Has the property for the 409 Brant project actually been assembled or has Revenue Properties just said 'we will buy you out if we get the deal we want'.

News 100 redBy Staff

July 4th, 2018



When reports are prepared for city council there is some standard information at the top of each document.

Mayor with Reveniue Project developer

President of Revenue Properties in Conversation with Mayor Goldring at a public event.

The report going to council on the 409 Brant project being developed by Revenue Properties has the following information under Applicant.

Reserve Properties Ltd.
2001586 Ontario Inc. (owner, Elizabeth Law):401 and 405 Brant Street
2486157 Ontario Inc. (owner, Elizabeth Law): 403 Brant Street
Elizabeth Law: 409 and 413 Brant Street
Elizabeth Law Interiors Ltd.: 411 Brant Street, 448 John Street, 2012 James Street
Albert Ludwig Schmid 444 John Street

Street - what is being taken down

The Brant street properties that will be be demolished if the 409 development actually proceeds.

Does this mean that Revenue Properties does not yet actually own the land it wants to acquire and develop?

That kind of limits the risk doesn’t it?

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Four development proposals will be reviewed and debated on Tuesday at Council

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

July 4th, 2018



It will not be a sleepy summer with lots of time off and getting away early in the evenings for many at city hall. Members of Council are going to be pressed with the size of the work load as well.

There are four developments coming before Council that long term will add as many as 2000 people to the population of the city.

409 with 423 shadowed

Looking south on Brant. The proposed 24 story structure with the approved 23 storey structure shown as shadowed. It will be a different downtown core when these two are completed.

The biggie is the proposed 23 storey structure that will, if approved. go up at the SW corner of Brant and James and run south to the Elgin Promenade and west to John Street. The Planning department (It has been re-named Department of City Building) has written up a recommendation that suggests 18 storeys would be preferred. The recommendation is complex and not easily explained.

The approval of a 23 storey structure on the north side of James and Brant didn’t make the City Building department job for the 409 development any easier.

Mayor with Reveniue Project developer

Mayor Goldring in conversation with the President of Revenue Properties, the developer of the 409 Brant project.

From the “what’s in it for me” perspective there the following reported community benefits if the pro000ject gets built:

$250,000 for purchase of up to 6 assisted housing units by Halton Region, or similar contribution to housing fund held at the city

$100,000 for improvement of civic square

$50,000 for improvement of downtown transit terminal

$25,000 towards a downtown Burlington Farmer’s Market

$25,000 towards active transportation links (walking/cycling) in the Elgin Promenade area

widening sidewalks (Brant/James/John) – indirect benefit of $250,000

public easement at Brant/James of 16×16 – indirect benefit of $75,000

implement streetscape guidelines for expanded setbacks and open space easement for Brant/James/John – indirect benefit of $150,000

retain heritage attributes – indirect benefit of $300.

Opening up to city hall view

The planners are requiring each developer two cut into the corner of their buildings to open up the view of Civic Square. The 421 Brant development, on the right, has been approved. The 409 Brant development is before Council next week.

The really interesting one is the $100,000 to gussy up Civic Square. The city has required the developers of each building on the corner of Brant and James to cut an angle into the corner of the buildings to enlarge the view of Civic Square.

Deputy city manager Mary Lou Tanner told the Gazette of her fondness for city hall as a structure. Some in the planning department refer to the building as iconic.
There are clearly plans to give the Square a new look – that project didn’t make it to the “fully engaged” public agenda.

The Tremaine Dundas development has been a long time coming. That initiative is in the north west part of the city on the border with Oakville.

The ADI Links development that overlooks Bronte Creek has given life to that part of the city.

At some point the quarry operation and brick manufacturing plant in the area will give way to development and add to the vitality of that part of the city.

Cimmunity use land plan

Exceptional use of land – should become quite a community wen completed.

The site is one of Burlington’s last undeveloped significant Greenfield areas; the Secondary Plan area presents an important opportunity to create a distinct community in Burlington.

The lands are characterized by the presence of significant natural heritage features and areas, potential access to future higher order transit routes and important remnants of the area’s built and cultural heritage.

The purpose of the secondary plan is to provide a planning framework that will guide future development in the Tremaine Dundas area. The plan responds to and develops the area with a mixed use option to accommodate residential, employment and mixed uses while ensuring that identified natural heritage features throughout the area are protected, connected/linked and, where possible, enhanced.

Phasing BEST

There is the potential for a lovely community if the developer does it right. Access to major roads with a lot of green space. This one is a couple of years away.

Plan area is approximately 133 hectares with the developable area being approximately 50 hectares excluding the natural heritage system. The existing uses located within the area include a school bus terminal on Dundas Street and two single detached residences (the Crook- Norton House and a separate property fronting Tremaine Road), the existing Highway 407 right of way, a functional hydro corridor, CN railway line as well as the extensive Bronte Creek valley lands that set the natural environment character for the remainder.

Prospect st development site plan

Most of the intensification is taking place at the back of the property where stacked townhouses will replace less dense housing.

The development on Prospect west of Brant is for two blocks of stacked townhouses, each containing 50 housing units plus 130 parking spaces (including 9 visitor spaces).

Prospect stacked twnhouses

Fifty housing units will replace the eight in place now.

The two existing fourplex buildings will be demolished. The eight-storey apartment building will remain.

This development is classic intensification. The structures that are being demolished left a lot of space for children to play and adults t sit outside.  Times are changing.

Plains Rd at Helena

Townhouses in Aldershot – 38 units.

Another development in Aldershot will redevelop nine standard townhouse units along the northern half of the site, 17 back-to-back townhouse units on the southern half of the property and 12 back-to-back townhouse units on the eastern side of the property for a total of 38 units; 76 parking spaces, plus 5 visitor spaces are proposed.

All the chatter that the developers bring to council about how they are helping the city meet the growth targets the province has set begs the question: Have we not already met those targets? And is there anyone actually counting what is in the pipeline and where is the city relative to the targets?

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Campaigns for Burlington's next mayor begin to take shape - some early surprises.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

July 1st, 2018



The election that takes place October 22nd for a new city council and school board representatives is not going to be the snoozer that the 2014 election was.

That year every member of city council was returned. In the four years that seven member Council sat they made two major decisions.

