Together they got it done - 300 Back Packs that will be proudly worn when school opens

eventsblue 100x100By Staff

September 5th, 2020



Thousands of students will be trooping back to school – some will not have a shiny new backpack filled with the things needed at school.
Doesn’t sound like a big deal but for the kid with no backpack – it can be devastating.

Those of you who have been there understand.

book packers Burlington Together 2

This is what goes into 300 Back Packs.

Burlington together logoBurlington Together, a group that is steered by Beth Martin Snooker, pulled together a group earlier today and packed supplies into 300 Back Packs – no small feat.

Snooker ensured that mentions are made and sponsors recognized.

“A HUGE thank you to everyone who volunteered at St. Christopher’s this week and at the backpack program today. We prepped over 300 backpacks to help kids be ready for heading back to school! Thank you also to everyone who donated backpacks, school supplies, sanitizer, masks, toys and general good vibes!

“MASSIVE thanks to community partners Open Doors of St. Christopher’s, Food4Kids Halton and Compassion Society of Halton.” A special shout out to Mike McMillan for his donation of over 70 hand sanitizers this afternoon! And a huge thank you to Bill Leggitt and the Rotary Club of Burlington North who gave us a very generous donation which we used to fill the gaps in needed items.

book packers Burlington Together 1

These are the ‘packers’ – some spent most of the day getting the job done.

“Thanks to Corrine Batchelor for the donations of toys and games for the JK/SK/Gr1 bags. And thanks to Lisa Kearns for the donation of 300 masks and for stopping by with delicious treats for the volunteers.

“Thank you to Wellington Square United Church and Burlington Food Bank for sharing your backpack donations with us. Thank you to the Women’s Giving Network for the amazing hygiene kits. Thank you to Umicore Autocat Canada and RCAP Leasing for very generous donations of Walmart gift cards, backpacks and supplies. Thank you to Staples Canada store #14 for your donations of backpacks and supplies!

“Special shout outs to Christina Mulder for rocking this program, Julie Lansley who helped us ALL DAY today, volunteers Nick, Andrea & Danny, Adria, Melanie, Jess, Christine, Lisa D, Jackie B (all day!!), Lisa F, Marie, Gwen, Carmela, Sandi, Judy, Sandra, Michelle, Charlene, and Nick. I’m so sorry if I’ve missed you, it was a long day!

“As usual, NONE of this could have been accomplished without YOU, so my eternal thanks for your community generosity.”

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The heart of the Rib Fest is a fund raiser - they have raised $4.5 million and are still at it

News 100 yellowBy Staff

September 1st, 2020



They are referred to as service organizations. Lions, Optimists, Rotary – and several others.

They are clubs whose membership gets together to do things for the community they live in. Some are international organizations.

Burlington has four different Rotary clubs.

Twenty five years ago John Thorpe and Bob Penning came up with the idea of bringing a Rib Fest to Burlington. The two had seen several in the United States and thought it might work in Burlington.

The growth of the Rib Fest was phenomenal – there are now Rib Fests across the country – but there is only one CLR – that stands for Canada’s Largest Rib Fest – and large it is.

When Covid-19 knocked everything off the calendar – Thorpe and Pennington kept hoping that the province would open things up in time for them to hold their 25th annual event.
“When we learned that CNE was cancelled we were toast – we had to put away all the hopes” said Thorpe.

These two don’t give up very easily. They came up with the idea of holding a smaller event – made it a Drive-Thru and convinced the people at Burlington Centre to let them use the parking lot for Canada Day.

If you looked around there was still some sitting room. The weather was close to perfect and the music was good - great way to bring a summer to a close.

If you looked around there was still some sitting room. The weather was close to perfect and the music was good – great way to bring a summer to a close – that was in 2017

Close to 3,000 cars later and a lot of cash in hand – they didn’t rest on their laurels – they wondered – could they do it again on Labour Day.

They can and they are going to.

The Rotary promotional people got into gear and everyone had something to say.

The public is invited to stop by the Burlington Centre parking lot, at 777 Guelph Line from 10am to 7pm to experience the fun and flavour of Canada’s Largest Ribfest in a safe, socially-distant way.

Map Sept 2020

Looks like an obstacle course – it’s the only way to get great ribs on Labour Day.

