 17 storey height limit.

I heard from many residents who told me the height was much too high for this area of Brant Street.

My concern for the possible precedent that it may create for this property at 409 Brant Street; and,

My opinion that a building height up to 17 storeys would be more appropriate.

“The applications from Reserve for a 23 storey building plus 1 storey amenity created similar concerns for me.

“The neighbourhood meeting on May 1, 2018 at the Lion’s Club confirmed that many residents shared the same view that the proposal would create considerable negative impacts on the downtown.

Looking north from Queens Head

A rendering of the 22 storey structure the developer has applied for from the Queen’s Head. Council has approved a 17 storey structure that goes to council next week

“So I am pleased that we have a modified recommendation in this report that rejects a proposal that contains excessive height and density in consideration of the Brant Main Street Precinct Special Planning Area Policies contained in the adopted Official Plan.

“There are a number of desirable features that have been addressed in the recommendation: the building respects land use compatibility, there will be high quality public realm improvements, and the recommendation complies with the Tall Building Guidelines, including maximum floor plates. And, staff advise that the technical 18th floor will not impact the overall massing of the building.

“I am also pleased that Heritage conservation is being addressed with Heritage staff advising that 401 Brant and 444 John Street are worthy of designation and being preserved. The report sets out a plan to make this happen and I support the use of a holding zone provision that is being proposed.

“I will be supporting staff’s recommendation. I am satisfied that it is responsive to the policy decisions that this Council recently made through the adopted Official Plan. The modified approval for 17 storeys is in line with the Council approved vision in the Plan and it responds to the objections to the proposed 23 storeys that were heard from many residents in response to the Reserve initial proposal.

“I do want to emphasize how important I think it is for us to achieve good building design.

Goldring with bike

Mayor Rick Goldring on his bike.

“It is my opinion that the importance of developers building high quality and well-designed buildings in Burlington has never been more important. This comes at a time as our new Official Plan advances to an approval point at the Region and our City faces greater intensification interest.

“Our message to developers must be that they are expected to conform to our policies, adhere to design guidelines and be responsive to the recommendations of our new Urban Design Panel.

“We need to create interesting and beautiful design that will enhance the downtown and continually make our public spaces and streets more attractive for our residents.”

The Mayor refers to the city planners, the Urban Design Panel, the Official Plan, the importance of the Downtown Urban Growth Centre but not a word saying he believes the development represents the wishes and aspirations of the residents.  His comments certainly didn’t represent the views of those who chose to delegate to city council saying this is not what they want for their city.

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Marianne Meed Ward - 'We do not have to do this'. 18 storey condo approved on a 6-1 vote.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

July 12th, 2018


We erred in the first version of this story – the decision was a 5-2 vote – with ward 4 Councillor Jack Dennison joining ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward who is running for the office of Mayor.

The result was predictable. The surprise was that ward 4 Councillor Jack Dennison joined Councillor Meed Ward for a 5-2 vote to accept the Staff recommendation to approve a second tower opposite city hall.

City council, meeting as a committee, voted to accept the staff report for an 18 storey condominium on the SE corner of Brant and James across the street from city hall.

Councilseating July 2018 2

City council, staff and the public crammed into Room 247.

The committee met on three occasions in a cramped and crowded room (the council chamber is being renovated) and heard dozens of delegations. The vast majority were opposed to the height the developer was asking for and opposed to the height the city was prepared to give them.

The developer came back with three versions of their proposal. They wanted 23 storeys but were prepared to live with 19 if it was built on a larger floor plate. If council approved the 17 storey application it was probably headed for to the Land Provincial Tribunal 9 used to be known as the OMB.

Opening to city hall

Building more than 11 storeys are built on four level podiums with the rest of the building set back and on top of the podium. This rendering of the proposed development on the existing Elizabeth Interiors property shows the site as it would appear from city hall which is on the right

Structures built in the downtown core are now put on two, three or four level podiums with the high rise on top of the podium.

Most of those opposed to the Reserve Property development were concerned not about the height but where the height was going to be located. They wanted height located north of Caroline so that what was consistently referred to as the “charm” of the downtown core could be retained.

The city planners were arguing that their hands were tied by the various pieces of provincial legislation that they had to live with.

The most pressing of the provincial policies was the need to grow the population of the city.

MMW soeaking - full length Ap 11

Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward announcing her decision to run for Mayor in the October election

Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward, who is also a candidate for Mayor in the October municipal election, kept telling the audience that the city has both met and exceeded the provincial population and job growth requirement. The response to that is the number Meed Ward is talking about is a minimum number and that municipalities are urged to go beyond those minimums.

