Integrity Commissioner is said to have accepted a complaint against the Mayor

By Pepper Parr

May 15th, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

UPDATE: “We are in the process of reviewing the complaint you filed ( which means it is not yet accepted as a complaint) we do not provide status updates or a “timetable” in terms of this process. If we require anything further from you, we will let you know and will otherwise be in touch with you in due course.” Sincerely Principles Integrity Janice Atwood and Jeffrey A. Abrams, co-principals.

Anne Marsden has an issue that she feels very strongly about.

Anne Marsden delegating with her husband at her side.

The feelings were so strong that she researched, pulled together the documents that were needed and filed a complaint with the City’s Integrity Commissioner: Principle Integrity.

Filing a complaint does not mean that it will be dealt with.

The Integrity Commissioner reaches out to the party the complaint is against, hears what they have to say and decides if they should proceed.

Marsden tells us that she has been told her complaint will be dealt with.

Marsden now wants to know – When?

And has asked the Integrity Commissioner to “please advise what we can expect in terms of a timetable to deal with our complaint confirmed as received by Principles integrity. Is there a file number or person we should be addressing, if so would you please advise what that it is.

“We would appreciate a timetable update at your first opportunity.”

The complaint concerns the manner in which the Mayor dealt with some information.

This is not going to end well for anyone – including the Integrity Commissioner.

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Local Liberals are going to begin looking for a candidate to run against Natalie Pierre - soon

By Pepper Parr

May 15th, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The local Liberal Party organization may not have gotten the memo yet but the people at head office have said (not announced yet) that the party will soon open nominations for candidates in ridings across Ontario for the 2026 election.

Bonnie Crombie has to hit the road again, looking for strong candidates, raising money for the next election and figuring out what went wrong during the by-elections. Her number 1 wish would be for the RCMP to make an announcement. That would take the wind out of the Doug Ford sails

The word was put out during a meeting at which Liberal Party leader Bonnie Crombie spoke about how the Liberal’s would react to the loss of two seats during the recent by-elections.  The Milton seat was seen as one the Liberals could win.  They didn’t.

Zee Hamid, formerly a Liberal – now the PC member for Milton is going to have to make nice with the PC Caucus once he is sworn in.

Zee Hamid, formerly a Liberal was talked into running for the Progressive Conservatives (was there a promise made) and with the support of every Tory they could find to cover the riding they surprised a lot of Liberals who thought they had the seat in the bag.

The Toronto Star reports that “Hamid’s nomination had rankled some Tories given his Liberal past, but Ford was convinced that would help the PCs in a close race. Liberal sources have also said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s slide in the polls is not helping the provincial party.”

In the meantime, Crombie said she will continue travelling the province, meeting with Liberals and local media to become better known in advance of the next provincial election campaign two years from now.

Burlington now has to begin their candidate search and hold a nomination meeting.

There is a potential candidate out there that could beat Natalie Pierre, the current MPP.

Would the local party organization live with her?  They didn’t want to the last time around.

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Monday is a holiday - no city sponsored fireworks

By Staff

May15, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

City Hall wants you to know that Fireworks are permitted to be set off on Victoria Day only (May 20).

Please continue to use our valued outdoor spaces responsibly. The City’s bylaw regulates where and when residents can set off family (low hazard) fireworks. For more information about who to contact if you have a concern, visit burlington.ca/fireworks.

City Council decided that they would not support a fireworks display except for Canada Day.  Link to how that decision was made at the end of this article.

City Service Holiday Closure Information
Animal Services

 

The Animal Shelter at 2424 Industrial St. will be closed to appointments on Monday, May 20.

To report an animal control related emergency on a holiday, please call 1-888-264-3135.

Burlington Transit Burlington Transit will operate on a Sunday schedule on Monday, May 20. For real-time bus information and schedules visit myride.burlingtontransit.ca.

The Downtown Transit Terminal, at 430 John St., and Specialized Dispatch will be closed on Monday, May 20.

City Hall Service Burlington and the Building, Renovating and Licensing counter on the main floor of City Hall at 426 Brant St., will be closed on Monday, May 20.

Many service payments are available online at burlington.ca/onlineservices.

 

For online development services, MyFiles can be used by residents who have applied for Pre-Building Approval. Check the status of Pre Building Approval applications at burlington.ca/MyFiles.

Halton Court Services – Provincial Offences Office Court administration counter services at 4085 Palladium Way will be closed on Monday, May 20.

With the exception of the Victoria Day closure, telephone payments are available at 905-637-1274, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. All in-person services are available from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. Many services are also available by email at burlingtoncourt@burlington.ca or online at Halton Court Services.

 Parking On Sunday, May 19 and Monday, May 20: Free parking is available downtown, on the street, in municipal lots and in the parking garage (414 Locust St.).

 

On Saturday, May 18: Pay parking downtown is required in high-demand parking lots (Lots 1, 4 and 5) and all on-street metered parking spaces. A three-hour maximum is in effect for all on-street spaces. Free parking is available in the remaining municipal lots and the parking garage (414 Locust St.).

NOTE:

  • The Waterfront parking lots (east and west) do not provide free parking on holidays.
  • Parking exemptions are required to park overnight on city streets and for longer than five hours. Visit burlington.ca/parkingexemptions.
  • Paid parking, on weekends only (including long weekends), at Beachway Park (1100 Lakeshore Rd) begins Saturday, May 18 using HONK Mobile.
  • Please make an online reservation using Park Pass to visit Lowville Park on weekends. Reservations are free and available in three-hour time slots starting Saturday, May 18.
Recreation Programs and Facilities Drop-In Recreation Activities

Tansley Woods Pool at 1996 Itabashi Way and Centennial Pool at 5151 New St. are open on Victoria Day, Monday, May 20 for recreational and lap swimming.

Drop-in swimming, skating and other program times vary for the long weekend. Drop in or reserve in advance. For schedules and online reservations, visit burlington.ca/dropinandplay.

Splash Pads Opening

The City’s nine splash pads will open on Saturday, May 18. For a list of locations, visit burlington.ca/splashpads.

