Thefts from parked cars up 187% over last year - these are preventable occurrences.

Crime 100By Staff

June 20th, 2017



Thefts from Motor Vehicle Occurrences Significantly Up in Burlington.

The Halton Regional Police Service report a significant increase in reported thefts from motor vehicles since the beginning of 2017.

As of June 18th 2017, there have been 341 reported occurrences of citizens having their motor vehicles entered and items stolen which are up significantly from the 119 reported occurrences during the same time frame last year and represents a 187% increase in this crime.

In 219 of these occurrences, entry was possible because the vehicles were left unlocked. In 59 of these occurrences entry was made by smashing a window and 24 occurrences by forcing the doorframe and/or lock punch. There were 29 reported occurrences of licence plates being stolen from vehicles and 10 “other” occurrences which include theft of vehicle batteries, tires/rims and manufacturer emblems.

Almost every community in Burlington has been targeted by thieves (see attached HEAT Map). These are crimes of opportunity and are preventable.

Police are reminding the public of the following prevention tips:

• Ensure your unattended vehicle(s) are kept locked/secure
• Never leave personal identification or valuables in your vehicle
• Park in a well-lit and attended areas whenever possible
• Never leave spare keys in your vehicle
• If you have to leave valuables in your vehicle, lock them in your trunk. Don’t tempt thieves by leaving packages or purses in plain view or on the seat.
• Remove GPS navigation and cell phone devices & power cords from view when not in your vehicle
• Consider installing CCTV / Surveillance cameras which can capture the crime and aid in suspect identification
• Help police catch those responsible by keeping an eye out in your communities and immediately reporting any suspicious activity

Anyone with information about person(s) responsible for these crimes or persons selling stolen property from these crimes are asked to contact the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825 4747 ext. 2316, Crime Stoppers “See Something, Hear Something, Say Something” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), through the web at or by texting “Tip 201” with your message to 274637 (crimes).

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Burlington dental services clinic closed by Regional Health inspectors - allowed to re-open when required infection prevention and control standards were put in place.

element_healthservicesBy Staff

June 20, 2017



An infection prevention and control inspection conducted by the Halton Region Health Department on June 9, 2017, identified that clients who have received dental services at Upper Middle Dental operated by Dr. Vick Handa, located at 1900 Walkers Line in Burlington, Unit 4, may have been exposed to improperly cleaned instruments used for procedures.

element_healthservices“Improperly cleaned dental instruments carry a low risk of transmitting infectious diseases, such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) to clients,” said Dr. Daniela Kempkens, Acting Medical Officer of Health for Halton Region. “As a precaution, the Halton Region Health Department recommends that all clients who have ever received dental services at Upper Middle Dental contact their physician (or go to a walk-in clinic if they do not have a physician) to discuss testing for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).”

The Halton Region Health Department closed Upper Middle Dental. In addition, the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario (RCDSO) suspended Dr. Handa’s license to practice on June 12. A re-inspection by Health Department staff on June 14 confirmed that the dental office now meets the required infection prevention and control standards.

On June 16, the suspension was lifted by the RCDSO. The Halton Region Health Department has sent letters to past and current clients of the dental office to notify them and recommend they contact their physician.
“Infection prevention and control in dentistry is a critical issue for safe patient care,” said a spokesperson for the

RCDSO. “As a result, cases like this are extremely rare. Dentists are extensively trained on infection prevention and our mandatory continuous education program makes the subject a priority. The RCDSO is currently reviewing its Guidelines on Infection Prevention and Control in the Dental Office.”

For more information about hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV, the inspection or investigation, please visit or call the Halton Region Health Department at 311, 905-825-6000 or toll free 1-866-442-5866. For inquiries related specifically to Upper Middle Dental, please contact the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario by visiting

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Has the Planning department got more on the plates of the average citizen than they can comfortably eat?

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 20th, 2017



A comment from an experienced staff member of a developer doing some work in the city highlighted a concern that many have.

“There are so many concurrent planning activities going on in the City, it is quite something” said this well-placed source.

MMW with mob hubs in background

The Downtown mobility hub sits in Councillor Meed Ward’s political turf – some of the outcome of the community engagement exercises may not square with the way she thinks the city should evolve.

Quite something indeed and quite a bit more than the average person can handle.

There is an Official Plan that is being circulated.

There are mobility hub proposals that are getting a serious look – all four of them

There is a transportation study that is also going the rounds.

The Go Bold statement that came out of the planning department some time ago has turned out to be more than just a tag line added to media releases.

Centre ice - fully engaged audience

Planners are besieged with questions from a public that wants to be engaged and wants to understand the bigger picture as well.

The work has to be stressing the planning staff; it certainly has the development community watching carefully.

There are a number of development proposals that are sitting in planner’s limbo while the Planning department works on the bigger picture.

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.

Is this to be the epicenter of the downtown mobility hub?

There are developers who feel they have shabbily handled who claim the planners have gone back on their word on projects that were progressing quite well – at last the developer thought so.

Add to all this are the Ontario Municipal Board hearings that relate to some of the ADI Development Group Projects. Things were never tight with the Adi people and the city – when Tariq Adi said:  “Oh yeah, absolutely. “Look, I’m not going to sugar-coat it, I know what’s going on here.” and added that “… what happened at Martha absolutely has something to do with this. That’s fine, that’s part of doing business. We’ll just deal with it.”

Any good will that might have existed between the city and this developer went up in smoke with not much more than bitter feelings left on the table.  Adi will want to describe the Mayor as biased and unfair – words the Gazette has heard before.

Spat between the Adi Group and the city over the Alton project.

Community meeting that had planners listening to the public.

A closer look at what the public had to say about a Downtown mobility hub

There are said to be two development options for the Downtown Mobility Hub that will be presented to the public on Wednesday evening at the meeting scheduled to take place at the Art Gallery of Burlington at 7:00 pm.

What will the city have in the way of surprises for us?

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Toronto resident with an alternative medicine practice in Burlington charged with indecent sexual assault.

Crime 100By Staff

June 19th, 2017



The Halton Regional Police Service Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Unit investigated an incident of sexual assault allegedly perpetrated by a practitioner of alternative medicine at his clinic in Burlington in May of this year.

The victim in the matter was an adult female patient.

As a result of the investigation, Hugo Ramiro, 42 years, of Toronto was arrested on June 19th, 2017. He is charged with one count of sexual assault.

HRPS crestAnyone with any information about this matter is encouraged to contact Detective Constable Andrew Hulbert at 905-465-8971 of the Halton Regional Police Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Unit or Crime Stoppers “See something, Hear something, Say something” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), through the web at, or by texting “Tip201” with your message to 274637 (crimes).

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Uber is going to make it easier to eat - choice is kind of limited.

News 100 greenBy Staff

June 19th, 2017



Uber this and uber that!

The name is all over the place.

uber imageThe newest wrinkle – Starting today at 11 am, you can get food from local restaurants delivered right to your door at Uber speed. From early-morning breakfasts to family dinners and everything in between, your next meal is just a tap away.

For a limited time, Burlington residents can enjoy free delivery on their first two UberEATS orders.

