Conservation has extensive water flow devices to alert them to flooding; that wasn't the case in 2014

By Staff

July 22nd, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

A reader asked just how many devices does the Region have to measure the rainfall and how  does the data collection come together.

Device that captures water flow rates of Shoreacres Creek as it flows under Spruce Ave.

Conservation Halton (CH) has access to forty-four rain gauges, twenty-three streamflow gauges, three climate stations, as well as our four major flood control dams. Each of these stations has a datalogger that senses a variable (water level, precipitation, wind speed, etc.) that then sends the data to our data acquisition and storage platform through a cell modem, or other telemetry (broadband, fibre-optic networks..

The system polls these stations every 15 minutes; they also  have access to all the stations in real-time through their system (on-demand access).

All the data is visible for our Flood Forecasting and Operations (FF&O) staff at any time.

There are three (3) Flood Duty Officers, who are on rotation 24/7 (Tuesday to Tuesday).

The photograph is of the Shoreacres Creek as it flows under Spruce Ave.

In 2014 there was one, just one rainfall metering devices and the telemetry for that one wasn’t properly hooked up.  Conservation Halton took the required remedial action.

There are a total of 13 creeks that flow through the city.

 

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Rivers:The LCBO mess is a solution looking for a problem.

By  Ray Rivers

July 22, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Ontario has just lived through another major weather event – the climatic warming of the Caribbean produced Beryl – the earliest category 5 hurricane in Atlantic history.  And the remnants visited southern Ontario this week torrentially dumping near record breaking rainfall, reminiscent of the flood of a decade earlier.  It was a memo to our governments that we need to do more to mitigate global warming and climate change.

But these days Mr. Ford has bigger fish he wants to fry.  So he’s busy defending the sweetheart deal he cooked up with that Spa outfit, giving away public space at Ontario place.   And then there is the smoke and mirrors he is generating in order to justify shuttering Ontario’s Science Centre and move it.

Premier is said to be a teetotaller – but he wants to ensure that you can pick up a 2-4 at a gas station.

But what is really occupying Mr. Ford’s attention these days is killing the LCBO.  He’s doing that by a thousand cuts.  He is accelerating the shift of alcohol sales to the private outlets such that the mighty LCBO, once the largest purchaser of alcoholic products in the world, until it will eventually be seen as unprofitable.  It is kind of bizarre that someone who claims to be a tea totaler would be so interested in making booze even more readily available for more residents of this province.

And that is why the employees went on strike.  It was about keeping their jobs but also about preserving the organization they work for.   And they were successful in stopping the bleeding, at least for the three year term of their contract.  And by that time Doug Ford will be history, they hope.

Though perhaps Mr. Ford is right.  Maybe it’s time to privatize all alcohol sales, get rid of the LCBO.  After all we privatized cannabis sales from the get go and no animals were injured in the process.  But there will be some potential downsides.  First, greater access to alcohol carries the danger of greater underage drinking and drunk driving.  Second, the provincial treasury would likely have to forego the $2 billion or so it receives annually from the LCBO;

Third, increased crime.  A recent study south of the border has linked increased violent crime with the expansion of liquor stores.  Forth, the role the LCBO plays in the promotion and protection of local wines and liquors is at risk.  And fifth, the availability of the wide variety and diversity of products will be gone because smaller retailers will need to focus on a few of the most popular brands.

Handling the empty beer, wine and spirits containers could turn out to be more than small retailers want to take on.

This expansion is already meeting resistance by the very people it is intended to benefit.  Many potential mom and pop, convenience, store vendors are refusing to be licensed to sell plunk.  After all, the privilege of selling booze comes with a price tag,  There is the process of licensing; the underage policing and added security to prevent theft; the additional paperwork; the additional storage and showcasing space; and the requirement to accept and dispatch used liqueur receptacles.

It is hard to see this liquor expansion as anything but a solution looking for a problem.  The original promises of getting booze into corner stores dates back to a time well before the LCBO re-invented itself into the modern retailer it is today.  The best thing Ford could do about the LCBO is give it a less uninspiring name and leave well enough alone.

After all, he promised to be the premier for all the people, not premier for all the booze.

Ray 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:

Hurricane Beryl –  Climate Change Insurance –    Refusing to Handle Booze –   Booze and Crime

 

 

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Big Band Sound Dancing at the War Plane Museum - you can book early

By Staff

July 22nd, 2024

BURLINGTON, 0N

 

If you are one of those people who likes to plan way way ahead and like to dance to the sounds of a big band sound – this might interest you.

The Heritage Warplane Museum announced their Victory Dinner & Dance November 16, 2024

Come join the merriment and frivolity at the annual Swing Out to Victory Dinner & Dance as the Toronto All-Star Big Band performs nostalgic tunes from the 1940s. Feel the spirit of that era as you dance among the vintage aircraft of the Canadian Warplane Heritage. Dressing in vintage fashions and Allied Forces uniforms of the 1940s is encouraged but not necessary.

You can attend as a Dance only guest or make it a Dinner and Dance  – ticket $85 each or table of eight $680. Dance only ticket $40.

Tickets

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Mayor Staff member critical of local hair salon service - Ouch

By Staff

July 22, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Esther Gibbs

Esther Gibbs, Policy and Community Support Specialist for Mayor Meed Ward slipped on the Community support side when she posted a less than sterling recommendation for the service provided by Keora Aveda Hair Salon on Lakeshore Road.

