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

The City of Burlington, like many other municipalities, has conducted community telephone surveys over the years to gather statistically valid information from residents on a variety of issues.

The recent community survey asked residents about city services using the new service catalogue, their quality of life, their involvement in city decision making and which priorities council should focus on over the next four years. The 2015 Community Survey was a telephone survey of 771 randomly selected Burlington residents aged 18 and older.

The survey was conducted from February 5 to 12, 2015. In order to compare results at the ward level, oversampling was employed to ensure there was a minimum of 125 interviews completed for each ward.

Life in Burlington

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.

The quality of life for 54% of residents in Burlington has remained the same in the past four years. It has improved for 28% and less than 10% feel it has worsened. One of this year’s new open-ended questions was what residents like best about Burlington.

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

Nearly all respondents, 96%, felt that our vision statement “A place where people, nature and business thrive” accurately reflected our current vision for Burlington.

Satisfaction with city services

When respondents were asked to rate their overall satisfaction with city services the large majority, 89% said that they were “somewhat” or “very satisfied” (47% and 42%, respectively).

Just over half of the services that respondents were asked to rate received a top two box (excellent or good) satisfaction rating score of 75% or greater. 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 i.e. special events, festivals, public art – 87%
  • Recreation programs – 86%


Respondents were also asked to rank a list of priorities that council should focus on from one to 10, with 10 being the highest priority. The issues that received scores from eight to ten were considered the highest priority. They were:

  • Community safety – 76%
  • Commitment to infrastructure i.e. renewal, maintenance, repair of assets – 76%
  • Healthy community i.e. health and well-being of residents – 73%
  • Sound financial practices – 69%
  • Parks and community open, green spaces – 69%
  • Economic development, prosperity, opportunity – 68%
  • Well managed growth – 64%
  • Traffic i.e. congestion, ease of getting around – 64%

Citizen Engagement

According to the survey, 64% agree that there are enough resident opportunities to provide input in decision making about city projects and services and 20% disagreed, and the others either said neither or don’t know. This is a 3-1 margin with people agreeing that there is enough opportunity.

We are consistently looking for new ways to connect with residents, but I do believe we are making good progress. We have developed a number of different citizen engagement opportunities – such as Insight Burlington and Let’s Talk Burlington – and we will continue to promote awareness of these initiatives. 

Food for Thought

While the survey represents a small sample size, the numbers are important to consider. We consistently hear from people they choose to live and work in Burlington because it is a great city with wonderful amenities and people. We see this in the responses.

That being said, the survey results did identify areas where residents said there could be improvements in city services. We are carefully reviewing the results with our staff and will be looking for ways to build on the valuable feedback from our residents. We cannot rest on our laurels.

We must consistently find ways to be better. I welcome your input on what you love about our city, and how we could do better. Please email me with your ideas at

The survey will be posted soon at

Appointment to Chair of the Large Urban Caucus of AMO

AMOlogo[1]I am pleased to report that I have been appointed as the chair of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) Large Urban Caucus. AMO works to make municipal governments stronger and more effective.

Through AMO, Ontario’s 444 municipalities work together to achieve shared goals and meet common challenges.

As chair, I will be meeting regularly throughout the year with leaders from large cities from across the province on pressing topics. Serving on this caucus, especially as chair, strengthens the bonds between communities, as well as between municipalities and the Province.

This presents great opportunities for the exchange of ideas and policies. It also allows me to have input in Provincial policy that affects Burlington and other large cities in Ontario.

Corporate Energy Management Program Update

A report on the Corporate Energy Management Program Update was provided at this month’s Community and Corporate Services Committee.

The City is focused on identifying, implementing and reporting on opportunities that reduce its direct environmental footprint, reduce current and future operating costs, and generate revenue.

A number of energy management initiatives were undertaken and completed in 2014. Among the highlighted initiatives that were initiated and/or implemented in 2014 were:

  • New Corporate Energy Tracking System (underway)
  • Corporate Building Automation System Training
  • Improving Equipment Operation and Efficiency
  • Community Centres Energy Competition
  • LED Lighting Retrofit Projects

Some of the noteworthy outcomes included:

  • The overall electricity saving in 2014 was approximately 536,119 kWh or 4% compared to 2013.
  • Water consumption was decreased by approximately 28,193 m3 or 18% saving.
  • Although 2014 had relatively colder temperatures compared to 2013 (10% colder or 330 more heating degree days), natural gas consumption was 10% lower or 206,483 m3 saving.
  •  The overall 2014 utility cost (including facilities, streetlights and traffic lights) saving was $525,414 compared to 2013, a 12% reduction.

The City of Burlington continues to be in a position of leadership in municipal energy management. Important progress has been made in 2014 in energy management in areas of measurement, reporting, monitoring, creating energy awareness, installing energy conservation measures and energy efficiency improvements together with implementing sustainable building design standards.

I believe it is important that as a corporation, we do what we can to reduce our carbon footprint to set an example for residents and businesses to do what they can to create a greener city.

