City reopens Waterdown Road today - will it be a photo op for the ward Councillor?

News 100 redBy Staff

September 4, 2015


The City of Burlington is reopening Waterdown Road between Plains Road and Masonry Court on Friday, Sept. 4 between 4 and 5 p.m.

This section of the road had been closed since May 2015 for reconstruction. Working with the city and Halton Region, the contractor installed the new storm sewer, new water mains and reconstructed the roadway, widening the road by one lane northbound and one lane southbound and adding bike lanes in both directions.

Waterdown Road

The work done to upgrade Waterdown road south of Hwy 403 got done in pretty short order. It has to be seen as part of the growth that will take place in Aldershot in the near future which will include significant population increases – might call for a ward boundary change as well.

Waterdown Road carries 20,000 vehicles a day. The city wants to thank motorists and nearby residents and business owners for their patience during the temporary closure.

The reconstruction project is scheduled to finish in June 2016

The reconstruction of Waterdown Road followed the opening up of the access ramps to highway 403 and sets up Aldershot for a level of development that is important to the city but unwelcome by a number of Aldershot residents.

Lee Murray Variety intersection

The expropriation of all the variety store property, which wasn’t necessary, did open up the land to the east of Waterdown on the north side of Plains Road – a stretch that includes the adult entertainment operation that many would like to see leave the community.

The expropriation of the Murphy’s Variety property at the Plans Road – Waterdown intersection was necessary for the road to be widened – taking all the property when the findings of an WOD said it wasn’t all necessary was brutal – showed municipal government at its worst.

The ADI Development Group plans for a large two phase development that was to include apartments and stacked townhouses is somewhere within the planning department – it isn’t clear if the application has been withdrawn or if the city is still negotiating with ADI

He loves his Ward, he knows his constituents and their needs.  Is there life beyond city hall for Rick Craven?

He loves his Ward, he knows his constituents and their needs. He has to be given credit for shepherding the significant amount of development that has taken place. Does the Council member have a larger vision for Aldershot?

The proximity of the Aldershot GO station made this part of the city ripe for development. The King Paving property on the west side of Waterdown is surely getting a close look by developers who can put that land to better use and help Burlington meet the intensification targets the province has given the Region

This development takes place at the same time the city gets closer to selecting a new planner to replace Bruce Krushelnicki who retired several months ago.

The re-opening of Waterdown Road and the construction of the King Road grade separation suggest that Aldershot is primed for major growth – which might even include sidewalks on those streets that don’t have them.

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17 comments to City reopens Waterdown Road today – will it be a photo op for the ward Councillor?

  • Patricia

    I am referring to farms in Aldershot. Farming is not relevant in ALDERSHOT as there are no more farms here

  • Patricia

    I do appreciate that we are keeping a few of the finer examples of buildings such as Percy Gallagher’s old homestead and the Gables. These are beautiful. The city should help pay to keep up the museum quality buildings.

  • Patricia

    Progress is not a myth.
    My family were one of the original families that founded what is now Aldershot. It was pure farmland and my father and grandfather both lamented all the tiny lots and modest post war bungalows that sprung up ruining the lovely fields and regal homes. They resented all the interlopers whose homes make up most of Birdland today so what” belongs ” is all relative. The previous group always hates to loose control over to the new breath of life. I do understand why it’s painful.
    Just as the farms are now not relevant families are now not impressed with those little houses with a single car garage and everyone sharing one bathroom. I am not a developer but don’t have to be to welcome change. I have long been embarrassed by our main Street with the motels that look like run down brothels and cheap low rise plazas. Even Murrays variety (which was Huffmans as some of us remember) was a shame of the area. No longer any pride of ownership. Not kept up. Torn curtains hanging from the upstairs windows. Blobs of pavement outside. And no one could have more happy memories of childhood jaunts for ice cream and candy than my generation. But it was time for it to go. Mr Paikins library buikding was a lovely elegant example of what our high street can be. I hope for more of the same to keep our area relevant. My ancestors would be most pleased that regal buldings will rise again. I am so proud of my area which I have lived in all my life. I still drive but soon may not so I hope our street will be a walkable one for shops once again. I remember when we had the grocery store. We all saw each other there and it was a heartbeat in a way. I of anyone should be stuck in my ways but I embrace what Mr Craven has built here and I applaud him for having the courage to make a change. People always fight and resist change of any kind.

    • Tom Muir

      Patricia, I didn’t recognize your new persona here, a softer, gentler one. Is it really you?