“We are excited to keep our Labour Day tradition of delivering delicious ribs & fantastic entertainment live during these challenging times” says Brent Paszt, a Past President of Rotary Burlington Lakeshore, and Co-Chair of Canada’s Largest Ribfest. “While the event may look different from what we are all used to seeing, you can still expect award-winning BBQ Teams to be on hand serving the ribs, pulled pork, and chicken that guests have come to expect from Ribfest” added Jay Bridle, Canada’s Largest Ribfest Co-Chair.

“Canceling our annual long weekend event that attracts upwards of 175,000 guests was a huge disappointment and really impacted our ability to support those charities and individuals who need it most, now more than ever” says Rotary Burlington Lakeshore President, Jay Thomblison; “Proceeds from this event, along with those generated from our successful inaugural Canada Day Drive-Thru, will enable us to continue that support”.

Rib Fest - Thorpe and Penning

John Thorpe and Bob Penning – brought the Rib Fest to Burlington 24 years ago – this was to be the 25th anniversary.

Guests are asked to enter Burlington Centre from the Fairview Street entrance and to remain in their vehicles for the duration of their visit. Food vendors will take orders and payment (cards preferred) and will deliver each completed order to your vehicle. Gloves and masks will be worn by all staff, vendors, and volunteers.

The four award-winning rib teams in attendance will include Camp 31 BBQ, Billy Bones BBQ, Pistol Pete’s Smokehouse, and Silver Bullet BBQ. There will also be food offerings from East Side Mario’s and Blaze Pizza, Twisted Tomato, Tiny Tom Donuts, and Ontario Corn Roasters, ensuring that there’s something for the entire family. The event will also include live music for guests to enjoy while they wait in the comfort and safety of their vehicles.

Over the course of 24 years, Canada’s Largest Ribfest, a fundraising initiative of Rotary Burlington Lakeshore, has raised over $4.5 million for local, national, and international charities.

Where does all that money go? Rotary has a scholarship program that really helps a lot of graduating high school students get to college or university.

And the community sees a lot of that money work its way into the small organizations that makes Burlington the city it is.

Where money goes

Some of the organizations in Burlington that have received financial support from the Lakeshore Rotary.

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More this time than there was on Canada Day - Rotarians do it right - once again. Rib Fest on Labour Day at Burlington Centre

eventsred 100x100By Staff

September 1, 2020



Mark your calendar and get ready for a fine feed of not only finger ‘lickin’ good Ribs but you can pick up a bag of donuts and some fresh corn at the Burlington Lakeshore Rotary annual Rib Fest that takes place Monday September 7th,  (Labour Day) at the Burlington Centre parking lot.

Couple of differences this time –

The entrance will be off Fairview – west of Guelph Line. There will be all kinds of signage,

The map set out below shows the route you will be taking once you are on the property.

Map Sept 2020

Looks a little daunting – fear not the rate at which the traffic moves will ensure that you are not sitting in your car very long and there will be all kind of ushers to guide you.

Opens at 10 – runs until 7.

Last years just shy of 3,000 cars came through the parking lot.

You’re not allowed to get out of your vehicle – you won’t have to – everyone will come to you.

Just have your credit card at hand and you will find yourself on the way home with the sweet smell of those ribs with a side order of corn and some of those tiny donuts to leave you ‘feelin’ fine.  They accept cash, debit, and credit, but payment by card is preferred.

What’s on the menu?  Four ribbers to choose from.

rice list 1

price list 2

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What’s open and closed at the City of Burlington for Labour Day Weekend

News 100 blueBy StaffWill the citizens be out marching in the streets along with the Burlington Teen Tour Band when the city announces they have settled all the pier related lawsuits in a closed mediation session?

September 1st, 2020



City services 1

city services 2

City services 3

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Rotarians know a good thing when they see one - will hold a repeat of the successful Canada Day Drive Thru Rib Fest on Labour Day

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

August 31st, 2020



How Burlington’s Lakeshore Rotary pivoted when it became obvious that they would not be able to hold their annual Rib Fest event at Spencer Smith Park. is an interesting story.

That pivot was succesfull enough for the very small team that made it happen on Canada Day decide to do it again – a bit differently but the same finger lickin ribs along with the sauce of your choice.

In June it was begining to look like summer was bound to become the summer of no fun with the cancellation of Canada’s Largest Ribfest, the Sound of Music festival, the City of Burlington’s Canada Day celebrations in Spencer Smith Park, as well as countless events, festivals and concerts in nearby cities.

Billy Bones

There were four ribbers at the Canada Day Drive Thru – all winners

Canada’s Largest Ribfest held annually on Labour Day weekend is more than just an event the residents of Burlington look forward to, it is the major fundraiser of Burlington Lakeshore Rotary. The funds raised at CLR (short for Canada’s Largest Ribfest) goes to support so many great causes in Burlington and beyond, the team knew we had to come up with alternative ways to raise money in this COVID world.

