City councillors return to work after long holiday - lots of significant issues to be dealt with - early draft of the budget will be on the table.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

September 5, 2016



Well – it was nice while it lasted.

The Region advised us to expect extreme heat and humidity on Tuesday – which is the day most of us return to our desks and ready ourselves for a fall season of doing the city’s business.

These weather announcements are made when forecast temperatures are expected to reach at least 31 degrees Celsius with overnight temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius for two days, or when a humidex of 40 or higher is expected for two days.

Normally Mayor Goldring would drive west along New Street and watch for the number of people cycling in those new bike lanes but this Tuesday he will be heading north east for the Regional office where he and the other members of city council will do their work as Regional Councillors.

They buckle down to work on city matters the week of the 12th.

On that agenda are some significant items – the budget being the most important. Fresh numbers will be available soon – hopefully the treasurer will have climbed down from the 3.5% plus increase that had been floated.

Brant at Ghent development area

Several properties at the Ghent – Brant intersection are being readied for future development.

Intensification will get more attention – sometime in September one of the major developers in the city will announce a possible four structure development at the intersection of Brant and Ghent.

The growth of Brant street is working its way south from Fairview where the Molinaro’s are doing just fine with their five structure Paradigm development. The three 19 storey structures on the north side are approach the fifth floor level.

The ADI group plans for the intersection of Martha and Lakeshore Road are at the ‘talking it over” stage with the planning department before it all goes back to the Ontario Municipal Board in October.

Storm water needs some public attention – there are solutions but the public hasn’t been given much to look at and consider. The HAAP program is underway assessing the vulnerability of 4,000 Burlington-area homes to flood damage.

The program will make recommendations to help homeowners avoid costly damage from extreme weather and at the same time collect the data needed to inform potential expansion of the program to communities across the province.

Burlington got chosen for the program – our 2014 flood disaster made us the most eligible.

The transit people are in bed with the Economic Development people looking for ways to provide decent transit service for parts of the city where large employers would like to see something better for their employees.

Brant Square outside looking south

Burlington Square on the west side of Brant at Ghent is going to get a major upgrade with additional density on the south end.

Mobility hubs are getting looked at very closely – at one point during the Strategic Plan deliberations it looked as if Aldershot was going to be the first such hub. That seems to have shifted due in part to the nature of the working relationship with a developer and the city.

The Paradigm development next to the GO station and the impending announcement of a large development at Brant and Ghent where Burlington Square is getting significant upgrades with the units south of the high rise becoming four storey units makes this a significant increase in housing units that will do a lot to get us to the intensification target.

The question anyone with an eye for planning is – what does the city do with the properties to the east of the GO station where there are several car dealership and a horticultural outlet with a couple of restaurants.

Fairview looking east from Leggat

Automotive dealerships, a horticulture operation and a number of restaurants dot the north side of Fairview between the GO station and Guelph Line – The time may be coming when this land can be put to much better use.

The area becomes prime commercial property – and when linked to the downtown core certainly has the makings of a transportation.

Elizabeth’s on the corner of Brant and James is reported to have been sold – the furniture operation is being moved to Fairview – that whole block is then in play – someone has something planned.

The Paradigm and the yet to be announced development at Ghent and Brant are going to being upwards of 3500 people into that community. THAT is growth – which is what this council wants – but there is a hard core of people west of Brant who don’t want quite that much development.


Ward 2 residents look at plans a developer has put forward during a workshop held by the ward Councillor.

Ward 2 city councillor Marianne Meed Ward held a series of public meeting at which people in her ward got to comment on what they wanted to see in the way of development. To her credit Meed Ward has kept herself open to ideas and has been consistent in her willingness to listen to her constituents.

Her report on what she learned from the three meetings is due sometime later in the fall.

The content of that report just might serve as the frame that sets out the issues at which point the public can decide what the appropriate lenses should be to look at what is proposed and then shape decisions that fit into the intensification requirements and the Strategic Plan.

We mustn’t forget the Official Plan review that is now getting the attention it needs – that task got put on hold until the Strategic Plan was in place.

The city is apparently working with Vince Rossi on the site plan he is required to submit – once there is a document in hand the city can then refine its contents and perhaps get to the point where there is something done with the hundreds of tonnes of landfill that was dumped on the property.

In the past four to six months conversations have taken place with interested parties who see the potential for the air park and have the necessary executive capacity to make something acceptable happen. No one is going to do anything until the site plan matter is worked out.


How many of this significant seven will decide to run for office in 2018 – and which office will they run for?

This city council is at the halfway point of its term – this is the point when municipal politicians began thinking about getting themselves re-elected.

The rules they will have to work within as candidates in 2018 are going to be a lot different than they were last time around.

Look for a lot of self-serving statement in the next 26 months.

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