The issue of possible appeals kept coming up and what to do with the Kelly’s Bake Shop operation that will be at the south end of the development next to the new Elgin promenade that will get torn up when and if the development proceeds.

A shop that sells cupcakes and coffee has become ground zero for the soul of the city.

The developer believes they are looking at a stunning opportunity and while they have made a number of changes to their application (upped parking from .93 stalls per unit to 1.25 stalls) they are holding firmly to the concept and design they started with.

Residents opposed to the proposal weren’t focusing on the design or the height – for them it was the location.
Part of the difficulty with what is a complex situation is that the application comes in under an Official Plan that does not comply with the provincial policies.

The city approved a new Official Plan but it does not become law until it is approved at the Regional level – and no one has been able to say with any certainty exactly when that is going to happen.

What was painfully evident was the divide between the council members.

Councillor Craven, who will not be running for re-election, chaired the meeting with his usual “keep things moving approach” suggested to the meeting in his remarks that the vibrancy people who live in the downtown core experience is not something shared by everyone in the city. Craven said the downtown was boring.

Councillor Sharman described commercial growth in the city as stagnant – Meed Ward had it as thriving.
Sharman and Dennison saw condominium development as the answer to how the city can be grown and the way to save the downtown core – Meed Ward described it as the force that was killing small business operations because of the uncertainty.

Dennison’s vote not to accept the Staff recommendation was a surprise to many.  What was Jack up to was the question we heard from our readers.

The city is certainly at a cross roads – the October election is the opportunity to determine who will sit on council and the direction that council will take.

Meed Ward made a particularly declarative statement when she said “we can change this – that is what we do”

The Standing Committee decision goes to a city council meeting on July 16th, and then sort of goes out of business until September when the municipal election races will get very fierce.

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Premier Ford got rid of the Hydro One chair without lifting a finger. The chair resigned on Wednesday.

News 100 redBy Staff

July 11, 2018



Well – that was easy,

Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines Greg Rickford in a statement late today said
“Hydro One Chief Executive Officer Mayo Schmidt is retiring from the company, effective immediately.

Mayo Schmidt, chief executive of Hydro One in May 2010 when he was president and chief executive officer of Viterra Inc., a Canadian grain-handler. As Hydro One's top executive he received $6.2 million in salary in 2017.

Mayo Schmidt, chief executive of Hydro One has resigned. As Hydro One’s top executive he received $6.2 million in salary in 2017.

“The Board of Directors of Hydro One has also informed us of their intent to step down from their positions through a managed process that will conclude before August 15.

“Given the critical importance of Hydro One to our province’s electricity system, our government will be closely engaging in the leadership transition at Hydro One to ensure the stability of the system is preserved and consumers are protected.”

And so they are gone and the Premier will be able to say that he has delivered on an election promise without lifting a finger.

The Minister has said: “We will play a key role in appointing the new Board, and will expect it to act in the public’s interest.

Hydro mess with Ford at podium“Second, our government has prepared legislation that, if passed, will improve transparency and accountability at Hydro One. We will introduce this legislation during the upcoming sitting.

“After years of rising electricity bills, this is a step towards our main goal—bringing down electricity rates for all Ontarians. Help is here.”

Expect to see that Help is here tag line used frequently. From a political optics perspective it is brilliant.

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Kelly Childs throw in the towel - her bake shop will have to find a new home.

News 100 redBy Staff

July 11, 2018



In an emotional farewell, Kelly Childs and her daughter told a city council committee last night that they were throwing in the towel and would not continue the operation of their bake shop on Brant Street when their lease expires.

Ford + two others at Kellys

The bake shop became a popular drop in for hundreds of people.

The property is part of an assembly being done by Reserve Properties who have a development application before the city to build a 23 storey tower on the south east corner of Brant and James.

The building the bake shop is in now is on the municipal registry but has not been designated a Heritage site.

The developers let council know that it would not be possible for any commercial operation to be in the building while construction is taking place. And, the plan being proposed, would call for a slight shift in the actual location of the building.

Kellys - Mother and daugter - kelly lk down - not all bd

Kelly Childs on the right with her daughter Aaron going over the schedule for a day in the bake shop

Childs told council that all that will be left is a board and batten façade with nothing inside. The developer is committed to keeping both the bake shop building and the building that was once an ice house that is now a jewelers shop on John Street, both were intended to give any development some heritage credibility.

