Aldershot resident believes city council has betrayed the citizens of Burlington.

opinionandcommentBy Tony Schafer

February 8th, 2018


Having attended meetings of the ECOB, the mayor’s reverse Town Hall and the January 23, 2018 committee meeting, I get an overall sense that this Council has betrayed the citizens of Burlington.

You seek our support to get elected. We elect you because we believe you will represent our interests. We work with you to develop a vision of what we want our city to become in the future and this is reflected in the Official Plan (OP). You then embark on a history of deal-making with developers that ignores this plan and what was at one time our collective vision of the future.

The introduction by staff at the January 23 committee meeting included a detailed history of many meetings held to engage the citizens of Burlington in the development of a new OP. It seems you wanted to convince us that staff and Council had done everything it could to get our input. Unfortunately for us citizens, your feedback of the way this was playing out was poorly communicated and whether this was by accident or design we will never know.

Approval of the 23-storey building across from City Hall was a wakeup call that you had your own agenda, and that a new OP would have no more integrity with this Council than the last OP. That was the first time it became crystal clear to me that the vision of the future was being formed by a small cadre (with one exception) of omnipotent demigods we call Council.

Debby Morrison

Debby Morrison

Lisa delegation

Lisa Kierns – delegating.


Citizens – waiting to delegate.

The people of Burlington who have come forward in the debate on the new OP overwhelmingly oppose what you are doing. While this may not be a large enough sample to extrapolate this opposition to the entire population of Burlington, it should provoke you to give pause in this process and seek a new vote of confidence from the people to proceed.

In a February 1 article in the Burlington Post, the deputy City Manager is quoted as saying “by delaying the approval, Burlington would lose an opportunity to shape how growth and change in the city and downtown is going to occur”. Since we are talking about an OP that looks decades into the future, it is a huge stretch of credibility to believe that a delay of several months until after the municipal election will make any difference in how this plan unfolds.

If you truly believe that the majority of our citizens support your plan then you should have no concern with putting your belief to a test with an election.

On the other hand if you persist in ramming this unwanted OP down our throats, we can only hope that there will be a sufficient slate of new candidates in the fall election so that this Council, will be removed from office in a free and democratic vote, and replaced by elected officials who will work with the citizens of this community to develop an OP that truly represents a vision of the future that we can all buy into.


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The pictures tell the story - how are we looking?

background 100By Pepper Parr

February 8th, 2018



The look of a building says a lot about the people in it.

It is sort of like the way you dress – you are making a statement.

In the municipal world the opening statement is the look of city hall and then the look of the council chamber.

A look at the way that city council communicates with its citizens is another part of the way a city administration is seen.

The Gazette decided to look at other city council chambers and compare them with what we have in Burlington.  All the images used were taken from the web site of the municipality.

Our focus was on what a citizen sees when they go on line to watch their civic government doing the business of the people.

Visual - city council full

Fuzzy image is the best the Gazette could get from the city web site.

Oakville in COW

Oakville Town Council sitting as a Committee. Note the timer that tells a delegator how much time they have to speak.

Region - Carr

Regional Chair Gary Carr.

Full region

Regional Council – even though it is a wide angle picture it is still possible to tell who the members are.

Milton full council

Milton Council

Milton - member speaking

Milton council members are in focus.

Milton delegation

A citizen delegating to the Town at a Milton Town Council meeting

Oakville staffer

When Town staff are speaking in Oakville the document they are referring to is shown on a screen as well as the person speaking. A viewer can follow the explanation being given.

Oakville delegation

In Oakville anyone watching the proceedings has a clear image of the person delegating with their name shown.

Our comparatives were: The Regional government which is located in Oakville, the Milton council chamber and the council Chambers in Oakville and Halton Hills.


Citizens of Burlington at a council meeting – this is the way the world sees us.

Lisa delegation

A Burlington delegator: Lisa Kearns deserved better.

Debby Morrison

Deb Morrison

The images of delegations in Burlington are fuzzy, hard to identify and the speaker is not identified.

Web cast technology is being very well used in our sister municipalities in the Region.  Burlington’s web image is of exceptionally poor quality.  Doesn’t live up to the Grow Bold, Grow Smart and Grow Beautiful statement that comes out of city hall.




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Long time Burlington resident can remember when there was a strong citizen's association. Wants city council to slow down on OP approval.

opinionandcommentBy Jim Barnett

February 7th, 2018



City staff did a lot of hard work putting together Grow Bold, a draft of the new Operating Plan for the city. It now appears that they did most of their work without very much in the way of asking the citizens what they wanted in the city going forward before it was published. After it was published, they then began a number of initiatives to engage with the public to introduce the Mobility Hub concepts.

The presentations were primarily used to sell what was in the Plan, give outside pressure from other layers of government as justification for a number of the conclusions reached and to keep the time line for passage as short as possible.

Reverse town hall 1

Jim Barnett at Mayor Rick Goldring’s Reverse Town Hall.

