Two 20 storey towers proposed for Fairview - east of Appleby Line - virtual meeting December 3rd

News 100 blueBy Staff

November 19th, 2020



Different development news: a two tower project that isn’t in the downtown core and isn’t on Brant Street.

Fairview 2 x 20 storeyThe proposed development would consist of a mixed-use development consisting of two 20-storey residential towers, with commercial and office space provided on the first two storeys. A total of 2,982.4 square metres of commercial space is proposed and a total of 390 residential units.

Location is 5041 Fairvew, east of Appleby Line.

There will be the now required pre-application virtual meeting on December 3rd, 2020 at 7 pm.

We will provide the links few days before.

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Regional Council holds a very successful virtual Special meeting devoted to hearing delegation on the Official Plan.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

November 19th, 2020



It was the day for the Regional Council to hear delegations on the five reports that were background for the current Review of the Official Plan.

The papers were serious stuff; well written, very well illustrated. The community has said it wishes it had had more time to review and prepare comments. But that window has closed.

Curt Benson, told Regional Council that there had been more than 200 written reports sent to his office on the papers.
The delegations covered three areas: farming, climate change

In late January perhaps February the Region will be releasing four growth concept and waiting 100 days for responses and community engagement.

That will be followed by a preferred concept probably in the Fall of 2021.

The Region is moving on two levels that are attached to each other at the same time.

Process graph

The two bottom circles relate to the Burlington MTSA and UGC issues. While part of the Regional Official Plan they will be processed separately and then wrapped into the Region’s OP

The Burlington MTSA and Urban Growth Centre (UGC) issues are being dealt with separately but are still a part of the Regional Official Plan Review.

Whatever decision gets made on the MTSA and UGC from a Burlington perspective will be included in the next version of the Official Plan that is released.

There will be a Statutory meeting on the Regional Official Plan in the fall of 2021.

The expectation is that the MTSA in Burlington will be removed.

The focus for the Regional Planning department is:

What has been heard to date?

Did we hear you?

Is this what you are saying?

The listening exercise is an ongoing process.

The delegations started with remarks from Sofina Foods which operates 11 pork processing plants in Canada and maintain that they cannot keep up with the demand for pork from the market which they export around the world.

They have major plans to develop and expand the Fearman’s operation on Harvester Road and Appleby Line and are concerned that the boundary in place for the Appleby Line GO station (which was at one time called a hub but is now an MTSA.

The Sofina spokesperson said there are 150 family farms within a three hour drive of the plant that meet some of the need but that in the not too distant future they want to expand that operation.

The question is – will an even bigger food processing operation fit into that part of Burlington?

Sofina wants to be certain that they are part of the economic development of Burlington. They are a major employer and the demand for pork grows steadily.

What was interesting was that the several people who talked about the problems the farming community has none made any mention of the part that Sofina play in the agricultural sector.

We learned that close to half the agricultural land is believed to be owned by interest other than induvial farmers; that most of the land is being banked by the development community.

The agricultural community wants a ban on the conversation of agricultural land.

Climate change was the base of close to half of the delegations – these were for the most part coming from community based organizations who advocate and lobby for more in the way of climate change efforts.

Vanessa Warren 2

Vanessa Warren, delegates with conviction, passionate and firmer grip on the facts that the vast majority of the Regional Councillors.

Vanessa Warren, who always delegates with conviction, passionate and firmer grip on the facts that the vast majority of the Regional Councillors said that the framework the agricultural sector has to work within cannot be fixed, “we have to bring it down”.

Warren said that a farmer can grow turnips but that they cannot process those turnips on their land under the current conditions.

Agricultural Tourism was said to need some help. Prince Edward County has figured out how that can be done very effectively – Halton isn’t there yet.

The Evergreen development that is in Burlington with the Oakville border on the other side of the road at Tremaine and Dundas was described by Burlington Mayor Meed Ward as the poster boy of the developer’s world.

Evergreen phasing

The Evergreen development would go through two phases with employment offices fronting onto the street on the east side.

They must be blushing at the corporate offices in Milton. That project started in 2007 and will consist of 1945 residences whenever it is completed.

ALOG lands

The land assembly has been in the works for some time. Whatever development plans there are have yet to hit city hall. with the Aldershot GO station a very short walk away the land is primed for growth.

The IBI Group representative brought forward concerns with a property development that includes abutting lands owned by four different corporations that is on the west side of Waterdown Road – north side of Plains Road.

They are looking for employment land conversions that would occur simultaneously with MTSA delineation, through phased ROPA.

There is much more to learn about this development.

It is big with the Emshie interests and St. Mary’s Cement involved.

The Station West development that is underway now with a number of units occupied.  When completed Station West will become a community unto itself and will need services and access to good retail.

Aldershot has wanted some strong retail – this development just might bring it to their doorstep.

The Development plans for the east side of Waterdown are inching forward.  Solid Gold, Aldershot’s ongoing embarrassment, is planned as the site for a decent coffee shop and a small supermarket if the ward Councillor can convince the Solid Gold owner that it can be made to work.

What the area is not going to have is very much in the way of parkland in the immediate area.  LaSalle Park to the south is a decent walk away. It will be under considerable pressure.

The swimming pool at Aldershot high school will see increased pressure.

There were no clashes, no major points being made by the bigger interests. For the most part they weren’t involved in the virtual event

The Regional Clerk was pressed to keep all the balls in the air – he pulled it off. Chair Carr thought Graham Milne might have a future as an air traffic controller in Chicago.

