Trustees are not opposed to having a new HDSB administration centre built - but they don't agree on where it should be located.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

March 22, 2018


In an earlier version of this news story we said that Milton trustee Kim Graves had complained about the distance she had to drive to get to school board meetings.  It was trustee Anne Harvey Hope who made the comment – the two women sit beside each other at board meetings.  In the same article we said “… they were a little queasy about having this matter on the table…”.  It would have been more correct to say that some were queasy.  The Gazette regrets these errors.

Most of the trustees said last night that the Halton District School Board needed a new Administrative Building – but they didn’t want to see it located in Burlington.

There are 11 school board trustees – four represent Burlington; four represent Oakville and two represent Milton. One represents Halton Hills.

Kelly Amos

Need the building said Kelly Amos – but it shouldn’t be in Burlington.

Anne Harvey Hope

Driving to Burlington for 6 pm meetings is terrible – but we do need a new administration centre – Trustee Harvey-Hope

Oakville trustee Ann Harvey Hope said it was a “nightmare” to get to Board meetings from the east side of Oakville. Two of the 11 trustees were not in physical attendance – they took part on-line.

None of the trustees were opposed to the idea of putting up a new structure – some were a little queasy about having this matter on the table less than a year after closing two of the city’s seven high schools.

Director of Education Stuart Miller was adamant in saying that there was no link between the closing of the two high schools and the need to build a new building for administrators.

And he said, for the umpteenth time, that funds gained from the sale of a school property could not be used to build an administrative centre.

Trustees - Sams - Reynolds - Collard

Trustee Leah Reynolds, centre wanted the dust on school closings to settle before a new administrative Centre decision was made. Trustee Collard, on the right wanted any decision deferred. Trustee Grey, on the left represents Halton Hills – she made her comments by a telecommunications link.

Ward 1 and 2 Burlington trustee Leah Reynolds said making a decision now would be “ill timed” and that the Board should “wait for the dust to settle”.

Amy Collard, Burlington ward 5 trustee wanted to see a decision on a new building deferred but couldn’t find a seconder for her motion.

Why now was the question Reynolds had. Miller explained that this is an issue that has been in the talking stage for years – the building was defined as inadequate in 2005.

Stuart Miller

Stuart Miller

He added that the Board offices have to be AODA compliant by 2025 and that it would cost millions to bring the Singleton centre up to AODA standards.

He estimated that there would be a savings of $8 to $12 million if the Board approved the decision to proceed with the construction of a new build on land that they already owned.

The trustees agreed that a new building was needed – they just didn’t want it to be in Burlington. The problem was that land was very expensive and there really wasn’t much that was available.

The Board did have talks with the Region about using some of the land on Bronte Road north of the QEW – those talks went nowhere.

Miller is thinking in terms of the location having  a cafeteria, maybe a day care and he is open to the idea of renting space to organizations that are aligned to the values of public education.

Pickets during the first admin bldg

Protesting the $1 million expansion of the Halton Board of Education administration centre more than 20 years ago – four parents picket the centre; in Burlington; yesterday. They are Bill Johnson of Milton; defeated New Democratic Party candidate in Halton-Burlington; Betty Fisher and Christine Louth of Halton Hills; and Lillian Kilpatrick of Oakville.

The real estate consultant they hired advised that the amount of land they needed was scarce.

Miller sees the Board facing a very difficult and expensive problem. He needs a building that is AODA compliant. The building he has does not have the space he needs. He has property yards away from where the existing building is located.

His trustees are not going to help him out of this one.

The matter comes back to the Board April 4th.

Related new storey.

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City services during the Easter weekend - good luck on figuring out what is open and what isn't open at community centres.

News 100 blueBy Staff

March 22, 2018



Easter weekend

City hall will be closed Friday, March 30 and Monday, April 2, 2018 for Easter weekend.

Burlington Transit and Handi-Van


Burlington Transit will operate a holiday service.

On Friday, March 30, Burlington Transit will operate a holiday service and the downtown Transit Terminal and Handi-Van Dispatch will be closed. Regular service resumes Saturday, March 31. The administration offices are closed Friday, March 30 and will reopen Tuesday, April 3.

For real-time schedule information, please call 905-639-0550 or visit .

Roads, Parks and Forestry
Closed Friday, March 30 and Monday, April 2. Only winter control and emergency services will be provided.
Halton Court Services
Provincial Offences Courts in Milton and Burlington will be closed Friday, March 30 and Monday, April 2.

Free parking is available in the downtown core, on the street, municipal lots and the parking garage on weekends and holidays.

Parks and recreation: Hours vary for Parks and Recreation Programs and Facilities
Activities and customer service hours at city pools, arenas and community centres will vary over the holiday weekend. For program times, please visit For customer service hours, please visit

Good luck on figuring out what is open and what isn’t – the web site information is very poorly organized.

Skating rink Discovery Landing

Skating rink on the Burlington Rotary Centennial Pond at Discovery Landing has officially closed.

However city hall continues to remind us that: Burlington is one of Canada’s best and most livable cities, a place where people, nature and business thrive.

The outdoor skating rink on the Burlington Rotary Centennial Pond at Discovery Landing has officially closed for the 2017-2018 season.

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Bandit on a crime spree arrested and charged with multiple offences: police want to find the accomplice.

Crime 100By Staff

March 22, 2018



A bandit on a crime spree was arrested for multiple robberies and thefts in Halton and Toronto.

Halton police - good angleThe Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) and the Toronto Police Service arrested a 19-year-old Oakville man after a joint investigation into a series of violent robberies in Oakville, Burlington, and Toronto.

On March 14, 2018 a masked man armed with a knife entered the Petro Canada gas station located at 1550 North Service Road West in Oakville. The male ordered the clerk to open the cash register and proceeded behind the counter removing cash, cigarettes, cigars and the employee’s cell phone. The accused then fled in a waiting vehicle.

On March 20, 2018, the same suspect robbed the 7-Eleven convenience store located at 3455 Fairview Street in Burlington. The male entered the store armed with a knife and demanded money stealing cigarettes, cigars, cash, and the employee’s wallet before fleeing into a waiting vehicle.

