For unto us was born - a Prince of Peace

By Staff

December 23rd, 2021



The parade didn’t take place this year – but the image of that float comes to mind today. Make sure your children understand what the message means.

And have a Happy Christmas being grateful for all we have.

We sometimes lose sight of what the Season is about.

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Casino Bonuses in Canada Are Attracting More and More Online Gamblers

By Karina Rysberg Bay

December 22, 2021




This is what an online casino gambling bonus looks like

The casino bonuses world is, without a doubt, a vast one. You can run into new and lucrative bonuses daily, making the online casino gambling world quite competitive. Online casinos have to constantly come up with new ideas and bonuses to stay in the game.

For example, the casino bonuses in Canada can offer you some great deals that will be pretty compelling and hard to say “no” to. This significant choice of casino bonuses is one of the leading reasons why more and more Canadians are opting for online casinos rather than going to physical ones.

Of course, it’s not all just about the bonuses. Online casino gambling can offer you easy accessibility, excellent comfort as you can play from your couch or on the go, and a chance to play for free. Newbies should always choose free slots at first before they set on to play for real cash.

Now, let’s take a close look at why casino bonuses are so appealing and how to choose the best ones.

How to choose the best casino bonus?

Some casino bonuses are staggering, but experienced players still don’t consider them the best bonuses available. Why is this so? The reason is quite simple; that online casino lacks some other qualities, such as safety measures, SSL protection, or end-to-end encryption for your transactions.

Determine the reputation of your online casino.

There’s another reason for the most lucrative bonuses not being the best ones. Usually, you can take a tremendous welcome bonus but only use it on some games, not your favorite ones. Therefore, some of the best ways to tell good bonuses from bad ones are to determine the reputation of your online casino.

An online casino is reputable if it has an issued license. You can check whether your casino has a license or not on their website. Another way to check whether the casino is reputable is by looking for the safety measures they use.

If there’s ID verification, end-to-end encryption, SSL protection, and two-step verification available, you can rest assured that the online casino is worthy of your time. In line with this, the bonuses will also be trustworthy.

Final thoughts

We hope we have helped you understand why more and more Canadians are opting for online casinos and why casino bonuses are extremely popular among them. Also, we hope that you can now tell a good online casino from a bad one. Have fun in your next gambling experience, and good luck!


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Burlington Food Bank will be open during the afternoon of Christmas Eve

By Pepper Parr

December 20th, 2021



The rate at which the Omnicron variant of the Covid19 virus is tearing through the province (3784 new infections yesterday) has put pressure on everything and everyone.

Food donations arrive daily but the demand is bigger than the supply. Cash on hand makes it possible to purchase needed food items.

The Burlington Food Bank soldiers on with their service that provides fresh food to families that need help on the three week rotation they use.

With the holidays upon us the Food Bank has had to do what can only be called an extreme pivot.

Robin Bailey, Executive Director of the Food Bank said earlier today that they are able to meet the growing demand with enough in the way of food donations coming in and enough money in the bank to be able to purchase what isn’t donated.

“We have found that we need to purchase more these days and inflated prices aren’t helping. We are fortunate in that we have a number of corporate supporters that work with us on an almost daily basis.”

Robin Bailey, Executive Director of the Burlington Food Bank is before the cameras almost daily – thanking people for the food and cash donations

Longer term, adds Bailey “it is difficult to project where we will be this time next year. We thought we were on our way out of the pandemic and edging towards a more normal environment.

The numbers on the need side are getting a little worse but the support from the community is holding up and the really wonderful part of all this is that the volunteer staff are continuing to show up every day.

“We are going to be closed for the week between the holidays (December 27th to December 31st) but we will be open the afternoon of Christmas Eve to ensure that everyone who needs food is taken care of.

When we decided that we had to be open I hoped that some of the staff would be able to stay the extra few hours” said Bailey who added that the “volunteers were asking me this morning if the Christmas Eve hours were still on.”

Indeed it is still on. The Burlington Food Bank will be open until 2:00 pm the afternoon of Christmas Eve.

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The new Covid 19 rules impact Burlington - starting on Sunday

By Staff

December 18th, 2021



The Province has announced that Ontario, including Halton Region and the City of Burlington, will be applying additional public health and workplace safety measures, including capacity and social gathering limits, beginning Sunday, Dec. 19 at 12:01 a.m.

These measures will help curb transmission and continue to safeguard Ontario’s hospital and ICU capacity as the province continues to rapidly accelerate its booster dose rollout.