With each passing week the citizenry became more concerned . While there were a number of meetings, there was almost no dialogue. Even in the Reverse Town Hall, a new term, dialogue was discouraged. The essence of Town Hall Meetings is to encourage dialogue!

Then the bombshell. 421 Brant went from 12 to 17 to 23 stories!

421 Brant

The 421 Brant project was a surprise to many – they weren’t aware of the development and stunned at the height approved.

At the last committee meeting on the subject there were over 30 delegations, more than 90 percent against the plan and its current amendments,


I suggest the following.

1. The bombshell woke people up to what was happening to their city and they did not like it.

2. The Plan has four Mobility Hubs. Yet the downtown is very different from the others on the Go Train line. The downtown should have its own set of criteria, its own set of restrictions in the precincts and its own name such as Historic District.

3. A Transportation plan in general and Transit in particular are not in the proposal. People realize that you have to get people in and out and around the area efficiently and needs to be part of the plan, not something that is done sometime in the future.

4. Parking in the downtown area is insufficient now. What will it be like with all the planned new construction. Increased parking ratios for residences, visitors and commercial units in this area need to be increased now.

5. Affordable housing in the area keeps being mentioned as a necessity by some yet they do not come forward with a method to accomplished this. This needs to be corrected.

6. The Plan will and its iterations will affect Burlington for a long time , 25 to 40 years. There is no reason to not take whatever time is necessary to get it right and get the majority of the citizens on side. The timing of the municipal election should not be the issue.


Planning department expects to bring an updated Official Plan to council for adoption.

7. A plan has numbers so one can measures progress and if necessary take corrective action suggested by actual results not meeting the plan. The current proposal is almost devoid of actionable numbers. This a major shortfall in the proposed “plan”. The current draft is more of an essay than a plan.

8. There has been a suggestion that a meeting be called, under the chair of a moderator, where say 10 representatives of council and staff and 10 from those who have delegated spend a day to try and find common ground. This appears to have great merit. Lets hope the Mayor encourages the dialogue.

9. Past practice is for the Planning Department to grant deviations on property if in their opinion ” community benefits” are derived. This practice should be greatly curtailed.

10. There needs to be a large dedicated food shopping area in the plan. Otherwise, a walk able downtown plan is not complete.

Rick Craven: Best committee chair the city has; not big on the warm fuzzy stuff through. Needs a hug badly.

Councillor Rick Craven – represents ward 1

11. The Councillor for ward one, at the council meeting on January 29, expressed his concern that there had been little feed back from the BIA or the Chamber of Commerce. I would think the planning department has an obligation to get submissions from both of these groups before proceeding. It should be noted that individual business delegations to council presented a number of short comings in the plan.

12. Joan Little, our columnist emeritus suggests that when the citizens and the developers are equally unhappy then council has it right. A better conclusion would be if everybody is annoyed, then there is a lot of work to be done.

In my opinion the process has been flawed. It is up to the council to take the time to get it right.

Jim Barnett is an east end Burlington resident who recalls the time when there was a strong citizens association.

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Young male arrested for stabbing - held for bail hearing and two parole violations.

Crime 100By Staff

February 7th, 2018


On February 7th, 2018 at approximately 11:25am, police responded to a residence in the area Cortland Drive and Waterloo Street in Burlington after receiving information of a stabbing.

Halton police - good angleUpon arriving to the residence police confirmed that a male had sustained serious injuries as a result of stab wounds. The victim was rushed to Hamilton General Hospital by paramedics for medical treatment.
Investigation revealed the stabbing occurred as a result of a verbal and physical altercation within the residence.

Investigation has also revealed that all persons involved in this matter have been identified and are known to one another.

Police have identified the accused as Hayden Scott ERMEL (19 years old) of no fixed address. The accused was held for a bail hearing for the following offences:

• Aggravated Assault
• Robbery
• Weapons Dangerous
• Break and Enter – Commit
• Breach of Probation x 2

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Detective Phil Vandenbeukel of the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825-4747 ext. 2343. Tips can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers “See something? Hear something? Know something? Contact Crimestoppers” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at

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Vehicle set ablaze in the driveway of a home on Bluegrass Lane by suspected arsonist.

Crime 100By Staff

February 7th, 2018



The Halton Regional Police are investigating an arson incident to a parked motor vehicle on Bluegrass Lane in the City of Burlington.

On Monday February 5, 2018 at 11:45 PM, an unknown male culprit attended at a residence on Bluegrass Lane.

HRPS crestThe male culprit was carrying a gas canister and proceeded to use the fuel to start a fire to a parked Ford motor vehicle in the driveway of a residence.

The motor vehicle was started on fire and the culprit ran away with the gas canister. Neighbours in the area became aware of the fire situation and observed the male person running away with the gas canister.

The Burlington Fire Department attended and put out the fire which had destroyed the Ford motor vehicle.

The occupants of the residence were able to exit the premise without any injury and there was no fire damage to the residence.

