Community group moving forward with plans for a refurbished Nelson stadium

sportsgold 100x100By Pepper Parr

February 3, 2016


There is a bit of a kafuffle taking place over the idea of a new club house on the Nelson Stadium grounds.

The pastThe Burlington Braves – who are about to roll up their tent and head for St. Catharines where they will start anew, have commented that with the Braves leaving town there is no need for a new club house.

That isn’t quite the way Janine Stodulski sees the refurbing of the stadium. She has her eye on a much bigger prize and is seeing far beyond a single organization using the space. Stodulski is the spokesperson for a collective of more than 20 sports groups who have come together to get a world class stadium for the city in behind Nelson high school.

The present

Early thinking for a refurbished Nelson Stadium

They have made impressive yardage with the board of education and have strong working relationships with the parks and recreation department who seem to have found a number of pockets of money they can use to take the project forward.

There will be meeting rooms in the club house that other sports organizations can use and space for equipment storage.

Press box

The existing press box is a hazard – Mayor said the stairs were unsafe two years ago – what did he do then? Not much

There is talk of changing the orientation of the track and field area; getting a new press box in – Cogeco TV seems to be on for a big chunk of change for that structure.

The organizing group will be meeting this evening to update each other and prepare for their next meeting with city council.

The group is very much a go-go organization – if it is going to happen – they will make it so.

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Burlington’s Will Finch decides to call it a career after too many concussions.

sportsgold 100x100By Staff

January 25, 2016


Burlington’s Will Finch, the record-setting, fourth-year quarterback of the University of Western Ontario Mustangs is calling it a career.

Finch H&S

Will Finch – A Nelson High graduate who went on to Western where he broke most of the existing records.

Finch was one of the Canada’s most highly sought after recruits when he graduated from Nelson High School in 2012. He led the Lords to an undefeated 12-0 season, and the Golden Horseshoe Bowl title in 2011.

One of London’s best known athletes, one whose concussions have sidelined him before, is retiring to avoid risking further injury. Each of his last three seasons has been interrupted by injury. He missed the end of the 2014 and 2015 Ontario University Association seasons because of concussions.

Finch MVP

A remarkable football player who had a remarkable career.

The awareness of the impact of brain injuries on athletes at all levels has grown dramatically in recent years, underscored by the 2015 Hollywood movie “Concussion.” The film is about Dr. Bennet Omalu, a pathologist, who uncovered the truth about brain injuries among players in the National Football League.

In Canada, Leo Ezerins, Executive Director of the Canadian Football League Alumni Association, and Toronto Rehab and Toronto Western Hospital have been at the forefront of research into brain injuries for the past seven years.

Caused by blows to the head or violent hits to the upper body, common in contact sports, the effects of concussions are usually temporary, but can range from headaches and problems concentrating, to memory and balance problems.

In London, medical professionals have been on the cutting edge of concussion research and treatment. The Fowler Kennedy Sport Medicine Clinic, founded in 1974, has had more than 2,000 visits by hockey, soccer, basketball and football players with sports concussions.

Dr. Henry Svec, a psychologist who operates the Dr. Svec Institute and Rehabilitation Clinics in several cities in Southwestern Ontario, and a former Mustang football player who deals with traumatic brain injuries, called Finch’s decision, speaking as a fan and alumni, a “courageous one.”

But Svec said too often not enough is done to diagnose the severity of a concussion and not enough recovery time is allocated for the brain to heal and rehabilitate after an injury.

Finch passing the football

Will Finch – he had a great arm and an even better eye – always knew where the ball had to go.

In his four years at Western, Finch played 30 regular-season games — completing 533 of 790 passes for 8,243 yards, 57 touchdowns and 24 interceptions. He also had more than 1,200 yards rushing. In six playoff games, he had 1,372 yards passing.

His best season was 2013-14 when he played in all eight regular-season games and three playoff games. In the regular season, he completed 191 of 274 passes for 3,047 yards and 21 touchdowns, with six interceptions.

Finch - forlorn look Glover photo credit

Will Finch

In the playoffs he completed 48 of 78 passes for 576 yards and three touchdowns. He set an Ontario University Athletics record with 3,047 passing yards, and a 69.7 completion percentage. He was the 2013 OUA most valuable player and Hec Crighton Trophy nominee.

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Residents want Nelson stadium to undergo more than a face lift - the want to see it become a world class facility.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

January 14, 2016


It was described as the only decent sized stadium in the city – if you wanted something like it you had to drive to Guelph or Mississauga; the Nelson Stadium User Group, formed in the late 1990s wants the city to climb into bed with them and give the stadium a major overhaul.

The delegation, headed up by one of the strongest community groups this writer has seen in some time, was led by Janeen Stodulski – and she meant business.  They presented a very detailed proposal that was supported by a motion from Councillor Jack Dennison to:

Direct the Director of Parks and Recreation and the Executive Director of Capital Works, in partnership with the Halton District School Board, to work with the Nelson Stadium User Group on their proposed Nelson Stadium Revitalization project including vision, scope and future budget impacts, and in order to move this project forward,

Direct the Director of Parks and Recreation and the Executive Director of Capital Works to work with the Halton District School Board, and report back with as much detail as possible by April 7, 2016, so that we can be prepared for the next meeting with the Nelson Stadium User Group scheduled for April 21, 2016.

