More than respectable Windows-to-theLake designs approved by a Council Standing Committee

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 16, 2015


There was a major problem being corrected – the city was finally doing something it should have done years ago – but it was at least happening. It came close to falling off the rails when Councilor Dennison went on and on about paving the path for the Window on the Lake with asphalt rather than concrete.

The issue was the creation of three Windows to the Lake that was being debated by the Development and Infrastructure Committee

Windows - all three

There will finally be well marked public access to the edge of the Lake where people can sit and enjoy the view.

With the sale of the lake edge land now a done deal the next step was to create properly marked windows to the lake. The design staff came up with was good – it should have been a ten minute discussion but this council managed to use up close to an hour getting to the 4-2 vote for the staff recommendation.

Deedee Davies, Co-Chair of Burlington Waterfront, a volunteer group of citizens committed to increasing access to and protection of the waterfront across Burlington, including the Bay commend staff their method of demonstrating that staff listened and acted on comments received through the public engagement process.
Davies who is also a member of the Halton Regional Waterfront Parks Advisory Committee representing Burlington said: “It gives us confidence in the concepts and plans presented when we see that staff acted upon issues and concerns raised.

The Green Street Window- to-the-Lake was included in the construction of the Market and St. Paul Street windows. “It is important for the City to demonstrate with action its intention to continue work on developing and opening up public access to the Windows-to-the-Lake that exist as diamonds in the rough. Green Street is already receiving some maintenance by Parks staff, so it makes sense to formalize and properly fund this Window while the opportunity exists” said Davies

Earlier, in discussion with the Mayor, Davies said they were told it was the City’s long-term plan to continue to develop Windows-to-the-Lake rather than open up the trail along the waterfront on city-owned lands such as Water Street.


Decent Windows – to -the – Lake were the best the public could get when the city decided to sell the land shown above to the owners of the land that abutted this space.

We were pleased to see the Staff Report recommend using the balance of the proceeds received from the sale of the old Water Street Road allowance to the abutting property owners to fund the development and improvements to other Windows-to-the-Lake.

Davies reported that the Burlington Waterfront Committee “did two studies, several years apart, of the 12 Windows-to-the-Lake and found little to no progress on the undeveloped Windows. The measure of a city is its follow through on its commitments to its citizens.

She added that: “A city demonstrates it priorities not in what it puts on paper, but where it allocates its money. The City now has the proceeds from the sale of their Water Street Lands to the adjacent private landowners to further act on their long- term plan commitment. The City can earn the trust of its citizens, by demonstrating that when it makes a commitment it follows through, by adopting this Staff recommendation.”

Market - water street lots Ziegler-drawing

What could have been: The public could have had a pathway – maybe even a bike trail, through land the city and the province owned. City council didn’t have the foresight to accept a Staff recommendation and smart property owners moved in and bought the land for less than half a million. Great deal for the property owners – huge loss for generations of ordinary citizens.

Burlington is known for its waterfront. It is a significant part of the attraction to visitors, and residents and businesses locating here. Key to having a waterfront, whether it be lake or bay, is being able to access it by more than the fortunate few who can own a piece of it. Every opportunity to see and experience the waterfront draws people under the spell of the water and keeps them loyal to this wonderful city.

Burlington Waterfront strongly encouraged members of the Development and Infrastructure Committee to endorse the three recommendations in staff report and expresses its desire of Council to take the proactive step of approving the three Staff recommendations of this report at their Council meeting on June 22nd.

The Staff recommendation was approved on a 4-2 vote with Councilor Craven and Dennison voting against the recommendation.

Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

2 comments to More than respectable Windows-to-theLake designs approved by a Council Standing Committee

  • Anna

    Still waiting to hear an explanation of why that land was sold. have we ever gotten one??? It makes no sense to me.

  • D.Duck

    I, and most others, could have predicted who would have voted against the plan.