The male culprit is believed to have run off and gotten into a white coloured full size pickup truck and left the area. The description of the male culprit was that of a person with a lean build, possibly 20 to 30 years old.

The Halton Regional Police Service is requesting the assistance of the public to help solve this crime. The location of the incident on Bluegrass Lane is near the intersection of Pathfinder Drive and Dryden Avenue in the City of Burlington.

Homeowners in the area and motorists driving in the area at that time are requested to review external home security video or motor vehicle dashcam video that may be recorded on Monday February 5, 2018 around 11:45 PM.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the 30 Division Criminal Investigation Bureau (Contact: Detective Constable Scott Feddema) at 905-825-4747 ext. 2372 or 2315.
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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Snow event declared by the city - all cars have to be off the street by 7 am Wednesday.

notices100x100By Staff

February 6th, 2018



Get your car off the street – the city has declared Wednesday February 7, a “snow event”, beginning at 7 a.m.

All snow plows and salt trucks will be dispatched throughout the city.

Environment Canada is forecasting 10 cm of snow to fall Wednesday, Feb. 7.

As of 7 a.m., all vehicles parked on the street must be removed and parking exemptions are void. Failure to remove vehicles from residential roads could result in being ticketed or possibly towed to allow snow plows and other heavy machinery to safely navigate the narrow streets.

Cars will be towed at the owner’s expense.

Snow plows - tandem on Fairview

Tandem snow plows on Fairview

If residents notice a vehicle on their street, they are encouraged to kindly ask the owner to remove the vehicle or call Parking Control during business hours at 905-335-7816 (Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.) or after-hours, Halton Regional Police Service at 905-878-5511. (Ask for “dispatch” and police will send a parking officer).

Residents are also asked for their patience as clearing all 1,900 km of roads can take up to 24 hours and 850 km of sidewalks can take up to 72 hours to clear.

Mark Adam, Manager of Road Operations said: “During a declared snow event, there is no parking allowed on the street and all exemptions are cancelled. Our crews need to get through our narrow residential streets or else we can’t complete the plowing.

“The city thanks all the residents in advance for their cooperation and patience during our snow clearing operations.”

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Comments on the cycling survey - are the right questions being asked?

News 100 greenBy Staff

February 6th, 2018



Joe Gaetan is a Burlington resident who lives in a high rise on Maple Avenue.

He cycles about 1,250 km a year in Burlington and another 250 km while vacationing in Palm Springs CA

Gaetan finds Palm Springs a much better place to cycle than Burlington, mainly because of their wider streets.

The Cycling survey is online.

He completed the online Cycling Plan survey and has some comments:


Do sharrows give a false sense of security?

“In terms of increasing the amount of cycling, I don’t believe there is much Burlington can do that will cause me to cycle more. But here are few things than could be considered when reaching out to us in surveys. I am not a big fan of cycling sharrows as I believe they give one a false sense of security and I go out of my way to avoid using streets that have sharrows.”

Here are some things/comments ideas etc. that impact cycling and could possibly be added to the survey.

Will this MAyor on this bike ever get to ride on a separate and safe bike lane on the LAkshore Road? Not if they MAyor folds at city council this evening.

Mayor Goldring on his bike, Councillor Dennison on roller blades – a photo op.

Cycling Frequency ( how often and how far)
Daily, weekly, kms. cycled per year etc
In which months do you cycle using check boxes Jan to Dec

Why I don’t cycle to certain destinations?
Fear of having bike stolen
Location and type of bike stands

Things I fear the most as a cyclist:
Distracted drivers
City buses
Pick-up trucks with large side mirrors
Young children suddenly crossing my path
Pedestrians with head phones

Cycling driver dooring a cyclist

Driver education.

Why do I cycle?

Things I would like to see
Bike licensing ($5 per person vs bike we have 4 bikes)
Mandatory lights and bells
A cycling awareness program to cyclists, pedestrians, motor vehicle owners
Something on electric bicycles

The city is well into the construction of the Elgin Promenade – a bike/walking path that runs from Brant to Martha and will connect with the Centennial Path.

Elgin promenade

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Disruption - understand it before it disrupts your company.

eventsorange 100x100By Staff

February 6th, 2018



Technology and disruption are among today’s hottest buzzwords.

But how are technological developments going to affect your business? What should you be doing about it?

How can you avoid the trap of doing nothing until it’s too late?

Alfredo Tan

Alfredo Tan

The people at the DeGroote School of Business are inviting people to join their GTHA executive network on February 15 for a thought-provoking conversation about the future of work.

Alfredo Tan, Chief Digital and Innovation Officer, WestJet, formerly of Facebook Canada, will share why every company and every industry will be affected by technology, and what you can do to prepare.

The event is open to alumni, business community members, and students.

Online registration.


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Damoff to offer the popular Women in Leadership class again.

eventsred 100x100By Staff

February 6th, 2018



After overwhelmingly positive feedback from last year’s initiative, Pam Damoff, MP for Oakville North-Burlington has announced the launching the Young Women in Leadership program for the second year in a row during the week of April 9-13, 2018.

