ONE BURLINGTON FESTIVAL: Building Bridges Between Faiths - August at the Band shell noon to 4:00 pm

eventsblue 100x100By Staff

July 18th, 2018



There are times when the city slogan – Burlington is one of Canada’s best and most livable cities, a place where people, nature and business thrive., makes sense and actually applies to the city of Burlington.

Syrians Dec-2-meting-cr accepting syrians

They packed the Mainway arena to talk about how Burlington could best welcome Syrians to the city.

Back in December of 2015 the Mayor of Burlington called a public meeting public meeting on Syrian refugees to gauge what there was in terms of community support.  Many were surprised at the size of the turnout – Mainway Arena was close to packed.

EleezaThe turnout was impressive. Eleeza at the time a 10 year old, stood to tell the audience that she was raising funds to buys toys for the children who were arriving at the airport.  People began putting money in her hands.

Burlington was capable and more than ready to welcome the new comers.

Just over a year ago Rory Nisan arrange for a candle light vigil to be held in Civic Square to recognize the senseless slaughter of six people at a mosque in Quebec city.

The idea took on a life of its own and is now an annual event when different faith groups get together and celebrate what they have.

ONE BURLINGTON FESTIVAL: Building Bridges Between Faiths

The event is to take place in front of the Band shell next to Central Library on August 6 from noon – 4 p.m. In the event of rain, the festival will be moved inside Central Arena.

“I am excited for this Festival and have been meeting with Muslim friends from the mosque, Hindu and Jewish groups and a variety of Christian leaders – and we will be able to learn about different faiths and cultures while sampling many different ethnic foods,” said Rev. Orville James, minister of Wellington Square United Church.

Osob-Adus-BEST-2017Osob Adus, Burlington Citizen of the Year and well-known community activist, said the festival is a way of knowing and embracing the beauty of all faith traditions and creating bridges between them.

“Mutual understanding and respect are the foundations for building communities across the borders of difference,” said Adus, a Muslim.

Now in its second year, One Burlington Festival was initially held as a response to the Quebec City mosque mass shooting that occurred the evening of January 29, 2017 at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City.

This year, the festival will open with an Interfaith prayer led by five clergy representing different faiths. An Indigenous smudging ceremony will follow.

Throughout the afternoon, along with free food, entertainment from different cultures will be featured. Performers include local singer-song writer Kim Verrall and violinist Sophie Huang; the Burlington Slam Poets who are celebrating their 10th anniversary; First Nations performer Jimmy Dick and his family and dance groups from the Sikh, Persian and Afro-Canadian communities.

Central park bandshellChildren’s activities and games include compiling a faith passport for which every child will earn an ecologically-friendly prize.

The ecological theme of this year’s festival focuses on building an understanding of the connections between faith and ecology. Everything from Eco-dinnerware to a green clean-up team are embedded in this year’s event.


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Developer short on cash – puts the touch on the city, city gives sweet deal. Better than maxing out the credit card.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON. May 29, 2011 The Molinaro Group given better than normal terms on development charges. Letter from the developers’ planner to the city treasurer

sets out the details and the rationale used.


February 3, 2010

Ms Joan Ford, Acting Treasurer

City of Burlington.


Dear Joan:

Re:     Request for Deferral of Development Charge Payments.

The Molinaro Group – 551 and 569 Maple Avenue, City of Burlington.

Please accept this letter as a request to defer development charge payments for the above project, which is a 186 unit condominium apartment building. We understand that the city has some experience in deferred development charge payments with separate policies for both residential and non-residential projects. With respect to the residential option, we understand the current policy permits deferring development charges for a building over 11 units in size for a period of 180 days on the condition that a Letter of Credit be provided for the full development charge amount.

This request is to modify that policy for this property in two ways. First, it is proposed that the development charges be paid in four equal installments at each of the four phases of developments as follows:

1st installment        At time of issuance of Building Permit for building foundation.

2nd installment    Six months after the issuance of the building permit for building foundation.

3rd installment    Six months after the second installment.

4th installment    The earlier of six months from the third installment, occupancy or registration of the project.

In addition, my client is requesting that there be no Letter of Credit provided during this time as it would defeat the intent and offset the benefit of staging the payments of development charges. In addition, it is the preference of my client not to pay any interest at the time installment payments are made. However, if an interest payment is required, they would recommend the interest rate be established at prime.

The rationale for this request is as follows. The sheer size of this project at 186 units creates a significant financial challenge of front ending all of the development charges when it will be approximately three to four years before the income is received by the developer from the time the initial payment is made. In other projects, including plans of subdivision and smaller multiple-unit properties registration ad the issuance of permits can be staged to a smaller, more manageable phases This not only minimizes the amount of payment required, but to allows the developer revenue on periodic basis to offset the cost of subsequent development payments. In this case. Full payment is required for all 186 units in advance of any income stream to the developer.

Secondly, as an infill project which utilizes, for the most part, existing infrastructure, we believe there will be less demand on development charges infrastructure costs for the Municipality than would be the case for greenfield developments.