Simply download the app, make your selection, and enter the promotion code BURLINGTONEATS at checkout.

Free delivery (valued up to $4.99) on first two orders. Valid until July 3, 2017.

Featured Burlington Restaurants:

Barra Fion
Paramount Fine Foods Burlington
Tria Cafe & Bakery
Artisan Pizza

That list is going to have to get a little longer.

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TechPlace opens on Wednesday: can it make a difference?

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 19th, 2017



It has taken awhile but it will be officially opened on Wednesday and it is a step forward.

The idea of a place where those much desired high tech, high paying jobs can get developed and brought to fruition has been a glint in the eye of the Mayor and his former Chief of Staff Frank McKeown for a long time.

Tech place logoIt is being called TechPlace – all one word – that is being positioned as a brand. McKeown said the Burlington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) didn’t want it to be too tightly identified with them but wanted it seen as something the BEDC oversees, runs and funds during its early phase.

The objective? To create a place where potential new ideas, new approaches to business can be created, nurtured and grown. New business start-ups travel a pot hole filled road often fueled by family investments or whatever can be cobbled together from friends to get an idea off the ground.

Rotary sponsors a competition, mostly for high school students, that has seen some good ideas get funding.

At the TechPlace open-house style event on Wednesday, you’ll have the opportunity to tour the offices, network, and learn more about TechPlace. And here will be a cash bar – don’t see that very often in Burlington.

Frank McKeough, former Chief of Staff to MAyor Rick Goldring asked about how politicians can handle complex issues when voters tend not to be informed and don't have the background needed to arrive at decisions.

Frank McKeown, former Chief of Staff to Mayor Rick Goldring shepherded the start-up incubator through the BEDC board and got it to the point where it can open – now to make it work.

Led by Burlington Economic Development Corporation, TechPlace is a one stop destination for new and growing technology companies. TechPlace exists to help technology, talent and ideas come under one roof to create and promote opportunities for economic growth!

The Mayor poaches some of the credit for the idea when he says the idea was first announced during his State of the City address in January; the idea has been around for some time.

5500 North Service Rd

This certainly differs from the garage Steve Jobs built the first Apple Computer.

The TechPlace partners at the 8,600-square foot facility will include Angel One Investor Network, one of Canada’s most active angel groups, and Haltech, Halton Region’s Regional Innovation Centre. Mention has been made of some foreign interests who have bought into the concept and have taken space.

The set-up is intended to be a one-stop destination for new and growing technology companies. With the support of partners across the public and private sectors, the new facility will provide access to space, programming, mentorship, networking and resources to help connect, develop and advance entrepreneurs at all stages.

The Economic Development Corporation maintains that approximately 40 per cent of new jobs in Canada come from companies that are less than five years old; the BEDC is committed to supporting the continued growth of these companies. TechPlace is intended to be a place that attracts and nurtures these start-ups including those that are well beyond the concept stage but need professional support in areas that are outside their prime strengths. A couple of very smart software developers might not know much about federal and provincial grants available to them or how to tap into marketing programs that different levels of government offer.

Hive on Elizabeth

The HiVe couldn’t the clientele needed to make the place viable in the downtown core.

A number of years ago The HiVe set up shop in space on Elizabeth street and launched their operation with a lot of hoopla and fanfare. The “beautiful” people turned out in droves but the customers didn’t take a shine to the place

When the HiVe was conceived the hope was that the city would buy into that operation – they never did and the HiVe moved out of their downtown location and re-established themselves closer to the industrial core along Harvester Road.

TechPlace is located on the 8th floor of 5500 North Service Rd. at Burloak Drive, just north of the QEW.

BEDC Announces Opening of TechPlace, Burlington’s innovation centre

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Rainout games force a brutal schedule on some of the IBL teams - the Herd finds a way to take a much needed win over the Leafs.

sportsgold 100x100By Staff

June 19th, 2017



Eight games in 11 days proved to be too much for the InterCounty Baseball League Toronto Maple Leafs – they lost 6-1 to the Burlington Herd Sunday afternoon at Christie Pits.

Christian Hauck went seven innings on the mound for Burlington (5-9) to pick up his first win of the season. The Leafs (7-9) managed 10 hits and three walks off the Burlington starter, but Hauck got the big outs when he needed them.

Early rainouts have forced IBL teams to condense their make-up games into a small window. Toronto opened the week Monday at home against Kitchener before hitting the road for stops in Hamilton and Barrie on Tuesday and Thursday.

The Leafs won in Guelph Saturday, but looked like a weary team when they hit the diamond Sunday.
Toronto starting pitcher Zach Sloan got into trouble early and the Herd made him pay. Struggling to find the strike zone early in counts, Burlington opened the scoring in the top of the first when Cooper Lamb’s single brought home Canice Ejoh.

Cooper Lamb 23

Cooper Lamb added his second RBI of the afternoon.

Burlington added runs in the second and third innings, before Justin Marra cut the lead to 3-1 when he drilled a Hauck pitch over the right-field fence for his fourth home run of the season.

Standings June 19-17The Herd would get that back and more in the top of the fourth inning when it scored three times off Sloan. John Whaley drilled a two-run single and Lamb added his second RBI of the afternoon with a sacrifice fly that scored Ejoh.

Sloan would pitch one more inning before being relieved by Marek Deska in the top of the sixth, with Toronto trailing 6-1. Sloan gave up six earned runs on nine hits and three walks, while striking out two in five innings of work.

Whaley had a big day at the plate for the Herd, going 4-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored.

Julian Johnson and Justin Marra led the Leafs with a pair of hits each.

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Faithful Liberals gather this evening to renominate Eleanor McMahon as their candidate for the June 7th, 2018 provincial election

eventsred 100x100By Pepper Parr

June 19th, 2017



If you a member in good standing with Burlington’s provincial Liberal Association you have a chance to get to hear some particularly good people spout the Liberal line as they prepare for a tough provincial election in 2018
The crowd will nominate Eleanor McMahon as their candidate – she should be a shoe-in for re-election unless the bottom falls out of the Liberal Party during that election.

McMahon with seniors

Eleanor McMahon at her annual tea for seniors.

McMahon has done a good  job for the most part – the Tyendaga community want her to pay more attention to their issues and some of the high school parents think she could have and should have done much more for their cause.

But on balance McMahon is popular and liked.

She took a seat that the Conservatives had held for the previous 70 years; the Liberals don’t want to see it going Tory blue.

Summit Wynne + McMeekin - Zelinksi

Ted McMeekin with Premier Wynne – he serves as her Parliamentary assistant.

Ted McMeekin, MPP for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale and Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier will be speaking. Has McMeekin been re-nominated?

Hon. Glen Murray, MPP for Toronto-Centre and Minister of the Environment and Climate Change will get to speak

Hon. Kathryn McGarry, MPP for Cambridge and Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry will add his voice.


Jane McKenna

Given that all three are speaking to the converted there just might be some fine oratory. McMeekin can certainly move an audience when he puts his mind to it.

Burlington Central Public Library; 6:00 pm

McMahon will speak longer than she should, but they are her people.

Jane McKenna has already been nominated as the candidate for the Progressive Conservative Party.

