Driver and his truck disappear under suspicious circumstances.

By Staff

HAMILTON, ON May 7, 2013.  Tim Bosma was selling his truck.

Two people showed up at his door to look at the truck.  They wanted to take it for a test drive.  Bosma decided to go with the two men.  That was on May 6th.   Bosma hasn’t been seen since.

Friends created a Facebook page and are using social media to get the word out and find Tim Bosma

The truck, a 2007 Dodge Ram 3500 with license plates 726-7ZW has not been seen.  Hamilton police Detective Steve Pacey is leading the investigation

A source told Our Burlington that Bosma was a little suspicious about the men who showed up to buy the truck and decided to go with them.

Family and friends are using social media to get the word out and to spread the license number far and wide.

If you see the plates on a black pick up call 905-546-4930

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You can only get away with so much – then the natives really get restless. Development pressure in the downtown core

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  May 7, 2013  The natives in St. Luke’s Precinct are getting restless – they don’t like the look of a development that is going to chew up a whole block of Caroline from Hager to Burlington Streets.

Barry Imber, a Hager resident explains: “Myself and a bunch of downtown neighbours are amassing to say no to a new housing development that’s proposed for Caroline

The St. Luke’s Precinct is bordered on four sides roughly between Brant Street and Maple Avenue at the sides and Central High School to Lakeshore Road top to bottom.

Street between Burlington Ave. and Hager Ave. The developer wants to tear down a number of homes and replace with higher density town homes which local Councillor Marianne Meed-Ward insists are semi-detached structures.

The neighbourhood has been dealing with this for some time – early meetings took place sometime in 2012. 

Meed Ward has arranged for a meeting at city hall – on a Saturday – in the late Spring no less  – that tells how restless the natives are.  Takes place at City Hall — 10am – Room 305 with developer Maurice Desrochers in attendance.  Locals understand that the developer wishes to show new drawings. The neighbours wish to speak to him about the impact of his proposal on the way they live downtown.

Caroline looking East from Hager: community wants to retain the single family home zoning fr the precinct.

The developer is seeking different zoning for the site: Imber says the problem is, as we all know, change one zone and the dominos fall and you stand to lose the zoning for our unique little core area.

The developer is believed to have changed architects – leaving John Williams of Burlington and taking his business down the road to a Toronto Architectural firm.  The developer is also reported to have

Changed the drawings to get a more period historical look — between late 1800’s to early 1900’s

The city is reported to have impressed the developer that the goal of the St. Luke’s Precinct is to preserve the Single Family Home zoning as established character — not simply an aesthetic.

The St. Luke’s Precinct is bordered on four sides roughly between Brant Street and Maple Avenue at the sides and Central High School to Lakeshore Road top to bottom.

Social media lets anyone with a keyboard and internet access the opportunity to put together a blog and get their story out.  There are loads of smart people in the precinct who have their site up and created a space for the developer to get his side of the story out – which is what Desrochers did with this comment:

“I appreciate your concern. You are totally misinformed and misinforming your neighbours. This is a site specific zoning change and does not affect the zoning in the rest of the neighbourhood, nor does it affect the neighbourhood in a negative way.

Residents believe the developer has focused solely on the positive nature of the aesthetic – they are concerned about density and the intrusion of anything other than single family homes.

You have not even seen what the new proposal is. Its leading edge and a great example of good positive change .I trust that you will be impressed when you see the new proposal. Even some of the new single homes in the core are not a good example of tying in with the neighbourhood. I look forward to seeing you on the 11th.

The community has come right back and responded:

Your effort to connect is much appreciated as is making yourself available to discuss the project with residents on Saturday May 11th at the city.

In response to your note we understand that the city grants zone changes site specific. However, we all know that they consider the zoning of an area or neighbourhood by the type of zoning around it. This raises a number of concerns:

1. “The city  worked with the province’s mandate of intensification to conclude that the St. Luke’s Precinct was a unique and cohesively zoned area that should be protected from changes that could effect character  — concluding that the Precinct should keep it’s contiguous zoning. This means they recognize the significance of site specific zoning as it effects the broader area. Therefore, a change of zone in one lot will effect all lots and tear apart the precinct’s status.

2. “Area residents have seen how site specific zone changes in their neighbourhoods have come back to haunt them when developments have applied and were granted site specific zoning and character changes. Recent examples can be cited. The reality is that a single zone change is significant as it heavily influences the future decision-making of council when they consider impact of change on each site by site occasion.

“For these reasons we believe there is no misrepresentation. We are being clear that the zoning change will effect the entire Precinct. Anyone who suggests otherwise is being naive or hiding the reality of the precedent that is set by site specific changes.

“In the end your new proposal, if still requiring a zone change to a higher density away from single family dwellings, is the first disastrous destabilizing step for the neighbourhood that will be irreversible. It will invite future developers to speculate by buying groups of homes for dense developments and leave us with no defence as we will have lost our precinct’s unique cohesive zoning as currently recognized by the city.

“Lastly you address aesthetic. In your initial meeting with residents you focused solely on the positive nature of your aesthetic and believe it is a fit. I’m certain this next proposal will be aesthetically well-considered too.

“The challenge is that though you believe your aesthetic to be superior to others and that there should be an ideal — citing that there is infill that doesn’t meet your standards — the reality is that this neighbourhood consists of many looks and home sizes; a diverse aesthetic that has evolved over time. This is a natural process that is central to the beauty of the area and a direct result of the single family home zoning.

“The single family home zoning influences the process by maintaining a graceful influx of home buyers that purchase because they love the Precinct and appreciate the nature of the place. Then some renovate, some replace — but all one home at a time to an outcome that though eclectic, is importantly slow and to scale with the neighbourhood. A scale both in the size of the homes but more importantly the scale of disruption. One home on one street being renovated or rebuilt is limited in its disruption — in all senses. One home at a time upsets a minimal in terms of traffic, emotions, neighbourhood people’s relationships and families. One home at a time is not divisive to the people.

