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: www.hamiltonhealth.ca/ChristmasCollage

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 www.burlington.ca/swimming.

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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 (www.BIMFL.weebly.com) and the Hamilton Rosedale Fastpitch League.

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City re-launches neighbourhood ice rink program: are they expecting another cold winter?

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

September 29, 2015


The Parks and Recreation department has decided to re-launch of the neighbourhood rink program for winter 2015/16.

The positive impacts from a community rink on private property in the Mountainside Area and two consecutive cold winters was enough to bring back the outdoor rink program.


Parks and recreation department thinks a total of 17 neighbourhood rinks could be created – all people have to do is apply.

Eleven parks have a flat area that is in close proximity to a city water supply and are able to support a neighbourhood rink. Some parks can fit more than one rink, for up to 17 outdoor rinks.

The following parks can take an outdoor rink:

Brant Hills Park, Bridgeview Park, Central Park, Ireland Park, Lowville Park, Mountainside Park, Nelson Park, Orchard Park, Sheldon Park, Sherwood Park, and Tansley Woods Park,

Other parks may be considered on an individual basis if residents are willing to provide their own water supply, and the park has a suitable flat area.

Residents interested in having a rink need to gather at least six other neighbours and complete an online application form that will be available at burlington.ca/skating.

Staff will review submissions, award rinks, and provide an information package to successful applicants on how best to make and maintain ice.

outdoor rink - flooding

There are parents out there that take great pleasure in going out late at night after the kids are in bed and flooding the neighbourhood rink.

Staff will put up boards, supply hoses and provide an orientation session for the residents. Staff will also conduct an initial rink inspection.

The neighbourhood group will perform the initial and subsequent floods, shovel the snow, and manage issues among themselves as much as possible.

Help get the word out!

Please share the messaging about the program with the residents. Staff will supply communication pieces that members of Council can insert into their ward communications. Encourage residents to get out and get active this winter!

Key dates:
Late September: Communication Launch to Residents
Sept 28-Nov 1: Application Period
Mid November: Rink locations awarded
Mid December: Rink boards setup in approved locations
March: Rink take down (weather dependent)

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Transit change: Route 1 East detour in downtown Hamilton - Saturday Sept. 26

notices100x100By Staff

September 23, 2015


Route 1 East detour in downtown Hamilton – Saturday Sept. 26

Hamilton Bulldogs

Bulldogs hold their home opener for the season – bus route gets altered.

This Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015 from approximately 3 to 7 p.m., Bay Street in downtown Hamilton will be closed between King Street and York Boulevard for the Hamilton Bulldogs home opener. During this time, the Route 1 East will be detoured as follows:

• Regular routing to King Street and Bay Street
• Continue West along King Street
• Right at Hess Street
• Left at Cannon Street
• Resume regular routing.

Pick-up and drop-off locations in the detour area will be at King & Hess Streets as well as at Hess and Cannon Streets.

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Two Showcase AAU basketball teams competing at the 13U category and the 15U category in the United States are holding tryout - Burlington players can get in on this..

element_sportsBy Staff

August 24, 2015


The increasing number of scholarship opportunities for basketball players in the United States is something Jim Thornton, of the Wildcats Basketball club feels should be welcomed by the Hamilton Region basketball community. In recent years there has only been one organization in the Hamilton and surrounding area offering an AAU Showcase program.

Starting this season (2015-2016), Wildcats Basketball out of Hamilton, Ontario will be introducing two Showcase AAU Teams competing at the 13U category and the 15U category in the United States. These teams will be for players born in 2002/2003 and 2000/2001 respectively.

Wildcvats 2015 Team Picture

Wildcats competed at the U15 level last year in Ontario; finished their season in the Top 15 teams in Ontario out of approximately 100

If the last few NBA drafts have shown anything, they have shown that Canadian Basketball in general is getting stronger. Several of the top overall picks have been Canadians over the last few years and going forward Canadian Basketball is only going to get stronger on the world stage.