Changes to recreation facilities capacities
While City of Burlington recreational programs, services and rentals will continue as planned, recreation facilities capacity will be reduced to 50 per cent for rentals, events and programs.

50% less starting Sunday

Rental and program participants must come to the facility dressed and ready for their activity and leave the facility promptly following the activity. As a result of the capacity restriction, change room and dressing room space is also limited to 50 per cent and may not be available.

All requirements for proof of vaccination, screening, masking and physical distancing remain in place.

Rental organizations who wish to cancel their rental bookings at this time can do so without penalty by emailing

Registered participants of recreation programs affected by reduced capacity limits will be contacted directly by City staff. Individuals who wish to withdraw from a course or program will receive a full refund. They can contact customer service at or 905-335-7738 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday to Friday and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekends. For more information and holiday hours, please visit


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Charitable Donations Trends in Halton, Ontario, and Canada, 2015-2019

By Staff

December 15th, 2021


Community Lens is prepared by Community Development Halton to disseminate and interpret important community data as it becomes available.

Traditionally, across Canada, the month of December is the busiest fundraising period for nonprofits and charities, kicking off with the post-Thanksgiving fundraising drive on Giving Tuesday (the first Tuesday after American Thanksgiving, which was the 30th of November this year). A study by Imagine Canada, for example, found that “[m]any charities typically receive about 40 per cent of their donations in the last six-to-eight weeks of the year.”

In 2017, the nonprofit and charity sector contributed 8.5% to Canada’s GDP, if we were to include “volunteer activities – which are important for the non-profit sector but not included in standard macroeconomic measures – [they] would have added a further $41.8 billion to the economy in 2013… representing 22.3% of non-profit GDP that year.” 2 (These data may be underestimates of the real scale of the nonprofit sector in Canada, for a useful brief overview of this argument, one should read ‘The non-profit sector’s ongoing data deficit’ in The Philanthropist Journal. ) It is fair to say that the month of December not only has a significant impact on the nonprofit and charity sector planning activities for the year ahead, but a wider impact on the health of Canada’s economy.

To mark Giving Tuesday and the month of fundraising that follows, this Community Lens will analyze Halton residents’ behaviour around charitable donations and compare it with wider Ontario and Canadian trends.

A 2018 Community Lens issue observed that “the amount of charitable donations and the number of donors” were falling across the country.
Looking at the latest available data for 2019, and comparing it with the years between 2015, this downward trend continued. In Ontario in 2015, according to tax filer data, there were 2,171,620 charitable donors and 9,859,860 tax filers in the province. As the data in this graph demonstrates, the number of charitable donors continued to fall in Ontario, except for one year during this period in which the number of charitable donors slightly increased from 2,122,600 in 2017 to 2,125,020 in 2018.

The total number of charitable donors fell from 2,171,620 donors in 2015 to 2,048,780 in 2019, which is a decrease of 122,840 individuals. What is more concerning is that the number of individual donors fell during a time when there were increases in the number of tax filers: there were 476,800 more tax filers in 2019 (10,336,660) compared to 2015 (9,859,860). These trends that we are seeing in Ontario are being replicated at a national level.

Presenting these data in another way, this next graph shows that, from 2015 until 2018, Halton was outperforming the province for the percentage of tax filers who are charitable donors. In 2019, there was a fall of 4% in Halton to leave the Region and province on the same proportion of charitable donors to tax filers – at 20%. (For the purposes of clarity and readability the Canadian trendline for this period has been omitted from this graph; for interested readers, its behaviour is closer to Ontario rather than Halton trends: 2015: 21%; 2016:20%; 2017: 20%; 2018: 19%; 2019: 19%.)

Although the percentage of charitable donors in Halton fell by 4% from 2018 to 2019, the average charitable donation in the Region rose from 2015 – 2019. In 2015, the average charitable donation was $1,466 and in 2019 it was $1,822 – an increase of $355, or 24%. Despite the other worrying trends that are being witnessed elsewhere in the data, such as average age increasing and the percentage of charitable donors to tax filers falling, the average Halton charitable donation for this period is beating the rate of inflation by a significant amount: from 2015 to 2019 the average annual inflation rate was 1.80%.

Looking at the 2019 data, the average Halton tax filer gives more in donations than the national average across all age categories, except in the 65+ cohort. In the 0-24 years category,

Halton individuals in 2019 gave an average of $545, compared to a national figure of $390. In the 35-44 years age category, residents in Halton gave $1,404 in 2019, just over the comparative national figure of $1,390.00. In 2019, the only age cohort where Halton residents gave below the national average was in the 65+ years: the national average for this age category was $2,840, while Halton residents gave on average just under this, at $2,785, in 2019.

