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Burlington firm unveils breakthrough Covid19 aerosol mitigation solution paving the way to a new normal in office environments

By Staff

February 10th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

ECO Earth Sciences Inc., a Burlington based firm, alongside their production partners, Reversomatic Manufacturing Limited, today  unveiled a new source mitigation and indoor air quality solution.

The new Aurorisand PlasmaSpheredevices dramatically improve indoor air quality while significantly lowering the  risk of COVID-19 spread.

Despite the many challenges that the global pandemic has created, it has also given rise to incredible innovation. This was also true a century ago during the Spanish Influenza pandemic when the invention of the steam radiator allowed windows to open regardless of the weather, increasing direct ventilation, improving indoor air quality, and contributing to the end of the pandemic.

Improving indoor air quality said to be possible with new product

Today, ECO Earth Sciences Inc. announced a breakthrough development that will significantly reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread  indoors while also dramatically improving indoor air quality.

“Air quality has never been more important. With 90% of our time spent indoors, research by the EPA has found that the air we breathe can be up to five times more contaminated compared to outside air. While there are many mitigation and purification measures available, most are reactive, requiring the contaminant or pathogen to find a pathway to the device. Aurorisand Plasmaspheretarget viruses and other airborne contaminants at their source, explains Patrick Kehoe, CEO of Earth Sciences

He adds “we were guided by nature, and we essentially turned the inside out. While the preoccupation has been on attempting to purify or resuscitate stale, contaminated indoor air, we turned our attention to creating the best possible indoor air quality experience while continuously targeting and removing the threat.”

Auroriseffectively acts as the room’s lungs, allowing indoor spaces to breathe; continuously delivering fresh air directly into a room while continuously removing stale, contaminated air. To further improve the quality of the air, advanced three-stage purification ensures the freshest indoor air experience possible.

In nature, the air has a natural disinfection mechanism that has existed since the beginning of time. Energy from the sun, the waves, and the wind extract electrons from water vapour in the air creating non-thermal plasma. PlasmaSphereby Aurorisemulates this same natural process by first purifying the incoming air, then enriching the plasma energy levels of the fresh incoming air. This combination of purification and energy enrichment targets aerosol contaminants and boosts indoor air quality levels to match those found only in the most pristine natural environments.

This revolutionary new technology can be used across any interior, providing schools, businesses, and homeowners with the ability to dramatically improve indoor air quality and mitigate airborne pathogens. Aurorisand PlasmaSpherealso operate independently, complementing and enhancing the performance of ALL existing systems and can be used regardless of HVAC system type or age.

 

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Incredibly talented web site designer and graphic artist has released a new game - Zoot.

By Pepper Parr

February 10th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

My friend Joan Krygsman is once of these terribly creative people.

She has a web site – stripedardvark – (https://www.stripedaardvark.com/) which is the first hint that this one is different.

Energetic, plays the guitar, sings, shows up in the darnedest places with her partner.

Completes tax returns for people who need help and sells rain water barrels.

Are you getting a sense as to what you are about to be told.

The art is – well you decide.

She has invented a game.

I’m not a games person – but later this week I’ll do my best to tell you more about it.  If you want to get a head start follow the link.

 

The game will consist of a kit of coloured cards and will be on line as well in the very near future.

Joan is using a novel way of raising the money needed to get this game into production.  She has been working on it for a couple of years – when Wordle took the world by storm Joan knew she had to get into production and has chosen to use the Kickstarter model.

To order the game and learn more about Kickstarter click HERE

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Autism Dog Services is in need of Foster Homes for puppies!

By Staff

February 10th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

“Puppies are still coming into our service dog in training program for 2022,” says Vicky Spadoni, Executive Director with Autism Dog Services.

Honda and Harley – homes needed for them while they are trained. Photo Credit: Mirjam Lagro, Volunteer Puppy Starter/Sitter

“Puppies are being added on a regular basis,” adds Dianne Nyeboer, Puppy Program Manager. “We are in need of individuals or families that will house the pups, socialize them by taking them everywhere and attend ADS run training classes every two weeks in the Guelph/Cambridge/Hamilton areas.”

Janine Brubacher, Volunteer Manager adds, “all dog food, equipment, training support and vet care is provided by Autism Dog Services.” Foster families or otherwise known as puppy raisers generally have the service dogs in training for 12 to 18 months before they are recalled into advanced training.

“Yes, you need to give the dog back to ADS but, it is such a rewarding volunteer experience, especially when you attend graduation and see your once pup now grown and supporting a child with autism and their family,” says Vicky Spadoni. “These service dogs provide Quality of Life and so much more,” says Vicky.

Please consider this amazing opportunity to be a foster family or puppy raiser if you are retired/semi retired, stay at home parent, young active family, work from home employees, individuals with flexible schedules or can take the dog to work or school.

More details can be found on the website (www.autismdogservices.ca) or by emailing janine@autismdogs.ca

To see first-hand how Autism Service Dogs are impacting lives watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6rZofLeWHo&authuser=1

 

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Waterfront Study to re-start on the 15th - meanwhile Planning department processes an application to build two towers

By Pepper Parr

February 9th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The City of Burlington Planning department is working feverishly on an application development to build two towers – one 35 and the other 30 storeys that will sit atop a five story podium.

This application has to be presented to council not later than April 15th or it can be taken to the Ontario Land Tribunal for a non-decision appeal.

Municipalities have 120 days to respond with a decision on a development application.

At the same time the City of Burlington is resuming work on the Waterfront Hotel Planning Study. When the study is completed, it will provide guidance in the redevelopment of this site.

Located next to two of Burlington’s most significant landmarks, Spencer Smith Park and the Brant Street Pier, the City is asking for input to make sure the new development reflects a high quality of urban design that enhances the community’s access to the waterfront and the downtown.

The fact that there is a development application for land in the centre of that waterfront study area would suggest that the die has already been cast.

Within the same general time frame, February 22nd, there is a Statutory Public meeting on the development application which will have the Planning department setting out the issues and the developer explaining what they plan to do.

Virtual Public Open House – Feb. 15
Residents are invited to join a virtual public open house to talk about the study process and hear from City staff and the consultant team, The Planning Partnership, who will present the preferred concept plan for the site. There will be a Q & A period following the presentation. The open house is on:
Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022
7 to 8:30 p.m.
Zoom or dial +1 647 374 4685 by telephone and enter meeting ID 813 0521 1078

Residents also have the opportunity to learn more about the planning study on the City’s online engagement platform, Get Involved Burlington.

The Waterfront Hotel Planning Study is separate from the development application process.  This sentence fails to add that there is an application for development approval before the Planning department now.

2020 Lakeshore Rd. Statutory Public Meeting – Feb. 22
The City will hold a Statutory Public Meeting under the Planning Act to consider the City staff report concerning the development application for 2020 Lakeshore Rd. City staff will be recommending that Council direct staff to continue to review and process the application. Due to COVID-19, this Statutory Public Meeting will be held virtually.