In the course of the HRPS investigation, the same suspect was identified as being involved in a series of thefts from automobiles in the City of Burlington on March 5 and 6, 2018. During these thefts, the accused and an accomplice entered six vehicles and stole a variety of personal items including a wallet. Credit cards stolen were subsequently used by the accused and the accomplice.

Concurrent with the HRPS investigation, the Toronto Police Service were also searching for the same suspect alleged to have committed two robberies in the City of Toronto; the first on March 10, 2018 at a Petro Canada on Kipling Avenue and the second at a Pioneer Gas Bar on Brown’s Line on March 16, 2018.

The Halton Regional Police Service executed a search warrant at an apartment building located at 205 Queen Mary Drive in Oakville and arrested Colin Borne (19). While searching the apartment, investigators seized several items linking him to the robberies. Colin Borne has been held over for a bail hearing.

Colin BORNE (19) of Oakville has been charged with:

• 4 counts of robbery with violence
• 4 counts wear disguise
• 4 counts of weapons dangerous
• 4 counts fail to comply probation
• 6 counts of theft and 8 frauds under

The Halton Regional Police are actively pursuing leads in efforts to apprehend Colin Borne’s accomplice.

Do you recognize the person in the video

The robbery has to be one of the most casual events you will ever see.

Anyone who may have additional information concerning this investigation can contact Halton Regional Police Detective Barry Malciw at 905-825-4747 ext. 2218. Tips can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers “See something? Hear something? Know something? Contact Crime Stoppers” at 1-800-222-477 (TIPS) or through the web at

People charged with a criminal offence are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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Milton public school named after Viola Desmond, first black woman to appear on Canadian currency.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

March 22, 2018



We were a different people then.

Harder, harsher less tolerant of others and the differences between the races.

A world war had ended and people were adjusting to a different world but still suffering from the hardships brought on by that war.

Desmond $10 billIn New Glasgow, Nova Scotia Viola Irene Desmond went to a movie theatre and sat in a part that was reserved for white people. She was ejected from the theatre by security people, arrested and placed in a jail cell and charged with a minor tax violation for the one-cent tax difference between the seat she had paid for and the seat she used which was more expensive.

Desmond’s case is one of the most publicized incidents of racial discrimination in Canadian history and helped start the modern civil rights movement in Canada.

That was in 1946. In 2010, Desmond was granted a posthumous pardon, the first to be granted in Canada. The government of Nova Scotia also apologized for prosecuting her for tax evasion and acknowledged she was rightfully resisting racial discrimination.

In 2016, the Bank of Canada announced that Desmond would be the first Canadian woman to be featured on the front of a banknote; that honour went to Agnes Macphail, who appeared along with three men on a 2017 commemorative note marking the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

Agnes Macphail was the first woman to be elected to the Canadian House of Commons in 1921.

In late 2018 Desmond will be the first Canadian-born woman to appear alone on a $10 bill which was unveiled by Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz during a ceremony at the Halifax Central Library.

The Halton District school Board decided last night to name a public school in Milton after Viola Desmond.

Gavin Milton #10

Principal of what was, until last night, Milton PS # 10. The Board of Education named the school Viola Desmond Public School. It will open in September of 2018

The Board believes  it is the first school board to name a school after the woman who started the fight for racial equality in Canada. Milton PS # 10 will now be known as the Viola Desmond Public School.

A significant event in the long hard fight in Canada for racial equality, that isn’t over yet, took place in Nova Scotia in 1946.

School principal was on hand at the school board meeting to watch the vote take place.

The school will open in September of 2018 and offer Junior Kindergarten ‐ Grade 7 with Grade 8 English Program to be added in September 2019.

French Immersion Program offered in 2018-2019:   Grade 2 with each grade added in subsequent years.


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Dancers will portray how we care for each other at the Art Gallery of Burlington.

eventspink 100x100By Pepper Parr

March 22nd, 2018



Think in terms of dance that is both fluid and dramatic that runs for more than an hour while you are expected to walk about the space to observe.  It is called installation art. Not sure what that is?

Spend some time at the Art Gallery of Burlington on Sunday April 8th, starting at 3:30 in the afternoon in the Lee Chin Gallery and learn more about it.

The performance runs for 70 minutes but you’re not expected to stand around for the full 70 minutes.

Peggy Baker, a dancer who has choreographed an event that is about how we care for each other will be performing with a group of dancers.

The event is a collaboration between the Performing Arts Centre and the Art Gallery of Burlington.

The rehearsals took place at the Performing Arts Centre where 16 local performers – community members, dancers, actors, yoga practitioners worked with Baker to refine the program that explores the nature of both giving and receiving care.

MOVE Peggy Baker

… the basic duality of caregiving – the giving and receiving of water.

While working in pairs, the performers will use one-of-a-kind pitchers and bowls – contributed by local ceramic artists – to represent the basic duality of care-giving – the giving and receiving of water. The audience is encouraged to move around the space and view the dance installation from all sides and differing perspectives.

This unique experience is a free event.


Peggy Baker, dancer, choreographer.

Peggy Baker, the dancer, choreographer that created this work describes it this way: “MOVE calls up a multitude of ancient and timeless images; earth being plowed, the molding of clay, the kneading of bread, a midwife at work, a storm gathering, the swell of an ocean, the movement of a glacier, the heaving of a continent, the passing of time…”

It is dance that is energetic and at the same time contemplative and quiet.

At The Art Gallery of Burlington, Sunday, April 8 at 3:30pm

This event is a partnership between the Burlington Performing Arts Centre and The Art Gallery of Burlington.

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Aldershot residents get an early look at plans for the Solid Gold site

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

March 21, 2018



Whenever there is anything to do with the Solid Gold adult entertainment operation in Aldershot there will be an audience.

Things were not any different last night when Darko Vranich and his team were on hand to speak to and support their application for changes to the current Official Plan, and a change to the current zoning on the site to permit the construction of two apartment buildings that with a total of 450 units.