Outdoor Activities
Burlington has a wide variety of outdoor activities to enjoy with your family during the long weekend, including:

  • trails and multi-use paths
  • parks and playgrounds.
  • picnic site reservations for La Salle or Hidden Valley Park

Find out more at burlington.ca/outdoorplay.

Golf

Tyandaga Golf Course is open for the season. Tee times can be booked online at tyandagagolf.com or by calling 905-336-0005, ext. 2.

Play Lending Library

Our Lending Library has a variety of outdoor and indoor play equipment available to borrow at no charge. Equipment pickup is on Thursdays, and return drop off is on Tuesdays at Haber Community Centre (3040 Tim Dobbie Dr.). From archery to wiffle ball, and Kanjam to pickleball – check out burlington.ca/playlending for details.

Customer Service
Recreation, Community and Culture customer service is available to assist you over the holiday weekend.:

  • In person at recreation facility counters during program times (May 18 to 20)
  • By email at liveandplay@burlington.ca (May 18 and 19)
  • By phone at 905-335-7738, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (May 18 and 19)

Phone and email service are closed on Victoria Day, Monday, May 20.

Roads, Parks and Forestry The administrative office will be closed on Monday, May 20. Essential services will be provided as required.

Related news stories:

City fire works decision.

No fireworks on Victoria Day

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Become a Performing Arts member - and get first crack at tickets

By Staff

May 15th, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Become a member – the place becomes a second home.

If you are a member of the Burlington Performing Arts Centre – you will know about the kick off the season event that is taking place.

This is the occasion when they do their reveal- and showcase the events planned for the next season.

Rainer Noack

Rainer Noack will lead the audience as the 24/25 season – he is at times a very funny man.

The evening will also include award presentations for the 2024 Hall of Fame inductee, surprise guests and musical performances.

Members receive advance ticket buying access and can purchase tickets on the night of the launch, and for two weeks prior to public on-sale on June 14, 2024.

If this is something you want in on – become a member.  Click HERE

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Tickets for Sound of Music VIP Lounge Day and Weekend - Passes Supply is limited

By Staff

May 14th, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Sound of Music is not that far away.

Huge crowds for the music which is always great.

A lot of people are using the event as an occasion to meet with colleagues, business partners; using it as an occasion to reward those employees who make you the success you are.

Reserve your places for:
VIP Lounge Day Pass
Platinum VIP Lounge Day Pass

Sound of Music Festival VIP Lounge Weekend Pass:
Sound of Music Festival Platinum VIP Lounge Weekend Pass

Click here

 

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Visiting Lowville Park? Reserved weekend parking starts again on May 18

By Staff

May 14th, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Visiting Lowville Park? Reserved weekend parking starts again on May 18

A river runs through the park where the salmon spawn and children get to play.

Visitors to Lowville Park should reserve their free parking spot for park visits from May 18 until Oct. 7, 2024. Reservations can be made online using Park Pass and are needed on weekends and holidays between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. There is no charge for reservations.

Visitors may book one spot per day as there are a limited number of parking spots available. Reservations are available in three-hour time slots and allow others the chance to enjoy the park.

How it works:

  • A family out for an afternoon in the park.

    One vehicle per reservation.

  • Those walking or biking into the park don’t need a reservation.
  • Visits are three hours long and include in and out privileges.
  • Visitors will get an access code to enter the park at the automated entrance gates. Stop on the line so the camera can take a clear scan of the license plate or use the bar code or numeric code on the keypad. This will open the gate. The gates will be left in the up/open position during weekdays when advanced reservations are not needed.
  • Vehicles must be parked in a designated parking spot. All other areas are strictly enforced tow away zones. Violators will be tagged and towed.

Be aware:

  • View of the park from the front of what used to be the community school house.

    Vehicles parked in the lot exceeding the three-hour limit will be ticketed.

  • Reservations should be done before leaving for the park.
  • Those who do not have a reservation can scan the QR code on the park signage to try to make one if any spots are available for reservations. Drivers are asked to move away from the entrance to make their reservation. Do not to block the entrance gates or traffic.
  • Vehicles with damaged, bent or flaking license plates can use the bar code or numeric code on their reservation for entry.
  • Changes/cancellations can be made up to 48 hours before the reserved arrival time; the date, name, license plate and number of people may be changed.
  • Late grace period: The City understands unexpected things happen. It’s okay to be a few minutes late.

Kaylan Edgcumbe, Manager, Integrated Mobility

“By asking visitors to reserve their parking spot again this summer on weekends and holidays, we are able to manage parking in this popular park. There is no charge to reserve a parking spot and visitors can book their three-hour time slot before they visit the park. We will keep the gates in the up position when reservations aren’t needed on weekdays so visitors can enjoy the park.

Visitors to the area should keep in mind there are very few parking spaces available on Lowville Park Road. We ask that everyone be considerate to local businesses and residents.”

Links and Resources

Park Pass – for advanced parking spot reservations

Parking Reservations

Lowville Park

 

 

 

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DREAM Team Enhancing Dementia Care at Joseph Brant Hospital

By Staff

May 14th, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It is the disease that families with aging parents have to face: Alzheimer and the dementia that has to be dealt with is now a .

Joseph Brant Hospital (JBH) and the Alzheimer Society are partnering on a new initiative aimed at transforming dementia care in the hospital’s Emergency Department (ED).

The Alzheimer Society’s DREAM Team (Dementia Resources Education Advocacy Mentorship) is an innovative and collaborative model that embeds a dedicated Dementia Resource Consultant (DRC) in hospital EDs to assist individuals living with dementia and their caregivers.

Diane Mulholland, the DRC who leads the DREAM Team at JBH, has been working with hospital and Home and Community partners since January to help connect patients and their loved ones to the resources they need in a timely and efficient manner.

“Success stems from the close collaboration between the DRC, Home and Community Care Support Services Care Coordinator, and hospital team,” said Janine Reimer, Manager of clinical programs at the Alzheimer Society Brant Haldimand Norfolk Hamilton Halton (ASBHNHH).

