Why was IKEA shoved onto a Council agenda at the last minute? A property issue – hasn’t all that been resolved?

By Pepper Parr

February 19th, 2014


Council meetings in Burlington tend to be quickies – the tough slugging gets done for the most part at the Standing Committee level – but from time to time there are some news gems to be picked up.

At the Tuesday evening council meeting there was a single delegation and a last-minute item that got pushed onto the agenda.

The last-minute item was a need to go into a CLOSED SESSION – which usually happens when there is either a property matter or a human resources issue.

A prime concern has always been the width of the North Service Road and how traffic to the new IKEA location would be managed.

This time it was a property matter – which in itself is not unusual but when the Mayor said the words IKEA – ears perk up.  What could there be that is a property related matter on the IKEA project – which if you will recall is the struggling effort to move IKEA from their current Burlington operation out in Aldershot to a new location on the North Service Road between Walkers Line and Guelph Line.

There was every indication that the property issues had been resolved and that the Ministry of Transportation wasn’t giving an inch on the work that had to be done to the Walkers Line intersection that needs major work if traffic is going to get to the new IKEA location.

The property IKEA has chosen for their new location is quite deep but the north side of it isn’t all that pretty. A rail line runs along the northern edge.

Could the problem be something related to Conservation Halton and the problems with the creek that runs along the eastern side of the property?

Or has someone finally realized there is going to be a major problem with traffic on the North Service road unless major changes are made to the width of that road?

Whatever it is – the problems are inside one of the three in binders General Manager Scott Stewart took to the horseshoe as the media left the room.  Stewart has been managing this file since its inception – and it has begun to get messy.

IKEA tends to be very tight-lipped when it comes to talking about his project which hasn’t been as smooth as one would expect from a major multi national corporation.

IKEA decided some time ago that they needed to move out of Aldershot and settled on the North Service Road location because it was available and it would give them the QEW exposure that IKEA tends to want.

Getting the matter before council on basically no notice and not waiting until the next Standing Committee meeting suggests there is something up.  Quite what – we don’t know.

Let’s see what a little digging can do.

Background links:

IKEA move gets tangled up in the paperwork.

IKEA move takes longer than expected.

IKEA announces a move out of Aldershot.

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