They approved a new Strategic Plan and they passed a new Official Plan.

Strategic Plan Workbook

Traditionally Strategic Plans were for the term of a city council – four years.


The current Strategic Plan is for a 25 year period. An incoming council is not bound to a plan created by a previous council.

Up until the 2012 a Strategic Plan was put in place Burlington created a Strategic Plan for the term of office. The understanding was that a current city council could not bind future councils to an objective they might not agree with.

There was never a public debate on lengthening the time frame of the Strategic Plan. The current council decided that it was better municipal governance to create a 25 year plan and tweak it as the years rolled by,

Four “pillars” were defined WHA ARE THESE and they became the base on which the plan was to rest. The city brought in KPMG as consultants who guided council and city staff through the process.
There were numerous delegations done but there was never a OPEN THIS UP

The four pillars for 2015 strat plan

The four pillars on which the 25 year Strategic Plant was built. How are we doing so far?

During the years leading up to the creation of a new Official Plan there were several speeches given by the Mayor on intensification and what it was going to mean to the city.

Rick Goldring chose what he believed was the safe political route to take – assure people that there will be changes but they aren’t really going to change very much. About 5% of the city would experience change.
The document that set out what intensification was really all about was a provincial policy statement – Places to Grow. It set out where the growth was going to take place and just how much growth there was going to be.

That process for Burlington had the decision made at the provincial level and the deciding of specifically where the growth was to take place made at the Regional level.

Downtown precincts - all

The Downtown part of Burlington is broken into precincts. There are development rues for each precinct. A precinct is not always one contiguous area. Confusing at times

Burlington had all kinds of input in that process but very little of it was as public as it could have been and there was certainly no public debate or information sessions on where the residential growth was going to take place and where the jobs would be located. That was done by the Planning department.

Mobility hubs

There are four mobility hubs -n Burlington these are centered around the four GO stations. Significant development, of both commercial and residential is planned for these locations. The development around Burlington and Aldershot GO stations is well underway.

Included in all this change was the mobility hubs; a concept that was never explained to the public in the early stages. The two words made sense – what wasn’t clear to the public, and to some of the members of council as well, as to what it did mean.

During some of the Strategic Plan meetings it looked as if the mobility hub at the Aldershot GO station was where the first stage of growth would take place. At the time the Paradigm project had broken ground and it soon became clear that the Burlington GO station was where all the early action was going to take place. Land on the north side of Fairview between Brant and Guelph Line became the real estate hot spot. Deals were being done weekly with several property owners holding out to get a better sense as to which direction the wind was blowing.

Downtown core precinct

This is the downtoen precinct – it is within the downtown core. Many felt that the high rise development should have been clustered further north. It may be too late for that – most of the property has already been assembled.

The public attention however was focused on the downtown core. The first of the high rise condo’s was before the planners. The developer came in with a 27 storey proposal on the NE corner of Brant and James that got whittled down to 23 which city council approved on a 5-2 vote.

Prior to this the ADI Group development at Lakeshore and Martha that had gone to the OMB where everyone was certain it would be scaled back. Didn’t happen – the city didn’t make its case and the OMB said the xx storeys were just fine.

Many felt the die was cast and that Burlington’s downtown core was to become a forest of 23+ storey condominiums.

high profile 421

The beginning of the change for the downtown – this one will go up opposite city hall.

Many of the citizens were aghast – how could this happen?

Members of city council knew how it happened – they let it happen.

All this led to people wanting to stop this level of change from taking place.

The election scheduled for October was going to be their chance to elect a new city council that would create a new direction.

Ward 2 city Councillor Marianne Meed Ward became the spokesperson for those who said they were not opposed to development – they just wanted responsible and properly phased in development. The developers saw a blazing hot market and they were not of a mind to wait. The current city council seemed quite prepared to go along with them.

The Mayor is on the ropes, Meed Ward has her loyal following – and then Mike Wallace makes it known that he will run for the office of Mayor.

Wallace and Gould

Mike Wallace congratulating Karina Gould on her win of the federal seat in Burlington.

Mike Wallace lost the federal seat as the Burlington Member of Parliament to Karina Gould. Mike loves being in power.

He was never seen as a big thinker but he brought millions of federal dollars to the city and he decided he could knock off Goldring and beat Meed Ward.

The Tory machine that didn’t deliver for him in the xx federal election still existed and Mike was going to take a shot at making it work for him at the municipal level. To be fair to Mike – he was facing a very popular Liberal leader whose coat tails Gould rode into office.

Each of the three major contenders, Goldring, Meed Ward and Wallace made early announcements, then each held their campaign kick-off events.

Rock at Kick Off - crowd

Mayor Rick Goldring at his campaign Kick Off

Goldring’s was tepid at best – he just didn’t say very much.

Meed Ward made her event a kick-off and a fund raiser – it cost $25 to get in the door.

Wallace held his event in the same room at Emmas Back Porch where he had conceded the federal election to Karina Gould.

This time Wallace had something to say – he spoke of two planks of his election platform.

He would ask council to approve an increase in the size of council – he thought going from a seven member council was now necessary and felt that nine was a good number.

Bronte MeAdows - BurlOak side

Bronte Meadows – owned by the Paletta interests, zoned as Employment land and included in the package of GTA properties that were in the offering to Amazon who were looking for an eastern headquarters – dubbed HQ2

He also said he wanted to create a community that would attract the young people back to Burlington where they could live and work and proposed the development of a large community. He didn’t say where he thought this development should take place and he didn’t say how large it should be.

There is only so much land that residential housing can be built on. The size of the land needed to do what Wallace has in mind is owned by Paletta’s.

The large property at Upper Middle Road and Bronte – known as Bronte Meadows – is zoned as Employment land. The Paletta’s have been trying for years to get that changed to residential or at least mixed use.
Wallace said that he was the kind of politician who could get things done; that he knew how to pick up the phone and talk to people.

The province now has a government that looks at development a lot differently hat the previous Liberal government.

Can one assume that Mike Wallace has talked to Angelo Paletta. I’d bet on that.

If, and this is just an if, those conversations have taken place does that mean the developers are still in control. Many people feel they have controlled the current council for some time.

