Freeman Station refurbishment is coming along fine - it will need additional funding - which should come from the city.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 5th, 2106



It wasn’t that good a deal but it was the only deal on the table and the people running the Friends of Freeman Station (FoF) were afraid, perhaps, that the city would walk away from the table and the structure they wanted to save and rehabilitate would be gone for ever – so they took the deal.

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 Friends of Freeman have spent $300,000 on moving the station the couple of hundred yards from where it was behind the fire station to a small piece of land next to the fire station.

They did get some money from the city – but it wasn’t “fresh money” it was money committed for one project and given to the FoF.

Freeman - close to final

The structure was moved about 100 yards and settled into the space so that a basement could be poured.

The first chunk of change was $20,000 the city had budgeted to get rid of the structure, given that FoF were about to save the building it was appropriate that they get those dollars; the second bit of cash was $25,000 that was contributed by the Molinaro Group as a Section 37 payment. These are sums that a developer gives the city under a section of the Planning Act, in exchange for additional height or density on a project.

Molinaro had agreed to pay the city $25,000 for additional density on their Strata high rise on Maple Avenue. Ward 2 Marianne Meed Ward managed to get the city to give the funds to the FoF.

There was about $8000 in a trust account that was also given to the FoF.

They have put every penny they raised in both cash and in kind to very good use. During the Open Doors event on Saturday they had counted 250 visitors and the afternoon as far from over.

Freeman - view from the south - volunteers needed

The outside of the structure is basically done – work on the inside is underway.

The structure is owned by the city, it sits on land that is leased from a corporation headquartered in Kentucky.

The 2.5 acre piece of land is landlocked – the only way to get a road to it is from the fire department parking lot.

The current lease is good until 2019 – at some point the land will have to be purchased. That lease is a Joint Venture situation where the FoF are on the lease on behalf of the city.

The mess with the proposed wave break at the LaSalle Park arena has made the city realize that their Joint Venture policy is in need of an upgrade.

What was basically scrap is being turned into a valuable building that will add to the history of the city. The value of the building will be upwards of half a million dollars – which goes on the city’s balance sheet.

The FoF have done a great job – but it isn’t over yet. They are going to need an additional $200,000 – and it should come from the city.


Early telephone with a headset.

The Mayor is reported to have told the FoF that when the need is needed – he will be there for them. Let us hope that he comes through for them – they deserve it.

During the Open Doors event the public got to see what is becoming an impressive collection of railway artifacts.  While taking some pictures one of the FoF volunteers mentioned that the delivery book would show what had come to Burlington from Eaton’s – and the high school student looked surprised and asked – What is Eaton’s?  We shuddered.


Every piece of freight -large and small was entered into a delivery book.

The collection is superb – but it does need some help in the way in the way it is being presented.   The creation of the way artifacts are displayed is now an art form.  Some of that expertise is going to be needed – but let’s get the structure completed.

The structure has a full basement that at some point will have a full blown model railroad set up.

At some point the FoF volunteers want to lay fifty yards or so of railway track and, with a gleam in their eyes they will tell you about the steam engine they really want to put on that railway track.  Given the success these people have had – expect to see an old steam engine on the property at some point.


Telegraph keys – used to send messages in Morse Code. That was the way messages were sent up and down the railway line before telephones were introduced.

The FoF have sought provincial and federal funds/grants but do not qualify for various reasons; one of which is that they don’t own the building.

Also some grants require that people wait for the funding to arrive before starting a project, and the FoF didn’t time – they had to move the building because the fire department needed the space.

All they could do was get on with their own fund raising – and they have come up with $300,000

The current board includes:

President: Brian Aasgaard

Vice-President: Ron Danielsen

Past-President: James Smith

Treasurer: Alan Harrington

Secretary: Reg Cooke

Chair, Restoration: John Mellow*

Director: George Curran

Director: Stan Dunham

Director: Gerry Sullivan

Director: Denny Williams

Director: Robert Lehto**

Director: Ken Brooks

Director: Ken Taylor*

* Co-chairs, Railway Memorabilia Acquisitions Committee

** Membership Chairman

Annual Meeting and Election of Directors takes place on October 12th, 2016, 7:00 PM in Room 247 City Hallgetting new - yellow


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Ooops! We gave you the wrong date.

Newsflash 100By Staff

October 5th, 2016




We erroneously told you that the Hydro Open House was on Saturday the 7th of October.

We were wrong.

Friday is a Professional development day for schools in Burlington and the |Open House is to take place on Friday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

hydro-open-houseOur apologies

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Pig advocate arrested at truck roll over site yards away from slaughterhouse.

News 100 redBy Staff

October 5th, 2016



Anita Krajnc, 49, a woman currently on trial on mischief charges for giving water to pigs that were headed to slaughter last summer was arrested again Wednesday morning, this time at the scene of an accident where another truck full of pigs headed to the same pork plant flipped over in Burlington, Ont.

Krajnc testified in her own defence in court on Monday.

It is unclear what charges Krajnc is now facing. “We will release further information in regards to this occurrence at a later time,” said Halton Police Sgt. Barry Malciw.


Truck transporting 150+ pigs flips over yards away from slaughterhouse – pigs walk that last distance.

The truck lost control and flipped over just after 7 a.m., Halton Police say, near the corner of Appleby Line and Harvester Road. That’s on the corner of the Fearmans Pork Plant, where the animals were headed for slaughter.

Some of the pigs were roaming free for a time, but Halton police Staff Sergeant Peter Corner told the CBC that they have since been “corralled.”

