Hardly seems worth the effort but the city seems prepared to let you out on the pier IF the work is done a day earlier. Whoopee.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  June 7, 2013 — The Brant Street Pier will open to the public on June 13, two days ahead of the community celebration planned for Saturday, June 15 at noon at Spencer Smith Park.

“We are opening the pier to the community as soon as it safe to do so,” said Scott Stewart, General Manager of Development and Infrastructure. “The pier will be open and the fencing will be down the afternoon of Thursday, June 13.”

The city is also lighting up the pier, including the beacon feature, each night starting at 9 p.m. following successful lighting tests earlier this week.

Less than a week – and hundreds of people will be out on the pier enjoying the view.  The pier could hold more than 2100 people – assuming they were standing shoulder to shoulder.  Is there a Guinness Book of Records opportunity here.  Maybe 2000 people enjoying the Goodness of Guinness all at the same time with a helicopter overhead recording the event.  Dial up the city events department – see what they think.

The city is planning two celebration events related to the pier.  The first is a thank you event to recognize the city’s funding partners, including the federal and provincial governments, Halton Region and Burlington Hydro. That takes place Friday, June 14 at 1 p.m. and includes speeches, a plaque unveiling and a tour of the pier.

 MP Mike Wallace, Mayor Rick Goldring and representatives from Conservation Halton, Burlington Hydro and other community partners are expected to attend. The seven children who will leave their hand prints on the pier will help dignitaries unveil the plaque that recognizes the completion of the Waterfront at Downtown Burlington, including the Brant Street Pier.


Charissa Pavlou, one of the city’s best kept entertainment secrets. Hear her just the once and you will want to know why we aren’t seeing her during the Sound of Music Festival. This young lady is going to break through big time soon.

The second event is on Saturday, June 15 at noon, when the Burlington Teen Tour Band will march out onto the pier to signal the pier’s official opening. When the band leaves the pier, the community will be invited to walk on the pier and eat free cupcakes, leave hand prints on a canvas and enjoy local entertainment, including from Burlington vocalist Charissa Pavlou and other local artists.

So – here is how it is going to play out.  Assuming the work is complete – all the fencing will come down the afternoon of the 13th and anyone wandering around can stroll out to the end of the pier.  No sense of occasion, no marching bands, nothing special.  And at $20 million – this is special.

Then a day after the politicians will show up and huff and puff and look important; unveil the really rather nifty plaque that will have been put in place and all get their pictures taken.  There are a lot of gulls flying around – you know what one of them can do to the dignitaries on this occasion don’t you?

Then the NEXT day the pier will go through yet another opening when everyone will be cleared off while the Burlington Teen Tour Band will march out and open the pier for the people.  Cupcakes get served – maybe balloons too.

Then everyone gets cleared from the pier at 3:00 pm so things can be set up for the fireworks display that night.

Here is the Burlington Teen Tour Band opening up the Performing Arts Centre. Imagine them doing the same thing on the pier. Going to be a glorious sight.

Mercy on us all – what a mess!  Now you have some idea as to just why it took three times as long as expected to get built and more than twice what the city expected to pay for the thing.  Someone called the pier the “mistake on the lake”; could he have been right.

Whoever is making the decisions about the opening doesn’t appear to have any sense of occasion or a feel for drama.  The dignitaries could have been lined up and given credit for finding the money to build the thing and then the plaque unveiled.  Right after that the Burlington Teen Tour Band could have come marching in off Lakeshore Road down the promenade and out onto the pier with all their flags snapping in the wind.  The public would have followed them on out to the pier.

The band could have done one of those fancy turns they do at the end of the pier and come marching back towards the public that would have been kept back a respectable distance with a nice fancy felt rope.  The BTTB could then have stopped just down from the node – played a few pieces and then someone would declare the pier officially opened.

Instead we are going to get one dreary official opening and then another yes you can go on the pier – now you can’t and then later you can go out again.

Enough to make you dizzy.  However, when you eventually get out there – it is something.

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