MeSalt with Pepper are the opinions, musings and observations of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette

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Letter to the Editor: Resident frustrated by the self-righteous rhetoric of Deputy city manager.

opinionandcommentBy Carol Victor

June 29th, 2018




Mary Lou Tanner – former Director if Planning – now Deputy city manager.

Many of us are frustrated by the self-righteous rhetoric of (Deputy city manager) Marylou Tanner and the decisions made by the planning department in Burlington. Stop telling us what you want us to want, start listening to what we do want.

The planning department and Councillors who supported the decisions to “protect what residents value” better known as the “department that is destroying our beautiful city” have failed to listen to what engaged citizens have been saying for the better part of a year. They ploughed ahead with numerous presentations, emails, meetings, and brochures while failing to hear what the citizens don’t want. I attended many of the council meetings and was dismayed that so many delegations were heard and nothing was done.

mmw with supporters

Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward with some of her supporters.

One of the developers at a February meeting printed and had available for the public copies of a letter where he expressed his disdain for the one Councillor (Marianne Meed Ward) who had voted against this extensive development. This was a disgusting prank . Ms. Meed Ward deserves much credit for truly expressing what many of us feel. She was joined by one other person on council who voted against revising the official plan.

However in the case of the other individual, this was purely a case of optics as he clearly knew that the motion would pass despite the two dissenting votes. A lack of leadership is clearly missing when so many citizens take the time and energy to thoughtfully express their visions for the city they love.

Burlington aerial

The Burlington Carol Victor loves; she moved here nine years ago after 40 years in Toronto.

I moved here nine years ago after living in Toronto for 40 years. It was a breath of fresh air with an unencumbered and accessible waterfront, quaint shops downtown, no traffic gridlock, lots of green space and wonderful amenities. How things have changed!!!! There emerged this spring a great shadow over Lakeshore between Elizabeth and Pearl Streets. Lower Brant Street as we know it will soon disappear.

high profile 421

What family will move into a 23 storey tower with 1 and 2 bedroom condos.

As for meeting the demands of intensification, this is nonsense, what family will move into a 23 storey tower in what will be 1 and 2 bedroom condos, with one spot for parking, no nearby schools, grocery shopping that will soon be gone and traffic gridlock. If you don’t live near the downtown, I would suggest that you visit soon as you won’t recognize it in the near future. We will look like every other suburban off-shoot of Toronto; a western Mississauga with no character, a myriad of shopping malls with chain stores and a series of concrete towers without a real downtown. Why are we giving this away?



The only power we have now is at the ballot box. The function of our Municipal Government is to serve the citizens of the city. Going forward we need to elect people who listen to its citizens and truly respect the democratic process.

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Planners opting for 18 storeys at the SE corner James and Brant opposite city hall. 23 approved on the NE corner.

News 100 blueBy Staff

June 21st, 2018



Ward 2 city Councillor and a candidate for Mayor Marianne Meed Ward reports that City staff are recommending modified approval of an 18 storey high-rise at 409 Brant Street, opposite City Hall and across the street from the already approved 23 storey building at 421 Brant St.

409 with 423 shadowed

Looking south on Brant with the approved 23 storey structure shaded.

The developer, Revenue Properties were looking for 23 storeys – matching what has been approved on the NE corner of the intersection.

The recommendation from staff will go to the Planning and Development Committee; recommendations from this committee will go to City Council for a final decision.

The detailed staff report outlining the recommendation and rationale hasn’t yet been released, but should be available online and at City Hall by Friday June 29.

Meed Ward does not say how she got the information.

The city is circulating a notice to residents who participated in earlier meetings on the application and left their contact information; that my have been the source.

Staff will be recommending modified approval of the amendment to the City’s Planning and Development Committee of Council. Staff recommend approval of a mixed use building with a height up to 18 storeys (17 residential floors plus roof top amenity area), including 760m2 of commercial space at grade and 365 m2 of commercial or office space on the second floor, subject to significant design and public realm improvements, and a parking rate of 1.25 spaces per unit.

From Civic Square

Looking east from Civic Square – the approved 23 storey Carriage Gate project is shaded.

Meed Ward gives us her take on the development application:  The property is currently zoned Downtown Core Zone which permits mixed use buildings up to 4 storeys in height.

The property is designated Downtown Core which permits mixed use buildings of 4 to 8 storeys.

Some might wonder if the developments approved and proposed for the eastern side of Brant street opposite city hall don’t need a reality check.

The planners and city council approved a 23 storey structure on the north east corner of Brant and James; the Ontario Municipal Board ruled that a 27 storey structure could go up at Martha and Lakeshore; the Bridgewater is going to have a 22 storey condominium and the talk around the redevelopment of the Waterfront Hotel site includes mention of a possible 30 storey building.

Street - what is being taken downShould the developer of the 409 Brant property not want to accept the staff recommendation – they can appeal – but the appeal procedure is quite a bit different – the old Ontario Municipal Board process usually had the developers wining.  The Local Planning Act Tribunal is a new game that is yet untested,  Bet on the developer taking the staff recommendation to the LPAT.


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Candidate for Mayor wants to see commercial space included in the Solid Gold development

News 100 blueBy Staff

June 20th, 2018



During the Statutory meeting two weeks ago on the two tower development being proposed for the Solid Gold property on Plains Road, Mayor Goldring asked Tom Muir, an Aldershot resident, about the commercial space potential.

The proposed development is for a 12 storey apartment building that will run along Cooke; the ten storey will run along Plains Road. The rules call for 874 parking spaces – Vrancor, the developer proposed 581. The plan is for 450 units

Greg Woodruff, a candidate for the Office of Mayor claims: “This building could be configured to offer 32,000 square feet of contiguous commercial and 10,000 in the other building serviced by 100 surface parking spaces.

“That is actual commercial guys, and it’s possible in this building right now – this would give the Home Hardware a workable location or many others. We are driving businesses out forever.

Solid Gold replacement

Plains Road at Cooke.

Instead, they are pitching 99 residential surface spaces with residential units along Cooke Boulevard? This a no-no even in the most hard-core urbanist “lens”.
You don’t have living space at grade along a major street or residential parking. The “ground” is the limited resource.

There is not a single blade of grass on the thing. What a dystopian nightmare.