The pastWhat was interesting is that most members of council agreed that there was a lot of work to be done but there had never been a proposal come forward from the Parks and Recreation department.

The property on which the stadium is located is owned in some instances by the city and in others by the Halton Board of Education.

The presentThe Nelson Users Group has been working with the Board of Education and plans on that side are very well advanced. The council members didn’t really seem to be “in the room”. At one point the Mayor said he had been taken on a tour “two or three years ago” and that the stairs to the press box were dangerous then. The press box is no longer used.

Stodulski, who is charmingly aggressive, let it be known that she has Cogeco Cable TV down for a specific donation amount.

In the summer of 2011 through a joint partnership with the Halton District School Board (HDSB), Nelson Stadium User Group and City of Burlington, an artificial surface was installed at Nelson Stadium.

In 2013 the Nelson Stadium User Group expanded to include representation from all major user groups. This group has prepared a Proposal for Nelson Stadium outlining the needs, costs, upgrades and improvements required for the stadium, its facilities and surrounding areas. The Nelson Stadium User Group is requesting to again work with the HDSB and City and provide the much-needed improvements to Nelson Stadium – improvements to make our city’s one and only stadium a World Class Sports Facility.

Change rooms

Architects rendering of what a club house – change room could look like.

Nelson is the only Football and Hardball Stadium and home to various associations in the city. It is the only stadium that can accommodate larger number of spectator viewing, has dedicated change rooms for visiting and home teams and a press box.

Unfortunately, the facilities are now in dire need of improvements and upgrades. The people behind this project, and this is something that is being driven by the community not led by either the school board or the city, want to turn Nelson Stadium into a World Class Sports Facility

Nelson Stadium’s track and multipurpose sports fields are located at the west end of Nelson Park, off  Belvenia Street and is the first general gateway into a sport corridor.  Adjacent to the stadium one can stroll past baseball p arks, an outdoor pool, an indoor ice rink, soccer pitches, BMX Park and tennis courts. All linked by walkways and bike paths a cross bridges and streams: A gem of a sport corridor in the City of Burlington.

Press box

Rendering of what a press box could look like.

Paying for all this may not be all that difficult.  The Director of Parks and Recreation explained that there were “small pockets of money here and there” that could be used and the user groups were quite prepared to get into joint ventures with the city to raise some of the funds.

Wonderful to see the drive coming from the community – council needs to just raise their hands and vote yes and let these people get on with what they have set out to do.  We are lucky to have them.




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Live and Play catalogue being delivered - registrations begin later this month.

News 100 greenBy Staff

January 14, 2016


The city is distributing the 2016 Live & Play recreation catalogue and advises that registration for Spring programs for participants 0 to 18 years of age begins Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016 at 9:00 am

Live and play spring 2016Registration for March Break and Summer Camps begins at 11:00 a.m.

On Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, 9:00 a.m. registration for Adults 18+, Adults 55+ and Fitness programs begins.

The catalogue is on line

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The real scoop on the guy who is going to get that Golden Whistle -

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

January 13th, 2016


Ron Foxcroft, Hamilton, Ontario, president and founder of Fox 40 International, has been selected by the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO) as the recipient of this year’s Gold Whistle Award, which is officiating’s highest honor.

Foxcroft tight faceThe media release didn’t tell the whole story. Foxcroft and Queen Elizabeth II are buddies. Most people are “presented” to the Queen. Foxcroft explained to her how to use one of his whistles to shoo the Canadian geese off her lawns.

His wife Marie serves as his driver when he returns from an event where he is adjudicating referee performance – she drives while he writes up the report.

Foxcroft came close to serving as the referee at an event in British Columbia when Angelo Mosca got bopped by a former over an old grudge.

During the months after the 2014 flood in Burlington there wasn’t a banker in the province who really wanted to take a call from Foxcroft – he was in his arm twisting mode pulling cheques for flood relief. Pulled in just short of a million in 100 days for the Burlington Community  Foundation.  They made him a vice chair for that and come July he will be the full chair  What do you think he will do with that position?

Foxcroft whistle 2

Ron Foxcroft demonstrating the product.

The award will be presented Tuesday, Aug. 2, in San Antonio during the Celebrate Officiating Gala, which wraps up the 2016 Sports Officiating Summit. “A primary determinant in awarding anyone NASO’s Gold Whistle Award is this: The recipient has to have a long and meaningful history of ‘shining a positive light’ on officiating,” said Barry Mano, NASO president. “Further, any recipient must be someone who is held with some reverence within the officiating community of which he is a part. Ron Foxcroft was an easy choice, frankly.

“There are precious few individuals who place the wellbeing of sports officiating well in front of personal agenda or gain,” Mano added. “Members of this group have made outsized contributions to officiating. Ron is without doubt a member of that elite and critically important group. He is one of those unique individuals who, for decades, has fulfilled all of the requirements above. And, of course, he continues to do so.”

Although Foxcroft is best known as maker of the famous pealess whistle used by officials around the world, he has made his mark in the world in many other ways. As an NCAA and international basketball official, he worked five NCAA tournaments, an Olympic final and numerous other high level international games.