Gibbs gave two stars – complaining that her hair was cut too short and the blond highlighting she expected wasn’t satisfactory.

Ouch.

Mayor is reported to use the same hair salon.

 

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Could, should Brant Street be a pedestrians only Street on Sundays - worked in part of Hamilton

By Pepper Parr

July 22, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Hamilton Residents got an opportunity to stroll along Locke Styreet on the weekend when the local BIA took advantage of the more seasonal weather of the last few days held a Sundays Unlocked event – a pedestrian-only day of shopping, food and entertainment.

Most of the restaurants on Locke have opened patios—including Donut Monster, Bardo, Peruviano, Delirious Burger, The Squire, West Town, Democracy, Burnt Tongue, Amo Gelato, Starbucks, Planted, Noir and Diced Ice.

Live Music is provided by John and Paul, Johnny and Shari, Beyond the Woodpile, the Weight and Bliss. There are balloons, Chalk Painting and caricatures for the kids as well.

There are many who would like to see events like that happen in Burlington; some feel that Brant Street should be a pedestrian only area from Lakeshore to Caroline.

Is there any traction for an idea like that?

 

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Gigadat, payment solutions company, works well with iGaming,

By Julieta Belen Correa 

July 22nd, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Gigadat is a payment solutions company that allows global e-merchants and service providers to offer Canadian customers fast, secure, and reliable payments. The pay-in and pay-out solutions allow businesses to offer products and services to those in Canada that they may not have been able to because of limited payment solutions from some banks in Canada.

Transact safely with encrypted software.

This payment platform offers peace of mind to Canadian customers, with round-the-clock service, working with trusted and established banking networks for safe deposits and transfers. Now, onto where you can use Gigadat in Canada.

The Gigadat reach is world wide

One of the best industries to see how Gigadat works well is with iGaming, with the best Gigadat casino in Canada allowing players to transact safely as software encryption is used by the company to enhance the security of any transaction made through the system. Customer expectations are changing, with flexibility and security at the forefront. Gigadat ensures online gaming sites fall within local regulations, adhere to AML, and are PCI compliant, keeping users safe throughout any transaction. The online gambling industry in Canada brought in $2.3 billion in 2023, with a projected annual growth rate of 6% between 2024-2029. This increase in popularity and revenue will see Gigadat services used more often for iGaming in Canada.

E-commerce stores and users are on the rise in Canada. As of 2022, there were more than 27 million eCommerce users in Canada, according to the International Trade Administration. Of those, 55% preferred to make online purchases on their mobile devices. That’s where Gigadat comes in. The payment service provider offers e-commerce businesses safe and trustworthy ways to transact with its increasing range of solutions for apps and websites. Online shoppers in Canada are in safe hands with Gigadat, whether it’s for goods or services.

Quick checkout.

Online trading in Canada is rapidly increasing in popularity. As more people are on the lookout for investment opportunities to grow their financial portfolios, online platforms need to provide safe ways to transact quickly and without hassle. E-merchants need to offer quick checkout, something that is an absolute must when working with industries like crypto gambling and online trading. Users have come to expect instant withdrawals and online platforms and apps need to keep up with this growing demand.

Whether it’s trading, gambling, or online shopping, the competition out there for online sites is growing and if e-merchants don’t keep up with payment solution flexibility, customers will inevitably vote with their feet. This is particularly true in Canada, where users are looking for hassle-free payment options, whether they’re purchasing locally or internationally. While remaining within local regulations is a top priority, it’s vital for users to have a trusted payment method that won’t inhibit them.

Be aware of and understand your options.

Gigadat also comes in handy for businesses looking for analytics on their transactions, with the payment platform offering a variety of reports to ensure that online businesses can see exactly what users need on their platform and at which stage in the purchasing funnel. This can help e-merchants market their businesses successfully.

To answer the question, where can you use Gigadat in Canada? The answer is with any online platform that uses this increasingly popular payment solution service. Many businesses are choosing to partner with Gigadat, as the need for safe and secure transactions is on the rise globally.

 

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Looking for clarification on grants available from both the City and the Region

By Staff

July 22nd, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

There appear to be slightly different messages out on just what is available to residents who had their homes flooded.

Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte said in her note to her residents that:

Halton Region has announced a $1,000 Ex Gratia Grant for Public Sewer Backup, which can help eligible residents to offset the cost of an insurance deductible or help with flooding-related costs that are not otherwise covered under their home insurance policy.

The City of Burlington has also announced an Ex Gratia Grant, which will provide $1,000 to residents with confirmed residential flooding that are not eligible for the Halton Region Ex Gratia Grant for Public Sewer Backup.

To be assessed for eligibility for the applicable grant, residents must report home flooding to Halton Region at 311. If this has not already been done, it must be done immediately.

Councillor Lisa Kearns who provided a lengthy but very detailed list of what was available in terms of support and services didn’t mention that the City Ex Gratia Grant might not be available

We have had very little luck in getting responses to our requests for clarification from the City Communications people.  We will ask around and see what we can learn.

 

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Canada ready to take on the world’s best in T20 World Cup

By Deny Branly

July, 20th, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Cricket to many in North America is the colonial game that got away, with most countries that compete at the sharp end of the worldwide game, having their roots ingrained in British Commonwealth history.

The likes of India, Australia, South Africa and of course England, continue to dominate the sport, that is continually evolving as a worldwide product and that has become the 2nd most watched sport on the planet after football.