Damoff with big wide open smiles

Pam Damoff, Member of Parliament for Oakville North Burlington.

The program will offer young women in Halton an opportunity to job-shadow in a local business, agency, organization, or government. Damoff is seeking local businesses and organizations, as well as young women currently in high school, pursuing post-secondary education or just starting out in their careers, to participate in this year’s program.

Damoff Women in leadership

The Damoff Women in leadership class of 2017.

Work experiences are a critical component of preparing youth for transition to adulthood. The need for a career shadow initiative for young women came out of a roundtable on women’s empowerment that I hosted on International Women’s Day in 2016. The goals of the Young Women in Leadership Program are to support young women in:

• developing an understanding of different occupations in order to make informed career choices
• increasing knowledge of specific occupational skills and workplace settings
• gaining career readiness skills, including the “soft skills” that employers look for in entry level workers
• building confidence in professional environments

The program will require commitment of one day throughout the week of April 9-13. Those interested in participating this year as a mentor, please contact the Program Coordinator, Elexa Stevenson, at or call the Damoff office at 613-992-1338.

If you are interested in participating this year as a mentee, please fill out this Google form. Please indicate your interest by March 16, 2018 at the latest.


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Sims Square site was once a public park - city purchased the office tower for $17.5 million.

News 100 blueBy Staff

February 6th, 2018



The City of Burlington is the new owner of 390 Brant St., known as Sims Square, becoming the building’s landlord and preserving key office space in downtown Burlington.

The city has been leasing space at 390 Brant St. for employee use since 2005. The city uses 21,736 square feet of the building, which is one third of the building’s leasable floor space, to house four city departments and project teams.

Sims Square

The property was once a city park.

City operations at 390 Brant St. include the Finance, Legal and Human Resources departments as well as some services from Capital Works and Parks and Recreation, including Festivals and Events.

The six-storey building has 61,000 square feet, a surface parking lot and underground parking.

The city will maintain the current tenants and contracts to ensure seamless operation of 390 Brant St. All existing leases in the building will remain in place with few changes to the current operation of the building.
Mary Lou Tanner, Deputy City Manager said: “Buying the building and property at 390 Brant St. positions the city to ensure that existing office tenants are maintained and that quality space continues to be available for future employment generation in the downtown.

The purchase of 390 Brant St., 17.5 million is considered a strategic acquisition. Possession took place on February 5, 2018. It will protect office use in downtown Burlington and will be a financially sustainable investment for the City of Burlington.”

The location was once a city park.

The city is committed to creating and maintaining a vibrant and active downtown with a healthy economy that includes office space.

Hotel on lower Brant Street

The building to the north is now the Queen’s Head – can anyone read the name on the hotel on the pictre? The building to the south is now Wendel Clark’s – the property in between the two was once owned by the city and used as a park – sold in the 1980’s for the construction of an office tower.

The city sold the  Sims Square property in the 1980s to help create office space in the downtown.

The city will manage and operate Sims Square as a distinct business unit separate from City Hall operations.
Councillor Jack Dennison has been pressing the city to buy the building for years – arguing that the amount paid in rent would have paid for the building years ago.

The city media release said the purchase “preserves key office space” – was there ever a chance that the build would be demolished? The closing date was a scant five days after the city council approved the purchase of the property.


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That was a quick arrest - store is still closed.

Crime 100By Staff

February 5th, 2018


Police investigating suspected arson a Downtown Burlington Tim Horton’s have identified the two suspects sought in connection with this investigation.

Front of store

$600,000 estimated damage

Both suspects have been arrested; one was released unconditionally after it was determined he was not involved with setting the fire.

The second male, Travis Donald PEDDLE (33-yrs) of Burlington was released on a Promise to Appear in Milton Court on March 7th 2018 charged with arson and fail to comply with probation.

Damage estimates are now in excess of $600,000.00

The fire was observed shortly before 2:30 AM on January 25th. Halton Regional Police and Burlington Fire Department responded to a fire call at the Tim Horton’s located at 601 Brant Street in Burlington.

The fire which originated in an exterior garbage can was extinguished but not before causing damage to the front of the building and smoke damage inside.

The investigation revealed that at approximately 1:47 AM, two suspects attended the front of the Tim Horton’s which was closed at the time. One of the suspects was observed on video surveillance tampering with the garbage can briefly before both continued to walk away. Within minutes, a large volume of smoke could be seen coming out of the same garbage bin and continued to burn and spread until eventually it was noticed by a passerby who then called 911.

Anyone with additional information regarding this arson is asked to contact Detective Constable Jacques Brunelle of the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825-4747 ext. 2334. 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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Three candidates (plus the incumbent?) plan on getting their name on the ballot of ward 3.