Solid G from south west corner PlainsThis is terrible urban design – does not represent good land use planning or compliance with the Provincial Policy Statement.

It’s clearly incompatible with the existing homes on Clearview Ave.

Compatibility is based on the neighbouring existing usage as far as I understand, not some imagined future usage.

Woodruff would make the “first level totally commercial, reserve the surface parking for the commercial.

Reduce the west tower to 6 stories. Reduce the east building to 3 stories for compatibility with the existing residential usage.

The public is going to discover that the Bus and Go that is imagined in future doesn’t go to anything except rows of condos and small offices. That’s not an attractive urban city, it’s a nightmare.

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Just what is intensification going to do to Burlington - more than we have been told.

background 100By Pepper Parr

June 20th, 2018



There are decisions being made now about what this city is going to look like in five years.

With the possibility of an appeal of the city council decision to approve the 23 storey tower at Brant and James opposite city hall now dead and a building permit either issued or in the works one can ask – Is this building just a one off or is it the shape of things to come.?

Cogeco TV has a program hosted by Mark Carr – The Issue. It has a spotty audience, there was one occasion where no one called in for what was basically a one hour call in show. So – not much of an audience – but here are at times very good guests.

In a recent program Marty Staz and Mike Wallace, both realtors were talking about the matter of intensification and what it was going to do to us.

Marty Staz with Mak Carr

Mark Carr interview Marty Staz on Cogeco’s The Issue.

Marty has the look and the bearing of a serious executive – he is the vice chair of the Burlington Chamber of Commerce and is currently a candidate for the ward 1 city council seat. Mike Wallace is a candidate for the office of Mayor. He is a former city councillor and Burlington’s Member of Parliament for xx terms.

This edition of The Issue is well worth watching. Staz sets out what he thinks the city is faced with. The segment runs just shy of i5 minutes – worth your time.

The October election is going to be about how the next city council deals with what we are facing.
Link to the program is HERE


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Greg Woodruff wants to be Mayor - files nomination papers.

council 100x100By Staff

June 20th, 2018



Greg Woodruff

Greg Woodruff

Aldershot Greg Woodruff has thrown his hat into the Burlington Mayoralty.

That decision has the potential to tip the scales – not in Woodruff’s favour.

Woodruff ran for the office of Regional Chair in the 2014 municipal election.

He has never held public office nor has he served on any Advisory committees.

His web site is at: gregwoodruff.com

Woodruff page

Related news story

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ECoB withdraws its appeal - 421 Brant development is now a GO!

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 20th, 2018



It has been a bumpy road for ECoB. One of the small but very effective grass roots citizen organizations has lot yet another board member.

Jim Young threw the organization a serious curve when he suddenly resigned which reduced the organization to three board members.

Kerns - head slanted

Lisa Kerns one of the original ECoB board members resigned when she announced she was going to run for city council.

Lisa Kerns, a very effective ECoB member resigned when she announced her intention to run for the ward 2 city council seat.

ECoB – Engaged Citizens for Burlington was formed when some in the downtown core were appalled with a city council decision to approve a 23 storey tower opposite city hall.

The first ECoB meeting was held on the recreation room of one of the Lakeshore Road condominium recreation rooms. A number of people showed up with cheques in their pockets to fund the nascent organization.

It wasn’t all that clear what the organization was going to do. Were they in place to oppose the building a high rise towers in the downtown core?

Were they going to appeal any city decisions?

It took ECoB some time to find their footing but they did. When Mayor Goldring held what he called a Reverse Town Hall to address the concerns people had over intensification downtown the ECoB people came close to taking over his meeting when they walked into the meeting with a resolution that had been passed by ECoB group hours earlier.

Weeks later ECoB held a meeting that drew about 85 people and raised far more money than they expected.

421 Brant

The 23 storey Carriage Gate development will now get its building permit.

Their agenda began to become clearer. They would appeal the city decision to the LPAT, the organization that was created to replace the OMB.

That proved to be easier said than done. The number of days hat were available to file an appeal was not clear.

At one point the ECoB people showed up at city hall and were told they were too early – so they waited.

They were fortunate enough to have an experienced, retired municipal planner who was able to advise and counsel them on the process and procedures. Working ones way through municipal procedures is another world.

Model with Tanner

Deputy city manager Mary Lou Tanner, on the left, looking at the LEGO 3D model ECoB made showing what the downtown core could look like if high rise developments were permitted.

ECoB had a knack for catching the public’s imagination.  During the early debates on downtown intensification citizens wanted to city to create a model of what downtown might look like with high rose building.  The city said these things take time to create and they didn’t have the resources – ECoB found a way to let people know what the downtown core could look like if there were a lot of high rise condominiums – they creted their own 3D model with Lego.

ECoB did register an appeal to LPAT on the Council’s decision to allow the construction of a 23 storey building on the corner of Brant and James Street on June 13th, 2018.

They then withdrew the appeal?

Jim Young

Jim Young

– Why – Two Reasons – a letter of resignation from Jim Young, chair of ECoB which was sent to the City Clerk’s office indicating that he was not in favor of the appeal going forward on June 14th.

There were a number of issues behind the Young decision. One was an article that ran in the Toronto Star that mentioned a developer in Markham who was suing the City of Markham and two Markham residents who had signed the appeal application. They were being sued for ten million dollars.

This kind of law suit is issued by developers and people with a lot of money when they don’t like what media writes.

The Gazette was sued by Nicholas Leblovic in October 2012 for $1 million. The writ turned some of the blonde hair on the head of the wife I had at the time into grey – it marked the beginning of the end of that marriage.

Waterfront Advisory committee in happier days. City council voted to shut the committee down at the end of December. Chair Leblovic is thught to havebeen an ineffective leader that wasn't producing the results the city had hoped for.

Nicholas Leblovic, on the right, at the time Chair of the Waterfront Advisory committee on a tour of the Pump House in the Beachway.

The law suit went nowhere. Leblovic issued the writ then failed to follow up. The Gazette had to cover the costs – the lawyers are not cheap – and Leblovic got to go his merry way.

Issuing this kind of writ has been seen as an abuse of process; there is now legislation in Ontario to put a stop to this kind of thing.

ECoB questions a system that encourages residents to appeal decisions made by municipalities, yet fails to protect them from developers who can threaten lawsuits.