Childs told the committee that the store had traffic that amounted to 12,000 people a week visiting the location – a phenomenal number. It would amount to more than 1700 people in a single day assuming a 7 day a week operation. An eye brow raising number.

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Gary Scobie: 'You can adjust your legacy before you leave or you can leave it to others to try and repair the damage you’ve already done.'

opinionandcommentBy Gary Scobie

July 11, 2018



I expect this will be my last delegation to this Council of eight years. Come October 22nd, we will have some new faces around the table. So please permit me to get a little philosophical.

I am very glad to hear that Council Chambers is being renovated and updated to 21st century standards. The news that the City bought the Sims building for staff accommodation also bodes well for the continuing future of our City Hall.

City hall - older pic

City Hall – always loved it says Scobie

I love the look of City Hall; always have. Do you know that you can see City Hall all the way from Guelph Line along New Street in the winter? You can even see it from Seneca Avenue and New Street in the summer when the full leaf canopy is out. It’s framed by low buildings at James Street in the winter and leaves in the summer.

That’s what I call a gateway.

Now the powers that be in our iconic City Hall – The Planning Department management and Council itself, along with the developers of Burlington have a different idea for a gateway.

How about framing this 8 storey building with twenty-something storey building across the road. Now that’s not a gateway, that’s an insult. With the three to four storey podiums in place, I think I may have to get to James Street from the east in order to see City Hall in the same way in the future, between the twin towers of course.

Dundas - King street

Gary Scobie believes that Burlington has lot the opportunity to keep the scale that King street in Dundas has retained.

I grew up in Dundas. Dundas respects its past while gently conforming to the future. Completed in 1849, the Town Hall is noted as one of the best examples of revival style municipal buildings in Ontario. It requires no gateway and occupies its own block. The classic Post Office building still stands and is repurposed. The downtown is low rise and a mix of newer buildings with older ones with the original facades and buildings intact to their upper floors. It’s always busy with people walking both sides of King Street. Our neighbor was the butcher when I was growing up. When he died, the business was sold to another butcher. That store still operates as a butcher shop. Picone’s Food Market still offers great foods and produce a few doors up the street. It’s the same with barber shops, fish and chip shops, a jeweler and fashion shops. The Armoury is now the Community Centre. Film companies come to make TV movies in the Valley Town as it is known, situated beneath the cliffs of the escarpment, because of its friendly, bustling, charming ambiance.

Hotel on lower Brant Street

While horse drawn carriages and wagons are not what people want to see – many would like some of the charm and the histriy of the city maintained.

Burlington once had that ambiance, but that wasn’t in this century, and a Province and a Council decided in 2005 that urban growth for the downtown was the answer to all of our prayers and declared it an Urban Growth Centre. Please forgive them my fellow citizens, for I believe they knew not what they did nor what it would bring today.

In the last century high rise condos and apartments were built in one-off locations, in groupings like in the east end on Lakeshore Road near Burloak Park, centrally on Lakeshore Road near Torrance, along lower Maple Avenue, and even in my own Ward 3 with a lone 16 storey high rise on Upper Middle Road at Duncaster.

These were seemingly done without much planning for the future or much adherence to the Official Plan in place then. Come into this century and not much changed. New high rises were still being built beyond the Official Plan heights. Meanwhile we had accepted an Urban Growth Centre downtown for reasons never
made fully clear to citizens as to why there; and for future repercussions just now becoming obvious in the past three years or so. We had accepted Mobility Hub densities without any questions or push-back to the Province. We (or our Council for us) had accepted a makeover of Burlington that would transform our city
from something to be proud of to something to be fearful of.

We love being known as the Best Mid-size City in Canada, yet We (that is our Council and Planners) are ready to trade in our little utopia for a future dystopia without question. We citizens must be “managed”, “handled” and “educated” to accept this planners’ nightmare because after all, they are the experts and we’re just the people in the experiment who have to live with the results.

This is the legacy of the City Council of 2002 – 2006 and this City Council of 2010 – 2018. The Council and Planning Department management who, while extolling the virtues over and over again of our beautiful waterfront and our beautiful rural escarpment, at the Province’s urging are now going to mess up forever the cream in the middle of our wonderful cookie, the part that’s not permanent hard water or hard rock, the place that is malleable where 95% of the people of Burlington live.

From Civic Square

The view from city hall if the tower on the right is approved – the tower on the left has already been approved.