      Interesting things we can discuss. However, we will have to disagree about progress.

      I’m not so much pained by change, as by the way I see, and have to experience, how it’s done and the consequences.

      That’s my problem now, and it is shared by many others. And we don’t feel like we are heard and have any real say, which is the aggravation. That’s where the fight against change comes from.

      I disagree that farms are no longer relevant. To say that implies that food comes from the store, and I think that the families you refer to don’t really think any different than this by and large.

      And the change you welcome is a misperception of what the change is that is happening. It is not from the families who are now not impressed with those little houses with a single car garage and everyone sharing one bathroom.

      Rather, the new builds are generally even smaller, with no garage, a parking spot that might cost $25,000, and might cost $250,000 and more for 500 square feet, with no property and no back yard.

      Is this the change you don’t have to be a developer to welcome? It just churns out money, the lands last crop.

      The old Birdland you refer to is regal in comparison to the new urban form.

      Which brings up the question of what regal buildings will rise that your ancestors would be pleased about?

      I can’t argue about what parts of Aldershot you think had come to their time to go. That is your choice to make.

      And yes, the grocery store is gone, and the meeting place with it. But I see no really walkable replacement with the shops you hope for. No meeting places yet, except the library perhaps.

      Finally, you are entitled to embrace Craven if you wish, but my history with him as Councillor fails me in that intent, and in sharing your illusions.

      On that note, enough said.

  • Tom Muir

    Patricia, I spent a lot of working life doing critical policy and issues analysis in economics, environmental science, and politics, so that’s my agenda and content.

    But I always offer reasoned critique, and argument based on evidence, which almost by definition is often cutting and nerve seeking.

    I want to provoke discussion about the real facts around the issues. I usually don’t attack people, just the issues and what is said.

    You need to check your own content and your own agenda. You seem very intolerant of people with a different opinion from yours about what goes on in Aldershot and the city.

    In doing this you totally ignored the real public meeting summary and content that I offered to try and inform the discussion.

    You would and will have none of it.

    Check your own anger management style. You don’t discuss, you dismiss. You sound impatient and angry.

    You started out labelling and dismissing people, and reducing the issues to myths of progress so get over it.

    This appears what you are trying to do to me here – Attack the speaker and now it has become personal because you don’t like what I say, so you label it.

    Get over it.

    You get what you give.

  • Patricia

    Most everybody here in Aldershot are so excited to have the road open up and to FINALLY be getting our Main Street cleaned up of the dilapidated slummy buildings that lingered. It took a long time but we are confident that it’s now come together to have one of the most urban and dynamic areas in Burlington. Looking forward to what shops and businesses it will attract. Please don’t confuse “a number of Alderhsot residents ” with a few complainers. The rest of us voted for Craven as our only chance to get this strip revived to reflect the times and catch up with community needs.

    • Tom Muir

      I don’t know where you get your facts about “a number of Aldershot residents” being only “a few complainers”.

      On March 24 2015 there was a pubic meeting on the possibility of the OP review and zoning changes for the stretch of south side Plains Rd between Cooke Blvd and Filmandale.

      There is a staff written meeting summary available on the city website at;—Official-Plan-Review.asp. The meeting is under “Past Events” and then under “2015”. You will find the staff presentation, the policy and zoning information and the summary report.

      The meeting summary indicates that 94 people showed up and a large majority made a lot of comments of concern and in opposition to the possibility that this stretch of road would have its protections removed, and become what is happening on the rest of the street.

      From the comments made, these are not a few complainers, but provided interesting and thoughtful concerns on a number of aspects, such as, neighborhood character, development form, financial impact, commercial and residential (“Enough condos and buildings with useless retail space at-grade)”, transportation, green areas and amenities, and affordability.

      In addition to the individual comment forms and emails received, the City received a petition, “to maintain the existing zoning and keep all future buildings to a limit of 3 stories and 12 metres. The petition was signed by 107 people, representing 88 households in the area.”

      The thoughtfulness and efforts contained in these sentiments, in comparison to your fact-free comment, make YOU look like the COMPLAINER.

      You would do well to look at what people had to say for yourself.

      I suggest that Michelle and Frank above also have a look, to also get a few facts on what a lot of people think, and then look to see how Craven represents these people in public meetings and in the public decision-making, before telling us all how good, smart, and hard working he is.

      And for Steve, sidewalks are already in Birdland and more are coming.