This meeting will take place on:

Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022
6:30 p.m.
Virtual Meeting that will be on the city web site

To view the meeting details, the Meeting Notice [PDF] or to register to delegate, visit burlington.ca/2020lakeshore.

This is the developers architectural rendering of what they would like to build.

Planning Study Background
In 2017 and 2018, the City began the planning study to guide the redevelopment of the waterfront site at Lakeshore Road and the foot of Brant Street, including the Waterfront Hotel at 2020 Lakeshore Rd. City staff gathered feedback through visioning workshops, public and stakeholder engagement.

In mid-2018, the Waterfront Hotel Planning Study was placed on hold due to other Council directed priorities such as the New Official Plan process.

On Jan. 11, 2022, City staff presented Council with a study update through staff report.

Why the study can resume
The City is able to resume the Waterfront Hotel Planning Study at this time because:

• the re-examination of the New Official Plan Project, including Taking a Closer Look at the Downtown, has been completed,

• approval of the new Official Plan (under appeal), as well as

• the Minster of Municipal Affairs and Housing’s approval, with modifications, of the Regional Official Plan Amendment 48.

City staff, with support from the project consultant, will pick up the work where it left off in 2018, and complete the study. The work is estimated to take four months and will use community input to-date to help develop a final preferred concept.

The City has this work remaining:
• Phase 4: Report and Recommendation of Preferred Land Use Concept, Q1 2022
This phase of the study involves the selection of a preferred concept and the preparation of a Planning Justification Report.
• Phase 5: Official Plan Policies, Zoning and Urban Design Guidelines, Q2 2022

The fifth phase of the study includes the development of draft site-specific official plan policies, zoning regulations and urban design and implementation guidelines. This phase will also include a public open house, presentation to Committee and final delivery of the implementing Official Plan Amendment and

Determining what should be built on the waterfront hotel property has gone through a number of concepts. The Waterfront study restart will pick up where things were back in 2019 when it was paused.

Marianne Meed Ward – moments before she was sworn in as Mayor.

Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward made the following comments:
“We know the Waterfront Hotel is a key site in our city, right next to our cherished downtown waterfront park. We know we have to get it right, and the time is now, with the Waterfront Hotel study starting up again, and an active application for redevelopment filed. We also need to ensure the public has every opportunity to share their feedback. That’s why Councillor Kearns and I worked together on a motion to direct staff to complete the study and the application review within the required statutory time frames — so we can record a decision as a community on this site, and not risk an appeal to the Ontario Land Tribunal for non-decision within the deadline. The best way you can shape the future of what happens here is to participate in both the study, as well as the development application review. ”

Ward 2 City Councillor Lisa Kearns spoke a little more forcefully: “We have heard loud and clear that residents place an extraordinary value on Burlington’s Waterfront. Development concerning the Waterfront Hotel site is extremely important to Ward 2 residents and to residents across our city. The outcome of an active development proposal is paramount to the future of our Waterfront and Spencer Smith Park, not to mention our downtown businesses and residents alike.

Lisa Kearns – ward 2 Councillor

“I encourage everyone to get engaged with the study information, subscribe to the Get Involved page for updates and attend the meetings on the Hotel Study on Feb. 15. and the Statutory Public Meeting on Feb. 22. The City will make a decision on this planning file to ensure that the decision is made at the local level. Let’s come together to give our feedback and make sure the new development results in a property that supports the community’s waterfront and downtown experience.”

Related news stories:

Is there a better way to develop this critical part of the city?

If you haven’t heard of Plan B – check them out.

The Plan B web site:

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Does Burlington need an 'Official' bird? If yes - which bird should that be?

By Pepper Parr

February 9th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Remember the group that wanted your opinion on what the “official” bird for the city should be.

It took them a bit but they now have a list of ten birds and would like you to weigh in on which bird that should be.

Nominations received from the public have been short-listed to the 10 finalists below:

  • Burlington has the well earned reputation as being a city that went to some length to give the Trumpeter |Swan a safe refuge.

    Bald Eagle

  • Black-capped Chickadee
  • Carolina Wren
  • Chimney Swift
  • Eastern Bluebird
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Mourning Dove
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Trumpeter Swan
  • Turkey Vulture

If you live, work, or go to school in Burlington, you can vote here:

Voting closes at midnight on Sunday, March 6, 2022, after which poll results will be announced on Bird Friendly Hamilton Burlington’s social media.

Bird Friendly Hamilton Burlington is working to get both Burlington and Hamilton certified as Bird Friendly Cities in 2022, under the new Nature Canada program. Selecting a “City Bird” is part of the certification process.  Toronto, London, Calgary and Vancouver are certified as Bird Friendly cities.

The challenge for this group is going to get this past city council.  The Turkey Vulture isn’t going to cut it – the Trumpeter Swan should be the hands down choice.

Let’s see what the citizens think.

Links to learn more:

Facebook: Bird Friendly Hamilton Burlington

Twitter: @BFCHamBurl

Instagram: birdfriendly.hamburl

Website: birdfriendlyhamiltonburlington.wordpress.com

 

Toronto, London, Calgary and Vancouver are certified as Bird Friendly cities.

 

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Why did a ward Councillor feel she needed police protection

By Pepper Parr

February 9th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

An update:

Councillor Kearns said the following after reading our article.  “Safety of our community members is always a top priority, we were grateful to have the assistance by Halton Regional Police Services to briefly assist in the safe crossing at Martha St. and Lakeshore Road.

“This route proved safer than redirecting the group back to the controlled crosswalk at Pearl St. and Lakeshore Rd.

“This was proactively arranged given the unpredictability in group size due to the unrestricted invitation for interested community members to learn more about what is happening in relation to growth and development.”

The question now is:  Who paid for the police officer.

Why would a ward Councillor need or want police protection while showing a small group of residents last Saturday.

In the lower right hand corner of the picture below there is a police officer.  The jacket is not something you can buy at the Bay.

Lower left – looks like a police officer to me. Why would a city Councillor ask for a police presence?

Police do not attend events like this unless they are asked.

So – our question to Councillor |Kearns is – why did you feel you needed a police presence at your downtown tour last Saturday ?.

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Councillor takes small group on a tour of Ground Zero - did she give them the complete story?

By Pepper Parr

February 9th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

“A terrific turnout” said ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns, who took a small group on a downtown development tour last Saturday.

“We embraced the chilly weather and learned about various developments in different stages, the planning process and Council’s vision for development.

“It was an interactive afternoon and one more way to connect with my office about our community. Thank you to everyone that came out, stay tuned for the next one in April.”

Well now, there was a lot more to the tour than the Councillor is revealing.

In the photograph below, the Councillor is in front of the Waterfront Hotel, a site that will be demolished and replaced by two towers that will be more than 30 storeys high – both sitting on a five storey podium.