Page 26 of the report, point 3 says “Where possible establish maximum building heights which are consistent with existing development precedents”. Well that should be easy. This building at 409 Brant Street is across the road from a freshly approved 23 storey building at 421 Brant Street. So anything up to 23 storeys
should now be a slam dunk. Council and planners didn’t abide to the current OP heights of 4 – 8 storeys or the projected new OP heights of 17 storeys for 421 Brant Street. Why should they or any developer be expected to abide to our shiny new OP height limits now?

Point 4 says “Attract a wider range of demographics and income levels to the Downtown Mobility Hub”. Whoa, that’s not so easy.

It’s never been done yet this century and any window dressing that is being proposed to get young families of modest income into this building is in a word, laughable.

Jeweller after

The view of the proposed Reserve Properties development from John Street which will be the exit for cars from the five level underground garage and the bus terminal.

I predict sometime later tonight or tomorrow, you will vote with a strong majority to accept this recommendation report. I predict you will then have trouble negotiating the conditions with the
developer. I predict the developer with go to the new, untested Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) and ask for at least 23 storeys based simply on British Common Law precedent.

I’m asking you to prove me wrong. Turn down this recommendation report. Say no to the whole twin tower concept.

One mistake across from City Hall is your limit and the time is likely up for most of you sitting in those chairs come October 22nd.

Forget about gateways and landmark buildings. Think about the people who elected you to look after our city, not the podium – pushing planners and developers who wish to pack it with more warm bodies than it can take. You can adjust your legacy before you leave or you can leave it to others to try and repair the damage you’ve already done.

At the end of his delegation Scobie got a sustained round of applause – he had spoken for many.  The Chair could not gavel the meeting back to order.

Gary ScobieGary Scobie is a ward 3 Burlington resident who was a member of the now defunct Waterfront Advisory Committee.  He has delegated frequently on municipal development matters.

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Wasn't the debate about the level of intensification the city had to undergo? Nope, the developer tells council that they need to think in terms of 'optimization'.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

July 11th, 2018



And we thought it was all about intensification.

The city needed to intensify the population; put more people in less space. Given that Burlington doesn’t have any more land that it can build houses on, developers began to assemble land and build high rise towers.

Brant looking north - Kellys

Developer tells city council they need to think in terms of the best land use optimization and get away from intensification.

At a city council committee meeting yesterday during which the development being proposed for the SE corner of Brant and James was debated at length.

Mayor Goldring has been telling the public that the city has to intensify and that he will ensure that the intensification will be intelligently done.

high profile 421

This tower has been approved – the one across the road wants to be just as high.

When the 23 storey tower on the NE corner of James and Brant was approved people began to question what intensification really meant.

Turns out the city was using the wrong word. They should have been talking about optimization; which is the best possible use for a piece of land.

Legal counsel for Reserve Properties explained to council last night that the 2017 version of Places to Grow, a provincial document sets out that optimization is what municipalities should be focusing on – and the Reserve Properties development certainly does their best to optimize the land they want to assemble.

The meeting Tuesday evening had to adjourn at 10:30 pm – they will be back at it this evening. There are a lot of questions to be asked.

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A mobility hub is a mobility hub - right? Not necessarily according to Mayoralty candidate Greg Woodruff

Letter to the editorBy Staff

July 10th, 2018



Candidate for the Office of Mayor and Aldershot resident Greg Woodruff wants the planning department to be a little clearer with the language used to report about mobility hubs.

Greg Woodruff

Greg Woodruff – candidate for Mayor.

In an Open letter to Burlington Council, Woodruff asks that:

“… Council and staff start using the terms Mobility Hub (Metrolinx) and Major Transit Station Areas (Places to Grow) properly for the various GO stations.

Burlington GO south side

There are ten platforms on the south side of the Burlington GO station – which is described as a mobility hub: a place where buses, cars, taxi and even bicycles arrive to drop off and pick up people who have taken a GO train.

“The term Mobility Hub is being used to refer to the 3 GO stations. This is causing confusion with the public as to what exactly our responsibility might be for redevelopment of these regions. The Burlington GO station is indeed flagged as a Metrolinx Mobility Hub and comes under specific recommendations.

Mobility hubs

The city has four mobility hubs.

“The Aldershot GO station and Appleby GO station are not designated as Mobility Hubs by Metrolinx. They are not and never have been “Mobility Hubs” in any way except for the city’s loose language that is now grouping them together.