Solid G from south west corner Plains

View from the south west corner of the site

Residents packed the East Plains Road United Church where planners from Bousfield, a Planning consultancy and the project architect explained what the project was about and why it should be approved.

Most in the audience didn’t share their views.

The only thing there was agreement on was that the adult entertainment operation had to go. Ward 1 Councillor Rick Craven isn’t particularly proud of one of the busier commercial establishments in the ward – an opportunity to put something else on the 3 acre site is something he might welcome.

The residents weren’t all that keen on what was put in front of them.

Solid G Plans and Cooke Rd

The view is from the intersection of Cooke Avenue and Plains Road

The Planning department took the audience through the process:

A public neighbourhood meeting.
A Statutory public meeting at city hall
Staff analyses the application
A report to city council Planning and Development Committee (P&D) that either recommends, does not recommend or asks for modifications.
The P&D committee meeting recommendations go to city council where a decision is made to approve or not approve the requested changes in the Official Plan and zoning changes.

The rules call for 874 parking spaces – Vrancor, the developer proposed 581 which led one resident to tell the audience that there would be parking wars without more parking space.

There were a number of concerns expressed by the residents – parking spaces, height and massing: the ground floor of the two buildings, which will be commercial space, would be set back just six feet from the sidewalk – that isn’t likely to get past the city planners.

There was no park space in the proposal.

The development is at the corner of Plains Road and Cooke Street. The 12 storey apartment building will run along Cooke; the ten storey will run along Plains Road.

58% of the units will be two bedroom units, 40% will be 1 bedroom.

Darko Vranich and his team

Darko Vranich on the left with his team.

Besides wanting to get rid of the Solid Gold operation what the people of the west end of Aldershot want most is a supermarket.  If Darko Vranich could deliver on a supermarket in the building the residents might let him have a 15 storey building.

One resident asked the Vrancor people what the benefit to the community was for approving the development would be. The answer was: “You would be getting rid of Solid Gold”

Judy Worsley, Executive Director – Aldershot Village BIA told the audience that a supermarket is probably not in the cards. She explained that Loblaws has announced that it is closing 22 stores in Ontario and that the future model is going to be one where people order grocery items on line and pick their order at a GO station kiosk.

Vranich told the Gazette that he has talked to every supermarket operator that will take his call to see if he could convince them to locate in the development – no takers so far. “If you know of anyone who might be interested, have them call me please” said Vranich.

Related new story:

The new model for grocery shopping.


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Police are recruiting 911 communicators.

News 100 blueBy Staff

March 21, 2018



The 911 service is much h more than a telephone number you call when there is an emergewncy. Behind that number is a group of people who take the call and manage the emergency. They are referred to as 911 communicators.

The Halton Regional Police is hosting an open house for persons interested in a career as a 9-1-1 Communicator.

The session will be both informative and interactive allowing potential applicants to learn of the applicant process, training involved and essential skills needed for success in the role.

Incoming - clustered

The telephone set has buttons that put a 911 communicator in direct communications with other public safety agencies in an second.

The introduction session is on Thursday April 12th – 7 pm – 8:30 pm – at the Halton Regional Police Service Headquarters.

Space is extremely limited so register early to ensure your attendance.

Interested registrants are asked to email Steve Van Dyk at

Related news stories:

High tech and at times very fast paced.

Dispatching police officers to a scene can get very hectic.


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Around the Bay Race is this Sunday - be prepared road and lane closures

eventsblue 100x100By Staff

March 21st, 2018



It is that annual run around the Bay that has been taking place longer than the Boston Marathon. It draws thousands of people and closes roads all over the place.


It is a big crowd for the oldest road race run in North America.

The Around the Bay Road Race takes place on Sunday March 25, 2018 and will result in road and lane closures between 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

• QEW Toronto-bound exit ramp to North Shore Boulevard East. Detour via Fairview Street

• North Shore Boulevard East, Niagara-bound entry ramp to the QEW. Detour via Fairview Street
• Plains Road West at York Boulevard. Detour via Highway 6 and 403

Traffic Lane Closures, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

• Southbound lane of King Road from Plains Road East to North Shore Boulevard East. Local access only. Northbound traffic is not affected

• Eastbound lane of North Shore Boulevard East and North Shore Boulevard West from Plains Road West to QEW exit ramp west of Joseph Brant Hospital. Westbound lane open to westbound traffic only

• Eastbound curb lane of Plains Road West from York Boulevard to North Shore Boulevard West. Two-way traffic will be maintained

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Mayors does a short interview from the front seat of a Smart car.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

March 21, 2018



My friend James Burchill, the shameless self-promoter and Master of the Side Hustle has a new gig.

He takes people out for a drive in his neat little Smart Car and does a video interview with his passenger.

The camera is mounted on the dashboard.

Mayor in Smart car with burchill

Mayor explaining the honorific that should be used when he is being addressed.

The come on James uses is the cup of coffee he is going to buy you; I’ve yet to see anyone with a cup of coffee in their hands.

The interviews run for about six to seven minutes; there have been a few that are actually memorable.

There is one coming up – it will be “premiered” on Friday.

James convinced the Mayor to take the drive. The really short clip is HERE. The Mayor comes across as a much more relaxed guy on this video. Rock Goldring has this need to use his hands to make his point – when he isn’t doing that he holds them in front of him so they don’t get away.

But in the front passenger seat of a car there isn’t much he can do with his hands so he has to rely on facial expressions and so we get to see a different Rick Goldring.

It really is worth watching.

The full interview will be shown on Friday.

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City appears to have a vision for the corner of Lakeshore Road and Brant - owner of the land knows nothing about the rendering.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

March 20th, 2018



It was a very nice drawing. Architects and planner call them renderings. They are used by the real estate agents selling property and frequently they don’t reflect what the end product is going to look like.

The Gazette has used the drawings on a number of occasions.