However, whilst the West Indies often flew the flag for the Americas with aplomb in a cricketing context, Canada and the United States have always been two gaping holes in the world cricket map.

Everything has been put into the swing.

That is until now, with the ICC T20 World Cup set to get underway, with America and the West Indies all hosting games, in one of the flagship events of the global cricketing and wider sporting calendar.

Breaking new ground and bringing the game to new fans is the aim here for the ICC, as they look to encourage as many new people as possible to the game and with a tournament expansion now seeing 20 different countries taking part, it promises to be a real international spectacle over the next few weeks.

Fittingly, the first game of the tournament sees hosts United States, take on neighbours Canada, in what should be an enthralling contest, that organisers are hoping will capture the hearts and minds of fans across the continent.

Does Canada have a chance?

With such a congested sporting space in Canada, it is perhaps a little difficult to see how a seasonal sport such as cricket could fit in.

Football, baseball, basketball and ice-hockey always pick up the big numbers in terms of participation, with soccer, tennis and golf also very much in the mix too.

That said, the Canadia Cricket Association is working hard to grow the game all across Canada and the influx of players from different heritages is also enabling the Canadian men’s national team to have a much more polished look about it.

The precision – waiting for the ball to get to the bat is thrilling to watch.

Unlike the USA, Canada have competed in the 50-over ICC World Cup before, on four previous occasions, never managing to progress beyond the group stages but this is their T20 World Cup debut.

Big cricketing tournaments always garner plenty of attention with bookmakers and sports betting fans alike and whilst Canada aren’t seen as having any chance of winning the competition, there are still plenty of betting markets to be accessed.

The 2024 ICC World Cup begins on June 2nd 2024 and runs for 4 action-packed weeks, giving cricket punters plenty of chances to get involved and players can check out the best T20 World Cup odds and more at top sportsbooks listed at bettingtop10.ca.

Who will be 2024 ICC T20 World Cup Champions?

In recent times, England have dominated the shorter formats of world cricket and whilst they haven’t been in great form over the past 12 months, they remain the defending champions and they look well placed to have a good go once again here.

There may be a lot that North Americans have to learn about the sport – but high fives are known by everyone.

Australia bagged the ICC ODI World Cup in late 2023 and they look to have plenty of confidence in their squad as a result and they should relish the conditions in the USA and the West Indies.

Two sides that won’t love the conditions are India and Pakistan but both teams are incredibly dangerous on their day, possessing some of the best match winners in the world and neither can be discarded.

Elsewhere, the likes of South Africa, West Indies and New Zealand will all fancy their chances of going all the way and becoming the world T20 champions in 2024.

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Parking exemptions until the end of August.

By Staff

July 21st, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The City is helping flooded homeowners by lifting the timed parking restrictions for parking on residential streets until Aug. 31, 2024 across the city. This means you can park overnight or for longer than five hours on your street. You do no need to apply for a parking exemption during this time. Signed restrictions on residential streets still apply.

Please follow all other parking regulations for safety and fire routes. Parking offences, not related to time will still be enforced and you could receive a ticket or be towed if parked illegally.

Need enforcement? Email city@burlington.ca during business hours or call Halton Regional Police Non-Emergency Communications at 905-825-4777 on evenings and weekends. Ask for parking enforcement and a dispatcher will send a Parking Officer to the location.

Parking exemptions do not apply in the downtown area, the Waterfront, Beachway Park or Lowville Park. Please check for reservation and paid parking times in these areas. Make sure you park in a legal, designated parking spot and obey all parking rules and bylaws. Otherwise, you will be ticketed or towed.

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Knowing what the city has spent helps: what it might choose to spend going forward is the concern

By Pepper Parr

July 20th, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

During the Special Council meeting last week Staff released reports on what had been done after the 2014 flood.

 

The yellow highlighting was put there by the city. They wanted the public to know that they had done what they thought was necessary.

Some of the funds came from the federal and provincial governments, who in turn got the funds from taxpayers – same pockets.

Eric Stern, a Burlington resident who  has been banging away at the rate at which tax increases are piled one on top of the taxes levied by the Regional government and the school boards.

Mayor Meed Ward chose to use the % Impact number rather than the actual tax increase when she spoke of the budget. There was never a definition given on just what an impact was.

Eric Stern

Many in his group look for a zero tax increase, which is just not possible.  Asking for a tax increase equal to inflation plus 1 percent for a couple of years might be what is needed. Whatever the Mayor produces in the way of a budget – it is now her responsibility to produce a budget – she is going to have to pay heed to this small group that have done their homework – expect to see something in the way of a semi-formal group going public and challenging the Mayor and her Council members.

Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte floated an idea – holding a referendum asking the public what they would like to see in the way of spending.  The response in the Gazette comments section was brutal.

During the Special Council meeting on Thursday, City Staff put out a report that the Mayor couldn’t stop talking about.  The city did spend a lot of money after the 2014 flood.  Creek channels were cleaned up, widened and made to be able to handle more in the way of rainwater.

The task of keeping those creek beds clean wasn’t part of the mix.

There was a time when Burlington’s Jack Dennison served as Councillor for ward 4; he held that job for two decades I think.  He knew every nook and cranny of the city – I wonder what Jack would have said about spending less on the big things and doing more of the common sense stuff.

 

 

 

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Benefits of Porcelain Veneers: an effective solution for hiding flaws and discolorations

By Mike Jones

July 18th, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Whether your teeth have minor chips, cracks or discolorations, veneers are an effective solution for hiding these flaws and discolorations. With their natural aesthetic, you’ll be able to smile confidently knowing no one will notice.