The Gazette thanks CBC Hamilton for much of the material in this piece.getting new - yellow

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Temporary service disruption for online property information requests and dog and business licence renewals

notices100x100By Staff

October 5th, 2016



On Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016, the following online services will be unavailable from 4:30 p.m. until 10 p.m. for maintenance:

  • Dog licence renewals
  • Property information requests
  • Business licence renewalsgetting new - yellow
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Employment Halton Job Fair connects job seekers with employers October 19

News 100 blueBy Staff

October 5th, 2016



Halton Region is hosting its third job fair of 2016 on Wednesday, October 19 from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Burlington Convention Centre (1120 Burloak Drive, Burlington). Job seekers are invited to bring their resumes and prepare to meet with more than 50 local employers.

Region holds Job Fair at Burlington Convention Centre

Region holds Job Fair at Burlington Convention Centre

“Halton Region’s unemployment rate is significantly lower than both the provincial and national rates and by partnering with local Halton employers we’re not only keeping our economy strong, we’re also helping to make a real difference in the daily lives of our residents,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “With a growing population, easy access to major markets and commitment to high-quality infrastructure, Halton is a great place to do business, as well as a great place to live and work.”

Whether it’s technology, government, manufacturing, retail, hospitality or healthcare, October’s job fair will have employers from a diverse range of industries and is expecting approximately 1,000 skilled and motivated job seekers to attend.

Every year, the two Employment Halton offices in Oakville and Milton offer a comprehensive range of programs and services to more than 8,000 job seekers and over 200 employers. Employment Halton also provides extensive services to the region’s employers to support their recruiting efforts with annual averages of more than 250 direct placement matches.

As a service provider for Employment Ontario, Employment Halton offers resource centre services, one-on-one job search support, training incentives for employers, an online job board at, apprenticeship opportunities and programs such as Second Career which provides assistance to participants as they retrain for a new career.getting new - yellow

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Police begin arresting demonstrators at truck roll over incident where 150+ pigs were being transported.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

October 5th, 2015



Demonstrators descended on the truck laying on its side at the intersection of Appleby Line and Harvester Road that was carrying 150+ pigs headed for a nearby slaughterhouse.

At 11 am this morning it was getting a little rowdy with one demonstrator arrested and police pushing others out of the way.

The police were handling the demonstrators while the firemen did their best to handle the pigs – who seemed a little perplexed by it all.  A video attached to a tweet is set out below – enjoy.

The crisis management people at Fearmans must be wondering how to deal with this one.

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Truck carry 150+ pigs rolls over on Harvester Road, yards from slaughter house.

News 100 blueBy Staff

October 5, 2016



Eastbound Harvester Road will be closed for an extended period of time today, October 5th, while police investigate an accident involving a truck roll over.


Truck carrying 150+ pigs flipped over while making a turn on its way to the slaughterhouse.

Just after 7:00 am Wednesday morning, a truck carrying a reported 160 pigs lost control and flipped over at Apply Line and Harvester Road.

No other vehicles were involved in the accident. The driver of the truck is being treated for minor injuries.


Firemen round up pigs that were in a truck that flipped over yards from the entrance to a slaughterhouse.

The pigs were being transported to Fearmans Pork Plant.

A number of pigs escaped from the truck; one radio report had a pig walking through a Tim Hortons drive through – take that report with a grain of salt.

There is no report of any of the animals being killed – what makes the event relevant is the trial taking place on how these pigs can be treated by those he feel they are being mistreated.

Burlington is in the third day of what look like a five day trial that has Anita Krajnc being charged with mischief for giving pigs in a truck water on a sweltering hot day.

Related news story:


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Hydro holding their Open House this Friday

eventsred 100x100By Pepper Parr

October 4th, 2016



Those guys over at Burlington Hydro know how to make the system work for them.

Last Saturday the city held an Open Doors event. Dozens of places around the city opened their doors – the Fire Station, Freeman Station, and the Union Burial Grounds to name a few. Hundreds of people poured in.

How do you compete against attractions like that?

Don’t compete – put you tent up on another day.

Thinking like that explains why we pay the hydro people the big bucks.

hydro-open-houseBurlington Hydro is holding their Open House this Friday at the Hydro office on Brant Street from 10 am to 2 pm.

Activities are taking place in different locales on the property: EVs along the front – displays and exhibits in the back garage – charity BBQ, bucket rides, and equipment on the back lot. North parking lot will be used for visitor parking.

Car show - couple in car

One of the several EV’s that were available for a test drive at a recent historical auto show. Four or five EV will be available for test drives at the Burlington Hydro Open House.

The EV cars will be lined up at the front of the building.

Plug n’Drive brings 4 or 5 EVs that people will be able to test drive through the neighbourhood.getting new - yellow

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Truck Inspection Blitz at Mohawk Racetrack Starts Wednesday: Why do the police give advance notice of the inspections?

News 100 redBy Staff

October 4th, 2016


They do it every year – and every year the number of tickets issued and the number of rigs that get taken off the roads seems to climb.

The 2016 Annual Truck Inspection Blitz at Mohawk Racetrack Starts Wednesday


Halton Regional Police have a unit dedicated to inspecting commercial vehicles.

Halton Regional Police, in partnership with other police and law enforcement agencies, will be conducting a two-day commercial motor vehicle inspection & enforcement blitz October 5-6, 2016. The inspection site will be located at the Mohawk Racetrack on Guelph Line in the Town of Milton.

Enforcement officers will deploy across Halton Region, which includes the 400 series highways, looking for commercial vehicles that appear to be deficient in mechanical fitness or display a safety or load concern. Those vehicles will then be escorted back to the inspection site at Mohawk.


Police officers trained to know what to focus on when they are inspecting commercial vehicles.

This annual initiative is an integral part of Halton’s traffic enforcement strategy. Any vehicles found to be unsafe will be taken off the road. Cargo and the corresponding administrative paperwork required to be carried by the drivers will be inspected. Light commercial vehicles such as small panel trucks, cube vans and pick-up trucks with trailers will also be subject to this inspection.

Last year a total of 472 trucks were inspected over a two-day period. Out of those inspected commercial motor vehicles 167 were taken out of service; a 35 percent failure rate.