ECoB decided to withdraw the appeal. The city can now issue Carriage Gate a building permit and the 23 storey tower can be built.

Earlier this week Jim Young sent the Gazette a note saying: “I have put together a timeline of the events leading up to my resignation from ECoB and my reasons for resigning. It is fairly long and detailed. Are you interested in it?”

The Gazette said it was interested but we have yet to hear from Jim Young.

ECoB points out that it was created to be a voice for the residents. All organizations have internal issues. ECoB always indicated that the Municipal Election was important, in some ways, more important than the appeal.

True change will only come about with changes on Council.

While the withdrawing of the appeal application disappoints some, ECoB points out that it has been very active and will continue to be active.

ECOB Dec 13 #3

ECoB’s first public meeting

– ECoB held a community meeting to bring residents together in December.

– ECoB held a rally at City Hall

– ECoB held a very successful potential candidate workshop in February at Tansley Woods

– ECoB was featured twice on Your TV – The Issue – to bring residents issues about the proposed Official Plan to the public.

– ECoB was instrumental in having a story not only in The HamiltonSpectator, but also the Toronto Star.

– ECoB met with Mary-Lou Tanner and members of her staff to suggest ways of making residents a more integral part in the planning process. This did result in some minor changes.

– ECoB met with Eleanor McMahon to encourage Provincial involvement.

– ECoB met with the mayor and some of the Councillors who were prepared to hear our concerns.

ECoB Crowd Feb 22

ECoB’s meeting for people who were interested in running for public office.

– ECoB has been meeting with potential candidates in the upcoming Municipal Election.

– ECoB has rented venues for Ward Candidate Meetings that will be happening in the fall just before the municipal election

ECoB is more than just about appealing a decision to build the 23 storey tower at 421 Brant Street.

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Development projects being put forward for the Brant Fairview part of the city.

News 100 blueBy Staff

June 11th, 2018



Development begins to take place on a part of Brant Street that isn’t downtown downtown.  This one is closer to Fairview

A 91 unit four-storey stacked townhouse development with 137 parking spaces below grade, and five above will be shown at an open house Wednesday June 27, 7pm, at the Burlington Public Library for the redevelopment of 849 and 855 Brant Street, south of Fairview

Brant Fairview proposal

Less than a block to the east the Molinaro Group is completing the construction of the first three of the five high rise towers that will be on the site.

The project would require both an Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendment. The meeting is hosted by the applicants,TRG (Brant-Fairview), an affiliate of The Rosseau Group, to seek public input prior to filing an application.

The site has at least one perfectly good office building in place but the rule of getting the most out of a piece of land has come into play in Burlington.

In the illustration one can see the location of the Discovery Ford dealership on the west side of Brant.

A number of years ago the then city planner held a meeting of all the automotive dealerships in the city to talk about how property might be developed in the future.  At the time none of the automotive people were interested in thinking in terms of redeveloping their locations.  Discovery Ford recently completed a major upgrade of their site with newer signage and upgrade of the outside of the building

Candidate for the Office of Mayor Marianne Meed Ward will be attending.


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Development in Burlington: Property along Fairview is being scooped up at feverish pace - said the barber.

background 100By Pepper Parr

June 1st, 2018



For woman it is the hair salon – for men it is the barber shop.

That’s where the scoop and the gossip get exchanged.

A loyal and reliable Gazette reader got a haircut yesterday. He has been going to the same barbershop for years and as our reader said: “My guy has had these people as clients for years.”

The people he was talking about are those who own property on the north side of Fairview from the Burlington GO station o Guelph Line


Hottest property acquisition spot in the city. The Walmart development years ago started the trend. When the Molinaro’s began the five tower Paradigm project and the city began the push for the mobility hub concept there was no stopping the developers.

Liz at Home

The shop is said to have to be vacated by the end of the year – according to the barber.

“I think he said that Liz at home on Fairview has just redecorated and doesn’t really want to sell, but maybe the price isn’t right yet.

“Holland Park sold for $45 million, after bickering.

“Better Bitters is said to have sold for $15 million.

“Offered 10, come back at 20, settlement 15.

Fairview and Guelph Leggat

Everything between Brant and Guelph that isn’t already being developed is being bought up. The Leggat dealership on the eastern end of the block of property could become an anchor, said the barber.

“Developers  after Leggat’s property too but Doug Leggat is said to not want to sell – or that’s the story, maybe not right.

“Objective is to get the whole GO block from the GO station west to Guelph Line.”

Downtown the things are close to frantic – surveys are being done, renovations are being stalled. All the big money players in the game are moving rapidly – getting agreements in place with plans for nothing but growth.

The city has said the development is going to take place around the GO stations. These locations are being referred to as mobility hubs and the developers appear to be saying – that’s OK with us.

Speculation is rife.

At the same time there is a group looking for a way to appeal the decision that was made by city council to approve the 421 Brant project.

But it is all barbershop talk of course.

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New Director of City Building appointed - think planner.

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 28th, 2018



Heather MacDonald is going to be the new Director of City Building effective June 25, 2018. In the past the position was known as the Director of Planning

Heather_MacDonald COB planner

Heather MacDonald appointed the Director of City Building.

MacDonald is currently the acting Vice President, Project Planning in Planning and Development at Metrolinx.

Previously, MacDonald has worked at the City of Brampton where she was Interim Commissioner, Planning and Development Services and at the City of Mississauga where she held series of progressive roles in human resources and planning, including Director, Policy Planning; Director, Organizational Wellness; and Director, Strategic Housing Initiatives.

MacDonald is a Registered Professional Planner and Certified Human Resources Leader. She holds a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo and is a graduate of the Executive Program at Queen’s University and the Advanced Human Resources Studies program at the University of Toronto.

Bill Janssen, Burlington’s current acting Director of City Building will remain in the role until June 22, 2018.

City manager James Ridge is fleshing out his leadership team. The former Director of Planning, Mary Lou Tanner was made the Deputy City Manager. Ridge reports that: “After a comprehensive recruiting competition, the city is pleased to have Heather MacDonald who will serve as the new Director of City Building. Heather is “an accomplished veteran in the public sector with broad expertise in the municipal environment. As Burlington’s population continues to grow, Heather’s leadership skills and municipal knowledge will play a valuable role in guiding the city’s long-term planning vision, as set out by the new Official Plan.”

