City appears to have a vision for the corner of Lakeshore Road and Brant - owner of the land knows nothing about the rendering.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

March 20th, 2018



It was a very nice drawing. Architects and planner call them renderings. They are used by the real estate agents selling property and frequently they don’t reflect what the end product is going to look like.

The Gazette has used the drawings on a number of occasions.

Brant lakeshore - Molinaro b

A rendering out of the fertile mind of someone in the city’s planning department? It didn’t come from the developer that owns the land. Corner of Lakeshore Road and Brant Street.

We were both surprised and a little stunned when we learned that while the property at the north east corner of Brant and Lakeshore is owned by the Molinaro Group – the rendering wasn’t produced by the Molinaro’s.

What? – you might ask.

Apparently the city planning department didn’t ask the Molinaro people for permission to put together a rendering – they just did it.

During a recent city council meeting there was considerable discussion on how high a building on that site should be? The debate had the height swinging from 23 then down to 17 then down to 15 and then down to 12 and then back up to 17.

The Molinaro Group owns the land but they say they haven’t even decided who the architect on the project might be.

Brant lakeshore - Molinaro rendering a

The rendering that reflects the thinking of the planning department – the owner of the property knows nothing about it and didn’t authorize it creation or use.

They are busy completing the Paradigm on Fairview and getting ready to start work on Brock 2 and continuing their discussions with the planners on their Brant/Ghent development that is working its way through the planning department.

When that fellow to the south of us (the American President) told some of his supporters that he just made up the international trade figures he gave to our Prime Minister we shrugged – that what he does; tells lies because he doesn’t know what the truth is.

survey04Has that habit worked its way across the border and into the Burlington Planning department?

Just asking.

Salt with Pepper are the opinions, musings and reflections of the Publisher of the Burlington Gazette

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10 comments to City appears to have a vision for the corner of Lakeshore Road and Brant – owner of the land knows nothing about the rendering.

  • Brian Jones

    This rendering and the fact that staff has time to put this forward bolsters the picture that downtown Burlington is doomed. When rendering is put forth to council, without the Molinaro’s knowledge, arguing how high the building should be, then what is the answer. ****A city of HIGH RISES. Council has totally disregarded majority of delegates objections. “OOPs! the province makes us do this”

    As Dennis says apparently we need protection from the planning department. He mentions developers as well but in the real mindset it is Council.

  • Dennis walker

    Most members of the council refer to the official plan as providing some sort of ‘protection’ for the city against some (I presume) provincial control of our city.
    We now appear to need protection from them the planning department and the developers

  • Bruce Change

    Interesting how a lot of people involved in this process have argued over and over again for a 3D video of the downtown and “how it can look” in 20-30 years after the development of new buildings, but are quick to blame the city for creating a rendering of one or two buildings in the downtown. The cost of a 3D model video of the whole downtown, as often requested by the community and delegates would greatly exceed the time and cost of one rendering. You can’t ask for it, then complain when they give it to you.

  • It’s hard to believe that the planning department is somehow a neutral party on the height question. They obviously have an agenda to push high buildings everywhere this is just evidence of it.

    When the application for the 30 story building comes in they will just go “How were we to know this would happen – just because we encouraged it.”

  • Lynn Crosby

    So they can’t make a 3d model of buildings that are being planned but they can take the time to create drawings of pretend buildings that will never exist?

  • Perry Bowker

    These ‘Conception’ pictures have been front and centre in efforts by both the City and developers to mislead citizens about what they are up to. Usually they show a majestic structure, surrounded by happy walkers and cyclists, wide sreets, trees and open space. Visit rhe actual site and it’s obvious how deceptive these pictures are. The City’s Official Plan sales pitches are replete with them (and contrasted with old pictures of decrepid storefronts). The recent rendering of the propsal for the Solid Gold site was a fantasy, since its viewpoint would have to be from behind existing buildings. There oughta be a law….triuth in advertising, maybe.

  • Susie

    Isn’t it strange that this rendering “Photo” has been on paper for some time and only now is there a public explanation of who put this together, and (supposedly) without any knowledge by the owner?? With what we have been told of the flurry of developers proposals coming into the City, I wouldn’t think there would be any extra time or money by the City Architects or Planners for such unnecessary rendering at this time! If time would have been spent on this site location, putting a low height building near the lake like what they originally led us to believe would happen, then time spent would be favourable going forward. Pillaring every cross street corner to give a higher “mirror image” to the other side is so “old fashion”!!! A much lower building at that strategic corner would soften that hi-rise “ugly pillar look” and give the “one and only open window look” for all to see from down Brant Street to the Lake. Nothing more beautiful, striking, and enlightening!!!

  • Stephen White

    So…if the rendering wasn’t requested by Molinaro, why did the Planning Department undertake to do it?

    Are we to infer from this that Planning Department officials have so much free time on their hands that they can undertake work for which: (a) they haven’t been asked to provide (b) they presumably haven’t been paid to create; (c) isn’t routinely part of their mandate; (d) isn’t in their job description; (e) there is no clear direction on what the rendering should like as expressed by Molinaro officials?

    And isn’t it reasonable to expect that Planning Department officials and real estate developers should maintain an arms-length relationship based on a clear respect of their differing roles and responsibilities?

    Questions, questions, and more questions….

  • Stu Parr

    However bizarre, I do not think that there is anything malicious or ill-intended in this action of the Planning Department (and Pepper you did not suggest that there was) but I think that it is nevertheless revealing. In my opinion, it speaks to just how conscripted in the new and improved OPS the planners have become; how committed they are to a “vision” of Burlington that they seem very reluctant to modify or change. It is a symptom of ownership in a product and process that now resists modifying or contrary input. They have become salespersons that push their picture of Burlington’s future, complete with developing, ‘pro bono’, pretty window dressings and attractive cityscapes. It is commendable to have pride in your work and product. However, you have crossed a line when that pride becomes a deaf or unresponsive ear to legitimate public criticism and concern. Just my opinion.

    • Perry Bowker

      I have been involved in many team projects in my time in business and consulting, and know how easy it is for everyone to get so invested in their ‘baby’ tthat they create a closed defensive bubble, resistant to disconfirmation, and fueled by self-sustaining rationalizations. This usually leads to disaster, and wise business leaders watch out for symptoms.