Brant lakeshore - Molinaro b

A rendering out of the fertile mind of someone in the city’s planning department? It didn’t come from the developer that owns the land. Corner of Lakeshore Road and Brant Street.

We were both surprised and a little stunned when we learned that while the property at the north east corner of Brant and Lakeshore is owned by the Molinaro Group – the rendering wasn’t produced by the Molinaro’s.

What? – you might ask.

Apparently the city planning department didn’t ask the Molinaro people for permission to put together a rendering – they just did it.

During a recent city council meeting there was considerable discussion on how high a building on that site should be? The debate had the height swinging from 23 then down to 17 then down to 15 and then down to 12 and then back up to 17.

The Molinaro Group owns the land but they say they haven’t even decided who the architect on the project might be.

Brant lakeshore - Molinaro rendering a

The rendering that reflects the thinking of the planning department – the owner of the property knows nothing about it and didn’t authorize it creation or use.

They are busy completing the Paradigm on Fairview and getting ready to start work on Brock 2 and continuing their discussions with the planners on their Brant/Ghent development that is working its way through the planning department.

When that fellow to the south of us (the American President) told some of his supporters that he just made up the international trade figures he gave to our Prime Minister we shrugged – that what he does; tells lies because he doesn’t know what the truth is.

survey04Has that habit worked its way across the border and into the Burlington Planning department?

Just asking.

Salt with Pepper are the opinions, musings and reflections of the Publisher of the Burlington Gazette

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Public school board trustees will be deciding on a recommendation to build a new administration building - $23 million +

News 100 blueBy Staff

March 20th, 2018



The easiest way to get this story out is to report that after deciding to close two of Burlington’s seven high schools the trustees will decide on Wednesday if they want to go forward with the building of a new administrative building at a cost of $23 million plus some ongoing financing that will have to be taken on.

The recommendation the trustees are going to debate is:

Be it resolved that the Halton District School Board direct the Director of Education to initiate the construction of a new administrative building on the J.W. Singleton Education Centre property, pending Ministry approval.

Stuart Miller

Director of Education Stuart Miller has put forward a staff recommendation to construct a new Board administration building.

In a report to the trustees Director of Education Stuart Miller set out the conclusion that he and his Superintendents arrive at goes like this:

The Halton District School Board is the largest single employer in the entire Halton region. With more than 8000 full and part time employees serving 65,000 students and their families, it is clear the Halton District School Board is a very significant part of the Region of Halton. Moreover, dozens of Halton-based businesses employing a multitude of Halton residents do business with and provide services to the Board, its students and its staff. With a budget of more than $760 million, it is also apparent the Board and its employees contribute greatly to the local economy.

aerial of site

If the trustees follow the staff recommendation Burlington will see a new multi storey structure at the north west intersection of Upper Middle Road and Guelph Line.

The staff who currently work in the J.W. Singleton Education Centre, New Street Education Centre and the Milton Learning Centre are vital to the work of the schools. Halton students and graduates are served very well by their teachers, educational assistants, school administrators and all school- based support staff. Indeed, Halton District School Board students perform consistently at or near the top when compared to other boards across the province.

This cannot occur without the support of those who work in the various Board offices. Vital operations such as information technology, payroll, human resources, purchasing, facility services, library services, academic consulting, student services (special education), financial services, senior management and the functions of the Board of Trustees all occur centrally. Each of these services, and more, provide essential support for both the achievement and well-being of the Halton District School Board’s students. The role of all central support staff is crucial to the continued success of all Halton District School Board students.

Current offices

Photographs of current administrative offices at the Singleton Centre on Guelph Line.

The current facilities that accommodate these staff are inadequate. There is insufficient space and the condition of the current buildings are found wanting. To meet the current needs, including AODA compliance, would require a significant investment of millions of dollars. In addition, retrofitting or renovations would result in the displacement of hundreds of personnel and several school operations.

The need for an administrative centre that provides a modern, efficient building that is fully accessible and adaptable to future needs, will have a positive impact on professional relationships, operations and ultimately student learning and well-being.

In the fall of 2017 the Halton Regional Police Services moved into a new headquarters on North Service Road. The building itself cost $54 million and was built on Region-owned land. This new headquarters will serve the police services and ultimately the citizens of Halton well into the future.

A new Halton District School Board education centre will serve the same purpose for the tens of thousands of students we serve, well into the future.

New HQ

New Regional Police HQ – due to be opened in the very near future.

Like the Halton Regional Police Services headquarters, which was situated on regional land, the new HDSB administrative centre would be placed on Board property. This will result in a savings of approximately $5.6 to $8.8 million dollars, as land would not have to be purchased. It is also more efficient and would allow the project to be started and completed in a shorter time period.

It is for these reasons staff are recommending a new education centre be constructed on the site of the current administrative centre, subject to the required approvals.

How did the Board get to this point and have you heard anything about it from your school board trustee?

The Halton District School Board has grown to 65,000 students, an increase of 35% in student population during the past 10 years. This has resulted in a corresponding increase in staff across the system. There are currently 388 staff assigned to both the J.W. Singleton Centre and New Street Education Centre. This number has increased during the years and will continue to increase, as enrolment grows, in order to provide support and oversight to ensure schools operate effectively.

Because of this growth, staff have been engaged in a study of accommodation needs of central administrative Board staff.

Five level bldg

Architects schematic of what would go where in a new School Board administrative building.

A February 4, 2015 initiated a review to determine if the Board offices are adequate to carry out the current and future functions of the Board. This report identified Snyder and Associates Inc. as the consultant to lead this study. Two phases were outlined. Phase one was a comprehensive needs assessment followed by phase two which provided options for consideration to address the needs identified in phase one.

A report to the Board in June 24, 2015 outlined the results of phase one, confirming that the current administrative spaces are inadequate to accommodate the current and growing needs of central staff and the functions they perform.

The second phase was a February 17, 2017 report that highlighted ideal proximity of departments for optimal synergies and the importance of centralizing all administrative functions of the Board at one site, ideally geographically central in the Board. The report confirmed the current practice of accommodating staff through reorganization and/or minor modifications/ renovations of current space is not a long term solution. Spaces are cramped, lacking privacy, meeting space is inappropriate, building systems are outdated and accessibility remains an issue.

