What do you think 350 condominiums will do to the Burlington skyline.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 9th, 2021



City Council met on Monday and Tuesday spending a lot of time debating population growth and the rate at which the population would rise in the Region.

The province sets a rate of growth and determines where they would like to see that growth take place.

A population allocation is given to each of the Regions that in turn determine what the growth will be in each municipality.

Burlington has no greenfields left to be  developed.

Nothing is permitted north of Hwy 407 and Dundas except for small pockets in the settlements of Kilbride, Lowville and the Mt Nemo settlement area.

The growth in Burlington is going to be concentrated around the three GO stations: Burlington, Aldershot and Appleby.

The long term growth is long term – none of this will be taking place in the foreseeable future.

Changes planned today become communities in the next decade.  In Burlington that future growth is up in the form of high rise development.

sharman with sign

Councillor Paul Sharman often takes numbers and turns them into something people can understand. The population growth for Burlington in the next three decades calls for 350 twenty storey towers.

Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman has a way of grabbing a number and putting it in a context that makes the impact pretty clear.

Director of Planning Heather MacDonald was explaining that the growth number for Burlington between now and 2031 was 21,000 people or jobs. The growth number for 2031 to 2050 was 80,000 people or jobs.  “Is that right?” asked Sharman.  MacDonald agreed with him – Sharman then went on to put that number into a visual thought.

The two visuals below represent 14 towers that will probably make it through the planning process.

Lakeside village plaza proposal

This development has been in process for years now – it will rise again and become real.

What we are looking at then, said Sharman, is 350 twenty storey condominiums between now and 2050; 82 between now and 2031 and 265 between 2031 and 2050.

With numbers like that we are looking at a much different Burlington that the one we have today, which is the point Sharman wanted to make.

CLV Fairview Jan 21

This development, recently named Holland Park is looking at a planned 7 tower project. The unique part of the site is that there is no limit to the height the developer can go.

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10 comments to What do you think 350 condominiums will do to the Burlington skyline.

  • joe gaetan

    Realistically it is going to happen whether we like it or not, the die is cast. Sharman is on point in this one. So perhaps the sky should be the limit in some areas.

  • Alfred

    Note to editor: All development not just high-rise is imposed on the Region by the Provincial Government. 85 % of Burlington residential areas are not zoned for high-rise. Regional council is made up of City and Town councilors. The Regional Planners after seeing Burlingtons City Manager and Director of Planning fired, understand that their jobs are on the line, if they do not tow the line. This Mayor has imposed some of the most restrictive, time and money wasting policies in Canada on the low density areas. With only a handful of single family homes being built in this City as a result of builders taking their business elsewhere. Children will now be playing in the hallways of High-rise buildings instead of backyards. This will all happen because of policies created by your Mayor to gain the vote of a bunch of eighty year olds who bought their houses when average people could still afford houses.

  • Alfred

    I thought the Mayor promised to stop all this development. The funny part is many fools believed she could and voted for her. All she did was waste time and add unnecessary costs to housing.

    Watch her pull a rabbit out of her hat?

    Editor’s note: The high rise development is imposed upon the Region by the provincial government. The Region determines what portion of that population increase Burlington will have to accept. The Mayor’s election campaign was not against high rise development – it was about where that development is to take place.

  • Ted Spanx

    The choice is clear….. Build on Farmland or increase density in neighbourhoods. Development on farmland is no longer an option (as say the people during the 80-90’s)… thus, we can expect higher density in established neighbourhoods.

    Our City Council has also decided NOT to place higher density in the Downtown Core, where it would naturally belong. As such, just think what the City’s Downtown core will look like in 20 years, without higher density redevelopment. Once the majority of new development is along Fairview/Plains Road and not in the Downtown Central Business District, the downtown will become a forgotten afterthought made up of older small scale buildings that do not resemble a Downtown Core.

    The interest, focus, businesses, economy, and traffic will all shift along Fairview/Plains Road corridor, and will gut the Downtown core over time.

    Just consider it….

  • Charlie Schwartz

    As a resident of Burlington since 1952 I’ve seen the destruction of 1st the town & then the city. We are nothing now but a bedroom community that will get bigger with nothing but more ugly condominiums blotting out the sun, more congestion on our streets, the developers are calling the shots & this Council is nothing but a mouthpiece for them.

  • James

    The Mayor always says we’ve already surpassed the density targets and don’t need to accommodate any additional growth. Councillor Sharman says no that’s not true, we may need upwards of 350 highrise towers averaging 20 storeys each to accommodate the required growth to 2051. Talk about opposite ends of the spectrum!! So which is it??? Who’s telling us the truth??? What will Burlington look like in 30 years from now? Is it any wonder this Council has lost the trust of so many residents when the messaging coming from this group of 7 is so vastly contradictory?

  • Lynn Crosby

    How horrible, yet not news unfortunately. We sure don’t have the parks and greenspace to accommodate all these people and Spencer Smith Park can’t provide it even for all of downtown.

    Assuming someone is talking about how the number of city and regional councillors will have to massively increase too then? Anything about this in the Strategic Plan?

  • Jim Barnett

    Until you know the number of units and the number of bedroom in each unit it is impossible to know the number of buildings that need to be built.

    • perryb

      I am sure there are reasonable estimates of average number of people per unit. The trick is how big the units are. In Toronto, apparently people will pay a million dollars for a tiny space in the sky with no schools, no parks, and no cars. Basically to live in an anonymous anthill, where disease and hate easily proliferate. To me that is a bleak, Orwellian future and I fear for my grandchildren.

      • Chris Ariens

        This is not necessarily the case. Take a look at the map of Toronto in the attached link. The yellow area is area which is not permitted to build anything other than single-family housing. https://smartdensity.com/the-yellow-belt/ By protecting so much land from the next increment of development, we’ve forced cities in the GTA to build taller and taller in smaller and smaller areas in order to facilitate growth, all the while building nowhere near enough to meet the demand, whether it be for rental housing or owner occupied. The result is that housing has become unaffordable even for people whose incomes are in the top 10%. We have to end this idea that suburban neighbourhoods should be fossilized and stay the same forever. Our neighbourhoods need to be able to evolve, with many different forms of low-rise (“missing middle”) housing, including accessory dwelling units, duplex/triplex and more attached housing. While some apartments have to be built, it can’t all be apartments, it has to be a diverse mix of infill homes and businesses. There’s lots of land out there, much of it used for way-to-massive parking lots that degrade our city as it is.

        To keep our quality of life amidst all this, the main thing that has to change is we have to do away with automobile dependence. Make it easy for people to be able to get to the store, to school, to third places like cafes and pubs without requiring a car. Bring different uses closer together and give residents freedom to develop their lands to enable more people to live in neighbourhoods that have access to amenities and transit.