      • Patricia

        It’s called Progress. Get over it.

        • Tom Muir

          Oh, I see you have no time to read what real people said and have a respectful conversation about that.

          Instead, you duck out, and try to steamroll and trump all this expressed opinion with the Myth of Progress, which is based on BS and lies.

          “Get over it”? – sounds like more BS to me.

          Or I should say, propaganda in support of the gold rush mentality that seems to be running development and land speculation in Aldershot.

          That’s my problem – anything goes with this mindset, so get on the bandwagon.

          • Patricia

            Your tone here and in all your letters to the editor is always so angry and bullying. Makes me wonder what your actual agenda is. The Gazette is a great forum that Mr Parr has created for discussion and debate. Check the bitterness it’s always louder than your content.

      • Dms

        I was also at the March 24th meeting and the resounding message I heard was people asking for an LCBO.
        Before people clamour to have the blocks between Cooke and Filmandale protectected, please have a look at what many of these homes have become lately; they look terrible and neglected. The fact is, owners have aged and sold. New single households have not gravitated to these abodes due to the increasingly busy street. (Purpose built condo living is different at it provides double glazing and some rise above the steet front).So what then happens to these homes if zoning does not change ? They are mostly not commercially zoned so even if a Doctor or other professional wanted to buy one and place their business there the parking ratios required to change to commercial zoning would not support such a change without a restructure of the existing buildings . The buildings end up in a sort of no man’s land. So what exactly are we protecting? just look at the homes next to Seasons and ask if that is the neighborhood character of which you speak. Or most of that block for that matter.
        Or shall we exchange our homes on the side streets for these ones in question so they can be lived in and maintained properly? It’s nice to be sentimental but it’s better to have a plan in mind if you wish to navigate the future of these homes.
        The sad truth is, Aldershot is at risk of having schools close (running at 40 per cent ) unless there is an increase in population. If we are discussing neighborhood character surely schools are important. Even if your own families are grown and you don’t care about this, consider that a no school zone will have an impact on your home’s resale value. We are certainly not going to build up on our backstreets, so how can we simply preserve a block of land with more potential than being boarding houses? You speak of amenities, let’s outline them and get a way for them to be included in this segment of street. Freezing this area as is not constructive for anybody.

        • Tom Muir

          Interesting comments that can be discussed. Perhaps I can add some observations of my own from living and walking in the area many times, having a look as you suggest, and listening to what people have said.

          I wasn’t at the March 24 meeting, so I don’t know about the LCBO message. There was no mention of this in the staff meeting summary that I provided the link to.

          What I have heard most often is the want of a grocery store. You may know that Aldershot had one, and a liquor and beer store, but they are now gone. No mention of that either.

          I have walked the entire stretch many times, and today again, and I have never seen the generally terrible and neglected state of the many houses that you mention, with the exception of next to the Seasons, as you mention.

          There are two right next to the construction site of the Seasons condo, and these are in a disgraceful state. But for these two this is obviously blight from the construction site activity.

          These properties are used as parking lots and construction material storage. At least one is empty, but both are dusty, neglected, overgrown weedy, littered with take-out packaging, and other debris.

          I have to wonder if there are property maintenance standards in the city. These properties are also in a different planning zone that the Seasons, so I wonder about the uses being practiced and if they are allowed in the by-law.

          The rest of the block between Cooke and Birchwood is in a varying state, with other places empty, at least one with long grass and weeds and used to park large trucks on occasion. It was just sold recently.

          On the corner of Birchwood and Plains the former dentists office appears empty, and is for sale. It is a small lot and well treed, still viable.

          The realtor advertises it for $1,250,000, and mentions it is in an area where 4 to 10 story commercial/residential buildings are possible, and talks of land assembly possibilities.

          This entire block is the subject of intense speculation and land assembly driven by the OP review and what the city decision will be about changing the OP and rezoning for this stretch of Plains.

          One developer owns 3 or 4 properties, and perhaps more, and has advertised a 6 story condo with 175 units. This of course is not permitted under the present zoning.

          The general condition of the properties in this block is, with some exception, similar to what you say, and reflects the speculation and absentee owners who are behind the assemblies.

          I have to share your expressed concern about this block. It’s apparent that the speculators have no concern about the neighborhood character as you mention. I have an issue with just sitting around waiting for this blight to spread. I’m not being sentimental about this.