“The only major specification for Major Transit Station Areas (MTSA) comes from Places to Grow and calls for a modest 150 people or jobs per hectare. This can easily be accomplished with low rise buildings.

Boundaries set out for the Downtown mobility hub.

All the Mobility Hub attention focuses on the three GO stations. The city is referring to the transit terminal on John street as an access hub. Other hubs are identified as gate way hubs. These are the boundaries for the Downtown mobility hub.

“Thus the 30 story hi-rises proposed by staff around Aldershot and Appleby are a complete construction of the City of Burlington. There is no direction from any group that calls for this. The hi-rises in these area are self-imposed. I think it important this be very clear to the public.

“I would request that Council adopt the proper terminology when discussing these matters and direct staff to use proper descriptions of “Metrolinx Mobiltiy Hub” and “Major Transit Station Area” when discussing these areas.”

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Some more of those 1000 word pictures

News 100 redBy Staff

July 10th, 2018



More on those pictures being worth 1000 words.

The Planning department had a handful of renderings done suggesting what the downtown core of the city could look like when the Grow Bold initiative has blown through the community.

Brant st city hall on left looking north

A rendering of Brant Street at city hall looking north. Looks like the kind of thing a real estate agent would prepare as part of a sales brochure.


The drawing had a nice gentle pastel look to them. Nice enough to frame.

We then came across a photograph of what the properties on the east side of Brant street look like today.

Brant street today July 2018

This is a montage of properties on the east side of Brant street with Brant Florist on the left.

Comparing with the drawings was a little jarring.

The model prepared by some students who lived in the St. Luke community gave the public a bit of a glimpse of what was coming down the pipe.

ECoB model view from the east

Looking west towards city hall through the two towers that might “frame” city hall in the future. The one on the right has already been approved by city council.

A picture is indeed worth 1000 words.

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Affordable housing - the need is great - but real policy direction from council to make it happen isn't on the radar screen yet.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

July 10th, 2018



Affordable housing – an oxymoron perhaps.

In a market where housing prices have risen as much as 20% year over year, the cost of buying a home has skyrocketed – and that impacts directly the cost of rental accommodation.

Rocca partial listing for 2017

Some of the year over year changes were mind boggling – a market run amok.

The Burlington mind set is married to the idea of owning the home you live in – rental accommodation is not for people who are true Burlingtonians – we are all property owners.

Every development that comes before city council has the words “affordable housing” tucked in the application somewhere and the response from the planners pays lip service to the idea.  Members of council will insist that some affordable housing be included in a development.

Carriage Gate agreed to provide the City with a cash contribution of $300,000 prior to condominium registration that was to go towards an affordable account the city appears to have created.

Reserve Properties, the developers promoting a development on the SE corner of Brant and James, have made mention of their plans to contribute something to the need for affordable housing if  their development is approved.

The developers offer up some cash in lieu of actually including affordable units in the condominium.

Where does that cash the developers give the city go?

That isn’t exactly clear. The Gazette isn’t sure if any funds have actually moved from the developer’s bank account into the coffers of the city. Funds from carriage Gate should be in the city bank account by now.

The issue is not about the need for affordable housing – the issue is who is to provide that housing.

Every member of city council knows that housing is a Regional responsibility.

Co-op on Maple close to lakeshore

This high rise close to Lakeshore sets aside 60% of its space for rent geared to income (RGI) tenants. The building is owned and operated by a co-op that works with the Region.

The Region has policies, they have a reasonably clear idea of what is needed. How close they are to that need could be a little tighter.

The Region operates a number of towers that are totally affordable.

They partner with organizations that make space in buildings they own for rent geared to income space.

They maintain the list of who is looking for affordable housing and they determine who can get into a building and when.  The mix of affordable housing is pretty good.

The problem is the need for a shift from the approach that has language which makes affordable housing options sound like or look like welfare options.

Housing has to be looked at differently.

Search options

The Region has a section on its web site where people can search and see what is available. Waiting times to get a residence is measured in years.

The Region is responsible for the social housing needs of all four municipalities: Burlington, Oakville, Milton and Halton Hills.

Gary CarrDuring the 2010 election Regional Chair came close to losing it when people were going on about the need for affordable housing at the municipal level – “it’s a Regional responsibility” he almost shouted out in an exasperating tone..

There are some very good people at the Regional level administering the policies and the properties.

In the event that Burlington sends the money it gets from developers to the Region (and that point isn’t clear) the Region does not appear to be committed to spending what it gets from Burlington in Burlington.