The average age of charitable donors continues to rise in Ontario and Halton. However, the average age of charitable donors’ increase is more acute in Ontario. In 2015 the average age was 55, while four years later, in 2019, the average age increased by 4 years, to 59, for the province. In the same period in Halton, the average age only increased by 1 year, from 55.5 to 56.5. The national average age of a
charitable donor was 54 in 2015 and remained consistently at 55 from 2016-2019.

This Community Lens revealed informative findings about charitable donation trends in Halton, Ontario, and Canada.

Overall, Halton continues to perform better than provincial and national trends in several areas. In 2019, for example, Halton, across all age groups apart from the 65+ age cohort, gave more in charitable donations than the national average. This Lens also showed that the average charitable donation increased by 24% in Halton between 2015-2019, far outstripping the compounded inflation of 7.2% for that period.

However, across the same period, the percentage of charitable donors to tax filers in Halton fell from 26% in 2015 to 20% in 2019. In other words, as charitable donations increased in Halton, they were coming from a shrinking pool of individuals.

Furthermore, this Lens showed there is an upward trend in the average age of charitable donors, with Ontario’s 4-year average age increase the most acute. A lower average charitable donor age, made up of cohorts with higher earning capacity and purchasing power, should contribute to a better funded and more sustainable nonprofit and charitable sector in the long run.

The nonprofit sector has, for some time, been aware of these concerning national and provincial trends analyzed in this piece, but there are grounds for optimism. In a 2018 report, the increase in online donations among the young and “more educated Canadians and those with higher incomes” over the last 15 years has been a boon for the sector.

Over the coming years, the nonprofit and charity sector will have to rely more heavily on leveraging new technologies for fundraising and finding other creative solutions to address some of the worrying trends cited in this report. Sector-led responses alone may not be enough. A public policy intervention may be necessary, such as: developing more creative and generous tax breaks for donors, alongside a public awareness campaign to promote it.

For the academically minded a version of this report with all the source notes in place is available on the CDH web site.

Community Lens is prepared by Community Development Halton to disseminate and interpret important community data as it becomes available. For more information please contact us at or 905-632-1975

Community Development Halton would like to acknowledge the ongoing financial support of the Regional Municipality of Halton.

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Municipal Alcohol Policy - Did you know we have one?

By Staff

December 12th, 2021



To be Approved by Council on: December 14, 2021

The purpose of the Municipal Alcohol Policy (MAP) is to define the conditions for the service and consumption of alcohol for Special Occasion Permit (S.O.P) Events which occur on City of Burlington property. The policy outlines the additional requirements beyond those set by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) through the issuance of a S.O.P.

Policy Statement:
The Municipal Alcohol Policy is designed to support responsible alcohol service and consumption in an effort to reduce corporate exposure to risk.

The City of Burlington is under no obligation to approve a request to use city property even if the AGCO issues a S.O.P and may impose additional restrictions deemed appropriate for the responsible alcohol service and consumption on City property.

In 2017, Halton Region and the Halton Regional Police Service introduced a Community Safety and Well-Being Plan. The Plan sets out how community partners work together to improve the health, safety and well-being of Halton residents. Harmful alcohol use has been identified as a key issue and priority. The Alcohol Action Table was struck in 2018 to develop an evidence-based and comprehensive plan to mitigate alcohol harm.

As a municipality within Halton Region, the City of Burlington is aligning its MAP with the goals and objectives of Halton Region’s Alcohol Action Table to model responsible consumption of alcohol on municipal property.

The scope of this policy applies to all City owned and operated Facilities.

This policy does not apply to facilties operated by local boards of Council nor to any school board properties that the City allocates space for under the Reciprocal Agreement.

For the purpose of this policy, unless otherwise stated, the following definitions shall apply:

Term Definition
Alcohol A product of fermentation or distillation of grains, fruits or other agricultural products, and includes synthetic ethyl alcohol.

Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) The provincial regulatory agency responsible for administering the Liquor Licence Act and specific sections of the Liquor Control Act (LCA), which together, with the regulations made under them establish the licensing and regulatory regime relating to the sale and service of alcohol in Ontario.

City Staff Those employed by the City of Burlington who are identified by the City as the contact for either MAP purposes or the facility or premises in question as the context requires.

Term Definition
Corporation The Corporation of the City of Burlington.
Designate An employee, agent, servant, representative, partner or other individual designated by the S.O.P Applicant to manage the Event or to ensure compliance with the Event Organizer’s responsibilities under the MAP.

