The Burlington you knew is disappearing - almost everything east of Brant along Lakeshore will be high rise.

By Pepper Parr

November 14th, 2022



While city council waits to have their successful election campaigns made legal at the swearing in ceremony on Tuesday development mistakes made years ago proceed.

A rendering of what the BeauSoleil is expected to look like when completed. The trees on the right hand side never existed and never will. A 28 storey high rise is under construction

The Beausoleil is replacing what used to be the Pearl Street Café, that was operated by John and Martha Duff, a a couple that met each other when they were members of the Burlington Teen Tour Band.. the Café was on the ground floor and a graphics company was on the upper floor.

When a developer came along with an offer was just too good to turn down the properties were sold.

They were later flipped to another developer who filed a development application, that ended up going to the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) where the developer won.

It wasn’t long before demotion work began.

Wreckers have cut off the back end of the house that was once the Pearl Street Cafe

Part of the OLT agreement was that the two houses on the property would be kept as part of the development.

What is being kept is the façade that would serve as the entrance to two units. What isn’t clear is if the units were to be seen as private dwellings. That will all get worked out when the sales work begins.

The houses were built in 1880 and are the last examples of housing from that period on Pearl Street

The only thing that is going to be kept is the façade, which doesn’t do much for the sleek glass lined look of the building that will go up on the site.

Right now demolition is underway for the BeauSoleil development while construction takes place in the building to the immediate east – that being the Nautique.

An aerial picture of the BeauSoleil site with the Nautique under construction at the top of the photo. Photograph by Harry Hersh

In the past ten year the pace of development has been incredible. A run down motel was on the south side of Lakeshore Road – now the site of the Bridgewater development.  The Waterfront Hotel could end up being torn down and replaced by two towers that will be more than 40 storeys.

Almost all the land between Lakeshore Road and Old Lakeshore Road is set up for future development.  Don’t expect to see any affordable housing in any of these buildings.

That part of the downtown in Burlington will become very high end and expensive.  No one is at all certain what the area might draw in terms of commercial operations.

The facade that will be part of the BeauSoleil is all that will be left of the kind of housing (built in the late 1800’s) that made up a Burlington that is fast fading from view – all that will be left are the memories.

One of the occupants of what was known as the Acland house had a job filling water trucks that were used to put water on the streets to keep down the dust.  A person with that kind of job would never be able to rent a house in Burlington today.

It was a kinder, more gentle town that was livable.


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4 comments to The Burlington you knew is disappearing – almost everything east of Brant along Lakeshore will be high rise.

  • Albert

    The Burlington I knew has already disappeared,
    I grew up in the east end during the 60’s and 70’s, worked for the City for over 35 years, on the streets everyday until 2013. Sad that the city I worked for but could not afford to live there even back then. I retired almost 10 years ago and have no desire to visit.

  • Joan Gallagher-Bell

    Canyon or Valley of Cement? Sad yes plus we dont have to like it but rather just tolerate poor governance.

  • Anne-Marie Tywonek

    Thank you for this article. I was passing by (east to west) on Lakeshore as the Pearl Street Cafe was being demolished. I could barely keep my car on the road for a few seconds fighting confusion and then tears. I looked at the Burlington Historical Society page to see if there was ANY mention of what’s happening. Couldn’t see a thing. I realize the only constant in life is change. But there’s a layer of grief that maybe ‘city folk’ generation doesn’t get compared to having been raised in what was, at one time, a small town. I’m moving on from here (after almost 6 decades a block north of Joe Brant Museum). As a child I used to toboggan down the hill where the museum now is perched. I’ve known now for many years how fortunate we’ve been as a family for having grown up here, by the lake. But my heart/soul cannot take any more. “My” Burlington is going/gone and so now must I. 🙁 R.I.P. The Town of Burlington We had a great run 🙂

    • GBR

      I agree totally.Interesting we re-elected all the people who let this happen.I have lived here for over 70 years and never experienced such rapid demolition of the village I grew up in.