Canada’s Largest Ribfest was born 25 years ago out of an idea that Rotarians Bob Peeling and John Thorpe brought to club after visiting a Ribfest in the USA.

From the north

They came from the north –

From the south

They came from the south –

They brought the idea of a Drive-Thru event to the club leadership – in the typical Rotary way the answer was – why not.  Peeling and Thorpe then started working the telephones to make it happen.

They called in every favour they could think of.  Burlington Mall came on side quite quickly – all they wanted was an opportunity for their tenants to be able to stay open.

The team was small.  Thorpe describes it this way:  – Key people on the committee were – no order other than the old guys are at the start – Bob, Paul, and Bill have all been involved from Day 1.

NY downtown

At a glance it could have been mistaken for a downtown New York City traffic jam – there wasn’t a single bump report from the close to 3000 cars that flowed through.

Bob Peeling, John Thorpe, Paul Kadlick, Bill Pittman, Jay Thomblison, Margaret Hayes, Eva Quijano, Karen Matthews and Dean Williams.

Peeling and Thorpe have an almost family relationship with the ribbers.  The only unknown was – will people show up?

People showed up and while the cool breezes off the lake and the smell of ribs being cooked wasn’t in the air the event worked.  It worked so well that the Rotarians are going to do it all over again.

September 7th – small changes in the way traffic will feed into the location – there wasn’t really anything wrong with the way they did things on Canada Day.

Rib Fest - Thorpe and Penning

John Thorpe on the left and Bob Penning on the right. They were the two that brought the idea of a Rib Fest to Burlington at a time when they were not known by many. Decades later it is the event that closes the summer season. These two determined that there would be an event this September as well.

Thorpe explained that ” While it will help replace some of the funds that we would have raised at Canada’s Largest Ribfest, the idea was to also help bring some fun back into summer after months of lockdown, and to help others affected by the shutdowns.

As much as Canada’s Largest Ribfest is an important part of the social fabric of the community, it also has numerous suppliers that have been affected.

By holding a Drive-Thru, we were able to help the Rib Teams and their employees, we were able to help some musicians that haven’t played in a live venue for months, the sound, electric and special event contractors, the sign makers and many others were helped.

Most importantly, we will be able to help local groups that we support from the funds we raised, and we helped create smiles and enjoyment in the 2,688 cars that came through.


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Last of the free face mask donations to a community group took place recently. Food Bank will get the final lot

News 100 yellowBy Staff

August 30th, 2020



Beth Martin Snook, the mother of two who Created Burlington Caremongers – renamed it Burlington Together and went on to attract 8000 people who became part of a group that worked well together.

She decided to share some group stats. By working together, donating, and connecting this group has been able to do amazing things! Cannot wait to see what we can do together in the future.

Beth martin Snook graphic

Impressive stats – no matter how you look at them.

The people who took part in what started out as a Gazette initiative and soon grew to the point where a team of about 30 people got involved in the cutting of cloth to be made into masks, then making the masks , then preparing them for delivery to various community groups including two city Councillors.

Masks to Fri.NiteCommFood Bag croppedConnie Price, right and Penny Hersh, left with Lisa Lunski do the handover of the last batch of the more than 3,000 masks that were made.

What was particularly interesting was the way in which the design and fabrication of the masks changed as new people got involved and added their skill sets and experience.

Jan at sewing machine

Jan Mowbray at her bias binding-making machine stitching together the ties used in early versions of the face masks. City Councillor Shawna Stolte with her daughter wearing masks from the Gazette initiative.

Shawna and daughter

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This is not the time to let the Terry Fox mission down.

News 100 blueBy Staff

August 24th, 2020



You may have seen some of them – the Terry Fox Posters in the bus shelters around town.

There will be some lawn signs and the display case at city hall will include  Terry Fox material.

EAch of these woman had their own reasons for running this race and each ran it in their own way. Hundreds did just this during the Terry Fox Run for cancer research

Each of these women had their own reasons for running this race and each ran it in their own way. Hundreds do just that during the Terry Fox Run for Cancer Research

The annual Run was to take place in September – but got Covid cancelled.

That hasn’t stopped the people who do the fund raising from getting out there and getting those dollars in for the critical research.

The medical research community has done some really fine work – tens of thousands are alive today because of that research which has been due directly to the people who raise money and do that run.