Event Any public or private occurrence requiring a Special Occasion Permit and occurs on City property.
Contract Holder Any person or organization applying to hold an Event at a facility and includes the person or organization on whose behalf such persons apply or seek permission to hold the Event.

Facility/Facilities A City of Burlington building, park, roadway or other municipal location that is owned and operated by the corporation.

Facility Rental Contract A city issued document, signed by the applicant under which the S.O.P Holder is permitted to host an Event on City property, subject to such terms and conditions as may be required by this MAP and the Standard Operating Procedure.

Licensed Area The area identified in the City of Burlington contract where alcohol will be allowed to be in possession by the contract holder, as per the conditions of the permit(s) and S.O.P.

Liquor License Act (LLA) Outlines the laws regarding the sale and service of alcohol in Ontario.

Term Definition
Municipal Significant Event An Event which is designated by the City of Burlington as an event of municipal significance.
Special Occasion Permit (S.O.P) A permit issued by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario or Registrar of Alcohol and Gaming. The S.O.P authorizes the holder to sell or serve alcohol on a prescribed special occasion.

S.O.P Holder The person whose name is identified on a Special Occasion Permit and may also be the holder of the Catering Endorsement. Where this term is used it also includes his/her Designate.

Standard Operating Procedures A document outlining the requirements to host a licensed event on City property.

The following principles are taken into consideration to determine when and where to allow for alcohol consumption on City of Burlington property:

1. Alcohol is consumed at many occasions and is socially acceptable and sometimes expected as a service option.
2. There is a way to ensure responsible consumption of alcohol, limiting the health and safety impacts to the community.

Two drinks at a time.

1. Alcohol Service
In addition to the conditions outlined by the AGCO under the LLA the following provisions for the serving of alcohol must be adhered to:

a) A maximum of two (2) drinks may be served to an individual at any one time.
b) Alcohol shall not be left available for self-serve.

c) Adopt volumetric pricing across all beverage types and strengths (higher alcohol content products priced higher; lower alcohol content beverages priced lower; alcohol-free beverages considerably lower).

d) Food and non alcoholic beverages must be available at all times.

e) Event will sell and serve alcohol only between noon and 11 p.m. for outdoor events, and noon to 1 a.m. for indoor events.

f) The service area(s) from where alcohol is being served and consumed is secured on all sides by a single fence or wall a minimum of three feet tall and included on the site-plan. Any exceptions such as the use of natural barriers will require approval from the City’s Special Events Team.

g) There will be no “Last Call” promotion.

h) No drinks will be served to the public in glass containers.

2. Advertising and Signage
In addition to any signage requirements by the AGCO under the LLA the following must be adhered to:

a) No advertisements promoting liquor prices may be placed outside the Licensed Area.

b) Signage as required by the Corporation and outlined in Standard Operating Procedures will be displayed in the Licensed Area.

c) Event names which convey the message that drinking is the principal activity or the purpose of the Event are not permitted.

3. Insurance & Indemnification
In addition to compliance with all federal, provincial and municipal laws, Events must comply with all requirements as outlined in the Operating Procedures by the Corporation. A minimum of $5 million insurance in addition to security is required when alcohol is at an event.

An Event Contract may be revoked at the sole discretion of the City if the S.O.P Holder does not comply with all terms and conditions of the Event Contract and MAP. The City will not be subject to any claim for damages that the Permit Holder may advance as a result of the cancellation. City staff may randomly monitor Events.


• Liquor License Act (LLA)
• Municipal Alcohol Standard Operating Procedures
• Zero Tolerance Policy

City Council shall:
• Approve the MAP.
City Staff from Recreation, Community and Culture representing Festivals and Events, Sport and Customer Service shall:

• Review applicants documents and make recommendations to the City Clerk that the event be deemed as a Municipal Significant Event.

City Staff from Recreation, Community and Culture and Roads Parks and Forestry operation staff shall:
• Ensure on site compliance with MAP during an S.O.P event and intervene when there is non-compliance.

Kevin Arjoon: City Clerk has delegated authority to declare events.

City Clerk shall:
• Have delegated authority to declare events of Municipal Significance.

Director of Recreation, Community and Culture (or designate) shall:
• Have final decision over any matters in question related to the MAP.

City Staff representing areas for Organized Sport, Arts and Culture, Festivals and Events and Recreation Services are accountable for the adherence and direct administration of the MAP.

The Manager of Community Development Services is accountable for the annual review and execution of the MAP process.