Traffic issues are seriously addressed in Halton Region. Enforcement campaigns such as this are essential to ensuring our roads and highways are safe for all users. We hope to send a message out to the thousands of commercial motor vehicle operators who travel on our roadways or through our region each day that compliance to rules and regulations is non-negotiable and community safety will not be compromised.

One gets the impression that putting a rig that is known to be deficient and risking getting caught and paying a fine is just part of the cost of doing business and it cheaper than keeping equipment in top shape. Public safety doesn’t appear to be a major concern.

Deputy Chief Nishan Duraiappah pleads his innocence to the charge of Grand Theft Donuts, looking on is Halton Regional Police Detective Constable Paul Proteau.

Deputy Chief Nishan Duraiappah, on the right, will be on hand to give the 75 officers that will be deployed a pep talk and emphasize the importance of the work they will be doing for the next two days. Detective Constable Paul Proteau listens carefully.

To kick-off the event, Halton’s Deputy Chief of Police, Nishan Duraiappah, will be addressing the media and law enforcement officers at approximately 7:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. Approximately 75 law enforcement officers from across the GTA have confirmed attendance. The media are invited to attend and observe those remarks made to the inspecting officers before they embark on the blitz and for photo opportunities.

Mohawk Raceway is located at 9430 Guelph Line (Highway 401 and Guelph Line) in the Town of Milton.getting new - yellow

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Political posturing by Lisa Raitt, MP for Milton which includes part of north Burlington.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 4th, 2016



An almost classic example of political posturing follows:

Conservative MP Lisa Raitt asks a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, May 4, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Conservative MP Lisa Raitt asks a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, May 4, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

“Mr. Speaker, today the Minister of Finance finally woke up to the fact that Canadians are having a difficult time with household costs. What he fails to realize, though, is that the biggest obstacle happens to be his high-tax policies and their complete desire to make sure Canadians do not have the ability to save anything.

“When will the minister realize that the only way to make home ownership accessible to Canadians is by giving them a low-tax environment and actually allowing them to save for a down payment?”

This was Lisa Raitt, the MP for Milton, which includes part of northern Burlington, speaking in the House of Commons yesterday.

Ms Raitt is expected to announce her intention to a) run for the leadership of the Conservative Party and b) to seek the nomination as an MP for a constituency in Nova Scotia.

Her chances of winning the Milton seat in the next federal election are seen as slim.

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District school board staff recommending the closure of two high schools June 2018 - Central and Lester B. Pearson.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 4th, 2016



Burlington does not take to change all that well.

A change in the configuration of traffic lanes on New Street has everyone up in arms – both those wanting the change and those opposed to a change.

The Halton District School Board has told the public, via the release of the agenda for the October 5th regular board meeting, that two of the city’s high school “could” be closed effective June 2018.

Burlington has seven high schools:

Aldershot High School,
Burlington Central High School,
Dr. Frank J. Hayden Secondary School,
Lester B. Pearson High School,
Nelson High School,
M.M. Robinson High School and
Robert Bateman High School

A recommendation to close two of the seven Burlington Central High school and the Lester B. Pearson high School, has left the community thunderstruck.


Central High – the school in th downtown core is where the biggest battle to remain will take place. The ward alderman has already come out against closing the school – fortunately the school board trustee might give the decision more thought and wait until there is more in the way of public feed back.

Feathers flew, school board trustees were inundated with phone calls and emails. One can expect all kinds of misinformation to get in the way of what the board is being asked to approve.


The spunk and school pride at Lester B. Pearson may not transfer to M.M. Robinson where most of the students will transfer to in the 2019 school year.

Some things to keep in mind: Staff prepare reports, they work within the provincial guidelines and have a collection of acronyms that that can’t be used in a Scrabble game.  The staff report goes to the trustees – those men and women you elected two years ago – they are going to make the decision on your behalf.

There is a well-developed process for community input – use it before you lose it.

The proposed time line, assuming the trustees, go along with the staff recommendation is as follows:

If the Program and Accommodation Review proceeds as scheduled the following is a proposed timeline for the implementation staff recommended (they are considering 19 different options)

Completion of a PAR with a Final Decision in 8 – 9 months

Capital Priorities Application and Funding  takes 3 – 6 months

Transition Planning takes  1 year

Pre-Construction and Construction (project dependent) 1-3 years

School Closing June 2018

Now to those acronyms – try to remember them – the process doesn’t make much sense without some understanding of what the Gazette has come to call “board speak”

PAR – Program and Accommodation Review
As outlined in the Board PAR policies, the Director must prepare a Preliminary Report which identifies a school or group of schools that may be considered for a Program and Accommodation Review. In order for a PAR to be initiated, one of five conditions must be met. The conditions are as follows:

1. The school or a group of schools has/have experienced or will experience declining enrolment where On-The-Ground Capacity (OTG) utilization rate is below 65%;

2. Reorganization involving the school or group of schools could enhance program delivery and learning opportunities;

3. Under normal staffing allocation practices, it would be necessary to assign three or more grades to one class in one or more schools;

4. The current physical condition of the schools negatively impacts the optimum operation of the building(s) and program delivery;

5. In respect of one or more of the schools under consideration there are safety, accessibility and/or environmental concerns associated with the building of the school site or its locality.

LTAP – Long Term Accommodation Plan is something done by all school boards annually.  The plan is  adopted by the Board of Trustees. The document provides enrollment projections for the upcoming ten years for all schools in Halton.

PARC Program and Accommodation Review Committee is an advisory group that acts as an official conduit for information shared between the Board of Trustees and their communities. The PARC will meet, review information, provide feedback from the community, and suggest options.

Each PARC consists of a Trustee and Superintendent from an area outside of Burlington; Principal or designate, two parents/guardians

Utilization rate – the percentage of the capacity that is being used.


The table set out above shows enrollment estimates for the next ten years, the capacity of all the high schools in the city; the percentage of that capacity that is being utilized and the amount of space that is available. These numbers are for all the high schools – a breakdown of the numbers for each school is set out below.

