Death knell rung for homes in the Beachway Park. The end of a community that has been a part of Burlington for more than 100 years.

October 25, 2013

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  There is an  ancient custom of ringing  the Death Knell as soon as notice of the death of a parishioner reaches the clerk of the church.  The Death Knell for the Beachway Park community was rung yesterday afternoon in Oakville at the Regional Council offices.

The beginning of the long end for the Beachway Park community began at a Regional Council meeting Wednesday afternoon.

They fought hard and there wasn’t any plan to expropriate their homes the Regional government now has a plan to acquire the homes over a period of time and demolish them down to make way for a park.

After hours of tortuous motions with amendments and amendments to the amendment the Regional Council votes but it all came down to a vote that did a number of things – none of which are good for the 30 people who live in the Beachway Park.

Regional Council voted to reconfirm the vision of the Burlington Beach Regional Waterfront Park (BBRWP) as a public park in its entirety.  That means those 30 homes will eventually get bought by the Region and torn down which broke the hearts of many of the people who have made the place their home.

The last of the cottages on the water side of the old railway line in the Beachway Park being torn down in 2004. The same may well be the fate of the 30 homes left in the community.

The notion that “did the deed” had a sop to the residents – they are going to create a committee that will develop an acquisition/implementation strategy for the remaining privately held properties.

Put crudely – the will work out a way to get these people out of their homes.  They won`t be put out of their homes – there will be no expropriation – but there will be a strategy that will offer incentives, long term lease arrangements, alternate property evaluation methodologies and funding commitments.

Burlington and the Conservation Authority will now begin updating the Master Plan for the park.

What the Master Plan will look like; what the acquisition/implementation plan will look like won`t be known until April of 2015.

The residents of the Beachway Park have one thing going for them.  If they hang together as a community they can remain there for as long as they wish.  If they don`t hang together as a community they will hang individually and that will be the end of a community that has been part of Burlington for more than 100 years.

It is a long, sad story that will get told in more detail at another time.  For now the shock of realizing  this could be the end, the very end for that community has to set in fully.

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2 comments to Death knell rung for homes in the Beachway Park. The end of a community that has been a part of Burlington for more than 100 years.

  • Marie

    I am not from Burlington and am not familiar with its politics, but as a reader, it looks to me that Burlington city council has taken away these homes near the water while “selling” waterfront property (Market Street and St. Paul Street)— is this a matter of applying special treatment to those who know the right people?!? Is Burlington divided between “haves” and “have nots”?

  • Stephanie Cooper-Smyth

    Thank-you for your timeliness in releasing this information, along with your intelligent analysis, to the public.

    Could you release how the Burlington Councillors, in their capacities as Regional Councillors, each voted on this matter?

    With appreciation,
    Stephanie Cooper-Smyth

    There were more than six votes and they ranged all over the place.
    The final vote – and the one that mattered was 16-5
    Taylor, Meed Ward and Dennison of Burlington were three of the five.