Celebrating Canada Day in Burlington

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July 1, 2015 marks the 148th anniversary of Canada’s birth as a nation.

On Canada Day, we honour the shared history, symbols and values that define us as Canadians.

As a seventh-generation Canadian, I firmly believe this is the greatest country in the world.

We are a country of vast and diverse landscapes from coast to coast to coast.

We have a health care system, a Charter of Rights and Freedoms and a strong democratic tradition.

We are an inclusive nation that embraces diversity. Regardless of your nationality, religion, sexual orientation, gender or age, you are welcome in Canada.

We can make a stronger Canada by sharing and celebrating our differences.

The ideals that make our country stand out in the world are reflected here in our city.

I would like to invite everyone to join us on July 1 at Spencer Smith Park for Canada Day celebrations. For a full schedule of events, please visit www.burlington.ca/canadaday.

Happy Birthday Canada. Bonne Fête du Canada.

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Experience everything Burlington has to offer this summer

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This column is scheduled to appear in the July edition of Snapd.

Burlington was recently named the best medium-sized city for a third year in a row in the MoneySense Magazine’s Best Places to Live 2015 rankings released in June.

The magazine also listed Burlington the third-best city overall in Canada, including the second-best place to raise children.Children's Festival Mascots and kids

Every day I meet residents who tell me how much they love our city. For some residents, they were born here and have remained in Burlington for their entire lives.

For others, it was a visit to one of our festivals or events that inspired them to relocate to Burlington, purchase a home and raise their family here.

Burlington is vibrant city that offers much to experience in all seasons – especially in summer.

With our location between Lake Ontario and the beautiful Niagara Escarpment, Burlington has a tremendous natural environment.

There is the Bruce Trail within the Niagara Escarpment UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, the world renowned Royal Botanical Gardens and the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System. margaret mccallum - bruce trail

Burlington offers a lively and accessible waterfront at Spencer Smith Park with the Brant Street Pier, Discovery Landing, the Burlington Rotary Centennial Pond and the Dofasco Waterjet Park.

There are beautiful parks and recreational facilities across our city that are great sites for recreation and family time.

Burlington also hosts many unique festivals and events throughout the year – with a large number of them in the summer months.

In June, hundreds of thousands of residents and visitors attended the Sound of Music Festival.

The Canada Day celebrations on July 1 are also a popular attraction.

There are numerous other festivals and events in the summer, such as the Sandcastles Festival and Children’s Festival in August and Canada’s Largest Ribfest on Labour Day weekend.Sandcastle Festival 111

Close to our waterfront are two cultural destinations: the Art Gallery of Burlington and the Burlington Performing Arts Centre.

History buffs can enjoy historic LaSalle Park, Ireland House and the Joseph Brant Museum, where our pioneer and aboriginal heritage have been preserved.

More information about enjoying a great summer in Burlington can be found on the City of Burlington’s website at www.burlington.ca and Tourism Burlington’s website at www.tourismburlington.com.

Have a wonderful summer – and make sure to stop and say hello when you see me at the many events around town this summer.IMG_3550

Connect with Mayor Rick Goldring by phone at 905-335-7607, by email at mayor@burlington.ca, on Twitter @RickGoldring and on Facebook at Rick Goldring. Subscribe to his monthly digital newsletter by emailing mayor@burlington.ca.

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We asked, you answered: 2015 Community Survey

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Photo courtesy the Burlington Economic Development Corporation.

This column is scheduled to appear in the June 19 edition of the Burlington Post.  

The City of Burlington 2015 Community Survey asked residents about various aspects of Burlington, such as quality of life, city services and which priorities council should focus on during the next four years.

A total of 771 residents over the age of 18 were surveyed, with at least 125 interviews completed in each ward.

Quality of life

Residents continue to feel Burlington is a good place to live. Nearly all respondents, 96%, said it was at least good, with the majority of respondents, 86% saying it was either very good or excellent.

One of this year’s new open-ended questions was what residents like best about Burlington.

The top three responses were: access to amenities and services (15%), sense of community/small town feel (13%) and safe/low crime rate (11%).

City services satisfaction

When residents surveyed were asked to rate their overall satisfaction with city services the large majority – 89% – said that they were “somewhat” or “very satisfied”.

The services residents were most satisfied with were: fire protection (95%); parks and open space maintenance (90%); parks, open spaces and sports fields (90%); city arenas (88%); cemetery (88%); arts and culture (87%); and recreation programs (86%).

The survey results also identified city services they felt could be improved.

The services residents surveyed said they were least satisfied with were: winter maintenance (64%), traffic operations management (63%), building code permits and inspection (63%); parking management (60%); surface water drainage (57%); transit service (55%) and transportation network planning (52%).

Priorities for council

The survey also saw respondents rank a list of priorities on which council should focus.

The top five priorities were: community safety (76%); commitment to infrastructure (76%); healthy community (73%); sound financial practices (69%); and parks and community open, green spaces (69%).

Food for thought

We consistently hear from people they choose to live in Burlington because it is a great city with wonderful amenities and great people.

However, there is always room for improvement.

We are carefully reviewing the results with our staff and will be looking for ways to build on the valuable feedback from our residents.

I welcome your feedback on what you love about our city, and how we could do better.

The survey results are on the city’s website at www.burlington.ca/strategicplan.

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May 2015 Progress Report

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Committee and Council Meetings

Agendas, minutes and videos on standing committee and council meetings in May, as well as agendas and reports for upcoming meetings, are available online.

Upcoming Meetings

Development & Infrastructure Committee: Monday, June 15 at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.*

Community & Corporate Services Committee: Tuesday, June 16 at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.*

Audit Committee: Wednesday, June 17 at 3:30 p.m.

Committee of the Whole: Thursday, June 18 at 1 p.m.

Burlington City Council: Monday, June 22 at 6:30 pm. *Times yet to be confirmed.

2015 Community Survey Results The Pier opens 2-50

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Bike to Work Day – May 25, 2015

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Bike to Work Day is celebrated across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area each year to encourage people to try cycling to work instead of driving.

It is a campaign that is geared at bringing awareness to the benefits of cycling, as many of the trips we take are within an easy distance.

Travelling by bike saves you the cost of gas and parking all while having zero impact on air quality and bringing a positive impact to your overall health.

This year, Bike to Work Day is May 25, where thousands of riders all over the GTHA will take part in cycling to work. This kicks off the start of Bike Month, which runs from May 25th- June 25th.

The City of Burlington will be hosting their 4th Annual  Bike to Work Day Breakfast in partnership with Smart Commute Halton on May 25 from 7:30 a.m-9 a.m. in Civic Square. I look forward to seeing you there.

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