He has shone a positive light on the industry through his many charitable and leadership efforts, including serving as chair of the McMaster Campaign for Athletics & Recreation, founder and former chair of the Foxcroft Family Youth Fund held at the Hamilton Community Foundation and serving on the St. Joseph’s Healthcare Foundation fundraising committee, the first healthcare charity in Hamilton to earn the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy’s Ethical Fundraising License.

BCF Foxcroft H&S at mike

Foxcroft rousing the troops at the beginning of the Flood relief fund raising drive.

He donated thousands of Fox 40 Classic whistles used by search and rescue professionals when they were saving lives following the San Francisco earthquake, the Oklahoma City bombing, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami and Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma. Foxcroft has received awards from B’Nai Brith Canada and the Burlington (Ontario) Rotary Club.

Foxcroft was named Hamilton’s Distinguished Citizen of the Year, received an honorary doctor of law degree from McMaster University and had an award named for him by Sports Officials Canada. The award is presented annually to recognize excellence from an official in a professional sports environment, their contribution to the development of young officials and their example as a positive role model for officials by virtue of personal involvement at the community level.

Foxcroft and the Queen

Foxcroft with queen Elizabeth – is he explaining to her how his whistle works?

He is an honorary colonel in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, Canadian Army Reserve infantry battalion. After a member of his regiment was killed in a terrorist attack, Foxcroft met with Queen Elizabeth II and received her personal condolences.

Fox 40 received the Mel Narol Medallion Award in 2004, presented to a group or individual for outstanding contributions to NASO. Foxcroft is a former member of the NASO board of directors and currently serves as a special adviser to the board.


Did he make the shot? We’re not going to tell other than to say he doesn’t miss very much.

The Gold Whistle Award is presented annually by NASO. Those considered are individuals or groups that have made significant contributions to the betterment of officiating, exhibit a high degree of integrity and ethics and other qualities that are held in high regard by the industry. Candidates must have a consistent record of presenting officiating in a positive light as well as exhibiting a “service above self” attitude. Public service to officiating, having a motivating effect on others and/or strong community involvement are considered.

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Burlington hockey talent being moved around in the Ontario hockey league.

sportsred 100x100By Staff

January 6, 2016



George Burnett, Coach and General Manager of the Ontario Hockey League Hamilton Bulldogs, did what was rumoured he would do; deal Stephen Harper to the IceDogs along with Barrie Colts seventh-round pick in the 2016 OHL Priority Draft for forward Evan Krassey and four draft picks.

Stephen Harper Hamilton bulldogHarper is one of six players in the OHL from Burlington. Any one or all of the others could be on the move in advance of the OHL’s January 9th trade deadline. The players are Justin Scott (left wing) of the Barrie Colts, Kyle West (right wing) of the Guelph Storm, David Miller (centre) of the Kitchener Rangers, Trenton Bourque (defenceman) of the Owen Sound Attack, and Ryan McGregor (centre) of the Sarnia Sting.

Harper is a product of the 2010-11 Burlington Eagles Minor Midget AAA squad. As a 20-year-old, his Junior hockey eligibility has virtually run out. According to OHL rules teams can only carry three 20-year-old players on a roster during a season.

Harper previously played Junior hockey for the Erie Otters (2011-12 to 2013-14), and the Belleville Bulls (2013-14 to 2014-15) before moving with the team to Hamilton. In 36 games this season, he has 17 goals and 24 points for 41 points and 23 minutes in penalties.

Krassey, 17, a Thunder Bay minor hockey product played 18 games this season for Niagara plus 11 more for the Fort Erie Meteors of the Greater Ontario Junior B Hockey League.

In addition to Krassey, 17, the Bulldogs received Windsor Spitfires third-round draft selection in 2016, Windsor’s second-round pick in 2017, Niagara’s second-round choice in 2020, and Kitchener Rangers fifth-round selection in the 2018 OHL Priority Draft.

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Glen Eden expects to be open on Friday - snow making machines working over time.

sportsgold 100x100By Staff

January 5, 2016


The Conservation has told us what we kind of figured out on our own – winter is here!

And the good folks at Glen Eden want everyone to know that the snowmaking team is making snow and expect to have the hill set to open this Friday, January 8 from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Glen Eden lifts

Glen Eden expects to have five lifts open for Friday.

Glen Eden is anticipating having five lifts and eight runs open for the weekend. There will be a Terrain Park setup as well for the snowboarders.
Additional details will be posted later this week.

The Tube Park will not be open this weekend at Glen Eden, more information on that later in the week.
“We’re still making snow for a good portion of this week and the goal is to have as many runs and terrain open as we can for our opening this weekend,” said Sean Durkin, Manager Glen Eden.

GlenEden from top of hill

All downhill from here.

Glen Eden is home to one of the largest Snow Schools in Ontario, with a wide selection of programs from classic Core Programs to a new spin on specialty programs that are now part of the Academy Programs. Visit the Glen Eden website,, or call Visitor Services at 905-878-5011, ext. 1221, for more information.

The Terrain Park is where a lot of the action happens at Glen Eden. The “Big” Parks, Nighthawk and Falcon during peak season have upwards of 40 of the most progressive features dedicated to these two runs. Glen Eden has lots of options for keeping things fresh while pushing your limits and developing your skills.