News 100 redBy Staff

February 5th, 2018


ECoB has announced a Municipal Election Candidate Workshop that will be held at Tansley Woods on Thursday February 22nd – starting at 7 pm

ecob signECoB – Engaged Citizens of Burlington – has done a lot of the early heavy lifting to raise public interest in what city council is doing. A small group – the real change makers always start out as small groups in church basements, they are still open to accepting volunteers.

There are a number of people, three we believe, that will be looking to oust Ward 3 Councillor John Taylor from his 20 year plus perch around the horseshoe.

Ward 3 map 72x650

Councillor John Taylor

All three are male; all are keeping their powder dry for the moment. All three are commendable. In the past the ward has produced some pretty pathetic candidates.

The three men are each worth serious consideration.

Pity is that the talent they offer is all in the one ward.

There is a potential candidate in ward 1 – she is going to need some coaxing – she too would bring a new look to that ward.

Ward 2 map

Councillor Marianne Meed Ward

Ward 2 has at least two strong potentials – they are waiting until the current Councillor Marianne Meed Ward makes it official and announces that she will be running for Mayor.

Wards 4 and 5 could well be headed for acclamation. Dennison will be very hard to beat, he is part of the geography. Ward 5 produced the current Mayor and the announced candidate for Mayor, Mike Wallace. No new talent has surfaced – yet. That well seems to have gone dry.

Ward 6 map

Councillor Blair Lancaster

Ward 6 has a very strong potential candidate who has served the city very well in the past. In private conversations she has expressed interest.

Ward 4 map-220x299

Ward 4 – Jack Dennison is part of the geography.

Ward 5 map

Councillor Paul Sharman

This could turn out to be a very interesting municipal election.

And of course there is the election of school board trustees – there is just one assured of a return to the School Board. Amy Collard has earned the right to be acclaimed again.

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City has begun to gather data that will be used to shape the Cycling Plan.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

February 4th, 2018



City Hall is inviting the public to share their thoughts and ideas about what would improve cycling in Burlington.

The feedback will be used to help shape the city’s new Cycling Plan which will guide the future of cycling infrastructure in the city.

Burlington is at a unique time in its history. In the past, growth has meant the development of new neighbourhoods but growth in the future looks very different for Burlington because our city has very little room left for traditional suburban-type development.

Cycling survey photo

Cycling as the city seems to want to portray it. Is it a realistic picture?

Instead of growing out, Burlington City Council has made the decision to grow up and intensify in key urban areas. This direction, approved through the city’s Strategic Plan in April 2016, will enable Burlington to curb sprawl, protect the rural area and make efficient use of land and infrastructure.

The 2016 Census data shows Burlington grew by 7,535 people between 2011 and 2016 – a 4.3% overall growth rate. The provincial Places to Grow policy mandates that Burlington plan for a population of 193,000 by 2031, however, the city will reach this population number within the next few years.

As the city plans for future population growth with documents like the proposed new Official Plan and Mobility Hubs, it must also plan for how people will move through the city.

Over the last 30 years, Burlington’s transportation network has accommodated growth by building more roadways. This strategy is no longer sustainable. The city does not have the space to build new roadways and the financial cost to maintain a larger network of roads is significant.

A 21st century city is built around a different transportation model, one designed to provide people of all ages and abilities with more travel choices for things like walking, transit and cycling.

Burlington’s Cycling Plan was last updated in 2009. Since that time, the following cycling investments have been made:

Implementation of over 200 kilometers of on-road and off-road cycling infrastructure

Trail - CentennialFour metre-wide multi-use paths paved along hydro corridors

The New Street Pilot Project was an experiment to reduce road capacity and add on-road buffered bike lanes.

That idea didn’t work out; after considerable public reaction the city decided to abandon that initiative. What city hall learned was that is was going to have to be much more transparent when new initiatives are being brought forward.

Among current initiatives are:

Consideration given to include cycling facilities as part of all new road reconstruction projects with a preference for implementing on-road bike lanes

The use of bright green pavement markings at major intersections to clearly mark cycling lanes.

The new Cycling Plan will build on these successes and recommend new programs and policies that seek to provide safe, comfortable, and convenient routes for cyclists of all ages and abilities.

How do people feel about the use of bicycles.  The graphic represents where public opinion was in 2009.  Has it moved very much?

Cyclists by type

The Cycling Plan is now on the public engagement phase – gathering feedback that will be used to help shape the Cycling Plan.

What is confusing is the disparity between what city hall tells the public and what people see on the street.   The city uses a photograph of a relatively young person on a bike in the winter. Cyclist - winterAt the same time city hall and all the members of council tell the public that Burlington is becoming a city of seniors and that the seniors population is where the population growth is taking palace.

This citizen isn't smiling. Was she one of the hundreds that were basically locked in theoir homes during the five days of heavy winter weather because streets were not cleared?

This citizen isn’t smiling. Was she one of the hundreds that were basically locked in their homes during the five days of heavy winter weather because streets were not cleared?

