Will the future of Bronte Meadows become any clearer in 2017?

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

December 29th, 2016



It is a large piece of land that you drive by when you head for the Convention centre on Burloak – you pass it without realizing just how big it is.

Owned by the Paletta organization and zoned as “employment lands” the Paletta’s have wanted to convert it to residential for some time.

That doesn’t look as if it will ever happen.

The city planners describe the land as a “large, contiguous and un-serviced area of vacant employment lands that represents a significant and irreplaceable opportunity in the city and its citizens.


Bounded by Upper Middle Road on the north, Bronte Road on the east and Mainway on the south this xxx ha piece of property holds significant potential for the city – but no one has yet been able to put together an organization or an institution that wants to locate in Burlington.

“The site has the potential to be a candidate site for a major employer or large educational institution. A city-wide strategy should be initiated to attract a major employer and/or another post-secondary institution to the city, consistent with the Strategic Plan.”

The planners point out that there are “a number of strategic locations within the inventory which require municipal services and more detailed land use planning” including Bronte Creek Meadows. The study also noted that these large parcels of land should be the focus of future land use and infrastructure planning.

5164 Upper Middle Road; 5366 Upper Middle Road; 5470 Upper Middle Road; 5900 Upper Middle Road; and 5201 Mainway collectively are known as Bronte Meadows.

Paletta International Corporation (PIC) applied to amend the lands from “Office/Business Park” to “Land Use to be Determined”. That application was refused by the City. Paletta appealed to the OMB to be determined at the same time as PIC’s outstanding appeals of Official Plan Amendment.

The Bronte Creek Meadows constitutes about 40% of the vacant employment land supply (125 ha/308 ha) and 51% of the effective net supply in the entire City (125 ha/248.3 ha).

In 2009, through Minutes of Settlement the City and PIC agreed to identify a portion of the total lands (approximately 88 acres or 35 ha) to be called Burloak Employment Estates. This portion of the land can be described generally as the land abutting Burloak Drive (generally north of Mainway, west of Burloak, south of Upper Middle and bounded to the west by the proposed realignment of Sheldon Creek). The Minutes of Settlement detailed that PIC would withdraw its appeals related to an Official Plan Amendment and not appeal that portion of the site through OPA 73.

Angelo Paletta on the left standing proudly with his father Pasquelle (Pat) Paletta

Angelo Paletta on the left standing proudly with his father Pasquelle (Pat) Paletta

The Minutes of Settlement further described that PIC would actively market the lands for a period of at least 5 years. The Minutes of Settlement set out requirements for a sign on the site, disclosure to, and discussions with BEDC. The five year time period has elapsed.

The employment land conversion assessment (Burlington Employment Lands Policy Recommendations and Conversion Analysis report) analysis recommended that Bronte Creek Meadows be retained as employment land. Staff support this recommendation.

Since the writing of the 2015 report the Region of Halton commissioned a servicing study based on servicing for employment uses, for Bronte Creek Meadows. The study is currently in draft form. The preliminary findings suggest that there are no major barriers to servicing this area.

Proposed Direction from the planners is that the city should initiate an area specific plan in the near term. Partnership with the owner of the property to develop the land for employment uses will be an important element related to moving forward.


The Paletta organization is diversified and into food processing and entertainment. They are beleived to be the largest private land holder in the city. Five years ago they had a Christmas Day meeting with then newly elected Mayor Rick Goldring with a proposal to locate a stadium that would be home to the Hamilton Tiger Cats in Aldershot. That idea died an early death.

Efforts will be made to understand the potential of these lands to support the Strategic Plan of the city.
Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman has said he thought the lands should be a combination of employment lands with some residential permitted.

The struggle between the owners of the largest piece of employment land in the city and the city planners has been an ongoing for many years.

No one has come to the city with an interest in putting a large corporate operation on the site despite its close proximity to both the QEW and the 407.

Zoned commercial, spitting distance to the QEW, minutes from downtown - owner wants to rezone and make it residential.

Bronte Meadows from the Mainway side. Defined as Employments Lands, spitting distance to the QEW, minutes from downtown – owners would like to see some of it converted to residential. wants to rezone and make it residential.

In land development it is all about timing. While the general public perception is that developers reap huge profits from development few appreciate that the Paletta’s have carried this property for some time paying taxes and significant legal fees.

The Economic Development Corporation has not been able to market the property – one observer has said that the price Paletta is asking for the property relates to residential development. It is pretty clear at this point in time that the city is determined to retain the employment land purpose. It is a splendid piece of property but no one knows what to do with it from an employment aspect.

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