“A development of a number of homes — a whole street block — that hopes to change the zoning tears a hole in a neighbourhood. It is destabilizing. It changes character. It divides people. It disrupts daily lives and flow and demands all people accommodate and change for the needs of the development.

“Your proposed development, and any similar future development that needs zone changes, will do more than change the look of the street. It will divide the neighbourhood and force everyone to change the way they live, and the way they relate to each other. It will erase what generations have loved about the downtown core’s neighbourhoods.

“This is why a growing number of neighbours have concluded that this type of development is destructive and misguided.”

Desrochers has been in the business of buying up historical properties and rental them out as executive accommodation for short periods of time and in doing so has kept some very important buildings in use.  Has his decision to move into development going to damage the reputation he had.  Above is a fine example of a structure Desrochers has on his properties list.

Desrochers operates Burlington Furnished Rentals, which owns a number of very distinctive looking structures which it rents out as short-term executive suites. Among these rental residences are approximately 6 homes on adjacent detached single family lots along the north side of Caroline which are the focus of their redevelopment. The group has presented a plan to tear down the homes and build multi-level townhouses and increase the dwelling density to 8 or more units on this land.

Is this application going to be seen as just a necessary part of downtown intensification or will the concept of a distinct look to a Precinct be something that prevails?

The community will get some sense as to where the city’s planning department is coming from when there report is completed and sent along to council.

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How does one do “Mother’s Day” when it is just Mom?

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON  May 3, 2013  INCITE,  A Single Moms Support Group, a non-profit organization, based out of Burlington, that raises up single moms and their children in our community by offering support, encouragement, guidance, direction and opportunities for empowerment.

Mother’s Day is quite a bit different when there is just the one parent in the house which leaves the Mother’s Day thinking in the hands of the kids.

INCITE is holding an event on Sunday May 12 at the Burlington Baptist Church, 2225 New St, Downtown Burlington from 12:30-4 pm.  Tickets are $10 and includes lunch, bevies, dessert, pampering for the Moms, children make a Mother’s Day gift, a family photo, live music, silent auction, vendors, 50/50 draw, door prizes and more!

Pass this one around to those you think might be interested.

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It was wild, it was very dangerous and all kinds of criminal charges were laid. Special Investigations gets called in as well.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  May 6, 2013   A Mississauga man faces multiple charges for his involvement in a series of recent break and enters in both Burlington and Oakville.

 During the night of May 3, 2013 the accused and other suspects stood in front of Appleby Opticals, 2180 Itabashi Way, Burlington, smashed through the front door and stole a quantity of glasses frames.

Later, at 2:19 a.m., the accused and associates broke into the Walkers Medical Centre, 1821 Walkers Line, Burlington, and stole a quantity of medicinal items. 

At 2:35 a.m., a break and enter occurred at the Bell Store, 2475 Appleby Line, Burlington.  The accused and other suspects smashed through the front door and stole cash.

 At 2:45 a.m., a break and enter occurred at the Telus Mobility Store, 2501 Third Line, Oakville.  Again, the accused and associates smashed through the front door and removed tools and cash from within.

It was a uniformed police officer, in a marked police cruiser, conducting commercial premise checks who  came across the incident.  An interaction took place between the lone officer and multiple suspects who  drove their vehicle towards the officer, and colliding with it.  During the life-threatening encounter, the officer discharged his firearm. 

One individual was arrested at the scene while the accused and the other suspect fled on foot.  The vehicle utilized by the suspects had been previously stolen from Oakville in April.

The accused, Jonathan MARUCIO was arrested in Peel Region and additional investigation to date has implicated him in at least two prior Oakville entries on April 25th:

Bell Store – 2525 Hampshire Gate and Telus Mobility Store – 2501 Third Line in Oakville

 ACCUSED:  Jonathan MARUCIO, 31 yrs, of Mississauga has been charged with:

 Break, Enter & Theft (six counts)

Theft of Motor Vehicle (two counts)

Breach of Recognizance (two counts)

Wear Disguise While Committing Offence (two counts)

Possession of Stolen Property Under $5000

Possession of Break and Enter Tools

 The individual arrested at the scene of this incident, a 25-year-old female, has been released unconditionally.

After investigating further the police had a suspect they very much wanted to talk to whom they identified as Jesse RIGO, 21 yrs, of Mississauga

 Mid afternoon on Saturday Rigo surrendered himself to police at #20 Division, Oakville Police Station with his lawyer at his side.

He has been charged with:

Aggravated Assault, Endangering the Life of a Peace Officer
Dangerous Driving
Break, Enter & Theft (six counts)
Theft of Motor Vehicle (two counts)
Wear Disguise While Committing Offence (two counts)
Possession of Stolen Property Under $5000
Possession of Break and Enter Tools
Breach of Probation (two counts)
Breach of Recognizance (two counts)

The accused was accompanied by his lawyer at that time.  The police report that the accused did not suffer any injuries as a result of the original incident when the car the thieves were using rammed into the police cruiser. Rigo was held for a bail hearing and will be appear at the Ontario Provincial Court in Milton.


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BPAC has heard from some impressive executive talent as they work towards beefing up their Board.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON. May 3, 2013  We are not hearing very much from the folks over at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre.  They advertised for people interested in serving on the Board – the closing date for that was March 15th.  The Board has not said how many seats they need to fill.

We have heard of at least one very qualified individual who has served the city with distinction in the past.  Our understanding is that the initial interview has yet to take place but when it does the applicant intends to interview the Board as much as be interviewed for a Board seat.

In the world of show business they are called “dark night” – those occasions when there is nothing going on in the building.  The Performing Arts Centre has too many of these.

Sometime later this month the Brenda Heatherington, the Executive Director who has given notice to her Board that she will leave her position in July, will announce the fall line-up – which we understand is pretty strong.

No word from the Board on how they intend to search for her replacement.  There is some buzz in the community that it should be someone from within the community, which could be a mistake.

