Part of North Burlington to get Better Internet Access

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

June 14th, 2021



Trudeau - Adam works the room

Adam van Koeverden talking to a constituent in Milton

Later today, Adam van Koeverden, the Member of Parliament for Milton will announce a federal investment to Standard Broadband to improve high-speed Internet access in Zimmerman and areas of North Burlington.

We will report on that event when we have more detail.

Dennis Monte at Council

Were my friend, the late Monte Dennis, still with us I am certain he would be asking why the federal constituency of Milton is not called Milton-North Burlington.

The constituency held by Pam Damoff in Oakville is named Oakville-North Burlington.

The residents of North Burlington managed to bring a halt to the dumping of landfill at the Burlington Air Park – surely they could rouse enough political energy to bring a about a change in the name of their constituency.


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Doug Ford’s gag law will limit comment on essentially any public policy issue

opinionred 100x100By Christine Van Geyn and Scott Hennig.

June 14th, 2021

Reprinted from the Globe and Mail.

Politicians are going to politician. It doesn’t matter their party, the colour of their election sign or ideological background. Politicians will take any opportunity to silence their critics – even if it means enacting unconstitutional laws. And that’s precisely what Ontario Premier Doug Ford is doing by invoking the Constitution’s notwithstanding clause to overrule a recent Ontario court decision that struck down his government’s gag law.

To be fair, it wasn’t originally his gag law. Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government first brought in a law in 2016 that gagged citizens from using paid means of amplifying their voices – not just during the election, but a full 180 days before the election even started.


Ontario Premier Doug Ford

But Mr. Ford doubled down on Ms. Wynne’s law when he introduced Bill 254 to expand the restrictions to a full 365 days prior to an election. That means today, with just under a year to go before the next Ontario election, citizens are effectively barred from spending their own money to voice their opinion on any political issue.

Sure, you will still see some political ads from non-politicians over the next 12 months, but they will be limited and only run by those with the deepest pockets and with paid staff who can jump through all of the red tape.

quarry stop sign

If this sign said something about the government it wold probably be illegal.

However, if your grandmother Donna and her bridge group want to pool their money to buy some lawn signs to voice their opinion on long wait times in Ontario’s health care system, the huge amount of debt the government is running up, or why they think the official provincial bird should be changed from the common loon to the blue jay, they will want to consult a lawyer.

For starters, Donna and her bridge buddies will have to register with Elections Ontario and appoint a chief financial officer if they want to spend more than $500 over a 12-month period. With current lumber prices, the cost of stakes for a handful of signs will push over that limit.

If they trip over the next threshold of $5,000 in signs, they will have to hire a professional auditor to investigate their bookkeeping and ensure that every cent is accounted for. Donna and her friends will have to figure out how to fill out reams of government forms.

But they likely won’t – because it won’t be worth the struggle and getting it wrong can result in large fines. This silence is exactly what politicians want.

It’s even questionable whether larger groups can move that mountain of paperwork. If a group of small businesses want to voice their opinions on government lockdown rules that favour big businesses, the law actually requires they file a new report for every $1,000 in spending. Meaning, if they reached the cap of $600,000 in spending, they could have to file 600 separate reports with the government over the next 365 days. The requirements may indeed be so nonsensical and onerous that their very purpose is to deter groups from advertising.

While Mr. Ford’s target may be the union coalition Working Families, the impact of the law is far broader, and limits comment on essentially any public policy issue when these comments matter the most.

Charter signing

Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau signed the Proclamation of the Constitution Act on April 17, 1982; it was accompanied by The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the right to free expression. What makes Canada a special place that people all around the world want to call home is that we embrace differing opinions and let our citizens have a voice. Freedom of expression is a fundamental right that should be embraced. Petty dictators wield power to silence the voices of their critics. In liberal democracies, we demand better.

Justice Edward Morgan rightfully ruled that Ontario’s gag law was too restrictive on Ontarians’ right to free expression, declaring the changes to the Election Finances Act unconstitutional. While the notwithstanding clause is available, Mr. Ford’s decision to use it here, without even taking the time to appeal the decision, is patently self-serving. It is a demonstration of incumbent arrogance, indifference towards free expression, and shows a bizarre and warped sense of priorities. And now Ontarians who want to speak out and say as much have their voices muzzled by this very law.

Christine Van Geyn is the litigation director for the Canadian Constitution Foundation. Scott Hennig is the president and CEO of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

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City Enters into Stage One of the Provincial Reopen Plan

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

June 12th, 2021



Early reports on the opening of restaurants and bars are that things went well. The turnout was brisk and the weather supported getting out and relaxing with friends over what a colleague used to call An Adult Beverage.

patio - port house

A location where you can see and feel the lake. The Port House is located at the Waterfront Hotel

The province was in Step 1 of the Re-open plan which permitted


This step was expected to begin on June 14 or two weeks after 60 per cent of adults in Ontario have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Ontario officials said 58.5 per cent of the adult population have received a first dose as of Thursday. They added that the province would need to wait two weeks after hitting the vaccination target before entering the first step in order to monitor the vaccine outcome.

In this stage, outdoor activities and gatherings will be first to open but with some restrictions and limits.

Here’s a full list of what will be allowed:

  • Outdoor gatherings for up to 10 people
  • Outdoor dining for up to 4 people per table
  • Non-essential retail at 15 per cent
  • Outdoor religious services, rites and ceremonies with capacity limited to permit two metres of physical distancing
  • Outdoor sports, training and personal training for up to 10 people
  • Day camps
  • Campsites and campgrounds
  • Ontario parks
  • Outdoor horse racing and motor speedways
  • Outdoor pools, splash pads and wading pools

We stay in this stage for 28 days and if the new infection levels hold the province will move into Stage Two.

The target is to get past the 70% of the population vaccinated and as close to not more than 200 new infections each day.

The hospitality sector has been desperate for a Re-open date that would hold.  The province had indicated it would probably be June 14th – than at close to the last day they moved that to the 11th giving restaurants and bars an additional weekend.

patio - staffIt was certainly welcome but played havoc with scheduling.

Most commentators believe the province is through the worst of the pandemic and that we could be in for  reasonable summer, providing we follow the rules and get everyone vaccinated.

