What did weather do to you? City hall shut down at 3:00 pm Friday; a lady on our street said she now feels like a Canadian.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON,ON. February 9th, 2013

We kept hearing about it – it was coming.  It was going to be a meet up between an Alberta Clipper and a Texas Low – sounded like a couple of poker players.  The city went to be assured that the roads people were all on stand by with everything that had a plow on it available if it was needed.

When we woke up on Friday morning to bring in the newspaper the street was white and eerily quiet.  Everything covered in a thick blanket of snow that just got thicker as the day wore on.

Many people made it a “snow day” and did their work from home.  Anyone with a snow blower gave it the work out of the year – those guys were in one of the heavens showing the missus what a man could do when he had the right tools.

Everything that had a surface got covered.

The city put out bulletins telling everyone what was open – there were some locations open – and what was closed.

The City of Burlington is providing an update regarding what city buildings are open and closed, how the city is managing snow clearing during the storm, and the status of Burlington Transit operations.

All city-delivered programs, such as swimming lessons, are cancelled today. Buildings that remain open will be available for scheduled user groups to operate their programs and will serve as warming centres.

WHAT IS OPEN: City Hall, Tansley Woods Community Centre, Appleby Ice Centre, Burlington Seniors’ Centre (as a drop-in centre, without formal programming) and Brant Hills Community Centre

WHAT IS CLOSED: Angela Coughlan Pool, Burlington Centennial Pool, Aldershot Pool, Aldershot Arena, Central Arena, Mainway Arena, Skyway Arena, Nelson Arena, Music Centre, Velocity (youth centre), All Burlington Public Library branches, Halton District School Board, Halton District Catholic School Board, Burlington Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Burlington, Mohawk College and McMaster University

The city was in close to full shut down mode

The city put every truck it had out on the streets and did their best to stay ahead of the weather.

SNOW CLEARING: The city controlled overnight accumulations mainly by salting and sanding. When heavier snowfall began at about 5:30 a.m., all city road units were deployed and are now plowing the multi-lane, primary roads.  Once the primary roads are cleared, plows will move into secondary and local roads. See www.burlington.ca/snow for details about snow control and service levels.

BURLINGTON TRANSIT: Buses, including conventional accessible buses, are running about 15 to 20 minutes behind schedule. Burlington Transit Handi-Van service is available for critical medical transport but suspended for all other purposes.

While city hall may have been closed – someone was in there updating the web sites.

For many it was Family Day a week early.  One father blasts away at the snow while the kids run into the  oncoming cloud.

For many it was the weather we all wanted last weekend for the Lowville winter Games and the weather we would have liked next weekend when we have a family day.  Burlingtonians made the best of the weather with all the kids outside working off all that energy.  It was time to tuck in and snuggle down for a movie, hot chocolate and pop corn.

Saturday morning at close to 10:30 am the city put out a media release:

Burlington, Ont.—Feb. 9, 2013—The City of Burlington continues its snow cleanup today and has returned all city buildings to normal operation.

The city plowed primary roads overnight, cleared local roads through the night and plowed sidewalks and parking lots. The clearing of bus stops is ongoing.

The city will clean up turn lanes and on-street parking bays starting today. It will also salt and sand roads, as needed, and continue plowing secondary roads and sidewalks.

“I want to thank residents for their patience as we get travel in the city back to normal,” said Scott Stewart, General Manager of development and infrastructure. “City crews are working diligently to make sure we can all get around safely.”

I don’t for a second believe that Scott Stewart actually said those words – they were put in his mouth by someone with a pen and paper.

The media release went on to say:  For snow clearing updates posted three times daily, visit www.burlington.ca/snow.

The city had made it through all the winter we are probably going to have.  All those over 50 will settle the kids into bed and tell them of the days when this was winter was like all winter.

Meanwhile Dan Lawrie, the Burlington insurance executive we interviewed by telephone Thursday after noon on the progress of the Spiral Stella he was helping to fund, told us, when asked, that the weather in Florida was fine.  “82 and sunny” he said cheerfully. “What’s it like up there?” he asked.  I didn’t want to tell him.


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2 comments to What did weather do to you? City hall shut down at 3:00 pm Friday; a lady on our street said she now feels like a Canadian.

  • ken colombo

    We live on a main north-south thoroughfare. The city did a good job of snow removal on the main road. We didn’t see a sidewalk plow until we were in ‘meltdown’ phase; after 4-5 passes by road plows had refilled our driveway 3 times.

    Fortunately, we have a neighbour who makes considerate and kind allowances for us; he cleared our driveway access three times. Two things that can happen with extreme exertion;

    1. Stroke ( no recent EEG )

    2. Heart Attack ( no recent ECG )

    The man was “insulted” when I tried to offer “consideration” for his kindness.

  • James Smith

    Funny that the sidewalk ploughs had the sidewalks clear on the bridges over the QEW on Saturday, but not the main streets south of the QEW.