Instead of trying to outdo each other in how committed they are to affordable housing Burlington city council needs to get its act together and set out what it would like to see done and then take the Burlington plan to Regional council and fight for it at that level.

That however would require a council that is cohesive and can actually work together.
Burlington is now seeing a new crop of candidates that are younger, have good intellectual chops and want to see a change.

ECoB Crowd Feb 22

ECoB – engaged Citizens of Burlington held a meeting for people interested in running for office – the came close to packing the room.

The city is close to have good solid candidates in all six wards and clear choices for the next Mayor.

In the 2014 municipal election Mayor Goldring said he was quite comfortable with seeing every member of the council re-elected.  And they were all re-elected.  They really weren’t any tough races with the possible exception of ward 6 where Blair Lancaster faced nine candidates.


There were two problems with the comfort level the Mayor had chosen.

He wasn’t leading council and council wasn’t taking the city anywhere.

That could be about to change.

The next step is for the people who live in the city to think about what they want and then decide who can deliver what they want.

Then get out and actually vote.

We did a piece recently on a woman who taught the city something about milkweed plants and learned that she had run for public office in 2003 – the turnout in that election was 16%.

No wonder we are in a mess.

The complacent people of Burlington did this to themselves.

As for an affordable housing policy that delivers for Burlington – that has to get worked out at the Regional level and Burlington city council members have to make their case at that level.

They’ve known that for the past seven years.

Salt with Pepper is an opinion column reflecting the views, musings, observations and opinions of the Gazette publisher.

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A New Democrat's view of Doug Ford's government - Burlington is getting stiffed.

opinionandcommentBy Andrew Drummond

July 9th, 2018



The past week has given us a clear indication of the direction the new provincial government will take. Most of their decisions have been a follow through on things that Premier Ford said during the election campaign.

The long fight against the federal government regarding cap and trade for example, was something the Ontario PCs seemed to relish having and we will spend months or years on this battle that they seemed to want. Others of their decisions, such as delaying implementation of anti-scalping measures seemed to be less predictable.

But each of the actions taken so far will have a local impact in Burlington either directly or indirectly. So below is an evaluation of some of the actions taken by the new Ontario government and how they will impact our city and community.

The cabinet was announced on June 29, and perhaps expectedly, neither Jane McKenna nor Effie Triantafilopoulos was chosen for cabinet. But after the parliamentary assistants were named, and Effie was given a prominent role while Jane was overlooked, it became clear that Jane is not among the most trusted in the Conservative cabinet.

McKenna + Drummond

Andrew Drummond NDP candidate during the provincial election in conversation with Jane McKenna, now the MPP for Burlington,.

How does this impact Burlington? There are many pieces of government funding that rely on the local MPP to wield influence. The most prominent example of which is funding for Joseph Brant.  Across Jane’s first term in government Jo Brant was the lowest rated emergency room in all of Ontario. Over the last few years that has improved slightly (we are still in the bottom quartile) but the improvement came from funding that our MPP fought for. If the local MPP wields no influence, can we be sure that Jo Brant is going to get the operational funding it needs to continue its improvement? It is critical that we see action from our MPP that shows she has the influence in the government to get Burlington the support it so desperately needs.

Of all the announcements from the incoming government, the one publicized the most was the end of the Cap and Trade system implemented by the previous government. However, in declaring the end of that program, the government gave no notice as to what they intended to do about the Cap and Trade credits already purchased by companies intending to use them on the market. This is a 2.9 billion dollar investment that Ontario businesses that the government to this point has not explained how they will make companies whole.

The details on exactly who has spent how much on credits is not publicly available, so it is difficult to pin an exact figure on how much liability there is to Burlington specifically. And we are lucky that Burlington did not join this program and open us up to risks like other municipalities did (examples: Kingston, Kitchener). But there are undoubtedly local effects. Every negative consequence for province wide industries will effect us locally too.

And of the most concern is the limited impact this will have for Burlington. As was argued during the election campaign, there is sizable evidence that the price of gas is more controlled by market forces and less by costs. With that comes a risk that any reduction in gas taxation will not have any measurable impact on price and rather only increase profits for gas companies. The premier’s quote on the issue “We just have a good heart-to-heart talk with the oil companies and understand that they’re being watched right now,” also does not spark confidence that Burlington will see any meaningful cost savings from this government policy.