Staff are recommending that two high schools be closed in June of 2018:
Lester B. Pearson be closed and the current student population be sent to M.M. Robinson which is 1.6 km away.


The Utilization rate is just too low to justify keep the school open. Lester B. Pearson High School, Grades 9-12, located north of the QEW between Guelph Line and Walker’s Line. The school offers English and Late French Immersion programming. It is the only school in Halton to have Late French Immersion. Late French Immersion begins in Grade 7 at Sir E. MacMillan Public School. Growth from infill developments are included in projections. The utilization is 65% and it is expected to decline. There currently is an excess of 220 spaces in the facility. Enrollments in Grades 9-11 English are expected to be less than100 students per grade. The board staff may have failed to recognize the changes taking place between Guelph Line and Walkers Line – east and west and between Upper Middle and Mainway – north south. Real Estate agents will quickly tell you that multiple families are living in a single detached house with basements being converted into a bedroom for four and six children. Many of these families are from the Middle East and culturally they are comfortable with a large family in the house – this is the way they choose to live because it is the only way they can afford houses in that community.


The Burlington Central facility houses elementary and secondary school classes (Grades 7-12) and is located within the downtown core. Combined with adjacent Central PS (K – Grade 6), this facility forms a part of a K-12 campus. This school offers English and French Immersion programming. Enrolments are projected to be stable. Growth from infill developments are included. The high school’s utilization is expected to remain stable at 68% capacity. In 2015, there were 376 available pupil places in the facility. Burlington Central is the only facility without an elevator/stairlift. The sports field lands are not owned by the Halton District School Board.

Staff is recommending that Burlington Central HS be closed effective June 2018. All secondary students, west of Brant St., will be redirected to Aldershot HS and secondary students east of Brant St to be redirected to Nelson HS.

This recommendation does not include the redirection of Grade 7 and 8 students from the Burlington Central Elementary PS.

In the event that the decision is made to close this high school, there is a potential that a Program and Accommodation Review may be required for the elementary schools that currently feed into Burlington Central PS for Grades 7 and 8.

The enrollment, utilization ans space available in the other five schools is as follows:


Located within the Aldershot community in southwest Burlington, the Aldershot facility houses elementary (Grades 7-8) and secondary classes (Grades 9-12). It is the only Grade 7-12 school available west of QEW/407 ETR. This school offers English and French Immersion programming. Enrolments are projected to decline beyond 2020. In 2015, there were 327 available pupil places in the facility. Growth from infill developments and North Aldershot Planning Area developments are included in the projections. The high school’s utilization is currently 78% and is expected to increase to 83%, by 2019. It is projected there will be close to 100 English secondary students per grade (excluding Grade 12).

Aldershot High School


Nelson High School, Grades 9-12, is located south of the QEW between Walker’s Line and Appleby Line. This school offers English, French Immersion, and Secondary Gifted Placement. Enrolments are expected to increase over the next ten years. Growth from infill developments are included in the projections. Nelson HS utilization rates are expected to remain above 80%. Nelson HS has the second highest high school utilization in Burlington. There is an excess of 343 available places at this school in 2015. There is support for a Nelson Stadium Revitalization project between the community, Board and Burlington staff.

Nelson High School


M.M. Robinson High School, Grades 9-12 is located north of the QEW between Guelph Line and 407 ETR. The school offers English, French Immersion and SC-SPED programming. It is one of two schools to offer SC-SPED programming in Burlington. The SC-SPED program was added to the school in 2013. Growth from infill developments are included in the projections. The utilization is below 55% and is expected to decline. There is currently an excess of 617 spaces in this facility.

M.M. Robinson High School


Robert Bateman HS Robert Bateman High School, Grades 9-12, is located south of the QEW between Appleby Line and Burloak Drive. A small area known as Samuel Curtis Estate in Oakville is directed to this school. The school offers English programming, International Baccalaureate programming (IB) and a variety of Self Contained-Special Education (SC-SPED) programs. Robert Bateman High School is the only school in Burlington to offer the IB program. This program attracts students from senior elementary schools in the Burlington area. This high school is one of two schools to offer SC-SPED classes and as such, this school has specialized facilities to accommodate the programs. Growth from infill development is included in the projections. Utilization is below 65% and is expected to decline. There currently is an excess of 500 spaces in the facility. The combined English program and IB program is expected to be under 100 students per grade (excluding Grade 12), by 2022. Hayden is already over-utilized and there are three new developments that are going to feed into the school – the third is the development at Dundas and Walkers Line.


Dr. Frank J. Hayden Secondary School, Grades 9-12, is Burlington’s newest high school located in Alton Village, north of Dundas St. It opened in 2013 and offers English and French Immersion programming. Enrolments are expected to increase. It is the only high school in Burlington that is currently above total capacity (2016) and is expected to continue to grow until 2021. Growth from new development west of Guelph Line and north of Dundas Street, and infill development is included in the projections. Current utilization is 118%. A major development application has been submitted after projections have been created for the 2015-2016 LTAP in the Evergreen Community, located north of Dundas St., and west of Tremaine Line. This area has not been assigned to a specific school. The development consists of 907 residential units. The City of Burlington is in the midst of creating a secondary plan. It is anticipated that there will be approximately 50 secondary students from this area. The closest high school to this development is Dr. Frank J. Hayden SS.

Using the space that is available in a school if there aren’t enough bums to put in the seats.

The province recently gave the school boards permission to rent out some of their space to community organizations.

The Community Planning and Partnership Guidelines directs Boards to identify potential partnership opportunities and to share such opportunities with government agencies and parties that expressed interest for such opportunities.

In response, the Halton District School Board adopted the new Community Planning and Partnership Policy on October 21, 2015. The first annual Community Planning and Partnership meeting was held on June 22, 2016, in Burlington.