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Will defining Brant Street as the spine of the city put some spine in future development thinking?

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 19th, 2017



When Robert Glover, a professional Architect, Registered Professional Planner and an Urban Designer with over 35 years of professional experience told a public meeting that Brant Street should be seen as the spine of the city – just what did he mean?

Glover was explaining the rationale for locating a proposed 28 storey tower on Brant Street opposite city hall.

Robert GloverWhile he was the planner hired by developer he was asking his audience to look at the bigger picture and decide what they wanted Brant street to become.

Study area 7 All + tall buildingsHe put a large graphic on the screen that showed just where the high rises in the downtown core were located – there were few that were actually on Brant Street – and Glover who has worked as a planner for both the public and the private sector was suggesting that some thinking needed to be done. Much of his work as a planner in the public sector was with the city of Toronto.

Glover is well aware that Burlington is not Toronto and he thinks that Burlington has a charm of its own that can and should be developed.

From civic sq

Will it dwarf city hall or will it add some majesty to Civic Square? Downtown will never be the same – and that is probably good news.

His view is that a 28 storey structure will not hurt or harm the city hall – a high rise, if done properly will enhance the city hall – “place buildings around it that feature city hall and the Civic Square”.

Cities need a structure – a backbone that keeps the city together.

“The backbone gives a body structure, strength – something that other parts of the city can be linked to.

“A spine gives a city a focus – a center and if done properly development can be staged so that the street that serves as the spine does not become a canyon.”

Glover realizes that making that happen is what the delicate art of planning is all about – it needs to be thought through – “they just don’t plop a building into a space because a developer has assembled a number of properties”.

There is a lot of development taking place along Lakeshore Road and south of it.

The impact this has on the feel of the city is critical – Burlingtonians know what their waterfront is about and they aren’t going to give up as much as an inch if they don’t have to.

But what about Brant Street – what works on that street? Not much actually. The Burlington Downtown Business Association continually talk about the “vibrancy” of the street – they seem to feel that if you continually call an area “vibrant” it will become vibrant. It doesn’t work that way.

City Hall itself is no longer an efficient building and doesn’t meet the city’s space requirements – a significant amount of space is rented in the Sims building across the street from city hall.  The politicians love to refer to city hall as an iconic building.

There is a report in a file at city hall that sets out what the city’s office space needs are and it beleived to have some recommendations on what to do with the existing building – doesn’t appear that report is going to get any public attention for some time.  So much for transparency.


It seemed to take forever for this three structure project to get shovels into the ground. When completed it will bring some much needed life to John Street.

The Carriage Gate group is currently constructing the Berkeley at John and Caroline where they have a three part project that includes a future medical centre, a parking lot and 20 storey condominium.

Getting that property to the point where they were able to get a shovel into the ground took a lot longer than they thought – determining who was going to pay for hauling the hydro lineup the street from Lakeshore revealed some bothersome problems with what Burlington Hydro was expecting of developers.

Their proposal for the property opposite city hall forces everyone to look at Brant Street and do some serious thinking about what the planners think it should look like and what the public thinks it should be.

The city’s Tall Building Design Guidelines put in place in January after a rather rushed process with very little in the way of public input.

The public focus is on the waterfront. Few appreciate that the five structure Paradigm project on Fairview will have 2000 residents when it is complete – that’s a small village yards away from Brant Street.

Further south on Brant there is a proposal for a buildings at the intersection of Brant and Ghent where the Burlington Square, one of the taller buildings on Brant, is going to be enhanced.

That kind of development attracts other developments and before you know it you have a city with a significantly different look and feel. Change of that kind isn’t something the public takes to easily.

Brant street getting ready

Brant Street comes to life when there is a major event taking place.

Which brings things back to the Glover view that Brant can be made the spine of the city. If Glover is right, and his success with previous projects suggest he knows what he is talking about, there is an opportunity to bring some real vibrancy to the street.

The Planning department has released design of what intensification could look like on Waterdown Road in the west, Appleby in the east, along with some ideas for the plaza at Guelph Line and New Street and some ideas for what Fairview east of Guelph Line could look like.

Interestingly – the Planning department hasn’t had all that much to say what they think Brant could become.
There is never going to be any commercial development to the west of the Brant – that is a solid residential community that watches what smaller developers want to build. It has to be very good to get past those residents.

But there is significant opportunity for both Brant and John, a street that has yet to figure out what it wants to be.

Hotel on lower Brant Street

They are historic and when they were built they were tall buildings – what are they today?

Glover thinks that if you treat Brant Street as the spine of the city a fundamental premise is in place that can guide future developments. There are parts of Brant Street that haven’t changed at all in 75 years.

The proposal for the high rise opposite city hall is now in the hands of the planning department – they will be sending their recommendation to city council in the fall.

Will a different look for Brant Street be part of their recommendation; it’s an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed.

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Hitting the ball isn't enough - the objective is to get the player to run over the home plate - the London Majors did that more often then the Burlington Herd.

sportsred 100x100By Staff

June 18, 2017



Getting outhit didn’t stop the London Majors from outscoring the Burlington Herd.

Despite Burlington’s 13-9 advantage in the hit column, the Majors made the most of their contact with an 8-3 road win Saturday afternoon.

Chris McQueen went 2-for-5 with two RBI and two runs, while Cleveland Brownlee and LeJon Baker each doubled and drove in a pair of runs. Humberto Ruiz picked up a pair of hits and had an RBI and a run, and Brett Sabourin singled twice and scored once. Byron Reichstein walked three times and scored twice.

Cory Hammond (3-0) went six innings and allowed two runs on 10 hits with a walk and three strikeouts.
Burlington leadoff hitter Justin Gideon went 3-for-4 with a run and stolen base. Ryan Freemantle had two hits and an RBI, and Carlos Villoria drove in a pair of runs. Canice Ejoh singled and scored.

Jesse Anderson (0-1) took the loss, giving up eight runs on five hits in 3.1 innings with seven walks and four strikeouts.

London improved to 12-0, and Burlington fell to 4-9.

Future games:
Sunday, June 18
Burlington at Toronto, 2 p.m.

Tuesday, June 20
Burlington at Barrie, 7:30 p.m.

Barrie Baycats 12-0
London Majors 12-0
Kitchener Panthers 11-3
Toronto Maple Leafs 7-8
Burlington Herd 4-9
Brantford Red Sox 3-10
Hamilton Cardinals 2-8
Guelph Royals 1-14

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Herd hammers Hamilton - 7 to 0

sportsgold 100x100By Staff

June 17, 2017


The season series between the Hamilton Cardinals local rival Burlington Herd finally got off the ground following three postponements as the Herd took the opener by a 7-0 score.

Herd T-shirtWinning pitcher Adam Prashad (2-2) threw eight innings of shutout baseball, allowing three hits, a walk and striking out 10.  Branden Kuzyk pitched the ninth inning, allowing a hit and a walk while striking out two to finish up.

The Herd were led at the plate by Justin Gideon’s two solo home runs, one in the first and the other in the seventh inning. John Whaley also had a solo home run in the fourth. Carlos Villoria and Canice Ejoh each had two hits for Burlington.

Cal Murphy had two hits for Hamilton.