The position to be filled needs considerable clarification before it is advertised.  Does BPAC want an artistic director? Does it want an administrator who has a sense of what the community wants in the way of entertainment?  Doe it want someone who puts on the type of programming that is profitable or does it want someone who is going to grow the appetite and interest level of the community for performing arts?Does BPAC want an artistic director? Does it want an administrator who has a sense of what the community wants in the way of entertainment?  Doe it want someone who puts on the type of programming that is profitable or does it want someone who is going to grow the appetite and interest level of the community for performing arts?

Burlington has next to no experience in growing the appetite for performing arts.  Heatherington brought a strong reputation for being able to build an audience but “appears” to have lacked the business acumen the Board felt was needed.  Finding someone who can develop audiences and find the kind of entertaining talent to do that and get them to this city at a reasonable cost and then also have the business smarts to keep the revenue line where everyone would like it to be is no small task.  There are very few of those available in this country.  Should we find one – that person will probably be able to walk on water as well.

There are some tough days ahead for the Performing Arts Centre as it builds a board of directors that can make the decisions that have to be made and learn more about public responsibility and transparency.

Getting a beefed up Board in place is the first critical step and then creating a search team to find the new Executive Director follows.  In the meantime someone has to run the place on a day-to-day basis.  We are going to see another whopper of a deficit next year.

Burlingtonians can be understanding and tolerant but they insist on being informed.  Hopefully there will be at least one champion on the revitalized board that will insist on telling the people paying for the place what is going on.

Your city council has two of its members on the Board.  Mayor Goldring and Councillor Craven have been close to mute when it comes to informing the other council members in public as to what is going on.  They are failing to do their jobs .

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Hold your noses; they are about to pass a budget when what they’ve really done is pass gas.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  May 2, 2013.  The Premier of the province Kathleen Wynne got her Minister of Finance to produce a budget that might keep the leader of the NDP happy enough to not vote against it later this week but that really isn’t the problem we are going to have with this government.

When Kathleen Wynne told a Legislative committee that she didn’t know the cost of closing the gas plant in Oakville was $310 million she lost me.  For her to have sat at the Cabinet table where the decision to close the plant was made and tell us now that she believed the cost was just $40 million tells me the same games are still being played.

We had trouble believing Kathleen Wynne when she was Minister of Transportation and in town to convince us the government would never pout a road through the Escarpment.  Even harder to believe that she didn’t know the cost of closing the Oakville gas plant project was going to cost just $40 million when the true cost was $310 million.

Wynne is going to wear that rubber tire around her neck until it eventually brings her down and that is going to be close to tragic for the province.

I don’t believe Andrea Horwath and her New Democrats can govern.  And to have Tim Hudak as Premier of the province takes us back to the Mike Harris era – we are still struggling to get out from under the damage he did.

Hudak carries the same Harris blood line; one that is limited, simplistic and basically mean-spirited. Hudak does not seem to be able to see anything majestic in the human condition. .  Horwath hasn’t grown to the point where she can serve as Premier – and if she were elected – where would her Cabinet come from?  Wynne just doesn’t know how or want to tell the truth.

The budget will probably pass and then get reduced to a mess in committee that will slow us down for years to come.

The mistake the Ontario Liberals made was choosing Wynne and not Sandra Pupatello.

We would be in the middle of an election now had Pupatello been chosen as leader.  Pupatello would have cleaned Tim Hudak’s clock and we would have a majority government.

Premier Wynne is correct when she says the people of Ontario don’t want an election.  Having an election with Wynne as leader certainly doesn’t guarantee her a win.  It won’t put the New Democrats in office and it is doubtful that the Progressive Conservatives would win a majority.

It is not our view that Ontario wants what Tim Hudak wants for us.  What a mess

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The smell from the gas plant mess makes it difficult to know if there is anything sweet in the budget.

By Ray Rivers

BURLINGTON, ON  May 2, 2013.  Give the people what they want.  Dalton McGuinty transformed Ontario’s health care system from mediocre to one of the best in the country.  He was the education Premier who brought peace and productivity to the class room.  He banned cosmetic pesticides, driving with a hand-held cell phone and smoking while children are in your car.  He brought in the HOV lanes, the Greenbelt, and helped keep the auto industry alive during the 2008 recession.  But one of his biggest achievements was the Green Energy Act.

 Generating energy with coal is dirty, speeds up climate change and impairs our health.  So the Premier set up the Ontario Power Authority to make a plan – to phase-out coal but make sure the lights didn’t go out.  Solar and wind are the path to the future but they only work when the sun shines and the wind blows – so you need a backup and that is natural gas.  And gas, the utilities have been saying for years, is clean. 

One of two gas plant the provincial government chose not to complete – cost to quit – close to half a billion dollars

But don’t tell that to the voters in Oakville and Mississauga.  When they heard about the plans for new gas plants, they weren’t going to let Dalton put one in their back yard.  So on the eve of the last election the Liberal government, hoping to get its third majority, killed the partially constructed gas plants in those communities. 

 It turns out the cost of that decision is now known to be over a half billion dollars – compensation for the private entities building the plants – and new power plants will still have to be built somewhere. 

 The provincial budget came down this week, but it will have to compete for newspaper space with the gas plant fiasco.  The pundits expect the NDP will support this budget and continue to support the Liberals for at least a while – till they are ready to pull the plug.  

 It is said that voters have short memories, but will the teachers support the government which declared war on them?  Will the ORNGE, E-health and the Caledonia crises fade in the voters‘ minds?   And on the budget, will the public register its concern that Ontario has been in deficit for the last decade and its debt doubled over that time?   And, yes, don’t forget the gas plants.

Despite all the good that Premier McGuinty did for Ontario, his legacy will likely be tarnished by this one avoidable blunder.  Who would have advised him to pander to a handful of vocal constituents and to reverse himself on a sound energy plan?  That was an expensive lesson for all of us, and Dalton paid a huge price, falling on his sword and giving up his leadership.  This is also Political Science 101: Be careful with the advice you get from the kids surrounding you in the heat of an election campaign  The honey they are pouring into your ears may well turn out to be hemlock.  