Approximately eight organizations had representatives at this meeting. There have been three follow up meetings and preliminary inquiries with interested partners since June 2016. At this time, there has been expressed interest in potential partnerships, but no specific details related to a partnership within a Burlington secondary school.
So that opportunity isn’t going to save either of the two high schools.

What is possible with both is re configuring them into affordable housing which is a Regional responsibility. However, surely the Region could pick up the telephone and call the school board and ask: ‘What do you think of the idea of selling the buildings to a developer we can convince to take on such a project.’

Have a chat with the four major developers who want some additional height and density and suggest a proposal to turn a high school into affordable housing units might elicit a favourable response to more height and density.

None of the developers in this city are interested in including affordable units in their buildings – they are marketing a lifestyle that doesn’t include people who can’t afford a unit that is going for something north of $400,000

Closing one high school in a community the size of Burlington would be a big deal – suggesting that two be closed at the same time is a bigger piece of meat than th school board can chew through in the time frame they have given themselves.

These decisions are Burlington decisions – but there are school board trustees from Oakville, Milton and Halton Hills – what impact will their votes have on a Burlington situation?

Interesting times ahead – stay tuned.getting new - yellow


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Historical burial ground opened to the public during Open Doors last Saturday.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 4th, 2016



I’d heard about it; drove by the place hundreds of times, knew what it was but had never had a chance to actually go into the place.

It was the Union Burial grounds on Plains Road established in 1848 by ten pioneer families who were members of the Methodist Union.


A brick wall, first built around 1882 to enclose the Union Burial grounds, now needs both renovation and repair

The chief architectural feature is the fine brick wall surrounding the 138-by 104-foot burying ground. The wall was built around 1882 by brick mason Jabez Bent. There are also fine wrought iron gates at the front and side. The memorial markers commemorate some of the earliest pioneers in this area.

The site was originally farm land owned by Asahel Davis, a Methodist, a community who wanted burying grounds separate from those established by the Anglican Church at St Luke’s and St John’s. Religious differences were a big deal in those days.


The Ghent’s were prominent farmers in Burlington. Both Thomas and hos wife Elizabeth rest in the Union Burial grounds.

The families holding plots in the Union cemetery were major contributors to the early growth, prosperity, and well-being of Nelson and the Village of Wellington Square which are parts of what we know as Burlington today.

The Baxter’s, the Crosby’s, the Cummins’s, the Davis’s, the Fisher’s, the Gage’s, the Galloway’s, the Ghent’s, the Kerns’s and the Pearl’s – the families whose names identify many of our strrets created their own cemetery.

It is quite run down these days. The families moved on and there aren’t that many descendants of its founders around to continue to manage and maintain this historic burial place.

The brick wall is, sadly, in need of restoration. The wrought iron gates and original name plaque also date from 1888. The grave markers are invaluable historic records and also merit preservation. This cemetery feels especially unique given it’s setting of urban development.

“The families who created this cemetery came to Canada during the American Revolution. They were British and chose to remain part of the British Empire in North America. The Americans were in the process of creating their own country, there were just 13 colonial states at the time, who didn’t want the British imposing taxes on them. Out of the struggle between the Thirteen Colonies and their mother country emerged two nations: the United States and what would later became Canada.


The smaller markers recognize members of the family – several for children that died at a very young age.

“Those that left the colonies became known as The United Empire Loyalists who wanted to remain faithful to the Crown and wished to continue living in the New World. Therefore, they left their homes to settle eventually in what remained of British North America.

For many years after those people would put the letters UE after their names – United Empire. Many of the markers in the Union Burial ground have those letters on the stones.

“The Loyalists came from every class and walk of life. Some depended on the Crown for their livelihood and status and had considerable wealth and property. Many were farmers and craftsmen. There were clerks and clergymen, lawyers and labourers, solders and slaves, Native Americans, college graduates, and people who could not write their own names. Recent immigrants from Europe also tended to support the Crown.

“They had little in common but their opposition to the revolution. Their reasons for becoming Loyalists were as varied as their backgrounds. Some had strong ties with Britain: others had simply supported what turned out to be the losing side. Local incidents, fear of change, self-interest, political principles, emotional bonds – one or any combination of these influenced their decision to remain loyal to the Crown. The common thread that linked these diverse groups was a distrust of too much democracy which they believed resulted in mob rule and an accompanying breakdown of law and order. The Reverend Mather Byles mused, “Which is better – to be ruled by one tyrant three thousand miles away or by three thousand tyrants one mile away?” Loyalists believed that the British connection guaranteed them a more secure and prosperous life than republicanism would.

“Historians estimate that ten to fifteen per cent of the population of the Thirteen Colonies – some 250,000 people opposed the revolution; some passively, others by speaking out, spying, or fighting against the rebels. Approximately 70,000 Loyalists fled the Thirteen Colonies with roughly 50,000 settling in British North America.

“Of less practical value than land and supplies, but of more lasting significance to the Loyalists and their descendants, was the government’s recognition of the stand that they had taken. Realizing the importance of some type of consideration, on November 9, 1789, Lord Dorchester, the governor of Quebec, declared “that it was his Wish to put the mark of Honour upon the Families who had adhered to the Unity of the Empire…” As a result of Dorchester’s statement, the printed militia rolls carried the notation: U.E., alluding to their great principle The Unity of the Empire.

“Those initials “U.E.” are rarely seen today, but the influence of the Loyalists on the evolution of Canada remains. Their ties with Britain and their antipathy to the United States provided the strength needed to keep Canada independent and distinct in North America.

“In the two centuries since the Loyalists’ arrival, the myths and realities of their heritage have intertwined to have a powerful influence on how we, as Canadians, see ourselves. Truly, the arrival of the United Empire Loyalists not only changed the course of Canadian history by prompting the British government to establish the provinces of New Brunswick and Ontario, but it also gave them special characteristics which can be seen today. Perhaps the most striking of these is the motto on the Ontario coat of arms: Ut incepit Fidelis sic permanet that is, “Loyal she began, Loyal she remains.”