For Burlington Terry running through Burlington was the beginning of a 40 year relationship.

Burlington has had a special relationship with the Terry Fox Foundation – starting a year or two after the Run ended in Thunder Bay.

Craig Gardner, the chair of the Burlington Run this year has been working on every possible way to get people out and doing their Run.

Fox monument with Brant Inn

The monument is a Burlington statement – one that the city is very proud of having.

He recently told the Gazette that initially before covid-19 he was hoping for $130K which would be their best year ever.

Last year was their second best year ever $121K.

2005, the 25th anniversary was the best year at $127K.

Then, with covid-19, people told us ½ of last year would be a reasonable target so $60K.

Now with four weeks to go and already $24K donated, they think they might hit $100K.

There is one bigger event planned for the adidas person Janette Wilson which could bring in $20K or more alone if they can pull it off.

The Terry Fox T shirts have run into some Covid bumps as well.

When you are out for a walk in Spencer Smith Park and you see the Terry Fox marker – I suspect you do what most people do – you pause and remember when you became aware of that magnificent young man.

Let’s not let him down.


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What were you looking for during the lock-down?

News 100 yellowBy Staff

August 22, 2020



Now that we are out of lock-down, we can look back and wonder what we did with all that time.

Whatever it was – it was probably done on line.

And just what were we looking at or looking for?

A survey of Google searches done by the Economist and presented as a graphic is most revealing.

Netflix full

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How many from Burlington? Will the Mayor sing an operetta from her porch?

News 100 yellowBy Staff

August 20, 2020



This could be interesting.

HUGE NEWS! We’re almost there!

Thank You! Thank You! To all of you who are spreading the word about this movement! What if for one day everything stopped, and we all just listened to the music? …We may find out soon!

Let’s keep going. it should be easy to get 50 more cities, but another 37 countries will take some work. LET’S DO THIS! Let’s change the world!

Please register to be officially counted and added to our worldwide map of participants at:

Explore the map at

Or email your name, location and a photo to:

Porch play

Related news story:

This Mayor has great pipes: she may sing for us from her porch!

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Thomas King will talk about his newest book - Indians on Vacation - via ZOOM cast on August 28th

eventsred 100x100By Staff

August 20, 2020



A Different Drummer Books and Harper Collins Canada invite you to what Ian, proprietor of Different Drummer, is calling a a memorable encounter with a phenomenal person of letters.

If you’ve never heard of  Thomas King – you are a diminished personality. He is funny, erudite and a great story teller.

The CBC series, The Dead Dog Café Comedy Hour which ran from 1997 to 2000 was some of the best radio you will ever hear. It should be available to the public from the CBC archives.

King is going to introduce his new novel Indians on Vacation as a discussion on line with Deborah Dundas, Friday August 28, 7pm, Live Online via Zoom

Registration to the ZOOM cast comes with the purchase of an autographed copy of the book. $32 – well worth the price.

Thomas King bookThomas King, revered throughout the nation for his broadcasting, his social activism and his witty and profound fiction including Green Grass, Running Water and The Back of the Turtle, shares his irresistible new novel in a riveting online event.

Thomas King discusses Indians on Vacation and the passions and concerns that have shaped his long, colourful life in a vigorous conversation with Deborah Dundas, Books Editor of the Toronto Star, on Friday, August 28 at 7pm.

“From the first page, Thomas King’s sardonic and very funny voice leads us to places we never expect to go…European and Indigenous history collide, and there’s no one better to examine the aftermath.”–Deborah Dundas

To access the event, please purchase Indians On Vacation (autographed copies!) from A Different Drummer Books. They will send you the code required to log in via Zoom.

The book is $32, tax included, and will be available starting on the release date, August 25.

To purchase a signed copy, please contact us at 905 639 0925 or, or use the PayPal button at this link.

Books can be picked up at the bookshop, or delivered to you, no extra charge.

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Summer on a Sunday in the City

eventsgreen 100x100By Pepper Parr

August 16th, 2020



Summer in the city on a quiet Sunday

Whatever heat there is going to be hasn’t arrived yet.

The streets are quiet. Groups gather around the strip malls.

In the downtown core there is a place where the traffic builds – the Centro Market that is tucked in behind the store on Brant Street – accessed off John Street.

Centro 1

Social distancing limits the number of people who can actually shop – a decent line up, seen on the right, with people waiting for their turn.

Life when there is a pandemic hovering over us like a huge dark cloud changes much of what we do.