 Next week I will be exploring the new Ontario budget.  If the NDP does indeed support the budget on first reading, the question is whether they will see it through committee and onto final reading.  Andrea must be asking herself why she would want to climb into bed with a Liberal government so shaken by something as destructive as the gas plant fiasco?  There are interesting times ahead.

 Ray Rivers will write weekly on both federal and provincial politics, applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat after which he decided to write and has become a  political animator. Rivers was a candidate in Burlington where he ran against Cam Jackson.


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Mother’s Day doesn’t have to be them serving you a messy breakfast in bed – Crawford Lake is different option.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON.  May 2, 2013.   Mother’s Day – weekend after this one.   Time together is a great gift. Crawford Lake is hosting two special events on Mother’s Day weekend.

Pajama Night – On Saturday, May 11 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. little ones are invited to bring mom to a pajama party in the longhouse! This will be a memorable evening featuring storytelling in the reconstructed 15th century Iroquoian Village, a guided night creature hike and cozy gathering around the campfire with a tasty snack. Wear your cosiest pajamas and kids can give mom a real gift by heading straight to bed when they get home.

Could there be a nicer way to spend the day with Mom?

Wildflower Walk for Mom – On Sunday, May 12 from 1 to 3 p.m. take mom on a guided hike through the spectacular spring woodlands at Crawford Lake Conservation Area. Leaves are just starting to bud on the trees and the spring wildflowers are taking advantage of the sun. Trout lilies, bloodroot, may apple and many more spring flowers are in the midst of their ever so brief annual appearance. One of our experienced guides will help you and mom discover the beauty of these spring ephemerals and then take you back to the park for some well-deserved tea and scones.

Pajama Night and Wildflower Walk for Mom are both pre-registered events. REGISTER HERE

Tickets cost is $15/adult and $10/child (ages 5 to 14 years) or seniors (ages 65 years and over), applicable taxes extra.

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We say we know all this stuff – take five to check it out anyway. Make your BBQ a safe place.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON. May 2, 2013.  BBQ time.  Fill the tank and look for deals on burgers and buns.

If you haven’t used your barbecue in a while, now is a good time for a quick safety check. Of course you know all this stuff – but the teenager doesn’t – so get him or her to read this stuff over – then give them a quick quiz; let them know whose boss.

At this point you have cleared the area and called 911.

Test for leaks: Check gas tank hose on propane and natural gas barbecues for leaks.  Use a 50/50 mix of soap and water on the hose. If you see bubbles, tighten the connections and check again

Check for spiders: Spider webs and insect nests can clog tubes and cause a fire

Transporting propane cylinder: Ensure all valves are closed and plugs or caps are in place. Transport the fuel cylinder in an upright position and secure it in vehicle.

 Keep it outside:  Keep at least one metre away from the house or cottage.  Never store propane tanks in the house or in an attached garage. This includes tanks that are attached to a barbecue

Barbecues on apartment balconies: Propane or charcoal barbecues should not be used on apartment balconies.  Fire that starts on the balcony can rapidly spread into an apartment and is often difficult for firefighters to reach.  Most leases, agreements or condominium rules prohibit the use of barbecues on apartment balconies.

Safe use of your barbecue: Always open the lid to the barbecue prior to lighting; Always fully open the tank valve during use and fully close it when you’re  finished; Always barbecue outdoors in a well-ventilated area and never in a garage or shed

If a fire starts:  If the fire is near the tank shut-off, do not try to put out the fire. Get everyone away from the area and call 911. Only close the tank valve if it can be done safely.  If you are unsure, call 911.

 Pretty sure we have seen the last of the snow – Great grillin!

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King Road to be partially closed – not the Salamander this time.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON.  May 2, 2013. Friday May, 3, starting at 9:30 a.m. King Road will be closed from north of Enfield Road to 1135 King Rd. (IKEA Parcel Pick Up).  The road will be closed until Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 3:30 p.m. The closure is required so that track levelling work can be completed by CN.

Rail leveling work as part of the grade separation project will shut down King Road from 9:00 am on May 3 to 3:30 pm on May 6th

There will be no pedestrian access (across the CN Rail) during the closure. Motorists and pedestrians should use Brant Street or Waterdown Road as a detour during the closure.

During the construction of the King Road Grade Separation and this closure businesses located along King Road will remain open to serve their patrons.

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Bridges, bicycle paths, roads and the way we get around in this city. Resident suggests we may not be getting it right.

By James Smith

BURLINGTON, ON.  May 2, 2013.  This past weekend yet another young man, 27, died on the railway tracks near Dixie Road in Mississauga. Another family is now linked with Burlington’s Denise Davy and her family by grief over the loss of a loved one on the Lakeshore rail corridor. More than just sad, this news is devastating because when someone dies like this, a family is left not only with the ache in their heart over the loss, but also left with so many unanswered questions. How and why did this happen?  Is it misadventure, suicide or is there something else at work? What are we missing in this picture that motivates people so they feel they have to cut across tracks in the first place?

I’ve never met Ms Davy, but I’ve been impressed with her commitment to attempting to get action on preventing other deaths on the tracks in Burlington. Ms Davy has successfully brought this issue to the front of mind, not only of Burlington City council, a success in its own right; Ms Davy has moved council to direct staff to act.

A couple of really inadequate signs alongside a path that leads up to the railway tracks – crossing is a snap until one realizes there is a train that you didn’t see or hear when you started crossing.