Lisa Kearns on the site of a planned two tower development.

It is the most controversial development the city has had to cope with and if it proceeds the way the developers want – the quaint Burlington downtown you now know will be history.

The site Lisa Kearns is standing on will have what you see below.

Rendering of what the intersection of Brant and Lakeshore will look like if the development proceeds.

Developers’ rendering of the two towers they want to build at the intersection of Brant and Lakeshore road – the site of the Waterfront Hotel

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Regional Councilors still not ready to have a full debate on the future population levels that will be put in place

By Staff

February 8th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Determining just how much in the way of new population is going to be determined for each of the four municipalities in the Region was always a political decision.

The Region has been stick handling this for some time.

Someone at the Region thought the issue was ready for a Statutory Meeting where the issues and a sense as to what direction would would be set.

The political people realized that this was not the time for a Statutory meeting and changed the format of the meeting to a workshop.  There would be no delegations at the workshop – just open debate and discussion.

Turns out the Regional Councillors were not ready for a workshop either.

Set out below is the order in which changes in the meetings went:

The recommendation on the Preferred Growth Concept will not be considered by Regional Council on February 9, 2022 as originally scheduled. The consideration of the Preferred Concept will be rescheduled to a future meeting. There will be an opportunity for the public to provide written submissions and delegations at that time. To register and receive a notification when the opportunity becomes available, please email the Regional Clerk.

A Regional Council Workshop on the Preferred Growth Concept has now been scheduled for February 9 at 9:30 a.m. At the Workshop, Regional staff will present updated information and respond to questions and requests for clarification regarding the Preferred Growth Concept. Under Halton’s Procedural By-law, delegations are not permitted at Council Workshops however the public is welcome to observe the live-streaming of the Workshop on our website.

The Statutory Public Meeting scheduled for 9 a.m. on February 9, 2022 about a Regional Official Plan Amendment application related to the Milton Education Village will proceed as planned.

This is a critical issue – better that they get it right the first time.

Related news story:

Councillor Sharman explains what is happening at the Region on population growth.

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Development news that was sent to a limited group of people - an open and transparent civic administration would have and could have sent the information to everyone.

By Staff

February 4th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

A number of weeks ago the city mailed out notices to residents who lived within a 200 metre radius from the proposed Waterfront Hotel re-development.

There is a city bylaw in place that requires this to be done.

Given the significance of the proposed development one wonders why the mailing was not sent to every household in the city or at least everything south of Dundas.

The notice is four pages long – we are making it available.

Related news story:

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City of Burlington’s website and some web applications temporarily unavailable for scheduled maintenance between Feb. 15 at 10 p.m. and Feb. 16 at 2 a.m

The City of Burlington’s website, www.burlington.ca, and some web applications will be temporarily unavailable between Feb. 15 at 10 p.m. and Feb. 16 at 2 a.m. for scheduled maintenance.

A handful of technical types will be working late upgrading the city’s web site and many of the applications they run.

During the temporary shut down, the following websites and applications will not be available:

  • Parking ticket payment
  • Parking permit renewal
  • Parking exemption request
  • New dog licenses
  • Renew dog licenses
  • Tax assessment lookup
  • Business license renewal
  • Senior property tax rebates application
  • Property information requests
  • Marriage licenses
  • My festival and events applications

The following City of Burlington web applications will not be impacted:

The maintenance work has been scheduled in the evening hours to be as minimally invasive as possible. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

 

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School Board will rent part of the school they want to sell - 25 year lease

By Pepper Parr

February 8th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

There was a lot of jabbering by the City of Burlington and the Halton District School Board about the sale of what used to be the Robert Bateman High school.

The School Board had announced that the property was surplus to its needs except for some pace they would use for the Gary Allen Learning Centre which is just up the road from the high school.

While this is just a concept a this point the Board of Education is in for a 25 year lease and Brock University is looking for a new home for one of their faculties. It could be a win win

Both the City and the School Board issued statements recently without adding anything new to a project that has been reported to have a $50 million price tag attached to it.

Some people have asked if there asbestos insulation in the building – no answers to that question yet.

There are significant benefits to the City if the project ever results in a sale that doesn’t kick the stuffing out of the budget and the various reserve accounts.

The plan at this point is to provide the HDSB with a 25-year lease to accommodate Gary Allan Learning Centre, which provides adult, alternative and continuing education programs, and language instruction programs for newcomers, among others.

It is a very large piece of land that the Board of education no longer needs and the city thinks it can be re-purposed.

The Board of Education will pocket a healthy sum – the question that hasn’t been asked – is what will happen to the Gary Allan Learning Centre property once its operations get moved over to the Bateman property.

And what will the name of this new landmark be?

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Housing spokesperson sees much needed but difficult changes about to take place

By Pepper Parr

February 7th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Almost every economic sector has an organization that serves as spokespeople for their interests.  Electricians, architects, truckers, chemists, doctors – they all have an organization that represents how they relate to the public.

In our part of the world the development and home builders interests are represented by the now named West End Home Builders Association, (WEHBA), a not for profit organization that was formerly known as Hamilton Halton Home Builders Association.

Michael Collins Williams: CEO – WEHBA

The CEO of WEHBA, Michael Collins Williams has brought a new tone and approach to the organization.

He also put in play the new strategic plan put in place when he was brought on board.

He surprised a lot of people when he spoke very positively about the role the development industry should and would be playing in the creation of affordable housing.

Mike, raised in Mississauga, attended Ryerson where he studied urban planning.  He is a registered Planner who is firm in the belief that communities are living breathing places where people choose to live and become part of a place that is constantly evolving.

Change is the one constant Mike works with.  The WEHBA is part of the Ontario association that is tied into the federal association. There are 26 local associations in Ontario.   Mike came to the WEHBA from the Ontario association.

When asked to name the best city he named Copenhagen, a city that made a conscious decision in the 70’s to make cycling a critical part of the way people get around.

Changes of this magnitude take time added Collins-Williams.

He should know, the WEHBA is in the middle of a social change that is not going to go away any time soon.  Housing has become both unaffordable and unattainable for many.  “We are in a housing crisis that is proving to be a challenge at every political level.”

Change means tension he adds and that puts stress on all the players.

Development is a capital intensive business.  The bigger players have had land banked for some time.  And they have deep pockets – the developing of housing is a very complex with many layers that add to the cost of a home and are passed along to buyers.

The city and the developers are arm wrestling over what the development charges are going to be.  They have remained the same for years and the city wants them increased so that they cover all their costs.  The developers are arguing that some of the costs the city has included are not legitimate and add that the development charges end up being passed onto the home buyers.

In order for the growth to take place a lot of capital will be needed and much more sophistication that the small and medium sized builders have not been able to bring to the table.

Burlington has an active Housing Strategy Project on which Michael Collins-Williams is giving the participants a viewpoint from the development sector few have heard before.