Tooth veneers also resist staining better than regular tooth enamel, helping you keep your smile whiter for longer.

  1. Can fix small imperfections

Before and after – dental veneers are a choice that works for many people.

Veneers can help conceal small chips, cracks or gaps in your teeth so you can achieve a smile free from imperfections. They may also help correct mildly crooked or overcrowded smiles without needing orthodontic treatment.

Before applying veneers, we will remove about 0.5 millimeter of enamel from your tooth’s surface in order to roughen and help the veneers adhere better. Multiple veneers may then be used to close spaces between teeth, lengthen worn down ones, reshape irregularly-shaped ones or add uniform coloration in aging teeth. Keep іn mind that veneers cost can vary depending оn factors like the number оf veneers needed and the specific materials used.

Porcelain veneers cannot replace large broken teeth or prevent decay in underlying tooth structure; as they cover only the front surface of your tooth, it is still essential to practice good oral hygiene habits such as regular brushing and flossing.

  1. Gives a natural appearance

Veneers are designed to perfectly replicate the color and appearance of natural tooth enamel, making them look quite convincing. Furthermore, veneers are extremely durable and stain-resistant – although their effects won’t be quite as obvious than that of your natural enamel.

Deliberately constructed veneers can quickly address various cosmetic flaws at once, such as stains, chips and cracks, misalignment issues and even severe discoloration that does not respond to conventional teeth whitening methods.

The kind of smile many people with minor dental problems wish they could have.

Veneers have proven to be highly effective and can last up to 10 years with proper care. Maintaining veneers is easy; just brush twice daily, floss, use mouthwash and schedule regular dental visits. In addition, try not to chew on hard objects like ice as this may damage both natural teeth and veneers.

  1. Minimally invasive procedure

When our dentist applies veneers to your teeth, he or she will only need to take minimal measures to achieve a natural-looking smile with minimum discomfort or pain involved.

Our dentists use impressions to design veneers that replicate the color and contouring of natural teeth. If cared for properly, a veneer could last 10-12 years before needing replacing or repairs.

Porcelain veneers can help correct minor cosmetic concerns like discoloration, chipped teeth and cracks in your smile. Unfortunately, however, porcelain veneers cannot address structural issues like crookedness or an open bite; in such cases our dentists may recommend Invisalign or another orthodontic treatment instead.

  1. Durable and stain-resistant

Porcelain veneers bonded to your teeth are nearly as strong as natural enamel on them, meaning that they’re very resilient against temperature changes, stains, and fractures.

Before applying veneers to your teeth, your cosmetic dentist will remove a thin layer of enamel. This is to ensure they look natural and fit perfectly within the mouth.

Maintaining healthy veneers requires taking steps that won’t stain or damage them, such as chewing hard objects (pens and fingernails) or smoking, brushing regularly and flossing frequently – your dentist should provide instructions for doing so to extend their lifespan up to 15 years! With proper care, your veneers could last you for decades without needing replacement!

  1. Easy Maintenance

Porcelain veneers are quite durable, they still require regular oral care in order to avoid plaque build-up and staining.

Although porcelain veneers are quite durable, they still require regular oral care in order to avoid plaque build-up and staining. Brushing two times daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush and flossing every day are both great ways to ensure that all teeth – including those covered by veneers – remain clean and free of debris.

Hard foods should also be avoided if you have the habit of biting down on nuts or ice, which may chip or break veneers. Also consider wearing a mouth guard at night if you experience grinding/clenching your teeth (known as bruxism) which could damage both the enamel and veneers of your teeth.

Visit your dentist every six months for regular dental cleanings and examinations to detect issues early on, like chipping or decay. Doing this will keep your veneers looking their best over time.

 

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Members of Council appear to like the Neighbourhood grant program

By Pepper Parr

July 20th, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The number of people who send the Gazette pictures and notes about issues in their communities has increased significantly – this was before the floods.

People are chaffing at some of the city spending; they see it as unnecessary and something that doesn’t really return much to the community overall.

The City Neighbourhood program that will give a group of people $500 to hold a small community event has been around for some time.  City Staff are available to take people through the process – oddly – they seldom report on the events that take place; something about privacy matters.

The explanation is that Parks, Recreation and Culture is working to improve the way communities get together and build stronger relationships.  The picture of the sign, shown below, outside the Brant Hills Community Centre, was seen by some as a little over the top.

This ward 3 sign may have been something Councillor Nisan wanted to see happen.  Given that he no longer lives in the ward that he represents, he may need city funded events to take place so he can actually meet with his constituent.

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Flooding: Willowbrook and Dorset intersection becomes a large pond

By Pepper Parr

July 19th, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

A picture is indeed worth a thousand words.

The water needed a place to go – catch basins might have been blogged. Some homes were badly damaged.

Visuals sent to us by an Aldershot resident show the extent of the flooding in his neighbourhood.

The pictures were taken by Craig Cosby and are of the flood at the Willowbrook and Dorset intersection; going up Willowbrook along the creek to Enfield.

Cosby said: “I think nine home ended up flooded, some up into the main floor.

 

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LCBO strike settled; stores will reopen on Tuesday

By Pepper Parr

July 19th, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

Despite a tentative agreement,  LCBO workers are still on strike

The booze strike is over.

Hallelujah!

The news that will be toasted by drinkers across Ontario.  A tentative agreement with the Ontario Public Service Employees union and the LCBO to end the first strike in its history was arrived at after two days of around-the-clock bargaining.

