Far western end of the Beachway Park will look a lot different than it does today if the current plan is ever made real.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

May 11, 2015


Part 4 of a multi-part series

The Beachway Park could turn out to be a stunning addition to the city. All they have to do to get to that point is get the funding needed – there isn’t even a guestimate as to what it will cost and the resolve the issue of the houses that are within the park boundary.
The draft plan the public was shown at a meeting early in April, where less than 100 people got to actually look at the plans, didn’t reveal a lot of the detail.

Beachway - Full park

The Beachway Park Plan is close to mammoth in scale.

The Gazette was able to obtain a document with more detail which we have been sharing through this multi-part series on the plans for the park.
Spencer Smith Park will have some features added to the west end. Once the redevelopment of the hospital is close to completion Lakeshore Road is to be raised as much as a metre where is curves towards the Waterfront Trail and slopes westward towards the Water Sewage Treatment plant at which point it will turn 90 degrees towards the QEW and the proceed west again.

Five sectors to the park

The plan is for six distinct park areas – each with its own character and serving different needs of a larger population.

There are basically five parks all rolled into one with different themes and activities. The Living Shoreline, which will probably be the first part to be developed, will include a boardwalk MORE HERE
To the west of the Shoreline park there will be a park that has been named The Strand which is where most of the aquatic activity will take place. Further west will be The Wind Park area and just to the north of that The Commons.

Beachway - federal pier

The Skyway/Federal Pier part of the Beachway Park plan pulls in parts of the western end of the city most people know very little about.

Then there will be what is being called Skyway/Federal Pier which is a part of the Beachway that few people ever see. It is getting into what many see as Hamilton territory and indeed it is just a couple of yards to the bridge that crosses the canal.

The early drawings call for a meadow area along the edge of the canal that is inside Hamilton Harbour.

There is some very rich Burlington history tied to the canal. At one point there were two bridges – one just for the railway line.

There was once an accident that had a ship colliding with a bridge – that was a problem that had to be dealt with.

Touring ships used to tie up at the canal pier where crowds would gather when important shipping events took place.

The canal today is a pretty lonely place – that just might change if the plans for the Beachway Park get past the draft stage.

A close up view of the 30 homes that are xxx

A close up view of the 30 homes that are currently located in the Beachway.

There are a number of hurdles to overcome – gaining possession of the 29 homes that are still in private hands – a significant number of the  people living in the Beachway don’t want to be bought out; others might be waiting until the price is right.

The current plan isn’t the first for the park area that has been trotted out for the public.

What is driving the plan at this point is the need to provide public space for the significant increases in population that Burlington is going to see between now and 2041.

The city knows now how much it is expected to accommodate in terms of additional population. The Regional Municipality of Halton serves more than 500,000 residents in the City of Burlington, the Town of Halton Hills, the Town of Milton, and the Town of Oakville.
That number is going to grow substantially by 2041. The Regional government already knows how many people it is going to have to absorb – what it hasn’t worked out yet is how much of the growth is going to be sent to Burlington.

Milton has seen phenomenal growth in the past decade – Halton Hills has not seen as much.

Waterfront Trail - from east - few people

There will be changes to a trail used by thousands of people every week – for the better – probably.

Some long range planning has to be done now in order to be ready for the population growth. Anyone who thinks Burlington is going to remain the way it has been for the past 10 years is smoking stuff that is not yet legal.

In the meantime – there is a park to be built and if the plans shown to the public are an example of what to look forward to – this could be something very interesting and attractive.

There are several phases set out in the development plan. Don’t expect to see anything started in the near future.
There is an Environmental management and restoration plan that informs the Master Plan and provides direction for:


Then there is an Implementation and phasing Strategies plan that will focus on


The phasing at this point is:



Part 1 of a multi part series

Part 2 of a multi part series

Part 3 of a multi part series

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14 comments to Far western end of the Beachway Park will look a lot different than it does today if the current plan is ever made real.

  • Ley Spence

    Don’t put words in my mouth!!!!I never said that people who don’t own land are second class!! Many choose not to own!! Those words rolled off your lips…And sad …but yes there are many envious people out there in ALL CLASSES. I’ve met many!!
    And what do you dwell in and in what community ?? Just curious!! You know where I am….Your brave behind a fake name and computer!!