“Expect to see some consolidation and changes in the way business is done. This is too significant an issue; one that has to be resolved and that means everyone adjusting.”

“Public policy will play a large role in getting the housing built, things will have to be done faster, time lines at every level, especially the municipal level where permits and approvals are issued.

“The needed changes are not going to be easy to achieve.

“If we fail to provide the housing people need at prices they can afford the young will move to places where they can afford to live and raise their families.

“We are going to see some interesting unintentional partnerships being formed.

“Labour and supply chain issues are a concern now – they need to be overcome.

The baby boomers changed everything as they became the largest demographic; the millennials will do the same when they become the largest demographic.  However the baby boomers are still the dominant social force and they have to be dealt with.

And we must not forget that the millennials are talented and more mobile than any demographic before them.  The best and the brightest are being educated here and while they are mobile, home still counts.

Collins-Williams swings between being optimistic and pessimistic.  He optimism is cautious.

We asked Mike to tell us what he saw as good architecture and he said he tended to favour the brutalist style.   That came as a surprise especially when he commented on the Robarts Library at U of T and the Manulife Centre in Toronto as favourite architecture.

Michael Collins-Williams preference in public architecture was a bit of a surprise.  Above the Robarts Library and the Manulife Centre to the right.

Related news story:

Housing industry spokesperson insists that developers and all three levels of government have to be at the table if there is ever going to be affordable housing.

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Provincial Liberals seek forfeiture of any assets used in the commission of a serious indictable offense.

By Staff

February 7th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

There are going to be those who disagree with us but a demand made earlier today by the leader of the Ontario Liberal party made a lot of sense.  The truck occupations have to be brought to a peaceful end.

Ontario Liberals are calling on Doug Ford’s Conservatives to send a clear and unequivocal message to the illegal occupiers in Ottawa, “leave now, or risk losing your truck.”

Steve Del Duca wants the police to seize the trucks and sell them at auction

“The residents of Ottawa are victims of a dangerous antivax mob holding their city hostage,” stated Ontario Liberal Leader, Steven Del Duca. “It has gone far beyond what can be considered a protest and the occupation must be dealt with using strong action.”

In addition to declaring a provincial State of Emergency, I am also calling today, on the Provincial Attorney General to make clear that Crown prosecutors will follow the guidance in their Prosecution Manual, and will seek forfeiture of any assets used in the commission of a serious (indictable or hybrid) offense.

Ontario Liberals have previously called on the premier to pass Ottawa South MPP John Fraser’s Bill 2 to create safe zones around hospitals and schools, and force the organizers to reimburse the millions of dollars in extra policing costs incurred during the occupation by enacting Bill 68 which was already passed by the Legislature.

“Leave now or you will lose your truck is the message our Premier should be sending,” added Del Duca. “Doug Ford needs to come out today and announce a strong provincial response to end this occupation swiftly.”

The occupation is in its eleventh day, with Ottawa families exhausted and scared to leave their homes.

“It’s time to free the people of Ottawa from the antivax mob holding them hostage. People are scared, angry and looking for leadership to end the occupation, but they’ve been abandoned by a Premier who only coddles antivaxxers.”

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4 Ways to Live a Debt Free Life

By John Pallister 

February 7TH, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Have you just recently paid off your debt by benefiting from debt relief Canada? If the answer is yes, you ought to know that you have achieved a massive milestone; however, the question is how to maintain a debt-free life.

The best way to live life is to live in the moment; however, you cannot apply the same rule to your finances. You might want to look at the bigger picture and start planning ahead when it comes to finances.

Before we jump into the list of tips, let us give you a little disclaimer: the change starts from within. You will need to shift your mindset and incorporate certain habits that will lead to a debt-free life. Certain financial and lifestyle habits can lead to long-term goals and help you maintain a debt-free life.

Read on to learn more!

Follow a Budget
Following a budget is one of the most crucial things that you can do to live a debt-free life. If you want to avoid debt for the rest of your life, never underestimate the power of following a budget. After setting your budget, you must get over the temptation of allowing the budget to lapse.

To make a budget, you must note your monthly income and set aside the amount spent on bills, groceries, and other necessities. Then set a certain amount aside that goes to your savings. By having a budget, you won’t only be able to track your spending habits, but it will also help you get rid of the habit of overspending. You will be on the right track to a debt-free life by following a budget.

Open a Saving Account
Set a budget and open an emergency savings account. Budgeting is one of the most dreaded nightmares for many people – it might look scary at first, but the benefits are long-term. By opening a savings account, you will be paying yourself first. In other words, you will be saving a fixed amount each month in your savings account.
Now, let us talk about the importance of having a savings account and why this is essential for a debt-free life. The amount in the savings account is not only your savings but also a contingency plan for situations where you will need emergency cash, such as home maintenance and car repairs.

By opening a savings account and transferring a fixed amount into the amount each month, you will have peace of mind that you are ready to deal with urgent situations and that you won’t have to fall back on debt again.

Curb Your Shopping Impulses
Sit down and understand which spending habits of yours cause debt in the first place. Are you an impulsive buyer? One of the primary reasons that people fall into debt are that they don’t set basic rules to curb their spending habits – as a matter of fact, this is one of the hardest rules to master.

You will have to break down your buying habits into two categories: the first category deals with your basic needs, such as food, bills, and clothing; the second category deals with your desires – things that you don’t really need, things that fall in the gray area, but, things that you spend on nonetheless.

Let us say you need a cellphone – you will have to check your budget. Instead of buying the latest iPhone, settle down for a phone that falls into your budget. You will find it easier to differentiate between your wants and needs by staying within a budget.

Plan For Your Future
Understandably, the best way to live life is to live in the moment; however, you cannot apply the same rule to your finances. You might want to look at the bigger picture and start planning ahead when it comes to finances.

A saving account for those special times.

You ought to understand that financial emergencies can occur at any time and anywhere. Apart from that, you will also need to think about future plans, such as your dream vacation, car insurance, Christmas presents, etc.

While it might be tempting to hit the easy road, pull out your credit card, and pay for everything on the spot, you ought to remind yourself about the objective of living a debt-free life. That said, keep the credit cards in your wallet, and plan with a budgeting and saving account for those special times where you will want to invest some money, preferably without inducing a debt.

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Province eases up on restrictions in place at Long Term Care facilities starting Monday. Granny can now go to the LCBO all by herself if she is fully vaccinated.

By Staff

February 5th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Though this pandemic is far from over – the number of new infections is coming down – 2,634 people hospitalized with COVID-19 and 517 in ICU.

83 per cent of patients admitted to the ICU were admitted for COVID-19 and 17 per cent were admitted for other reasons but have tested positive for COVID-19, reported Health Minister Christine Elliott.

While the province has moved to phase 2 of the Road to Re-Open map there is every reason to remain cautious – and careful.