The Delta variant has been found in Halton but does not appear to be rampant at this point.  We are the best defence against that variant.

Vaccination Centres across the problem are busy with a large number of young people showing of for the inoculation.

The Centre I attended for my second dose at the First Ontario Art Centre in Milton had nurses doing the needle thing at five different parts of the building..

It was problem free while I was there.

patio- lakeshore rd

Healthy traffic – content customers.

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Nelson Pool and Splash Pads Closed Today and Sunday - operational issues

notices100x100By Staff

June 12th, 2021



Due to an unforeseen operational issue, Nelson Pool and Splash Park is closed Saturday, June 12 and Sunday, June 13, 2021.

Nelson swimming pool

Nelson Pool – opened just last year after a total re-build.

The Gazette got this notice shortly after 3 pm today.

No word on what the “operational” issue was.

The city asks that people who want to swim visit for swim times at Mountainside Pool and Splash Park, or for park Splash Pad locations.

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Mayor mourns loss of four members of a Muslim family

News 100 greenBy Dennis Gibbons

June 12th, 2021



Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward says she and members of city council are committed to bringing an end to hatred of Muslims.

dennis d

On the left MP Karina Gould with Mayor Marianne Meed Ward.

Speaking at a Call to Prayer Service in Spencer Smith Park on Friday, the mayor joined about 200 people in mourning the loss of four members of a Muslim family tragically killed in London.

“City council and I as your mayor stand with you in ending Islamophobia,” she said.

“We mourn with you the loss of this beautiful family, leaving a nine-year-old boy alone.”

The mayor said the city of Burlington and its council promotes diversity and inclusion.  “We want everyone to be welcome and respected,” she said.

Meed Ward said everyone needs to speak out anytime they hear a word of unkindness or hatred spoken.

Imam Abdullah Hatia and Imam Junaid Hanslod of the Halton Mosque led the prayers.

Burlington MP Karina Gould, the minister of international affairs, also pledged to keep working to stamp out racism.  “I never want any of you to experience what we are experiencing right now,” Gould said.

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Muslim Community holds their service in Spencer Smith Park

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

June 11th, 2021



They gathered quietly at the edge of Lake Ontario to take part in a Muslim Call to Prayer.

It wasn’t a large crowd. It was an exceptionally well behaved crowd with members of the Halton Mosque ensuring that people knelt on their prayer rugs well within the required space.

dennis c

Burlington’s Muslim community celebrating their faith in a park on a Friday afternoon.



For those who did not bring a Prayer blanket there were replacements, hand sanitizer and bottles of water.

The actual Call to Prayer had a poetry to it. It was said in Arabic and sounded strong.

The women were separated from the men as is the custom.
The man who spoke after the Call to Prayer told the crowd that he was a Canadian, born in Scarborough, educated in Canada and did not believe that the tragedy in London earlier in the week, that took the lives of four people who were out for a walk leaving a fifth boy in hospital, is what Canada is about.

Dennis a

A very powerful statement from a community that struggles to heal.

Those of us who are not Muslim see it as a tragedy; the Muslims see it as a threat to their lives every day of the week. They don’t want to live this way.
There is healing to be done; understandings to be created and customs for those of us who are not Muslims to get used to and respect.

The Muslim community opened itself up to the people of Burlington Friday afternoon. It was an act we should be grateful for and use it as the occasion to help them heal and at the same time work towards tighter ties between the communities.

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Province extends temporary wage increase for personal support workers - well deserved

News 100 blueBy Staff

June 11th, 2021



The Ontario government is investing $141 million to extend the temporary wage increase for personal support workers and direct support workers in publicly funded home and community care, long-term care, public hospitals, and social services sectors. This temporary wage increase will continue until August 23, 2021, and will help stabilize, attract and retain the workforce needed to provide a high level of care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

front line workerThe province has been providing a temporary wage increase since October 1, 2020, to over 158,000 workers who deliver publicly funded personal support services, including:

• $3 per hour for approximately 38,000 eligible workers in home and community care;
• $3 per hour for approximately 50,000 eligible workers in long-term care;
• $2 per hour for approximately 10,000 eligible workers in public hospitals; and
• $3 per hour for approximately 60,000 eligible workers in children, community and social services providing personal direct support services for the activities of daily living.

This latest temporary wage increase builds on the government’s previous wage enhancement extension on March 18, 2021, which was set to expire on June 30, 2021. Since October 2020, Ontario has invested $841 million to support personal support workers and supportive care workers. The province will continue to review the wage increase to inform next steps after August 23, 2021.

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That Park Experience - they are going to tell you what you can and can't do - they will be nice to you.

News 100 greenBy Staff

June 11th, 2021



The City of Burlington has many great parks, big and small, that residents and visitors enjoy throughout the year. From playgrounds and skate parks to large, green open or forested areas, there is a park for everyone.

Starting June 14, the City will be piloting the Park Customer Experience program. The Park Experience team will be in parks to educate, engage and communicate with residents and park users, with a customer service focus.

We encourage park visitors to have a conversation with a Park Experience team member – ask questions about City of Burlington projects and general City related inquiries, get help navigating our website with a tablet, or learn about City events happening in the community.

Park Experience staff are also happy to pass along a compliment or help direct an issue to the right City staff person.

The Park Experience team will be visiting parks around the city and will have an ongoing presence at some of the busier parks like Spencer Smith, Beachway, LaSalle, Burloak, Norton and Lowville parks, daily throughout the summer. All team members will carry identification and be wearing a blue golf shirt.

During a review of the changes Parks and Recreation wants to make,  now that the province is permitting municipalities to open up, a number of issues were identified.

Spencer Smith - empty

There are limits on how the park space can be used during this first phase of the Re-Opening.