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Former Burlington Cougar Josh Jooris breaks scoring slump.

sportsgreen 100x100By Staff

January 3, 2016


Former Burlington Cougars centre Josh Jooris broke out of his 11-game scoring slump with a goal and an assist as the Calgary Flames shut out the Colorado Avalanche 4-0 at Denver in one of 12 National Hockey League games played last night (Saturday).


Josh Jooris. a product of the Burlington Cougars, celebrating a goal.

The six-foot, one-inch Burlington native gave the Flames a 2-0 lead at 8:18 of the second period and two minutes later helped set up former Toronto Maple Leaf Matt Stajan to put Calgary up 3-0.

The 25-year-old is a product of the Burlington Eagles minor system hockey system.

In 84 regular season games since being signed as a free agent on July 30, 2013 he has scored 15 goals and assisted on 15 others for 30 points. Defensively he is minus 1 and has been assessed 39 minutes in penalties.

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Public Board of Education prepares for Ombudsman who will have the authority to review and investigate any complaints in January.

News 100 blueBy Walter Byj

December 21, 2015


It looked like a pre Christmas agenda, relatively short with a quick adjournment so that one could finish their holiday shopping. Alas, meetings have a way of stretching – -the thought of last minute shopping quickly vanished.

ombudsman logoThe first major discussion point was in regard to the Ombudsman of Ontario who now, through legislation, has the authority to review and investigate any complaints dealing with the educational sector and is not required to inform or include the local board in the investigation of any complaints. This would run parallel with the board’s own investigative procedure, “Process for public Concerns” which is their internal process for resolving concerns.

A. Collard (Burlington) presented the following recommendation so that there would be a more collaborative policy with the provincial Ombudsman.

“Be it resolved that Halton District School Board trustees and staff collaboratively develop a policy and an administrative procedure regarding our internal process for complaints made via the office of the Ombudsman and report back to the Board by the second meeting in March 2016.”

After some give and take by the trustees, it was resolved that the motion would require some rework and would be presented again in the first meeting in January.

Student trustee S. Schneider and Director Miller spoke of the recent presentation that Miller did to the Student Senate in regard to the Program Viability study. Both said that the students had some positive feedback and this would be made available in an upcoming report in January.

After reviewing a number of policies that have been posted to the web for public input:

• Program and Accommodation Review Policy
• Director’s Performance Review Policy
• Board Recognition Policy

The board turned its attention to a presentation and interim report on” Active and Sustainable School Travel” by S. Burwell(Environmental Sustainability Co-ordinator).

The Halton school board has committed itself to increase active school travel (students travelling to and from school under their own power) as the most recent data shows that Halton has one of the highest automobile mode of transportation in Ontario.

Hoops - exercise - students

Getting the early teenagers off the couch and onto a playing field.

Active transportation has decreased by 13% for 11-13 year age group and 14% for 14-17 year age group over the years of 1986 and 2011. Citing studies that show where physical activity in the morning contributes mental and physical well being, the board will continue collecting data and prepare a number of recommendations that will encourage more active school travel. In a give and tack with the trustees, it was mentioned that some students who are constantly transported by automobile, do not have a strong sense of their communities physical layout; not knowing the streets around them.

Director Miller started his Director’s report by stating that there will be no glossy annual this year as it will be modified and will be online only. This will cut done on costs and it will be available quicker and will be more accessible. The assumption is that this will go hand in hand with an enhanced website.

He then stated that the board will be seeking to hire an additional 35 Education Assistants for next year. This will be on the agenda in January. Associate Director Boag will provide in January an update of the community consultation and input to the Program Viability Committee. Miller also thanked the trustees for their participation in a meeting with local Muslim meetings. There was no elaboration of the discussions that took place.

This was followed by a slide presentation by Superintendent Eatough that highlighted the visit of two privately sponsored Syrian families to the Board’s Welcome Centre and presented what was done within the Halton board to help the students/families. This was followed up by a show and tell by Chair Amos where she filled a backpack with all the utensils each student would need and then challenged all those in attendance to do the same. Hopefully all of our students have the same type of backpack.

This was followed by the board reconvening to a private session and back to a public session where they resolved that the board ratify the Memorandum of Settlement with the Elementary Teacher’s Federation of Ontario-Elementary Occasional Teachers the Canadian Union of Public Employees. Both were carried unanimously and are subject to ratification by the unions.

And they all went home for their holiday!

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Will the Nelson pool get replaced by next summer? Ward Councillor is going to battle the city manager to get it done his way.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

December 21st, 2015


Jack Dennison believes he got himself over one of the hurdles he faces in getting a new pool at Nelson Park for the residents of his ward.

The 50 metre pool at Nelson was taken out of commission in May when inspectors found that it was unsafe – due, apparently to the damage done by two back to back heavy winters.

The pool was first opened in 1963. The steel structure with a commercial grade liner was scheduled for an upgrade in 2019.

Nelson pool

Built in 1963 – the Nelson pool was due for a rebuild in 2019 – didn’t quite make it. The ward Councillor wants to fast track the replacement pool and have it opened for July of next year.