The treatment many Long Term Care residents were given was shameful – there is a lot of work to be done before this problem is resolved.

The province has eased the visiting restrictions at long term care homes. Starting February 7th, Monday, the number of people who can visit increases from two to four – however only two can visit at the same time.

Long term care residents who have had all three vaccine doses will be allowed to resume social day trips.

The clampdown and imposition of restrictions on access to long-term care facilities for general visitors was put in place in December when there was a significant surge in new infections that hit the long term care facilities very hard.

The very transmissible Omicron variant is now the dominant Covid19 virus.

Err on the side of caution.

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Draft of school calendar for 2022-2-23 school year. Ministry has to approve

By Staff

February 4th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Subject to any changes made by the Ministry of Education – the following is the proposed school calendar for the 2022 school year.

Thursday, Sept​. 1, 2022 PA Day (Elementary & Secondary)
Monday, Sept. 5, 2022 Labour Day
Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022 First day of instruction (Elem/Sec)
Friday, Oct. 7, 2022 PA Day (Elementary & Secondary)
Monday, Oct. 10, 2022 Thanksgiving Day
Friday, Nov. 25, 2022 PA Day (Elementary & Secondary)
Thursday, Dec. 22, 2022 * Last day of school before Winter Break
Friday, Dec. 23, 2022 –  Friday, Jan. 6, 2023 (inclusive) Winter Break
Monday, Jan. 9, 2023 School resumes (Elem/Sec)
Jan. 26 – Feb. 1, 2023 Exams (Secondary only)
Friday, Jan. 27, 2023 PA Day (Elementary only)
Friday, Feb. 3, 2023 PA Day (Secondary only)
Monday, Feb. 6, 2023 First day of instruction
(Semester 2 – Secondary only)
Friday, Feb. 17, 2023 PA Day (Elementary & Secondary)
Monday, Feb. 20, 2023 Family Day
March 13 – 17, 2023 Spring Break
Friday, April 7, 2023 Good Friday
Monday, April 10, 2023 Easter Monday
Monday, April 24, 2023 PA Day (Elementary & Secondary)
Monday, May 22, 2023 Victoria Day
Monday, June 5, 2023 PA Day (Elementary only)
June 22 – 28, 2023 Exams (Secondary only)
Thursday, June 29, 2023 Last day of instruction (Secondary)
Friday, June 30, 2023 * Last day of instruction for elementary
PA Day (Secondary only)

This assumes of course that the pandemic has become endemic and normal is something we begin to get used to.

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Urban Design Advisory Panel comments on development slated for Waterfront Hotel site

By Staff

February 5th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

A number of years ago the Planning Department decided they wanted input from outside professionals who were not in any way involved in a development project.

Recognized professional architects were invited to apply to serve on the panel.  The current panel membership is made up of:

Members of BUD

present absent / regrets
Ken Coit (Chair) ü
Jana Kelemen (Vice Chair) regrets
Alexandru Taranu regrets
Jackie VanderVelde ü
Jessica Hawes ü
LeAnn Seely ü
Matt Reid ü
Michael Barker regrets
Nigel Tai regrets

Cynthia Zahoruak

The impetus for this approach came from Cynthia Zahoruak, a respected Burlington based architect.

The Community Planning Department asked the Burlington Urban Design Advisory Panel (BUD) for advice on the following key issues:

 

1. Response to Context
Please comment on the integration of the proposed development with its surroundings including: streetscaping on Lakeshore Road and Elizabeth Street and interface with Spencer Smith Park to the west and south.

2. Public Realm – Access & Connectivity to the Public Park & Lake
Please comment on the proposed atrium at the foot of John Street, with consideration for bird-friendly design, the preservation of public views from John Street to Lake Ontario, and the objective of maintaining and enhancing public access to the waterfront.

3. Architectural Design and Design Excellence
Please comment on the design of the proposed buildings, with consideration for the landmark location of the site and the need to achieve compatibility with surrounding context, as well as the proposed arrangement of uses and location of building entrances.

4. Location & Amount of Outdoor Amenity Spaces
Please comment on the proposed amenity areas (rooftop and at grade) with attention to opportunities for publicly accessible spaces.

Design Team Presentation

The developers Design Team provided an overview of the history and context of the site. It was noted that the site is a premier site at the foot of Brant Street, a core street in Downtown Burlington. A landmark vision that functions as a landmark destination for the city and downtown core is therefore proposed. The history of the site as an entertainment destination and its contribution to hotel enjoyment of the waterfront is intended to be reflected in this project.

The proposed building consists of a podium with ground floor commercial and hotel and office space above, and two towers with residential uses. The hotel will be located on one side of the podium, while office space will be on the other. A bridge connecting the two sides of the podium will contain amenities for the hotel and residential uses. All parking will be underground.

The project architect walked the Panel through various views of the proposal. It was noted that the site is intended to respect the existing landscape of the park and the steep topography between Lakeshore Road and the waterfront. The proposal is intended to provide visual and physical connections from the street to the lake.

With respect to building design, the design is meant to be iconic and reflect water waves. Terraces are used to create a gentle curve along the tower façade and provide residents with views of the city and lake. Complementary materials, textures and colours connect the tower and the podium.

A plaza and an atrium that the public can walk through or stay in to enjoy waterfront views is proposed. The connection from Lakeshore Road to the Waterfront Trail continues through to the landscape with patio opportunities for coffee, restaurants and to create a gathering space for people to enjoy the location.

Panel Questions:

The Panel asked the following questions of clarification:

• Is the tower floor plate largest at the 6th floor, and smaller as they rise?
o Yes. There are no bulges proposed in the towers.

• What are some of the environmental features of the building and site design?
o Green roofs accessible to each use are proposed to reduce heat loss. Local materials will also be used to help with LEED certification. The new energy code will be adhered to. Glass in various opacities will be used to reduce heat loss. Bird friendly design will be used at the podium level with optional fretting throughout the tower above.
o The lower area of the podium will have more solid materials (e.g. brick, stone).

• Are the towers predominately glass?
o Yes.

• What are the setbacks on the east, south and west sides of the podium from the property lines?
o North: 7 m; west (waterfront and Spencer Smith Park): 2 m; south (to property line): 4.9 m; and, east (Elizabeth Street): 2 m

• What is the intended programming for the atrium?
o The atrium will be a covered space that the public can freely access and move through from the Lakeshore Road side of the building to the plaza and waterfront on the southside and vice versa. It is also intended to be a gathering place to get to other uses within the building (e.g. offices, hotel).

Panel Advice:

Question #1: Response to Context – Please comment on the integration of the proposed development with its surroundings including: streetscaping on Lakeshore Road and Elizabeth Street and interface with Spencer Smith Park to the west and south.