One of the people telling the story of the Union Burial grounds on Saturday was Stephen Davis, a surveyor who works for the Region; his descendants are buried on the grounds.

“We restored the rear wall and we will re-build the west wall. Trees planted too close to the wall grew and pushed over the brick work. It is a lot of work and we don’t have that much time – we are busy raising our family’s and some of the families buried here have moved on” said Davis.

Davis is working on some ideas on how young people can develop an interest in their ancestry and take part in the rehabilitation of a significant part of Burlington’s history.

Related articleL:

Does the Ghent house on Brant Street at Ghent matter historically?

Large portion of this report came from a document written by Ann Mackenzie M.A.

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Anishinaabe speaker, educator, and musician Eddy Robinson will be at Crawford Lake October 15th.

eventsred 100x100By Staff

October 4th, 2016



Anishinaabe speaker, educator, and musician Eddy Robinson brings a wealth of knowledge and personal experience to the national conversation about Indigenous communities in Canada. He will be speaking at the Crawford Lake Conservation Area on Saturday, October 15, 2016 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Increasing media coverage of the challenges faced by Indigenous communities in Canada leaves many of us with questions about how such disparity can exist in our own country. Eddy will use his remarkable gift as a storyteller and teacher to bring this workshop to life and make the issues engaging for workshop participants.


Crawford Lake, it is a meromictic lake meaning that it does not receive the same atmospheric disturbances as other bodies of water, so the water remains calm almost all the time. And this makes for some great photos and clear water to take a look at fish and other interesting features. A boardwalk surrounds the lake, so it is quite accessible to almost everyone.

Come early for this remarkable workshop and you can explore the 15th century reconstructed Iroquoian Village and rare meromictic lake located onsite. Explore the past and then learn about our collective present, so we can make a more inclusive future.

“Through stories and song, Eddy works towards a day when the power of knowledge, inclusiveness and sharing of First Nations cultures helps our nation and all its’ people become connected and stronger.”

Tickets for the October 15 workshop at Crawford Lake are $25 per person (plus HST), you can purchase tickets online through the event listing at

Eddy Robinson, Indigenous Speaker, Artist, Musician & Activist was born to the Missanabie Cree First Nation, but born and raised in Toronto. Eddy didn’t enjoy an easy childhood as an Anishinaabe youth in the big city. His father, a Residential School survivor, left the family when he was just three years old and he subsequently endured years of abuse from an alcoholic parent. It was during these early years that he was first exposed to a heritage that he now credits with saving his life.


Eddy Robinson, Indigenous Speaker, Artist, Musician & Activist was born to the Missanabie Cree First Nation.

Eventually ending up in the care of his grandparents, Eddy found himself on the same path of violence and addiction that dominated his childhood. He credits a Catholic priest at the Native Peoples Parish in Toronto for first encouraging him to seek out his roots. He pointed Robinson to a traditional Anishinaabe Vision Quest/Fasting ceremony that would begin his journey towards sobriety.

The power of the Dewegun (Drum) has opened the door to other aspects of his culture. A member of the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business (CCAB) Eddy established his First Nations owned and operated business Morningstar River in 2007 to address the societal need for Indigenous education and displays of authentic culture. Eddy is a noted Anishinaabe artist, musician, activist and educator, and is a member of the National Speakers Bureau.

Crawford Lake is located at the corner of Guelph Line and Conservation Road (formerly Steeles Avenue) 15 km north of the QEW, and 5 km south of the 401 in Milton. The pristine waters of Crawford Lake have drawn people to its shores for hundreds of years. The rare lake, with surrounding boardwalk, is nestled in lush forests atop the stunning Niagara Escarpment where visitors can watch soaring turkey vultures glide through the Nassagaweya Canyon.

You can step back in time and explore the 15th century Iroquoian Village that has been reconstructed on its original site at Crawford Lake. The spirits still sing in the longhouses where tools, animal hides and the smell of smoke let you experience the rich history of Ontario’s First Peoples. Crawford Lake’s Customer Service staff can be reached by telephone at 905-854-0234, ext. 221, or by e-mail,

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Walk to school day takes place on Wednesday - let the kids know today because they are probably going to expect you to drive them.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 4th, 2016



There was a time when everyone walked to school – you met up with friends at the end of your street and you walked as a small group with your friends and learned what real gossip was all about.


Bikes parked at the Beaudoin school. This doesn’t happen every day.

When that practice came to an end – and why it came to an end is something the Gazette would invite some comment on.

Why do we insist in doing everything for our children? Are the streets of Burlington not safe?

The media release sent out by the school board uses the phrase “the need for safe places to walk”. Which streets to which schools in Burlington are unsafe?

“International Walk to School Day, October 5, began as a simple idea – children and parents, school and local officials walking to school together on a designated day. It is an energizing event, reminding everyone of the health benefits of regular daily activity, and the need for safe places to walk.”

“Suzanne Burwell, the Board’s Environmental Sustainability Coordinator says “Being active on the trip to school has a measurable effect on concentration levels”. She added that “Incorporating activity into morning routines is beneficial to the whole family, so if walking all the way isn’t feasible, consider connecting with other families to take turns walking with students, having students walk in groups or park legally a few blocks from the school, walk the rest, and start your day stress free.”

Do you get the sense that is a serious, significant commitment to convincing parents not to drive the kids to school?

I didn’t.

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Purse snatchers on the loose in Regional hotels - large sums of cash and valuable jewellery taken.

Crime 100By Staff

October 3, 2016


Halton Regional Police are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying two persons of interest (POI). It’s believed that these two persons are connected to a series of distraction type purse thefts throughout the region of Halton since mid-June.


