City has to come up with $1,323,432.07 to pay for its share of Civic Square redesign

By Pepper Parr

November 15th, 2023



Much of the funding municipalities get comes from specific federal and provincial programs that a city can apply for. There is a Staff member whose full time job is to watch for all the opportunities that come up and to file an application if the city thinks it fits with the Strategic Plan and there is a benefit to the community.

The federal Investing in Canada Infrastructure (ICIP) Program – Community, Culture and Recreation Stream was a program Burlington sent an application in for funding to revitalize Civic Square.

The City has funding to refurbish and revitalize Civic Square

It was a cost sharing program, between the Federal, Provincial and Municipal government.

The cost share breakdown is Federal – 40%, Provincial – 33.33% and municipal 26.67%.

The Government of Canada is investing $1,984,900. The Government of Ontario is providing $1,653,917.93, while the City of Burlington is investing $1,323,432.07.

Burlington has to come up with that $1.3 million at a time when there is significant concern over the proposed tax rate from the city’s Finance Department who put out 7.8% as the increase over last year needed to keep the wheels turning at city hall.

Was that a wise decision to make at this point in time? City administration thought it was and asked people to send along any ideas they might have.

It was interesting to note that all the work done to refurbish and revitalize the ground floor of city hall was done with zero input from the people who pay the bills.

It is certainly a very different ground floor.  On the two occasions I was in the building recently the place was barren.  During one half hour session while I waited for someone to find the security officer – two people entered the building.

Related news story

Could the Queen’s Head be made part of Civic Square?

Queen’s Head announces last call.







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6 comments to City has to come up with $1,323,432.07 to pay for its share of Civic Square redesign

  • Caren

    Why has our City Council approved this without Citizens input?? It is quite nice as is!
    Also, why is the cost of the Civic Square redesign in the 2024 proposed Budget when this project is not slated to begin until the Summer of 2025??

    Also in this proposed budget are 3 new hire full time positions at Bateman marked top Priority. Two are for Facility Operators and 1 for Supervisor of Operations.
    And at Skyway Arena, there are several positions marked top Priority. All new hire positions listed.
    Neither of these facilities are even open yet and won’t be anytime soon??
    Then there’s lots of other things in the Budget that are marked with alot less importance.
    What else is in the Proposed Budget that can be taken out?

    • Wendy fletcher

      I stated from the jump that this was not all being paid by upper level govt. Its why its in my petition as one of the nice to haves not need to haves. I did my best to not make any mistakes. I could care less theyre getting 1.95 from the feds or 1.6 from the province. They were still always planning on using Burlington taxpayer $. So treat taxpayers with enough respect to be honest about that. Facts, MMW and council rejected a 1.9 m plan in 2019 bc it wasnt big enough nor grand enough. See July 2023 article in B. Post where MMW goes on about it being a once in a life time opportunity to turn this into something trily spectacular. Meanwhile homelessness tents at Home Depot and dirty needles from the ones around Dynes. Yet MMW & council fretting about how extravagant civic square can be. Misleading taxpayers by saying no, we have grant $ for that and press repeating it so people believing it.

  • Charlie Schwartz

    As pointed out with regard to the makeover of City Hall’s ground floor, who makes these decisions? Certainly not us the people ending up paying for it. NOW we’re supposed to go along with the makeover of the Civic Square, why – oh well its the same old story, the Feds & the Province are going to throw money at it – OUR MONEY & then we’re supposed to fork over another 1.3 million again of OUR MONEY. Lets face it enough is enough, we DON’T need it! Just like we didn’t need that monstrosity that was added to the Joseph Brant Museum, again overpriced & ugly, built with OUR MONEY. Everything that’s a would be nice that becomes a MUST HAVE. Its time to stop especially with taxes increases that are outpacing inflation!

    • ericsternemail

      If you look at your tax bills from 2022 and 2023 the municipal portion has increased by 15.5%, the “impact” number our mayor loves to quote was the 7.8% stated in this article.

      Has Burlington completed any recent projects on-time and on-budget? Who’s on the hook for the cost overruns on the civic square project?

  • Anne and Dave Marsden

    Hmm see what 5 new councillors in 2018 plus two eight year vets being “underwhelmed” about the design of a perfectly adequate redo of Civic Square gets you. If it hadn’t been slightly over budget and, therefore have to be considered by this Council back in 2019 with Commisso new at the game and deeming rural main Street funds could be used for Burlington’s downtown Civic
    Square, we would not have to come up with this huge amount of money to finish what the 2014 -2018 Council believed they had taken care of in an effective and financially stringent manner. MMW and PS were full voting members

    The 2018 electorate boosted by ECOB, who worked hard and sincerely believed MMW would be the Mayor she portrayed, had no idea that MMW was not who she said she was. In truth she had begun slashing democratic principles of municipal Governance leading a 3 person, or maybe 2 person unauthorized committee in 2016 Further she did not even know how to fill out her 2014 Nomination Paper in an acceptable manner according to the appropriate legislation. Now, most know she never had and will never have what it takes to act as CEO and Mayor of Burlington.

    Tune in tomorrow for part II of this comment that will clearly demonstrate the lack of competence of Burlington’s two Senior Council members. The Committee and Council videos from 7:03 pm and 9:45 am Nov 13 and 14, 2023 document the largest act of incompetence for our two most senior members of Council yet!!!!

    • Anne and Dave Marsden

      Part 2 will have to wait. We need to double check some wording and have it supported by a legitimate certified transcript before going any further. We will be in touch with several readers to ensure we have public support to go forward on these latest unacceptable according to Code of Governance and HR policy behaviours.