The Panel commented that taller heights and densities with a broad mix of uses are warranted at this site given its prominent location. However, the Panel felt that overall, the proposed building is too large for its context, and that the height, massing, proportions and scales of the podium and towers should be reevaluated in the context of their comments below. Additionally, more transparency overall in the ground floor plane, with more open semi-private spaces, should be provided.

The Panel felt that the height and length of the podium is too large for this context.

Lakeshore Road & John Street
The Panel felt that the height and length of the podium is too large for this context. The podium height could be reduced in consideration of the surrounding context. For example, it was noted that existing buildings on the north side of Lakeshore Road range in height from 1- to 2½- storeys and include heritage buildings that should be considered. Although the large setback of the proposed building helps to mitigate this juxtaposition, a reduction in height would further help with integration. To break up the length of the podium, it is recommended that the atrium be replaced with an open-air area and that more articulation be incorporated.

The Lakeshore Road streetscape was noted as being well done with the triple row of trees, extensive setback and opportunities for patios. However, the Panel was concerned that the atrium would cast shadows onto Lakeshore Road and obstruct views from John Street. Although glass material is proposed for the atrium, glass does not always appear transparent. Replacing the atrium with an open-air corridor was recommended.

The breezeway leads to the view of the lake from the John at Lakeshore Road entrance.

Lastly, it was noted that proportion and scale of the towers appear inconsistent between drawings in the submission package, causing the Panel to caution the overall tower massing and orientation. It was noted that a proportional balance needs to be struck between the narrow and broader sides of the towers, and that appropriate tower placements should be provided to mitigate their built form impacts such as shadowing on Brant Street.

Transitions to Spencer Smith Park and Waterfront Trail
The Panel highlighted that appropriate transitions to Spencer Smith Park and the Waterfront Trail are currently lacking. The existing path along the west side of the property, as well as Brant Street and the Waterfront Trail were noted as being busy pedestrian corridors. There is an opportunity for the west side of the site to provide a stronger connection to these areas.

Specifically, the Panel recommended that the building setback adjacent to this west interface be increased, the façade treatment better articulated, and open space landscaped to create more of a public realm and transition to the existing open space. Also, instead of a podium-tower condition on this side, the tower could be brought all the way down to the ground plane as an iconic vertical element (no podium) to provide interest and the podium could be replaced with landscaping.

It was noted that the west tower appears to have significant shadow impacts on Brant Street, and that the view down Brant appears to terminate at the towers. Relocating the west tower can also help address these issues.

There is also an opportunity to provide 180-degree views from the central area (between the podium) by extending it south of the podium.

Lastly, underground parking should be designed to protect the context of the park by allowing for mature trees.

Transitions to Elizabeth Street
On the Elizabeth Street side, the Panel noted that Elizabeth Street is a prominent frontage for the Bridgewater development to the west of the site. The Panel flagged that the height, location and orientation of towers should be carefully reviewed for their shadow impacts on Elizabeth Street.

The Panel agreed that locating back of house activities for the subject site off Elizabeth makes sense but cautioned that it should be carefully treated to support what is being achieved at Bridgewater. Elizabeth Street itself could be specially treated to signal to vehicles that it is a pedestrian area.

Question #2: Public Realm Access & Connectivity to the Public Park & Lake – Please comment on the proposed atrium at the foot of John Street, with consideration for bird-friendly design, the preservation of public views from John Street to Lake Ontario, and the objective of maintaining and enhancing public access to the waterfront.

The atrium is appreciated but does not provide a true visual corridor between John Street and the waterfront because of its glass reflections and pinched width.
Furthermore, for this connection to succeed as a physical public connection, it is important that it feels like a public space. It currently does not feel that way because the size of the podium and atrium is the same as the front elevation. An open-air connection is recommended instead.

Since there is value to having cooler, covered spaces, if an atrium is desired, it could be designed to provide more vertical articulation in the podium and give the podium an appearance of two separate buildings.

The Panel appreciates the detailed submission package, as well as the proposed streetscape design along Lakeshore Road and setback of underground parking to allow for the preservation and growth of mature street trees.

Question #3: Architectural Design and Design Excellence – Please comment on the design of the proposed buildings, with consideration for the landmark location of the site and the need to achieve compatibility with surrounding context, as well as the proposed arrangement of uses and location of building entrances.

The Panel commented that the buildings are beautifully designed and achieves the goal for an iconic design. It works well with the shape and curve of the pier.  However, the massing of the building should be reviewed from multiple angles. The towers appear bulky from certain angles.

The design appealed to the architects on the Burlington Urban Design Advisory panel

The Panel was also concerned about the sustainability of the building. Considering climate change, buildings made of mostly glass are no longer a sustainable option. Impacts of the building over its lifespan in terms of carbon neutrality and sustainability should be closely reviewed. Also, with the site being close to the water, having sustainable stormwater management features is important.

Lastly, there is an opportunity to take advantage of the location of the site being within the cultural centre of Burlington by incorporating public art, designed with public input. Ideas include unique vertical elements such as colorful large-scale windows or a mural up one side of the building and an object at scale at the foot of John Street that brings a connection back to the lake and history of the site.

Question #4: Location & Amount of Outdoor Amenity Spaces – Please comment on the proposed amenity areas (rooftop and at grade) with attention to opportunities for publicly accessible spaces.

The Panel commented that much of the outdoor space between the podium is devoted to access ramps and stairs down to the park. Consider increasing the upper/lower plaza space and provide an elevator down to park level instead. The proposal introduces a lot of new residential units, which will need to be balanced with a lot of amenity space and different uses.

The Panel also recommended providing a porous interface with the park, rather than having a harsh boundary between public and private space, through measures such as incorporating some semi-private spaces and a variety of outdoor amenity spaces. More accesses through podium to the park should also be considered.

The Panel reiterated that focus should be placed on the edges of the building and the public realm to ensure that the design reflects its unique and special location. Also, the Panel reiterated that while a tall landmark building is warranted at this location, the proposed podium and towers are too tall and should be reduced to ensure that the building is compatible and fits in with its surroundings, including both the existing and planned context.

Application: Official Plan Amendment and Rezoning Presentations:
City Staff: Thomas Douglas, Community Planning
Design Team: David Falletta, Bousfields Inc.; Anh Le Quang, Lilia Koleva Neuf Architectes LLP;
Mario Patitucci, Adesso Design Inc.

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Barbetta: 'There are people who poison their trees in order to weaken them so that they have to be taken down'

By Staff

February 4th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Leslie Barbetta is part of the Active Community Teamwork (ACT) neighbourhood association. Her current focus is the Forestry Department Policy and the Private Tree By-law.

She lives in the Shoreacres neighbourhood in large part because of the mature trees. “They are a source of pride and joy, and as their “caretakers”, we have been rewarded in return by their beauty.

These trees will come down to allow high rise towers. It will take decades to replace them.

“There are occasions” she said, “when these pillars of the community create challenges and over the last few years, we’ve called on our Councillor and the Forestry department for assistance in addressing some of those concerns.