The report identified the need for a facility that:

• is flexible and adaptable to future needs
• encourages collaboration and innovation
• provides a safe and inclusive environment
• is fully accessible for staff and the public
• enhances employee well-being to improve employee performance
• enhances community and board wide engagement

The report also outlined general specifications including square footage, cost and the number of staff to be accommodated.

An October 16, 2016 to the reported staff had been in contact with municipalities and a joint facility was not a likely option. Staff had also investigated available vacant land geographically central to the Board and determined there is no readily available vacant land.

The facility would require approximately eight acres of land. The report also outlined possible concept plans for two currently owned administrative centre lands: Gary Allan High School/New Street Education Centre and M.M. Robinson/J.W. Singleton Centre.

E.C. Drury Campus
During the course of the past 14 months, staff have investigated the potential use of the E.C. Drury site. This site is geographically located centrally within the Board which has some obvious advantages. The E.C. Drury site, however, is owned and operated by Provincial Schools. This is a complicating factor and to date staff have not been able to engage in the necessary discussions with the Province (Infrastructure Ontario) that would result in this piece of property being considered a viable option. Any further discussions would likely be long and arduous making this option less than ideal.

Land Availability
The consultants have suggested for a new location, eight acres would be sufficient to accommodate a new administration building. This site size would allow for unknowns such as site configuration, setbacks, easements, and future expansion. The Planning Department, supported by consultants Cushman & Wakefield, has confirmed there is currently very little available land central to the Board, including north Oakville or Milton that would meet the size and configuration requirements of a Board administrative office.

Potential Costs
Building a new facility would cost approximately $32 million (tender portion). The Ministry does not fund new administrative centres nor the acquisition of land for a new administrative facility. The Board must finance the construction and, if desired, land acquisition. The acquisition of property for school sites in North Oakville and Milton range in the $1.4 to $2.0 million per acre range. More specific to the Board’s needs for office/employment land, values in north Oakville or Milton are between $700,000 and $1,100,000 per acre, making the cost to purchase the land alone to be approximately $5.6-$8.8 million.

All options presented to the Board will result in a requirement to finance the construction of the new facility. In recognition that funds required to construct a facility would take several years to compile, the following recommendations to allocate funds to the Future Administrative Facility have been approved:

Allocation from Year-end Surplus:

December 2013) $ 1,125,291
November 2015) $2,500,000 Transfers within Accumulated Surplus:
November 2016) $8,919,579
Total $12,544,870

November 2016) $11,100,000

Total Funds Available for Future Administrative Facility $ 23,644,870

The balance of funds required to construct the new administrative facility would be secured through long-term financing. The principal and interest payments would be budgeted through the Board administration and governance funding envelope.

Ontario Regulation 193/10 restricts the amount of funds that can be used for the purposes of constructing administrative facilities. Under this regulation, the Board can only use proceeds of disposition which have been generated through the sale of a former administrative facility. Therefore, the Board cannot use proceeds of disposition generated from the sale of school sites.

Existing Administrative Office Sites
The utilization of existing Board property, either the J.W. Singleton Centre or New St. Education Centre site, would substantially reduce the total cost of the new administrative centre. The Board already owns both potential properties.

Renovating either existing building has been deemed to be problematic for the following reasons:

a. cost of retrofitting and updating the existing building
b. ongoing maintenance and operating costs of existing building
c. accessibility issues within the existing building

The M.M. Robinson H.S. property is approximately 33.6 acres in size, which includes J.W. Singleton Centre (see attachment). Although it is not identified as a separate piece of land, it is estimated the J.W. Singleton Centre site is approximately 5.7 acres in size. The New Street Education Centre/Gary Allan property consists of approximately of 14.67 acres, although the property is fragmented given the previous acquisitions of portions of the site to the City of Burlington.

The consultants have prepared schematic facility fit drawings confirming a 95,000 square foot admin centre could be placed on either property. If the Board were to move forward with building on either the J.W. Singleton Centre site or the New Street Education Centre site, an Official Plan Amendment and rezoning would be required. The Board’s Planning Department has identified the undertaking of an Official Plan Amendment and zoning amendment for the New Street Education Centre/Gary Allan site would likely be problematic, given the residential nature of the surrounding neighbourhood and the concerns related to a use that may not be compatible with the area.

street view of the site

If approved the building would be built on the north west corner of the Upper Middle Road – Guelph Line intersection in Burlington.

The location of the new administration centre on the existing J.W. Singleton Centre site would likely be less cause for concern from area residents. Locating a building at the northwest corner of Guelph Line and Upper Middle Road, would be more compatible to the adjacent land uses (i.e., retail malls to the east and southeast) and M.M. Robinson H.S., located to the west. Also, the location of a new administration centre on the current site, would allow for enhanced building exposure and street presence to ensure the Halton District School Board remains visible in the community.

Trustees - fill board +

The Halton District School Board trustees will decide if they want the administration to proceed with the construction of a new administrative building

The current location also offers better transportation/transit access due to its proximity to a major transportation corridors (Guelph Line/Upper Middle Road) as well as the QEW/403 and Highway 407, as compared to the New Street Education Centre/Gary Allan location. Planning staff believes the potential development of a new administrative centre at this location could provide for other office/retail opportunities that potentially could assist in the reducing the operating costs for the new administration centre.

survey01Does that sound like there will be a Tim Hortons included in the design.

Lastly, the location of the new administration centre at the existing location would ensure the current J.W. Singleton Centre workforce would be minimally impacted.

Get ready for the Burlington reaction to this one.

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Federal and provincial funds made available for Burlington projects.

News 100 redBy Staffsurvey01

March 19th, 2018



Fed + prov funding graphicThe governments of Canada and Ontario are working together to make long-term infrastructure investments to create economic growth, build inclusive communities and support a low carbon, green economy–leading to a higher quality of life for all Canadians.