As I write this, I’m sitting on a GO Train making my way into Toronto and I can see how very easy it is for one to make it onto the tracks. Pulling into Bronte station, I saw two men walking away from the tracks. (Did they just cross them?) They likely didn’t give the train and the tracks a second thought. Just something to get around. One does not need to be an expert to see what danger lurk on the Lakeshore corridor.  Just look out from the seat of a GO train as I’ve just done to see the trails and paths, the tree forts, BMX jumps and graffiti.  Pretty quickly one can get the idea of where people regularly walk, play, lurk and take shortcuts. With GO moving to half hour service in June the peril on the tracks is about to become far greater. To mitigate the danger, I notice more brush being cleared and new fences on the rail corridor throughout Mississauga. Will this project carry on to cover Burlington and the rest of the GO network? I hope so – and I hope it happens soon.

Fences are only part of the answer, the spot where the latest death occurred happened on a section of track already with new fences installed.  To improve rail track safety Burlington and other cities need not so much better city planning around railways, but better transportation vision. Being hived off into four parts by railways and highways Burlington has created a neat two kilometer grid that isolates pockets of development as little land-locked islands ironically surrounded by transportation corridors. How do people get in and out of these islands? By car, or for the foolhardy, taking a chance crossing the tracks on foot.  This is a result of the dominant planning regimes of the mid-20th century where land use was neatly divided up into its own little planning ghettos.

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Roseland residents take a hard-nosed look at their community. Looking for ‘character” they find characters.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON. May 1, 2013.  Burlington is holding the second “neighbourhood character” study, which is part of the Official Plan Review.  The first study was done with the people of Indian Point where there are some differences as to what can and what shouldn’t be permitted in terms of lot severances and the kind of housing that can be built on a piece of property.

 The ‘what kind of housing’ gets built is one of the reasons these  “neighbourhood character” studies are done.  People who live in a neighbourhood chose to live there and take offence to anyone who wants to come in and build a house that they feel is “inappropriate.

 Who gets to decide what’s appropriate?  The person who owns the property, the neighbours, the planning department?

Roseland is made up of large two and a half storey homes on great lots that were built before the depression.

The community also has large and small bungalows that were built after the depression and on into the 40’s.

Who decides what a neighbourhood’ s character actually is?  The people who live there or course – but you know that within the residents there will be differences in view point.

A few days before Roseland goes through its own ‘character” study the Roseland Community Organization held an event and did a SWOT exercise and looked at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to their community,

Each of the 40 some odd people at the meeting wrote down their thoughts under each term on Post-It notes and put them up on a board where everyone could read them.  They are set out below for you to review and think about how your community would rank and be reflected under a SWOT analysis.

 These are the results, unfiltered.






Trees – age

Neighbours who care

Continued development on Rossmore north

Trees and landscaping

Homes being built are too homogenous

Tall trees

New houses look like a subdivision

Safe streets where kids can play

New houses

Quiet street

Neigbours do not know each other as before

Proximity to Lake

Roseland Club different


House flipping

Family culture

Overly large house on lots

Traditional architecture

Power outages

Grand property sizes

Old hydro poles

Lots of green spaces

Loss of old trees

Roseland Community Organization

Old trees that are weak or sick causing damage

Mature trees

Not enough support from community

Open spaces

Water table, flooding

Beauty due to variation in styles, character, trees, lot sizes and boulevards

Aging trees


Some apathy to selected lots and absentee landlords

Not gated – open visitors, walkers, bike riders

Too attractive to developers

Friendly neighbours

Starting a feeding frenzy for developers to move through an area – their activities pushing neighbours out, allowing more homes too big


Unclear development guidelines

A good investment for a home owner

No or little pre consultation


Decaying trees

Large lots with setbacks allow large tree

No guidelines to Committee of Adjustment – have too much leeway to interpret the by-laws

A forest in the City with a neigbourhood in the woods

Weakness in the City in terms of protection of ambience

A real neighbourhood – a sense of community, a history as a community

No protection trees on private property


New homes totally out of scale, devoid of design to fit neigbourhood


Street lighting

Overall Ambience, especially trees

RCA membership too low

Spaciousness of lots  and space between the houses

Construction madness – it goes on and on in some areas – weak or no enforcement, the developers skirt the law on the street blockage

Varied architecture

Inappropriate severing

Role of Roseland in history of Burlington as a prestige neighbourood

Traffic as motorists avoid Lakeshore traffic

A place for visitors from far and wide to walk, walk their dog, to drive and ride through

Existing by-laws too weak or not enforced

Keystone properties that set the character of the area

Garages in front lawns – suburban style

Diversity and scale of architecture – houses fit their lots

Developers put enormous homes on small lots , so that smaller neighbourhood homes are dwarfed


Too many developers interested, killing the goose that lays the golden egg

Good Neighbours

The culture in this seems to be to roll over, giving them variances they want

Roseland Club

Intensification mandates


Existing by-laws

Great place to raise a family

Pass through traffic

Wide boulevard streets


Roseland park


Sense of community


Excellent lot to dwelling proportions


Attractive homes of character


Lot width and space between houses


Places for kids to play safely


Wonderful people and neighbours


Unique home designs – not a subdivision




Roseland Park


Wide streets






Community events

The stakes are so high, it is worth it for a developer and his consultants to always try, and to go to the OMB – relentless

Acknowledge the history of Roseland development from 1925

Due to large lots, the threat of severance always hangs there

More control of development

Roseland being stereo-typed and not listened too

Stronger protection in the Official Plan

Uncontrolled development, severances

Better and stronger direction to the Committee of Adjustment


Careful selection of Committee of Adjustment members to be sensitive to communities

Lot severances

Replace aging infrastructure


A tree maintenance and plating project – a public private venture

Old hydro poles

Clarity on appropriate development

Uncontrolled development

Need by-laws to protect lot sizes, to make by-laws hold, and not be undercut

Desire or market demand to over build- greed


City planning – intensification

RCO provides an opportunity to maintain the unique quality of the neighbourhood

Developers profiting from the ambience of the neigbourhood they are destroying

Think of ways to bring everyone together again – use the Club

Only planting dwarf trees as replacements

Ability to be vocal on problems – the community has much capacity to react

Having water table changed with super size basement

We need to use political clout, stay organized

Monster homes, gorilla additions

Increase commitment to maintain qualities of Roseland

Insensitive infill

Tree maintenance

Loss of neighbourhood loyalty

Official plan study

Over-sized Homes on rebuild lots

Tree by-law

Loss of character homes

Push City to pass tree by-law

New builds that lack elegance, imagination and variation

Keep “variances” minor







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What do you do when you are the ward’s council member and the “country club” blackballs you?