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Some downtown stops you don't want to miss - best to be appreciated before that man in the Red Suit arrives

By Staff

December 11th, 2021



The wonder of it all.

Adults looking forward to meeting with family and friends

The really young ones still not certain that he is real but hoping that if he is they will have all the things they wanted under the tree.

Getting downtown there are a number of things you don’t want to miss taking part in.

Start with the Festival of Trees, taking place at the Performing Arts Centre until December 18

Take a stroll through a Festival of Trees at The Burlington Performing Arts Centre! There is an indoor forest of beautifully decorated artificial Christmas trees, generously donated by Canadian Tire – Burlington Stores and sponsored by local businesses that are lighting up BPAC’s Lobby! Bid on your favorite tree during the silent auction! All proceeds support the Burlington Performing Arts Centre. More details here.

Minutes away there is the Festival of Lights that will be in place until January 8
Where? Spencer Smith Park & City Hall

The retail merchants do all the work and pay for the bulk of the costs for the annual Festival of Lights – but it no longer delivers the economic benefits the merchants need.

The Festival of Lights illuminates Burlington’s waterfront through December to early January each year. Come share your holiday spirits with family and friends while strolling through the 60+ magical lighting displays. Thousands of local residents and visitors from across the region, and beyond, have made it a seasonal tradition to wander through the park with family and friends to view the themed displays. Tens of thousands more take in the attraction while driving along Lakeshore Road at the City’s waterfront throughout the holiday season. Visit daily from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. with extended hours on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Orthodox Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. View website here.

Bright Nights Have Returned to Downtown Burlington through tp the end of January.
The streets and businesses of Burlington’s downtown core are getting whole lot brighter. Starting December 1st and running through January 2021, downtown Burlington will be illuminated by impressive new light installations designed to create a magical experience within the downtown business area. It’s the perfect time to celebrate and enjoy the season safely with those we hold dear.

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Gazette named as a finalist in 2021 COPA awards

By Staff

December 10th, 2021



OFFICIAL Congratulations are in order. !!!!!

Finalist award

The photograph was created by a women taking part in a Muslim Call to Prayer that took place in Spencer Smith Park last July.

The Canadian Online Publishers Association (COPA) announced that the Burlington Gazette 2015 Inc has been named a finalist in one category for the 2021 COPAs.

The selection was for Media in the Best Photo Journalism category.

The photograph was taken by Denis Gibbons who was on assignment for the Gazette covering a Muslin Call to Prayer that took place in Spencer Smith Park on June 11th, 2021

That story is HERE


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Holiday Market gets off to a small but steady start

By Ryan O’Dowd

December 10th, 2021



Burlington’s first annual Holiday Market kicked off Thursday evening running from 4 pm to 9 pm downtown Burlington and will showcase local Burlington businesses all weekend.

The market’s first night started slowly, traffic on the Elgin Promenade was scarce until crowds slowly began to funnel in around 6 pm. Still, the mood around the festivities was positive. Shop owners were excited to showcase their wares in the outdoor marketplace, happy to be free of the rigid pandemic restrictions that have limited capacity for the better part of two years.

Back by Bees. Aimee(right) Chrissie (left)

The local Burlington business owners set up tents along the snow-swept promenade beneath strings of lights shining red, green, and gold. The temperatures were low on the windy winter evening but customers could ease the chill with drinks from a booth in the Poacher parking lot, operated by the restaurant.

Many of the vendors used this opportunity to craft holiday-specific items for purchase at the market while raising brand awareness. The eponymous owner of Joseph Tassoni sold designer Christmas Holiday Trees as opposed to his award-winning parkas and other fashion items, which were showcased in the background. Tassoni said he was proud to showcase his products made right there in downtown Burlington and is filling what he sees as a void in mid-priced fashion.

Joseph Tassoni with examples of what ‘made in downtown Burlington’ actually is.

“What I wanted to do is kind of engage into as many markets as possible to interact with the community again, and kind of give them an example as to what ‘made in downtown Burlington’ actually is. Often brands claim to be made in Canada, when the majority of the time it’s made overseas, and they just flip it here. So it’s kind of wonderful to show people what we are capable of in our crafts.”

The Odd Spot is following suit with seasonal original items in the form of “mystery boxes.” You don’t know what you’re buying with the boxes but they feature 10 items from the store and a gift card. It’s an approach Rich from the Odd Spot thinks will make for a great gift.