    • New Age Carpetbagger


      Okay then indignant one, what does “Maybe your in an apartment and are just jealous you don’t have a piece of the pie!!” mean??? Oops, not so sympathetic to those who “choose not to own” are you?? A little judgemental as well. BTW, it’s “you’re” not “your” but in your case it may be a ‘Freudian slip’ (look it up).

  • Helene Skinner

    Dear Monsieur New Age Carpetbagger,

    Suggestion: Remove the brick off your shoulder…it’s really heavy!!!

  • New Age Carpetbagger

    Helene and Ley:

    Damn, I promised myself that I wouldn’t do this but ‘ca va, eh’. You have a valid argument when you complain about fictional names and pseudonyms. However, I’m going to let my particular fictive persona stand since it’s served me well and, if you know the history of the Reconstruction Carpetbaggers, it’s quite appropriate in a contrary, nuanced sort of way.

    The point of my original post (to Helene, je crois) was not that you don’t have a valid grievance. In fact, I believe that you do. However, you continue to detract from it and from a balanced assessment of the Beach Way Park Master Plan through your unfocused rhetoric and continuous histrionics. Please, let others speak and listen to what they have to say. In your rants, you attribute to me several statements that I never made and beliefs that I certainly do not hold. For whatever record exists here, I am a home owner and a life-long resident of Burlington. You also periodically demonstrate attitudes that are as unattractive and as biased as those that you so vocally oppose. Ley – are people who don’t own land second class citizens in your view, do you really believe that they don’t pay taxes (although through a different mechanism) and that they look at you with unbridled ‘property envy’? Really, what a bizarre outlook you have. C’est dommage ma petite!

  • Ley Spence

    Well to the people that are hiding behind false names, Burlington Local and yes….listen to this one…New age carpetbagger…..Local….I pay my taxes and they are not minimal!!! I have paid property taxes in this city since the 70’s and the taxes here are almost as much as what I paid in the Tyandaga community. Please tell me what street you live on. No maintenance is done in our community. Have you seen the upheaving sidewalks and streets?? I am sure you don’t have the species of vegetation we have growing all along the curbs. Lets see what we can do in your neighbourhood and lets take your home to achieve it. Maybe your in an apartment and are just jealous you don’t have a piece of the pie!!
    Oh ya …..force people out of there homes so you can have a winery!! Yes lets promote alcoholism!!! Ramshackle homes???? Thank you G. Stevenson…”Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” And as the bagger said……UNSERVICED…and we pay our taxes!!!!! THIS IS MY DOMAIN!!!! And if you don’t mind I would like to leave my property to my children and their children. I have worked hard all my live to obtain my retirement home and I won’t leave without a fight!!! Oh yes …the “master plan” $23 million plus for the “master plan” Yes if you 2 are taxes payers…see where tax dollars are wasted!! MY HOME IS PRICELESS TO ME!!!! I AM NOT GOING ANYWHERE!!!!! I will be enjoying my retirement right here thank you very much!!
    Come and have a glass of wine sometime….Maybe we can come up with a “MASTER PLAN” to take your family’s inheritance!!!! CHEERS!!!! (My Real name is provided) Bring it!!

  • G. Stevenson

    I can’t believe what I am reading here. Yes, there are some run down properties along the beach. However, there are also some beautiful properties!! Seems to me that this is the case in most areas of this city and every other municipality.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I suspect those who spew nothing but negativity never see much beauty in anything.

    Must be a sad life to live.

  • Helene Skinner

    Dear Burlington Local (another one who hides from his real identity).

    Would this be a world class park just like the world class Pier?

    Ramshackle homes eh? come to my door at 1025 Lakeshore Road – take a tour of my property and have the you know what to say it to my face. You might want to bring a bar of soap with you – to wash out your mouth.

    We are serviced my friend and as for taxes we pay fair municipal taxes like all Burlingtonians (when have you ever known tax payers to be given a break by government based on what street they live on…how very naive Mr. or Mrs. BurlingtonLocal. Funny – tiny…there are many homes that exceed 1500 sq ft.