The pool was to reopen June 13, but with two severe winter seasons back-to-back, the steel tank at Nelson Pool had seen an accelerated rate of deterioration.” said Chris Glenn, Director of Parks and Recreation for the city.

Parks and Recreation had hoped to find a solution but by August it became evident that the pool was never going to reopen – it would have to be rebuilt.

In December a staff report was issued with a number of options:

Option 1
Re-build the 50-metre – (comparable to original) – $4.6 – $5.2 million
8 lane, 50-metre pool to meet competitive swimming requirements with an adjacent zero depth entry leisure pool and water play features. Original pool was 7 lanes which is not typical. Approximate swimmer capacity would be 550.

Option 2
Build a 25-metre (smaller version) – $3.7 – $ 4.3 million
6 lane, 25-metre pool with an adjacent zero depth entry leisure pool and water play features.
Approximate swimmer capacity would be 350.

Dennison picked up on the views of the community and decided he would fight for what the community once had – a 50 metre pool. He held a ward information meeting at his recreation facility where the audience was small, made up for the most part of members of the Devilrays competitive swimming club.

Swimming - BAD Devilrays

The Nelson pool is the only location suitable for competitive events in the city.

The swimmers lobbied every member of council – and handed the council committee Clerk a thick file of petitions. That and a solid delegation from a service club and the Standing Committee went for the first option. That got confirmed at the city council meeting last week.

The next step for Councillor Dennison was – When!

He wants the new pool in place for the summer of 2016 – the city manager didn’t see it quite that same way.

Dennison wanted a Design and Build approach rather than the longer, and more expensive approach – putting the job out to tender where the city has to accept the lowest bid that comes in.

Dennison argues that there are a number of pool builders in the province who built swimming pools for the Pan Am Games. They have the experience and have used the most recent technology and could get a new pool in place quite quickly – by July of next year according to Dennison who has had conversations with a number of pool builders.

With a council decision to build a “like for like” – they had a 50 metre pool – so they get a new 50 metre pool – Dennison now needs to convince his colleagues to direct staff to put out a call for Design and Build proposals.

The city manager was having a bit of a problem with that approach. His view was that city council was straying onto his turf and that the decision as to which approach should be taken was part of his domain.

City manager James Ridge, who brings his ten years of Canadian Army Military Police experience and background to his task, has run up against Jack Dennison who doesn’t have much time for org charts and chains of command. Jack Dennison just wants to get out there and get it all done.

Next step for Dennison is to see if he can find the three votes he needs to get the Staff Direction passed. Will he be able to convince three of his fellow council members to vote for a Staff Direction to at last take a look at what a Design and Build proposal would look like?

It is going to be hard for those members of council from the east end of the city to say no to just looking.

Mayor Goldring once represented ward 5, will he say no? The 200 emails members of council got from the swimming club members will have an impact on any decision that gets made and when the rest of the community hears that it just might be possible to have their pool in place for next summer – well you can get a sense as to how that discussion is going to work out.

Assuming Dennison can get a Staff Direction voted on – he then has to find the money to pay for the work. Joan Ford, city treasurer, did say the money was in place for the work to be done in 2018 – and maybe 2017 if some juggling around of funds were done.

Dennison points to a number of tasks that were going to be done in the ward that he would have no problem with doing some switching of delivery dates on.

Ward 4 Councillor Jack Dennison always has an eye open for an economic opportunity - sees a great one for the city: sell the golf course.

Ward 4 Councillor Jack Dennison has served on city council for more than 20 years – he knows the territory exceptionally well. Will he have his way with the city manager?

What just might be shaping up is a bit of a showdown between the city manager, who has yet to be tested, and a city Councillor who wants to deliver a big one for his constituency.

The two issues just might end up on the front page at about the same time as Dennison’s Ontario Municipal Board hearing on his appeal against a Committee of Adjustment decision not to allow him to sever his Lakeshore Road property where he lives in a historically designated home is heard.

This is one to keep an eye on as we move into a new year.

Don’t count on Dennison losing this one.

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Ice rink event - 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Rotary Centennial Pond in Spencer Smith Park

News 100 redBy Staff

December 10, 2015


The only thing that will prevent the Christmas Collage from taking place will be consistent rain – and while there may not be any snow – there will be ice at the Rotary Pond at Spencer Smith Park and that is all we need explained Michaela DiMarcantonio

The event is seen as the Kick off for the holiday season.

Presented by Mercedes-Benz Burlington to support of the McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Skater in the air

The kind of talent you can expect at the ice show.

This is the second annual Mercedes-Benz ice show that will bring performers together to share their passion for ice sports and the arts on Friday, Dec. 11, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. at the Spencer Smith Park on the Rotary Centennial Pond in Burlington, Ont.

“Youth performers are the stars of our show,” shared Joanne Corner, Producer and Director, Christmas Collage. “It is important to celebrate their talents while in the spirit of the Christmas season giving back to the McMaster Children’s Hospital.”

The evening hosted by Clint “Bubba” O’Neil will incorporate seven ice sports into a choreographed performance including figure skating, synchronized skating, hockey, sledge hockey, ringette, curling and speed skating. Santa Claus will also be joining in on the fun.