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We comply

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

November 18th, 2020



In a letter from Regional Director of Planning Curt Benson to Burlington’s Director of Planning, Heather MacDonald, he told her that:

OP cover NEWWith the proposed modifications to the New Official Plan described above, and identified in Attachment #1, I am of the opinion that the City of Burlington New Official Plan conforms to, or does not conflict with,the Regional Official Plan, is consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement 2020, and conforms to, or does not conflict with,the applicable Provincial Plans and policies.

The letter covers a number of issues but the gist of it all is that what city council asked of the Region it is going to get.

Just another step in this city council meeting a large large part of its election mandate.

Much more to follow, There is a 360+ page document to be waded through.

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Two virtual public meetings critical to how the city develops are taking place: On the 19th and on the 25th

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

November 17th, 2020


The dates and Zoom participation information is at the end of this article.

What began as the core and defining issue during the 2018 municipal election has become a review of the Region’s Official Plan.

The people that supported candidate Marianne Meed Ward were not in favour of the kind of development they were seeing take place in the city.

In the 20 months since winning the election the Mayor has worked to bring about two important objectives.

Meed Ward H&S profile

Marianne Meed Ward was always crystal clear on what she wanted to achieve.

She did not believe that the John Street bus terminal was an MTSA -Major Transit Station Area and she did not believe the boundary in place for the Urban Growth Centre was the right boundary for the city.

The bus terminal situation was almost funny. Most kitchens in decent sized homes are bigger than the bus terminal – how it got the label of an MTSA attached to it was never really clear.


The Nautique – a condominium under construction at the intersection of Lakeshore Road and Martha Street.

That terminal and its labeling as an MTSA is basically the reason the Nautique is now under construction at Martha and Lakeshore Road.

There is a sad tale to be told about how all that came about. There are still planners out there arguing that the existence of the bus terminal, with its designation, is justification for building more than 20 storey’s in height.

The Mayor worked every angle she could find to rid the city of the John Street bus terminal designation and to get the Urban Growth Boundary moved.

She is close to getting what is the biggest part of her election platform

Curt Benson, the Director of Planning for the Region delegated to Council last week explaining what the Region is doing and the role the public can play in helping to arrive at a decision.

He covered a lot of ground and answered a lot of questions. Surprisingly three Councillors didn’t say a word: Councillors Bentivegna, Nisan and Stolte didn’t ask questions. Stolte was chair of the meeting but that has never stopped her from asking questions in the past.

Sharman hand up

Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman

Councillor Sharman was very pointed with many of his questions.

The Mayor was as supportive as she could be but made a point of asking the kind of question that supported her long term political objective.

If what Meed Ward set out to do when running for the office of Mayor is achieved it will become a significant part of the development history in the city and result in a major shift in how the city grows and where the growth takes place.

Curt Benson +

We tend to see elected and administrative people on video screens. See here are Mayor Meed Ward on the left with Regional Director of Planning Curt Benson and Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan

What Curt Benson had to say to Council will be covered in a separate article.

What he said that is important to people who follow this kind of municipal stuff is the two Public Information Centres (whoever came up with that name) that are taking place.

One is on the 19th of November and the other on the 25th.

Both are virtual.

The information you need to take part in these virtual events is as follows:

November 19, 2020
Time: 1 p.m.
Call 1-855-703-8985 (Toll Free) or 647-374-4685 or 647-558-0588 to listen or join via Zoom
Meeting ID: 965 8371 6047
Passcode: 930488

For Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Time: 7 p.m.
Call 1-855-703-8985 (Toll Free) or 647-374-4685 or 647-558-0588 to listen by telephone or join via Zoom
Meeting ID: 980 8592 6459
Passcode: 930488

The same material will be covered in each event.

This is important stuff and Curt Benson is a good presenter.
GO station area

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Public kept out of the loop on all season outdoor patio debate

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

November 6th, 2020



It was a Special meeting of City Council.

Mayor Meed Ward

Mayor has the right to call a Special meeting of Council any time she wishes.

The Mayor has the right to call a Special meeting of Council.

The meeting had several items on the agenda.

Amendments to the Temporary Use By-law and By-law Regulating Temporary Outdoor Patios In All Seasons

The focus of this news report is the Outdoor Patio issue.

Council met on November 2nd at 1:00 pm.

There were a number of procedural matters, including the singing of the National Anthem and the Roll Call to ensure that every member of Council was attending virtually.

There was one delegation that pertained to the Amendments to the Temporary Use By-Law.

Brian Dean and the owner of Gator Teds spoke and explained how desperate things were for the restaurant sector.

Brian Dean 2 long

Brian Dean represents the interests of the downtown business community.

Dean spoke on behalf of those restaurateurs who were interested in tenting some outdoor space adjacent to the premises

At 1:48 pm Council went into a Closed Session.

The Motion to go into Closed Session which read:

Move into closed session in accordance with the following provisions under the Municipal Act, sections 239 (2)(f) advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose, with respect to Community Planning Department report PL-60-20 regarding Amendments to Temporary Use By-law and By-law Regulating Temporary Outdoor Patios In All Seasons (PL-60-20)

Closed Session End time: 3:02 pm

When they came out of that Closed Session they passed a motion to:

Authorize Executive Director of Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility, working in consultation with Director of Transportation, to approve extension of temporary restaurant patios and/or temporary retail space permissions on public property in connection with COVID-19 recovery to October 31, 2021, subject to such criteria and conditions staff deem appropriate; and

Authorize the Executive Director of Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility, working in consultation with the Director of Roads, Parks and Forestry and the Director of Transportation to undertake a case by case consideration of winter patios on public property and/or rights of way in downtown Burlington and to permit winter patios on public property and rights of way, where feasible, having regard to relevant operational considerations including winter control and winter maintenance of sidewalks and roads and general public safety;

There was quite  bit more to the motion.  We have set that out at the end of this article.