“We’ve jammed all kinds of stuff in there, there’s a t-shirt in there and a bunch of servers over 30 bucks with the stuff in there. And then we also threw a $5 to $10 denomination gift card inside. Just kind of as a gift. So you pay 20 bucks to give someone a gift but you don’t even know what it is. And then they open it. And then there’s a gift card inside. If they like the stuff they come back.”

That the market was a celebration of all things local became a familiar refrain throughout the evening. Aimee with Backed by Bees discussed the focus on sustainability and using local Ontario goods.

“We’re looking for sustainability products. So everything that you see is local to Ontario. Made by us by small vendors in the area. We do local produce, farm fresh eggs, and dairy. We specialize in raw honey which is unprocessed and pasteurized. We do all kinds of different flavors but specialize in raw honey, and with that honey we make our mead. So it’s a circular process and we have a whole lot of ways to try to do our best for these sustainability efforts.”

Gift Baskets: The contributing artists must live within an hour of Burlington.

Lindsay with the Handmade House was showcasing local artists’ works with gift baskets at the event. The contributing artists must live within an hour of Burlington. Tomorrow the Handmade House will feature “build your own gift boxes”

“And then what we’re doing tonight is just a selection of gift baskets because we can’t possibly showcase all the thousands of beautiful things we have. So our vendors have put together some gift boxes to show everybody what we can offer there for sale and then we’d like to send people up to the storefront.”

The crowd, small in numbers on the first evening, did not lack for enthusiasm.

“It’s great to see things like this, it just feels like things are back to normal,” said Jessica, a woman browsing in the market.

“Burlington always does a good job with markets, it’s a fun atmosphere,” said Martha, who tries to make it out every time Burlington hosts an event like this.

The Burlington Holiday Market has promised fun, family friendly activities including concerts and choirs, interactive community art features, and advent-style community displays. These were not showcased on the first evening of the event so expect them over the weekend. Thursday featured 13 vendors, lower than the announced 20+, perhaps more will arrive as the weekend progresses.

After a rough couple of years for retail, participating vendors are certainly hoping the buzz around the market will build throughout the weekend. The market will run with much longer hours over the coming days: 11 am to 9 pm on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

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Impressive list of items on the Sound of Music SILENT bid - closes at 4 on Friday

By Staff

December 9th, 2021



Just a reminder that the Sound of Music our Silent (Night) Holiday Auction is LIVE on their website until Friday, Dec 10 @ 4pm. Get your bids in soon!

That is an impressive list of items. When they say Silent Bids – you get one chance to bid and hope that yours was the offer.

Remember – bidding is BLIND – be sure to enter your best offer as you will not be notified if you are out bid. Good Luck!

Click HERE to bid

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Things you want to know about the Grey Cup - Oskee Wee Wee

In 1921, the Oskee Wee Wee cheer was first used at a Hamilton Tigers football game. Back then, there were two teams in Hamilton — the Tigers and the Wildcats. They merged in 1950 to become the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Three Interesting facts about the Grey Cup Trophy

It may not be the usual month that Canadians are treated to all that this tournament has to offer, but the 108th Grey Cup is just around the corner. With all of the action kicking off on 12th December, we thought that it would be a great time to reflect on the history of this Cup.

While the Grey Cup may not be quite as popular as the NFL, it is still big business in Canada. According to research by Betway Insider, the Grey Cup still stacks up well against the NFL Super Bowl and brings Canadians the same thrill that their US counterparts experience. So much so that even Burlington residents were behind getting the Grey Cup game to Hamilton in 2021. Some of the draw of the Grey Cup is down to its history and some of the interesting facts that can be attributed to it. Let’s take a look at the top three:

Fire struck the 35th Grey Cup

It was back in 1947 that the Toronto Argonauts rowing club building caught fire. It didn’t just catch fire – the building was burnt down in its entirety. Inside this building was no other than the Grey Cup and there was real concern that this could spell the end of the tournament for that year with no cup to award. Fate, however, had different ideas.

The shelf that was home to the cup had collapsed during the fire. Every trophy on that shelf had fallen to the ground and been destroyed. All except for one. By some miracle, the Grey Cup fell but found itself caught in a nail. This saved the cup from the engulfing fire.

The Grey Cup sees more points being scored than the Super Bowl

What makes a game exciting and the ultimate in entertainment is the number of points that are scored. The more points the bigger the thrill and the more intense a game becomes. When you compare the Grey Cup to the NFL Super Bowl, the way in which points are awarded is almost the same. There is, however, a difference.

The CFL provides a wider field, extra receiver, and unlimited movement before the snap. The result? A fast-paced and higher-scoring game. Research from Betway Insider has shown that the last 25 Grey Cups have seen 1,312 points being scored compared to 1,201 at the Super Bowl.