One of two “persons of interest” the Halton Regional Police would like to talk to – whenever they are around hotel lobbies purses seem to disappear. Better quality cameras would have these suspects in handcuffs by now.

Suspects have been attending hotel restaurants during the breakfast hour and stealing purses left on chairs while patrons are distracted and/or getting food from buffet tables. Many of the victims are females visiting from other countries. As such, they are often carrying passports, jewelry and large sums in cash needed for travel.


Is this someone you think you recognize? Crime Stoppers would like to hear from you.

In one incident in Oakville, it was reported that suspects stole a purse containing approximately $25,000.00 worth of jewelry and $8,000.00 in cash. Police believe that this large amount has motivated those responsible to target additional hotels. Eight similar thefts have occurred in Halton since July 1.

Residents are reminded that anyone can become a victim of a crime of opportunity and the best safeguard is to remain vigilant of your surroundings and keep valuables directly on your person at all times.

Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to contact Detective Tom Hockney at 905-825-4747 ext. 2491 (Milton and Halton Hills), Detective Mick Leighton at 905-825-4747 ext. 2218 (Oakville), or Detective Phil Vandenbeukel at 905-825-4747 ext. 2343 (Burlington).

Tips can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), through the web at, or by texting “Tip201” with your message to 274637 (crimes).getting new - yellow

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What does 2334 people gathered into the shape of a J in Spencer Smith Park look like?

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 3, 2016



What does 2334 people gathered together in the shape of a J in Spencer Smith Park look like?

You saw it here first in the Gazette.


An additional 1039 people could have filled those empty patches. There is an opportunity for those who didn’t take part to do the right thing with the Paletta Matching $5 million campaign goes into high gear.

Was the reason for falling short of that 3373 + 1 target because of the weather?

There were a number of hearty souls who braved the rain – and it was raining when the first 700 people showed up,

Or was there some other reason – it would be useful for the hospital to fully understand why we didn’t exceed the target.

Is support for the hospital a mile while but just an inch thick?

They will say of course it isn’t – it’s a mile wide and a mile deep. The Gazette doesn’t share that view. It could be and should be a mile wide and a mile deep.

That it does not appear to be so is a serious issue for this community.

Medicine is science; science is based on facts and evidence. It would be worth the while to look at the evidence.

The 2334 total was nothing to sneeze at – but when you look at that magnificent J – there are a lot of empty patches aren’t there?



The objective was to get 3373 + 1 people inside that yellow rope so the person in the cherry picker could verify the count – we have no idea how they did that.

In a media release the hospital Foundation said:

The Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation kicked off its “Join the J” fundraising campaign yesterday in Spencer Smith Park with over 2,334 people forming a giant J. In large part due to significant rain, the attempt fell just short of the goal of breaking a Guinness world record for creating the largest human letter.

However, the Foundation’s primary goal of raising awareness for the start of its fundraising campaign was met and those in attendance had a good time, learned about the campaign, and the new Joseph Brant Hospital.

“We were on track and expected to set the Guinness record today, but not surprisingly the weather kept a number of community participants away,” says Anissa Hilborn, president, Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation. “The real goal of engaging people from across our community to launch “Join the J” in a unique way was definitely met. We are encouraged by the support from so many members of our community.”

The “Join the J” campaign will run until the goal of $60 Million is raised. The Foundation recently announced they have raised $50 Million to date, and with the Pasquale & Anita Paletta Family Match Challenge hope to raise the remaining $10M before the new Hospital opens in 2018-2019.


It was a great time for the kids – rain and rubber boots plus a nifty poncho – that was all they needed to make a day of it.

“We had planned for a number of factors, including the weather, but you can’t always anticipate how people will respond in these situations,” adds Hilborn. “The event was still fun, and we want to thank all those who made the effort, and our sponsors and partners including TD, Hill’s Video, Access Storage, City of Burlington, Super Save Group, Bell Media, Burlington Mall, Kernels Mapleview Mall, Access Printing and Attridge Transportation. Everyone has been very supportive and we look forward to their continued support as we have many more events and initiatives planned for the months ahead.”getting new - yellow


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Town Crier serves the city at public event - meets a benefactor.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 3, 2016



When David Vollick was accepted by city council in 2011 as the Town Crier there was just the one condition – that he not look to the city for financial support.


Glenn Gillespie, a Beachway resident meets Town Crier David Vollick.

Vollick wasn’t asking Council to pay him to do the job but he did point at that the people getting the benefit of the Crier usually pay a small stipend to cover the cost of cleaning the elaborate uniform he wears. As Dave pointed out ”it costs $50 to have this uniform cleaned and pressed.”

It continues that way. The city will frequently ask Vollock to appear – which he does. Doesn’t get a dime.

Last Sunday Vollick appeared once again as the Town Crier at the “Join the J” event at Spencer Smith Park. It was raining a bit and the grounds were muddy.

Town Crier David Vollick reading the message from Gazette publisher Pepper Parr at Council in December of 2011.

Town Crier David Vollick reading a message to Council in December of 2011.

We bumped into Glenn Gillespie, a Beachway resident who intends to stay in the home he owns despite the desire of the Regional government to buy it.

While introducing Glenn to David mention was made of the cost of cleaning the Town Crier Uniform. It took Glenn all of 10 seconds to offer to pay for the cleaning.

“I will arrange for my company to pay the cleaning bill for you” offered Glenn – which David willingly accepted.

Finally, someone has done the decent thing.

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Hospital Foundation pulls in 2334 people wearing orange ponchos at Spencer Smith Park; record attempt gets missed.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 2, 2016


The weather didn’t help.

Despite pouring rain – hundreds showed up and waited for a process to be counted.


It was raining steadily as people began to enter the park – the sun did make an appearance – it could have shown itself earlier.

The grass at Spencer Smith Park was squishy and had begun to turn muddy – that didn’t prevent those hundreds from growing into 1000, then into 2000 and finally into 2334.

But it wasn’t enough.