Girls from skate club

Members of one of the ice skating teams taking part in the holiday season kick off event.

Admission for the Christmas Collage is free and all guest of all ages are welcome to attend. Online donations to the McMaster Children’s Hospital are encouraged and can be made at the following link:

The nonprofit organization began in 2014 with a vision to bring the Burlington and surrounding community together during the joyful time of Christmas. Christmas Collage is committed to raising funds to benefit local charities.

7:30 p.m. at the Rotary Centennial Pond in Spencer Smith Park, Burlington, Ont.

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Will the Skyway arena get a major makover or will the city build a brand new building? Might depend on what gets done with the Lakeside Village Plaza.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

November 25, 2015


The Skyway arena is getting a really close look from the people who do the thinking at the Parks and Recreation department. It might be in for minor changes or it could be replaced with a totally new building.

The Parks and Recreation people had to decide a while ago that the city did need 11 ice pads – which meant that the Skyway Arena was going to continue to be part of the total ice pad compliment.


The Skyway Arena – due for an upgrade – potential for some significant changes.

The challenge then was to decide what to do with the building that needed more work than any of the other arenas.

There was considerable discussion as to whether the place should have one or two ice pads – that wasn’t totally resolved.

Jennifer Johnson at Lakeside Plaza visioning

Jennifer Johnson, an engineer with the city, listens to a ward 5 resident who explains where he would like to see development take place

Knowing the rink was in poor shape, there was no viewing section that was elevated and warm, accessibility was very poor and the mechanical used to maintain the ice has seen better days.

Mountainside entrace BEST Johnson and planner

The lobby area of the recently opened Mountainside Recreation Centre

The Mountainside arena was recently given a major upgrade – almost a rebuild. Gone was the look of an old style arena – the place was given more space for community use and much improved lockers.

The city was prepared to do the same for Skyway and just yesterday awarded a contract to ZAZ, the company that did the work at Mountainside.

The three options the architects are going to look at include:

1: like for like – upgrade the structure giving the community a more efficient to operate facility.

2: like with enhancement and improvements.

3:  replace the existing structure with something new and integrate it into the community.

The architects will create a number of concepts that are expected to go to city council sometime next year – the thought was this might be during the 2Q of 2016

When that comment was made the audience broke into applause.

Denise Beard, Manager of Community Development Services wanted the audience to talk about what they would like to see – rooms where games of cards could be played, space with small kitchen facilities.

Mountainside has two very nice community rooms that have screens that can be dropped down for showing videos; there are small microwaves in the rooms with a sink.

Mountainside has the advantage of having an outdoor swimming pool – Skway has the advantage of having a large park as part of the property.

Linking the parks

The high level thinking is how to fully integrate a re-developed Skyway Park and arena into a re-developed Lakeside Village Plaza an tie both into Burloak Park that is also undergoing a remake.

There is going to be a change – and the community is in on the changes right from the beginning.

The thinking that is being applied to the Lakeside Village plaza is going to be applied to the Skyway arena and park as well as Burloak Park – it will be interesting to see what is in place in five years.

The potential for something really beneficial to the community is certainly there.

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The Barracudas found another Gold medal - four so far this month.

element_sportsBy Staff

November 21, 2015


It must be awkward when you lose track of just how many gold medals you’ve won – that seems to be the case for the Burlington Girls Hockey Association – collectively known as the Barracudas.

After running a piece on the three gold medals different teams won we were advised by their communications person that: “I’ve just been informed that we actually won FOUR Gold Medals these past two weeks.”

This was won by the Bantam BB – Gold Medal – Waterloo Ravens Fall Challenge Cup. November 6-8, 2015.

That is certainly worth a picture which we share with you.

Previous Gold medal wins


Burlington Girls Hockey Club – BB Bantam – winners of the Gold Medal – Waterloo Ravens Fall Challenge Cup. November 6-8, 2015.

Hockey Bantam BB - Gold Medal - Waterloo Ravens Fall Challenge Cup

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Burlington Barracudas bring home gold - three times - from Detroit, Rochester and Barrie

element_sportsBy Staff

November 20th, 2015


The Barracudas – Burlington Girls Hockey Club, founded in 1996 – brought home three gold medals from tournaments this month.

The Club provides a safe and fun place for young athletes to play hockey. The not-for-profit organization has more than 750 girls playing Canada’s favourite sport and offers programs for girls ages 4 to 21 at both the house league and competitive levels.

They brought home three GOLD tournament medals, from three different tournaments including:

Bauer World Hockey Invitational in Detroit, MI
Rochester, NY Fire On Ice Tournament
Barrie Sharkfest Tournament

What do a bunch of winners look like:

Hockey Bantam AA - Gold Medalists - Bauer World Hockey Invitational - Detroit - with Little Caesars (2)

Bantam AA — Gold Medalists — Bauer World Hockey Invitational in Detroit, MI November 13-15, 2015. Burlington Girls Hockey Club – Bantam AA with second place team, Little Caesars of Michigan

Hockey - PeeWee BB - GOLD - Rochester NY Fire On Ice Tournament

PeeWee BB — Gold Medalists — Rochester, NY Fire On Ice Tournament November 4-6, 2015 Front Row: Ella Arsenault, Callista Thompson Middle Row: Renee Doucet, Claire Shepherd, Reese Andreychuk, Savannah Singh, Aliya Armstrong, Peyton Bear, Regan Duffy Back Row: Madison Dilworth, Charlie Lewis, Madisson Fonseca, Madison Uba, Kristen Hazlett, Ainsley Kaszecki, Jessica Anderchek, Kira Rowe

HJockey Peewee A - Gold Medalists -Barrie Sharkfest Tournament

Peewee A — Gold Medalists — Barrie Sharkfest Tournament November 13-15, 2015

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295,671.77 lbs of food raised through the Giving Back project; bit more to come.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

November 4, 2015


Not quite the number that was hoped for (305,000 LBS) but a fabulous number nevertheless.

