Ooops! Some important detail left out of a paragraph on the downtown construction story.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

August 23, 2019




A portion of a sentence was left off the paragraph about the pipeline that runs through the centre of the city that was mentioned in the story on the Construction Management procedures that will be in place for the building of the condominium opposite city hall.

In explaining the traffic congestion that was going to take place in the downtown core at the same time two high rise condominiums were to be built we left out the detail about remediation work being done to the pipeline that runs through the city – it carries fuel for aircraft at the Hamilton airport. No specific date on when that work will start.

Transit movement

Transit traffic will come down Brant and swing onto James and then go south on John.

Concrete truck movement

Cement and dump trucks will come south on John street, drive on to the site and then continue down John to Brant when they have off loaded

The public was told that Lakeshore Road will close for a period of time while repair work on the surface is done.

Detail on what the flow of traffic would be during the 30 month construction period that The Gallery, the 23 story condominium that will be built opposite city hall, was released.

Cement trucks and dump trucks will compete with buses and private automobile for room on Brant, John and James Street.

aerial rendering of site

An aerial rendering of how the condominium will fit into the corner of Brant and James – with city hall across the street.

It will be interesting to see how the Santa Claus parade winds its way through that part of the city in December.

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19 comments to Ooops! Some important detail left out of a paragraph on the downtown construction story.

  • david barker

    @David Fenton. I am with you ! Councilor Stolte and I are advocating for the creation of a permanent pedestrian only zone from Lakeshore Road in the south to Caroline Street in the north, from Elizabeth Street in the east to Brant Street in the west. All the roads mentioned would be within the car free zone. Obviously people living in the area or businesses +and suppliers, would need to and have vehicle access. This type of pedestrianized area is very common in European cities and works extremely well, raises the quality of life and envigorates city centres.

  • David Fenton

    Don’t know if this helps but Ive lived downtown for over 30 years, through all kinds of development and many other disruptions due to events….I go round, I don’t try to go through, I use any of the 2-lane arteries that skirt the downtown to achieve this….Temporarily Make Lakeshore Rd from Brant St to the QEW 2-Lanes. Make the roads around the construction a no go for cars (precinct) for 3-years. You never know you might like a car free downtown.

  • david barker

    Adam, you are so right ! One may not like it or want tall buildings. I don’t. But we have lost that battle over these particular buildings. So now the owners may build. The City, as I understand it, has no jurisdiction over the timetable of each build. All the City can do is manage with the developers as best it can the congestion that will occur.

    Penny, you are a true politician. Keep ignoring the question asked
    of you & to which you have no answer; and deflect back to others. You still have not offered one idea or solution that you think the City could act upon. Just like an opposition party does; throw rocks at anything the govt party says or does, but never ever offer an alternative !

  • Adam

    I wonder what they did when City Hall was built across the street? I hope they didn’t use the roads to get those concrete trucks to the site! What else are they supposed to do? How else do you build a building in the middle of a city? Why are we making the construction of a building an issue? This happens everywhere, everyday all over the world.

  • Penny Hersh

    David, You are correct these answers should come from our Council and staff. I emailed both the Ward 2 Councillor and the Mayor to ask for answers. Still waiting to hear back.

  • david barker

    Penny, I have again read your posts HERE. All are written by you and read as though the commentary is how you feel and have you waving a blame finger at Council.

    I believe you may have previously run for council, so I assume you must have more than the average citizen an understanding of the degree to which the City has or has not got control over when an owner wishes to initiate an approved construction plan. If you do not have that understanding then it’s probably good you were not elected or it would have been “the blind leading the blind”.

    You have previously suggested I get involved. I am doing just that and am finding out how things work and what falls within the City’s control and what doesn’t. Q You should get involved too, learn more and not throw blame where it is not deserved. As said before suggest solutions ! You have today’s offered nothing except misdirected blame. Harass your MPP, the power lies with the Province.