“Together, we aim to provide immediate support and resources to patients and caregivers, ultimately enhancing patient outcomes and reducing the need for physical or chemical restraints.”

Janine Reimer, Manager of clinical programs at the Alzheimer Society Brant Haldimand Norfolk Hamilton Halton

The introduction of the DREAM Team at JBH represents a significant step forward in dementia care, underscoring the hospital’s commitment to innovation and excellence in patient-centered care.

“Partnerships with organizations like the Alzheimer Society and Home and Community Care Support Services is key to improving care for patients who require additional support once they leave the hospital,” said Sarah Duke, Manager of JBH’s ED.

“At Joseph Brant Hospital, the DREAM Team embodies our commitment to providing unparalleled dementia care, where compassion meets innovation to ensure every individual’s journey is characterized by dignity, respect, and personalized support,” she added.

About the Alzheimer Society DREAM Program

The DREAM (Dementia Resources Education Advocacy Mentorship) Program, initiated by the Alzheimer Society, aims to enhance dementia care within hospital settings through specialized support, diversion strategies, and community engagement. By embedding dementia specialists within emergency departments, the DREAM Program facilitates timely access to resources and support for individuals living with dementia and their caregivers.

About Joseph Brant Hospital

An architects rendering of the new entrance to the Joseph Brant Hospital

Joseph Brant Hospital (JBH) is a full-service, academic community teaching hospital located in Burlington, serving residents in Burlington as well as surrounding communities of Halton Region, Hamilton, Waterdown, Flamborough, and Stoney Creek. There are 194 physicians, 2,062 full- and part-time staff and 200 volunteers committed to providing care and living the hospital’s core values of Compassion, Accountability, Respect and Excellence.

JBH is a Clinical Education site in conjunction with McMaster University and a partner member of the Burlington Ontario Health Team. It is honoured to be recognized as one of Hamilton Niagara’s Top Employers for eight consecutive years.

About Alzheimer Society of Brant Haldimand Norfolk, Hamilton Halton

In 2016, the Alzheimer Society of Brant, Haldimand Norfolk, Hamilton Halton completed its official amalgamation bringing together three previous Society chapters:  Alzheimer Society of Brant, Alzheimer Society of Haldimand Norfolk, and Alzheimer Society of Hamilton Halton. The individual chapters served their communities for more than 25 years.

People with dementia are at the centre of everything we do.  The Society focuses its programs and services around three pillars of care: education, counselling services and wellness activities.  It provides education to families along their journey through dementia and counsellors operate on-going support groups and one-on-one sessions within the family home. The Alzheimer Society promotes health & wellness programs for people living with dementia and care partners; as well as people who are at greatest risk of developing dementia including seniors and marginalized populations.

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Stiff Penalties to Combat Auto Theft: licence suspensions including lifetime ban for repeat offenders

By Staff

May 14th, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Ontario government is cracking down on auto theft by introducing legislation that, if passed, would suspend driver’s licences for people convicted of the crime. With auto thefts and carjackings on the rise across the province, the legislation would help deter potential thieves and make it more challenging for criminals to re-offend.

Auto thefts are now part of organized crime groups

“Car theft is a cowardly and often violent crime that can traumatize victims and communities who experience it,” said Prabmeet Sarkaria, Minister of Transportation. “Under the leadership of Premier Ford, our government is sending a clear message to those who commit these crimes and using every tool in our toolbox to keep them off our streets.”

Under the proposed legislation, thieves convicted of motor vehicle theft under the Criminal Code would face a 10-year licence suspension for a first offence, a 15-year licence suspension for a second offence and a lifetime licence suspension for a third offence. Licence suspensions would apply to convictions where the court found that aggravating factors were involved in the commission of the offence, such as violence, use of a weapon, use of force, threat, or pursuit of financial gain.

“Under the leadership of Premier Ford, our government is taking bold action to stop what is a serious and often violent crime,” said Solicitor General Michael Kerzner. “Criminals who want to steal a car in Ontario need to know there will be severe consequences for doing so.”

Stunt driving is also getting out of control.

In addition to stiff penalties for auto theft, the province is also proposing to strengthen penalties for stunt driving. The proposed legislation would ensure that anyone convicted of stunt driving receives a minimum mandatory licence suspension – one year for a first conviction, three years for a second conviction and a lifetime suspension, reducible to 10 years under certain criteria, for a third conviction.

Quick Facts

  • Every 14 minutes, a vehicle is stolen in Ontario, with Toronto experiencing a 78 per cent increase in violent carjackings since 2021.
  • The federal mandatory minimum prison sentence for a third auto theft offence is six months.
  • In 2023, over 12,000 immediate roadside licence suspensions were issued for street racing and/or stunt driving – the highest number since the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Ontario government is investing $18 million over three years to help police services combat and prevent auto theft.
  • Together with the federal government, Ontario has invested more than $250 million through the Guns, Gangs and Violence Reduction Strategy (GGVRS) to fight gun and gang crime, including auto theft.

 

 

 

 

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Getting anything from the Land Tribunal that helps tell the story - pull teeth from hens is easier

By Pepper Parr

May 14th, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Ontario Land Tribunal hearing on the plans for two 31 and 36 storey towers will resume on Thursday.

The plan is to tear down the existing hotel and build the two towers on the left – one at 31 storeys and the other at 36 storeys – each sitting on a 3 level podium. The two towers will be separated by a wide pathway leading the the eastern side of Spencer Smith Park.

They are close to hearing all the expert witness testimony and the cross examination of each witness.  Tedious stuff until we are able to match up with what a witness says and what comes out when that witness is crossed examined.

There are all kinds of images, renderings and designs that help tell the story.

Using that material has proven to be a problem.

As media we are required to work with the media specialists at the OLT.  Turns out they have a bunch of rules that we are required to follow – failure to do so can result in a fine of up to $20,000 – which is a little on the rich side for us.

In order to publish what we hear we have to get permission from the OLT Member (Member is the tile given to the person(s) hearing the case before the tribunal.