Bill Janssen gets thanked for “his guidance in leading the Department of City Building over the last six months, including the adoption of Burlington’s new Official Plan.”

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Brant street traffic draws several opinions - neither the traffic or the debate is going to go away anytime soon.

News 100 redBy Staff

May 26th, 2018



There is more than one side to a story.

Gary Parker a Deyncourt Drive wrote us saying:

I received the accompanying note from one of my neighbours this Friday afternoon. He was out and about and observed a situation that is all too common in our downtown. He also noted that he had issues finding a parking spot. And this as he points out of course is today’s world without the level of intensification our new OP will allow.

Interestingly in the justification section of the Wellings Consultants report that seeks approval for the high rise tower at 409 Brant is a quote from its traffic consultant. It suggests that some traffic issues might emerge as a result of this development and the city might want to consider a restrictions on left hand turns off of Brant Street to Elgin. That will surely solve the congestion problem eh?

Instead of being a place of vibrancy that attracts Burlington citizens downtown what we are creating is a place to be avoided! This will be the legacy of a city council and a planning department that ignores the wishes of the people.

The note from the neighbour, who has the same first name, said:

There currently is no better argument to re-think downtown intensification than today.
Lakeshore has been gridlocked since 3:30 this afternoon and currently Brant St. is now backed up to almost Smith’s.
No one is going anywhere fast and that is without the planned 5 high rise towers being in play.

Jack Dennison, the ward 4 incumbent seeking re-election added to the discussion:

There was an accident on the QEW west bound. There was an accident on the North bound skyway. The ramp to the Niagara QEW is now closed for an extended period. The cut through traffic was at a peak.

Gary Parker shot back with:

And that’s the point Jack. Problems like this happen with regularity and with the growth of the commuter population in the Niagara region the frequency of these issues will only increase. Now add in what you guys have approved and you have a perfect storm scenario. However I suppose that by then things will be so bad that the Lakeshore / downtown route won’t be a viable option for these commuters. Maybe that’s the missing genius component of your plan?

Traffic is clearly going to be an ongoing debate that will keep the October municipal election interesting.

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Engaged Citizens of Burlington now need to find out if there really is support to appeal the city council decision to approve a 23 storey tower opposite city hall.

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 24th, 2018



It is just a matter of days before Carriage Gate can begin the process of changing what downtown Burlington is going to look like.

421 BrantCity Council approved the document earlier this week and – except for the 20 day wait that is needed – Carriage Gate can pick up their building permit and begin the demolition of the properties that are on the north side of James, east side of Brant as far up as the Wardell Insurance office.

ECoB, the community group that has opposed the height and density the development was given is asking the public what they think about what has been approved.

The group – Engaged Citizens of Burlington has been looking into a possible appeal of the decision city council made and now wants to find out just what there is in the way of support for an appeal.

The site to get your two cents on the record is right here: CLICK:

Engaged Citizens of Burlington is a not for profit group working towards a better Burlington for generations to come. Working on behalf of citizens with the City of Burlington and other stakeholders in the civic process, we are particularly engaged with issues of planning and development.

Through our online and community presence we help build awareness on issues affecting Burlington residents and the community as a whole.www.engagedburlington.ca

ECOB Dec 13 #3

The first public meeting ECoB held drew more than 100 people on an evening that had snow on the ground.

We are a growing diverse group of residents and business people who want only the best for Burlington. The group is energized to bring voices and action from all areas of the city to challenges that will affect the quality of life for our citizens today and in the future.

The response to the survey will help ECoB determine if they have the support from the residents needed before engaging in an appeal of 421 Brant St.

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Is there a procedural issue with the way the city got the Official Plan they approved into the hands of the Region?

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

May 21st, 2018



Burlington’s Official Plan is now in the hands of Regional Council.

And just what does that mean?


The approved Official Plan is now in the hands of the Region. Was the paperwork needed to get the document to the Region done properly?

The Official Plan has become a municipal election issue with some thinking that the election of a significantly different city council means they can have the Region send the Plan back to the city where it will get debated and hopefully changed.

Not likely.

Many don’t understand just how the process of getting the Official Plan passed works. Greg Woodruff, an Aldershot resident who ran for the Office of Chair of the Region in 2014, wrote the man that won hat job asking for an explanation as to just how the passing of the new Official Plan to make it the law of the city gets done. Chair Carr passed Woodruff’s request along to Art Zuidema, the commissioner for Legislative & Planning Services at the Region.

Commissioners are the senior level of Management at the Region

Here is his description of the Official plan procedure Woodruff got from the Region:

The public consultation for the Burlington Official Plan; including special meetings of council, statutory public meetings and open houses must occur prior to Burlington Council’s adoption of their Plan. The City of Burlington is required to submit to the Region affidavits or sworn declarations that state that the procedural requirements of the Planning Act have been met in passing their Official Plan.

If you have concerns about the adequacy of the process followed, these should be directed the Clerk for the City of Burlington.

The Region is the approval authority for the Burlington Official Plan. The Plan will be reviewed to ensure that it complies with the Provincial Policy Statement, the Provincial Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, the Provincial Greenbelt Plan, the Regional Official Plan and the Niagara Escarpment Plan.

The Region received the adopted Burlington Official Plan for review on May 11th. The Region has 210 calendar days to review and make a decision regarding the Burlington Official Plan and can, if necessary to complete the review, extend that time-frame for an additional 90 days.

The Region’s Chief Planning Official has delegated authority from Regional Council to approve local Official Plans that conform with Provincial and Regional policies. If the Plan does not conform, and the City of Burlington does not approve the required changes, then Regional Council will make the final decision on the Burlington Official Plan.


Regional Council meet at the offices in Oakville.

Once a decision is made regarding the Official Plan, notice will be provided to each person that has made a written request to be notified of the decision. Once the Region’s decision has been made, anyone who before the plan was adopted made oral submissions at a public meeting or written submissions to the council, may appeal to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT). The appeal must be based on inconsistencies with the Provincial Policy Statements, Provincial Plans or the Regional Official Plan.