I could not see anything in the motion that was passed that related to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose, with respect to Community Planning Department report unless the city’s counsel was there to tell the Planning people where they might be offside.

This is really very bad politics – a city council debating internally about which streets might be made impassable because a restaurant wanted to edge out into public space.

There are a reported seven restaurants who want to talk to the city about being able to have exclusive use of public space.  I could live with that – just make the decision in a public setting

I have no problem with the restaurants getting a break – they certainly need all the help we can give them.

Every restaurant will have to meet with a Winter Patio Task Force that will meet with the restaurateur and go through all the details to protect the public interest.  The Medical Officer of Health, Dr Hamidah Meghani, will be involved.

The issue seemed to be about snow removal and the problems the city would have removing snow.  Brian Dean, speaking for the restaurateurs, said they would be prepared to take on the task of removing the snow by hand.  That was nice of them wasn’t it?

Both Dean and the restaurateurs wanted clarity on the amount of insurance that had to be provided

What this amounted to was a debate about letting some restaurants take up public space and preventing you from using that space (sidewalks are an example) that the public was not permitted to listen to.

Lisa Kearns was bleating away about how good this is for the restaurants adding that “this is a dedicated and committed Council” adding that Council knows how to work fast.  The Mayor went her one better. “This is the Help and Solutions Council”.

The public has no idea what individual Council members had to say during the hour and 14 minutes. Was it appropriate for the discussion to be in cl0sed session in the first place?  And that should be a concern.

The balance of the motion the city passed is set out below.

Authorize the Executive Director of Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility, working in consultation with the Director of Transportation, to approve extension of temporary outdoor patios and/or temporary retail space on private property to October 31, 2021 subject to such criteria and conditions as staff deem appropriate; and

Authorize the Executive Director of Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility to grant or revoke such approvals, consents, agreements or other authorizations and take such other steps as may be required to give effect to the recommendations herein; and

Authorize the Executive Director of Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility to execute any documents and agreements necessary to implement the recommendations herein; and

Amend By-law 2020.422, a By-law to amend Zoning By-law 2020 of the City of Burlington to permit temporary outdoor patios as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic recovery efforts until October 31, 2021, attached as Appendix “A” to Report PL-60-20; and

Amend By-law 39-2020, a By-law to delegate authority to temporarily restrict the common law right of passage in connection with on-street restaurant patios and other on-street retail uses in Downtown Burlington to allow for temporary outdoor patios in Burlington until October 31, 2021, attached as Appendix “B” to Report PL-60-20; and

That the Director of Government Relations and Corporate Communications be directed to develop a landing site on the City of Burlington’s webpage as a resource for Operators to support consumer confidence in outdoor patios that are in compliance with municipal by-laws (SD-21-20); and

That the Mayor be directed to communicate to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH), and local MPPs to request a review of provincial regulations requiring 3m setback from buildings for patio tents, and other aspects of the building code that may be an impediment to business during COVID19 (SD-22-20); and

That the City of Burlington implement a grant program to reimburse the costs of Building permit fees in the estimated amount of $5,000 from the Tax Rate Stabilization Reserve Fund for outdoor patio’s and tent structures when a building permit is required, with an expiry date of October 31, 2021 (SD-23-20)

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City will learn what Region thinks of the Official Plan sent to them recently

News 100 blueBy Staff

November 7th, 2020


OP 2018


Burlington’s New Official Plan is sailing through the Regional government bureaucracy at quite a clip
After being endorsed by Burlington City Council on October 26th, the Official Plan was bundled up in a bright new binder and sent to the Regional government.

As the approval authority, Halton Region is reviewing the City’s adopted Official Plan (2018).

City staff have collaborated extensively with Regional staff to:

• address issues of Regional and Provincial conformity,
• respond to Provincial policy updates occurring post-plan adoption,
• identify opportunities to enhance structure and readability, and
• incorporate housekeeping changes.

City staff have also requested that the Region consider the proposed modifications endorsed by City Council through the Scoped Re-examination of the adopted Official Plan in its decision.

The staff report and draft Notice of Decision will be posted to the Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility agenda on Wednesday, Nov. 18.

The draft Notice of Decision is the Region’s way of telling Burlington what they plan to do – Burlington gets a chance to review the draft and comment.

Assuming all the ducks line up the right way the city will be well on its way to being bale to give the final approval to the Official Plan that has been in the works for some time.

As soon as it is made final the developers can file their appeals


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The Urban Growth Boundary the City is asking the Region to approve is a massive change

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 29th, 2020



The city has a boundary that is referred to as the Urban Growth Centre.  It was put in place back in 2006 and has been the subject of much debate.

The developers were comfortable with the boundary but when the city put in an Interim Control Bylaw that froze everything for a year those same developers were very unhappy.

When the developers took their case to the Local Planning Act Tribunal (LPAT) that put any discussion over development plans on hold until LPAT has finished with them.

The city has put a proposal before Regional Council asking that the boundaries of the Urban growth Centre be re-drawn, arguing that the boundaries put in place way back in 2006 have served their purpose and it is time to reshape them.

In a lengthy report to the public the Region is asking for input – we will share the coordinates to get the documents below.

Our question is this – just what are the proposed new boundaries?