AAU stands for Amateur Athletic Union which is the main organization for youth sports in the United States. Teams that compete in the top tournaments in the AAU have some of the top talent in North American and many of these players go on to play basketball at the collegiate level offered through scholarships.

Thornton, President of the Wildcats, took over the club for the 2014-2015 season. In just one year, he and his right-hand man Rob Bowman have been able to change the image of the club; giving it a much needed makeover.

Thornton’s plan is to raise Wildcats Basketball Club to The Premiere Basketball Club in the Hamilton and Surrounding area. “Hamilton has some great basketball talent and it is a shame that more young athletes don’t get the opportunity to showcase their skills in front of the right scouts and coaches”, says Mr. Thornton.

The Wildcats competed at the U15 level last year in Ontario (Born in 2000), finished their season in the Top 15 teams in Ontario out of approximately 100 teams that competed at that age group. Five years ago this team was one of the lowest rank teams in the province. “Our accomplishments and improvement only testify to the hard work and dedication that my players have put in almost 12 months per year over the last 2 seasons”, said Thornton.
Both Showcase AAU teams that Wildcats Basketball will be launching for the 2015-2016 season will compete from October 2015 through to the end of July 2016.

These teams will train a minimum of twice a week in the Hamilton area and will compete in exhibition games and tournaments in Ontario. They will then compete in the CYBL (Canadian Youth Basketball League) which is a league designed for the top Canadian teams to prepare for their U.S. Tournament Schedules.

Basketball player red shirt

The creation of two AAU Showcase basketball teams opens up an opportunity for young Burlington players to grow with the sport.

From April through to the end of July 2016, both the Showcase Wildcats teams will travel to the U.S. where they will attend “Live Tournaments” such as Motown Showdown in Detroit, The Chicago Classic, King James Shooting Classic and others. Live tournaments are tournaments where there are numerous, sometimes dozens of College and University scouts from NCAA schools in Division 1, 2 and 3. Teams like this don’t offer any promises for the athletes that play on them, but at least there will be a second organization in the Hamilton Area that is willing to commit the time and resources to young athletes, helping them get in front of College and University scouts for the purpose of earning scholarships.

Thornton will be starting tryouts for these Showcase teams starting as early as September 8, 2015 at McMaster University. For information on locations and times for tryouts visit hamiltonwildcats.com and look up U16 for the 2000/2001 age group and U14 for the 2002/2003 age group.

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Kitchener takes the semi final in the InterCounty Baseball League - will play Barrie for the tittl

element_sportsBy Staff

August 23, 2015


The Kitchener Panthers defeated the London Majors 9-2 to take the semi- finals in the InterCounty Baseball League. They will now play the Barrie Baycats in the final round.

IBL panthers winning

Kitchener Panthers defeat London Majors in the InterCounty Baseball League semi- final Photo credit: Ian Stuart

The league announced the schedule for the 2015 final between the first-place and defending champion Barrie Baycats and second-place Kitchener Panthers:

Tuesday, Aug. 25 @ Barrie 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 27 @ Kitchener 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 29 @ Barrie 7 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 30 @ Kitchener 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 1 @ Barrie 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 2 @ Kitchener 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 3 @ Barrie 7:30 p.m. =

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Finalists in the Intercounty Baseball League to be determined in Kitchener tonight.

element_sportsCBy Staff

August 22, 2015



The Intercounty Baseball League is a game away from knowing who the two finalists are going to be.

The Barrie Baycats beat the Toronto Maple leafs which makes them one of the finalists.

Batter IBL AugustThe London Majors forced a seventh game against the Kitchener Panthers after their 5-3 Friday night.

Burlington dropped out of the race when they lost to the London Majors in the quarter finals.

The league has seen most of the games in this race to the final tightly matched with no one taking a series in a clean sweep.

Things have also gotten a little feisty on the field with the league suspending both players and a coach as the result of more excitement than is allowed when Kitchener played London on August 19th.

The game to determine the second finalist will be played in Kitchener at 7 pm on Saturday.