The Ford government has made a number of quiet changes since being sworn in that will impact quality of life in Burlington. One of those was a delay in the implementation of the Ticket Sales Act that would have limited the resale price of a ticket to 50% above the printed price on a ticket. The company Stubhub believes that the law is dangerous because it is important to ensure sales “occur on platforms that provide vital consumer protections.” Most consumers would interpret this argument as Stubhub saying: If consumers are going to be gouged we’d like our cut of the gouging fees.

For Burlington residents this means that it will continue to be impossible to find tickets to concerts and key sporting events at reasonable prices. CBC did an analysis of some upcoming concerts in Toronto and noticed some egregious examples on resale ticket sites. Bruno Mars tickets raised from $100 to over $13,000 or Elton John from $221 to $1,878. The average family in Burlington cannot compete at those prices. As long as tickets can be bought in large buckets and then resold at incredible markups, the average Burlington family will be shut out of these events. And the Ford government is apparently ok with that.

Dowdeswell delivering Throne Speech MAr 16-2018

Lieutenant Governor Dowdeswell delivering Throne Speech

So in all, it is difficult to see how anything in the first week of this government has had any positive impact on the day-to-day life of people in Burlington. From questions about how effective our MPP will be at securing critical hospital operating dollars to potentially costing local businesses millions in now useless Cap and Trade credits to blocking legislation to help us afford popular events, most actions to date seem in the best interest of people outside of our community.

However, the government will give its speech from the throne this week. We all remain optimistic that the government will set an agenda that will be better than these first early actions. Time will tell if there is any chance of Burlington being a priority for the next 4 years.

Andrew Drummond HeadshotThe opinions are those of Andrew Drummond, the New Democratic candidate for Burlington.  He placed second, ahead of the Liberal and Green Party candidates.  He is employed in the marketing and sales department of a major internet, cable TV and wireless service provider.

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Downtown precincts and what can be built where - is this the only direction left?

News 100 redBy Staff

July 9th, 2018



The city usually provides maps that are crammed with information that are difficult to fully understand in a small format. A large map just can’t be displayed adequately on a computer screen.

The city however has prepared and distributed a document that sets out in considerable detail what is permitted in each of the precincts that have been created.

Downtown precinct map

Downtown precinct map

We have set out the downtown precinct map in a full screen page format along with a list of what can be built in each precinct that is colour coded with the map.

Precinct highlight A

Precinct highlight B




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Why did a building on the NW corner of Brant and James get approval for 24 storeys while the one on the SW corner is limited to 18 storeys?

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

July 9th, 2018



City council will be debating a staff recommendation for the proposed development on Brant street, opposite city that starts on the SW corner of James and will run south to Kellys Bake Shop and include the full block.
The developer is asking for 27 stories – the city planners are recommending 18.

high profile 421


The development on the NW corner of Brant and James has been approved at 23 storeys – why are the planners recommending 18 storeys for the second building when the one across the street has been approved for 23 – seems like a reasonable question – and for the developer it is a difference of six floors of condominium units

The 421 – 431 Brant Street development – it hasn’t been given a name yet – has been approved and will consist of:

• Twenty-three (23) storey building, which includes a 1-storey rooftop amenity area;
• Four-storey podium;
• 760 square metres of ground floor retail / commercial space;
• 365 square metres of 2nd floor office space;
• 169 residential units (maximum);
• A parking ratio of 1.2 parking spaces per residential unit in the below-grade parking structure, in addition to 8 dedicated visitor parking spaces and 1 car share space;
• Appropriate building setbacks from Brant Street (2.95 metres), James Street (2.6 metres) and John Street (1.8 metres);
• A 128 square metre (16 metre x 16 metre) visibility triangle (publicly accessible open space) at the corner of Brant Street and James Street;
• Appropriate building stepbacks and terracing above the 4th floor and above the 18th floor

The planners point out that the site is located within the Downtown Urban Centre and within the Downtown Core designation. They add that it “is important to note that the existing OP (that is the one in place before the Grow Bold OP – which was approved and sent to the Regional government for approval at that level), included a site specific exception for a portion of the site (421 – 427 Brant Street) which recognized the site as appropriate for increased height and density.”

What that means is that part of the land assembled for the development had an exception attached to it for height above the permitted heights for neighbouring properties. The way these things work is that the highest height is frequently applied to all the properties when they are assembled.

“The exception set an increased maximum height for the site of seven storeys with taller buildings up to a maximum height of twelve storeys permitted where they provide a sense of compatibility with surrounding land uses and a sense of pedestrian scale by the use of terracing above the second floor. The exception for 421 – 427 Brant Street also set out an increased maximum floor area ratio of 4.5:1, except that higher floor area ratios were permitted subject to community benefits provisions.”