Those seniors are for the most part not going to be riding bicycles.  Pushing walkers is what we will see on the streets,

Opportunities to participate are available through an online survey open until Feb. 23, 2018.

There will be a series of Drop-In events throughout the community.

Staff will be showing up all over the city seeking input and reaction.

Monday, Feb. 5, 6:30 – 9 a.m. – Nelson Recreation Centre,
Friday, Feb. 9 6 – 8 a.m. Appleby GO Station,
Friday, Feb. 9 – 4 – 7 p.m. Mountainside Community Centre,
Tuesday, Feb. 13 – 7 – 9:30 a.m. – Tansley Woods Community Centre,
Wednesday, Feb. 14 – 6 – 8 a.m. – Aldershot GO Station,
Wednesday, Feb. 14 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Brant Hills Community Centre,
Saturday, Feb. 17 – 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Mainway Recreation Centre

The number of Drop In events is impressive. These began at the end of January – six have taken place so far.

What the city has to learn is just how the public views the use of bicycles – are they a form of family exercise and part of the recreational plan or are they a form of transportation that will replace the car and at times be used instead of public transit.

The city has budgeted funds for where a cycling bridge over the QEW could best be located.

The Gazette is aware of one business person who keeps her bicycle in her office and uses it for short trips in the downtown core.  You are not going to see this lady biking to Hamilton.

Cycling Bus Bike Rack use

How heavily are the bike tacks on buses being used?

The extent of bicycle use the public is prepared to live with is the issue – hopefully city hall will not come up with any surprises.  The information gathering has to follow the education part – a major shift is going to take place in the way people get around their communities – the car has been the mode of choice for the past three or four decades – that is going to change and the public will have to understand why.

Failure to do that will see another uproar that will equal the reaction to the 23 storey high rise opposite city hall and the plan to turn New Street into a road that would have few lanes for cars and lanes on either side of the road for bicycles.

City Cycling Plan – 2009

The New street Road Diet kerfuffle.

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A mobility hub for the downtown core has been in the plans for some time - the problem was the downtown residents didn't know about it.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

February 4th, 2018



Mike Quackenbush, understood to be running for a seat on city council, brought to our attention a map in a Metrolinx Baseline Monitoring Report dated September 2013 that has a Mobility Hub in downtown Burlington.

The report however doesn’t show a hub for Appleby or Aldershot Go stations – it does include Burlington GO as a hub.

Mobility hubs - province wide

Mobility hubs – province wide The 2013 map shows just two hubs for Burlington – one of which is downtown.

Given the rate at which things are moving – it is difficult to keep track of it all. What is clear however is that at one point there was going to be a mobility hub in downtown Burlington.

The Gazette doesn’t recall this being discussed at city council meetings.

Station West A signWhat is interesting is that there is no one council member on top of the mobility hub issue. During the early Strategic Plan meetings in 2015, it sounded as if Aldershot was going to be where the first hub would be developed. The ADI Group plans for Station West had a significant development taking place.

Paradigm from the west Nov 2017

Three of the five tower project are well underway – the one on the left will see residents moving in during 2018.

The Paradigm on Fairview was beginning to get underway. Appleby was a long way off.

The former Director of Planning had just come on board and getting a feel for the department she was responsible for.

Shortly after being appointed Director a decision was made to start the Official Plan from scratch and give up on the idea of doing a re-write. That meant a significant shift in the thinking going on within the Planning department.

The going back to square one brought all kinds of ideas to the surface, the biggest of which was the new tag line for the message being sent out to the public – the planners got good public input on using the tag line Grow Bold – and bold they were.

Once the Planners got into thinking through how they wanted to craft the new Official Plan there was all kinds of hiring going on, significant increases to the base budget – $500,000 – for additional staff and community workshops that left little time for a real life for those who took an active interest in civic affairs.

It became evident that the planners were some distance ahead of the public which brought out more than 30 delegations asking the city to slow down and let the public get caught up.

council with term datesCity council decided not to defer the approving of the plans for the Downtown Core setting out the battle lines for the municipal election that will take place at the end of October.

Related content.

Resident asks: How does the Downtown Mobility hub fit into the provincial plan?

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Celebrated British author Martin Amis will be in Burlington February 21st

eventsblue 100x100By Staff

February 5th, 2018



Martin Amis, one of Britain’s most influential writers for over forty years, is not only a brilliant satirist but an outstanding critic and essayist will be in Burlington on February 21, 7pm., Shoreline Room in The Art Gallery of Burlington.

Martin Amis

Martin Amis

Mr. Amis visits Burlington to present his newest book The Rub of Time, a collection of wittily diverse essays showcasing his caustic, insightful intelligence.

His novel Time’s Arrow was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize; and Money: A Suicide Note won acclaim from both Time Magazine and The Guardian, cited by both as one of the best 100 novels written in English.

Leading the conversation with Mr. Amis is Richard Crouse, canny and irreverent author, broadcaster and film critic, long-time cinema correspondent for Canada AM, CTV NewsChannel and CP24.

