Has the city had a problem with their Windows on the Lake signage – couldn’t find any to use?

October 21, 2013

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  Burlington has a signage policy and a design standard that is applied to all the signs that get put up throughout the city directing people to different places.

The city has modern looking, informative signage throughout the city.

The design is neat, modern looking and conveys the information more than adequately.

Where those signs get put up and where they don’t get put up is something that has confused many people.

No city signage on this piece of city owned property. Plans are in place to make a proper Window on the Lake at this location.

The two road allowances, one on Market Street and one on St. Paul south of Lakeshore Road have been in place for more than 50 years but there has never been a sign indicating that the property is public.

On the contrary people have gotten away with putting up boulders and driveways on what is city land without city hall doing anything.

There is excellent signage on Northshore Blvd where there is a Window on the Lake.

The city has known about the road allowances for years.  The former Waterfront Access Protection Advisory Committee (WAPAC) was the group that in recent times took action to get something done about the way public property was almost being denied to the public – most people who walked in the area did not know the land was owned by the city.

It almost appears as if the city actually wanted it that way.

Good signage at Sioux Lookout on LAkeshore Road – a short distance from the Market Street and St. Paul Street road allowances that should have been marked as public property.

While the sale of the city owned land behind the three homes that front onto the lake is not yet a done deal, the Windows on the Lake are a done deal and the public can expect to see signage and benches in place.  Councillor Dennison wanted the benches to be minimalist – like one bench – let’s not encourage people to actually use the space.

The deliberate decision to do nothing to make those road allowances open to the public should shame all members of Council.  The Mayor, Councillor Meed Ward and Councillor Craven sat on WAPAC and they were certainly aware of the issue.

It was the hard work of Les Armstrong and his colleagues that got the hard data in place and a document with recommendations in front of city hall.  It took more than a year for the WAPAC recommendation to turn into a Staff Report that Council debated last week – but at least a wrong has been righted

The sale of the city owned land has been a very recent issue – one that sort of snuck up on the public.  Was it planned that way?  If the residents who are looking for a way to get this issue before a tribunal for a fairer loo succeed the citizens of Burlington might win on all levels.

When the city wants you to go somewhere they put up excellent signage. When there is no signage – could that be because the city doesn’t want you on the property – or could it be because the adjacent property owners don’t want you there?

The upside of this mess is that the Windows on the Lake can be created any time now.  They don’t have to wait until the land sale gets settled.

Might we see those two Windows on the Lake in place for the spring of 2014?

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3 comments to Has the city had a problem with their Windows on the Lake signage – couldn’t find any to use?

  • Marie Watson

    Wow, I don’t even live anywhere near Burlington, but the sale of prime, city-owned waterfront property to private individuals is really quite disgusting. Councillors not listening to the public? Even more disgusting.

  • In Your Face

    What do you expect from the dysfunctional leadership at city hall.

    At this time, the bigger issue is how much is to be paid for the lands which should not be sold by the city to private landowners who have already been enjoying exclusive occupation of public lands; perhaps back rent payable is also in order here.

    It would be nice to hear from the lawyer with the inside knowledge of this file, and get his perspective on poor signage, but, it may not be possible because of all his legal conflicts dealing with city hall business. It could also be hidden in one of those secrets that Sharman Taylor Goldring hesitate to share with the common folk who wouldn’t understand a matter with so much complexity anyway.

  • James Smith

    I take issue with your claim that the city’s way-finding signs are “…neat, modern looking and conveys the information more than adequately.”
    Burlington’s way-finding signs are an embarrassment. Aside from the poor design from the ’90’s this system’s font is hard to read & too small, the direction arrows illegible, and the signs are hard to read in low light conditions. In short, this way-finding system does not communicate well. It is a symptom of a problem we have in Burlington, we accept substandard design in almost everything the city puts its name to. From the City’s Logo to the $300K Joe Brant paid for removing the “Memorial” and accepting a recycled Howard Johnson Logo, Burlington uses the 3 B’s as its design principal. You know, BLAND, BAD, or BORING.