Waterfront committee might just pump a little energy into Beachway part of the city.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  March 10, 2012  There are things happening on the waterfront despite the close to disastrous state of the Waterfront Advisory Committee.

Pump House was opened in 1910 and closed in 1936 then used as a private residence. Structure seems solid - could become a Beachway destination.

Back when Burlington was a town there was a squat little brick building on the waterfront called the Pump Station that currently houses a`stuff ‘that the city doesn’t know where else to store.   The Pump House was in continuous service from March 3, 1910 to February 1936, the year following the completion of the first filtration plant. It was converted into a private residence.

Just to the west of the Pump House there is a concession that sells French fries and ice cream.  Jeff Martin heads up a subcommittee of the Waterfront Access and Advisory Committee that decided it wanted to do something and took on the task of turning the Pump House into a destination.

The first step is to get inside the building and get a sense of what shape it`s in and what it will take to turn it into a place the public can use.  The committee wants to entice someone with an entrepreneurial bent to take this on and turn it into a place that is open from at least May to Thanksgiving.

The building could be turned into a coffee shop, perhaps an art studio and a coffee shop.  Licensed as well perhaps.  The subcommittee is wide open to ideas and proposals – they just want to see something happening on the Beachway and hopefully get the Waterfront committee to the point where it can show it has actually managed to get done.  Serious case of leadership vacuum on that committee.

Another subcommittee did excellent work on pointing out locations across the city where private property owners were blocking legitimate access to the waterfront.  Les Armstrong and his team assembled a file and passed it along to city hall where it hasn’t moved all that much.

In the picture above you can see the edge of the railway tracks that were removed.

Jeff Martin’s group is determined to take the first step to bringing some life to the waterfront and making it a bit of a destination for more than those who like to get out for a walk.  The place has potential and if the city is willing to work with someone who has restaurant/hospitality experience, we could see something akin to the Williams Coffee shop that exists in Hamilton on their waterfront.

Jeff Martin, along with a number of other Waterfront Advisory members were getting fed up with what wasn’t happening  The full committee has spent most of its life (getting close to two years) spinning its wheels and getting deeper and deeper into the mud.

It`s terms of reference has a sunset clause in it; this one might not have much of a life left, which would be a pity because the waterfront needs some inspired leadership to channel the energy that is certainly evident on the committee.

However, as one way at city hall has pointed out:”They did re-elect the current chair so they have to live with that decision.”



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1 comment to Waterfront committee might just pump a little energy into Beachway part of the city.

  • Petie

    While spending an afternoon at the Burlington Beach exploring with my kids, I got to thinking of the mess we have to look at while hiking out to the lighthouse. We were talking about the dead sea weeds washed up on the shore and I explained to the kids that the city staff might come down with a tractor and rake it all up. Being from the “Environment Conscience” generation, they asked where we would leave it all? Great question…….Can we convert it to “garden gold”, as we call what comes at the end of composting? After saving a pile of money on snow removal this winter it would be wonderful if the city would transfer some of that excess funding to our beach restoration and upkeep.