Centro 2

People line up, waiting for their turn to enter the market while a guitarist plucks at the strings.

At the market it means standing in line – six feet apart, properly masked waiting for someone in the parking lot doing their shopping to leave so that the next person in line can go in.

There is a quiet casualness to it all.  A musician plays a guitar quietly.

Centro 4

The back hoe rests – waiting for the construction workers to return on Monday.

Yards to the south of the market there is a massive back hoe parked for the weekend – waiting for construction workers to show up on Monday to continue with the excavation of the site that will see The Gallery, a 24 story development that will, when completed, change not only the look but also the feel of the downtown core.

Just to the north of the market – the Bentley, another condominium takes its place.  As high as it is – it doesn’t feel as if the building is looming over the street even though it is flush with the side walk.

None of it seems to change the feel of the market in a parking lot.

Centro 3

Produce is set out on table on on the tail gates of vehicles.

What is missing is a spot where one can sit at a table with a checkered table cloth drinking good coffee, perhaps a double espresso and a croissant.

Can one hope?


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Cleanup GreenUp - the Burlington Green annual initiative will have a bit of a twist this year.

eventsgreen 100x100By Staff

August 14th, 2020



Clean Up Green Up – the annual Burlington Green initiative that cleans up the litter that others leave behind will be different this year..

The program is in its tenth year – and has run into the pandemic wall.

Gathering the way they have in the past with garbage bags and gloves isn’t possible with the required social distancing.

The truly wonderful get together that used to take place in Civic Square won’t be possible either.

The creative minds at Burlington Green have found a way around the WORD – Clean Up Green Up is going to take place whenever you want it to take place and wherever you want it to take place.

They understand that the earth can’t wait. Litter has been accumulating in ditches, hydro corridors, along beaches and waterfronts, and posing serious risks to nature. We can still practice responsible social distancing while caring for the planet.

Burl Green 2020 Clean up graphic

Clean Up Green Up – all year long.

Here is how it will work:

Determine a location in Burlington that your family, friends or small community group would like to clean up.

Let us know about your clean up by filling out the Clean Up Form and you can look forward to receiving the following benefits:

BG Clean up

When they take part in the Clean Up Green Up at a young age – they tend to stay with it – these two are proud as punch with what they managed to get done

Your family/group will be entered into a draw for a chance to win a $50 gift card courtesy of the Burlington Centre! (where you can buy eco-friendly products, food etc.)

You have the opportunity to receive FREE clean up supplies for your group. Litter collection bags and gloves are available for pick-up by request and while quantities last.

We would love to receive a photo of you and your loved ones/group members ‘in action’ with the litter you collected. Send it along to us and we’ll be sure to post it on our Green Wall of Fame webpage for all to see!

Review our handy tip sheet for proper waste collection and safety information 0n the Burlington Green website. .

Ensure a safe Clean Up by following the most up-to-date COVID-19 safety guidelines.

Safely clean up your selected area in the community, count the number of full bags of litter you collected and take a group photo with your collected litter.

Sheldon Creek - farm equipment + Vince

Found in Sheldon Creek – one of the hot spots.

Bring ALL collected waste home with you and dispose of it through your residential curbside collection. (Please do not leave collected waste at any parks, trails, businesses or green spaces, as city waste collection is not available at these locations.)

Send an email ( to us with your attached group photo, and the total number of bags of litter you collected. We also invite you to let us know the location of any larger waste items or litter “hot spots” you spotted during your clean up so we can flag it for further attention.

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Black Lives Matter iconography has been painted on the sidewalk in front of City Hall.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

August 9th, 2020



The Pride Crosswalk went in about a month ago – this month the Black Lives Matter iconography has been painted on the sidewalk in front of City Hall.

There was an informal presentation with the Mayor and two Councillors (Nisan and Galbraith) today at 11:30 am.

Surprisingly, there were no people of colour on hand to take part.

Black lives 1

The artist took the statement a little beyond just words.

Black lives 2

The Mayor, properly masked, speaking to residents and giving the Black Lives Matter iconography a little official touch.

The artist was present at the time; she wishes to remain anonymous.

The names written on the large white letters are the names of Canadian and American people.

The painting is acrylic base and will remain until mid September 2020.

Another Burlington inclusivity statement. When the city take the steps to ensure that affordable housing is built in the city we will have moved beyond statements.

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Culture Days will last a month this year - everything will be done virtually. This could get interesting!

eventsorange 100x100By Staff

August 6th, 2020



The City is going virtual and is calling for local artists, cultural professionals and creative organizations to host free, interactive online events and activities during the 11th annual Culture Days.

