Public gets an in-depth look at what a developer wants to do on Old Lakeshore Road.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

March 27th, 2019



The early announcement stunned a lot of people.

Rendering with restaurant

26 storeys high – 250 units with a park and retention of the restaurant.

A 26 storey tower on the north side of Old Lakeshore Road on a property that would run from Old Lakeshore north to Lakeshore Road at the base of Martha Street was seen as a bold move on the part of the Core Group – a Toronto developer who took their proposal to the public last night and, for the most part, got a decent response.

The height for almost everyone was the issue. Come back with a 15 storey proposal and you might have a deal was the way most people seemed to feel.

Mayor Meed Ward was on hand along with Councillors Nisan and Bentivegna who joined Councillor Kearns who hosted the event.

The existence of a one year development freeze didn’t deter the developers – they were getting their story out and, to some degree, setting the agenda.

Other developers in the room who had property interests in what is referred to as “the football” that stretch of land that is between Old Lakeshore and Lakeshore sat rather glumly as the Core people told their story.

model 3 d 0f the site

A 3D model was on display – showing very clearly where the structure would be and its relationship to other buildings in the area.

The design is very smart looking, the developer used all the right buzz words – “context” seemed to be the preferred word at this point.

View lines Core development

The Bridgewater, while it has fewer storeys, does loom as large on the horizon

The Gazette will report at length on what the plans are all about. The key features were the retention of the Carriage Gate restaurant and the creation of a park that will make the location a place where people will want to hang around and enjoy the setting.

The Core Group brought a team of six people to the presentation. They were professional and answered a lot of the questions – but there were some gaping holes in the context.

More later in the week.

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9 comments to Public gets an in-depth look at what a developer wants to do on Old Lakeshore Road.

  • Adam

    Not a bad idea to buy the hotel but aren’t our taxes already going up by 3% this year and approximately 19% over the last 5 years (city portion). Is that sustainable? Also if we really want to reduce traffic I think we need to look at the the 407, QEW Niagara, and 403. That is what causes traffic in downtown Burlington not the 5 new buildings that have been built in the last 10 years. Check the census data, the downtown population is growing at a snails pace. We can’t blame everything on the developers. Burlington has 3 major highways converging right next to our downtown. The congestion is caused by cars cutting through the downtown to get on/off the 407, QEW or 403, these are not residents driving home to their condos. If you want to solve the real problem you should be asking the city to find ways to fix this. It’s got nothing to do with development. Do we really need an offramp from QEW Niagara at North Shore? We already have one at Fairview. Every morning there is a steady stream of cars getting off the QEW Niagara and driving right through downtown along Lakeshore. They are just bypassing traffic on the QEW. Same thing at night except in reverse. What about the 407, why isn’t there an interchange at Brant Street near mountainside? Anyone going to Brampton, Mississauga, Airport etc. knows that it is significantly faster to drive south to Lakeshore, through the downtown, and on the 407 than to take QEW or drive all the way up to Highway 5 to get on at Appleby. The traffic on the QEW Toronto is so bad that this problem is only going to get worse.

  • Dan

    Clearly it is the builders who are planning the city development. City mayor, council and administration have no say. Soon our Lake shore will be like that of TO. You won'[t be able to see the lake for the high rises.

  • Mike Ettlewood

    It is quite possible that the Interim Control Bylaw (ICB) is a bit of a Trojan Horse and the watchword might be “watch for staff bearing gifts”. If planning staff needed the ICB because they could not adequately address the volume of development proposals on the table then how can they possibly adequately defend the City’s position should LPAT not decide to ‘honour’ the freeze on development applications? It may be ADI all over again but in droves. Remember that, in the main, these are the same staff that so valiantly defended the greatly flawed New Official Plan and rushed it to adoption. Just a thought and, admittedly, not a very nice one.

  • Judy

    Thanks for your reply, Stephen. I’ve sent the suggestion to the Mayor and Lisa Kearns to see if they think it is viable.

  • Joe Gaetan

    The domino theory prominent in the 1950s to 80s posited that, if one country in a region came under the influence of communism, then the surrounding countries would follow in a domino effect. One aspect of that thinking was the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam war.
    Burlington is now realizing what the domino effect really is. When you allow just a few tall buildings, then OMB and possibly LPAT will follow suit and will allow more and more, the velocity of which is increasing.

  • Terry Rose

    Stu Parr is likely correct. To the layperson, the interim law (ICBL) looks porous. The developers are not sitting on their hands. What happens when the 220 days deadline is reached? Won’t the applicant simply appeal to LPAT claiming the City has failed to meet its obligations? Isn’t that how this whole mess started in the first place?

  • Stu Parr

    Well, I think that the real issue is that ‘the interim bylaw’ does not actually give us a “one year development freeze” since the timeframes and provisions of the overarching provincial planning legislation continue to be in effect. In other words, the clock is still ticking and these proposals can still be brought to LPAT after the mandatory time for City response has expired. There were quite a few smiles on the developers’ faces. They are lining up – in my humble opinion.

  • Judy

    I’m left shaking my head at the prospect of yet another high rise in that very tiny area, and wondering how we’ll be able to move through there. And, of course, this isn’t even the end of it.

    I have a thought and, without knowing the practicality or possibility of it, wonder if others find any merit in the idea. We were levied a special tax to build the hospital and, even though the hospital is now fully funded, the tax remains for infrastructure improvements. My thought is to use those funds to purchase the property where the Waterfront Hotel now sits. It would preserve precious parkland and another piece of our beautiful waterfront, save us from more looming towers, eliminate increased traffic, etc. And it would be a citywide bonus – everyone uses the park!

    I would be very interested in others thoughts.

    • Stephen White

      Hey Judy! Thanks for your idea.

      Your idea is as good a suggestion as any I have heard expressed on this forum or elsewhere. Like you, I am appalled at the number of high rise developments that are desecrating this city. What developers can’t or don’t seem to comprehend is that while their creations may look good in isolation as an artist’s renderings drop it in amongst dozens of other similar monotonous, dull and architecturally uninspiring buildings and it becomes obscured.

      Downtown Burlington looks bloody awful…and that is putting it charitably! Stand on the pier and look north and all you see are dozens of dull, ugly, sand coloured high rise condos that are ugly as sin. The designs are incredibly unimaginative, they are situated too close to the road, there is already too much congestion, they are all at right angles, there is an absence of landscaping, and there is nothing unique or artistic about any of these designs. Many of these developments wouldn’t look out of place in Pyongyang, North Korea. I think Greg Woodruff coined the phrase “Itinerant Workers’ Camps” to describe many of these developments. Sounds about right.

      So yes….I’d rather pay a few extra dollars on my taxes to buy some lakefront property and preserve some semblance of our waterfront for future generations. Gazing at green vegetation and blue water would be a welcome relief from the dull monotony of more sand and pewter coloured monstrosities.