Dan Weagle (0-3) took the loss going six innings, allowing five earned runs on seven hits, walking one and striking out one.  Jackson Jones pitched the final three innings allowing two runs on four hits, walking two and striking out four.

The loss drops Hamilton to 2-8, a full game behind Burlington (who are in fifth place)


Future games:

Saturday, June 17

London at Burlington, 1:05 p.m.

Sunday, June 18

Burlington at Toronto, 2 p.m.



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New Street and properly marked bike lanes will be open very soon - then the debate can really get going.

News 100 redBy Staff

June 17, 2017



Won’t be long now.

The paving of New Street between Guelph and Walkers Line and then on to Appleby Line is well underway – and the markings that indicate where the lane lines are going to go are in place.

New street - marks

The white paint dots are where the bike lane line is going to go. Then it will be safe to drive a bike along New Street – right?

Road work close to complete

The paving of New Street is well underway – when done the bike lanes without safety barriers will get really serious.

The painting machines will be putting the lines in place really soon – next week perhaps?

Don’t expect an official opening event – the lanes will just be there for people to use and the transportation department will begin their traffic flow measurements while the two sides of what has become a very contentious difference of opinion can get back at in an even bigger way.

Hard to see how a positive result is going to come out of the pilot program.

This things was a mess right from the beginning – reflecting the significantly different opinions within the city.

Not much in the way of leadership from city council on this one.

Transit and transportation needs and policy direction have to be worked out before the city can become whatever it is going to become.

There is a solution out there – the city has to find it and then be resolute in implementing a policy – and then funding it properly.

For the immediate future New Street will open and the arguments can rise to a new level.


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This is Burlington and this is what we look like at the Sound of Music.

eventsred 100x100By Staff

June 17, 2017



Another Sound of Music weekend.

While the event continually gets awards for being one of the best festivals in the province for the people of Burlington it is their weekend event.

They flow into Spencer Smith Park in a steady stream of people – every shape, size, and gender.

The Gazette positioned a photographer at the base of the Pier and watched people flow into the park.

This is Burlington and this is what we look like.

3 + 3

It has always been this way – the boys looks – the girls ignore them.


Night settles in

Night settles in – there is a 10 pm curfew for the bands.

Sky rider

The Pier gets visitors – a parachute glider attracts attention.

People standing

The evening was about listening to the music


Girls 1

The girls are checking things out.

Boys small 2

Many make it a family event.

Lovin life

He is just loving life


Mom + 3 boys

Mom and her team.

Pink Floyd

You know who he likes.



She is just really happy to be where she is!




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Friends of Freeman getting close to the big day - Region is pitching in to make it a memorable day.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

June 17th, 2017



It has to be the most impressive effort this city has seen, made by a bunch of people who just did not know how to take no for an answer.

The Freeman railway station – that was really just a small spur on the railway line that went through Burlington – took on a life of its own when those “concerned citizens” fought hard to keep the station alive.

Freeman - view from the south - volunteers needed

They still need donations and volunteers are always welcome – the big day will be July 1st.

When your city council couldn’t find a home for the station, they did their best to try and sell it – even if it was just for kindling. No takers.

The Freeman station got moved around a number of times while the city figured out what it wanted to do with the thing. When city council failed to come up with a solution citizens led by Councillors Meed Ward and Lancaster more here.

The Freeman station got moved around a number of times while the city figured out what it wanted to do with the thing. When city council failed to come up with a solution citizens helped by Councillors Meed Ward and Lancaster found a solution.

A group was formed and they managed to find some support on city council – Councillors Meed Ward and Lancaster – joined forces to hold off the willingness of the rest of city council to see the thing meet a swift death – and end the ongoing embarrassment.

The tearing up of the rail line on what is now a magnificent pathway along the edge of the lake was the end of old time rail transportation.

Now GO trains, Via Rail and freight trains snake through the city but they don’t have the colour and the character that those old railway station waiting rooms had.

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.

July 1 – the Freeman Station will get its Official Opening – the Mayor will cut the ceremonial ribbon. It should be Meed Ward and Lancaster doing that job – they earned it.

The FReem,an Five -

These are some of the group that pushed their city council to working with them to save the Freeman Junction railway station.

The group that runs the Friends of Freeman station have this thing about the role of the Mayor – he didn’t do all that much to keep it alive in the early days. He did, to his credit, work to get them some of the funding they desperately needed to do all the work that was needed.

The story of the hundreds of hours those guys put in – and it was mostly a male effort, should not go unrecorded.

Freeman - cutting platic safety cover

Hardly a weekend went by during the last year and a half without at least some people working on the renovation of th station.

With the official opening day close close at hand there is a drive to get as much done as possible.

The Regions Heritage Services group has climbed aboard the effort and will be mounting a small exhibition in the space referred to as the Baggage Room.

Sarah Rolko who works for Halton Heritage Services as an assistant curator said the Friends of Freeman approached the Regional Heritage people initially for fundraising, collections management and exhibition development in April 2016.

Freeman - close to final

The station was taken off the blocks it was sitting on for a number of years and settled into their new home beside the Fire Station on Fairview.

“The reconstruction process then got very busy and we were unable to reconnect with them until January 2017”, she said

“We were able to start up conversations again after meeting in January 2017 at the “Making Heritage Happen Conference” hosted by Region.

From there, we made a plan to develop an exhibit for the July 1st opening.

Sitting on some "cribbing" with a sign badl in need of several coats of paint, the Freeman Station gets ready for its big move.

Sitting on some “cribbing” with a sign badly in need of several coats of paint, the Freeman Station gets ready for its big move.

The exhibit focuses on the hard work of the Friends of Freeman and other involved members of the community so far as well as the importance of the station within the community in the past, especially the major role the railway played in developing the city of Burlington.

The existence of the Freeman Station just might be the biggest thing Burlington has to celebrate and make note of as the County celebrates its first 150 years as a country.

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Greg Woodruff appears to be looking at the Office of Mayor for Burlington and wondering if he couldn't occupy it in October of 2018.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

June 16th, 2017



Greg Woodruff ran for the Office of Chair of Halton Region in the 2014 election.

He got 12,000 votes of which 5,800 came from Burlington.

Garry Carr, trounced Woodruff.

Greg Woodruff

Greg Woodruff – Aldershot resisdent

It was never certain what Woodruff was setting out to do – create a profile for some other race? He had zero political experience at the municipal level other than being a regular delegator at city hall in Burlington.

Woodruff certainly has an appetite for things political. A resident of Aldershot who works as an independent software development consultant and has a strong skill set in the technology field.

He points out that in the 2014 municipal election the candidate results were:

Rick GOLDRING 36,237
Anne MARSDEN 3,043
Peter RUSIN 2,942

Of the 42,222 votes cast Goldring took 36,237

He points out that only 42,000 people voted in election and 36,000 voted for Rick Goldring.

Meed Ward with Mayor Goldring: she is more comfortable with herself as a speaker.

Meed Ward with Mayor Goldring – both want their names on the ballot

At the Council seat level Meed Ward got 4,600 votes which gave her the ward 2 seat.

Here is where it gets interesting.

