Confusion on registering for program at Parks and Recreation; empathy appears to be in short supply.

News 100 redBy Staff

February 21st, 2019



Registration for both 2019 Spring and Summer recreation programs opens February 23, 2019 for Adults 19+ and 55+. People can register for both programs at 9 a.m., doors will open at 7:30 a.m. for early arrivals.

Registration is available online at, in-person at Burlington Seniors Centre, Tansley Woods and Brant Hills Community Centres, or City Hall. Non-residents will be able to register on March 1, 2019.

Live and play spring 2016The Spring/Summer Live and Play guide, featuring listings for city recreation, sport and culture programs is available online on the City of Burlington website. Printed copies of the guide are available at City Recreation Facilities, City Hall and the Burlington Public Libraries.

The spring session programs begin April 1 and the summer programs will begin on July 8.

Following registration day, in-person registration is available at any customer service location. A listing of locations and hours is available at

For those choosing to register for both spring and summer programs, the option for a deferred payment for summer registration is available. Customers can access this payment option by registering in-person.

Mayor Rick Goldring has his membership application processed at the Seniors' Centre - filling another of his campaign promises.

Senior citizen former Mayor Rick Goldring signs up as a member at the Senior’s Centre. Today was program registration day.

The City of Burlington would also like to remind residents financial help is available through the Recreational Fee Assistance program for those that qualify.

Recreation Fee Assistance
Recreation Fee Assistance is funding made available to individuals or families who need help to pay for City of Burlington recreational programs.

Fee Assistance can be used for:
• Registered Programs
• Drop-In Programs
• Passes and Memberships

One Gazette reader explained that at a class at the Seniors’ Centre “we were told that the City had decided that moving forward there will be only 2 registration periods. This will start with the February 23rd Registration.

How this will work is as follows: On February 23rd seniors will be registering for programs. Seniors will be able to register for the spring session and/ or the summer session. Some of the classes have very limited space availability and if they don’t register for both in February chances are they won’t get into the class in the summer.

For some residents having to pay for both the spring and summer session could be problematic. We were also told that if the Senior’s membership to the Centre expired before the end of the last class the computer would basically kick them out and they will not be registered in the course. So it would mean that the senior has to pay for both sets of sessions plus the membership fee. Also the City is holding their money for months before completing the session.

We were also told that for those seniors who come into the centre to register, if they could not pay for everything at once arrangements could be made.

What about those seniors that register at home online – they do not have this option of spacing out their payment? More seniors register online, why should this option not be made available to them?

For those seniors who are away ( snowbirds) how will they know that the summer registration starts on February 23rd.

The reader made the point that “once again decisions seem to be made that are not discussed in advance with those who are most affected by these changes.”

Burlington Seniors Centre“Parks and Rec tried to make seniors bring their own equipment for Pilates (like large Pilate balls and bands) starting in the Spring and only when this came to light and reported on did Parks & Rec back down.

There appear to be a number of administrative level issues within Parks and Recreation when it comes to how the Seniors’ programs are managed.  The issue seems to be at the leadership level – staff do not appear to be very empathetic to the issues seniors face.


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1 comment to Confusion on registering for program at Parks and Recreation; empathy appears to be in short supply.

  • Penny Hersh

    Many of the more elderly seniors who do not have computers or those who have had issues in the past using the City’s online registration process choose to come into the Burlington Seniors Centre to register for programs. Many will start lining up at the door as early as 6:30am on the day of registration to ensure that they will get into the program of their choice Doors to the Seniors Centre don’t open until 7:30am.

    Members get a number and then go into the auditorium and wait until registration starts at 9 am. In the past the volunteer board of directors would come in and have coffee and a snack for members to purchase. I think there are a group of volunteers who come in and do this now that the volunteer board no longer exists.

    This past week when entering the Seniors Centre I saw a very large sign sitting on an easel that basically indicated that ” No one is permitted to form a line outside the door of the Seniors Centre prior to the building opening at 7:30am.” I question who made this decision and also the right to tell someone that they can’t stand in line in front of a public building. It isn’t like they are protesting, they simply know that they are competing with members who at 9 am are registering for programs online in the comfort of their own homes.

    A better solution might have been to have the maintenance staff come in early and open the building. I don’t think this sign will deter those who really want to get into registering for their classes.

    One of the participants in a class I attend told the group that he had to put $400.00 on his account to cover the cost of the programs he and his wife take to ensure that they could get into the classes they wanted for both the spring and summer session ( some classes fill up very quickly and to make certain that they were in both cases this had to be done). He also indicated that while this was not a financial burden for him, he had heard from other participants in his classes that it was for some. Luckily for him their Membership Fee does not expire until November so he didn’t have to pay for that at this point in time.

    Did you know that only the Seniors Centre has a membership fee which is presently $40.00 per year? Residents don’t have to pay a membership fee to swim at Tansley Woods.

    I have to ask who makes these decisions on behalf of the seniors? I have heard staff say how “Burlington loves their seniors” – I have to also ask how do these new policies reflect this? Was the Burlington Senior Advisory Committee involved in making these decisions or simply informed that this was happening? This City Advisory group, we were told, is to be the voice of the seniors- Really!!!