Giving back - loaded bins

Some of the 295,000 lbs plus food collected in a two day period – ready for the trucks and the fork lifts

And there are bits and pieces that will arrive on Thursday that will take that total of 295,671.77 lbs up a notch or two.

The efforts of the various teams went like this:

In 1st Place: Minor Atom AA with 22,132.7 lbs!
2nd Place Team: Minor Atom A with 18,889.04 lbs!
3rd Place Team: Tyke 1 (AAA) with 17,127.88 lbs!
4th Place Team: Tyke 2 (AA) with 16,998.5 lbs!
5th Place Team: Novice A with 14,503 lbs!

295,671.77 lbs. of food to be distributed to organizations across the community.

Final numbers announced tomorrow.

Giving back - boys with cans

Citizens in the making – learning how to give back to the community.

One final step in what is truly a magnificent effort – and that is to instill in the minds of the thousands of young people who were on the floor of the gymnasium lugging bags and boxes of food from the weighing scale to the sorting tables and then to the bins that will be used to transport the food to warehouses from which it will be distributed – that this is what community is all about.

We are so very fortunate to live in a city that is safe, healthy, prosperous and when called upon exceptionally generous.
This is not something to be taken lightly. Those young people are tomorrow’s leaders – help them understand how big an event they were part of and why it is important for them to carry that tradition forward.

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Giving back gets a number attached to it: 1 million lbs of food collected by young Burlington hockey players and donated to families in need.

News 100 redBy Staff

November 2nd, 2015


On Tuesday, November 3rd and Wednesday, November 4th, more than 2,000 young hockey athletes and students will come together at Nelson High School to turn over all of the food they have collected from the Burlington community for The 10th Annual Gift of Giving Back Food Drive — the largest food drive of its kind in Canada.

It is an amazing event and one that to a large degree defines the city.

Gift of Giving back logo - 10thCelebrating its 10th Anniversary, the annual Fall community food drive supports, educates and empowers thousands of young male and female hockey athletes and high school students to compassionately give back to their community.

Baracudas - Burlington - girlsThese are young men and women who are being taught to give back to the community they have grown up in and been educated. The community that is one of the safest in the country and offers opportunity for personal growth to our youth at every socio economic level.

These are young people that play hard and enjoy the life they live – some may not appreciate how fortunate enough they are – but the leadership that created The Gift of Giving Back Food Drive deserves credit for making it happen. They of course won’t hear of any credit going to them – they will tell you that it is the kids that make it happen.

Eagles - BurlingtonNelson LordsThe Burlington Eagles; The Burlington Girls Hockey Club (Barracudas); Burlington Cougars; and Nelson Lords.

The food collected by more than 85 male and female youth hockey teams from: The Burlington Eagles; The Burlington Girls Hockey Club (Barracudas); Burlington Cougars; and Nelson Lords.

Cougars - BurlingtonSince its inception, more than 1 million lbs of food has been donated to families in need. That is the accumulative donation of $2.5 million. Last year, The Gift of Giving Back collected more than 278,000 lbs of food and this year, hopes to exceed that amount and collect more than 305,000 lbs.

How does it happen – see for yourself – Click here.

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Run jump play: city gets behind a three year initiative to get young people outside playing.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 22, 2015


Run, Jump, Play – every day. That’s the drill and Burlington got it off to a decent start with children and some staff skipping and twisting with hula hoops outside city hall as the Healthy community initiative got kick started.

The Healthy Community initiative involves the school boards, community groups including Community Development Halton and staff from the Parks and Recreation department and the YMCA.

Hula hooper - Run jump play

Hip swiveling and chalking are the recreational tools that will be used during the first phase of the three year Healthy Community initiative being funded by the province to the tune of $1.1 million

The funding comes from the provincial Ministry of Health and Long Term Care that wants to get kids to those under 12’s that spend more time in front of some kind of screen and get them outdoors.

The program is a three year effort to get children outside and away from the screens – television and computers.

One of the school board trustees recently advised her colleagues that more than 2400 requests for courtesy space on school buses has been requested by students who would not normally be within the area where school bus transportation is provided.

Beard - hoola hoope - run jump play

City hall staff show how its done with Hula hoops – the expectation is that they can get these things out into the community and have children under 12 swiveling their hips.

There was a time when there was more phys- ed in schools – Stuart Miller, Director of Education explained that liability issues have made it difficult to provide the kind of physical education classes that used to be held. You don’t see ropes for kids to climb in the schools anymore; there are no more wall bars either he added.