We asked the people at the Planning department – they don’t appear to be picking up the phones these days.

Here is what we have at this point – the graphics are not as clear as they should be.

Urban growth centre boundary

The blue boundary line is what was approved by the City Council in place in 2017 The red boundary is what the current city council has in the adopted but not yet approved or in force Official Plan

UGC Oct 2020

What is understood to be the UGC boundary the city wants the Region to approve.  The lower point appears to be at Prospect.

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Will 25 storey towers be the standard for Brant Street: Council has set their hearts on keeping it to 17

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 28th, 2020



We are back to the growth issue, which many in Burlington see as a height issue.

People want things to remain the same – keep the nice stuff, the streetscapes that have been in place for decades and that we are comfortable with and the shops we have known and patronized for years.

The current city council worked hard for more than a year to put in place an Official Plan that would permit the growth the province was forcing on the city and at the same time protect neighbour hoods that give the city the image it wants – a community with loads of single family residences with decent yards and well treed streets that are safe to walk along in the early evening.

Dev map city wide Oct 26-20

Each red dot identifies a development proposal that the Planning department is working on. There are close to a dozen that have yet to actually get to the Planning department.

What they, and the Planning department are up against is a daunting 30+ development plans that are somewhere between a twinkle in a developers eye and an application that is deemed complete by the Planning department.

421 Brant

The digging down deep for the four floors of underground parking is underway.

When the Carriage Gate people got the 24 storey’s they wanted (the Council at the time was prepared to give them17) that seemed to open things up for the developers; 20 plus was the going rate in terms of height and that set a value on the small two storey commercial property on Brant. The owners of those properties began to see dollar signs in their eyes and looked forward to cashing out.

Rendering - initiial Oct -20

Proposal for the property north of Caroline – next to Joe Dogs.

The Renimmob virtual preconsultation meeting earlier in the week heard the same wish – keep the retail we know and let us live in a community that accepts growth – they just don’t want it towering over them. They were asking for

A 26- storey mixed use building with approximately 248 residential units, including a mix of one, two and three bedroom units (subject to change) and ground floor commercial.

Earlier in the month the Molinaro Group put forward their development proposal, a three phase development that would take three of the four corners at Brant and Ghent and see heights of 25 storeys.

Phase 1 – 774,778,782 Brant Street;
Two 25-storey residential mixed use buildings with 426 units and 420 square metres of retail space at grade.

Phase 2 – 769,779,783 Brant Street and 2023, 2027, 2031-2033 Ghent Avenue;
One 25-storey residential mixed use building with 316 units, 405 square metres of retail space at grade and 7 separate townhouse units.

Phase 3 – 747,761 Brant Street
A 6-storey residential mixed use building with 108 units and 997 square metres of retail space at grade.

Molinaro Ghent at Brant

When completed the development will take up three of the four corners at Brant and Ghent.

The Molinaro architect talked in terms of the development becoming the “gate to the downtown core”. Would that set the standard at 25 storeys?

The development did have a couple of pluses – the design for the high rise towers on either side of Brant is very smart – if it is to become the northern “gateway” to the city it will be very attractive.

The Molinaro people also gave up some height with the townhouses that are proposed for the east side of Brant. They are asking for six storeys when they are allowed 11 in the Official Plan the city is waiting to get approved at the Region.

Molinaro want 25; the Renimmob people want 26.

Is 25 going to become the standard should these applications get to LPAT if the city doesn’t decide it can live with something above the proposed 17 floors?

Brant street map

The distance between the proposed Molinaro development and the Renimmob  development is four city blocks.

The city wants that high growth to be clustered around the Burlington GO station where there is no limit for height at this point.

The development community does not appear to have given up on the opportunities they believe exist in the city.

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It will be a much different looking Brant Street even if the development is limited to 17 floors

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 27th, 2020



Rendering - initiial Oct -20

This is the first view the city had of the development

The opposition to the building started the day the public saw the rendering for the first time.

Renimmob Properties Limited, a developer new to Burlington bought the property from the south end of the No frills Plaza where the Bank of Nova Scotia is located south the lot that Joe Dogs is located on. The Joe Dogs site was not part of the land assembly.

The proposal is to put a 26- storey mixed use building with approximately 248 residential units, including a mix of one, two and three bedroom units (subject to change) and ground floor commercial.

accessThe tower would sit on a three story podium. Vehicle access would be on a road that will have to be created – it would run between John and Brant on what is now the northern edge of the Bank of Nova Scotia.

Traffic and transportation were the issues that came up again and again.  Both of which were going to be the result of the height which no one wanted.  Under the in-force Official Plan the property is zoned for four to eight storeys.  Under the Official Plan that has been adopted by Council but not yet approved by the Region, the height could be 17 storeys.

Brant Street is just two lanes at this point – there is no room to widen the road.  The developer said there would be an eight metre sidewalk in front of the development.

street view

Looking north from the Joe Dogs location – which is not part of the development.

Looking south

Looking south on Brant Street with the development on the left side. The rendering shows four lanes of traffic plus a bicycle lane. The street currently has a limit of two lanes of traffic.

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Is Joe Dogs going to be able to survive while a 26 storey tower is built next door?

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 27th, 2020



Emmas logoFirst we lost Emmas and now it looks as if Joe Dogs might bite the dust –literally.

Last night the public got to see the drawings for the proposed 26 storey development on Brant immediately south of the No Frills Plaza

The southern edge of the development snuggles right up against the build Joe Dogs is in.