If you wish to be notified of the Burlington Official Plan decision you can register with Curt Benson, Chief Planning Official for the Region, who has been copied with this message.

Woodruff then said that “it appears the 210 day time frame is live and the LPAT objections are limited to “provincial policy statement compliance”.

Greg WoodruffWhat this means in effect” said Woodruff,  “is that the existing regional council can pass the Burlington OP at the regional level in November under the normal time line.”  He adds: “I’m sure this 210 day process and the May 11th OP pass date are no coincidence.  I can see no realistic process for stopping the New OP at the regional level. It can be passed in November by the existing council. At that time even if a new council made a new official plan on day one (clearly impossible) the new OP would still be live for many months.

Tom Muir, another Aldershot resident, suggests there “was a sticking point about the legality of the public process that came up.

Muir wants to know “who provided the affidavits and/or sworn declarations that the issues around the special council meeting at the end clearly met the Planning Act requirements for public notice of the meeting and opportunity for public delegation?”

“As I recall, we were only told the procedural by-law saying the powers and procedures to call a special meeting of council, not if this one was done “adequately”. No explanation of that was issued as I recall.”

Did the Clerk make a public sworn declaration or affidavit that the public notification of the special council meeting was adequate in terms of timing because there were so many slips that the special meeting as originally notified of, did not happen at the notified time, and there was, in my experience, no adequate public notice of when the meeting would actually be held to take the adoption vote so the public could register to delegate at Council, said Muir.

Muir points out that the public was told there wold be a special council meeting “following the P&D meeting”, but P&D meeting kept being extended – so much so that no one ever knew when it was going to end.

Muir isn’t at all sure that the City Clerk could sign an affidavit saying the special council meeting was properly held and that due notice was given the public according to Planning Act rules and council procedural practices.

Muir with pen in hand

Muir wants the City Clerk to be held accountable and to explain just how she got the approved Official Plan out of city hall and into the offices of the Regional government.

Muir wants the Clerk to be required to provide a detailed explanation as to how this actual process was “adequate” and sufficient to justify a sworn declaration or affidavit.  He appears to be looking for that elusive thing called accountability that is said to exist at city  hall.

Muir “thinks Council and staff just went with the momentum and wanted to vote and that overcame paying attention to whether they were adequately fulfilling Planning Act rules and their own procedural by-laws.”

There are some very valid concerns as to whether or not the city followed both the letter and the spirit of the process of approving the draft of the Official Plan before they sent it along to the Region.

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Urban Design Advisory Panel full of professionals - where are the well informed people who live in the city?

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

May 14th, 2018



The City of Burlington has established its first Urban Design Advisory Panel, created to help achieve design excellence in the city.

The Urban Design Advisory Panel is made up of nine design experts, representing a cross section of design disciplines from architects and landscape architects to urban designers and planners.

Tall building design - set backs and spacing

Set backs and spacing were set out n considerable detail in the Guidelines.

Meeting monthly, the panel provides independent and objective professional urban design advice to staff in Burlington’s Department of City Building on development applications for all tall and mid-rise buildings and public development projects, studies and policy initiatives.

The advisory committee members are:

Ken Coit (Chair)
Jana Kelemen (Vice Chair)
Nigel Tai
Naama Blonder
Jessica Hawes
Brad Smith
Wai Ying Di Giorgio
Alex Taranu
Matt Reid

Members of the committee are highly qualified design professionals who currently possess full membership for a minimum of ten years in at least one of the following professional associations:

Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC)
Ontario Association of Architects (OAA)
Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA)
Ontario Association of Landscape Architects (OALA)
Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) or
Ontario Professional Planners Institute (OPPI).

Tall buildiong design - material use

The guide lines are not mandatory but it didn’t take developers very long to make extensive use of them. There wasn’t any public input on the creation of the guidelines.

What’s missing from this list is at least two people who are not professionals; people who have a “feet on the street” sense of the city.

Nothing on what this advisory committee has done in the past. Will dig into that.

Jim Young, the Aldershot who delegates to city council frequently, once said: “Have you ever heard a city appointed advisory committee disagree with the city.”

To learn more about the panel, please visit www.burlington.ca/urbandesign.

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The 409 Brant development takes it first bow - it didn't get a standing ovation

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

May 2nd, 2018



The community now knows what it is going to look like and they weren’t all that impressed with what they saw and heard at a neighbourhood meeting last night at the Lions Hall.

The questions were consistently critical with the president of Revenue Properties sitting quietly in a corner watching every movement, gauging the audience very carefully.

409 with 423 shadowed

The architects prepared a rendering of there structure and shadowed in how it will relate to the already approved 423 Brant development. Both are on opposite sides of James Street across from city hall. The intention is to angle the corners of the of each building on the Brant James intersection allowing for an opening up to the Civic Square and a more expansive view. done right – it could work.

The architect did a decent job of explaining how the building was going to connect relate to the development to the already approved 23 storey on the north side of James and Civic square which was described as an underutilized space.

The design of the buildings will have a portion of one of the corners cut away so that the view from James Street opens up onto Civic Square. There really isn’t all that much traffic going west on James – but architecturally it could add some flair to the streetscape.

Civic Square will be getting a total face lift – mention was made of a community design exercise

Glen Wellings, the developer’s planning consultant, earned his fee – he managed to skirt around the issues that he was uncomfortable with. There was one occasion when Wellings tried to toss a question to one of the Revenue Property executives who waved Welling’s off. Those people tend not to answer directly – that’ what the hired guns are brought in for.

He explained that this first public showing of the development was meant to gather opinions and reactions from the public.

Most of the people in the room understood that – what they were having difficulty with was that their views didn’t seem to get very far beyond their mouths.

It is close to a given that this structure is going to get approved. If their developer doesn’t get that approval this development comes under the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) and not the newly created Land Planning Act Tribunal (LPAT).

The city staffer who served as moderator struggled to keep the microphone in her hand. George Ward, a resident of ward 4 wasn’t able to get it out of her hands.

At one point the Mayor and the ward 2 Councillor began to get into a slinging match over “facts” – Meed Ward arguing that the Mayor didn’t have his facts quite right.

When it began to get a little feisty the staffer cut them both off – not something you see from city hall staff very often.