Sponsored by The Different Drummer, Tickets are $10. Please contact us at (905) 639 0925 or to reserve.

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Bob Wilson: Grow Bold appears to be a self-fulfilling prophecy regarding downtown development, without justification.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

February 4th, 2018



On January 25, 2018 8:15 PM, Bob Wilson, a Burlington resident had questions and concerns about the planned Mobility hub for the Downtown core and the hub planned for the Burlington GO station. He sent in a question to Mailbox, Grow Bold, the city site where people could ask questions.

To: Mailbox, Grow Bold; Subject: Downtown Mobility Hub
“What changes are happening to the downtown core that will make the Mobility Hub there a viable traffic network hub for all the intensification that planners are encouraging there as opposed to north Brant which already has a network hub of size and scale in the form of the GO/VIA station?”

Phil Caldwell, Senior Planner, Mobility Hubs replied on Jan 30, 2018 3:17 PM
“Hi Bob,
“Thank you for your question.
“Metrolinx’s identification of areas as Mobility Hubs is intended to not only recognize areas with significant existing transit infrastructure and service, such as the Burlington GO station, but also to recognize areas which should be a focus for future planned transit improvements. As a key growth area for the City and Region and a location with major government and public services, Downtown Burlington is recognized as an area which should be a focus for future transit planning.

Mobility hubs

Some residents question the creation of a mobility hub on the downtown core.

“At the Provincial level, Metrolinx recently released a draft of their new Regional Transportation Plan which identifies future Provincial transit projects and improvements which are being planned up to 2041. This document identifies various projects which are intended to improve transit service in Downtown and throughout Burlington and the Region. This document can be viewed here: (a word search of ‘Burlington’ may help you find the most relevant sections of the plan with respect to your question).

“At the City, there are a few initiatives underway with respect to future transit planning in the Downtown:
“Firstly, the City’s proposed New Official Plan has introduced a new ‘Frequent Transit Corridor’ concept which identifies key corridors in the City which will be prioritized for frequent transit service in the future. Corridors leading into and out of Downtown, including Brant St, Maple Ave and New St are identified as Frequent Transit Corridors.

“A link to the proposed New Official Plan is provided here: (note Schedule B-2 of the Plan contains the Long-Term Frequent Transit Corridor Mapping).

There was a time when a much larger bus termial existed 25 yards to the left of this small terminal onm John Street - it was where people met. There were fewer cars, Burlington didn't have the wealth then that it has now. We were a smaller city, as much rural as suburban. The times have changed and transit now needs to change as well.

There was a time when a much larger bus termial existed 25 yards to the left of this small terminal onm John Street – it was where people met. There were fewer cars, Burlington didn’t have the wealth then that it has now. We were a smaller city, as much rural as suburban. The times have changed and transit now needs to change as well.

“Secondly, the City is currently developing an Area Specific Plan (also referred to as a Secondary Plan) specifically for the Downtown. Amongst many things, the plan is looking at a variety of transportation matters in the Downtown, including identifying ways to further promote and facilitate expanded transit use in the Downtown. Work on this is currently on-going. You can find out more about this project at

“I hope this helps answer your question. If you have any other questions please let me know.”

Bob Wilson responded on Feb 4, 2018 5:29 AM
“Thank you for the information.
Unfortunately, this did not answer my question on the Downtown Mobility Hub.

“The Metrolinx document makes no reference to downtown Burlington.
“Secondly, identifying routes is not my question. My question was about planned actions, not taxonomy.

“I am very concerned. Grow Bold appears to be a self-fulfilling prophecy regarding downtown development, without justification. Given the Official Plan (OP) policy of downtown intensification and the Provincial per hectare target, I would have expected an answer that outlines the infrastructure investment planned for the downtown hub.

“The Province has committed to investment to provincial and regional transit hubs and express corridors. The OP does not align with that, but instead makes s dangerous distracted focus to a Downtown that already lacks the infrastructure to support the growth.

“That is not “good planning”.

In a comment to the Gazette Wilson said: “City Planners have not thought this one out. Not only is the planned downtown intensification changing the character of the Downtown, (an area that should have a vision statement just like the greenfield areas have), but it lacks a complementary plan for the hub itself. This is in direct conflict with Metrolinx plans for GO station hubs and rapid transit corridors.

Metrolinx hub 1“Attached is what Metrolinx has stated hubs should achieve. City is nowhere close to that. Why are we being pushed towards a future commitment for the downtown that not only is not budgeted for, but would spend taxpayer dollars at the municipal level in direct competition to how taxpayer dollars are being invested by regional and provincial transportation authorities?

“Who is forcing this? It serves no objective other than that of private sector condo developers. Is that who runs City Hall?”

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Roads and sidewalks got tender loving care overnight from the snow removal people

notices100x100By Staff

February 4th, 2018



There is a marked improvement on the quality of the snow removal being done by the city.