Snow fall - Joe Dogs Feb 2-15 001

Joe Dogs on a winter day

It would hardly be possible for the Joe Dogs operation to continue during the construction phase which is at least four years under the best of conditions.

Joe dogs owner

One of the owners of Joe Dogs

“What’s going to happen to me” asked one of the owners of Joe Dogs.” What is your plan for me? We have been in business for 23 years in this location and we don’t plan to move.

David Faletta said there had to be a construction management plan put in place which would set out what had to be done about the interests of neighbouring commercial operations.

COVID-19 took out Emma’s; construction dust just might make it impossible for Joe Dogs to operate in the same place.

Maybe Joe Dogs could move into the now vacant Emma’s building?

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It will turn out to be a defining battle for the heart and soul of Brant Street - Mayor finally goes one on one with Carriage Gate

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 27th, 2020



Is this the hill she will choose to die on?

Monday evening another of the Virtual Preconsultation meetings was held at which Renimmob Properties Limited listened to what the community thought of the plans for the property they bought on the west side of Brant street north of Caroline.


David Faletta – Renimmob Properties Limited

At one point one of the callers asked what the relationship was between Renimmob Properties Limited and the Carriage Gate Group. David Faletta, one of the Renimmob operation said said they bought the property and and then brought the Carriage Gate in as advisors on managing the preconsultation process and getting an application through the city’s Planning department.

Strategically that was a brilliant move for the Renimmob people.


Nick Carnecelli, Carriage Gate Development

If anyone has managed to get things through the Planning department it would be Carriage Gate.

They were the first developer to get shovels into the ground on Brant Street where they are in the process of digging the garage levels for the 24 story The Gallery.

The have completed The Berkeley on John Street but have yet to start on the above ground garage or the planned six story medical centre that has been beefed up to 17 storeys.

The also have an application in the works for the tallest, (so far) planned structured on the north side of Lakeshore Road slightly to the east of Bridgewater Development and to the west of the Nautique.

The ask is a reported 29 storeys.


Mayor Meed Ward listening to the speakers taking part in the Virtual Pre-consultation meeting.

The Mayor has been going head to head against what the Carriage Gate Group wants to do.

For the Renimmob people to bring Carriage Gate in as consultants suggest this one is going to be a battle royal.

Fur and feathers will fly.

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Beachway evolves from a robust community to a park waiting to be put in place.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 24th, 2020



It has been some time since we have heard anything about progress on the development of the Beachway Park.

We do know that the Region has been using their “willing buyer to willing seller” approach to buying up as many of the houses that are left in that once robust community.

Beachway - two storey + roof deck

Bought by the Region and then torn down

Beachway 1011 sold for $600k

Sold to the Region by the owner who rented the house for a few years. Then it was torn down

The Region recently released a map showing who owned what – not much left in private hands.

Beachway housing

There was a time when there was a small community made up of people with modest incomes who lived in this part of Burlington where one of the best beaches in the province exists.

Once the Region acquires a property they have it bulldozed to the ground, sprinkle some grass seed on the land and it becomes just another open space.

There are plans to turn the area into a park – not much news from the planners working on the project.

The public did get to see some renderings setting out what would be done. All there is at the moment are the six area park areas that have names attached to them.

Beachway Master plan Oct 2020A study is in the works – not a lot of detail on just what the objective of the study is.
We will see what we can pry out of the communication advisers the Region pays to keep us all well informed.

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City gets a close-up look at the process-timeline that will apply to any expansion of the Nelson quarry

News 100 greenBy Staff

October 22, 2020



With the application from Nelson Aggregates complete and accepted, the process of going through the numerous documents presented to support the request for additional licenses can begin.

The process is going to be daunting.

An extension of the Burlington Nelson Quarry would require Provincial, Regional and City approval. There is a sequencing of decisions required and parallel review processes happening at the provincial, regional and city level.

It will be years before there is a decision.

Nelson quarry aerial

This site is close to being mined out – Nelson Aggregates has applied for additional licenses to expand

The City of Burlington received an application to amend the Burlington Official Plan designation of the subject lands to expand the existing Nelson quarry operation on May 14th.

Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan said “Council is committed to a transparent process and I look forward to the project coming before the council table. I urge Burlington residents to get involved and to ensure their opinions about this application are heard.”

An extension of the Burlington Nelson Quarry would require:

Public consultation and engagement, including a statutory public meeting
Amendments to the Niagara Escarpment Plan and issuance of a Development Permit
Amendments to the Region of Halton Official Plan
Amendments to the City of Burlington Official Plan
An Aggregate License from the Province of Ontario, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry for the proposed expansion area

An application to the Niagara Escarpment Commission, Region of Halton and Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry were received at the same time the City received an application.

A conceptual flowchart showing the parallel review process for the application is set out below.  This process includes statutory timelines, application benchmarks, decision points and highlights opportunities for public consultation and engagement.

Quarry time line

An inter-agency Joint Agency Review Team (JART) framework will be used to review the application for the proposed quarry expansion to ensure coordinated review by all agencies. The JART consists of technical staff from the Niagara Escarpment Commission, Region of Halton, Conservation Halton and the City of Burlington. The function of JART is to review the completeness of the application and analyze the proposal on its technical merits. JART itself does not make a recommendation on whether or not the application should be approved.

There will be regular reporting to Burlington City Council with progress updates and clarity on timing as the review process unfolds.

Prior to any decisions being made, public consultation will occur, including a statutory public meeting. The timing of the statutory public meeting has not yet been determined and will be scheduled once the technical review of the proposal has progressed further. Residents are encouraged to subscribe to the City’s Nelson Quarry Extension webpage for up to date information on the application.

