Mayor comes out against re-development of the Waterfront Hotel property.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

May 16th, 2017



Maybe more construction cranes on the city horizon?  Maybe not – Mayor has decided the waterfront belongs to all the people.

More of the waterfront is getting looked over with an eye to some development – on the south side of Lakeshore Road.

The Mayor’s office put out a call for citizen participation in deciding what should get built on the Waterfront Hotel property.

Here’s what His Worship had to say:

Next week, the City of Burlington is starting a study that affects the future of our waterfront and I am asking everyone in Burlington to get involved.

Waterfront hotel with pier at foot

Waterfront Hotel – at the foot of Brant Street overlooking the pier has been working through plans to re-develop their property – with some co-operation from the city in the past. What changed?

The Brant and Lakeshore planning study commences on Wednesday, May 24, 2017. It will consider what should be located on the property at the foot of Brant Street that is currently home to the Waterfront Hotel.

The owner of the property ­­– Burlington 2020 Lakeshore Inc. — is interested in redeveloping the site. As such, the City’s Official Plan, which is the guiding planning document for Burlington, requires the City to complete a master plan for this area.

This master plan is critically important, as this site is prime waterfront land surpassing anything found in the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area in natural beauty and access.

Bridgewater from lake on the east

The Bridgewater project – right next door to the Waterfront Hotel, began their land assembly in 1985. In 1995 city council approved a 22 storey development that was described at a legacy project.

As Mayor, I am very concerned about the impact any redevelopment could have on our waterfront.

I believe an option needs to be considered that converts this property to open space as a natural extension to the existing park for the future enjoyment of all Burlington residents.

Residents frequently tell me public space on our stunning waterfront is important to them and to our community. I agree wholeheartedly. And I believe that redevelopment of this site will not be welcomed.

Two community workshops for the Brant and Lakeshore planning study are scheduled for Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. in the Blue Water Ballroom at the Waterfront Hotel, 2020 Lakeshore Rd. Read more here.

Let me know what you think by emailing We need to have as many people in our community involved in this essential conversation about the future of this waterfront property.

Excuse me?

Where was His Worship when the city sold off a stretch of the best land this city has along the edge of the lake between Market and St Paul Street.  A petition with more than 2000 names was submitted – didn’t make a pinch of difference.  The land was sold and the city pocketed next to nothing – more than half of the property was owned by the province who said they would do whatever the city chose to do.


The sale of the land was the deal of the century – the owners of the abutting property saw an opportunity and went after it – city council, to there everlasting shame, let it happen. Now His worship wants to save the Waterfront Hotel property – where will the money come from to pay for it?

All the citizens of the city got out of it was two Windows to the Lake.

In the 2010 election Marianne Meed Ward made saving the waterfront her campaign cry.  Looks like His  Worship is trying to scoop her on that issue as things began to gear up for 2018.


How we sold a crown jewel.

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11 comments to Mayor comes out against re-development of the Waterfront Hotel property.

  • Joe Gaetan

    Oh, what a tangled web, is our approach to the waterfront. The Waterfront Hotel will likely suffer when the ribbon for the Bridgewater development is cut. All options should be on the table including, leaving it as is, levelling it, or re-purposing the property for the greater good. Could there be a link to this news and the news regarding the future of OMB???
    Joe Gaetan

  • Penny

    Urban Growth areas were determined by the Council at the time the Province wanted this information.

    Why would one take such a natural and beautiful area and designate it as an urban growth centre?

    Can’t blame the Province for this. This was a made in Burlington error, in my opinion.

  • Bernstein

    I have to agree with Mr. Mulkewich on this point – the Mayor is not coming out against the redevelopment. He is commenting that he doesn’t think the redevelopment will be welcomed by the public (and judging by the comments here, he is correct). The Mayor is more nuanced in his comments – he is “very concerned about the impact any redevelopment could have on the waterfront”. That doesn’t mean that he wouldn’t support a redevelopment option that incorporates some open space parkland into the existing park.