Scarecrows from the Burlington Student Theatre were on hand to see the Burlington Performing Arts Cnetrte handed over to the community.

Scarecrows from the Burlington Student Theatre were on hand to see the Burlington Performing Arts Centre handed over to the community. Might we see them on our computer screens?

Culture Days is extending beyond the traditional Culture Days weekend to a more inclusive and interactive four-week schedule of activities. Kicking off Sept. 25 and running until Oct. 25, Culture Days invites everyone to participate in and show appreciation for arts and culture in their own community and nationwide.

This year’s theme is Unexpected Intersections – encouraging creative and outside-the-box thinking to reveal new avenues of discovery, learning, and expression. In light of the current situation with COVID-19, Culture Days recommends digital presentations, do-it-yourself activities and self-guided programs.

Culture days - Burlington markThe Culture Days website encourages creators of every kind to showcase thousands of virtual and in-person activities. Visitors can find small-gathering or self-guided events near them, while going digital allows participants to virtually cross the country and discover live-streamed performances and other online presentations.

Culture Days encourages organizers to plan digital presentations. For in-person events, organizers should take a self-guided or pre-registered, limited capacity approach. Organizers must make sure they are following municipal, regional, provincial and public health guidelines in their jurisdiction. Ontario Culture Days has created resource pages for organizers and ways to discover Ontario arts and culture from home for audiences.

Event organizers may be eligible for funding through the Community Support Fund. The Community Support Fund combines existing grant programs to provide financial support to residents and community groups who want to enrich and connect the Burlington community through sport, recreation, art and cultural experiences. This is a one-time per year funding program designed to recognize the importance of supporting Burlington’s communities during these challenging times. By providing access to funding, the City is looking for innovative ideas to connect and enhance our community through events and activities that offer meaningful opportunities to strengthen and nourish community spirit.

If you would like to host a Culture Days event, register your event online with Culture Days at For more information about participating in Culture Days, assistance on finding a location for your activity, and possible partnership opportunities with the cultural boards, contact Adam Belovari at 905-335-7600, ext. 7335 or by Aug. 31.

About Culture Days
Culture Days has become the largest cultural event in Canada, attracting an estimated 2.5 million annual attendees to thousands of free activities and performances hosted by artists, cultural organizations and municipalities in hundreds of communities across Canada. Burlington has been a little slow in getting on the Culture Days bandwagon – perhaps the virtual approach will be the nudge people need to take part.

Councillor Sharma n speaking to Angela Paparizo

Councillor Sharma in conversation with Angela Paparizo

Angela Paparizo, Manager, Arts and Culture urges residents to think about taking part: “As we plan for Burlington’s Culture Days in the midst of COVID-19, this is an opportunity for Burlington artists and cultural organizations to showcase their talents and engage our community. While Culture Days this year will look different, we have a rare chance to share Burlington’s arts and cultural community beyond our city. I encourage and look forward to once again working with the Burlington arts and culture community to present another successful Culture Days this year.”

Links and Resources
Community Support Fund

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Look for tents to be set up to help the hospitality sector recover from the lockdown and limitations they had to live with during Stage 2.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

July 27th, 2020



There have been 38 applications for patios on private property and 12 on city property for outdoor locations where people can dine and enjoy a cool one.

There are a number of applications in process.


Dining alfresco in downtown Burlington: it will be interesting to see how creative the restaurateurs can get.

The city is now going to consider allowing temporary tents as well.

The bylaw that is in place for outdoor patios has to be repealed first and a new bylaw out in place.

Council will meet as a Standing Committee Tuesday morning and will then meet as a Council and approve the new bylaw.

Let’s see how that goes. We will of course report on how this works out. There are a few locations that are in the process of erecting tents – which suggests this is a done deal.

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What Makes Burlington So Special to an Outsider?

eventspink 100x100By Andrew Balza

July 24th, 2020



Burlington is a pleasant city in Ontario, bang on the border. To many people, passing through Burlington doesn’t include stopping in the city, but this trend may just be changing. Located near a lake and offering picturesque scenery, Burlington is becoming a more desired place to visit and hang around or so TripAdvisor’s rating for the city would suggest. Burlington, of course, won’t stop you from doing what you love best even if you are passing by. Many people come as a sort of getaway. The city offers quite a few pleasant eateries, a close-knit but discrete community and quality Wi-Fi. If you love gaming online, you won’t have any trouble staying in Burlington and benefiting from the quality Internet, whether you want to play roulette or enjoy a quick session in Fortnite.

