City taking a timid approach to its sesquicentennial anniversary

By Staff

January 27th, 2023



2023 marks Burlington’s 150th anniversary; A journey that began in 1873 when the villages of Wellington Square and Port Nelson merged to become the Village of Burlington. The Village of Burlington became the Town of Burlington in 1914 and the City of Burlington in 1974.

Naval Memorial on the Promenade at Spencer Smith Park

The King Edward VII Memorial Fountain was made in Hamilton. It once sat at Brant/Water Streets and later Spencer Smith Park. It spent time in storage until being restored by the Optimist Club of Burlington and relocated to City Hall for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977.

The event, a sesquicentennial anniversary, is not one anyone at city hall is getting very excited about. The plan at this point is to, throughout the year, add features to help commemorate the anniversary. These will be marked with a new identifier for the occasion.

To help mark the occasion, a graphic identifier has been designed to highlight events and opportunities for residents to celebrate Burlington’s anniversary the city created an Identifier, designed to capture the complexity and beauty of the land and the people.

The symbol is in recognition of the Indigenous history of the land that goes beyond 150 years, honouring the diverse Indigenous peoples that have lived in this area.

The identifier uses four shapes and colours to represent Burlington:

Green represents nature and the land.
Yellow symbolizes unity and our multi-cultural community.
Light blue symbolizes freedom as we continue to live in peace and harmony
Orange represents commitment to Indigenous Truth and Reconciliation.

That the city is doing this much is due to the persistent pressure from a resident who had to remind city hall that the anniversary was taking place this year. Anne Marsden delegated on this but got little in the way of response at the time.

There is now a much more public recognition of the role the Indigenous community played in the creation of the city – heck it was their land before we arrived and basically took it from them.  What the city doesn’t have yet is something that stands out, a statue perhaps of Joseph Brant.  All we have at the moment is Sweetgrass park hidden away close to a school that now has the same name.

We have more work to do.

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4 comments to City taking a timid approach to its sesquicentennial anniversary

  • S. Hutchinson

    Thank you Bob for your research with true facts. We need not have to carry the burden for all societal atrocities.

  • Grahame

    The first settlers bought the land from Joseph Brant iirc.

  • Deedee Davies

    While I think it important to note that Burlington is 150 it is also important to curtail costs given the huge budget increase ask, and be cognizant of how the land for the city was acquired. I’d like to learnore about who was hear before the Europeans and also all the farming and industry that was present before houses were built on top of every.

  • Bob Knight

    You say, “before we arrived and basically took it from them.” (1) I presume, by “we” you mean non-Indigenous people. (2) But “we” didn’t take the land from them, as Europeans had done in so many places; Joseph Brant, and later his estate, sold it.