Problem with that is – we can’t communicate with the Member.

A meeting last week started with the Member saying:

 “In accordance with the tribunals rules of practice and procedure, specifically rules 22.5 to 22.7. No person shall take or attempt to take a photograph a motion picture of video recording, or other recording capable of producing audio or visual representations by electronic means, or otherwise at any Proceedings of the tribunal open to the public, unless the presiding tribunal unit number authorizes the recording.

“The tribunal’s rules require any such request to be made prior to the start of the hearing. And no requests have been made, nor authorized and as such, any of these actions are prohibited in this hearing. Failure to respect this prohibition constitutes an offence under Section 29 of the statutory powers and Procedures Act and potentially exposes a person to significant fines if found in contravention.”

Here is what the OLT media people have told us – they are very firm in the instructions they give.

Please note that contacting a Tribunal Member outside of the hearing event is not allowed as doing so could compromise, or appear to compromise, the neutrality and independence of the OLT and its Members, and their ability to provide natural justice.

If a member of the public wishes to make a request to record, they may contact the Case Coordinator. Requests from media, should be sent to our media inbox media.olt@ontario.ca.

Please see the answer to your questions below:

Question: May we have permission to use some of the images that appear?

During the examination of one of the City witnesses we learned that the grading of the slope that is part of the pathway between the two towers is expected to be similar to the terracing at the Bridgewater development yards to the east. Are people going to be able to get down steps like these easily? Photo credit: Gazette photo bank

The Member presiding over the Hearing in respect to Case No. OLT-22-003866, has advised those in attendance and observing the video hearing that in accordance with the Tribunal’s Rules of Practice and Procedure, specifically Rules 22.5 to 22.7, no person shall take or attempt to take a photograph, motion picture, video recording or other recording capable of producing audio or visual representations by electronic means, or otherwise, at any proceedings of the Tribunal open to the public, unless the presiding Tribunal Member authorizes the recording.

The request has been denied by the presiding Member.

Failure to respect this prohibition constitutes an offence under section 29 of the Statutory Powers and Procedures Act, and potentially exposes a person found in contravention to significant fines.

Please note that images contained in the case documents that are not subject to a confidentiality order are public records and can be shared pursuant to open court principles. However, using images captured via screenshot during a video hearing event is prohibited. As an alternative, please feel free to reach out to us to request images or documents that may be part of the public record for this case, and we will be happy to share them with you.

This is the part of the development that will present all kinds of problems. The entrance to the Pearle Hotel is on the left – the entrance to the hotel that will be part of the development will be on the right. Photo credit: Gazette photo bank

The difficulty with this is – in order to get the picture we want we have to tell them when the picture was shown and tell them which book of documents it is in and any other data needed to identify the picture.  This is not a small task. The documents at this point are in the thousands of pages.

However, this development is important and the public should know what is planned and what information was used to make whatever decision the tribunal is going to make.

The tribunal instructs us with this statement:

If you need to quote from this statement, please note that quotes should be attributed as an Ontario Land Tribunal spokesperson.

 

 

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Part of the Joseph Brant land grant will become a pathway to the Lake

By Staff

May 13th, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Reverend Cannon Stuart Pike and Rick Reycroft

There is a long stretch of property that leads from the front of St.Luke’s Anglican Church down to the Lake.

The land was part of a land grant given to Joseph Brant for his services to the British.  It was a huge tract of land.

The piece that is in front of the church has sat there unused for well over 150 years.

The patch of land that has been unused for decades will become a lovely place to walk and just enjoy being outdoors.

The St. Luke’s congregation decided they wanted to make the land accessible to the public and came up with an idea they took to their ward Councillor.

Those early meetings resulted in an idea that was on the today’s Council agenda.

It is going to require a little jiggling of parking space and some effort to figure how any of the costs can be covered – none of which appeared to be a serious problem.

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Hassaan Basit: How did he do on his first day in the public eye?

By Pepper Parr

May 13th, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

City Manager Hassaan Bait

So – how did he do on his first day in the public eye?

Newly minted City Manager Hassaan Bait sat quietly at his place around the horseshoe; saying very little.

He is in that listen and observe stage of his getting the feel of the job.

Expect this to last for a number of months.  When he has acclimatized himself to the culture at city hall and knows the senior people well enough – expect him to let people know what he is thinking.

Right now – he is doing what he said he would do before he even had his business cards printed up.

 

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What might a new Civic Square look like? Council discusses three options

By Staff

May 14th, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The plan for a new look for Civic Square has three options labelled canopies, atrium and portals.

Each option has different features.

What you get and what you don’t get with each of the options.

Getting to the point where a recommendation could be put before Council Staff met with groups that had a stake in the land.

Detailed graphics of each option are set out below.

Option 1 Canopies:

Existing split entries maintained, primary focal point provided at Brant Street and James Street intersection, secondary focal point provided at Elgin Street façade. Covered canopies direct visitors to the entries.  Three exterior rooms created to support programming. Existing parking area reduced. Landscaped transition between Civic Square and 400 Brant Street (private). All internal stairs, ramps, barriers removed.

Option 2 Atrium

Consolidated entry created at proposed atrium feature. Focal point provided at Brant Street and James Street intersection. Covered canopies provided along building façade. Secondary shade element provided adjacent to 400 Brant Street. Three exterior rooms created to support programming. Existing parking area reduced. Partial landscaped transition between Civic Square and 400 Brant Street (private). All internal stairs, ramps, barriers removed.

Option 3 Portals

Consolidated entry created at proposed entry vestibule. Primary focal point provided at Brant Street and James Street intersection (dual height, freestanding structures). Secondary focal point provided at Elgin Street façade. Building walls exposed / visible. Two exterior rooms created to support programming. Existing parking maintained with minor reduction in area around focal point.  Partial landscaped transition between Civic Square and 400 Brant Street (private).  All internal stairs, ramps, barriers removed.

We will report tomorrow on how Council reacted to the Staff report.

They did promise that there would be all kinds of citizen engagement.  Expect the city to put out a survey asking for public input.