Translation – this is how the government is going to use the taxes they collect – Over $18 million available in federal funding for local public transit projects in Burlington

These investments will help transform Canada in four priority areas: public transit; green infrastructure; community, culture and recreation infrastructure; and rural and northern community infrastructure.

Under the public transit stream, Burlington will receive over $18 million federally and $15 million provincially to build new urban transit networks and service extensions that will transform the way Canadians live, move and work.

One of the levels of government (it certainly wasn’t Burlington) provided a neat interactive map that lets you see where the funds are going and what the money will be spent on. Click here to check it out.



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The Herd will play their home opener against Hamilton Cardinals May 13th - it is the leagues 100th anniversary.

sportsgold 100x100By Staff

March 19th, 2018


Our home opener is on SATURDAY, May 12th at 1:05 p.m. vs. KITCHENER PANTHERS.

It is going to have to get a little bit warmer before the mind thinks it has just heard the crack of a bat. Not too far off – unless there is one more snow fall for us out there.

The Intercounty Baseball League (IBL) published their 2018 Schedule recognizing and celebrating its 100th anniversary.

Opening day logoEach team will again play a 36-game schedule. Weekends comprise a large majority of the schedule as 68% of the games will be played on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays (99 of the 144 games).

Burlington’s The Herd will host their first game when they meet the Kitchener Panthers on May 12th.

survey01The schedule for Herd home games is: Kitchener Panthers on May 12 and July 14, Barrie Baycats (2017 IBL Champions) May 17, June 17, July 12, rival Hamilton Cardinals May 19, June 7, July 7, Toronto Maple Leafs May 26, June 23, Brantford Red Sox, May 31, June 9, July 28, and London Majors June 2, July 5, July 21.

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Entrepreneurship with a side order of jazz is on this Wednesday!

eventsred 100x100By Staff

March 19th, 2018



Entrepreneurship, networking and jazz – will they work together?

Wendel Clark - Burlington

Wendel Clark’s Classic Grill and Sports Lounge, 380 Brant Street

Silicon Halton is holding a MeetUp 101 on Wednesday – 7:00 to 10:00 pm at Wendel Clark’s Classic Grill and Sports Lounge, 380 Brant Street

The invite is for those who own a business or work in one or the public sector and have an innovation and entrepreneurial mindset.

In environments characterized by uncertainty and continuous change, the success of our enterprises will depend on our capacity for innovation; figuring out stuff on the fly. To put it in other words, we will need to develop a capacity for improvisation. The essence of jazz is collective improvisation and depends on the spontaneous, dynamic and creative interplay of the performing artists. But improvising isn’t winging it! The freedom so essential for its performance, however, is grounded in a rigorous individual and collective discipline.

The makers of jazz music figured out a long time ago how a diverse but highly interdependent collection of individuals can perform collaboratively and put the theory of synergy into practice.

To the extent that improvisation is about experimentation and exploration, an innovative culture which fosters entrepreneurialism and inventiveness is essential.

survey01Added to the program is a short talk on: It is possible to be an entrepreneur and keep you “day job”. In fact, it’s possibly one of the most rewarding things you can do. We’ll show you why you should consider becoming a 10% entrepreneur and why it’s important in today’s day and age.

Already an entrepreneur? We’ll cover what it means to be a 110% entrepreneur too.

Tickets at Eventbrite.

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Freeman station is now in the final stretch to having the station ready for the public.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parrsurvey01

March 19th, 2018



The most impressive community development event in the city has to have been the saving of the Freeman train station.

The 1906 era railway station that served Burlington for ages was due to become scrap until a dedicated group of citizens pleaded with city council to be given an opportunity to save the structure. The members of the current council, with two exceptions, didn’t make it easy.

We are asked if we have to always bring this up – and yes we do. Because the day that a ribbon is cut to celebrate an Official opening of the station to recognize the financial support the city finally gave the Friends of Freeman Station(FoF) – you can bet the farm that every member of Council will be in the photo op, including those that didn’t support the idea.

They had every reason to be smiling. Councillors Meed Ward and Lancaster pose with five members of the Friends of Freeman Station after the Council meeting that approved the entering into of a Joint Venture that would have the Friends moving the station and taking on the task of renovating the building.

They had every reason to be smiling. Councillors Meed Ward and Lancaster pose with five members of the Friends of Freeman Station after the Council meeting that approved the entering into of a Joint Venture that would have the Friends moving the station and taking on the task of renovating the building.

The people that deserve the credit are those that put in weekend after weekend painting, sanding, sawing and moving things around the station.

The Freeman Station now has a very extensive collection of artifacts – most from citizens who remember the occasions when they caught a train from that station that used to be on the CN line off Brant just north of Fairview. Of course Fairview hasn’t always been a Burlington Street.

Basement - towards the entrance - before diorama

The basement space will house a computer control system fora historic model railway. The interactive, museum-quality model railway diorama will depict life in the village of Freeman (now part of Burlington) in the early 1900’s.

The transformed Freeman Station is close to being completed – the final drive to finish the basement level that will have model railway that will replicate what Burlington looked like when the railway station was a major mode of transportation.

There is still some work to be done on the flooring and some display case issues that need to be worked out.

One of the bigger problems is where to put everything – there is far too much to put everything on display at the same time.

The focus – and the big push at this point – is to make the best of the offer the city made: Raise $50,000 and the city will match it dollar for dollar. .

The FoF have had much success selling Whinstones. About 100 are sold and there are about 100 more available.

About 80 of the Whinstones are reserved for soldiers whose names are written on the Burlington Cenotaph. We know many soldiers left from the Freeman Station to go to war and we want to remember them in granite as well.

The scope of the restoration work can be seen - lots of work to be done. willing hands ready to do it. Give the Friends of Freeman a call - they will keep you busy for the next while.

That pile of stones are a big part of the city’s history. They used to be used as ballast in ships that tied up at Burlington wharves. They are being sold as part of the fund raising program.