The Grey Cup has been stolen three times – so far!

The RCMP keep the Grey Cup safe.

The Grey Cup is clearly an attractive trophy. So attractive that thieves have targeted it three times. The first time was back in 1967 with the cup being stolen from the Hamilton Tiger-cats. It appeared that this was more about a prank than a real ambition to keep the cup as it was found abandoned some three days later.

1969 saw the Grey Cup being stolen for the second time. This time it was taken from the Ottawa Rough Riders only to turn up in a hotel locker. The most recent occasion came in 1997 when Toronto kicker Mike Vanderjagt had it stolen from him in a bar. Fortunately, it was recovered the very next day.


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Burlington's first annual Holiday Market - opens Thursday

By Staff

December 8th, 2021


It all starts late Thursday afternoon.

The first annual Holiday Market for Burlington; an event patterned after the very successful markets that have taken place in Europe for decades.

The vendor list is acceptable, the locations are close to each other.

Now we wait for the actual roll out and see how it works.

Will it be filled with people Thursday night and through the weekend?


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There will be taxi service in place by the end of the day - Blue line of Hamilton is taking over

By Pepper Parr

December 7th, 2021



There is taxi service- city hall is issuing temporary licenses to drivers who can be on the road by the end of the day.

Blue Line of Hamilton will be offering the service.

The number to call is on the cab – 525-0000  Add the 905

Calls for service will go to the Blue Line dispatch which is described as very robust.

Taxi rates are determined by the municipality.  Blue Line rates are lower than what Burlington taxi was asking for – so there will be cars and drivers on the road and it will cost you less.

Blue Line has taken up 40 of the 51 driver/car slots that were available.

If you want a cab – call Blue Line.

They have an App – and they offer a number of services.

Blue Line is working with the Boards of Education and the hospital.

More detail is expected from the city soon.

Wondering how Scott Wallace is feeling about all this.


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Santa was there - the crowds were on the sparse side.

By Ryan O’Dowd

December 6th, 2021



Call it a Christmas Caravan – a collection of vehicles that worked its way through the city on Saturday and Sunday. Santa was there – but no chance to hand out cookies.

The Good things was that the weather held.

The crowds in the different neighbourhoods were small but enthusiastic.

That little lady on the right had things to say to Santa when he got to her door.

And everyone held the hope that the Santa Claus parade in 2022 would be the real thing.

The city did put together a set of routes that got the Fire truck that was subbing for a sleigh into a lot of neighbour hoods.

It was one of those “you do what you can with what you have”.

There he was – not quite what the event is usually about – but the kids seemed happy and the parents may have done something to add to the event.

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Frosty the Snowman attracts musicins and a community that raises funds and food for the Burlington Food Bank


December 6th, 2021



Frosty the Snowman and more than 100 of his brothers and sisters have made an early Christmas visit to Burlington’s Lockhart community.

The plastic, blow-up images of the Yuletide characters dot the lawns of almost every home in the area, behind the old John A Lockhart School.

It’s all part of the Frosty’s Village program, organized by several mothers, to spur donations to the Burlington Foodbank.

Campbell Court was alive with Christmas music

On Saturday night a selection of musicians from various bands in the city gathered at the end of Campbell Court to entertain folks, who accompanied them by singing Christmas carols.

The concert was organized by Marg MacVinnie, who now is retired from her job on the Waterfront Project for the City of Burlington, with the help of Jan Boomgardt, Sue Hall,  Cathy Hall and Phyllis Wallen.

The volunteers were able to secure a grant of $1,500 from the City’s Community Support Fund to organize the concert and another one, which will be held this Saturday night at 7 on the promenade of Spencer Smith Park.

76 trombones led the big parade.

Children will be able to learn bucket-drumming on metal pails then follow Burlington’s Junior Redcoats as the march along the edge of Lake Ontario.

Purpose of the fund was to encourage neighbourhoods, arts, recreation, sports and culture groups to create new ways of connecting with each other.

Three mothers came up with the idea for the blow-up Frosty’s.

Three-year-old Quinn McMahon watches the concert from the shoulders of her granddaddy Alan Sharkey.

Frosty’s Village has brought in hundreds of food donations for the local food bank.

They collected about 900 pounds of food last year, and are hoping to double the donations after formally partnering with the Burlington Food Bank.

The Lockhart Community is named after the late John A Lockhart, who served as Principal of Central Elementary School for 26 years, then as Mayor of Burlington from 1957 to 1961 after completing his education career.