Woodruff has run the numbers and according to him all it takes to win the race for the office of Mayor is 12,000 votes – in a four way race.

The four candidates?

Rick Golding, Marianne Meed Ward, Mike Wallace and Greg Woodruff.

It is pretty clear that both Meed Ward and Goldring are going to run for the office of Mayor.  Howeer there are those who say they are close to Goldring and that he might decide to hang his hat up.

Meed Ward is believed to still be planning on a run for the office of Mayor

Mike Wallace is busy selling Real Estate, doing deals and running Jane McKenna’s attempt to get herself elected to the provincial legislature again.

Close up - Burlington's MP Mike Wallace looks closely at a piece of art at the Art Centre. Can BurlingtonGreen convince him to help them take a closer look at the state of the pipeline that runs across the northern part of the city - it is a federal issue.

Mike Wallace looks closely at a piece of art at the Art Centre.

There was more than enough evidence to suggest that Wallace was going to run for the office of Mayor.  He was been both a school board trustee and a city Council member before he was elected as the Member of Parliament for Burlington.

He was defeated by Karina Gould for that job.

Woodruff seems to feel that the 5800 Burlington votes he got as a candidate for Regional Chair could be grown to the 12.000 he needs to be elected the Mayor.

It would be foolish to see the 2018 voter turn out as low as that in 2014 – the turn out could double.  There will be some interesting dynamics if all four run for the office of Mayor.

Woodruff doesn’t appear to want to put in any time as a municipal Councillor – he wants to go straight to the top.

October 2018 might be an interesting month.

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Rivers casts a critical eye on the Canadian military role in Ukraine - Part2

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

June 16, 2017


Ray Rivers and his wife Jean spent a few weeks in Ukraine where they taught English as volunteers in a not for profit school and visited a Canadian army base while there,  This is part 2 of that adventure

Donald Trump, in his short time in office has at least one accomplishment under his belt. He has shamed NATO participants into boosting their defence spending. The Canadian government has just announced a 70% increase in the defence budget over the next ten years. But even that will only get us to 1.4%, still well below the 2% NATO target.

ice breaker

The Canadian ice breaker Sir Wilfred Laurier

The critics of enhanced defence spending will point out that the only nation which ever invaded Canada is now our closest ally, protecting us under its nuclear umbrella, and all the while peacefully sharing this country’s only land border. But climate change is opening up the vast arctic to development potential, and across the divide lies an expansionist Russia. And while there is no truth to the rumour that Vladimir Putin plans to invade Santa’s workshop in the North Pole and put St. Nicholas in charge, a rapidly militarizing Russia with a despotic leader in command does pose a concern.

After all, it wasn’t that long ago that Ukrainians believed they were safe in friendship with their former occupier and Soviet partner. In fact, that peace loving nation wanted nothing more than to transform its proverbial cold war swords into plowshares. It surrendered the third largest nuclear arsenal for a piece of paper signed by the US, UK and Russia, promising Ukrainian territorial integrity. And look at how well that worked out for them.

I visited a former Soviet base in north-western Ukraine which had been virtually boarded-up until they were attacked and the war started in 2014. Today 200 Canadian and an equivalent number of American troops, are helping Ukrainians reacquaint themselves with the lost art of war, including field medicine, strategy, tactics and weapons. It was a slow Saturday afternoon when I was driven to the base but I did get to observe a dozen or so snipers firing their 50’s era soviet Dragunov rifles – still a highly rated weapon despite its age. Having been a good shot in my youth, I would have liked someone to invite me to fire a round – but shooting is serious business for these professional killers.

Training is helpful but what Ukraine really needs are modern defensive weapons and weapon systems to stem the toll in human life inflicted on a daily basis by Russia and its proxies. After three years of aggression in the east, not a single NATO partner, including Canada, has offered up much more than helmets and night goggles. On the other hand this country seems to have no difficulty sending advanced armoured equipment to places like Saudi Arabia, a nation with a troubling record of human rights violations.

swords into

Turning swords into plowshares – a statute that sits outside the United Nations building in New York city.

And the plowshares thing – how has that worked out? Imagine if the Canadian government had nationalized all of our farm land 70 years ago and then suddenly tried to privatize it back again. Picture how that would happen in a world without real estate agents, registry offices or estate lawyers, and a bureaucracy with virtually no experience in land transfer. It is a miracle that land reform wasn’t total chaos instead of just a slow agonizing process. But today, the collectives are gone and 40% of all farmland is in private hands, including some owned by foreign corporations. And those private farms now produce 70% of the nation’s agricultural output.

One of the teachers at the school I was teaching at had studied economics in the old days – Karl Marx, of course – and complained that life had really been better under communism – at least people had jobs. But then she couldn’t explain why the Soviet Union had collapsed, nor could she offer a suggested pathway to improving the current economy. And going back to the USSR is not an option, even if the other Lennon’s fellow Beatle thought it made a good song.

Curiously I have yet to encounter someone who has anything good to say about the country’s president, Mr. Poroshenko. They complain about him being one of the well-heeled oligarchs, with money invested overseas, and question whether he has really closed down his Russian chocolate factories as he had promised to do.

Yet to this observer he seems to have delivered a good amount in his three years as president – halting and reversing the advance of the Russians/separatists in the south east of the country, restoring the economic balance in the economy, delivering an association agreement and a visa-free travel arrangement with the EU, and starting the process of routing-out corruption.

But perhaps that’s part of the problem. Ukrainians are too critical, expect too much of their leaders, and perhaps not enough of themselves. Some dislike having lost the security of life in the old socialist world and would turn the page back if they could. And others are perhaps uncertain or insecure about plunging into the risky world of market-oriented capitalism, even after a quarter century of so-called freedom. But everyone believes that corruption is at he heart of the country’s economic problems. And no doubt the oligarchs, with their vast wealth and positions of power, have much to answer for.

Члены Ассоциации защиты прав вкладчиков провели пикетирование Национального банка Украины с требованием возвращения депозитов. По словам собравшихся, они приурочили пикет ко дню рождения Главы Национального банка Сергея Арбузова. Экспертно-аналитический совет по вопросам участия государства в капитализации банков при Кабинете Министров решил начать выплаты вкладчикам Родовид Банка через Государственный Ощадный банк в апреле. Об этом говорится в сообщении Национального банка со ссылкой на заместителя главы НБУ Игоря Соркина. 17 марта состоялось заседание экспертно-аналитического совета по вопросам участия государства в капитализации банков, на котором было принято решение об осуществлении выплат средств вкладчикам Родовид Банка через один из государственных банков - Ощадбанк. НБУ обратился к банкам с требованием оказать Ощадбанку соответствующую поддержку во время выплаты средств вкладчикам Родовид Банка через их банкоматы и сеть. Кроме того, было принято решение, что выплаты средств начнутся в апреле текущего года после согласования Нацбанком и правительством

Significant disparity in the distribution of wealth in Ukraine.

From all appearances the big cities with their modern supermarkets, trendy shops, restaurants and bars, filled with well dressed, with-it, Ukrainians are just like those in the rest of Europe. Though underneath that modern facade lies an economy, still bound in the past, struggling to survive and hoping to take off into the future. And Ukraine has much to offer, particularly for tourists. It is one of the best bargain destinations anywhere given its current exchange rate. I treated nine people to dinner and drinks in one of the best Georgian restaurants here for a little over $100 the other night.