  • During the pandemic there has been an increase of residents’ passive use of parks year round
  • Pre-pandemic, Recreation, Community and Culture has consciously limited the number of bookings in parks, outside of sport fields, events, picnics and photography, so that parks are not over subscribed with organized groups and allow for passive use of residents
  • The province is entering step 1 of the Roadmap to Re-open adding additional park use in the parks for sport and fitness
    • Group size of 10, 3 m distancing
  • The additional passive use in the parks has already put pressure on parks maintenance – garbage pick ups, washroom servicing, adding use will add pressure to this current
  • Some parks are much busier than others especially all the lakefront parks
  • Some times of day are busier than others – weeknight and weekends


The following options were considered:

Assumption: all options are only applicable while under Step 1 of the Province’s Roadmap to Re-Opening

  1. Do not permit fitness classes in parks and retain only passive resident use – no cost
  2. Allow for fitness classes in open spaces in select locations, in select parks, and at select times, and charge the appropriate approved rental rate – revenue generation
    • Council-approved rate
      • Not for Profit with the 20% rate reduction already approved by Council – $9.97/hour plus HST
      • Commercial with the 20% rate reduction already approved by Council – $14.51/hour plus HST
    • Limit to weekday use
    • No lake front parks
    • Not on sport fields because of wear and tear issues and existing permitted use
    • Similar to photography permit conditions, it is the responsibility of the permit holder and group to accommodate the community in the park and to work around the
  3. Allow for fitness classes as outlined in option 2 but at no charge – no cost
  4. Allow for fitness classes in all parks without limitations and charge the appropriate fee – revenue generation
    • Council-approved rate
      • Not for Profit with the 20% rate reduction already approved by Council – $9.97/hour plus HST
      • Commercial with the 20% rate reduction already approved by Council – $14.51/hour plus HST
  1. Allow for fitness classes in all parks without limitations at no charge – no cost

Option 2 was chosen by the Leadership Team and approved by the Standing Committee


Permit fitness classes in open spaces in select locations, in select parks, and at select times, and charge the appropriate approved rental rate.

  • This decision supports:
    • Staff’s ability to quickly communicate and act on requests given the possibility Step 1 of the Province’s Roadmap to Re- Opening will transition to Step 2 in or around July 2nd.
    • Staff balancing locations and timings with the passive use of
    • Staff’s ability to monitor how many groups are in the parks, when and where through the permitting
    • Equity of treatment with other parties seeking permits to utilize park space


  • No by-law enforcement is required as the Parks By-Law allows for this type of use
  • COVID compliance with step 1 will occur on a complaint basis, when and if staff are available to investigate
  • Sport Ambassadors and Park Experience staff will observe use, mitigate onsite issues and report and follow up with supervisors and if required staff may need to re-assess a park location and timing of the permit
  • The permit holder must comply with all the terms and conditions for facility rental contract (permit). Non- compliance could result in the termination of the
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Finding the Best Hosting Solution for your Website is Not Always Easy

News 100 blueBy Maria Logger

June 11th, 2021



While there are many web hosting services available, finding the best hosting solution for your website is not always easy. There are many considerations you need to make to ensure your site gets the best support possible. Whether you have a personal blog or a small business, you need your website to be reliable, usable, and secure.

PAID Next G services

A successful website can make or break your success.

For many small organizations having a successful website can make or break their success. A good online presence will drive growth while an under-performing website will mean your business never reaches its potential. If the website is the house of your online output, think of hosting as the foundations of the house, which is why it is essential to find the best web hosting possible.

PAID web design

The design is critical – work with people who understand you and your clients.

Many small business owners will make some important mistakes when selecting web hosting. Firstly, they will often believe all the major hosting services were created equal and there is no difference between Provider A and Provider B. Secondly, business owners are often cost-conscious and will simply choose the most affordable hosting.

Sure, keeping prices down is a good thing and you should always look for the most cost-effective solution. However, you need to mix affordability with quality. There are also plenty of other tips to follow to ensure you choose the best web hosting service for you. Luckily, we have listed those things below:

Base Your Hosting on Your Needs
Before choosing a web hosting package, consider what type of website you want. There’s a big difference in resources between a simple blog-style website and one that has multiple videos, live streams, forums, and so on. Your hosting service should reflect the level of performance you require and be able to keep your site running optimally.

PAID bandwidth graphic

How much bandwidth do you need – and what is bandwidth anyway?

Which Type of Hosting?
Your site needs will tell you a lot about which hosting to get. If you have a resource intensive website, you should look for dedicated hosting, which means your site is held on its own server (more expensive). If you have a more basic resource need, considering the more common shared hosting, which means your website is hosted on a server with other sites (less expensive).

Read Reviews
If you have found a couple of hosting providers that meet your web needs at a price, you’re happy with, you now need to compare them. Perhaps the best way to do this is to read customer reviews. Find regulated review aggregators and check what people are saying about your chosen web hosting providers.

Choosing Bandwidth
Many people make the mistake of buying a package with enough bandwidth to suit their needs in that moment. They forget to consider growth if the site becomes successful and the number of visitors grows. It is more affordable to purchase more bandwidth when opening your hosting contract than to add more later.

PAID web site security

Make sure you have the level of security you need.

Security is Important
We live in an age of cybersecurity where there is a constant risk of attack. Don’t make the mistake of thinking because your website is small threat actors are not interested in it. You need to ensure your site is properly secure. There are many things you can do to ensure security, but the best place to start is by choosing a web hosting service with a strong set of cyber protection features.

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Washroom Availability at Tourism Office on Locust - just north of Lakeshore

 News 100 yellowBy Staff

June 11th, 2021

Burlington, ON


When ya gotta – ya gotta.

toilets Beachway May 19

Lots of porta potties in the Beachway – none in the downtown core.

City council expect hundreds of people to be out on the streets and the need for access to washrooms – well there aren’t enough of them.

There is one in the building at 414 Locust that house a restaurant, the Tourism office and access to the parking garage.

City hall has found a way to open that space up to the public.


  • Significant demand of existing City provided washrooms in downtown area resulting in line-ups for use
    • Discovery Landing, City Hall, Beachway Park Pavilion+ Portable Washrooms, Spenser Smith Park Portable Washrooms (East Side)
  • Pressure on local businesses for use of their washrooms by public


  • Open washrooms at 414 Locust for public use
    • Existing COVID restrictions Only one person/family use of washroom at a time.
    • Staff monitoring occupancy flow into the lobby
  • Availability
    • June 11 – July 25 including statutory holidays

–    Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Statutory Holidays – 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

  • Costs
        • Approximately $10,000
        • Includes City of Burlington staff and cleaning to COVID standard

    There will be signage on the street.