“We have learned a great deal as a result of these interactions and our own research. Today I’d like to speak to the Policy’s four categories of activities for a healthy urban forest, and highlight the partnership role that a community group can play in supporting this Policy by identifying some successes and areas of concern:

Barbetta set out the four categories and added comments on what the ACT people would like to see done.

Preserve and Protect
The City shall support the preservation of trees by:
‣ exploring all feasible options for retaining a viable tree before deciding to remove it;
‣ requiring that opportunities to preserve trees are considered through the development process for public and private lands;
‣ requiring special consideration for significant trees;
‣ generally refusing requests for tree removal based solely on reasons related to aesthetics or other similar factors;

Questions/Comments:
– Please identify when permission has been granted to remove a tree! It’s no exaggeration to state that the sound of a chainsaw sends a shiver up our backs and a flurry of texts or emails between neighbours about why a tree is coming down.
– What is the level of concern in Forestry that Arborists’ Reports may sometimes be “skewed” in favour of development plans? It is thought that some experts will support whichever narrative they are being paid to support.
– Within the significant tree description, would also like to see the inclusion of unique or underrepresented or endangered species (including non-native varieties)

Maintain and Monitor
The City shall:
‣ provide guidance to private property owners with respect to current trends in urban forest health and best management practices;

Questions/Comments:
– Please elaborate on what this guidance would entail. We have witnessed homeowners take “maintenance” of mature trees into their own hands, impacting the tree’s aesthetics, and comprising its health & safety, as well as their own personal safety. We often hear rumblings that some property owners have taken to “poisoning” their trees, in an effort to weaken them and ultimately circumvent some of the time and expense involved with the Private Tree By-law.
– In supporting all efforts to protect our tree canopy, we recognize that there are occasional unique circumstances where City trees cause unintentional problems for homeowners, particularly with mature trees in established neighbourhood. When these situations arise, we would like to ensure there is an opportunity to work with Staff towards a solution or reasonable compromise because complicated situations cannot always be resolved over email or by citing Policy & By-law.

Establish, Replace and Enhance
The City shall support proper tree establishment by:

‣ supporting tree planting initiatives of all scales on public and private properties with volunteers and partners as opportunities arise;
The City shall work to ensure the urban forest and tree canopy are sustained and enhanced by:

‣ implementing a plan for replacement where trees are removed on public and private lands;
‣ encouraging tree replacement on-site but evaluating the possibilities for off-site tree replacements, in part or in whole, where the compensation cannot be accommodated
on site and where feasible alternative locations are identified.

Questions/Comments:
– Within our community group, there are individuals who have volunteered to not only help identify private lands that would benefit from new or restorative planting, but assist with the physical planting effort as well. Sometimes the only thing that prevents these opportunities on private lands is lack of awareness of the issue.
– Where new development results in loss of trees and ultimately loss of privacy on adjacent lands, allow for replacement plantings on those properties.

Engage and Collaborate
• The City shall actively pursue opportunities to engage with members of the community and external partners to promote proper tree establishment and care, including use of incentives as appropriate.

• The City shall collaborate with existing and new partners to increase its capacity to establish and enhance the urban forest on public and private lands.

• The City is committed to employing communication methods and tools that are transparent, and to providing accurate information in a clear and concise manner that is also accessible.

Questions/Comments:
– We support any effort to work with community groups to assist with tree canopy goals.
As a result of establishing connections with the Forestry Dept, we have been able to achieve the following: share details about the City’s Tree Planting Program; answer our members’ questions about Forestry practices, saving staff time; when we don’t have the answer, we will forward those queries, which has a twofold benefit: helps to streamline the communication process and then share the response with a wider audience, and helps foster relationships between Forestry staff and one or two primary neighbourhood contacts.
– To share a recent success story, our community was recently given the opportunity to select a new tree for the neighbourhood that will symbolically honour several community-minded residents who are no longer with us. I cannot express how much this meant to some people. Such a simple example of the good that can happen when a City and its residents work together.
– Speaking to the communication & transparency component, a recent inquiry through the CRM platform informed us that the City does not bear responsibility for a particular tree matter. A By-law was cited, however this information does not appear to be available on the City’s website without doing a records request.
– ACT can arrange engagement opportunities between Forestry and our community to assist in the educational component of our By-laws and Protection Policy,

“With common goals, shared resources, and an open line of communication, there are many opportunities for ACT to work in partnership with Forestry – and any City department for that matter.”

Council liked what they heard, going forward the challenge will be to turn intentions into decisions that can keep the tree canopy we have and grow what is going to be needed in the future.

 

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Pop up events to make people aware of population growth plans to take place on Saturday

By Staff

February 4th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The growth that municipalities have to take on to reach the provincially determined population levels has a lot of people concerned about  losses of rural agricultural land to residential development.

The rural Burlington that the Stop the Sprawl group wants to keep.

Stop Sprawl Halton will be holding COVID-safe pop-up events this Saturday, February 5th, 1:30pm – 2pm

Oakville & Burlington — Stop Sprawl Halton announces two COVID-safe pop-up events, one in Oakville, the other in Burlington, to spread awareness to protect irreplaceable Halton farmland.

Locations —    N.E. corner of Trafalgar and Cornwall in Oakville

North Service Rd. and Brant St. in Burlington

What — Stop Sprawl Halton will host two peaceful, COVID-safe, pop-up events this Saturday, to spread awareness about the Region’s plans to expand the urban boundary, and to hand out free “Save Our Farms” lawn signs.

Safety – Participants must wear a mask and remain 6’ apart from others at all times. They must also remain on the intersection sidewalks, and not interfere with traffic.

About Stop Sprawl Halton – Stop Sprawl Halton (SSH) is a grass-roots organization that coalesced after Hamilton’s Stop Sprawl campaign won a “no urban boundary expansion” vote at Hamilton City Council on November 19, 2021. Like other Stop Sprawl campaigns developing in municipalities across Southern Ontario, Stop Sprawl Halton is a champion for vibrant, sustainable growth within existing urban boundaries. SSH believes the provincially mandated growth targets can be achieved through modest singles and semi-detached homes, combined with other low-rise forms, in mixed-use communities.

 

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Waterfront study resumes February 15th; expected to last four months - meanwhile Planning staff work flat out to complete their work before an April 17th deadline.

By Pepper Parr

February 4th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The City is resuming work on the Waterfront Hotel Site Planning Study.

When the study is completed, it will provide guidance in the redevelopment of this site.

The white dotted line is the boundary of the site – the dark blue in the centre is the site of the hotel property

Located next to two of Burlington’s most significant landmarks, Spencer Smith Park and the Brant Street Pier, the City is asking for input to make sure the new development reflects a high quality of urban design that enhances the community’s access to the waterfront and the downtown.