Ground floor - parking ramp

Parking both in and out will be from John street. That parking ramp in the middle of the building makes for pretty small retail spaces. The scale of the set back, shown here in the upper left, gives you some idea as to how the building will open up on to Civic Square

Parking was a focal point – the development will have .92 parking spaces per unit (a total of 212 parking spots) in a structure that will have 224 units that will be 1, (600 sq. ft.) 2(850 sq. ft. and 3 bedroom with 1200 sq. ft. of space. Current planning rules call for 1.2 parking spaces for each unit. There will be no parking for the commercial spaces

Nothing on pricing.

No mention of park space.

There will be just one level of commercial space – those units will be very small but will ring the building.

No visitor parking.

Good bold design – quite a bit different than anything Burlington has seen in the past.

A major concern for several people was what will happen to Brant Street during construction – especially if the two projects are under construction at the same time.

Rendering partial of design

It s a bold design that will have retail on all four sides of the building. But much less in the way of retail square footage. This view looks south to the lake with city hall on the right and the Queen’s Head where it has always been and where it is always going to be.

The architect suggested that it would take two and a half to three years to complete the building – they are putting in five levels of underground parking.

The entrances to the underground parking will be on John Street for both buildings – the public is looking at some 400 cars that will be entering and leaving the two buildings on a street that will have bus traffic all day.

There won’t be much in the way of vibrancy on Brant Street from about Ontario street south for that five year period – the east side of the street will be hoardings and construction overheads.

Wellings kept dropping in the phrase “a complete community” which he didn’t really define.

The Albert Schneider and the Kelly’s Bake shop locations are being kept as historical sites – what the public will see when the project is completed will be far from what is there today.

The buildings will be taken back to what they looked like in their early renditions when Brant and John Streets were quiet pokey little places where everyone knew everyone and the merchants knew your first name.
Back to the time when Spencer Smith walked the streets of the town and Smith was the Police Chief, when the Gazette was a print publication with an office on Brant Street.

The process going forward is for planning department staff to meet with the developer and compare notes on what he public had to say. The developer will be expected to come back with some changes to deal with the prime concerns.

The phrase Section 37 benefits for the community didn’t get mentioned; expect the developer to say that keeping the two historical structures is what the public will get.

There is a lot of misunderstanding in the minds of the public. The city is required to accept every development that is dropped on their doorstep and if it is a complete development with all the required studies attached they are required to write a report to city council recommending that it be accepted, turned down or have significant changes made. That’s the law – the city has to live within those rules

Set backs for each level

The various levels of set back. As the building rises the area gets smaller. How much will there be in the way of changes when this eventually gets to city council? Hard to tell – depends to a large degree on the kind of city council the citizens elect.

The site is made up of nine different properties that are .02 of a hectare in area. One woman wanted to know what a hectare looked like – It was a unit of measure she wasn’t familiar with. No one was able to give her a sense as to just how big this development was going to be.

Another downtown resident asked why the building has to be 24 storeys high “why can’t you leave it at 17”. The answer was “it’s the money honey!”

This development will get to a council that may well be quite a bit different than the one in place now. There may be a new Mayor with a perspective a lot different than that of the current planner.

There are at least two declared candidates that see the current city manager as not quite what the city needs.

Things are just a poppin at city hall. Hang on to your hats!

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The Doug Ford Greenbelt development idea came from the development industry.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

May 1st, 2018



There is more – the Doug Ford idea on allowing development to take place in the Greenbelt wasn’t his – it came from some of the best minds in the development industry.

Give a listen.

The development industry – the corporations that have banked land in rural Burlington with the hope that someday – maybe – the rules on development in the Escarpment will change.

Their day appears to have come.

The city is more than just the Escarpment to the north and the lake to the south. It is the people in between that determine who we really are. And it takes more than a magazine saying we are the #2 city in the country doesn't make it so.

Can you see where the affordable housing might be built?


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Just what did Doug Ford say when he talked about permitting development in the Greenbelt for affordable housing?

News 100 redBy Staff

May 1st, 2018



The Doug Ford plans to permit development in the Greenbelt need a very close look.

Doug Ford

Doug Ford – the day he announced he was running to become the Premier of the province.

There is already all kinds of spin being put on his statement – so just what did he say? A short video clip of his statement is set out below.  Small advertisement is attached to the video – sorry about that.

If you can make any sense of his statement – share it with us.

He is prepared to allow development in the Greenbelt to create more affordable housing and any land in the Greenbelt that is used for housing will be replaced by other land.

Where is that “other land” going to come from?


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Provincial Liberal candidate speaks out against Doug Ford idea to allow Escarpment development.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

May 1st, 2018



Tedjo BEST

Alvin Tedjo speaks out against any development in the Greebelt

It didn’t take Alvin Tedjo, Liberal candidate for Oakville North Burlington in the forth coming provincial election long o let people know where he stands on the Doug Ford announcement to permit some development of the Escarpment lands.

Tedjo speaks of a secret agreement that Ford has made – not quite sure how the word secret gets applied to a statement Ford made.

Tedjo said “Doug Ford’s secret back-room promise that he would pave over our green spaces is reckless and out of touch with communities like ours.”

What is not permitted are any plans to change the rural boundary that the province put in place in 2006.
Development north of the Hwy 407 – Dundas Road link is not permitted.

This map sets out the area within which the province wants to create a new highway at some point in the future. The highway is referred to as the NGTA - Niagara to GTA road.

This map sets out the area within which the province wants to create a new highway at some point in the future. The highway is referred to as the NGTA – Niagara to GTA road.

The three settlement areas, Kilbride, Lowville and Mt Nemo can have some very minor and certainly low level residential development.

Burlington has fought hard on every occasion to keep development out of the rural Escarpment. When the provincial transportation Ministry talked of running a road through the Escarpment from about Kilbride and run south to the 407 people gathered in the hundreds at the Mainway Arena to put an end to that idea.

NGTA No-highway-here1-285x300Tedjo added that the “reckless back-room plan to pave over countless farms, wetlands and forests would be a disaster for our environment and forever change the character of our local neighbourhoods.”

Tedjo has his finger on the pulse of the community – he was the first to speak out against Ford’s comment.

Nothing from the Mayor of Burlington, nothing from the Mayor of Oakville – so far.


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