But they have got to get the tourists to come here in the first place. And that would include finishing that pointless war in the east, regardless that there are virtually no signs of conflict anywhere in the rest of the county. And that would also entail more effort to make tourists feel at home in their own language or at least one they feel comfortable using – one of the reasons I’m here teaching English.

In that vein, Ukrainians have mulled the possibility of dropping the difficult (for us) Cyrillic alphabet in favour of the Latin script, like the one we use. Poland did this years ago, and former Soviet republics Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are now making that change. Although Latin lettering can already be seen on some Ukrainian street signs, such a move towards complete replacement would threaten Russian cultural dominance even further. And that might be the best reason of all.

Rivers looking to his leftRay Rivers writes weekly on both federal and provincial politics, applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat to his thinking.  Rivers was a candidate for provincial office in Burlington in 1995.  He was the founder of the Burlington citizen committee on sustainability at a time when climate warming was a hotly debated subject.     Tweet @rayzrivers

Background links:

Part 1

Military Spending –   Ukraine Military Mission

Trudeau Visting Ukraine Base –   Dragonuv Sniper

Land Reform Issues –   Language Matters –   More Language

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City has scheduled five meetings for the public to talk about land use concepts around the planned Burlington Go station mobility hub.

News 100 blueBy Staff

June 15th, 2017



Those mobility hubs – all four of them.

What are they again?

A place identified as an opportunity for new growth and development over the next 20 years

Bustamenta - centre ice

There were charts all over the room that people could use to visualize what they thought a mobility hub could be. City staff held breakout questions where questions could be asked and detailed notes taken – it is those notes that have been formulated into concept that people can learn more about in the weeks ahead.

The city held a public meeting at which people could put some ideas on paper. All the ideas were then gone over by the planning staff – they now want to share their feedback on land-use concepts that came out of the meeting on the Downtown Mobility Hub

These concepts will be available for public feedback starting Wednesday, June 21.

Study area visioning

Study area and the different land uses in the different precincts.

Wednesday, June 21
Art Gallery of Burlington (Shoreline/Rotary Room), 1333 Lakeshore Rd.
7 to 9 p.m.
Those who are unable to attend the public meeting can share their feedback about the concepts at one of the following public open houses:

Wednesday, June 28
Burlington City Hall (room 247), 426 Brant St.
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Thursday, July 6
Art Gallery of Burlington (Shoreline Room), 1333 Lakeshore Rd.
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Monday, July 10
Burlington Public Library, Central branch (Centennial Hall), 2331 New St.
2 to 4 p.m.

Thursday, July 13
Burlington City Hall (room 247), 426 Brant St.
2 to 4 p.m.

Getting a closer look

Checking out what the city means by a mobility hub.

The input gathered will be used to help develop a shared vision for the downtown Mobility Hub, to be released in September 2017.

Rosa Bustamante, Manager of Policy – Mobility Hubs explains that “This is the next step in planning our city’s downtown Mobility Hub. This spring, we heard from residents who told us what they love and value about downtown Burlington. We’ve taken that input, along with the information that has been gathered through technical studies, to create some draft land-use concepts that will show us, at a high level, where and how the downtown could grow over the next 20 years.”

Mobility Hubs are the areas around the city’s three GO stations—Aldershot, Appleby and Burlington—and the downtown that have been identified as opportunities for new growth and development over the next 20 years and beyond.

The city is developing area-specific plans for all four of its Mobility Hubs, which will eventually be part of the city’s new Official Plan.

Someone within city hall has to be given credit for the lengths they are going to to get public input – five  different meetings is a record – it is usually one meeting downtown – another north of the QEW somewhere and that’s it.  Kudos belong on someone’s desk.  It would have been more inclusive if some of the meetings had been held out of the downtown core.

In Halton Region, it is anticipated the population will grow from 530,000 to one million people by 2041. The Province of Ontario’s provincial growth plan, Places to Grow, mandates that the City of Burlington plan for a population of 193,000 by 2031.

Related articles:

Part 1 – Mobility hubs – what are they and why are we doing this?

Part 2 – Closer look at the mobility hub vision

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Provincial government adjourns for the summer - back in September - lots of politicking ahead of us - this time next year we will have decided if we want the Liberals back in office.

News 100 redBy Staff

June 15th, 2017



The Ontario Legislature has adjourned until September 11, 2017.

Burlington MPP Eleanor McMahon set out what the government has done and the direction they expect to go during the balance of their term.

McMahon with senior couple

McMahon talking to seniors during her annual Tea.

McMahon is the Minister of Tourism Culture and Sport and a member of the Treasury Board – she is part of that group that determines policy and the direction the government wants to go in – they measure the risks that are both financial and political.

Governments do what they believe is best for the public that elected and what they feel they have to do to stay in power – it is always a very delicate balance.

In her report to Burlington citizens McMahon said:

McMahon at Up Creek - side view - smile

McMahon at a community event just after the August 2014 flood. she was instrumental in getting provincial funds into the hands of those whose homes were seriously flooded.

Ontario is creating opportunity and security for the people of Burlington and across the province through a series of comprehensive measures introduced during the spring legislative sitting. These measures support good jobs, fair workplaces and better wages, prepare our workforce for the new innovation economy and make life more affordable for workers, students, seniors and families.

Ontario’s economy is in a relatively strong position. However, many people are not feeling that growth in their everyday lives. To help more Burlington residents get ahead and stay ahead in a changing economy, the government has announced actions that will make a positive difference in people’s lives. These are possible because Ontario has balanced the budget. These actions include:

• Raising the minimum wage and creating more security for employees through landmark changes to employment and labour laws

• Making prescription medications free for everyone 24 years of age and younger through OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare — the biggest expansion of universal Medicare in Ontario in a generation

• Launching a pilot project to assess whether a basic income can better support workers and improve health and education outcomes for people on low incomes

• Making it more affordable to buy or rent a home, expanding rent control and bringing stability to the real estate market through Ontario’s Fair Housing Plan

• Lowering electricity bills by 25 per cent, on average, for all residential customers and as many as half a million small businesses and farms

• Providing access to affordable, quality licensed child care for 100,000 more children, including 24,000 in 2017–18

• Making it easier for Ontario businesses to grow and create more jobs by cutting red tape and reducing regulatory burdens

• Creating tomorrow’s jobs today, and attracting talent and investment by funding transformative technologies such as artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles and 5G (fifth-generation) wireless networks

• Continuing to stand up for Ontario workers and businesses by actively defending the province’s trade and investment interests with U.S. legislators and businesses.


Burlington MPP Eleanor|McMahon with a constituent.

“Actions introduced this legislative sitting are part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives” said McMahon

The province goes to the polls on June 7th, 2018 when the government will have to defend this record which includes selling off a significant part of Hydro One and cutting hydro rates by 25% knowing that those rates are going to have to rise – but not until after the provincial election.

The provincial government finally eliminated its deficit, but its debt is rising to new heights.