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Scaled down Santa Drive By

By Pepper Parr

December 4th, 2021



It wasn’t a parade but Santa did manage t get around town with the aide of Fire department volunteers on Saturday.

Small groups gathered at intersections to watch Santa in a Fire truck drive by.

They will be back out on the streets of the city on Sunday.

He isn’t really sure what’s coming his way.

Taking it all in as best they can during a pandemic


Santa Drive By

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Legislative and legal challenges made it impossible to find a solution to the taxi problem

By Pepper Parr

December 1st, 2021



People at city hall don’t set out to hurt people.  Mistakes get made and the people who made the mistake, for the most part, set out to correct the error.

Some mistakes leave scars and diminish people who are already struggling to keep their heads above water.

The number of people going to food banks has risen: 300,000 households in Ontario made the trip this year.

The Food Bank can deliver some of the food needed – but not all of it.

The Burlington Food Bank is able to deliver food to many of the households that need help.

No one broadcasts that they need help feeding their families; while it is not something one should be ashamed of – there is a sense of shame for those on any form of public welfare.

Several of the churches in Burlington had a system that let them give families with no transportation a taxi chit that let them get to the food bank.

Now there is no taxi service and I personally doubt there will be one for something in the order of 100 days.  The “significant legislative and legal challenges”  made it impossible.

Those “legislative and legal challenges need to be replaced by “whatever it takes”. That is what makes a city great.

These mistakes cannot and should never be looked upon as a “learning opportunity”; a phrase that has achieved some currency at the Council table.

The apology from the City Manager just isn’t enough.

Related news story.

Councillor explains.

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




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Student Experiences of Racism: December 2 - 6 to 7 p.m.

By Staff

November 24th, 2021



Student Voices: Student Experiences of Racism & HDSB’s Strengthened Commitments to Anti-Racism Information Session (Virtual) will take place on Thursday, Dec. 2 at 6 – 7 p.m.

This information session will be livestreamed on the HDSB YouTube Channel.

The link to access the livestream will be on the homepage of the HDSB website ( on Thursday, Dec. 2. Questions can be submitted prior to and during the event on Thursday, Dec. 2 by emailing

The Halton District School Board  conducted virtual focus groups with secondary students (Grade 9-12) in Spring 2021 to gather student insight into the Board’s current response to racism in schools.

Gathering this information supports the Board’s ongoing accountability to its equity goals, as outlined in the 2020-2024 Multi-Year Plan and the Human Rights Equity Action & Accountability Plan: The Way Forward. The focus groups were hosted virtually across each of the four municipalities in Halton.

Curtis Ennis, Director of Education

“As a Board we are invested in learning more about how well students feel we have responded to incidents of racism in our schools,” says Curtis Ennis, Director of Education for the HDSB. “The information and insights received through the focus groups were reviewed and a report has been developed by HDSB staff in the Indigenous Rights & Education, Human Rights & Equity and Research departments along with the Board’s Human Rights & Equity Advisor, which highlights existing and strengthened commitments to guide and inform a plan of action and enhanced accountability to address racism.”

The Student Voices: Student Experiences of Racism & HDSB’s Strengthened Commitments to Anti-Racism report will be publicly released on Nov. 30, 2021 and will be available on the Student Voices webpage.





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Victorian Christmas Tour at Ireland House - two days only

By Staff

November 24th, 2021



Join the folks at Ireland House for the Victorian Christmas Tour & Treats event.

The Ireland House Museum does a superb Victorian Christmas Tour every year. The pandemic changed the scheduling – this year they have chosen December 3rd or 4th as occasions when you can step back in time with a tour of the historic home and sample traditional treats (baked in-house) along the way.

Limited tickets available, $28/person ($25 for Museum members).

This is worth the time.

Pick a day and book your tour.  Click HERE

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Festival of Lights make Spencer Smith Park a special place for the balance of the year

By Staff

November 23rd, 2021



It is time to enjoy one of the real delights of living in Burlington.

The Festival of Lights launches officially on Friday.  As the darkness of a late November afternoon settles on the city, lights come on at Spencer Smith Park illuminating the “sculptures” set up all along the park.

The photographs in this article are what the designs look like in the daytime.

At night they are a true delight.

At night they look like they are dancing to the music.


You can’t hear the sounds of the propellers – but you can imagine it.

Reindeer get replaced for the Santa trip to Burlington



Just the place to take the kids to the park and wander from one design to another and then be off for a hot chocolate to ward off the evening chill.

The trees are all lit up making the park look like a forest.



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