    An all park option on this site may be one that needs to be considered, but ultimately rejected when the obscene cost of acquiring the land is figured out.

    Growth IS going to occur in the provincially designated urban growth centre that is Burlington downtown. Neither the public or politicians can stop that from happening. It’s the form and location within the downtown urban growth centre that will be up for debate as part of the new official plan. Any politician or candidate that says otherwise is selling something they can’t possibly deliver.

  • Lynn

    News today from the province that they want to disband the OMB and replace it with something much more city council-friendly. That will be too late for many Burlington projects but here’s hoping it will help with this! Agree that the Mayor’s sudden interest in protecting against mega developments looks like nothing more than pandering for the upcoming election. We know who has always supported protecting our waterfront and our Official Plan and who supports raking in money from developers instead.

  • George Scamalot

    Nothing surprises me with this administration, flip flopping on most development issues. Guess it matters who has the biggest bag of cash?? Example, how did the City miss the cut off date for the ADI development at Martha and Lakeshore? You know, the day that the city had to respond, that was missed and allowed ADI to go to the OMB- which seems to approve everything that developers put before it…
    How did city planners, the mayor, the council and all of the other people involved miss this? ADI could have been stopped in its tracks, but nope, oops.

    Editor’s note: This comment has been edited.

  • James

    Did the Mayor hit his head? Seriously, did he? Does he really think an owner of a multi-million dollar property is just going to lay down and let the property become open space just because that’s what the Mayor wants? Oh this has gong show written all over it. You think the pier mess cost a lot of money, just wait until you see the legal bills on this one!

  • Stephen White

    I nominate Rick Goldring for “Hypocrite of the Year” award! I think he’s a hands down winner.

    After selling off the lands between Market and St. Paul Street he now, a year out from an election, recognizes there is a growing public backlash against these monster highrise developments planned for the downtown core that he and his lacklustre Council have tacitly endorsed. The public are speaking out against his wonderful “Grow Bold” initiative, and have suddenly awakened to the fact that “Mobility Hubs” are “intensification” are nothing more than code words for monster developments. Now he dresses up in his Green Party attire and paints himself as the protector in chief of the lakefront.


  • Walter Mulkewich

    The headline is not accurate, I read Mayor Goldring’s blog – and he did not come out against the hotel redevelopment. He asked for public involvement, public comments, and for a consideration of public open space as an option as part of the planning process. Good for him! Comparing this site to the facts in the situation in the area between Market and St Paul is like comparing apples and oranges. The Mayor is showing leadership. I hope the public does make comments as part pf the planning process.

    Editor’s note: Gee Walter – I don’t know how else to read the Mayor’s statement – “And I believe that redevelopment of this site will not be welcomed.”

    You might have added in your comment that you were the Mayor when the Bridgewater project was approved in 1995.

  • Brian Rose

    We were actually promised three windows to the Lake 1. Market 2. St. Paul 3. Green Street – The city never finished the promised Window at the foot of Green Street. The other two look so great and Green looks so incomplete.- hopefully the city follows through on the promise made during the council decision.

  • Hans

    After selling the land between Market and St Paul Street, Goldring’s comments seem ridiculous.

  • Penny

    I find it very interesting that suddenly the Mayor is concerned about public space at Brant and Lakeshore. Why didn’t council consider buying up the space between Brant and Pearl before allowing this to become merely “a window to the lake”now that the area is being built with condos and yet another hotel? The City never defended its Official Plan, unlike the city of Oakville which has been successful at the OMB.

    The City has allowed all kinds of development in the core. Traffic has become a nightmare and will continue to get worse. The new vision is'”GROW BOLD”. Have to think this does not mean allow the Waterfront Hotel property to be bought by the City to keep it as a green space.

    I agree this seems to be the start to his 2018 campaign.