Miller did say that students must get 20 minutes of exercise each day and that there are physical education classes – but it doesn’t look as if society is looking to the schools to ensure that children get the exercise they need in an educational setting.

That task has been taken up by the province and shifted to the city who in turn look to Community Development Halton who know where the pockets of the population who are not on good healthy diets and who don’t have the money to buy the equipment to play hockey or football live; those communities where running shoe’s come in at over $150 a pair are not in the household budget in the marginalized communities in the city.

Does this mean that Run Jump Play is for a particular sector of this city’s population?  Difficult to say at this point – the maps outlining where Community Development Halton is going to focus their work have not yet been completed.

The program is a three year initiative with $1.1 million of funding in place.  The intention is to collect a lot of data to determine how much weight can be lost with this kind of program.

Goldring + Tina 4 run jump play

Mayor Goldring showing the four year old daughter of a city hall staffer how well he draws with chalk

This kind of program was used in France where the results were reported to be very positive.  Measuring  Body Mass Index (BMI) changes is seen as a simple way to determine if there has been a change.

It is a positive program and it got off to a good start.  The Mayor didn’t twist and turn with a hula hoop around his waist  instead he drew with a piece of chalk – this after saying at the opening of his wife’s art gallery earlier in the week that he was so bad at art that his teacher gave him a 50 mark and suggested he leave the program.

Related article:

City gets $1.1 million in funding for health initiative.

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The province wants to put more money into off road bike paths - where would Burlingtonians like to see those paths built?

News 100 redBy Staff

October 23, 2014


The province wants to help cities become more bike-friendly – that perked up the ears of council members as they worked through a draft of the Strategic Plan that is going to set a direction for the balance of the current term of office.

McMahon with a bike

MPP Eleanor McMahon is a strong and consistent cyclist.

Burlington has an MPP, Eleanor McMahon who is a champion of sharing the road.  The city has hundreds of kilometres of bike trails and a rural area that offers some of the most challenging terrain for the truly committed.

McMahon said: “Ontarians want to spend less time in their cars and more time travelling by active transportation. The number one reason Ontarians don’t ride their bike is because they don’t feel safe to do so. In addition to recent changes to the Highway Traffic act, the amendments support the development of cycling and pedestrian infrastructure by simplifying the process for municipalities to plan and build off-road multi-use pathways.”

Burlington could be the poster boy for community cycling.  So when the province announces funding for more bike use – we are in.

Ontario is helping cities become more sustainable and environmentally friendly by making it easier to build off-road bike paths and large-scale recreational trails.  The province will invest $25 million in #CycleON: Ontario’s Cycling Strategy to create a more cycling-friendly the province.

The province has created a new streamlined process for municipalities to submit proposals for environmental assessment on new paths and trails. The new process will be easier and quicker, saving municipalities considerable time, money and effort.

The amendments were proposed by the Municipal Engineers Association and received significant public feedback during the province’s public consultation. The new environmental assessment process also supports CycleON, the province’s long-term strategy to help make Ontario the number one province for cycling in Canada,


Cycling enthusiast Rob Narejko keeps a couple of bikes in his garage and can often be seen on the rural roads.

Supporting cycling and helping Ontarians reduce their carbon footprints is part of the government’s plan to build Ontario up. The four-part plan includes investing in people’s talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.

Great wording – now where would Burlingtonians like to see “off road bike paths” built?

Leave your ideas in the comments section.


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City wants to know how you made use of the swimming pools - they already know about the Nelson pool problem.

News 100 blueBy Staff

October 2, 2015


How did you use the city’s swimming pools this summer?

Many people didn’t get to use the Nelson pool at all – but that is a different story isn’t it?

The City is asking Burlington residents to complete a survey to tell the city how they use city pools during the summer.

Splash pad LaSalle - swimmingChris Glenn, director of parks and recreation said in a media release: “We know many residents were disappointed that Nelson Pool did not open this summer. We want to know how they use pools so we can consider their feedback during our investigation of summer pool needs in Burlington.”

A survey is available online. Pool users can access the survey until Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015.

The input from the pool survey will be used to help City Council make decisions about the future direction of outdoor pools in Burlington. The results will be outlined in a report to council this fall.

For more information on Burlington pools, visit

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A weekend of Fast Pitch at Sherwood Forest park - second best if you don't have Blue Jays tickets

Event 100By Staff

September 30, 2015


If you enjoy fast paced, high scoring baseball games in October, the End of Season Fastpitch Tournament is for you and your family. Come on out for the action and support a local charity.

Fast pitch   male

Everything about Fast Pitch is fast – did the runner make it to the bag?

Sixteen teams from across Southern Ontario will meet this weekend at Sherwood Forest Park. Starting Friday evening, all day Saturday with Sunday championships games.

Fastpitch is much quicker paced than baseball, with 7 inning games games lasting about 1.5 hours, faster in-field play and more big hits!

There will be a Bavarian beer garden serving BBQ’ed hotdogs and burgers. Fifty-fifty draws will be held with a portion of proceeds going local charities.

This event is put on the Burlington Intermediate Men’s Fastball League ( and the Hamilton Rosedale Fastpitch League.

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