MMW + Nisan + Benson on Cogeco

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward along with Regional Planner Curt Benson (top right) and Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan taking part on the Cogeco cable channel. The quarry is in ward 3

Communications will go out to residents informing them about the opportunities to engage and provide their feedback on any requests for comments

Both the NEC and the MNRF will be releasing requests for comment on the Environmental Registry of Ontario. This is anticipated to occur within 2020, and the ability for the public, the City and other agencies to comment will be open for a limited time.

Mayor Meed Ward has said: “I know residents across our city and region are watching this very carefully because it affects us all. Our primary consideration will be how this will affect the health and safety of our community and the environment of this very sensitive area. I want to credit our Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan in ensuring residents know what is happening and are informed about the process so that they can be involved.  There is a long road ahead.”

Related news story:

Residents don’t want an expansion – raising funds to oppose.

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CORE gets off to a good fund raising start: pumpkins worked the first time

News 100 greenBy Gord Pinard

October 22, 2020


There are two things we would like to share with you today.

The first is this: we raised $8140 with our Pumpkin Fundraiser! We are absolutely floored by this number. Never in our most optimistic moments did we imagine that we could raise that much money from the sale of pumpkins. Thank you so very much to all of you who donated in varying amounts to this fundraiser. We are feeling encouraged in the truest sense of the word: your generosity has given us courage to continue this fight to protect our beautiful escarpment from the permanent environmental destruction that will arise if Nelson Aggregate’s application for two more open-pit mines is approved.

Nelson quarry aerial

The existing quarry has a number of years left. Community resident want this to be the end of open pit mines on the Escarpment.

Which brings us to the second thing: CORE Burlington consists of thirteen of your neighbours who have been working our hearts out for a year now, trying in every way we know how to stop this application from succeeding. We’re researching, reading dry reports on subjects that are new to us; we’re communicating to the public via our website, social media and email, in order to educate and update; we’re calling for critical emails-to-officials as required throughout the application process—which is complicated and involves approval from five different agencies!

Quarry map

The shaded areas to the left and at the bottom are where Nelson Aggregates wants to expand

But mostly, lately, we’ve been fundraising. Unquestionably the best shot we have at beating Nelson is to counter the case put forth in the review process by their lawyers and experts, with the case put forward by ours. We’ve raised just over $50,000 thus far, which we think is incredible. But we need to raise another $50K over the next few months and additional funding in 2021/22 in order to continue funding the expert help that has already begun.

Our fundraising team needs more worker-bees. We need help with planning and doing and donating and delivering. We also need some place to store the ‘in-kind’ donations we’ve been accumulating. Our next project is likely to be a pre-order gift basket sale for Christmas. We’d like to do an online silent auction as well, since we’ve had several wonderful silent auction items donated in the past while.

Is there anything you can do to help? Are you willing and able to join the CORE Burlington fundraising team? We’ve been doing our work via phone-calls, zoom meetings, emails and outdoor, distanced meetings. It’s been challenging to do this work during a pandemic, but we’re pretty pleased with our fundraising results so far. And we’re (honestly) having fun. Doing this sort of work is not such a bad way to find light and inspiration in these darkening COVID days.

Related news story:

The CORE argument

Gord Pinard is the spokesperson for Conserving our Rural Ecosystems

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Council gets an in-depth look at what the Planning department has to manage in the next couple of years

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 21st, 2020



It was one heck of a meeting, delivered in a workshop format

Angelo Bentivegna got to serve as chair; Jamie Tellier, currently the Interim Director of Community Planning, set out all the work the Planning Department has ahead of it. Councillor Stolte learned why zoning bylaw reports are numbered the way they are and city manager assured council that the 22 people that have to be added to the planning department staff will not all be taken on in one year – building the staff compliment will take about five years.

Angelo as chair

Ward 6 Councillor Angelo Bentivegna is in the Chair

Tellier has a delivery style that is a delight to hear – he laughs at the few mistakes he makes and chuckles frequently when he is explaining something. He is the kind of person who really puts the J in Joy. He used a number of slides to get his message across.

Wk Dev activity

The numbers startled several of the Councillors – there was more to come.

Tellier started out by telling Councillor that with the Scoped Review of the Downtown portion of the Official Plan completed and the Interim Control Bylaw in place until all the appeals at that level are completed, the planners now get on with the real job of growing the planning department so that it can cope with the work that is ahead of it.

Tellier set out the organizational structure that is in place with three different working groups set out in the graphic below.

functional design

Council has always believed that development should pay for the work the planning department has to do.  A consultant has been hired to do a Planning Application Fee Review; that report is due sometime in November.

Once full cost recovery is in place the planners will be able to bring in the staff they will need.

Tellier didn’t even try to hide his excitement over just how big a deal the passing of the Official Plan earlier in October was.  “It was the end of a very long journey,” he said.

The next phase of that journey will take place at the Region on Wednesday (today) where the matter of the Urban Growth Boundary will be reviewed as well as the boundaries for what used to be called transportation hubs. They are now described as Major Transit Service Areas. (MTSA)

Wk ugc mtsa

Urban Growth and transportation – residential housing locations will be debated at the Region on Wednesday.

The John Street bus terminal that was once called an MTSA has been deemed to be just a bus terminal – which is not defined in the the Planning Act and therefore not a concern.

At the Regional Council meeting Mayor Meed Ward expects to be vindicated for her long held position that the John Street bus terminal designation be removed.

