What the downtowners think should be done with the downtown core -

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

April 24th, 2017



The Mayor opened up the event with a short overview of the changes taking place in the city and how the need to intensify and create an Official Plan that would deliver on the promises made in the Strategic Plan.

The audience of something under 100 people on a very rainy night filled the Lions Hall where people were told that what people enjoy about living downtown is:

1.The Waterfront (29.85%)
2.Restaurants and Cafes (18.62%)
3.Walking (18.11%) …

Research told city planners that the first  transportation choice was Walking (37.78%)

The meeting was to have people take part in a Downtown Mobility Hub Visioning Workshop.

Mobility hubs were defined as:

Neighbourhoods within a 10 minute walking distance of major transit stations that will support new residents and jobs in a transit, pedestrian and cycling focused environment.

Clicker being usedWith those pieces of data in front of them the audience was asked to use small hand held devices they would record their responses to questions shown on a large screen.

There were interesting with surprising results.

Appreciate that these were ward 2 people for the most part answering questions about the downtown core.

The Planners intend to take this road show into every community that will have a mobility hub.  The workshops will see a return visit to each community once the Planners have had a chance to evaluate the data they collect.

The initiative will take about  six months to cover each of the four mobility hubs.  The next session for the downtown hub is scheduled for June 21st.

Time line mob hubsThe event was framed as a visioning exercise during which ward 2 Councillor Meed Ward explained that developments pop up at the Planning department and they have to process every application that is filed. “You want to be in charge of that process” said Meed Ward.

2 - Enhanced cycling

The strong agree support doesn’t appear to align all that well with the opposition to bicycle lanes on New Street.


1 - waterfront protected

No surprises here.

3 - commercial on Brant

Very mixed views on this question.

4 - daily needs transportation

Vehicles were not included in the question.

5 - downtown growth - where

The street names don’t show up on this map – the white box is the mobility hub area.

6 - downtown transit adquate

This view – from what was a ward 2 crowd contrasts with what the Bfast people think. More thinking to be done on transit matters.

7 - new development family orientated

Compare this with the question on more affordable housing.

8 - affordable downtown

A mixed view here.

9- afforable downtown - more

This response comes as no surprise.

Following the formal presentation the audience was invited to take part in the four information stations where planning staff were on hand to answer questions. The groups that clustered around the information stations were at times intense – in a positive way. They had a lot of questions and the planning staff took a lot of notes.

Director of Planning Mary Lou Tanner and Anne McIlroy, the consultant the city has hired to guide this process watched and listened intently.

Close look

All the charts and data set out got very close inspections.

There are two parts to this feature article on the visioning exercise. The second part which will follow tomorrow reviews the visuals on the elements of the downtown core and what the planners have to work with.

Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

2 comments to What the downtowners think should be done with the downtown core –

  • Dan Lyons

    Never ceases to amaze the near unanimous support for unrestricted views of the waterfront and the number of structures we build that defeat this purpose. Burlington is defined by it’s amazing downtown, it’s waterfront and it’s amazing rural/natural and escarpment area. These are the pillars upon which we should be planning the future of the city. The principles that guide the preservation and enhancement of these features should be self evident by now. 1. Don’t build on the shoreline 2. Build and refurbish or restore and concentrate walk/live friendly developments in the downtown(s) 3. Leave the rural/escarpment area alone thus allowing it to regenerate and provide it’s ecological/agricultural services and recreational opportunities to the rest of the city

    • David Fenton

      Why are you not our Mayor? All you need now is to throw in a couple of pie charts and a few graphics and the official plan is done. I’ll vote for you.