    Eminent Domain…you must be from a communist mind set. Shame on you! We live in a democratic country (that obviously you don’t support)!

    The park is vision not a need, hence – if you were fully knowledgeable on this issue you would know that expropriation is not on the table. It’s willing seller/willing buyer!! It will take a very long time to complete the park and when I say long time – well over 20 years as many of us are here to stay and pass our homes down to our grand children.

    In closing – when you want to throw stones – at least put your real name to it! Be a real man or woman!

  • helene skinner

    Dear New Age Carpetbagger….I see that you hide behind a fake name – therefore, your comments hold no weight. How brave!! Since it is a free speech world…we all have the right to “kidnap” conversation as we please. The Burlington Gazette does….the politicians do, I do and you have the same right to join the threads…or perhaps you are the gentleman who attends many City meetings to simply shout out. Perhaps the Burlington Gazette should ask for real names and photos so that people like you have the chance to take the platform for your five minutes of fame. Enjoy your bagging!
    Helene (yes real name)

  • BurlingtonLocal

    This has nothing to do with the pier, nor the infrastructure deficit. I think most if not all Burlingtonians would agree, its better to have a world-class park, than whiney beach residents living in ramshackle homes.

    The area has has sparse, tiny homes, and the homeowners must pay next to nothing in taxes. But yet they are holding the region, and the city, hostage looking for an outrageous payday for tiny, unserviced lots sitting in the shadow of the Skyway bridge and the QEW.

    The area should obviously and clearly be a nice park. This plan looks incredible.

    I have two words for you, please remember them, because its going to happen: Eminent Domain.

  • Helene Skinner

    That is absolutely correct! Ward 1 Councillor Rick Craven has NOT supported his constituents and Burlington tax payers who have been clear with their petitions as to their wish list for the area. This municipal Councillor will never realize his dream during his political career as my husband and I and many others are not giving into the Region’s strategic acquisition program (which includes all possible options/carrotts). They will have to build the park around us! Our hopes and dreams are still strong as we are home owners not leasers and will remain as many of us are NOT “willing sellers”!!! The banks are renewing mortgages without issue!! The Beachway homes are not the only ones on the Region’s strategic acquisition program (the Realty acquisition department has more than 28 homes on their hands to be a viable department). They are much like car salesmen that dangle carrotts infront of home owners who are unaware, emotionally tired and don’t know their rights or potential value over and above fair market value. Sorry – I live by the Lake and beach…we are not giving it away!! Listen carefully to Mayor Goldring’s Intensification speech. Location is key! Once we say “no” to their offer…the file is closed. I know this and many facts first hand as I have sat down with Halton’s Realty Senior Staff (who will not disclose private discussions). Park developement in Ontario for some time or not…the fact remains that we, the tax payers are still paying for the $14.4 million dollar Pier (the one that the Mayor no longer wants to publically talk about), the one that I had to remind him that the original plan was to create a transient pier to boost Burlington economy attracting people from other local marinas to wine/dine and shop in downtown Burlington (Goldring speaks highly of downtown in his Intensification speech). He said that he had no idea of what I was talking about….ummm…let’s review the original intent of the “lovely” Pier. The one that puts Burlington on the map and let’s not forget our $20 million dollar infrastructure renewal deficit – the one that has increased our property taxes above inflation and the shortage of afforadable housing. Oh yes – let’s spend some more hard earned millions in tax dollars to acquire homes in a long standing community to build a park. NEEDS vs WANTS!!!!!!!

    • New Age Carpetbagger

      Well Helene – you have been successful in turning me from a very sympathetic ear to a very tired one. I am sick and tired of you kidnapping the conversation each and every time the BeachWay Park comes up – the same way you kidnap the public meetings I have attended. I may have had more tolerance if you had even the most rudimentary grammatical and spelling skills. Your posts are Orwellian streams of consciousness.

  • Helene Skinner

    The Burlington Gazette seems to have an obsession with the Beachway.

    Editor’s note:
    It’s not an obsession – but it is in depth reporting on the creation and development of one of the largest parks seen in Ontario in some time. It is also the story of the desolation of a once robust community and the dashing of hopes and dreams by a government and a municipal Councillor who will not fairly represent his constituents.