The fund raising committee wants to sell the remaining 100 Whinstones at $100 each that will generate $10,000 that will be matched by the city. Those who purchase a Whinstone also get a tax receipt for the full $100 amount for their 2018 tax year. Once we sell the last one later this year – the donor’s names will go on the north wall of the Station.

The FoF have received over $10,000 in donations since January 1, 2018. That $200,000 target is very real – so there is a lot of work to do.

A Spaghetti Dinner night is an idea that is being thought about. One of the biggest problems on the fund raising side is getting people to take on the organizing of these events. The FoF volunteers tend to be people who are good at woodworking and refurbishing stuff. They need help on event management.

There are about 3 T-shirts in Blue size XL for $25 each and a dozen mugs at $40 each which includes a mug (with a picture of the Station on it) +$10 Tim Card (with a picture of the Station on it) plus a 1 year membership card (with a picture of the Station on it).

This is a project that has brought out the best in the city. They need a bit of a boost to get over this last hump.

Freeman station Sept 18-17

The Freeman Station just before sunset.

What happens when the work is done and the station is ready for the public on a regular basis? What will the hours be? What will the station need in terms of staffing? The building belongs to the city even though the volunteers have made it as valuable as it is.

Could – should the Freeman station become part of the Museums of Burlington operation?

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Seniors will get to hear students doing a Band Extravaganza

News 100 yellowBy Staff

March 19th, 2018



Approximately 900 Halton District School Board Grade 7 and 8 music students representing 24 elementary schools, will be convening for two special days of music collaboration, called Band Extravaganza on Tuesday, March 27 and Wednesday March 28, 2018.

Students playing instrumentsThe event will be held each day at the Burlington Music Centre (2311 New Street) and Burlington Seniors’ Centre (2285 New Street).

Students will start each day with a concert by the Halton Junior Jazz Band. Afterward, students will travel to breakout clinics specifically for their instrument and will later convene for a massed band rehearsal with guest conductors both days.

This should work out to be a great opportunity for the seniors.

This year, the Board has commissioned two original concert band compositions for this event: The Call to Adventure, by composer David Marlatt, and The Conquest by Ryan Meeboer, a teacher at Alexander’s Public School in Burlington.

These pieces will be directed by the composers and played for the first time by Halton students.

survey01“The students are looking forward to rehearsing and performing in this massed band as it is inspirational and grandiose,” said Rebecca MacRae, the Board’s Instructional Program Leader (The Arts, K-12). “Music performance is the major curriculum connection during Band Extravanagza, as the students learn and perform two brand new pieces in one day.”

Long and McQuade of Burlington is generously providing music equipment and clinicians. Halton Board music teachers will also be directing instrumental workshops with students.

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Mike Quackenbush is out of the ward 3 municipal race - is Taylor still in?

council 100x100By Staff

March 18th, 2018



Mike Quackenbush advised the Gazette earlier today that he has “made the decision not to run in this year’s municipal election.”

Quackenbush Mike

Mike Quackenbush decides the time isn’t right for him in municipal politics.

“Instead, I will be using the next four years to clear a couple tasks off of my to-do list, while remaining involved and working towards our collective ambition – a better city.

“At 27 years old, I know already that public service is in my future. I need to make sure that the various organizations which I hold a leadership role with are continued to be setup for long-term success, before I refocus my energy on the city as a whole.

“You can believe that my name will be on the ballot in 2022.”

Probably a wise move on Mike Quackenbush’s part. There are two admirable candidates in the race plus the incumbent. There is also two candidates who ran in 2014 and appeared to express some interest in the 2018 election. Lisa Cooper has a bit of a profile in the ward having run on at least four past elections.



He has been a consistent advocate for the rural part of the city. Has been treated quite shabbily at times by his council colleagues.

Taylor in full campaign mode greeting a voter.

Taylor in full campaign mode during an election many years ago greeting a voter.

John Taylor, the incumbent is understood to have met with a number of those who intend to challenge the seat he has held for close to 25 years.

Based on what the Gazette is picking up as it makes the rounds of events, Taylor is at risk. Even some of his Lowville loyalists think he might want to consider getting out of politics at the top of his game – a defeat at this point in a career during which he has served the people if his ward very well would be hard to swallow.survey01

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The Irish eyes were smiling in Lowville Saturday night

eventsblue 100x100By Pepper Parr

March 18th, 2018


Ruth Coverdale played drums and Joan Fox played the Guitar.

It was an Irish event without the Guinness.

A healthy little crowd gathered at the Lowville United Church for a Lowville Festival fundraiser that celebrated the Irish in the community.

Woman on guitar

Joan Fox played the Guitar.

The music was fine; they sang every Irish song you’ve ever heard and closed with wen Irish eyes are smiling, done by Rob Missen Loretta Baily and Bronwyn, the daughter of Minister Daryl Weber who wasn’t able to attend – flu.

Stuart Laughton, a musician who plays a number of instruments did a really cute little piece on what he called a tin whistle and then added a number of ballads that were very nicely done. Someone named George told stories which gave the evening a nice local feeling.

fat lady

Ruth Coverdale, marking up the music during the Irish eyes are smiling concert in Lowville. She played the drums

The music was the draw – the health of the community church is what people in the foyer wanted to talk about after the concert – the size of the congregation is the challenges they are facing.

Missen and Loretta

Bob Missen and Loretta Bailey doing Irish eyes are smiling – the closing piece for a really enjoyable community concert.

The pastor has what is known as a two point parish – he handled two churches. The Nelson United Congregation decided some time ago to sell their property and join the Tansley congregation which meant the cost of running the church fell on Lowville. It isn’t something they are going to be able to do for very long.

Like almost every church in Burlington, the congregation is made up of seniors’ who are looking for a way to keep their church alive. They are not without ideas but it is a serious challenge.

More on that story as it evolves.

Nisan at Lowville

Rory Nisan, a yet to be announced candidate for the Ward 3 seat at the Lowville United Church on Saturday.

Ward Councillor John Taylor didn’t make an appearance – the church is often ground zero for Taylor. Two of the numerous people who have their eye on the council seat Taylor has held for more than 20 years were in attendance, shaking hands and making themselves known.