Anissa Hilbourn, president of the Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation,

When Anissa Hilbourn, president of the Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation, came up with the idea, the record – 2165 – was held by Dell Technologies

As the hospital Foundation was doing all the prep week for the event – which was to fill the shape of a J with at least 2166 people, Queen’s University, which was celebrating its 175th anniversary decided to go for the record and put thousands of people inside the shape of a Q.

They did that at Richardson stadium in Kingston – 3373 people formed in the shape of a Q

The hospital Foundation had a much different challenge in front of them – 2166 was really do-able for Burlington – 3373 was a much different situation.


The curl of the J started in the east and worked its way westward in Spencer Smith Park.


The length of the line of people was impressive and …


… and it kept on going and going and going.


2334 people who will be wearing an orange armband – they did their best to make history. They didn’t because you were not there.

The crowd began to assemble before noon even though it was raining – not a downpour but certainly a steady falling of rain.


The challenge was to text, to tweet and to telephone and drag your friends out.

At about 12:15 the sun broke through and it looked as if it just might be possible. The Master of ceremonies kept encouraging the crowd to text everyone they knew. “Get the message out” he implored people to do. He called out to those living in the condominiums across the street from the park to “come out – the sun is shining” – but it wasn’t enough.


The end of a disappointing day but only in terms of the numbers. The people who were there didn’t see the day as a failure. The hospital they were supporting was a km or more to the west.

The Guinness World Book of Records official announced that the number of people inside the J that stretched almost the full length of Spencer Smith Park was 2334.

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The new look for the eastern end of Spencer Smith Park and the new gazebo.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 1, 2016



We told you about the changes being made at the eastern end of Spencer Smith Park that included the destruction of the existing gazebo and the creation of a walking path.

The drawing set out below wasn’t available to us at the time – with that drawing we can give you a bigger picture of the change that is being made.


The Naval Memorial will be at the left side with a new gazebo that will be a bit bigger and accessible in the centre. The stairway from Lakeshore Road will be right behind the gazebo. The land on the right hand side was a bit of a bowl that collected too much water – that will be leveled out

It’s quite comprehensive and all things being equal it will leave us all with a more functional park that will pull the pier, that neat little mini beach tucked in at the base of the pier and the Naval monument plus the new gazebo into one grouping.

Fine work on the part of city landscape planner Ingrid Vanderbrug and those she worked with.

We won’t get to see the finished look until the spring but it should work well.

What isn’t clear is how this upgrade to the east end of the park will fit into the plans being talked through for increased development on the land the Waterfront Hotel currently sit on.

Waterfront hotel with pier at foot

If there is ever a new Waterfront Hotel built you can bet it will have a more attractive design on the street side – and that it will reach a lot higher into the sky.

There were discussions about tearing down the existing hotel and putting up something in the 30 storey range and adding one and perhaps two structures to the south of the hotel on land that Conservation Halton has a lot of control over.

The last we heard was that the thinking was to orient new development on that land so that it looked west along the Naval Promenade.

Should such a development take place the upgrade to the park and the setting for the new gazebo becomes almost an extension of any hotel development.

GAzebo from Waterfront Hotel

A view of the east end of Spencer smith Park looking west – before the gazebo was torn down and the willow trees removed. This is the view that guests in a new Waterfront Hotel would have – if that development ever takes place.

What a break for the developer.

And what a much different downtown Burlington.getting new - yellow

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Cyclists tell us how the city plans to count traffic on New Street. Did the Transportation department lose their tongues or did the communications people lose their pencils?

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

September 30th, 2016



A number of the articles we publish draw comments from readers – where the debate can continue for some time. The cycling lanes on New Street is one of those debates that isn’t over yet.

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

Will we see the Mayor on his bike driving to city hall along New Street?

We usually leave the debates in the comment section however a comment from Chris Amiens, a cyclist for whom we have a lot of respect, is one we decided to pull from the comments section and put it into the ongoing news category.

Responding to a short piece I wrote about the traffic I experienced on New Street during a rush hour earlier this week Amiens said:

“Not one of your best articles, Pepper. Did you ask anyone from the city what they are doing to measure? More investigative journalism and less supposition is required.

He went on to say: “ At Tuesday’s (September 27) Cycling Committee meeting, the Transportation department shared an update on the New Street pilot.

“One of the recommendations we made to Council was to “measure everything”. I came away from this update encouraged that the city’s Staff are doing just that.

“They aren’t using the tubes in the road, because those are less effective. They are using Bluetooth technology to measure travel times and installing cameras that will count vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians 24/7 (including both the street and the sidewalks). They will be installing the tubes on parallel and side streets like Spruce to measure traffic impacts there. They are even having drones capture video of rush hour traffic. They are getting feedback from not only the public, but transit, police and emergency services to measure the impacts.

“Whatever your position on the New Street project, it is clear to me that staff are doing their utmost to capture all of the relevant metrics so that the City can make the most informed decision.”

This is great stuff – but why is the public learning about it in a comment made by a member of the Cycling Advisory committee?

I am impressed with the lengths the city is going to – what’s it going to cost?

However, I want to know why there hasn’t been a single word from the Transportation department on what they plan to do.

Mayor Goldring: Is there an event he won't attend? He doesn't have to get out to everything - but he usually does.

Mayor Goldring: Thinking it over?

Given that the cycling lanes are one of the hotter issues for a number of people.   Given that the Mayor said he is approached by citizens on this issue constantly – is this not an issue that the city’s communications staff could get something out on?

It is an issue – not all that big when compared to others – think budget, Strategic Plan and the Transportation New Directions that have been put on the table, but it has people agitated.

What is particularly telling is the city’s inability to get in front of a story and just tell people what they are going to do.

Could they not just talk about being accountable and transparent and actually ‘walk their talk’ rather than continually being reactive ?

Peter Paul and Mary made the point in their song: “When will they ever learn?”

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