    If you don’t like things now, you are going to hate things after Burlington is amalgamated with Oakville and Milton into one city, the City of Halton, where there will li

  • Penny

    David, please reread my first comment- I specifically said that these were the comments of another resident see the “””. It seems as if many residents are questioning why the city has not done more to have in place some way of controlling how to better manage the number of construction sites at the same time.

    If this is out of the city’s control then tell us. If staff and council want residents to be on-board then we need to have this information. It’s called “citizen engagement “ and communication.

    All the “Citizen Labs” or “Food for Feedback “ initiatives are not engagement when the city chooses not to explain to residents the basics of where the rights of the developer begin and that of the city ends.

  • david barker

    Hi Penny. Oh I have got myself involved. It would be great if there are some courses if action that can be taken to stagger the construction. However, as I understand it, the City has no control over such timetables. Just like if you were to want to construct say a garage in your property, once your plan is approved you can start when you like. I am all in favour of investigating if other resources are available to the City and using those resources. We have to have faith in our Council and the City staff to do that work on our behalf. The Mayor is not at all shy about taking steps that might not sit well with developers.

    Your initial comments here give the perception you blame Council &/or staff for not having done enough to schedule the construction timelines to suit the City and its residents, and yet you are not able to provide one example or suggestion of what should have been done. I think that is most unfair.

  • Penny Hersh

    David, You ask a very simple and important question, unfortunately I do not have the answer, wish I did. I have sent an email to our Ward 2 Councillors to see if she can provide some answers.

    My other concern is what will happen once the Interim Control By-Law comes to an end? While development applications in the Downtown Urban Growth Centre have been put on hold until then, the developers I think must be putting things in place to start construction once approval has been given. We could be in a worse position with many more developments starting construction in a short period of time.

    We need to find out if there is some way of staggering these developments. Feel free to get involved.

  • david barker

    Penny, my understanding is the Planning Dept does not control all activities surrounding the actual construction. Other departments such as Transportation have jurisdiction over specific activities. I understand your frustration and have the same frustrations, but I’m not sure you are pointing your finger at the right people with which to be frustrated.

    Again, this is my understanding, so I may be wrong, but I do not believe the City has any control whatsoever over the scheduling of construction of specific private sector projects. Each developer determines its own timetable and the City is forced to react accordingly. The City is faced with four major projects being underway at the same time in what a four block area? It would be great to have the projects on a staggered timeline. But developers do not give a crap about the knock on distruptions their actions cause.

    I have asked you this before, without any response from you. What actions would you suggest the City should have taken that it has not ? I appreciate your frustration and upset, but please don’t just throw out blame, please suggest solutions.

  • PerryB

    Who are the people who are going to buy all these condos? Do they know there will be gridlock, no parks, no schools, a couple of years of lake view until another anthill is built in front of them? Do they have some secret pass to avoid all the mess?

  • Penny Hersh

    David, this is not about being against the appropriate development in the appropriate place. It is more about staff failure to plan ahead and put in place a “management control plan” that will make a difficult situation better.

    A fellow resident asked the following “why were staff and council not instituting and implementing new structures, plans and policies, which I cannot believe we haven’t already had in place? For instance, while the previous Council was approving all these disastrous-effect projects left right and centre not one of them mentioned putting a structure in place to deal with the actual construction of the projects. Nor did anyone on the Planning & Building department staff”
    “These projects are a surprise to no one, how could the Council and City Staff not have thought about this before now?”

    I am not the only resident who feels that the previous council and the Department of Building dropped the ball. It seems they cannot see the forest for the trees. Perhaps it is not in their pay grade.

    Is the Department of Building responsible for the development applications only? Does it then move to another department to figure out how to deal with the issues surrounding a development and how the construction will impact both businesses and residents? Does this even enter into the picture?

    I would really like to know the answer.