 By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  May 1, 2013.  Ward 4 Councillor Jack Dennison arrived, uninvited,  to the semi-Annual meeting of the Roseland Community Organization last Thursday.  He was not a member.

Dennison applied for membership one half hour after the Press Release was sent to media; he had made no effort to join the organization before that time.  RCO has been around for a year now.  The group was organized to appeal a Committee of Adjustment decision to the Ontario Municipal Board.

Dennison’s behaviour at a Roseland Community meeting – to which he was not invited was seen as “aggressive”.

“Dennison’s membership application was declined for reasons that should be apparent”, said a member of the RCO`s Board.

That same member said Dennison was there to hand out flyers to our Members. I needed to ask him to remove himself from his position beside the sign in table at the door.  “His efforts”, added the Board member, “did not have the desired result.”

This Board member said: “I came early anticipating he would show up and he did not disappoint. About twenty minutes prior to the start of the meeting, I saw Mr. Dennison and his girlfriend walking through the parking lot toward the door. I was unaware that they had actually followed me in until I went to bring out a chair for the sign in table. I did ask him to leave and he excused himself to the main lobby of the Church. His girlfriend did remain behind sitting in a chair about 15 feet from our meeting door. Our meeting was 15 minutes late as he was engaging members at the door with his literature.”

“His attendance was considered to be aggressive. It is always desirable to have personal boundaries and be respectful. I did not interfere (as I drove by) with his street canvassing on this issue. His attendance did not have the result he was looking for. You can well imagine the response from Members.”

“It is clearly his last term or he would not be acting in defiance of a neighbourhood who has supported him in the past. I look forward to the overdue, delayed Roseland Study and trust that there is no mechanism other than his being a resident, to shape future planning policy for Roseland.”

“Official Plan reviews are rare events and the requested Roseland study is a first. The neighbourhood does not deserve to have to deal with any legacy effects from his own attitude toward severance.”

Roseland will be the location for the second neighbourhood character study that takes place at the Roseland Park Country Club, 3079 Princess Blvd.E – event starts at 6:30 – and you don’t have to be a member to attend this event.

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A half a day of sunshine and everyone wants to plant trees: Scouts got into the game last weekend.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON.  April 30th, 2013  The Region partnered with Conservation Halton and local Halton Scouts, to raise environmental awareness and enhance the landscaping of the Halton Waste Management Site (HWMS) by participating in an annual tree planting event. Approximately 100 Halton Scouts planted 250 trees at the landfill site located at 5400 Regional Road 25 in Milton.


Seven year old Scout Toby Lawrence gets his spade into the ground as he plants one of the 250 trees put in at the Regional Waste Management site.

“With the ability to absorb as much as 50 pounds of carbon dioxide each year, the trees planted will have a direct impact on protecting the environment and our community,” said Regional Chair, Gary Carr. “Many thanks to Conservation Halton for supplying the trees and educating the Scouts about preserving our natural environment.”

Conservation Halton provided the trees, the Scouts provided the energy and Ken Phillips, Conservation Halton CAO provided a few words when he said: “Halton-area Scouts, many of their leaders, family members and volunteers also participated in the tree-planting event.

 “Conservation Halton is pleased to be part of this successful partnership with the Burlington Scouts and Halton Region, which has resulted in the planting of 1750 trees since 2000,” said Phillips. “It’s very rewarding to see a sense of stewardship being instilled in Halton’s youth through this tree planting.”

Since 2000, over 1750 native trees have been planted at the HWMS by Halton-area Scouts, which is an example of the sound environmental practices applied at Site operations.  Other practices include collecting rainwater from building roofs for reuse on site for tasks such as garden watering and washing equipment and utilizing over 35,000 passenger car tires in the asphalt used to pave the Site roads.

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Beachway Park report is out – doesn’t look all that good for the residents at first glance.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  April 30, 2013.  The good people over on the Beachway Park got a strong dose of reality yesterday when Ward 1 Councillor Rick Craven delivered copies of the Burlington Beach Regional Waterfront Park Comprehensive Background Report (BBRWPCBR) which we will just call the Beachway Background.

It runs some 250 pages plus – the index runs to six pages so you get the sense that there is all kinds of information – which there is but there isn’t a clear recommendation in the Executive Summary.  The issue is – what to do with the 30 homes that are located within what is a park.

A part of the city that was once a vibrant community with a railway line running through the middle of it is today a park that is for the most part underused and badly in need of a makeover.

A park that is populated with property with property owned or managed by federal, provincial, regional and municipal agencies.  In the report there is considerable detail on how the 30 homes that are left have changed hands.

The city held a Workshop to get input from citizens – it was well attended but there wasn’t much in the way of a consensus at that event.

The report needs detailed study – which we will give it in the days ahead.

There was once a very healthy community along the edge of the lake – that disappeared when the leases residents had from the railway lapsed and the region took over.

The issue comes up at a Community Services Committee meeting May 8th – expect that one to be boisterous.  The residents of the Beachway Park have always been noisy.

There is a very good argument for keeping the housing in the Park – that works exceptionally well on the Toronto Islands where there is a healthy community that co-exists with the visitors that use the three ferry’s to get across the lakefront to the Islands.

There is an opportunity here for the city to come up with something really great – but the leadership needed doesn’t seem to exist at city hall – the residents have a tough fight on their hands.  A first read of the Beachway Report suggest there isn’t a lot of room for them to work within.  If the residents are going to succeed there is going to have to be a significant change of attitude on the part of the resident; their ‘chippyness’ does not serve them well.