Ontario net debt

The 2008 recession forced the province to borrow – that borrowing has slowed down – but they are now selling off highly valued assets – Hydro One – to raise funds.

The deficit is the financial shortfall during any one fiscal year – we spent more money on providing services and paying interest on the debt than was brought in as tax revenue

The debt is the money we borrowed when there was a deficit and we didn’t have the money to pay our bills.
One of the things Ontario did was sell a portion of Hydro One to the public. That raised a tonne of money which the province is using to pay for large infrastructure projects that we would normally have had to borrow money to pay for,

The province’s first balanced budget in a decade gets rid of a deficit that had at one point reached about $20 billion, and the government is projecting that balance will continue through to 2020.

The debt, however, is another matter. It is projected to be $312 billion this year, or roughly $22,000 for every Ontarian. It is projected to grow to $336 billion in 2019-2020.

The province’s net debt has tripled since the provincial Liberals came to power. In the last budget presented by Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives before the 2003 election, the debt was about $110 billion.

The overall size of the budget, meanwhile, has roughly doubled – from $71 billion in 2003 to $141 billion this year – the government is spending more money which is fine just as long as tax revenue covers all the spending – and that the tax rate is something the voters will live with.

Interest on debt is the fourth largest spending area, at $11.6 billion. It is also projected to be the fastest-growing spending area, at an average 3.6 per cent a year from 2015 to 2020, compared to an annual 3.3-per-cent increase in health and 2.8 per cent in education.

Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown maintains : “There is no plan in the Liberal budget to get the debt under control.”

Patrick Brown Looking sideways

Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown maintains : “There is no plan in the Liberal budget to get the debt under control.”

“We are spending more servicing the debt each year than we’re spending on all transit and provincial highways, more than we’re spending on the Ministry of Children and Youth Services…more than on care for seniors, more than investments in our post-secondary education, more than supporting northern communities,” he said.

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa said debt is in fact being managed.  “A first step to managing debt is coming to balance,” he said.

Combined debt fed + prov

We have gotten into a borrowing habit – is this the way to run an economy? There are different views and different political philosophies. It is complex – but we are paying the interest on this debt.

“The debt-to-GDP ratio is improving”, Sousa said, “and the percentage of the budget that goes toward servicing the debt is considerably smaller than it has been in years.

“We’ve locked in those rates over long periods of time to minimize volatility and risk,” he said.


The choices if you don’t like the Liberal government: NDP leader Andrea Horvath and Progressive Conservative leader of the opposition Patrick Brown.

The net-debt-to-GDP ratio is down to about 37.5 per cent from a high of roughly 40 per cent in recent years, but the government hopes to wrestle it down to pre-recession levels of 27 per cent by 2029-30. In the interim, the government has set a target of reducing that number to 35 per cent by 2023-24.

That’s the big picture – you get to decide if you can continue to live with it or if you want to get somebody else in the legislature and see if they can do a better job.  They do work for you – never let them forget that.


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Transit routes 3, 4, 5 and 10 detours for Sound of Music Festival weekend

notices100x100By Staff

June 15th, 2017


Due to road closures, there will be temporary detours in place as follows:

Routes 3 and 5 from Friday, June 16 – Sunday, June 18:

Bus station 1

Some of the buses will not be on the streets they are normally running on.

Beginning Friday, June 16 at 3 p.m. through to Sunday, June 18, 2017, Brant Street will be closed from Lakeshore Road to Caroline Street.

Routes 3 and 5 will use John Street up to Caroline Street. For service, please move to stops north of Caroline or to the downtown Transit Terminal (430 John St.).

Routes 4 and 10 on Saturday, June 17:
For the Sound of Music Parade on Saturday, June 17, portions of Drury Lane and James Street will be closed between 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. resulting in detours to Routes 4 and 10 during this time.

For service to Route 4, please move to New Street or north of Woodward Avenue on Drury Lane. Route 10 passengers can still board their buses at the downtown Transit Terminal (430 John St.).

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Councillor Craven is challenged to a public debate with two residents who don't share his view of where growth in Aldershot should be going.

News 100 greenBy Staff

June 15th, 2017



This should be interesting.

Tom Muir and Greg Woodruff, both Aldershot residents want to publicly debate Rick Craven the city Councillor for Ward 1.

Muir has been a thorn in Craven’s side since he first got elected to office. Woodruff, who ran for the office of Regional Chair in 2010, is no less determined than Muir to make his point – just not as prolific.

There is a potential development on Plains Road on the property that currently is home to a bingo hall and a Home hardware.

Plains Road - Bingo Hall

Location of the property on Plains Road that a developer has expressed an interest in developing.

A developer, National Homes, hasn’t filed anything with the city – so it is just talk at this point but then that is the way things work in some wards.

A developer will get cozy with the ward Councillor and learn as much as he can from the politician. Developers don’t want to go to the Planning department without some assurance that they are going to get more than a fair hearing.

When the developer has done as much as they can to create the conditions they need – they then make a formal application and the development is now in the hands of the professional planners employed by the city.

The Planning department follows all the procedures and the protocols that are in place and in the fullness of time they prepare a report on the merits of a development project that goes to city council where it is debated.

Craven at King Road

Ward 1 Councillor Rick Craven is proud of the improvements that have been made along Plains Road – some of his residents don’t share his views.

Councillor Craven made mention of the development in the Newsletter he publishes and sends out to anyone who asks to have their name on the newsletter list. That’s where Muir and Woodruff became aware of the development – and they swung into gear.

When Muir first got wind of the developers thinking he sent the following to Councillor Craven:


This notice of intended redevelopment of this large plaza personifies the issues that people have about what’s happening in Aldershot, and has been happening for some time now.

The wholesale replacement of commercial with what is basically residential, with token retail, makes a mockery of the mixed use, work, shop, play, walk, enjoy, idea.

My Ward Craven PRVV

Councillor Craven refers to the Plains Road Village Vision and believes it has resulted in a different and better community- he has a number of constituents who don’ share his vision.

But nobody at City Hall, including you, seems to listen and all we hear are excuses – like we need to get rid of all the commercial we have, to get more population, so we can somehow get commercial back at some time in the future. This is a joke?

This will never happen, as there will be no place to build meaningful commercial. You heard all the people comments the other night telling you this. What response we got from you guys was; well this plan goes to 2040, so wait and see.

My wife and I have frequented the Home Hardware, Dollar Store (previously Shoppers), the restaurants there, for a long time, and years ago what was a grocery store where the Bingo is. This plaza is one of the few places we find things we need and will walk to. We were very happy to have Home Hardware down here. We can’t walk to the Home Hardware in Waterdown.

All that is in your description of intentions for this site is tear down residential – town homes and mid-rise condos, and of course the token retail. There seems to be nothing anything like the present commercial in this intention statement.

You will recall we had a Canadian Tire, which suffered the same fate. The token retail there is significantly empty and does not offer a lot to replace what was there in services. We can’t walk to Burlington Mall or to Clappisons Corner.

I need to remind you about the Drewloe development replacing the large commercial – grocery store, department store, bank, liquor store, small retail – and the controversy of the bylaw change escaping attention still irks people. No place to walk to the replaces this commercial.