 

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You will have to pay for parking in the Beachway starting the 19th.

By Staff

May 13th, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Is summer here yet?  How do you know?

Because starting on the 18th – you will have to pay for parking at the Beachway.

The City is expecting more visitors to its popular Beachway Park – they will have to pay for parking; including the overflow lot at Lakeshore Road and Willow Avenue.

Summer in the City

Fees will be charged from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends and holidays until the last weekend in September: Sunday, Sept. 22, 2024.

Parking fees can be paid using the HONK mobile app. Visitors do not have to download the app but can scan the QR code on parking lot signage to pay for parking.

Weekend and holiday parking is available for an hourly rate of $2.50 or a daily flat rate of $20. There is a transaction fee of $0.35 for each payment. Dashboard tickets are not needed as every payment is linked to a license plate number.

Halton residents have 10 days of free parking per year at Beachway Park.

Residents should wait to fill out the parking exemption form once they’ve arrived at the beach and parked in a legal parking spot. The exemption doesn’t guarantee a spot, but it does give residents parking for the day at no charge.

With this much beach – you know there is going to be a significant need for parking.

There is no charge for parking in most municipal lots in Downtown Burlington on weekends and holidays. Beachway visitors are encouraged to extend their walk or use the drop-off zone, park for free in the downtown and meet their party at the beach.  Consider taking Burlington Transit, cycling, walking or rolling to the beach and leave the car at home.

Illegally parked vehicles will be issued tickets and/or towed. Drivers are reminded not to park illegally, especially on Lakeshore Road shoulders and the grass boulevard over the pipeline: they will be towed.

Charging for parking has improved parking and traffic flow since it was introduced in 2021. If you are planning to visit the Beachway, plan ahead and prepare to park in another location if the lots are full. Please make sure you are parked in a legal parking spot. City bylaw officers must ticket and tow those parked illegally to help manage parking and traffic flow. Most importantly, this keeps everyone safe.

There is also an overflow lot west of the Beachway. It has 30 more parking spots in an unsurfaced lot. Visitors using this overflow lot need to pay for parking and the fees are the same as the Beachway lots.”

 

 

 

 

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Civic Square renewal plans go before Council this week

By Staff

May 13th, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We get to see a first look at what the city plans to do with Civic Square today.

Civic Square renewal

Architectural changes to City Hall Brant Street entrance and colonnades; Streetscape improvements:

Brant Street from Ontario Street to Elgin Street

Elgin Street from Brant Street to Locust Street

Aerial view of the space that will undergo redevelopment once approved. Three designs proposed.

Through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP), the Government of Canada is investing $1,984,900 and the Government of Ontario is investing $1,653,917.

The city has already committed capital funding of $884,744 with an additional $808,750 forecasted in the 2025 Budget.

Capital funding in the amount of $2,365,000, to support changes to City Hall related to this project, was approved in the 2024 Budget.

Construction budget is set at $6,000,000.

Three design possibilities will go before Council this week.

 

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'I find it infuriating, distressing, overwhelming,' said one expert. , 'I’m relieved that I do not have children, knowing what the future holds,” said another

By Staff

May 12th, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Global heating is likely to soar past internationally agreed limits, according to a Guardian survey of hundreds of leading climate experts, bringing catastrophic heatwaves, floods and storms.

Only 6% of the respondents thought the 1.5C limit could be achieved, and this would require extraordinarily fast, radical action to halt and reverse the world’s rising emissions from fossil fuel burning.

However, the experts were clear that giving up was not an option, and that 1.5C was not a cliff-edge leading to a significant change in climate damage. Instead, the climate crisis increases incrementally, meaning every tonne of CO2 avoided reduces people’s suffering.

We have yet to hear, read or be aware of an occasion when the Burlington MPP, Natalie Pierre spoke of Climate Change and what the provincial government was doing about an world wide emergency. For MPP Pierre, the photo op is the medium she chooses to get her massage out. Just what is the message?

The task climate researchers have dedicated themselves to is to paint a picture of the possible worlds ahead. From experts in the atmosphere and oceans, energy and agriculture, economics and politics, the mood of almost all those the Guardian heard from was grim. And the future many painted was harrowing: famines, mass migration, conflict. “I find it infuriating, distressing, overwhelming,” said one expert, who chose not to be named. “I’m relieved that I do not have children, knowing what the future holds,” said another.

“Climate change will not suddenly become dangerous at 1.5C – it already is – and it will not be ‘game over’ if we pass 2C, which we might well do,” said Prof Peter Cox, of the University of Exeter, in the UK.

Dr Henri Waisman, at the IDDRI policy research institute in France, said: “Climate change is not a black or white question and every tenth of a degree matters a lot, especially when you look at the socioeconomic impacts. This means it is still useful to continue the fight.”

Out of control fire burns in southeast Manitoba -May 8th, 2024

The scientists’ responses to the survey provide informed opinions on critical questions for the future of humanity. How hot will the world get, and what will that look like? Why is the world failing to act with anything remotely like the urgency needed? Is it, in fact, game over, or must we fight on? They also provide a rare glimpse into what it is like to live with this knowledge every day.

The climate crisis is already causing profound damage as the average global temperature has reached about 1.2C above the preindustrial average over the last four years. But the scale of future impacts will depend on what happens – or not – in politics, finance, technology and global society, and how the Earth’s climate and ecosystems respond.

The data reflects something we are all responsible for.

It is not as if we didn’t know – we have always known – we just aren’t at the point where we fully realize how much trouble we are in. Hopefully then we will begin to make smarter decisions and not panic and do really really stupid things. Do you know what the Provincial Climate Warming Plan is ?

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Moving Freeman Station from its current location, if at all possible, would be very very expensive

By Alan Harrington

May 12th, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Grand Trunk Railway of Canada built The Freeman Station in 1906 in typical fashion with a tall roof design.

When the discussion arose in 2010 as to where to relocate the Station, the tall roof posed a major challenge.

The station in the early evening after a rainfall.