          Moving east of Birchwood to Filmandale, the properties are in good shape and well maintained generally – I walked there today inspecting. The entire stretch is generally well treed and green. One residence recently sold and is undergoing extensive renovation.

          Another residence with a large property, signed with a farm name I can’t recall now, also recently sold, and a garage out back with a second floor space was just demolished. A lot of plantings, that made the extensive gardens quite attractive, have been cleared. The house appears empty.

          This appears to be another speculative purchase, but the only one that I know of east of Birchwood.

          I estimate that about 70% have a commercial/office use, from doctors, dentists, chiropractors, finance, engineering, fire fighter association, hairdressing, sewing and alterations, insurance, and other.

          These commercial uses in play and are allowed, which is not consistent with your concern, and there is generally no problem with parking, as there looks to be plenty.

          The present zoning for the subject stretch is RM1 346, which is medium density residential. Redevelopment is possible, as singles, semi-detached, duplexes, and triplexes are allowed. There are several of these redevelopments in evidence.

          The building height limit is 2 1/2 stories, but this could probably be approved at 3 stories. The citizens that attended the March 24 meeting and organized the petition said they wanted a 3 storey limit, as I indicated.

          The OP revision of zoning is considering changing the zoning to MXG, like pretty much the rest of Plains Rd. This zoning allows a minimum of 2 stories and allows up to 6 stories.

          This increased height and density is what we have been seeing elsewhere on Plains recently. There is usually some small retail on the first floor, but this is not the name of the game, it’s residential where it’s at. However, this retail space is of little potential and the citizens comments said;“Enough condos and buildings with useless retail space at-grade”.

          This increased height and density is clearly worth a lot of money, so one should not be surprised at what we see and what’s driving the issues.

          Regarding your concern about schools, it has been reported that the condo builds are not about families by and large, so as part of the population increase you mention, the children are not there generating pupil yields for schools. There are other issues involved as well regarding the demographics.

          My position is that I don’t want to see 6 storey condos everywhere sufficient land can be assembled. I think the present zoning can be tweaked to allow more height, and redevelopment potential.

          I want to see the citizens comments and concerns taken into meaningful account in the decision-making and be visible in the outcome.

          That’s my aim and I would like to think that we who are here can contribute to some balance in how this is worked out. We can design a zoning for this part of the street.

      • Patricia

        Okay here is a FACT: ALDERSHOT voted for Rick Craven and voted him back in; clearly more people are on board and love what he has done than not. He’s on the right track and we love what he has done. If there was an election tomorrow we would get him right back in.

        • Tom Muir

          I don’t know how this FACT, as you call it, is even relevant here, except as another ploy to repeat yourself and get more political propaganda, and another plug for Craven, into this comment string.

          Whatever, while Craven did win the seat, with 61.6% of the vote, there is another 38.4% who voted for another candidate.

          By any measure this is a substantial number of ALDERSHOT residents. But you don’t sound like you even care to consider what they might think, or that they even count. “Get over it” you said. Shameless remark!

          I guess these are the “few complainers” you arrogantly dismissed. Shameless again.

          You also sound like you are somehow entitled to get what you want. You say that your “we” got him there, and with Craven in office you say you are getting that.

          What’s your vested interest? It seems like it can only be development dollars, as there really isn’t anything else in play.

          But Craven is supposed to visibly represent the other voters too, their concerns and wishes, even if they dissent. I don’t see much, if any, of that, from much first hand experience.

          That was the point Pepper made in this news piece, in the first place, that you reacted to so dismissively, and protectively of Craven.

          What I want to see is a development planning and citizen engagement process that has integrity.

          A process with integrity demonstrates an ability to incorporate the disturbances that come from dissent, from complaints, into its normal working and outcomes.

          From the words and tone of your comments, you do not appear to be prepared to deal with dissent – again, you want what you want, so get over it.

          I know that development is going to happen – it always has, and grass grows.

          My goal is to do what I can to push the idea that we grow with integrity.

      • Michelle and Frank

        If it wasn’t for Craven, Aldershot would be a disaster. The area seems to be coming along quite nicely. Maybe with more development we can get the new Hamilton Light Rapid Transit system extended from downtown Hamilton along Plains Road to join up with the Fairview GO Station…now that would be exciting progress!

  • Michelle and Frank

    You must give Craven credit for all the positive work he has accomplished not only in his ward, but, also across the city. Keep up all the good, smart, and hard work Rick Craven.

  • Steve

    Sidewalks on those that don’t have them? Birdland?