414 Locust

Washroom access in the tourism office.

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Online casinos – no sign of wavering this year

sportsgold 100x100Sidney Adams

June 11th, 2021



So much of life and leisure has moved online over the course of the last year. The coronavirus pandemic has shifted almost everything that possibly can be digitalized away from in-person and right on to the web – and gambling is no exception.

Some people have predicted that the vaccine rollout and the tentative easing of coronavirus restrictions might end up leading to a shift away from the institutions and places which have enjoyed a boost in success over the course of the pandemic. But the benefits of gambling and gaming online are clearly being felt – and there’s little sign of online casinos winding down any time soon. This article will delve into more detail about how and why this is the case.

The numbers

The evidence shows that online gambling is very much on the up. In-person casino firms have spent recent months making acquisitions that bolster their online gambling credentials: Caesars Entertainment, for example, has picked up the British firm William Hill in part in order to build out its web and mobile gambling provision.

In the UK, meanwhile, data from the Gambling Commission released during the early phase of the pandemic showed that those who were already gambling were upping their use of gambling services. Figures showed that just over two thirds of such people boosted either the amount of cash or time they spent gambling – suggesting that the established gambling community were firmly happy with the shift to online.

Privacy is key

PAID cryptocurrency graphic

Some online gambling sites are offering cryptocurrency deposit options which don’t have an ownership record.

It’s easy to see why online casinos remain so popular. For some, the privacy offered by being able to gamble at home is a real game-changer. And now that some online gambling sites are offering cryptocurrency deposit options which don’t have an ownership record thanks to their decentralized nature, it’s easier than ever to gamble in private.

It’s interesting to ask whether privacy concerns also exist with online gambling. However, the privacy concerns with online casinos are just different. While it’s possible that your Internet service provider or a government can track your online usage, it’s harder for your friends and family to get to know. And with services like browser history clearers or VPNs available, it’s possible to add extra security.

Ease of use

Online gambling sites are also easy to use, too. Once the requisite age and other checks have been performed, a gambler can get started with play straight away. With a physical casino, this isn’t the case – and depending on where you live, it can take even longer to get started if there’s a big distance involved.

And online casinos that you can find on sites such as can also offer the gamer another advantage – choice. Online casino games come jam-packed with all sorts of fun features and designs, and it’s possible to customize your online casino experience in a way that you can’t quite at an in-person gambling venue. In-person casinos might have a certain degree of excitement that a website can’t replicate – but they can’t offer the same sheer breadth of choice of table game, aesthetic or multimedia as a good online casino can.

Legal consequences?

Finally, it’s interesting to look at whether or not the increased shift towards online casinos – and the apparent staying power that they have – could have consequences when it comes to the law. In some parts of the world, countries still don’t have laws in favor of online gambling – and in some places, the practice is banned outright. Behind the scenes, many legislators and governors are working with stakeholders in their areas to unblock these sorts of logjams. But progress is slow.

PAID image online gambling

Online casinos are clearly now institutions.

Given that online casinos don’t appear to be going anywhere fast, some are starting to wonder whether the apparent permanence of the institutions within the gambling community might be enough to push governments into making pro-gambling decisions. This could well be the case when the fiscal side of things is considered: the more online gamblers there are, the more potential tax revenue there is for governments. However, it is likely that only time will tell whether governments will come around.

Ultimately, online casinos are clearly now institutions. A long pandemic year of having fun online rather than in-person has entrenched these sites as part of the gambling community’s fabric – and that doesn’t look like it’s going to go away. What the long term effects of this will be (especially when it comes to the legal and regulatory frameworks), however, is what remains to be seen.

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Mayor on Community Prayer Event Supporting Muslim Community

June 11th, 2021


Statement from the Mayor

The devastating loss of life that took place in London, Ontario earlier this week has affected us all and united us in heartbreak and grief, especially our Muslim friends and neighbours.

Mayor Meed Ward

Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

It is important that we take action to support our Muslim community and convey loud and clear that hate and violence will not be tolerated in our city, nor our country.

Our local Halton Mosque will be hosting a prayer service, open to the community, at Spencer Smith Park tomorrow afternoon between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.

A traditional Muslim prayer service will take place first, where non-Muslims are welcome to observe. That service will be followed by a unifying prayer for the entire community.

We have confirmed with our Member of Provincial Parliament that under current provincial regulations, there is no limit on outdoor gatherings for religious services, other than what the outdoor space will accommodate with required physical distancing.

We ask everyone to stay 6 feet away from individuals or families you don’t live with, and wear a mask even outdoors if physical distancing is a challenge. The City of Burlington, including City Council, are supportive of this event and its intention to provide a way for our community to come together in support of the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion.

We have seen similar events take place already this week throughout many cities and towns, including London, Hamilton and Oakville.

Halton Regional Police Service will be on site at the event and fees for legal parking spaces in municipal parking lots, street spaces, and garages will be relaxed during that time frame.

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Call to Prayer Service to take place in Spencer Smith Park on Friday

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

June 10th, 2021



The Burlington Mosque is planning a Call to Prayer Service in Spencer Smith Park at 1:30 pm on Friday.

The Mayor calls this the

Muslim Call to Prayer Service to take place Friday at 1:30 pm

The occasion is to offer prayers and support to the Muslim Community and the family of those people tragically killed earlier this week.

Specifically where in Spenser Smith this will take place – details will follow.

City Hall staff have once again turned on a dime to make this event happen.  Many people dropped whatever they were doing to figure out how to deal with the details.

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Mayor assures public that city will ensure that large crowds do not congregate in Spencer Smith Park

News 100 redBy Staff

June 10th, 2021



Mayor Meed Ward released the following comments to the public:

Last weekend, on Saturday night, we experienced a large gathering of youth at Beachway Park in Burlington, with approximately 1000 individuals congregating at the beach and surrounding parking lots.

Police responded on-site as many local residents reported their concerns relating to illegal gathering and crowding, public safety, use of the park after hours (the posted closure time is 11 p.m.), and the illegal use of fireworks and alcohol.