The LCBO said stores will reopen Tuesday.

No photo op for the Premier on this occasion.

 

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City, Region and the 407 ETR corporation are making support funding available - quickly

By Pepper Parr

July 19th, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

More than 680 homes were damaged by flooding earlier this week.

Financial support will be available to these home owners

Thirteen homes along Cavendish were badly damaged.  They are getting cheques from the Hwy ETR Corporation in the amount of $2000.

The City has a plan that will give $1000 to those home owners who qualify.  The City CAO made it clear that the criteria to get the will be simple.

The Region has a grant of $1000 per home that was damaged; they too will have a low bar to qualify.

City Council moved quickly to get funds to people.City staff did a remarkable job scrambling to meet a situation that called for everyone to be available.

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Flooding: What happened, where did it happen and why

By Pepper Parr

July 19th, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

So what happened and why did it happen?

And where was the damage worst?

The data to this point is that 680 homes were flooded – that is not a final figure.  The Mayor said her house had four inches of water in the basement but that she yet to report the damage.

In 2014 when the city was flooded there were more than 3000 homes flooded.

The graphic shows where most of the damage took place.  That data came from the Region and as you can see most of the homes were in ward 3.

Hwy 407 ETR cuts through the ward.

It was block at an 8 foot pipe that got blocked that cause the water to back up and flood streets in the Cavendish area

The water was running through West Rambo Creek where it was collected at a culvert. The grating got blocked causing the water to back up into the neighbourhood. The yellow line is the 8 foot pipe that take the water beneath the 407.

Crate that was blocked resulting in a backup of the flood waters in the Cavendish Drive community.

Council, to its credit, did a very good job of take the required action to keep people informed and to get on with the clean up.

Much more on this story.

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Days later and the flood cleanup is underway

By Pepper Parr

July 19th, 2024

BURLINGTON. ON

 

The water has subsided.

Was there work that could have been done to prevent this level of damage.

The ruined furniture and fixtures are out on the edge of the road waiting for the garbage people to truck it away.

Waiting to learn if there is going to be any financial support from the province.

Waiting as well to hear what City Council is going to say at their Special Council meeting late today.  The meeting will be web cast live starting at 9:30 – the Gazette will be reporting on that meeting.

The Regional government has loosed up how much garbage can be put out and when waste will be picked up.  That information is set out below.

To support clean-up efforts, between Monday, July 22, and Friday, August 2, in addition to regular waste service, Halton Region will be providing enhanced curbside waste collection services to all residents who have reported property flooding to Halton Region as follows:

  • Garbage – limits temporarily waived, no bag tags required, collected weekly on regular collection days for the next two weeks
  • Bulk items – limits temporarily waived, size limits and acceptable items (e.g., furniture, carpet/flooring etc.) still apply, collected weekly on regular collection days for the next two weeks

To receive this service, you must report your flooding to the Region of Halton by calling 311.

This is not a yard sale.

The families will want to replace what has been ruined by water that flooded into their basement.

There was nothing anyone could have done about the rainfall. What we could have been spared was having that water flood our streets and seep into basement.

Related news stories:
How Council stumbled to the Special Council meeting that will take place on Friday.

Photographs by Craig, an Aldershot resident.

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Flooding: We did know then what we needed to know now - the Mayor just didn't act on it

By Pepper Parr

July 18th, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

OPINION

There is a phrase that we  hear often at City Council meetings: “It has been a learning experience” when something went wrong and no one takes responsibility.  We see this as really lax discipline and a classic case of failure on the part of both Staff and Council to be held accountable.

We were fortunate as a city , if such a thing can be said, that there was some provincial funding paid out to homeowners who had to make major repairs to their basements in 2014.

There were reports produced and they got that “Receive and File” status.

We knew in 2014 that creeks got clogged with fallen tree limbs and branches that had accumulated in the often dry empty creeks bottoms.

We didn’t expect 150 to 200 mm of rain in a six hour period.

When that rain came rushing through the creeks the tree limbs and branches were shoved along creeks that could not handle the volume and the clutter jammed and forced water out on the streets and into the basements of hundreds of homes.

We didn’t see that August 2014 rain coming.  The words climate change were not yet part of our vernacular.

But we know that now, we have known that for some time.  Where were the people who are very well paid to do constant risk analysis on every city program?

There were few unknowns after the 2014 flood.  The only thing we didn’t know was – when would the next heavy rain storm come?

City Council made a big hairy deal over declaring a Climate Change Emergency. Burlington is very good at making big statements.  Not so good at making big decisions.

It’s worse than that however.

In July of 2018 in anticipation of the 4 year anniversary of the flood some of the people working with Marianne Meed Ward on her run for the Office of Mayor prepared a report for her setting out in significant detail what the challenge was and what could be done to prepare for floods in the future.

That report was given to Marianne, it was discussed with her at length and made part of her election platform.  Rick Goldring, the incumbent at the time knew he was in trouble; the Meed Ward storm water report didn’t help.

In a report the Gazette wrote on the plan Meed Ward had we quoted her as saying: “As your mayor I will support measures to reduce flooding causes, and effects at the city level by Advocating responsible growth, not over-development.”

A link to that Gazette article is set out below.

The report given to Meed Ward follows/

We sometimes say: If we knew then what we know now – what a difference it would have made.

The truth is – we did know then what we needed to know.