Burlington has a simple look that allows the city to meld with nature and create a unique place. While economic opportunities are fewer than some busy hubs across the country, the city has such a strong pull that even tourists want to stay a little while longer and not leave.


Royal Botanical Garden: Acre upon acre of gardens.

This natural beauty that Burlington exudes is the city’s character. Thanks to the continuous efforts of citizens, the city has turned into a truly outstanding place to live. There are many places to see including the Royal Botanical Gardens that you could easily spend a ful day wandering the close to 100 acres of trails and gardens that are world class.

Art Gallery of Burlington has one of the best collections of ceramics in the country and a Gift Shop with a delightful number of original jewelry and cloth items on sale. The quality is exceptional.

Most people tend not to miss out on the Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area or Mt Nemo; a point from which you can see the CN Tower in Toronto – miles away..

There was a move to locvated the Freeman Station on a site in Spencer Smith PArk at a spot close to where the old railway line ran into Maple Stree and curved north close to the Burlington Art Centre but that failed when the then Council members for Wards 1 and 2 chose not to annoy the tenants in nearby apartment buildings.

Spencer Smith Park runs along the edge of Lake Ontario. A favorite for every visitor – a place to enjoy the scenery and relax on a park bench.

If you do love being near the water Spencer Smith Park and its walking paths that take you all the way to the canal that borders Hamilton, a neighbouring city.

The canal is the opening from Lake Ontario into Hamilton Harbour, a thriving port that has five to six new ship arrivals each day.

Burlington’s Making a Dent on the Map
Burlington’s definitely doing well on tourist platforms, such as TripAdvisor. The city has been reviewed by tourists repeatedly and today, you can expect to find an outstanding variety of tastes, food and more.

There is a fantastic selection of meals available in Burlington as well as drinking dens. If you are looking for cheap eateries, you can definitely rely on Burlington to deliver. Surprisingly, all of Burlington’s cheap eats are quality work and you will definitely not want to miss out on them, including D Hot Shoppe, Russell Williams Restaurants, Halifax Donair, and Zesty Pita & Burgers.

One of the prime places to just enjoy the city is on the north side of Lakeshore looking out over ther lake. This could be a social spot in almost anyone of the prime tourist destinations in Europe or North America - buit it is right here in Burlington.

One of the prime places to just enjoy the city is on the north side of Lakeshore looking out over the lake. This could be a social spot in almost anyone of the prime tourist destinations in Europe or North America – but it is right here in Burlington.

If you’re lucky you might find a spot on the patios that overlook the lake and serves as hone to several very good restaurants.  Pepperwoods is worth making a reservation at.

Cheap, though, doesn’t mean lack of quality, and you will quickly realize that the tastes offered in Burlington are always a delight. You should try Loondocks, Kelly’s Bake Shoppe, Amaya Express and so many others!

After travellers have had a hearty bite, they usually want to head for the lake, which promises to be one of the most amazing sights in the city. You will definitely appreciate the city.

If you are really looking for a place to relax, then you will be absolutely thrilled to visit any of the spas that are so highly rated on TripAdvisor. Most visitors agree that Sanctuary Day Spas is the best you can go to right now and TripAdvisor is not wrong. Nevertheless, whatever the spa you pick in Burlington, you can expect a quality service.

For fine dining options, you should visit Lord Nelson’s Seafood-Steak, Spencer’s at the Waterfront, Napoleon’s Steak & Seafood House or West Plains Bistro  – all of these are great places to go get yourself a healthy bite that will definitely be worth your while.

Don’t hesitate to explore Burlington in its entire beauty and enjoy the many delights that the local community has developed for passers-by and tourists who want to stick around for a fair while and enjoy themselves.

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Stage 3 means children can use the playground equipment - note - it will not be sanitized by the city.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

July 24th, 2020



A real summer for Burlington seemed to have to wait until we got into Stage 3 – Playground equipment can now be used.  Restaurants will invite patrons inside and parks will be more accessible.

Beachway Chld-Fest-2013-Family-sand-castle-1024x733

Events like this on the beach aren’t going to be part of this summer.

That playground equipment is not being sanitized and standard health practices with heightened awareness such as staying home if sick, washing hands and not touching faces should be strictly followed. Parents and caregivers are advised to pack hand sanitizer as well as sunscreen.

Anyone using the playground equipment should still practice physical distancing of two metres with anyone not from their household or their social circle.