The retail there still has a lot of empty. The Busy Bee from the Bell Motel, Foo Ho, parcel tear down moved in but there was already one across the street next to Hauser/Tim Horton.

The 24 hour fitness gym that moved in is across the street from The Fitness Firm, where you go. That building is also in waiting for a tear down.

I can see from the planning meeting the other night that this is just going to accelerate, sweeping everything away, and there will be no large enough parcels left to build anything commercially significant to replace what we lose. And given the spectacular rise in home prices, this residential conversion is developer irresistible, and I don’t see much resistance from city planning or you.

This is exactly what is terribly wrong with what is being done. The walk, transit, bike plan accompanying this is a farce and doesn’t fit with the reality, which like was also said the other night, it’s all going to be about cars and no place to park

Plains Road - no longer just the highway to Hamilton but now a Main Street in a part of the city with an identity of its own

Plains Road – no longer just the highway to Hamilton but now a Main Street in a part of the city with an identity of its own

The south side of Plains Rd meeting completely ignored a mention of the meeting on the same subject a couple of years ago You will recall my complaint then about rampant speculation going on then, that wasn’t even mentioned to the public when they were asked what they wanted, but all I got was a brush off.

At the recent meeting, the planning manager in attendance didn’t seem to know what was going on in this respect of land assembly. Does she really not know what’s going on?

And there was no mention at all of what people had said they wanted, and issues raised, at the meeting 2 years ago. What a waste of their time and my time.

I won’t go on further, as I find it very disturbing, and I’m starting to wonder more and more why I bother because I don’t see from my engagement over many years that city hall gives it attention in a respectful manner. I have been at several meetings where the staff in attendance look, first bored, then frustrated with questions and points, and then annoyed.

I really can’t blame them the way the reality is and it’s their job.

I can agree with more residential development, where it fits (three ten story building on Solid Gold does not fit with neighborhood right to the North), but the speculation and wholesale conversion and tear down of commercial to further this is too much.

Greg Woodruff adds to the discussion with:

I agree with this all.

Staff policies are de-commercializing Aldershot. Staff don’t care or want commercially viable stores, because the parking and space requirements of real commercial means less people on a lot.

Greg Woodruff

Greg Woodruff

They have turned the place where we live into a math problem and the only problem is the human bugs that don’t quite act as they want.

From 5 years ago Aldershot has:
1) Less trees than ever
2) Less stores than ever
3) More traffic congestion than ever

If you think applying the same policies for the next 5 years reverses this I’d say you lack the ability to perceive reality.

Yes eventually you will get a handful more bikers and walkers, but this will be offset 25 to 1 with people who now have to drive for the basic commodities of living

Reversing this is easy: Put in the official plan the ground floor of any building must be all commercial, commercially vented, transport truck access and 1 square foot of parking for every 1 square foot of retail space.
Yes 10% or 15% less people will live in that building, but something will be around them.

If you think density alone makes a great place there are several shanty slums around the world with great densities you can move to.

Craven responds with:

Greg and Tom,
Thank you for your input.

Ward 1 Councillor Rick Craven digging out a business card for provincial Liberal leadership hopeful Sandra Pupatello.

Ward 1 Councillor Rick Craven digging out a business card for provincial Liberal leadership hopeful Sandra Pupatello. Craven at the time was considering a run for the provincial seat.

I will not engage in an online debate with you since both of you seem to have more time than I do – and since the City has not received a formal redevelopment application yet.

Having said that – you should know that I personally met with the owner of the hardware store yesterday to discuss his situation. We all want to keep the hardware store if possible.

Otherwise, I find both your comments to be overly negative and lacking in long term perspective and vision.
Thanks again for writing.

Muir isn’t prepared to let the member of council for the ward off quite that easily – replies with: (Muir tends to write long – brevity is not his strength).

We all have the same 24 hour days and 7 day weeks.

I have so much experience dealing with this stuff I was able to write what I did in 20 minutes. Greg likely wrote his piece in 10 minutes, as he has been telling you this for years, as have I. I have large file folders with many such attempts to be heard.

Muir making a point

Tom Muir

The city, Mayor, Planning, and you are always soliciting comments and engagement in all kinds of things, and that takes time, lots of it and more, but you complain if we take the time to respond, because you say you don’t have time?

So like I said, respectful listening and attention is not something I expect to receive from you, so thanks for proving my point.

Since you are not on for an on-line debate – frankly, I’m not either, as what we are telling you, and much more, is factual, and is beyond debate – I suggest we all get together, especially to debate your personal long term perspective and vision. I would like to do a reality check of your assumptions.

I hear vagaries about it at every meeting, as you tell us what you say is going to be done regardless of what we think, but these don’t provide an opportunity to have debate and discussion between us all. As I recall from many meetings, you don’t have many people who aren’t concerned about the same things, have similar views, and they express them.

So how about a real debate on this?

Anyways, regarding long term perspective, and vision – this is philosophy of science. The long term perspective, or future, is what the present becomes as we make our decisions and actions real concrete step by step.

Using our capacity for conscious foresight, our ability to logically simulate the future in imagination, is what we are using to tell you what we think is happening in concrete terms, and where it will logically lead.

We don’t lack a long term perspective, we have a very well founded one, based on fact based reasoning, logical outcomes, and where this leads to. Where is your reasoned argument?

You say we are overly negative, but we are telling you facts about reality, proposed changes, and how they are being lined up, and what they lead to.

This leads to something negative in our minds, different from what you say, and not a future we want.

But when we look for you to show the same kind of thinking, you don’t get past the more people part, forget the past consequences as concrete examples of our concerns, like what Greg and I wrote about, and you just tell us it will all work out, so don’t worry, be happy.

The staff do the same thing – they say; remember the plan goes to 2031 or 2040, so who knows how things will happen, they say. No comfort at all.


It’s a 25 year plan that sets out the strategy for our growth.

To get to 2040 we have to move through all the years between here and there, where you say the good things we already have, that we are going to lose along the way, will somehow mysteriously re-materialize, in ways you have no explanation for.

Well, we know that if you do certain things, other things will logically follow. We can see that it happened in the recent past, and the same mechanisms are still in action and will lead to more of the same. Greg said, and I agree, that If you think applying the same policies for the next 5 years reverses the negative trends he cites, I’d say you lack the ability to perceive reality.

Greg suggests several constructive and practical things, including requiring fully functional commercial on the first floor of every new building, as he describes, and has provided more details on elsewhere. This is not about opposing development, but making it work for all functions, and for all people, not just the landowner and developer.

If we really are, as staff emphasized, in a paradigm shift, then let’s internalize and generalize it all across the plan. Not just density of people, on every parcel, but accompanying density of uses and functions.

Not just more people, more density, less meaningful commercial and retail, less trees and green – try for that on the south side of Plains when condos in the pipeline and more want to sprout – and more traffic congestion, because more people density means more car density, and the walk-able necessary commercial spaces, frequented often, are gone.

It’s elementary. So how about a real debate on these things, face to face? The meetings we have are not enough.

Where will all this go?

Nowhere but Craven must have begun to realize that these two are not going to let this issue die a quiet death.

Stand by.

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