Home Flood Protection Program:

 Burlington, Ont., Aug. 4, 2017— The University of Waterloo, Province of Ontario and City of Burlington announced  the launch of the Home Flood Protection Pilot Program.

    • Developed by University of Waterloo and the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation( and applied research centre); delivered by AET Consulting; subsidized by Intact Insurance Co., Province of Ontario, City of Burlington
    • The Home Flood Protection Program aims to help homeowners identify flood risks, take action to reduce those risks and support preventative maintenance activities that reduce risks over the long-term. This is achieved by a trained assessor who completes a 50-point visual assessment of potential sources of water entry into the home and discusses preventative maintenance practices with homeowners.
    • A confidential report is created to provide homeowners with a list of the top actions to reduce flood risk. The pilot program is available for single-family homeowners for a subsidized fee of $125 across Burlington from August to December 2017.
    • Overall numbers unavailable (from source) but major uptake in Burlington was from the southwest and north sectors of the City – those most impacted by the flooding.
  • January 2018 announced that the program would be extended to other jurisdictions across Ontario plus Saskatoon:
    • City of Toronto – official launch July 11, 2018
    • Brantford
    • Bowmanville
    • Clarington
    • Hamilton
    • Oakville
    • Waterloo Region
  • Special promotion offered to Burlington residents beginning January 2018 – 100 free assessments on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.
    • As of July 11/2018 – only 92 new registrations with the program
    • City of Burlington staff source ( A. Shahzad) claimed that there was a quota (~150) but there seemed to be a general lack of interest in the program.
    • Majority of take-up is during the summer (based on one year of operation).
    • Informal feedback is that people are pleased with information they receive re ongoing maintenance (i.e. back-up valves).

City’s Response to August 4, 2014 – Chronology of Events/Actions:

Note: The follow is a list of reports that were prepared; many of the documents are no longer available on the city web site – why? that’s another story

Aug. 14, 2014 – Special Burlington City Council Meeting (F-36-14)

Sept. 8, 2014 – Flood presentation at Development and Infrastructure Committee (DI-16-14)

Sept. 22, 2014 – Report providing information on a program to assist homeowners with the cost of building permit fees for flood prevention (PB-85-14Appendix to the report

Sept. 29, 2014 – Report recommending approval to establish a Flood Disaster Relief Committee (CM-14-14)

Nov. 17, 2014 – Report providing a storm water update regarding the Aug. 4 flood (CW-03-14)

Jan. 14, 2015 – Halton Region Basement Flooding Mitigation Study – Update #2

Feb. 18, 2015 – Halton Region Basement Flooding Mitigation Study – Update #3

Mar. 15, 2015 – City of Burlington Flood Response Update #1

  • Key status piece/review for projects and planned mitigations
  • Identifies the 15 priority projects across the city.
  • Response is multi-faceted but bureaucratic and focused on symptoms rather than root causes.

April 22, 2015 – Halton Region Basement Flooding Mitigation Study – Update #4

April 30, 2015 – Conservation Halton report August 4, 2014 Storm Event, Burlington

May 20, 2015 – Halton Region Basement Flooding Mitigation Study – Update #5

July 6, 2015 – City of Burlington report providing an update regarding the Flood Vulnerability and Prioritization Study (CW-09-15) Appendix E – Figure 1  Appendix E – Figure 2

July 8, 2015 – Halton Region report PW-22-15 – Region Wide Basement Flooding Mitigation Study: Final Report and Recommendations

 June 15, 2016 – Halton Region report PW-18-16 Region Wide Basement Flooding Mitigation Program

June 17, 2017  –  City of Burlington report prepared by Amec Foster Wheeler Urban-Area Flood Vulnerability, Prioritization and Mitigation Study

Characteristics of City’s Flood Risk Mitigation Program:

  • Recognizes that floods are not unique occurrences but that severe climatic events will be recurring “as the frequency and severity of extreme weather due to climate change is increasing …”
    • However, City still targets the after-effects rather than addressing root causes and getting ahead of the curve.
  • Every City initiative is focused on home-owner self-help. There is no holistic or broad systemic response and no response that is innovative.
  • “It is the City of Burlington’s responsibility to manage the storm sewer system and creeks to ensure stormwater runoff is safely carried away to reduce the risk of flooding”;
    • Hired AMEC Foster Wheeler (stormwater consultants) to analyse the storm, the impact on stormwater drainage and suggest mitigation measures.
    • July 15/2015 – preliminary findings presented to Council – additional $20.4 million added to multi year (10 year window) budget for stormwater infrastructure improvements.
      • `$ 2million/yr. for capital projects and upgrades such as larger creek culverts and improvements to creek channels.
      • Traditional erosion control and capacity increase solutions with planned projects that were accelerated with the marginally increased funding.
      • Three completed Spring/Summer 2018 – four years after the event.
        • Roseland Creek capacity
        • Tuck Creek erosion control
        • Tuck Creek capacity
      • Others scheduled for completion 2019-2020
    • Advice and remedial actions target the ‘homeowner’ as the responsible agent; focused on the private citizen in isolation and address the effects of a potentially recurring problem with traditional responses (i.e. increase capacity); does not holistically address the broader impacts of climate change over time with integrated, interdependent solutions.
    • List of subsidies available but again the onus is on the homeowner to effect or action.