If a playground structure is busy, residents may want to consider one of Burlington’s many other parks or come back at another time.
Other Summer Activities

• Parks are open for casual use, such as exercising, picnics, kicking or throwing a ball

• Mountainside, Nelson and LaSalle Pools are open for leisure swims and lap swims with online pre-registration and payment only. Splash Parks at Nelson and Mountainside Pools are now open as well

Kids + water = fun and noise - all part of the Halton Children's Water Festival. A full day of fun at a cost of $5 per student.

Kids + water = fun and noise.

• Spray pads at parks are open

• Lowville Park is open. New, as of July 30, entry to Lowville Park will require pre-registration through Reservations and use of the park remain free

• Redesigned summer camps are open. The next registration date is July 27 at 9 a.m. View camps at

• Redesigned Adult 19+ and Adult 55+ programs are open. View programs at

Safety Precautions

• All City recreation programs are operating with public health safety precautions including increased cleaning (outdoor amenities like playgrounds are not sanitized), screening and reduced program capacities in place to help slow the spread of COVID-19

• Permits for picnics will not be issued in an effort to mitigate large gatherings at this time

• Physical distancing of two metres is still in place on public property with anyone not from your household or social circle and in groups of less than 10.

The Regional Public Health Unit will issue a report at the end of next week – we can expect a bit of an increase iin the number of people reported to be infected.  If that number is very high the provincial government may decide that we are not yet ready for Stage 3 and roll us back to Stage 2.

The virus is transferred from person to person – it is up to us to do everything we can to ensure that we each, individually, are not part of that transfer process.

Or are we going to be really, really stupid and drink the KoolAid?

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Rivers - takes his play on how people coped with quarantine during the lockdown. 18 and over only for this one.

eventsblue 100x100By Pepper Parr

July 17th, 2020



Rivers hand to face

Ray Rivers

Ray Rivers, our political columnist is part farmer (he and his wife used to raise sheep) an academic and a thespian.

Strange Bedfellows – is his play about people coping with quarantine during the COVID 19 lockdown in Ontario. It is nothing less than an historical bookmark of this very scary period. The play is part of the Hamilton Fringe Stream Out Loud series running from July 21 to 26, 2020 and will only be accessible on-line.

This is the third production Ray Z Rivers has brought to the stage at Hamilton’s Fringe. Five actors, through the graces of the internet and ZOOM, each play their parts from their own homes as the play winds through its story.

Play dates are Tues July 21 @ 6:30pm – Fri July 24 @ 8:30pm – and Sat July 25 @ 9:10pm

Tickets are available at

Contact: Ray Rivers – – 905-659-2069

Note: This play is not recommended for those under 18 years of age.

Rivers Fringe Poster

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Joseph Brant Museum has officially re-opened.

eventsblue 100x100By Staff

July 15th, 2020



The Giants, Dragons & Unicorns will be haunting the halls of the Joseph Brant Museum which is now officially open.

It is all part of the World of Mythic Creatures (organized by the American Museum of Natural History) that will be extended to January 3, 2021. Changes have been implemented to ensure the safety of our visitors, staff and volunteers. Learn more about what to expect and how to pre-book your visit on our website.

Museum re-opensThe Museums of Burlington is also offering a virtual summer program for kids. Virtual Visits are daily one hour Zoom sessions featuring live instruction by a Museum Educator who will guide a series of creative, hands-on, structured activities and crafts that relate to a weekly theme.

Programs are designed for children aged 8-12, parental supervision is required for some activities. Programs are one week in duration and take place from 11 am to 12 pm each day. The cost is $25/week and includes a craft supply bag.

How it works:

• Register online, you’ll receive an email receipt/confirmation.

• The week prior to the program start, you will receive the daily Zoom meeting links, daily itineraries and supply checklists.

• The Friday prior to the program start date, your supply bag will be packaged up and ready for pick-up at Joseph Brant Museum from 11 am to 3 pm. Please ensure you and your child prepare your supplies in advance so you’re ready to go for 11 am each day. There will be items required that are not included in the supply bag provided.


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Gazette comments feature has been restored.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

July 15th, 2020



Gazette logo Black and red smallThe comments feature on the Burlington Gazette has been restored. It took a considerable amount of time and a cost that was not budgeted for.

The specifics of the why comments were not fully operational are still being investigated.

Our process for publishing comments will change in the very near future.

One active reader, who called to complain at least every third day made the remark that”you have the only place where people can air their view.  Gratifying to know that.

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