It is too tall to fit under any railway bridges along the QEW – requiring it to remain south of the QEW.

A suggestion was made to remove the roof, however the roof and its large overhang supported by rafter tails is the structure that holds the walls and whole thing together.  Just moving the roof separately, it would probably still be too tall.

Another idea was to haul it to the lake and launch it on a barge to destination unknown?

The only way to escape north of the QEW intact – is along the level crossing at Burloak  – which means going east along New Street to Burloak then north on Burloak over the tracks and QEW.  This would require stopping the trains from running along past Burloak.   Not easy with GO trains running each way every 15 minutes.

Steel beams had to be slid under the building that was sitting on Fire department land preparing for a move 75 yards away.

Doing it again at the other level crossing at Mainway and Walkers would run into the same problems.

Existing rail lines are in yellow; the route from the current location to Ireland Park is in pink. The blue/green is where the move from the original site on the Grand Truck Railway line to the current site. The station was never very far from its home.

Rail lines are in yellow.

Theoretically – the route in pink to arrive at Ireland Park. It means moving power lines, telephone + cable wires. traffic signals. Police escort. Stopped traffic.  The truck carrying the structure moves at about walking speed.

When the station was moved originally – it was on the May 24 weekend of 2005 –  19 years ago along the green route.  Cost estimate was $25,000

When it moved again in 2014 it was about 75 yards along the blue route and cost estimate was again $25,000.

To move it from the current location would probably mean slicing it up into smaller pieces and reassembling it at the destination.  A move would include the signal mast, stonework around the base and the two rail cars – caboose and a boxcar.

Switching gear is now part of the complex that now includes the station, a caboose and a box car and tracks that they can be moved along. The yellow cab was used to inspect the condition of the rail lines. The red vehicle was used by track repair crews.

Rail track and switches would have to be moved as well.

The poured concrete basement would need to be ripped up and sent to landfill.

Quite often when buildings are torn apart – with the expectation to be rebuilt in a new location, the rebuild gets delayed and never happens.

The Freeman Station is located in the (former) Village of Freeman beside the railway lines.  Easily accessible by rail disembarking at Burlington GO Station and walking an easy two blocks west.

A lot of damage was done to the building while getting it mounted on the float during the 2005 Victoria day weekend move.  Basically the floor was destroyed and a completely new floor had to be installed.  The brickwork around the base was removed for transport – and had to be put on afterwards.

It is theoretically possible to move the Station to Ireland House intact – but the cost including insurance would be astronomical.  Add to that the cost to reinstall all the electrical, gas heating, plumbing, sewer and flooring – there are better uses in the community for such funds.

 

Alan Harrington, an accountant in his normal life, has been part of the team that created Friends of Freeman Station – the group that saved the station from being sold off as kindling.  The City once actually ran an advertisement to do just that – no one took up the opportunity.  Harrington is also a long time Director of the Burlington Historical Society

 

 

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Mountsberg Raptor Centre to celebrate 30 years of bird of prey rehabilitation and community education

By Staff

May 12th, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Mountsberg Raptor Centre; they  officially opened on June 3, 1994, as both an education centre and a bird of prey rehabilitation hospital.

On June 1, 2024, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. visitors are invited to join in commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Raptor Centre. The Pride in Nature Birds of All Feathers celebration will be happening at the same time. Park visitors can enjoy a slice of cake with the Animal Care team, meet roving birds of prey, say hello to the resident raptors, take a photo at the Birds of ALL Feathers photo station, check out the bio-artifact display, and pre-register to participate in the Talons and Tailfeathers educational program.

When the Raptor Centre first opened, it featured educational displays and a theatre where public and school programs were hosted. The theatre had a one-way viewing window that allowed guests to see into the raptor hospital and follow the birds’ rehabilitation journey. Birds that had been injured and were deemed non-releasable were housed in enclosures along a trail for guests to view.

Amendments to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act in 2000 changed the laws surrounding the keeping of wildlife in captivity and the regulations surrounding rehabilitation. It was at this time that the raptor hospital closed, and the Raptor Centre transitioned to being a dedicated educational facility.

Over the years, the Raptor Centre has grown and changed as more was learned about how to provide the best quality of life for birds of prey in human care. Where once the centre only housed permanently injured birds, it now houses a mixture of both non-releasable birds and birds that were raised in human care. The number one priority of the centre is to provide the highest level of welfare possible for every bird that comes to call the centre home. The centre now houses 35 birds, representing 21 different species. Many of the birds at the centre interact with the public through educational programs—from curriculum-based school programs to small group immersive experiences.

Turkey vulture using its massive wing span to float while to looks for the next meal.

“The raptors in our care are truly remarkable to meet up-close,” said Craig Machan, Director, Parks & Operations at Conservation Halton. “Just as remarkable is our Animal Care team that looks after the birds’ training and overall well being 365 days of the year. Through this team’s expertise and dedicated care, our raptors can live long, fulfilling lives while engaging and inspiring the thousands of individuals who pass through the Raptor Centre’s doors.”

Thirty years ago, the Raptor Centre was made possible by a donation from Ms. Marguerite Gray, a descendant of the Cameron family who once owned the Mountsberg Conservation Area property. Upon opening, the centre was named the Douglas G. Cockburn Centre for Birds of Prey, in honour of Ms. Gray’s brother. Today, the Conservation Halton Foundation helps support the Raptor Centre with donations made through the Adopt-a-Raptor program. By symbolically adopting one of our featured raptors, the community can help to provide birds with a wholesome diet, veterinary care, training, enrichment, and more.

Staff working with an owl – notice the thick leather glove worn by the trainer.

While celebrating 30 years of working with birds that needed special care what doesn’t get mentioned is the superb program offered.

Watching staff work with the birds to that are caring for is a real treat.  They are fed raw meat from the hands of a trained staff is exciting.  A bird will be let go to fly around and then when it sees the food in the hands of the trainer they swoop in for the food.  It is really exciting – Not to be missed.