“It is also important to note that the timing of the 421 Brant Street application preceded emerging policy directions for the Downtown Urban Growth Centre, which are now incorporated as a part of the Council Adopted Official Plan: Grow Bold.

From Civic Square

The view from Civic Square looking east at the two “landmark” towers. The one on the left (shown as a shadow) has been approved. The one on the right is before Committee of the whole today – planners want this one cut back to 18 storeys.

“On Sept. 28 2017, the draft new Downtown Mobility Hub Precinct Plan was presented to Council for the first time for discussion and feedback at a Council Workshop at the Committee of the Whole. No decisions were made.

“On November 13, the 421 Brant Street applications were approved in principle.

“On November 30, 2017 a staff report on the Draft Downtown Precinct Plan and proposed Official Plan policies contemplated modifying the building height permissions at Brant Street and James to recognize that node as an area appropriate for landmark buildings and to reduce the building height permissions in the Cannery Precinct for the property located at Brant Street and Lakeshore Road in light of the 421 Brant Street application.”

What the city did was decide to live with height across from city hall and limit height along Lakeshore Road. Councillor Taylor was very specific when he said that he went along with the 23 storeys for 421 Brant on the understanding that Lakeshore heights would be limited to 17 storeys. That’s planning on the fly!


There is a lot of detail in this map- you can identify the precincts that planners use to describe parts of the city and the kind of development permitted.

The Revenue Properties application (409 Brant) now has to find a way to work through and around a thicket of precinct plans, mobility hubs, the Urban Growth Centre and transit issues.

Bus roites - 1st design

Those red lines are the buses that come down Brant and loop along James into the bus terminal that got an upgrade and is now called a Mobility hub anchor. Traffic nightmare!

And, speaking of transit issues – there is a drawing that was part of one of the staff reports on the 409 project that showed the number of bus routes that flow into John Street, which is the street the garages for both 409 and 421 will exit onto – there is a nightmare of a continual traffic jam waiting to happen.
“No Staff/Council motion was made to increase height permissions in the Special Planning Area at Brant and James Streets as a result of the approval of the 421 Brant application on November 13th, 2017.”

What that seems to say is that the height 421 was given isn’t going to be available to 409. It is going to be interesting to see how that works out.

The Revenue Properties proposal is before Planning and Development Committee on Tuesday -July 10th in the afternoon and in the evening.

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Have you seen these ? If this is what they meant by Growing Bold they weren't kidding....

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

July 9th, 2018



A picture is said to be worth a thousand words.

The following is a set of renderings on the city’s web site that few people have seen.

It is part of what is behind the outrage that many feel over the changes being made to the Downtown core – It wasn’t quite what many had in mind when they first heard the phrase Grow BOLD.

Elizabeth - looking twds lake

Elizabeth looking south towards the lske

Lakeshore at Brant with hist bldg kept

Lakeshore at Brant looking east

Brant st city hall on left looking north

Brant Street looking north – with city hall on the left.

Brant at the plaza looking south

Brant street looking south from about where the shopping plaza is north of Caroline.

Bold indeed.

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McKenna rumoured to want to be elected Speaker of the Legislature.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

July 7th, 2018



Before the Legislature can sit to hear the Speech from the Throne that will be read on July 12th at 2:00 pm it first has to elect a Speaker.


Burlington MPP Jane McKenna

Word is that Burlington MPP Jane McKenna is thinking of putting her name forward to be considered for the job.

Disastrous choice if there is any truth to the comments we are hearing.

McKenna’s knowledge of parliamentary process and the history of how the Ontario Legislature actually works it very limited – embarrassingly so.

The job is critically important and calls for a level of wisdom that McKenna can only aspire to but does not have.

The Speaker of the Legislature is elected by the members of the Legislature in a secret ballot.

The Speaker has to understand the role, understand procedure and the history of the Legislative process in Ontario.

At one point Gary Carr, the Chair for the Region of Halton was the Speaker. He did an admirable job and was able to frequently put the then Premier of the province Mike Harris in his place and keep him quiet in his seat.

Jane McKenna is too much of a sycophant to do the job and knows next to nothing about the legislative process.

The Speaker maintains a residence at the Legislature, known as the Speaker’s Apartment.

Salt with Pepper are the opinions, views, musing and observations of the Gazette Publisher.

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