There were those in Burlington who said this would never happen.  They were wrong.

Burlington will have three MTSAs: Burlington GO station; Aldershot Go Station and the Appleby GO station.  Boundaries have been established for all three but have yet to be made final. These MTSA’s are where the growth in residential housing is to take place.

The Gazette will report on what takes place at the Regional Council meeting in detail.

A draft version of the Regional review of the Burlington Official Plan is expected early in November.  Council will go over that document – send its comments back to the Region after which the city will have an Official Plan that will be appeal-able at LPAT.

While all this is taking place there is a Land Use Study being done by Dillon that the city expects to see in November.

The Region is also doing a phased Municipal Comprehensive Review as part of its Official Plan Review.  The MTSA and UGC questions are part of that process.

Tellier took some delight in pointing out that the fist change to an Official Plan that is yet to be fully Official is on its way.  He added that all this is very complex and can be confusing.

The work being done on what were originally known as Transportation hubs, now called MTSAs, will be referred to as Area Specific Plans. That work was started in 2017 and paused in 2019 and has now become part of the work plan for which the city is going to have to hire as many as 22 additional staff.

Tellier and City manager Tim Commisso stressed that these jobs would not be filled in the immediate future and that when they are filled the work they do will be paid for by the fees collected from the developers.  The developers will of course add those fees to the cost of the housing they build.

The Planning Department and the Office of the City Solicitor have both submitted their budget requests.

Tellier spent most of the two hours explaining the work the Planning department now had to take on.

There is to be a community housing strategy.

There is to be a review of heritage sites in the downtown core.

WK urban design

There are Guidelines for everything now.

There is the Urban Design thinking, which Tellier described as “the glue” that keeps everything together.

There is a Pre-building permit process that is being put in place – this was intended for individuals who want to build a deck or install a swimming pool who don’t have the experience or skills to work their way through the way city hall works.  The intention is to have a single person point of reference.  This is covered by the Service Review Study that has taken place.

COVID has forced the city to find a better way of getting documents filed.  Developers would come in with boxes and boxes of reports; now everything comes digitally.

Site Planning co-coordinator Jamie Tellier explans what is going to be built whereon the JBMH campus.

Jamie Tellier explains what is going to be built where on the Joseph Brant Hospital campus.

Tellier explained that Planning has had to lean heavily on Information Services for both direction and support.

The Core Commitment is due for a serious review as well.

Tellier gave some insight into the complexity of the work to be done.  Much of it involves liaising with legal, roads, transit, transportation and community planning.

In summing up, Tellier cheerfully said: That’s it!

Following all this is going to be a challenge.

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No consensus on the re-development of the Waterfront Hotel site

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 20th. 2020



Waterfront hotel with pier at foot

The owner of the hotel had plans to tear it down and rebuild closer to the edge of the lake

One of the deeply concerning issues for almost everyone who lives in Burlington and spends some time each year at Spencer Smith Park is what is going to get built south of Lakeshore Road where the Waterfront Hotel is now located.

Plan B page 3

The Plan B people have been consistent and insistent that the public be at the table when decisions are made about how the Waterfront Hotel is to be re-developed.

Council learned today that the Planning department has not been able to get consensus from the property owners which puts any work done on how  the site is developed gets pushed back into 2021 for pthe creation of a work plan, and figuring out what the timing will be and what will be required in the way of budget.
This is a development area that has several sets of eyes on it – not just the planners.

Plan B, a small but very very effective group of people who have come up with an alternate set of plans that have not gone away despite precious little in the way of deserved attention from a former Director of Planning who left the city.

Related news stories:

Plan B people remind the city that they are watching what happens to the Waterfront Hotel site

Mary Lou Tanner – last paragraph in the story

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What is it that determines when a member of council should declare a conflict of interest?

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 14th, 2020



Every time the development at the top of Clearview Street in Aldershot comes up Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith declares a conflict of interest.

His home is within the 120m distance from the development and he is seen as having a conflict.

Galbraith doesn’t have any problem with having to take this decision – he sees it as the right and proper thing to do.

Clearview from the south

The Clearview development runs the length of the space between Clearview and St. Matthew.

The Clearview development is contentious and has gone through a number of changes. Galbraith takes no part in the debate and does not vote on the matter.

KG house to street end

Kelvin Galbraith’s home is to the right of the tree trunk, one lot to the west, The Clearview development is at the top of the street where the think grey fence is located.

Galbraith knew that when he was elected he would have conflicts. He chose to do the smart thing and meet with the City Solicitor before he was actually sworn, in we understand, to ask what the rules were and what was required of him as a Councillor.

Galbraith has property interests along Plains Road as well and will declare a conflict of interest should that property become part of a development issue.

Galbraith slight smileWhat we are seeing is a sterling example of how a Councillor should behave, which was certainly not the case with at least one member of the 2014-18 council.

During the September 30th Standing Committee meeting Mayor Marianne Meed Ward and Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns put forward nine amendments to the Official Plan that was being debated.

One of the amendments related to the Lions Club property that is bound by New Street, Maria, Martha and Elizabeth.

Lions Park

The Lions Park. The Mayor lives kitty corner from Maria Martha intersection centre top of the illustration,

The Lions Club began buying up pieces of property in the 1920’s. The structure that is currently the Club House for the Lions and home to ROCK – Reach Out Centre for Kids also has space in the building which is due to have a second floor added.

While the land is owned by the Lions Club it operates as a city park and is maintained by the city.

The city also has a right of first refusal should the Lions Club choose to sell the northern portion of the property.