Saturday balcony shot

Mayor has been made aware of efforts to organize a similar gathering this coming weekend.

We have been made aware of efforts to organize a similar gathering this coming weekend and want to ensure the public is aware that the City of Burlington, including bylaw, roads and parks staff, is working in partnership with Burlington Fire and the Halton Regional Police to prevent this type of activity from recurring.

Our parks throughout Burlington are open to the public for responsible use so that our community can enjoy the amenities there and spend time outdoors. This is even more important during the current COVID-19 pandemic while indoor gatherings are still not permitted. Outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people will be permitted by the Province as of Friday, June 11.

We are committed to providing our community with safe and healthy outdoor environments to support their physical and mental well-being.

In an effort to deter activity that will put health and safety at risk, we will be closing access to Beachway Park, including adjacent parking lots, beginning at 8 p.m. on Saturday evening and limiting vehicle and pedestrian access on that area of Lakeshore Road. There will be an increased presence of police, bylaw officers and Burlington Fire personnel throughout all city parks over the weekend to monitor activity and keep our community safe and healthy.

Please use our parks as intended, safely and responsibly, so that everyone can continue to enjoy this valued outdoor space in these challenging times.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

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Rainbow Crosswalk Survey written by the Mayor comes up short on demographic data - just who was responding?

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

June 10th, 2021



We now know a little bit more about the survey that pulled in more than 4000 responses to the question: where would you like to see the next Rainbow Crosswalk.

The overwhelming response said put the Rainbow in front of the Catholic School Board.

The Gazette saw that as a little on the dicey side politically.


Director of Communications for the city Kwab Ako-Adjei

he survey was posted to the City’s Get Involved page and “promoted  via our social accounts” said Director of Communications for the city Kwab Ako-Adjei who added that “Our office works with the department responsible for the survey to make changes or edits if needed.  The survey ran from May 7-23.”

What Kwab Ako-Adjei does not say is the “department responsible” for the survey was the Office of the Mayor.

The Staff report said the “online public survey was prepared to expedite community consultation and respond to the community’s requests for additional locations…”

The intention appears to have been to catch the attention of the high school student cohort.

Mayor Meed Ward said during a Standing Committee meeting on Tuesday that she had written the survey.

All of the respondents were identified as anonymous.

None were identified by age or gender nor level of education

The vast majority of the respondents checked in the first two days the survey was online.

There were a few that responded to the survey on more than one occasion – but not enough to make much of a difference.

survey aware-engaged

The Get Involved web page on the city web site is a place where ideas and projects are posted and where people go for updates. The city tracks who takes part in the surveys and which issues they are following. Those that responded to the Rainbow Crosswalk survey were not part of the group that tends to follow the Get Involved web page.

None of the 4295 aware and engaged respondents had ever interacted with the Get Involved web page before leading to the conclusion that they may never have heard of the page and were directed to it by their peers.

None of the Council members took issue with the Mayor preparing the survey; their concern was with the number of Rainbow Benches that were going to be placed in individual wards and wondering when a Rainbow Crosswalk could be painted in their ward.

Kelvin Galbraith said that painting a Crosswalk at the RBG would be a good way to tell people entering from Hamilton that Burlington was a  2SLGBTQIA+ community.

Councillor Nisan wanted one in his ward and thought in front of he Art Centre would be a fine place.

Councillor Bentivegna didn’t appear to have a preference and Councilor Sharman knew there would be one in his ward in the fullness of time.

mmw May 5

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward taking part in a Standing Committee virtually

What became evident as the debate progressed was that the Mayor put together a survey, the Communications people put it up on the Get Involved web page and then, sort of out of the blue 4000 + people responded.

With that moment the Mayor pressed for a decision to get Rainbow Crosswalks across the city saying speed is of the essence” and to “get it done quickly”

Councillor Sharman said it “strikes me as a bunch of folks got caught up” and that the information is not as objective as it might have been.”

Mayor Meed Ward described what was being done as a “made in Burlington” solution and then added that she could see “a Pride Parade”  in the city’s future.

Just like Toronto?



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City hall sets out what they are changing now that the province has stepped into phase 1 of Re-opening.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

June 9th, 2021



With the news that the public is about to leave the pandemic bondage we were put into most people focus on deciding where they will go to for their first drink in a public place in many months.

The people that toil away at city hall on our behalf now need to pivot once again and begin providing service to people directly.

The following is an Update on City services and outdoor facilities…

The City of will now open up more outdoor activities with smaller crowds where risk of transmission is lower. It will also allow more limited indoor settings to be open, all with restrictions in place.

Changes to City services and programs:

City Hall
City Hall will be open to the public for washroom access every weekend until Labour Day weekend. Washroom hours are: Fridays, 4:30 to 9 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Beginning Monday, June 14, the Service Burlington counter at City Hall, at 426 Brant St., will be open to the public to offer in-person payments for:
• Parking permits and tickets
• Property taxes
• Freedom of Information requests
• Garbage tags
• Dog licenses
• Property information requests
• Recreation services

The counter will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.

Service Burlington will continue to offer marriage licenses and commissioning services by appointment only. Please call Service Burlington at 905-335-7777 or start your booking online to schedule an appointment at or

Anyone entering City Hall must wear a mask or face covering unless exempted from by the Mandatory Mask Bylaw. Residents are asked to bring and wear their own masks.

Payment methods accepted
Debit card payments and cheques are accepted for all payment types. Credit cards are accepted for all payment types except property taxes. If you would like to pay property taxes in cash, please visit your local bank to make the payment.

Customers are also welcome to use the drop box outside City Hall, located at the Locust Street entrance, to drop off cheque payments, letters, or small packages.

Transit terminal - John StreetBurlington Transit
Burlington Transit continues to operate on a modified schedule. For schedule and real-time bus information, visit Reduced Youth Summer passes and SPLIT passes are available to purchase at the Downtown Terminal, 430 John St.

Halton Court Services
In-person court administration counter services at 4085 Palladium Way are available from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Friday. Telephone payments are available at 905-637-1274, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. Many services are also available by email at or online at Halton Court Services.