Non-members of the Conservation authority have to pay a gate fee in addition to the Raptor Encounter fee.  worth every penny

Address:- 2596 Britannia Rd, Burlington, ON L7P 0G3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The State of eSports in Canada

By Irina O’Connor

May 12th, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The continued growth of the gaming market has led to various market opportunities and segments in Canada in recent years. According to data from Statista, the country’s eSports market is projected to reach $138.9 million (CA$187.6 million) by the end of the year, with a projected market volume of $177.8 million (CA$240.2 million) by 2028. Market researchers also predict that the number of users in the market is expected to amount to 14.8 million users by the end of the research period in 2028.

A sport where brains are what is needed. Endurance is a skill set as well.

Among various factors associated with the rapidly growing eSports market, Canada has seen increased investments in eSports-related infrastructure and the formation of various professional teams in many competitive titles. Canada is also home to various eSports stakeholders such as OverActive Media, Rivalry, and Enthusiast Gaming. Thanks to the country’s location, Canada’s eSports scene also benefits from easy connectivity and online play with North American player bases.

Some of the most talked about eSports pros in the scene today hail from the Great White North, including Valorant superstar Tyson “TenZ” Ngo, who recently celebrated a long overdue victory at the Valorant Champions Tour (VCT) Americas Kickoff tournament after a two-year slump with an all-new roster at North American organization Sentinels. Ngo and his team are set to compete in VCT’s Masters stage in Madrid shortly as the only North American representative team that qualified. Retired Canadian CS:GO pro and legendary Twitch streamer Mike “Shroud” Grzesiek is also a prominent figure in the scene, even years after leaving pro play.

Today, alongside various game releases and major tournaments taking place globally, Canada’s eSports scene continues to grow. Below, we’ll be taking a look at the state of eSports in Canada and what we may expect in the future:

A budding eSports culture

It was pure pandemonium in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. Confetti sprinkled through the sky, a roar ran through a crowd of thousands, and a team of six, the London Spitfire, all took their hands off their keyboards and mice to embrace each other in celebration of their victory while their opponents, the Philadelphia Fusion, hung their heads in defeat.

As highlighted above, many of the most popular eSports pros and personalities today are Canadians. In addition to the likes of TenZ and Shroud, Canada is also home to some of the most popular eSports and gaming streamers and content creators. These include Felix “xQc” Lengyel, who made his name competing in Overwatch leagues for various North American teams. xQc boasts an extremely high viewership, with ten million viewers as of 2021 and remains a dominant personality among gamers.

Aside from birthing eSports pros and streamers, Canada is also home to prominent eSports tournaments across different titles. This year, Toronto is set to host the Call of Duty Major 3, with the team Toronto Ultra set to benefit from the home advantage and lift the prestigious CDL Major trophy. Canada has also hosted many other eSports tournaments, including the Konami Arcade Championship, NBA 2K League, and the now-defunct Overwatch League.

Aside from bringing competition and entertainment into the country, Canada’s presence in eSports contributes significantly to the community by boosting viewership. Gamers and fans who may not be able to compete can still participate in the scene by placing bets on favored teams and players. According to these eSports betting tips, watching, listening, and learning from tournament broadcasts are great ways to research, understand betting odds, and improve predictions. As such, the increasingly popular betting scene in the country comes hand-in-hand with the growing eSports scene.

Building eSports arenas

Another factor contributing to the growth of eSports in Canada is the continued investment in eSports-related infrastructure, such as eSports arenas. Building and designing eSports-specific centers and locations are crucial for hosting events and tournaments locally and providing an avenue for budding and experienced pros to connect and develop skills.

There are training schools for students that want to learn the fundamentals of eSports. These students will have a lot more than a high school diploma when they are ready for college or university

In 2021, Valhallan Esports Training, the largest and fastest-growing youth eSports franchise, opened its first arena in Whitby, Ontario. The arena was designed to provide a space for competitive gaming for gamers 7-17 years old, where they can train and compete in tournaments for titles like Overwatch, Fortnite, Rocket League, and Valorant. The arena also provides coaching and team collaboration so players can learn skills outside of gaming, including teamwork, communication, and leadership.

Of course, this isn’t the only prominent eSports arena in Ontario. As of 2023, OverActive Media Group provided updates on the previously delayed Toronto eSports Arena, set to house 7,000 seats in downtown Toronto. The eSports venue would also double as a concert hall. The arena is set to be opened by 2025, pending further updates.

Collegiate eSports

Finally, aside from the big guns, Canada also actively encourages aspiring eSports athletes through various collegiate eSports programs and local events. These are crucial for developing young talent in the eSports scene while ensuring they get the best exposure and experience competing professionally at a young age.

Windsor’s St. Clair College has an Applied Science program that is usually fully registered.

Currently, Windsor’s St. Clair College has made a name for itself short of a major championship. The team, affectionately called the Saints, has come closest to lifting trophies at the National Association of Collegiate Esports’ (NACE) tournaments for titles such as League of Legends and Valorant, as well as the National Esports Collegiate Conference’s (NECC) Nationals League of Legends championship. The Ontario school emerged as runner-up at these championship runs, with strong top-four finishes in NACE championships for Overwatch, Rocket League, and Call of Duty.

 

 

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Mental Health Awareness Week: 70% of a doctors patient visits related to mental health issues

By Pepper Parr

May 12, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

A colleague wrote recently and said when he visited his family doctor for an annual physical in December, the doctor commented that 70% of his patient visits were related to mental health issues, not physical issues.

That is a staggering number, and if it is indicative of what most doctors are hearing we, as a society, have a serious problem on our hands.

I make this mention because May 13-19 is Mental Health Awareness Week.

I think everyone knows of someone who is struggling to cope with the burdens and the changes that are taking place.  Learning to deal with these changes is more than a challenge.

Don Fletcher, part of the team that created Plan B, the citizens group that has had a significant impact on how the city’s planning department reacted to the development proposal that would put two very very high towers on the south side of the Lakeshore Road and Brant intersection.

While that keep Fletcher busy he has added to his volunteer work the decision to serve on the board and as Treasurer of Eagles Nest of Waterdown: don’t let the Waterdown mention get in the way of how you see the organization.