Snow on street - lady - walkerReporting on what has been done and where problems exist are much better and when there is a problem the city moves very quickly to resolve the problem.

Snow Update: February 4, 2018 11:00pm

Salters are currently out across the city.

Sidewalk salting will begin overnight.

Staff will continue to monitor road and weather conditions.

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ECoB to hold a workshop for anyone interested in running for public office.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

February 3rd, 2018


It is beginning to look like the little engine that could.

ECOB logoECoB – Engaged Citizens of Burlington was formed in December to oppose the way the city approved the construction of a 23 storey tower opposite city hall.

They took on the city and the way it had approved the construction and made it known that they will appeal the city decision to the Ontario Municipal Board once the Planning department tells council that all the side issues – Section 37 benefits and site plan approvals have been completed.

Until that point there isn’t really anything ECoB can appeal.

ECoB pic 1 Jan 18

ECoB public meeting to set out what they wanted to see from the city on changes to the downtown core.

The organization has always said they were more than a one issue operation. They might be small – and they are looking for more volunteers who can help with spreading their wings into all six wards of the city.

The have announced the holding of a Municipal Election Workshop, on Thursday, February 22nd from 7-9 pm at Tansley Woods Community Centre, 1996 Itabashi Way .

Lisa Kierns ECOB Dec 13

Lisa Kierns, early member of ECoB

ECoB has reached out to seasoned politicians and campaign managers to lead the workshops. Different speakers and material will be presented to help decide if running for office is right for anyone who has an interest.

The Workshop will include the distribution of information on how to organize an election campaign, whether or not they have run before.

The overall purpose of the workshop is to help all potential candidates be successful, and to encourage volunteers to come and learn how they can effectively support the candidate of their choice. We believe strongly in the democratic process.

ECoB Dec 13 # 1

First open public meeting – good turn out – but it was clear they needed more bench strength.

ECoB is demonstrating best practice and developing the workshop based on information from the Ontario government’s site and also using a variation of Democracy Kit’s self assessment guide,

The list of facilitators will be made public as they get closer to the event date.

Today they would like you to SAVE THE DATE and keep up to date with developments on the ECoB web site.

If you have questions – here is the contact point.


Facebook page

Background links:

Ontario government’s site 

Democracy Kit’s self assessment guide

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Police recover vehicle that was reported as suspicious on Bluffers Way

Crime 100By Staff

February 3, 2018



Jodi Richmond H&S smile

Detective Constable Jodi Richmond , Regional Police liaison with Crime Stoppers.

Crime Stoppers has a tag line that goes: “See something? Hear something? Know something? Contact Crime Stoppers.

It seems to be working.

Shortly after 4:00 PM today, the Halton Police responded to a home on Bluffs Way in Burlington for a report of a suspicious vehicle – a 2016 black Honda Civic.

Investigation determined the vehicle was stolen from another region. Officers searched the area but unfortunately, no suspect(s) were apprehended. The vehicle has been recovered.

This is how communities are kept safe.

Anyone with information regarding this incident asked to contact Detective Bale at 905-825-4747 ext. 2316. Tips can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at

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A twenty questions look at the Mayor –

News 100 blueBy Staff

February 3rd, 2018



Tim Caddigan had a sit down with the Mayor as part of the State of the City address given by Rick Goldring.

Tim is Senior Director of Programming and Community Relations at Cogeco Cable; his role was to do an abbreviated interview with the Mayor after he had given an address that was all facts and figures. Everything was upbeat – we didn’t have any problems, which isn’t the way a number of people in the downtown core see things.

Caddigan’s role was to reveal a part of the Mayor we don’t often see. He did this by asking questions in a rapid fire approach.

How do you address traffic? Not simple.

Strongest personal trait? I listen.

Escarpment - outcropping of rock

Mt Nemo

Must see in Burlington? Mt Nemo and the Pier.

Careful with this one Your Worship – Best artist the city has produced? Pause; Cheryl. (His wife who is an accomplished artist.)

Best Mayors the city has had? Walter Mulkewich and Rob McIssaac

Best hockey team? The Habs

Type of car you like? Sports cars

Mayor Goldring picking up donation in the Santa Claus parade - met with other GTA Mayors to pick up provincial finds to help with the ice storm damage.  Maybe he should have taken the hockey stick and the sock with him?

Mayor Goldring picking up donations in the Santa Claus parade.

Kind of movie you prefer? Action movies

Cats or dogs? Cats

Chores you are best at? Cheryl does the chores.

Food preferences? Mexican, I’m not a fan of pasta.

Songs you like best? Moody Blues their ride my see saw.

The best fun experience as Mayor? When the grade 5 class visits city hall. They ask all kinds of questions; do I have a chauffeur, do I have a body guard.

Current book he is reading? Can’t remember the title – it’s on mediation.

Clothing that matters to you? My running shoes.

The childhood memory? A jacket he got with the crests of the six original NHL teams.

That is your Mayor – probably the closest look the public has had of the man and the values that make him who he is today.

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