Patio Program
Outdoor dining with up to four people per table, with exceptions for larger households, will be allowed. City staff have been installing sidewalk detours and patio set-up this week in support of local business owners under the City’s patio program. As long as public health measures allow, the patio program will run until Oct. 31, 2021.

Recreation Services, Parks, Amenities and Facilities

Sport Fields
Sport fields will open Saturday, June 12 for program user groups to hold skills and drills with a maximum of 10 people. Sport organizations will be contacted for scheduling.

Nelson-271x138Outdoor Pools
Nelson and Mountainside Pool and Splash Parks will open on Saturday, June 12 for lap swimming and drop-in recreational swims, including Tim Hortons Free Summer Swimming days throughout the summer, from June 19 to Sept. 6.

LaSalle Splash Park will open later in June.

For all outdoor pools, registration is required 25-hours in advance at, and all participants must fill out the pre-screening form one-hour before their pool time at

Rec-Summer Swim Passes and 30-day lap swim passes can also be purchased at
For more information on pools, visit

Outdoor Adult Drop-in Programs
Outdoor adult drop-in programs for wellness and fitness will start June 28. Pre-registration is required at

Roads, Parks and Forestry
Services provided by the Roads, Parks and Forestry Department will continue as needed. Residents with questions or concerns can email or call 905-333-6166.

This is the province’s three-step plan to safely lift public health measures based on provincewide vaccination and infection rates.
As the provincewide vaccination rate and key public health and health care indicators improve, and City staff receives and reviews updated orders from the Province of Ontario and more details under its Roadmap to Reopen, we will continue to comply and keep you up-to-date on available City services and what can open while keeping City of Burlington staff and residents safe.

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Newcomer to Burlington right in the middle of a huge bottle drive - Saturday June 26

graphic community 3By Pepper Parr

June 9th, 2021



It is surprising the effect Burlington has on people who choose to live here.

Bottle Julie Neal

Julie Neal with her son Emmett and two Bottle Drive volunteers

Julie Neal and her family have been in Burlington about three years. It was the community she and her husband chose to live in when circumstances required a move.

Her experience was like thousands of others – a Mom meets a Mom because their children seem to get along and they play together. Then another Mom is introduced and then there is a local event that the Moms help out on and before she knew it Julie was involved in a fund raising drive through a connection with Burlington Dads.

“ I had lived in Toronto for more than 15 years and was convinced I would be there for the rest of my life. I was an elementary school teacher and I loved my job. I ran a Scottish Dancing school which I tried to keep up after moving to Burlington.

“That didn’t work out. For the first number of months I would drive into Toronto regularly to meet up with friends but after a while I found I was putting down roots in Burlington and the trips to Toronto became fewer and fewer. It has been some time since I drove the QEW.

“My children have taken to Burlington – the youngest knows nothing about Toronto.

“I was asked by new friends if I could help out with a bottle drive fund raiser that took place four times a year and I jumped right in.

“The group raised $8000 which stunned me.  The people of Burlington just turn up when there is a need.”

The pandemic however changed everything.

“There were a lot of people who needed help and I convinced the people that I started working with that we could do a one day event and really have an impact.

“The “one day” event is Saturday June 26th.


“The North Burlington Baptist Church let us use their driveway which will allow people to drive in and drive out and not have to look for a place to park during the last drive.

“We have arranged for cargo vans to take the bottles and cans to the collection centre in Stoney Creek. We have to bag the bottles and cans and add a tag stating how many items there are in each of the clear plastic bags.

“What is making the June event much more interesting is the support we are getting from the hospitality sector. More than 45 locations have given us Gift cards that we will be giving to people as prizes. Everyone who drops off bottles or cans or food items will be given a ticket that gets put into a draw.

Bottle drive - sample card“The Gift Cards are at the $25 level for the most part. When I dropped into one retail operation and asked if they would like to take part they gave us eight cards.

Couple of differences this event explains Julie, “We are asking people to separate the bottles and the cans so that we can move them to the collection centre quickly. We expect the cargo vans will be used to make several trips.”

The funds raised through the bottle drive will go to the Compassion Society – the food will go to the Food Bank.

In the newspaper business we interview hundreds of people. A comment Julie made as we were ending the interview surprised us. She was talking about how much she was enjoying the work (and there is a lot of it) that has to be done and said: “Who am I? I’m just a nobody loving the community I now live in”.

A relative newcomer to the city making an incredible contribution.  Make a point of taking those cans and bottles to the drive in on the 26th – they will operate from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Every bottle and can will be needed to reach that $8000 target.

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Ford Out of Touch with Reality - Natural Gas Expansion Plans a Disaster in the Making

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

June 9th, 2021



“A global crisis has shocked the world. It is causing a tragic number of deaths, making people afraid to leave home, and leading to economic hardship not seen in many generations. Its effects are rippling across the world. ”

Obviously, I am talking about COVID-19. But in just a few decades, the same description will fit another global crisis: climate change. As awful as this pandemic is, climate change could be worse.” (Bill Gates – Aug 2020)

Pipeline -Transmountain

Pipelines move natural gas.

So, why would any government anywhere want to expand the carbon footprint of its residents? But that is exactly what the press conference this morning by Premier Ford and his ministers was all about, They are moving onto the second phase of their gas pipeline expansion plan to some 43 communities in northern and rural Ontario.

In total some 28 pipeline projects including well over a hundred kilometers of pipeline will be buried in order that Alberta based Enbridge and EPCOR can supply currently low cost natural gas even further into homes and businesses in the province.

The Ontario government is spending $234 million so the Alberta gas companies can sell more of their product in Ontario. And customers will pay back a dollar a month for being connected to the new gas supply system.

But even over ten years that would take almost 2 million new gas customers to pay off the subsidy to the gas companies. And that is unlikely since Enbridge, which is Canada’s largest gas distribution company, has barely four million existing customers in the province.

And what about the carbon tax? Currently set at $40 per tonne or 7.83 cents per cubic metre, it is set to more than quadruple by 2030. The entire premise underlying this government’s push to have Ontario residents use more natural gas is that it will help reduce their costs of living and for their businesses.

heat homes

Natural gas is the major source for heating homes. Solar has a lot of growing to do.