More when we have read the report from cover to cover.  It is available on-line at the city’s website.  However, when you print out the report the type is far too small for a decent read.  Reading 250 pages plus on-line is a challenge

The policy review confirmed that the area is intended to be in its entirety public open space. Statements like that sort of sets the tone doesn’t it?

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Organic Farmer’s Market shifts schedule and will operate on Sunday’s – opens May 11th –

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  April 30th, 2013.  The Organic Farmer’s Market will open for the first time this season on May 11th and operate on Sunday’s from 9 to 12ish.

Traffic last year was decent but many people found the Friday a difficult day; people who worked weren’t able to stroll over and enjoy the setting.

Last season tables were laden with fresh vegetables, organically grown  Expect to see an even wider selection this season.

Barry Imber, the energy behind this project said “ the hope is that the hood will stroll over in the mornings and take their time to enjoy the people and the various things that local farmers have to offer.

“We will also have a few new vendors in addition to possibly a breakfast vendor and Tamp Coffee doing his specialty pour over coffee for the crowd. We’ll have the picnic benches out and will encourage everyone to chill out and take their time.

The Chef’s Shootout last year.  A light rain didn’t stop the event – the food was delicious.

Burlington Tourism is looking for ways they can get behind the project. While the market is hosted in a commercial location, in the parking lot behind Centro’s on John Street, the net result is a place for community and Imber hopes it is cherished and embraced as well as promoted to make it stronger.

The closing event last year was a great idea – A Shootout between two Chef’s from Spencer’s on the Waterfront – took place even though it was raining.  The Chef’s did a great job and the 40 or so people stood there with their umbrellas enjoying the food.

Wet but fun.  Hopefully Imber will hold at least one of these Shootouts this year.

The market is set up behind Centro’s on John Street.  Downtowners can just stroll on over and nosh.

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City council directs staff to ask all kinds of questions about rail track safety & report to the public. Good start.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON. April 30, 2013.  Progress on getting something done with those locations where there is no barrier at all making it very easy for anyone to skip across four railway tracks.  Problem is that in the first three months of this year three people were not able to skip across quite fast enough and they were killed by a train whose path they could not get out of.

Denise Davy brought the problem to a Council committee earlier in the month and brought enough information and data with her then to convince Council to do something.  They issued a Staff Direction with seven parts to it that called for staff to:

Direct the Director of Transportation Services to consult the Minister of State (Transport) and request that:  The Railway Association of Canada and Transport Canada investigate the issues of safety and access to rail lines throughout Burlington.Report publicly the investigation and its findings; and

Direct the Director of Transportation Services to consult with Go Transit and Metrolinx on participating in the investigation through the Ministry of Transportation; and

 Direct the Director of Transportation Services to consult Police Services, Health and Public Works Departments in the Region of Halton to participate in the investigation; and

 Direct the General Manager of Development and Infrastructure to involve City of Burlington staff to assist with the above; and

 Direct the Director of Roads and Parks Maintenance to review publicly held lands that abut railway properties and take the appropriate corrective

action; and

 Direct the City Clerk to notify the Region of Halton and its lower -tier municipalities (Town of Oakville, Town of Milton, Town of Halton Hills) of the

staff direction; and

Direct the City Clerk to notify Jane McKenna, MPP-Burlington, Mike Wallace, MP-Burlington and Lisa Raitt, MP – Halton of the staff direction.

That’s a pretty impressive Staff Direction – the 18th that has been issued this year if you count those sorts of things.

With GO train traffic  to increase to 500 a month passing through Burlington by the end of June, Denise Davy feels the city doesn’t have much time to get some kind of barriers in place at those locations where people tend to scoot across the railway tracks as a short cut.

So what next?  Well there will be a meeting at city hall and then the different players in the game will be pulled together and another meeting will take place.  The public might see something come before council before the summer break in August.

Denise Davy has gotten the easy part done – now to get the wagon moving.  Polite badgering and reminding them all of the Mayor’s words when he said “If there had been three people killed on Fairview Street in the past three months we would have been all over this.

Time to do just that – get all over this and hope that there is not another trespass death before some action is taken.

 Davy is an experienced journalist and knows how to work a source – now she has to work six of them and constantly ask; what’s been done.

 It won’t be easy.

Denise Davy will have tucked herself into bed Monday night knowing that she did well by the son she had who was tragically killed in an accident on a set of railway tracks.

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So that’s what those storage units are used for – I thought you put furniture in the things.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  April 29, 2013.  A drug arrest leads to a firearm seizure.

The two District Strategic Support Team concluded a three-week investigation into a suspected drug trafficker operating in Oakville.  On April 26th, three males were observed engaging in a drug transaction in the parking lot of an Oakville apartment building.

 Two of the males were subsequently arrested and found to be in possession of approximately 5.5 ounces of cocaine, 69 oxycodone tablets, 4 grams of heroin and over $1,000 in Canadian currency. The third male was arrested shortly thereafter outside of his residence.

They are safe, they are dry not all that expensive either. Great place to store stuff you don’t need or don’t want other people to get at.  Most of these storage places have video surveillance – which the police will now go over with a fine tooth comb.

That’s when things got even more interesting for the police who obtained two Controlled Drugs and Substances Act search warrants; one warrant was executed at a residence in Oakville where a small quantity of cocaine was seized. The second warrant was executed at a storage unit in Burlington and investigators seized the following items:

 Ruger .357 caliber handgun with six rounds of ammunition

Approximately 2.5 kilograms of cocaine

7 pounds of cannabis marihuana

11.5 ounces of heroin

310 oxycodone tablets

15 grams of methamphetamine (crystal meth)

 The estimated street value of the seized drugs is $180,000. Additionally, approximately $45,000 in Canadian currency was seized.  Thy would have been wiser to have put that cash in a sock and buried it somewhere.