Latest Findings and Reports:

Amec Foster Wheeler – Final Report (July 31/2017)

  • Final report three (3) years after the event.
  • Concluded that past vulnerability assessments were piecemeal – watershed by watershed rather than city-wide and comprehensive.
  • Noted that “most of the flood vulnerable areas have been identified on a theoretical basis only (i.e. hydrologic and hydraulic modelling).”
  • Identifies the most severely impacted watersheds:
    • Roseland creek
    • Tuck creek
    • Shoreacres creek
    • Appleby creek
  • Potential issues with the reliability of the base data and models – used the most current available hydrologic and hydraulic models; did not develop new ones for the assessment. Several of the City’s modeling platforms were/are seriously dated.
  • Ironically, the Regional Storm floodlines rather than the August 4th storm floodlines were used for many watersheds because the digital data was available and reasonably similar +/- 10%. Assume this is within an acceptable margin of error.
  • A series of limitations are noted with the assessment (p.36-37) – several appear serious. Leads to questions of overall accuracy/utility.
  • The data show that Low Density Residential is the most vulnerable land use in the City’s urban area, representing 73% of all flood vulnerable buildings. When all residential land uses are combined, they constitute 82% of flood vulnerable buildings in the City-wide urban area. The data also indicate that Tuck Creek contains the greatest number of flood vulnerable buildings, followed by Roseland Creek and Appleby Creek; these three (3) creeks (in addition to Shoreacres Creek) were also the hardest hit on August 4th, 2014.
  • A summary of the analysis and results is as follows:
    • ► 118 culverts/bridges assessed
    • ► Twenty (20) arterial structures have capacities less than or equal to the 5 year event (Note: This inherently conservative assessment does not account for the influence of manmade storage upstream of roadway and railway culverts)
    • ► 62 structures do not meet MTO B-100 criteria
    • ► 69 structures do not meet all criteria (MTO and MNRF)
    • ► Limitations of assessment (error) are similar to those expressed for FVA characterization
    • ► Where FVRs are downstream of priority FVAs, culvert upgrades have been considered for the short-list of flood mitigation alternatives.

Study Recommendations:

  1. Work with partner agencies to establish/improve a network of stream flow and rainfall gauges for representative watersheds to assist in future extreme event characterization and calibration of future hydrologic modelling;
  2. Undertake on a City-wide basis for each watershed / subwatershed detailed minor-major system hydrologic/hydraulic modelling to further characterize flood risk associate with urban stormwater conveyance including surface and storm sewer conveyance and confirm priority UFVAs identified herein;
  3. Update stormwater management design standards, including formally updating IDF relationships and design storms on a periodic basis. Climate change considerations should be incorporated in the guidelines for design of stormwater management systems and conveyance infrastructure;
  4. Complete a detailed assessment (i.e. simulation of spatially/temporally varying rainfall) for the August 4th, 2014 storm with consideration for peak flow attenuation behind culverts for Shoreacres and Appleby Creek to determine if the hydrologic models are underestimating runoff response (Note: the Tuck Creek hydrologic model underestimated August 4th, 2014 peak flows in the headwaters). The results of this assessment should be considered in the development of any future hydrologic modelling for City watersheds
  5. Strategically update hydrologic models City-wide to account for changes in land use and as deemed necessary by flood mitigation projects recommended herein or other future projects. Model calibration and use of common modelling platforms would be considered beneficial;
  6. Partner with Conservation Halton to update riverside hydraulic modelling City-wide, and update the assessment of riverine flood risk (RFVA characterization) completed herein as these models become available in order to confirm priority RFVAs;
  7. Undertake the next stage of studies (Class Environmental Assessments and Master Drainage Plans) for the flood mitigation projects recommended herein to refine the flood risk characterization, consider environmental, social and economic constraints, consult the public and ultimately confirm the efficacy of the projects prior to implementation;
  8. Optimize infrastructure sizing for culverts, channelizations and flood control facilities at the next level of study and undertake impact assessments to minimize flood impacts to upstream or downstream properties.
  9. Based on Urban Area Flood Mitigation assessments include infrastructure not evaluated in the current study and consider full range of potential solutions. Update the City’s capital project prioritization based on the updated assessment.
  10. The Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) 2014, Section 3.1.5 specifies that certain high risk land uses such as hospitals, long term care homes, schools, essential emergency services, etc. not be permitted in the floodplain (ref. Appendix L). Future studies should consider these uses and the related risks in developing appropriate strategies.
  11. Outcomes from the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation (University of Waterloo) (ref. Appendix I) Home Flood Protection Program) should be considered going forward in building flood resiliency in the City’s residential communities. – ongoing
  12. As part of future watershed-based master plans, key road networks used for emergency services should be considered and integrated as part of the overall flood management solutions (ref. Appendix L).
  13. The City’s future watershed-based master plans should build from a sound local knowledge base related to past (historic) and on-going management practices. Feedback, through post-construction monitoring of the effectiveness of these works, should form an adaptive management mechanism to improve future designs and approaches.
  14. The City should seek out to partner with area stakeholders, including Conservation Halton, Region of Halton, utility companies, developers and others to implement fully integrated solutions compliant with Municipal and Provincial policy.
  15. The Region of Halton has initiated a downspout disconnection program partially in response to the August 4, 2014 storm. The City will work with the Region to encourage participation and awareness of this program and also consider its influence on future surface drainage assessments – done

For those of you who need some time to put your feet up – this is going to be disturbing news.

Salt with Pepper is the musings, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette, an online newspaper that was formed in 2010 and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.