An interesting side note – the building on the southern part of the site was once the barn for the transit cars used by the Radial Railway that used to run along what is now Centennial Trail.

View MMW to park

The Mayors home is approximately where the truck is parked in the driveway. The North East edge of the park is seen on the right hand side

During the debate around how the property would be zoned the Lions delegated and said they would like to see the park zoning designation removed from the property. They felt that zoned as parkland lessened the value of the land should a time come when the Lions wanted to sell and the city chose not to be a buyer.

Living next to a park is usually a plus for a property owner.

The Mayor happens to be a property owner who lives kitty-corner to the park.

At no point during the debate did the Mayor declare a conflict of interest.

The Gazette sent a note to the City Clerk (Does the Mayor not have a conflict – she lives across the street?) asking if there was not a conflict.

The City Clerk sent back a note saying:

Please note that the our Members of Council are bound by the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. M.50. In accordance with the Act, it is the duty of the member to disclose an interest. Staff does not provide comment or advice on whether a member may have a potential conflict under the Act. Section 28 of the Procedure By-law outlines the process that must be taken if a member has an interest that they disclose.

We don’t know if the Mayor has a conflict.  Councillor Galbraith said he has a conflict and his house is as close to the Clearview development as the Mayor’s house is to the Lions park.

This is a question that the provincial Ombudsman can answer.


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Virtual pre-consultation for major Brant Street development.

News 100 blueBy Staff

October 14th, 2020



The virtual Pre-consultation for the Molinaro development proposed for the Brant and Ghent intersection will take place this evening between 7 and 9:00 pm

Molinaro Brant and Ghent

The development covers three of the four corners at Brant and Ghent.

Instructions for Zoom Webinar

Participate On-Line via Zoom:

Webinar ID: 966 5772 6680

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A delay in getting that new version (the endorsed one) of the Official Plan to the Region - wonder why?

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 14th, 2020


Grow Bold went out of favour.



A source in the city communications department told us that: “The logistical details of how we submit the OP to the Region are still to be confirmed.”

That document was passed at a Special Meeting of Council on October 6th.

Why the delay?

Perhaps a new design for the cover is in the works?

Related news story

Getting the plan to the Region

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Just what DID Heather say?

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

October 14th, 2020



Just what DID Heather say during both the September 30th Standing Committee and the October 7th Council meeting?

Heather, being Executive Director Heather MacDonald who is also the Chief Planner for the city, was asked on multiple occasions if she supported the amendments made to the Official Plan late in the process of revisions being made to the OP that have been ongoing for more than a year.

MMW Oct 6 anthem 2 look

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward, standing in the Council Chamber during the singing of the national anthem.

The amendment came out of the minds of the Mayor and ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns.

Each of the amendments was strenuously debated at the Standing Committee and done as a recorded vote at the Council meeting.

Specifics on those changes brought forward, and eventually passed at council, will be covered in a separate story – they are a little on the complex side.

Sharman at transit

Councillor Sharman – a very deliberate questioner

Councillor Sharman led the putting of the question to MacDonald on each item. “Do you support the amendment?”

MacDonald + Enns

Heather MacDonald, on the right with Alison Enns at a public meeting.

During the first two amendments MacDonald was a little hesitant – not with her answer but in the way she expressed it. By the third amendment she had her answers formed in her mind and said consistently:  “we gave council our best planning advice and are comfortable with what we did”.

She added later that she could not professionally support the amendments. While the consultant the city hired to advise, at a cost of $600,000 plus on a sole sourced contract, was not taking part in the meeting, Sharman asked if he was supportive and MacDonald said he was not.

MacDonald was put in a very awkward position. She and her staff had done a gargantuan job of ensuring that the recommendations put forward were solidly researched and based on defensible planning practices. The numerous studies done were there to support the decisions made.

Audit Kearns 5

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns.

Then the Mayor and Councillor Lisa Kearns, come forward with major changes – mostly to the east side of Brant Street.  There was nothing inherently wrong with the changes – why didn’t they come from the planners?

Councillor Sharman concluded that when (he made a point of not saying if, but when) the plan is appealed to the Local Planning Act Tribunal (LPAT) the city will have to hire new  planners because ours, Heather MacDonald, has already said she could not support the amendments.

Councillor Nisan took exception to the mention of hiring lawyers and added that this had already been covered; something that would have been done in one of the now infamous Closed Council Sessions.

This is high stakes stuff at a very professional level – it is the kind of thing one stakes their reputation on. One has to wonder if there was a meeting between MacDonald, city manager Tim Commisso and the Mayor at which MacDonald may have said that she could not support the amendments and would resign before they were passed by Council.

That would have put the fat in the fire.

The planners at every level did some fine work. The amendments took the bloom off the rose; they could have been discussed in detail before it got to the point where the Mayor was challenging the planners.

Meed Ward did say that she understood the position the planners had taken and added that the planners are in place to give council their best thinking.

She also said that Council has a moral and ethical responsibility to do what they believe is best for the city saying  “this council is not a rubber stamp”.

There is now a state of tension between Council and the planning department that should not exist.

Sharman folded

Councillor Sharman

Angelo B

Councilor Bentivegna

Galbraith slight smile

Councillor Galbraith

The recorded votes, with one exception, were 4-3: Councillors Sharman, Bentivegna and Galbraith voted against the Mayor’s amendments and the other three siding with the Mayor.

Council Sharman pointed at that there are at least 23 appeals before LPAT – arguing those appeals are going to be a boondoggle for the planning and legal professions.

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

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