 Charged in relation to the investigation are:

 Adam PINKUS (22 years old) of Oakville

Possession of a Controlled Substance (cocaine)

 Kyle VANDERPLOEG (29 years old) of Oakville

Trafficking a Controlled Substance (cocaine), three counts of Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (cocaine, oxycodone, heroin), two counts of Breach of Probation

Highrise storage lockers are safe, dry and easy to acces, Problem crops up when the police get the key.

Both PINKUS and VANDERPLOEG are scheduled to appear in Milton Court on June 4th in relation to their charges.


Aseef MUHIT (22 years old) of Oakville

Trafficking a Controlled Substance (cocaine), five counts of Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (cocaine, marihuana, heroin, oxycodone, methamphetamine).

 MUHIT is also charged with a total of nine firearms related offences, and two counts of Breach Probation. He was held in custody pending a bail hearing.

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Artists, photogs asked to show their stuff: City wants artists, Region wants photogs Knock yourself out – give your best shot.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON. April 29, 2013.  If you’ve a creative bent to you or your children are good with a set of crayons – there are two opportunities to get you name in lights and be known for being creative.

The city of Burlington wants to celebrate National Public Works Week and the Region wants to promote tourism in the Region.  Both give you an opportunity to express yourself artistically.

 The city wants you if you are a resident 18 years of age or younger to put your artistic talents to use as part of an art contest. Participants are being asked to create a piece of art that celebrates this year’s theme: Because of Public Works…

The city is looking for people under the age of 18 who want to show what Public Work’s is all about. If they know and can draw – send in your best effort.

Scott Stewart,  general manager of development and infrastructure, who couldn’t draw a straight line with a ruler explains that the public works departments play an important role in the building and shaping of our communities”.  He should know – he oversees those departments.  “Recognizing public works week through the art contest and other activities helps us share with the community the important role public works functions play in running a city. Events like this also give us an opportunity to showcase the various career choices available to our youth in public works.”   It also softens up the image of the department when they fall behind on road repairs.

Entries for this contest will be accepted up to May 10, 2013.  A panel of local judges will select winners based on the relevancy to this years’ theme: Because of Public Works…, composition and creativity. Winners will be selected from three age categories: six to nine years, 10 to 13 years and 14 to 18 years of age.

 Artwork will be displayed at City Hall during Public Works Week, May 19 to 25, 2013. The winners from each category will be recognized at the City of Burlington’s National Public Works Week Touch-a-Truck event on Saturday, May 25, 2013, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

That event will be held at the city’s road and parks maintenance facility on Harvester Road. Children of all ages will have the unique opportunity to get up close and even sit in the driver’s seat of many of the city’s vehicles including a fire truck, snow plow and a hybrid aerial truck. 

Contest rules and an application form are here:    or call 905-335-7600 ext. 7770.

The Region is focusing on tourism with their contest.  They have decided that Spring starts here! And they want you to “Spring into action” with your camera and tell the Region’s story as you see it.

This contest is open to both residents and visitors – and there is a cash incentive – a chance to win a $100 Mapleview Mall gift card.

Share your favourite local spring activities in a new “Spring into Action” photo contest. Submit a photo during the month of May with your favourite spring outdoor activity or location for a chance to win a $100 Mapleview Mall gift card.

Regional chair Gary Carr calls Halton a true four season community and he wants people to share photographs of things they have done in the Region.

There might be hundreds of people submitting picture for the Regions Spring photo contest.  If there is just the one – you could win the $100 Gift Card.  Send then your best shot.

The communications people plan to use the pictures that get sent in as part of their social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to share submissions. All photographs will be judged by Halton Tourism staff on the basis of originality and seasonality.

Other prizes include copies of Halton Hikes and a Family Day Pass to Conservation Halton Parks.

Learn more about the contest, which runs May 1 to 31, here:  or dial 311, or, if you can handle ten digits give them a call at 905-825-6000, toll-free 1-866-442-5866 or TTY 905-827-9833. These people are doing everything they can to make it easy for you to reach them.

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Burlington columnist links the Boston Bombings, Justin Trudeau and Tory attack advertisements

By Ray Z. Rivers

Ray Rivers will write weekly on both federal and provincial politics, applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat after which he decided to write and has become a  political animator.

BURLINGTON, ON. April 29, 2013.  ‘Root-causes’ you say?  Justin Trudeau dared to utter that phrase in his interview with Peter Mansbridge, shortly after the Boston Marathon bombings.   Trudeau was “committing sociology”, the Prime Minster accused, as if that was one of the unforgivable crimes the PM had included in the government’s new ‘safe-streets’ legislation.  

Afghan women being taught some of the basics through funding provided by the Canadian International Development Agency – getting at the root causes of political violence.

National Post right-wing columnist Barbara Kay had earlier taken her aim and fired a volley at the young leader – showing his ‘inner sophomore’, she accused.  She went on to draw a comparison to his father, when as PM he brought out the army to quell the FLQ hostage crisis of 1970.    True enough he activated the War Measures Act, but Pierre also dealt with some of the “root-causes” – the disenchantment and estrangement of Quebecers’ from their rightful role in the federation.  Lest we forget, he introduced official bilingualism, regional economic development, and the inter-provincial equalization program.

Of course Kay and Harper are playing politics, aren’t they?   Everybody knows that for every effect there is a cause…and a root-cause.  I mean why else is Canada providing social and economic aid to Afghanistan, except to remove the kind of ‘root-causes’ that contributed to 9/11, right?  Under Stephen Harper, Canada, proudly, has become one of the world’s top donors of economic development and educational assistance in Afghanistan, raising the levels of education, ensuring greater food security, and regional development of that nation, one of the world’s poorest. 

In 2011, Canada assisted over 1600 schools graduate almost 50,000 students, 85% of them girls.  And we helped Afghan small and medium businesses create over 20,000 new jobs, injecting $325 million in the national economy.  These are very impressive stats for a government that doesn’t believe in ‘committing sociology’ and in considering and reducing ‘root-causes’. 

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