They work with individuals and families looking to make those who have to deal with changes happen in a supportive and positive environment. “We help people understand themselves, care for their mental health and learn new tools for healthy relationships. We offer counselling, coaching and support programs to adults, youth and children. Our services are low-cost or subsidized to help make them accessible to everyone.”

Fletcher explains that “this is  a 20 year old charity that provides mental healthcare & family support services for those in need in our community who cannot afford these services, all provided in the spirit of true Christian compassion and love.

“Their clients are looking for a hand up, NOT a hand out, which resonates with me.”

The group is having an online fundraising auction that will run through to Sunday, June 2nd.

Fletcher describes the Nest as a “local hero” in the fight against mental illness.

Amanda DeVries: Executive Director Eagles Nest Waterdown

Amanda DeVries, a resident of Burlington, has been with Eagles Nest for eight and a half years and currently serves as the Executive Director of the organization. As Treasurer Fletcher found himself learning Quickbooks which he says “isn’t as painful as I originally thought it would be”.

The Eagles Nest has been added to the list of charities supported by United Way of Hamilton & Halton.

 

 

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Beyond the City Lights: Exploring Ontario

By Irna Flood

May 14th, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

Travelling the roads of Ontario is just mile after mile of great scenery.

 

Ontario, the most densely populated province in Canada, offers enough space for exploration and many possibilities for discovery, thanks to its huge wilderness regions and over a thousand streams. Ontario is an excellent starting point for your next thrilling journey, whether you choose exhilarating activities, experience the gaming culture, peaceful seclusion, or something in the middle.

Niagara Falls

Despite common honeymoon stereotypes, this location is a must-visit. Niagara Falls has remained unchanged in its fundamental character for ages—it is an awe-inspiring location where one may see the immense force of nature. Charles Dickens once stated that it would be more challenging for a man to be closer to God than in this place.

The Falls – one of the wonders of the world. You never forget the experience

Like Dickens, contemporary tourists see, perceive, and physically experience the immense force generated every second as 739,682 gallons of water from the Niagara River cascade over the Horseshoe Falls and descend into a turbulent basin around 13 stories underneath. Visitors are led through tunnels that provide close interactions with the cascading water, and a journey to this place is considered incomplete without experiencing a ride on the renowned Maid of the Mist. Since 1876, the ship has navigated a wet passage with spray to reach the foot of the Horseshoe Falls.

Explore the Parks near the Great Lakes

Embark on a journey to the Unique Parks of Georgian Bay, a hidden gem on the shores of Lake Huron. Each park is a world of its own, with French River Provincial Park offering thrilling kayaking and fishing and Killbear providing a family-friendly beach experience. Bruce Peninsula National Park and the Marine Park of Fathom Five, near Tobermory, beckon with their exceptional hiking and swimming opportunities. Fathom Five, with its crystal-clear waters and sunken ships, is a diver’s paradise and a must-visit for glass-bottom boat excursions.

Part of the La Cloche Mountain Range

Killarney Provincial Park is an exceptional treasure within the province. The La Cloche Mountain Range consists of white quartzite, contrasting with its woods’ green tones and the vibrant blue colour of its lakes. The lakes in this area are adorned with stunning pink granite cliffs that provide a distinctive colour palette. These cliffs have been captured in paintings by the Group of Seven, immortalizing their beauty.

Caesars Windsor

Perhaps your thirst for entertainment, you can find it that using online casinos in Ontario doesn’t match a brick-and-mortar establishment’s bright lights and social atmosphere. Fear not; The Caesars Windsor, established in 1998, is unquestionably the most prominent casino resort in Ontario. This location offers top-tier entertainment options, including more than 2,200 slot machines, 85 table games, and a specialized poker area with 14 tables.

Caesars in Windsor – thrills at the slots; fine dining as well

The Caesars Windsor is a very wealthy casino located in Ontario. It is renowned for its sophisticated ambience and prime destination for those seeking an elevated gambling experience. Additionally, it serves as a venue for indulging in exquisite cuisine, captivating performances, and tranquility.

Venture Through the Wine Country

Embark on a comprehensive wine tour across Canada’s premier wine-producing region to broaden your knowledge and experience of wines. Ontario has over 180 wineries, many of which offer tastings, tours, and other activities, including vineyard strolls and guided tours.

Utilize Wine Country Ontario’s Wine Route Planner to carefully plan a route through Niagara, Prince Edward County, and Lake Erie North Shore. Visit prominent wineries like Inniskillin, where you can sample their cab franc ice wine, and boutique vineyards such as Stratus, the world’s first fully LEED-certified winery.

Thousand Islands 

Are there really 1000 islands?

Stretching for many kilometers downstream from Kingston, the expansive, azure St. Lawrence River is dotted with over a thousand islands adorned with trees. The result is a picturesque setting suitable for boating, swimming, fishing, and scuba diving in frigid, transparent seas. Discover the islands quickly by navigating them in your boat or kayak.

Alternatively, you may choose a guided trip from Kingston, a grand metropolis made of limestone that served as the capital of Britain’s Province of Canada for a short period. Individuals who prefer maintaining the dryness of their feet may still enjoy the picturesque views along the Thousand Islands Parkway. Please be aware that the region is situated on the border with the United States, so it is necessary to have your passport readily available, regardless of whether you are travelling by land or sea.

In Conclusion

Ice Wine; a unique Ontario product.

In conclusion, Ontario offers a diverse array of experiences for travellers seeking adventure, natural beauty, cultural exploration, and entertainment. From the awe-inspiring Niagara Falls to the tranquil parks near the Great Lakes, the province boasts a rich tapestry of landscapes and activities waiting to be discovered. Whether exploring the wilderness, savouring fine wines in the picturesque wine country, or enjoying the excitement of Caesars Windsor, Ontario invites visitors to embark on unforgettable journeys filled with wonder and delight. So, whether you’re drawn to the thundering power of nature or the glitz and glamour of city life, Ontario promises something remarkable for every traveller.

 

 

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