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The water just didn't stop - amount of damage may exceed the 2014 flood

By Pepper Parr

July 18th, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The  the extent of the damage and the amount of water that was coursing through the streets of every community in the city is more than a repatet of the 2014 flood..

The 2014 flood was, for the most part, restricted to the east end of the city.  This storm didn’t discriminate – Burlington got drenched.

 

 

Stills from a video we were sent is typical of what every street in the city experienced.  The flow of water on Brant Street north of the QEW looked like a creek.  Several locations on the North Service Road east of King Road were close to impassable.

Tuck Creek in the Arbour/Shore Acres area was hit badly – our correspondent knew of 12 homes that were flooded this week and in 2014 as well.  “We are all worried about getting through this; the immediate costs and the impact this might have on the value of our homes.”

One of the Burlington Leadership Teams was to meet today – no word yet on what, if anything, they decided.  The Communications Team seems to be asleep at the switch.  Other than a fulsome statement from Ward Councillor Lisa Kearns the public has heard nothing.  The Mayor has been tweeting.

Who to call and what the different levels of local government are set out in the link below.

Related news stories:

Where to get support: waste removal and garbage pick up days.

Council stumbled in working out what the city was going to do.

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City responses to floods was just not good enough.

By Pepper Parr

July 19th, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It was better than nothing – and some of the information was very useful.

It was the congratulating staff for the wonderful work they did  – when it was terrible.

The time spent on getting to an Urgent Business matter that wasn’t on the agenda was just plain irresponsible. Rain was falling on the streets while coouncil dithered.

The City Response was disappointing.  Communications seemed to have put their phones on hold.  There was nothing in the way of media releases.

In the lengthy article we did (link below) on the Council meeting it becomes clear that some people just didn’t know what they were doing.

One can imagine that Service Burlington was swamped with calls.  That’s why they are in place – to take calls – and if things move to a crisis mode one would hope that staff were trained to deal with that kind of situation.

Kearns deserves credit for getting something out.  She appears to have missed the photo op that took place on Cavendish near the 407 ETR overpass.  The Mayor was there – you weren’t surprised at that were you?

The report that follows came out of ward 2 Councillor’s office. Lisa Kearns was the Councillor who asked the questions that needed to be asked at the Tuesday Council meeting and pressed for the Special Council Meeting scheduled for the 19th

Kearns got it right when she thanked everyone who reached out to support their neighbours, especially those assisting families impacted by the flooding. “Your acts of kindness truly reflect the spirit of our community. Whether you checked in on a neighbour or extended a helping hand to someone out of town, your compassion has not gone unnoticed.”

The useful information included:

To help you stay informed and be prepared, here are some key resources:

Reporting Flooding

Basement Flooding: Contact 311 to report.

Street/City Property Flooding or Downed Trees: Call Service Burlington at 905-335-7777 or email city@burlington.ca.

Window/Door Flooding: Also contact Service Burlington.

The ground was soaked, unable to absorb the water – it then takes the course of least resistance. This picture is from ward 3.

Register with Halton Region:  Call 311 to register your flooding incident with Halton Region. Despite high call volumes, it’s essential to hold and report your situation for assessment and planning. Halton Region Public Works staff are working swiftly to review and follow up on each case.

Safety Precautions

* Immediate Danger: Call 911.

* Children and Pets: Keep them out of the affected area until cleanup is done.

* Electrical Safety: If water is near electrical outlets or panels, consider turning off your electricity. Consult your hydro company or an electrician as needed.

* Gas Safety: If you smell gas, leave immediately and contact your gas provider.

* Plumbing Use: Avoid using toilets or sinks until the source of the backup is identified.

* Food Safety: Do not consume potentially contaminated food.

Enhanced Waste Collection

To support clean-up efforts, between Monday, July 22, and Friday, August 2, in addition to regular waste service, Halton Region will be providing enhanced curbside waste collection services to all residents who have reported property flooding to Halton Region as follows:

  • Garbage – limits temporarily waived, no bag tags required, collected weekly on regular collection days for the next two weeks
  • Bulk items – limits temporarily waived, size limits and acceptable items (e.g., furniture, carpet/flooring etc.) still apply, collected weekly on regular collection days for the next two weeks

To receive this service, you must report your flooding to the Region of Halton by calling 311.

Helpful Links from Region of Halton

Enhanced Basement Flooding Prevention Subsidy Program

Basement Flooding Mitigation Program

Taking Action – Wastewater (Sewage) Backups in Homes

Insurance Assistance: The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is available to help with insurance questions.   Phone: 1-844-227-5422 * Email: ONCIC@ibc.ca  – * Website: Information on filing a claim is available.

Contact your insurance provider, document the damage with photos, and follow their instructions, which may include sending an adjuster or recommending repair services.

Travel and Safety Around the City

Do not drive or walk on flooded roads.

Immediate Danger: Call 911.

Private Property Flooding: Call 311.

Public Property Flooding: Call 905-335-7777 or email city@burlington.ca.

Flood Cleanup

City crews are clearing flooded areas. Homeowners should act quickly and safely. The Canadian Red Cross offers detailed flood cleanup and recovery guidance on their website.

Mental Health Support:  Flood recovery can be stressful. Distress Centre Halton offers 24/7 support at 905-681-1488.

Newcomer Services: If you are new to Canada and needing support, please reach out to HMC Connections

My office is here to assist you with any concerns or questions you may have. Please don’t hesitate to email us at Ward2@burlington.ca. We’re committed to supporting you through this recovery process.

Related news story.

Council stumbles

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