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Toronto's baseball team has forced a seventh game in the Intercounty baseball league - Burlington got taken out in the quarter finals.

element_sportsBy Staff

August 20, 2015


The Burlington Bandits didn’t make it out of the quarter finals – but that doesn’t mean Burlingtonians don’t have an interest in the semi-finals games of the Intercounty Baseball League.

Leafs rebound IBLThe Toronto Maple Leafs baseball team forced a game 7 after 18-6 win over the Barrie Baycats.  Trailing 3-2 going into the bottom of the fourth, the Leafs scored nine runs in their half inning to blow the game open and eventually tie the best-of-seven series at three games apiece.

Toronto had six home runs in the 23-hit offensive onslaught. First baseman Jon Waltenbury and centre-fielder Tyler Mitchell each went deep twice. Waltenbury finished with six RBI and scored three runs, and Mitchell, who added a double and two singles, had four RBI and four runs.

The Kitchener Panthers are battling the London Majors; that series is tied 2-2. Game 5: Thursday, Aug. 20 @ Kitchener 7:30 p.m.; Game 6: Friday, Aug. 21 @ London 7:35 p.m. and if necessary, Game 7: Saturday, Aug. 22 @ Kitchener 7 p.m.

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Maple Skate Park closed Aug. 31 to Oct. 17, 2015

element_sportsBy Staff

August 19, 2015


The Maple Skate Park will be closed from Aug. 31 to Oct. 17, 2015 for park improvements.

Construction to update the park will include the installation of a new feature called a “wedge roll-in”; unveiling of the improvements is scheduled for mid-October.

Ward Councillor Blair Lancaster and Mayor Rick Goldring put their political repitations on the line and stand on skate baords.  Is there one foot on the ground there?

Ward Councillor Blair Lancaster and Mayor Rick Goldring put their political reputations on the line and stand on skate boards. Is there one foot on the ground there?

The improvements to the park were made possible with the support of the GWD Foundation for Kids, the City of Burlington and the Maple Tribute Project community group. They raised more than $10,000 to honour the memory of Andrew McKay, an avid member of the Maple Skate Park community, who passed away in 2013.

Skateboarding Norton elements

This is how they do it.

During the closure, the City’s other skate parks will remain open. Visit www.burlington.ca/parks for locations

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Sports fields closed due to foul weather

News 100 blueBy Staff

August 14, 2015


We are having our share of rain – and it is interrupting what people can do in the parks

The following Sport fields are closed on Friday August 14, 2015:

Ireland D1 & D2
Millcroft D1 & D2
Nelson D1
Sherwood Forest D1, D2, D3, D4

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Lauren, Olivia and Poppy get ready for their day at the CNE Rising Star competition.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

August 12, 2015


Now that we know a little about the three young girls in Burlington who will be taking part in the CNE Rising Star Talent contest – we can tell you something about what they are facing at this competition.

There are several hurdles these young girls have to go through to make it to the top.

CNE Dance Olivia and poppy

Olivia Koren on the left and Poppy Munro on the right loosen up as they get ready to take part in the CNE Rising Star event at the end of the month.

They got into the competition by sending in an application with a video – judges looked at everything and invited specific people to attend.

There are 48 contestant in the Junior class and 72 in the Youth class.

The Rising Star contest is for singers and dancers. Michael Bubble, the crooner, was a winner in the singing competition many years ago

All the girls from Burlington are in the Junior class; thy are all dancers.

All the action is on the International stage at the Enercare Centre on the CNE grounds. No cost to get in but you do have to pay to get into the CNE.

Dance Lauren Salt with pink cast

Lauren Salt’s pink cast will be gone by the time she is ready to take her place on the stage at the CNE Rising Star Talent event at the end of the month

All the shows take place at 6:30 pm

Preliminary judging takes place on August 21st to the 24th
Semi finals are on August 31st and September 1st
Finals for the Junior level are on September 5th.

The contestants will be judged on their natural ability – 20%
They will be judged on the staging and showmanship of their performance; 20%
The audience will tell what they liked – 20% of their mark comes from the audience
The judges give 40% based on the quality of the performance.

The Gazette will follow their progress and let you know how they do.

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