Old Lakeshore Road - a piece of land with much of Burlington's early history. There was once a Water Street.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

January 8th, 2018


Part six of a multi-part editorial feature on the precincts and mobility hub being planned for the downtown core

The Old Lakeshore Road Precinct is an existing precinct that is being carried forward into the draft New Precinct Plan for the Downtown Mobility Hub.

Old Lakeshore Road precinctIt has always been a controversial piece of land with much of it now in the hands of developers.

Draft Intention Statement:

The Old Lakeshore Road Precinct will continue to serve as an area for mixed use mid-rise developments consisting primarily of residential uses, which are pedestrian-oriented and transit-supportive while achieving a high standard of design. Modest tall buildings may be accommodated where such developments achieve strategic public and city building objectives including the provision of public waterfront access and views to the Lake Ontario, among others.

The current policy framework remains unchanged through the proposed draft new Precinct Plan. An additional policy direction is being recommended through the Mobility Hubs Study process to allow for the future undertaking of a separate Area Specific Plan (ASP) process to review existing height and density maximums as well as the conditions for land development within the precinct based on the achievement of key city-building objectives.

The complexity of this area (Conservation Halton setback requirements, discussion of the closure of Old Lakeshore Road, land assembly) plus the City’s new tall building guidelines necessitate a future review of a narrower scale and geography. The Old Lakeshore Road ASP’s city-building objectives would include new pedestrian connections and park spaces along the waterfront; the creation of a new view corridor from Martha Street and Lakeshore Road to the Lake and a detailed study of the shoreline and its impacts on development in consultation with Conservation Halton.

Old LAkeshore precinct continues to be "the jewel" that has yet to find a crown.

Old Lakeshore precinct continues to be “the jewel” that has yet to find a crown. This view is looking east with the Ascot Motel and Emma’s Back Porch on the right.

Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward made great use of the Save our Waterfront community group to advance her political interests – quite successfully. She focused on what could happen within the Old Lakeshore precinct and the construction of the pier and caught the public’s attention.

Meed Ward has been the only member of this city council who has consistently focused on the waterfront and worked tirelessly to save as much of it as possible.

SOW images for fottball

At one point during the 2010 election Meed Ward published a graphic showing what she saw as an option (a terrible option) the the piece of land sometimes referred to as the “football” – small piece of land between Lakeshore and Old Lakeshore Road.

The Construction of the Bridgewater development which is on the western edge of the precinct radically changes what can be done with the land.

There was a time when it might have been possible to turn that part of the city into something that could benefit from some creative thinking – we appear to be losing that opportunity.

Part 1  Evolution of precincts and hubs

Part 2 Brant Main Street

Part 3 – Parks and promenades

Part 4 – Bates precinct

Part 5 – Cannery precinct

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3 comments to Old Lakeshore Road – a piece of land with much of Burlington’s early history. There was once a Water Street.

  • I remember Water Street very well. It was an beautiful part of the road along the lake. But I remember a very lovely restaurant on that street too- The Estanimet. It was there for years and really added some elegance to our little town of Burlington. I remember Elgin Corlett too- who started the Burlington Girls and Boys Band way back in 1950. He’s forgotten now too although without him there probably would not be Burlington’s Teen Tour Band. Then there’s Mrs. Dorothy Angus who single-handedly worked to create Burlington’s first public library. All are gone and all are forgotten but the town was built on their shoulders and they should be respected, just as the new official plan should respect the way the town was and respect the way Burlington citizens want it today.

  • Brian Jones

    Well said Susie, but now through our planner’s view and majority council downtown now has the ability to build to 17+ storeys. Yuk!!!
    Gone good ole downtown. No imagination. Just height

  • Susie

    OMG, all the City can think of is “TOWERS”!!! Towering the downtown for what??????? Burlington does have more property than the downtown to put development on. HELLO planners, lets not tower the lake. Not sure what frame of mind sets the above program Option 2, for Old Lakeshore Road?? Back these tower beasts onto the escarpment and give them the view of the city. Water is meant for “openness”, not claustrophobia.