Gareth in Lowville MArch

Gareth Williams, on the left attended the Irish eyes are Smiling concert at the Lowville United Church.

We got a good look at the campaigning skills of Rory Nisan and Gareth Williams; one of the two was much much better than the other.

There are three other people who are understood to be interested in the ward 3 council seat. It should prove to be a lively election in that ward.

During the chit chat with people after the concert it became clear that the congregation doesn’t expect to see much support from the city even though they feel they deserve some help.

The good news announced that evening was the dates for the fourth annual Lowville Festival – June 8th to 10th – with two top name performers on the program.

Bob Missen who handles some of the talent was keeping the names close to his chest and has asked that we not announce who they are quite yet. Both will take the Festival one more step to becoming an event that people will plan to attend.

Leona Boyd was on the stage last year – the Festival organizers have improved on that; they expect to  announce the program for next June very soon.

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Girl struck by mini van on Dundas; in hospital in critical condition.

Crime 100By Staff

March 18th, 2018



An 11 year old girl riding a bicycle east on Dundas Street east of Sutton Drive was struck by an east bound minivan at just before 6:30 pm. The girl was transported to McMaster Children’s Hospital by Halton Regional Paramedic Services where she remains in critical condition.

Police cruiserThe Halton Regional Police are investigating.

Due to the life threatening nature of her injuries, the Collision Reconstruction Unit has taken carriage of the investigation.

Any witnesses who have not spoken to police are asked to contact the Collision Reconstruction Unit at (905)825-4747 ext: 5065.

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Teaching girls to become radiant during Spring Break; it worked!

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

March 17th, 2018



Planning for Spring Break – what are the options for parents?

Is it just part of the school year when parents have to find something else for the kids to do outside the classroom? Is it a time for a holiday break?

Time to go skiing or go south and frolic on a beach?

It can get expensive but households that have both parents working need to do something – the last thing a parent wants is to have kids wandering around aimlessly.

At some point someone or somebody is going to have to come up with programmes for parents of moderate means that keeps the kids out of trouble and harms way.

Gina Faubert is a “personal coach” who has a string of initials after her name that certifies her to work with people on their health and their life issues – and we all have those don’t we.

Donations and Nina

Some of the food donations in the background – the four girls raised $1500 in cash – the balance of the $5000 raised was in food and Cash Card donations.

Along with the career that includes a very robust coaching practice she has a sideline that is a special project for her; she calls it Radiant Girls where the focus is on working with girls on their leadership skills and their personal sense of self-worth.

After watching Faubert take four girls through the last day of a Spring Break session one comes away with the sense that this for her is a personal passion.  She lets the group set their own pace but is there to remind them of just what the objective is. The experience gained through the full time coaching practice is used to work with girls that are going to grow up in a world a lot different than their parents.

Preparing the LEGO path

Cashelmara in the background, Nina and Zoe prepare the LEGO for the traditional 23 foot walk that they stretched to 41 feet..

The March Break program this year started out with 11 students but got cut back to four with last minute decision changes. So, while the class was smaller – it was what it was supposed to be – an opportunity for a group of girls who didn’t know each other when the week started to set out with an objective and make it happen.

Sending the video to FAcebook

Nina, Dana Sperling and Gina Faubert setting up the cell phones to broadcast the LEGO walk live to a Facebook page.

Faubert describes the program as one where girls will develop self-love, self-expression and emotional intelligence skills. Girls will learn the importance of being brave and kind; discover the power of gratitude and the meaning of empathy. It is all this as well as a leadership camp designed to teach girls between 11-15 how to make a difference in their community which they do by designing and implementing a charity fundraiser for underprivileged youth in Burlington.

Walking the LEGO path

Nina and Hayley do the LEGO walk on the 41 foot pathway they laid out.

The program adds in a physical challenge – a 25 foot LEGO walk – yup – they set out 25 feet  (turned out to be 41 feet) of LEGO in a pathway which the walk over in the bare feet. It isn’t as painful as it sounds but these girls didn’t know that when they started.

The organization the fund raising was going to be done for was determined beforehand. What the girls had to do was design and then execute the program.

Funds were going to be raised for the community homes unit of the ROCK – the Reach Out Centre for Kids. The group getting whatever was raised was the EarlyON Program.

The girls first had to learn about who they were raising funds for and then figure out how they were going to do it.  These were girls who had no idea that there were people who weren’t as fortunate as they were. Food challenged households were just not a part of the world they lived in.

The four girls did a remarkable job of raising $5000 in cash, food donations and toys.  The manager of the Michael’s No Frills on Guelph south of Dundas made a donation and added to that the donation of a $100 Cash Card every month for the balance of the year.

They did this by cold calling on people and making phone calls asking for donations. This too was not the world they lived in day to day.


When everyone had done the 41 foot LEGO walk there is a celebration: Nina, Gina and Hayley share high fives.

All they had was the five days to get to know each other, make the accommodation and adjustments for the different personalities and learn to work together. There were significant differences in where each girl was on in their physical and emotional development with one girl bringing significant learning ability issues to the group.

While our time with the group was limited – it wasn’t hard to see how they worked through the challenges with Faubert reminding them of what they had been taught earlier in the week.

We live in a world where #metoo and #timesup are part of the language we use. Faubert wants to ensure that these girls have a strong sense of who they are and that they have real potential and will never experience #metoo.

The week long session ended with the girls gathered around an outdoor fire to review what they had learned and enjoy some S’mores, a delicacy I had never heard of  –  chocolate melted on Graham crackers with marshmallows.  These were Halal marshmallows. We do live in changing times.


Thank you notes

Hayley writes out personal thank you notes to everyone who helped raise the finds for the EarlyON provincial program run by the ROCK people.

Did it work? Hard to say but the four girls that started the session on the Monday were different girls on the Friday. Besides doing something that made a difference for someone else they came away with skills they didn’t have when they started.

I wondered what the hashtag they create might be.

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