The design of the project and support of the development by Council were focused in part upon the ability of the project to offer units within an affordable range, as defined by the Region. Any assistance which can be provided to mitigate somewhat the financial burden for this project through the staging of development charge payments would help to maintain the level of affordability provided by the project.

Another key feature of the development is the extent to which conservation initiatives are built into the development to achieve LEEDS accreditation. This reduction in the use of municipal services which is a key component of the LEEDSS accreditation process, will minimize the impact the project will have on municipal services

For the reasons outlined above, we feel the request is reasonable and will not create any significant financial impact on the Municipality. The developer is still committed to paying the full development charges. The staging of the payment of development charges is consistent with options available at other forms of housing.

Thank you for your consideration of this latter.


Fothergill Planning and Development Inc

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A planning tool that forgets people are part of the planning process. Section 37 – a missed opportunity.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINTON, ON May 28, 2011 – Burlington is one of a few cities that makes use of Section 37 of the Planning Act. Ottawa, Toronto and Markham use the provision which can be a very useful planning tool. In Burlington we are fortunate to have a planner who wrote the definitive text on the Ontario Municipal Board and a man who has served as a member of that Board. The significance of this is that most matters that go to the OMB are related to planning matters and to have a planner who knows the ins and outs of the OMB as well as the intent of the Board gives Burlington an intellectual advantage.

The way Section 37 of the Planning Act is implemented just might get a re-working in Burlington if Council members follow up on their comments.

The way Section 37 of the Planning Act is implemented just might get a re-working in Burlington if Council members follow up on their comments.

Section 37 of the Planning Act relates to situations where an Official Plan calls for a certain type of development. It could be single detached housing, row housing organized as a condominium or a high rise, inevitably the issue become one of density. How many units can you put in a piece of property ? The municipality’s Official Plan (OP) will set out what the density can be and the zoning on the piece of property will set out what kind of building can be built on the site.

There are occasions where a developer will approach a municipality with a proposal that exceeds what is set out in the OP, but after discussions with the Planning Department, agreement is reached that the proposal is “good planning” and meets both the immediate and long term needs of the city.

We had two instances of just that happening in Burlington very recently and both created significant opposition within their communities. One was a condominium development south of the Queensway and the other was the apartment/condominium development at Brock and Elgin. In both instances the city approved an amendment to the Official Plan to permit the development

Burlington is faced with a provincial requirement that we grow our population. The province tells us that is what we have to do and that is what we do. The provincial Places to Grow legislation requires Burlington to grow its population by 20,000 people over the next 20 years – that’s 1,000 new housing units every year.

Because the city no longer has very much “green space” to build large projects on they have to resort to intensification.

Developers see opportunities to take land that is being under utilized and they begin to assemble properties until they have an area large enough for the plans they have in mind.

In the Queensway area this resulted in a developer purchasing six properties that consisted of half an acre each. These lots were created at the end of WW II and known as Veterans Land Act properties. Once the land was assembled the developer asked for permission to build a 74 unit complex on the property and the local community was up in arms. That development eventually got cut back to 58 units but is still a significant bit of intensification – going from six homes to 58 on the same pieces of land.

In the Brock Elgin area the developer did an assembly and came to the city with a proposal to increase the density permitted in the Official Plan from 7 to 14 storeys. The community was aghast and argued against the development at two public meetings and a third meeting at a Council Committee and finally at a Council meeting. They were beaten back at every meeting.

In this instance the developer made a Section 37 proposal in which the city determines how much the value of the land the development is being built on is going to increase due to the development.

Note that the unit of measure here is the increase in ‘value of the land’ not the revenue and potential profit the developer expects to see. The city gets an appraisal of what the land was worth before the development and what the land will be worth after the development and then asks the developer to contribute half of the increase in value back to the city as community benefits.

In the Brock Elgin development the increase in the value of the land was deemed to be $1 million and the developer agreed to pay for community improvements worth $500,000.

This is seen as a way for a city to share in the gain that a developer earns when asking for and getting an amendment to an Official Plan. Sounds fair and is seen as a sound planning practice.

Where people in Burlington get really wound up is how the community benefits are determined. The Planning department does all that thinking – with not a peep from the community. Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward thinks this is wrong and fought vigorously to have the community involved in determining what the benefits should be.

She came close to getting her Council colleagues to look at what was being proposed then, to the surprise of just about everyone, they learned that if Council wanted to make any changes to the community benefits the matter had to be sent back to Committee.

Several Councillors believed that the amendment to the Official Plan and the applicable by law could be approved and the specific make up of the community benefits looked at later – wasn’t possible. The two had to be approved at the same time.

Section 37 of the Planning Act is a very sound and accepted planning tool. What Burlington hasn’t done is bring the community in on the process and get their input before deciding what to do.

Councillors Sharman and Taylor have said they want to see the community benefits issue handled much differently. We will be watching.


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