Heritage Week gets off to a fine start

By Staff

August 1st, 2022



Heritage Week has certainly undergone a stunning change.

In the past it was a couple of posters with close to irrelevant photos amd next to nothing in the way of public interest.

Dave Volk, Burlington Town Crier

The audience they got this morning at Centennial Place (I didn’t know there was such a place – but the plaque was there and David Volk, the Town Crier was on hand, so it had to be real.

He read out a statement and invited the small crown to follow him to the Gazebo. Everyone followed and a short Kick Off event that included comment from a Missiaaugas’s of the First Credit spoke of the Treat Land the community was meeting on

Don Thorpe

Don Thorpe who was the man behind the scene’s mentioned that the meeting was taking place in what his generation called the Mud Hole.

At one point that part of Spencer Smith Park was under water and because the land was inside the barrier at Lake Ontario the water was worm and the kids could swim.

There was all kinds of information about the city that was coming to the surface.

The Burlington Historical Society prepared a series of 2 foot x 4 foot posters with historical pictures of different parts of the city – before it was a city.

Aldershot, Kilbride, Appleby Line.

The picture are very good – they will be on display until August 8th. Worth the time if you are wandering through Spencer Smith Park.

Michele Camacho, Chair, Heritage Burlington Advisory Committee spoke near the close of the occasion and basically named everyone who did anything to make the event, which was a year in the planning the success it has been so far. And it isn’t over yer – there are a number of Walking Tours taking place during the week

The Gazette has not seen a city advisory committee be as active as this group. They usually limit themselves to their regular meetings and respond to requests for response to some of the development applications.

Most recently that Committee appeared before Council and suggested there was a development on what was known at ther Ghent property on Brant Street that was looking for much more than usual in density and height.

They had recommended that the city not proceed and council took their advice and directed them to take the necessary steps to have a Heritage designation placed on the property.

The Gazette has never see that before either.

This is an Advisory committee that is not sitting back – they are out n the community educating, and advocating within the boundaries of their mandate.

Look for more good things from these people.

Michele Camacho closed with these comments:

Heritage Week is the culmination of one year’s work of volunteer time and effort by many people. I would like to recognize and thank them for their efforts at this time.

The lion’s share of the work has been done by your emcee, Don Thorpe, who chairs the Heritage Week Subcommittee. Don works tirelessly to put together a program that truly honours and highlights the heritage of Burlington.

Thanks also to other Heritage Burlington Advisory Committee members Len Collins, Jim Miles and Alan Harrington. In addition to conducting many heritage tours, Alan wears three hats. As well as Heritage Burlington, he also represents and works tirelessly for the Burlington Historical Society and Freeman Station. I’d also like to recognize Joan Downey, Chair of the Burlington Historical Society, who always provides outstanding support to Heritage Burlington.

David Craig of History Pix is responsible for the creation of the beautiful posters displayed as well as the many exceptional History Minute videos. For over two years, David has worked tirelessly on the Heritage Week Subcommittee and we thank him for sharing his wonderful photos and his time with us.

Heritage Week is the opportunity to work closely with
• Michelle Fex and Fiorella Morzi of the Burlington Public Library
• Erin Aults and Christie Brodie of the Royal Botanical Gardens
• Kate Almeida of Burlington Museums
• Dennis Scott and Sandy O’Reilly – Halton Black History Awareness Society

This year, we also worked with
• Michelle Bennett – City of Burlington Community Gardens Program
• Ian Kerr-Wilson – Chair of the Beach Canal Lighthouse Group (BCLG) who are sharing a display with the Burlington Historical Society in the Gazebo, and
• Helen Calloway of the Kilbride History Group. While working on Heritage Week, Helen has personally sponsored bringing a family from Ukraine to Canada.

Last, but not least, I’d like to thank the Mayor and City Council for their commitment to preserving the heritage of Burlington and continued support of the work of Heritage Burlington. Special thanks also to Jo-Anne Rudy of the Clerk’s Dept. and John O’Reilly, the City’s Heritage Planner.

We are very fortunate to live in such a wonderful city. We all need to be vigilant in the protection and preservation of its history, much of which can be seen in its buildings that have survived for over 100 years. They contribute to the sense of place that make Burlington the #1 mid-size community in all of Canada.


The history of your city on huge postcards displayed on Lakeshore Road overlooking Spencer Smith Park.

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2 comments to Heritage Week gets off to a fine start

  • Mary A.

    Finally, the focus of our City is on its Heritage! The posters should be displayed permanently at this location, with the exception of the Christmas Tin Soldier Display. There is one critical poster missing..A graphic map of the Treaty Lands of the Mississaugas of the Credit and Joseph Brant, Mohawk.

    Editor’s note: Burlington is not part of any of the treaties. The British gave Joseph Brant land they (the British) bought from the MCFN.. There was no treaty – just a simple purchase. The price was a disgrace but that is a different issue.

  • Doug Brown

    Kudos to the Burlington Historical Society and the Heritage Burlington Advisory Committee