Virtual Public Open House – Feb. 15
Residents are invited to join a virtual public open house to talk about the study process and hear from City staff and the city consultant team, The Planning Partnership, who will present the preferred concept plan for the site. There will be a Q & A period following the presentation.

The open house is on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
Zoom or dial +1 647 374 4685 by telephone and enter meeting ID 813 0521 1078

Residents also have the opportunity to learn more about the planning study on the City’s online engagement platform,

The Waterfront Hotel Planning Study is separate from the development application process.

And that is where this gets messy – very messy.

The Planning department is working furiously to have a report to Council before April 17 with either

A recommendation to approve the development
A recommendation to approve the development with changes
A recommendation to not approve the development.

The information given to the public last September was for two towers; one 30 storeys and the other 35 storey – both sitting on a five story podium.

The very painful truth with this development is that far too few people know very much about it.

The public first got wind of it when a pre-application community consultation took place.

Graphics and raw data on this project have been very difficult to come by – the Gazette had to threaten legal action to get a copy of what was a public report. The entrance to the site was to be from John Street, one block east of Brant. The light blue space in the very centre of this graphic will be a breezeway leading from Lakeshore to the steep steps that will lead into Spencer Smith Park. The light green will be amenity space for the tower residents. The tan coloured space will be open and where the public can gather The new hotel is shown in darker blue. The residential towers are in pink. The Gazette has not been able to have conversations with the developer’s planners.

The Gazette has been reporting on this situation for some time – all the way back to 2015 when the city was putting together some ideas as to just what could happen with the Waterfront Hotel site when it was eventually re-developed.

Centre – former city Councillor John Taylor in conversation with Linda Davies, owner of the leading condo real estate sales broker on the right and Dee Dee Davies at one of the public meetings in 2018

The city put together a process that had the developer agreeing to pay the full cost of a review that would include significant public input.

And those meetings took place – there were  four of them out of which came a number of concepts – but no consensus – and then for reasons which look pretty weak, the city put a pause on the waterfront study.

The developer didn’t pause.

As early as August, the Burlington Urban Design group was meeting and providing comment on the development.

They engaged planning consults and architects and met with people in the Planning department to advance their development application.

Members of Council knew what was taking place – but the public didn’t.

Members of Council are still saying very little – they have all taken the position that they cannot make statements until they have a Planning Staff report in front of them.

So here we are with two very different streams of activity taking place at the same time about the same piece of land

The developer pushing their application – and the city reviving a study that should have been completed years ago.

Close on the heals of the study re-start is a Statutory Public meeting required under the Planning Act that is to take place on February 22nd at 6:30 p.m.  It too will be a virtual meeting.

In a media release from City Hall on Thursday we learned that Planning Staff will be recommending that Council direct staff to continue to review and process the application.

Planning Study Background
In 2017 and 2018 (the Gazette interviewed a member of the Planning staff in 2015 on this study proposal) the City began looking at a planning study to guide the redevelopment of the waterfront site at Lakeshore Road and the foot of Brant Street, including the Waterfront Hotel at 2020 Lakeshore Road., City staff gathered feedback through visioning workshops, public and stakeholder engagement.

In mid-2018, the Waterfront Hotel Planning Study was placed on hold due to other priorities in the Community Planning Department.

A number of design concepts have come forward – no consensus yet.

Why the study can resume
In its media release the City said it is able to resume the Waterfront Hotel Planning Study at this time because:

• the re-examination of the New Official Plan Project, including Taking a Closer Look at the Downtown, has been completed,
• approval of the new Official Plan (under appeal), as well as
• the Minster of Municipal Affairs and Housing’s approval, with modifications, of the Regional Official Plan Amendment 48.

City staff, with support from the project consultant, will pick up the work where it left off in 2018, and complete the study. The work is estimated to take four months and will use community input to-date to help develop a final preferred concept.

The City has this work remaining:

Phase 4: Report and Recommendation of Preferred Land Use Concept, Q1 2022
This phase of the study involves the selection of a preferred concept and the preparation of a Planning Justification Report.

• Phase 5: Official Plan Policies, Zoning and Urban Design Guidelines, Q2 2022

The fifth phase of the study includes the development of draft site-specific official plan policies, zoning regulations and implementation guidelines. This phase will also include a public open house, presentation to Committee and final delivery of the implementing Official Plan Amendment and Zoning Bylaw Amendment.

It all gets messier and tighter in terms of time frames.

When a developer takes an application to the city – the Planning department has 120 days to make a recommendation to council.  That recommendation can be to not proceed or to proceed with changes or to give it a rubber stamp and tell the developer to bring in the cranes and start building.

The developers submitted their plan on December 17th, the Planning department told Council they didn’t think the application was complete.  There was a lot of scurrying around and the city was able to say that the application was indeed complete.  Close to 30 days of very valuable staff work was lost.  The city will tell you that there was no time lost – don’t believe them.

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns brought forward a motion at Council directing Staff to complete their work and make a presentation to Council before April 17th, 2022.   She wanted to be as certain as possible that the city did not find itself before the Ontario Land Tribunal for failing to deliver a report within that 120 requirement.

Nothing was to be built west of the line Plan B drew.

Included in all this are the brave efforts of Plan B – a small group of citizens who objected strongly to the concept designs that were being shown.  They had a concept that would keep development within a “thin red line”.

The city’s Mayor said: “We know the Waterfront Hotel is a key site in our city, right next to our cherished downtown waterfront park. We know we have to get it right, and the time is now, with the Waterfront Hotel study starting up again, and an active application for redevelopment filed.

“We also need to ensure the public has every opportunity to share their feedback. That’s why Councillor Kearns and I worked together on a motion to direct staff to complete the study and the application review within the required statutory time frames — so we can record a decision as a community on this site, and not risk an appeal to the Ontario Land Tribunal for non-decision within the deadline.

“The best way you can shape the future of what happens here is to participate in both the study, as well as the development application review. We welcome your input and look forward to those discussions.”

Ward 2 City Councillor Lisa Kearns said: “We have heard loud and clear that residents place an extraordinary value on Burlington’s Waterfront. Development concerning the Waterfront Hotel site is extremely important to Ward 2 residents and to residents across our city. The outcome of an active development proposal is paramount to the future of our Waterfront and Spencer Smith Park, not to mention our downtown businesses and residents alike.

The development plans as they stand now will result in a Burlington few significantly than what is in place now.

Renderings that show the development relative to Spencer Smith Park and the Pier.

On the left is the view of the lake from Lakeshore Road at Brant. On the right the view from the same spot looking north up John Street.

What is at stake here is the heart of the city – Ground Zero – the intersection of Lakeshore Road and Brant Street and the look and feel of the downtown core for decades.

How different city Councils let things get to the point we are at now boggles the imagination.

Related news stories:

Plan B was trying to get some traction within the Planning department and with the public.

The time line of a very sad story.

Are there other options.

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