But it seems Mr. Ford, having lost in the courts, has just decided to ignore that we really do have an ever increasing carbon tax in this country, and will, even if the federal government changes hands.

New gas furnaces last 15-20 years. We can only imagine where the carbon tax will be in twenty years and what that will do to the economics of having locked ourselves even more into natural gas. Investments in new capital infrastructure, like a new gas heating appliance, should include a risk analysis of the future operational costs as well as the gas price today.

Electricity is an alternative. Wind and solar are already the least costly ways of generating electricity today and they are becoming even less expensive. And advances in energy storage will make them more reliable into the future. Already, battery technology is bringing that to reality in places like Australia.

The press conference seemed well attended and there were a number of media questions, but nobody mentioned the carbon tax and its impact going forward. In fact nobody mentioned climate change and our carbon footprint and what this would mean for all of us and for those yet to come.

Doug Ford and Jason Kenney

BFF: Best friends forever. Doug Ford with Jason Kennedy.

This may have been partly about Mr. Ford helping out his fellow premier in Alberta by marketing his gas here. And Mr. Ford may have genuinely been trying to help more Ontario residents lower their heating costs. There was also talk of 5000 jobs, but we know any kind of energy project results in jobs. In fact US President Biden has made jobs the centre piece of his natural gas phase out plan. Yet while the US is phasing out, Ontario is embracing gas.

And that is the other problem with this provincial program. Natural gas was the wonder fuel of the sixties and seventies, when Mr. Ford was still a baby. Today burning natural gas is one the biggest problems facing humanity. And if Mr. Ford doesn’t get that he’s really out of touch with reality.

Rivers hand to faceRay Rivers, a Gazette Contributing Editor,  writes regularly applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat to his thinking.  Rivers was once a candidate for provincial office in Burlington.  He was the founder of the Burlington citizen committee on sustainability at a time when climate warming was a hotly debated subject.   Ray has a post graduate degree in economics that he earned at the University of Ottawa.  Tweet @rayzrivers


Background links:

Bill Gates

Phase 2 Gas Expansion

Australia Energy Storage

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The idea of closing Brant Street completely got mentioned - didn't go further than that

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 9th, 2021



The increase in the traffic in Spender Smith Park brought an issue to a head at the Standing Committee on Tuesday.

Meed ward looking askance

Mayor did not take kindly to Kearns comments.

Tempers flared just a little bit and the Mayor chose to ask to speak on a Point of Personal Privilege after Councilor Kearns made a comment about the Mayor needing to get out on the street and see for herself that people were not wearing face masks.

Kearns got kind of feisty with her remarks. She can at times be rather sharp with her words.

The item being debated was Options to increase physical distancing on Brant Street in response to Covid-19.

Direct the Director of Transportation to proceed with one of the options the Transportation department had set out in their report.

A report which they put together on very short notice that called for them to work with the Burlington Downtown Business Improvement (BDBA) and the Ward 2 Councillor on soliciting input from downtown businesses on the approved option.

Earlier in the year, May 8, City Council Directed the Executive Director of Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility and the Director of Transportation Services to explore options to increase the ability for physical distancing and safe passage in response to COVID-19 for the area of Brant Street (Caroline Street to Lakeshore Road) for Saturdays and Sundays, from July 3 – September 5, 2021; to come back a report and recommendation to the June 8, 2021 Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility Committee meeting. (SD-10-21)

The current conditions on Brant Street from Lakeshore Road to Caroline Street includes a lane configuration consisting of one travel lane in each direction with curbside parking predominantly on both sides of the road. Truck loading and 20-minute curbside drop-off zones also exist within the curbside parking lane. During normal conditions, there is no charge for parking after 6 pm and on weekends.

A review of recent traffic studies available on Brant Street north of Caroline Street has revealed traffic volumes on Saturday and Sunday are approximately 1,000 vehicles per hour (both directions).

As part of the 2021 Temporary Patio Program, there are 4 establishments with applications pending approval to use portions of the public right-of-way along Brant Street.

Options Considered
The identification of options to provide physical distancing along Brant Street took into consideration the current lane configuration, the extent and type of traffic control devices required to maintain safety and potential impacts to residents, business and others utilizing the roadway. The focus in determining options was to seek additional space for people to comply with physical distancing guidelines while walking or waiting.

The options identified include the following:
Option 1 – Close the parking lanes to extend the sidewalk
This option involves closing the curbside parking where it exists on both sides of Brant Street. This space will become a pedestrian area and an extension to the sidewalk, as illustrated in Figure 1.

With this configuration, the pedestrian area is proposed to be separated from the traffic lanes by using freestanding movable delineators. These devices are weighted but portable and provide separation for the pedestrian area while capable of being placed and removed each Saturday and Sunday until September.
The existing curbside pick-up will require relocation and/or removal should this option be endorsed by Council.

Close parking lanes*Image courtesy of NACTO Streets for Pandemic Response & Recovery

Option 2 – Full closure of Brant Street from Lakeshore Road to Caroline Street
This option involves a full road closure on Saturdays and Sundays and provides the maximum available space for physical distancing.

The finalists getting out of the starting gate. Accura on Brant beat Leggat Mazda in a well run race.

Parts of Brant Street have been closed in the past. The Hospital Bed Race takes over the street for close to half a day when it takes place.

The traffic control required for this option involves the placement of barricades and road closed signs on Brant Street located at both Lakeshore Road and Caroline Street and at all intersecting roadways within this closed section. As a result, traffic on Lakeshore Road cannot turn onto Brant Street and traffic heading southbound on Brant Street towards Caroline Street will need to be directed east or west. In addition, the 6 streets intersecting with Brant Street would need to be signed, barricaded and closed to local access only.

While the full closure option provides the maximum space available for physical distancing on Brant Street, it has the following impacts:
• Displacement of non-local or through traffic onto adjacent streets.
• The current 20-minute curbside drop off areas would be inaccessible resulting in impacts to area businesses.
• The current loading zones will be inaccessible for trucks to load and unload if/when providing deliveries to local businesses on weekends.
• Restricts access to driveways, laneways and parking lots along Brant St.