  • david barker

    @Steve W. I don’t believe it’s development itself that people are against. It’s more, I think, that as a result of development other difficulties arise such as increased traffic, lack of available public paid parking. The developer of the proposed building between Old Lakeshore and the present Lakeshore when asked at a public meeting about the parking issues that will arise from the increased traffic answered “that is a matter for the City to deal with”. It’s that selfish cavalier attitude that pisses people off. Similarly developers giving the City and its residents the proverbial finger when construction planning applications totally ignore City bylaws and it’s official plan because neither suit their financial ambitions.

    I have proposed the City study and hopefully implement a downtown pedestrian zone, just as found in many, many European city centres. A pedestrian precinct from Elizabeth St to Locust to Caroline. Such a precinct will prevent commuter traffic clogging our downtown, it will connect downtown business to Spencer Smith Park, and enhance the business prospects in the core area. Of course there are many logistical matters such as resident and business access that need to be dealt with. But if cities such as Prague, Zagreb and Split can make it work, Burlington surely can. Commuter Traffic would be forced back to the Highway which would force the Province to deal with the issue. A free shuttle bus service between Mappleview, Burlington Centre, the two Go Stations to downtown would be available so cars of those who do not live in the pedestrian area can be left at those major parking lots when visiting the core.

    Your comments (polite) and ideas, please.

  • Steve W

    It’s time that the downtown left the 1980’s behind. Why is everyone so negative about development that will attract further investment and breath life into an area that is in a quagmire? To clean up a mess requires a mess.

  • david barker

    @PennyHersh. You very well be proved to be right in your predictions. Only time will tell. You have certainly demonstrated you are very capable of expressing here doom and gloom. Can you please try to express here what actions that are within the City’s range of options that you would have implemented to better manage these construction projects.

  • Gary Scobie

    At the meeting, I brought up the subject of a likely recession occurring during the construction of these current approved developments. It will only add to the precarious positions the downtown businesses will find themselves in during the next five years.

    As I’ve said before, a famous quote from an American officer during the Vietnam War was “We had to destroy the village in order to save it”. I’m wondering if the developer contingent is reading from the same playbook. It didn’t work then. It won’t work now. But they’ll probably get away with it.

  • Jim Young

    I asked at the meeting if the city has the power or some mechanism that would let us complete one Brant / James development before starting the other.
    The absence of a firm reply suggests there is not.
    As well as these three developments, there are more in the pipeline.
    Any delays or a recession could result in 5 to 7 simultaneous construction sites in the block from Martha/Lakeshore/Brant/Ontario plus others on Maple, Fairview and Plains.
    Who knows the long term impact on downtown retail/commercial businesses.
    Let alone the immediate traffic impact dveryone seems more worried about.

  • Dave

    Penny, this area you speak of is in no way bike friendly presently. It can only get better. Suggesting major events go elsewhere is silly.

  • Penny Hersh

    This is what City Hall thinks “Managing the Construction” is all about. If nothing else the “Construction is Happening” public meetings prove how little City Hall has protected residents in all this mess.

    I am tired of hearing “never before have 3 major developments taken place in the City”. I guess everyone BUT City Hall knew this to be a possibility. I agree that this new council has inherited some major problems – however, this council has been in office since January, with the Mayor working diligently behind the scenes once she won the election in October.

    All the “Construction is Happening” meetings did was to show residents that the city has not had the foresight to put controls in place prior to the start of construction. Staff always seem to be playing catch-up. They are not leaders.

    Kudos to Lisa Kearns for trying to bring this to the residents, however, actions speak louder than words.

    Unfortunately, my predication is that these developments will be long drawn out affairs ( a recession is looming) and by the time they are occupied most of the businesses downtown will be long gone. Residents from other wards in the city will forego coming downtown because of the traffic, parking, and construction mess. It will be interesting to see how some of the larger festivals are affected by this. Perhaps Sound of Music and Rib Fest should consider using other venues for the next 5 years.

    We will end up having a downtown of high-rises with no services that are required to make an area walkable, cycle friendly etc. ( this is the mantra used by the planners).

    Once these developments are completed the developer walks away and the residents deal with the consequences.