• Impacts transit routes and requires buses to be re-routed around closed sections of road, in turn affecting bus schedules and potential customer confusion as transit re-routing would be limited to weekends only.

A variation of this option could include modifying the limits of the closure. For example, a possible change could include a full closure of Brant Street from Lakeshore Road to Elgin Street. While many of the issues related to a full closure still exist, they are lessened as a result of a shorter section of Brant Street being closed.

A number of municipalities have made the decision to close a street that was once a major thoroughfare.  The response from the commercial/retail sector was seldom positive but when the change did take place business for most retail operations improved and different kinds of commercial moved in.

Closing Brant Street permanently from Caroline to Lakeshore was a long term dream of former Councillor John Taylor – perhaps the time for that idea has come

Option 3 – Status Quo/enhanced pedestrian delineation
Under existing conditions, pedestrian circulation can be, at times, challenging at key intersections and/or higher volume business entrances along Brant Street. In 2020, staff worked with the BDBA in developing and installing enhanced pedestrian queuing delineation and signage which helped to guide the public around locations that were identified as pinch points. This delineation will be re-installed and refreshed again for 2021.

Financial Matters:
The key costs to providing either option includes the traffic control materials to support the closures and the staff resources to set up and remove every Saturday and Sunday. Costs for each option have been estimated and summarized below.


The associated costs will be identified as Covid19 related with the potential for these costs to be offset by Covid relief grant funds. Engagement

Engagement Matters:
This report attempts to provide Council with options however due to the short turnaround to provide Council with a follow up report, staff have not engaged the community to date. Support from the Burlington Downtown Business Association (DBDA) and Downtown businesses is key for any of the described options to be successful. Following endorsement of a preferred option by Council, it is anticipated the Ward Councillor will lead the engagement of businesses and the BDBA with staff assistance as required.

There are retailers that get it - and they are the one's that succeed. The shopping bag that lady is carrying isn't empty. The folks that run Joelle's understand retail. There were far too many stores closed.

There are retailers that get it – and they are the ones that succeed. The shopping bag that lady is carrying isn’t empty. The folks that run Joelle’s understand retail.

Council members were all over the map on this issue.

Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith wanted the status quo – do nothing.

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns was tough on this one.  She argued that the city had not done a very good job of patterning Brant Street and that there were a lot of gaps that were more walk-in offices than traditional retail offices.

She said there was a “romanticized view” of just what the street did for the city suggesting some thought there would be “seniors frolicking ” in the street.

Lisa Kearns

Councillor Kearns spars with the Mayor who used a Point of Personal Privilege to admonish her fellow Council member

Kearns said the city had reached a breaking point with congestion in the downtown core and that the congestion would only get worse as the city opened up.

Speaking for the retail community Kearns said they wanted to be able to use some of the street to boost their sales after a very financially hard 18 months.

Kearns then took a swipe at the Mayor suggesting that she get out and walk the streets and see for herself what was happening. remark to which the Mayor took offence and brought it up as a Point of Personal Privilege.

It didn’t strike this reporter as something that was out of order but the Mayor was clearly distressed.

Kearns, who was full of comments, pointed out that when things open up on Friday there will be lineups at the outdoor patios; there will be line ups outside the cannabis shop and crowding on the side walk.

The egress and ingress into those places where people are allowed to go was also problematic.

Brian Dean, top toff at the Downtown Business Association was out drumming up business for those of his members that took part in the Red Bag Sale. Too many of his members let the community down last Sunday. Keeping the doors closed while the city works at getting people out on the street isn't thew way the game is played.

Brian Dean, top toff at the Downtown Business Association out advocating for the interests of the downtown merchants.

Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan told Kearns and Stolte that he would love to have a chat about the issue but wanted them to take the idea of closing Brant off the table.

Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte was right beside Kearns, however when the issue came up she asked Council to defer any decision until the July meeting arguing that there were just too many unknowns and that this was not the best time to make a decision.

Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman liked the idea and was prepared to go along with Stolte and Kearns to defer for a month.

Ward 6 Councillor Angelo Bentivegna said that the interests of the business community were really important and that he wanted to hear what they had to say before he went along with any of the options.  He also told his council colleagues that they had not done their homework.

Council was told that Brian Dean, top dog at the BDBA, was for the status quo.  The idea of doing nothing gave the phrase “taking care of business” a whole new meaning.

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What do you think 350 condominiums will do to the Burlington skyline.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 9th, 2021



City Council met on Monday and Tuesday spending a lot of time debating population growth and the rate at which the population would rise in the Region.

The province sets a rate of growth and determines where they would like to see that growth take place.

A population allocation is given to each of the Regions that in turn determine what the growth will be in each municipality.

Burlington has no greenfields left to be  developed.

Nothing is permitted north of Hwy 407 and Dundas except for small pockets in the settlements of Kilbride, Lowville and the Mt Nemo settlement area.

The growth in Burlington is going to be concentrated around the three GO stations: Burlington, Aldershot and Appleby.

The long term growth is long term – none of this will be taking place in the foreseeable future.

Changes planned today become communities in the next decade.  In Burlington that future growth is up in the form of high rise development.

sharman with sign

Councillor Paul Sharman often takes numbers and turns them into something people can understand. The population growth for Burlington in the next three decades calls for 350 twenty storey towers.

Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman has a way of grabbing a number and putting it in a context that makes the impact pretty clear.

Director of Planning Heather MacDonald was explaining that the growth number for Burlington between now and 2031 was 21,000 people or jobs. The growth number for 2031 to 2050 was 80,000 people or jobs.  “Is that right?” asked Sharman.  MacDonald agreed with him – Sharman then went on to put that number into a visual thought.

The two visuals below represent 14 towers that will probably make it through the planning process.

Lakeside village plaza proposal

This development has been in process for years now – it will rise again and become real.

What we are looking at then, said Sharman, is 350 twenty storey condominiums between now and 2050; 82 between now and 2031 and 265 between 2031 and 2050.

With numbers like that we are looking at a much different Burlington that the one we have today, which is the point Sharman wanted to make.

CLV Fairview Jan 21

This development, recently named Holland Park is looking at a planned 7 tower project. The unique part of the site is that there is no limit to the height the developer can go.

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