City Council Approves the 2015 Tax Levy Bylaw

Burlington City Council has approved the 2015 Tax Levy Bylaw that allows the city to bill 2015 property taxes and set payment due dates of June 23 and Sept. 23, 2015. The 2015 tax levy bylaw reflects the budget processes of both the city and Halton Region. The province provides the education tax rates.

The overall tax increase is 2.08 per cent, or $18.10 for each $100,000 of urban residential assessment. A breakdown can be found here. For more information about Burlington or Budget 2015, visit

Why Mundialization Matters: Reflecting on our ties with Apeldoorn bench The week of May 2-9 marked the 10th anniversary of the official twinning of Burlington and Apeldoorn, the 70th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands, and our enduring friendship.

The modern concept of city twinning – also known as mundialization – was conceived after the Second World War in 1947, intended to foster friendship and acceptance between different cultures.

The word “mundialization” stems from the Latin word “mundus” which means “world”. Mundialization encourages citizen connections as a way of fostering world peace and global understanding. This understanding and celebration of our cultures was at the heart of the weeklong activities with our sister city, Apeldoorn.

This year’s celebrations were multi-faceted. In April, 21 Burlington students from participating high schools travelled to Apeldoorn for a week-long exchange. There was also an art exchange and pen pal program between participating Grade 4 and 5 students.

A group of Burlington citizens came to the beautiful Netherlands, along with the City of Burlington delegation that consisted of a small group of city staff, Councillor Blair Lancaster and myself, as well as Burlington Mundialization Chair Ed Dorr and Burlington Apeldoorn Committee Chair Charles Minken.

The Burlington Teen Tour Band also made the journey to Netherlands, making Burlington and Canada proud through numerous performances at the various twinning and liberation celebrations.

It truly was a week of friendship, cultural exchanges and idea sharing. Burlington is a better place because of its relationship with Apeldoorn. Canada is a better country for its enduring connection with the Netherlands.

The world is a better planet for these kinds of international deep roots. To read my full blog post about our exchange, visit

Photo galleries and videos from the week in Apeldoorn can be found on my Facebook page.

Burlington Airpark Update

The City of Burlington provided an update today on legal proceedings related to the city’s application to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to compel Burlington Airpark Inc. to submit an application for a site alteration permit to comply with site alteration bylaw 64-2014.

On May 21, 2015, the Ontario Court of Justice heard a motion from Burlington Airpark Inc. to remove paragraphs from a City of Burlington affidavit supporting the city’s application. Burlington Airpark Inc. argued these paragraphs contain an improper reference to “without prejudice” discussions between the city and the Airpark.

The Ontario Court of Justice granted the motion to remove the paragraphs from the affidavit and awarded Burlington Airpark Inc. $3,500 in costs to be paid by the city. The court date to hear the city’s application regarding Burlington Airpark Inc. was rescheduled from May 28, 2015, to Nov. 10, 2015, before a judge of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

The November date is the earliest date the Court has sufficient time to hear the city’s application and a Notice of Constitutional Question filed by Burlington Airpark Inc. The notice challenges the constitutional validity of the city’s site alteration bylaw 64-2014. For more information about the city and the Burlington Executive Airpark, visit

Bay Area Economic Summit

The Bay Area Economic Summit 2015 takes place Tuesday, June 2 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Royal Botanical Gardens, 680 Plains Road West.baes-logo[1] The event is a co-presentation of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and Burlington Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the City of Burlington and City of Hamilton.

This leadership gathering will focus on advancing the Hamilton and Burlington Bay Area as a key component of the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

I look forward to a great day of information exchange and ideas.

For more information or to register, visit

BCF Flood Disaster Relief Committee Update

As of April 30th the Burlington Community Foundation Flood Disaster Relief Claims Committee (DRC) has reviewed all 310 claims with 268 being approved for some amount. Now that all claims have been assessed, the next step for the Claims Committee is to determine final payment amounts.

The City of Burlington will disburse the final cheques and the entire program will be wrapped up by the end of May or shortly thereafter.

Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Update

headerlogo[1] The 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games are quickly approaching. Burlington will be a host to a practice venue for soccer at City View Park and is designated as a celebration site for torch relays.

There are two torch relays – one for Pan Am (May 30- July 10, 2015) and one for Parapan (August 3-7, 2015). Pan Am

TO2015 announced that the torch will be visiting Burlington on Day 20 of the relay, which is Friday, June 19. This coincides with the Sound of Music Festival. Staff is working with the festival to integrate the 30 minute official ceremonies into the festival lineup that night.

Ashley Worobec[1]

Ashley Worobec (centre)

As a community celebration location, the City was allowed to appoint one community torch bearer. More than 25,000 people voted between December 2014-January 2015 on who would best represent the City. Receiving more than 50% of the vote, Ashley Worobec was selected as the City of Burlington’s Community Torch Bearer. Halton Region Police, Transportation Services, Roads and Parks Maintenance and Burlington Fire are Co-ordinating the rolling closure required for the relay.

The relay route will start at Brant and Leighland and proceed south on Brant to Caroline, west on Caroline to Locust, south on Locust to Elgin, west on Elgin to Maple and south on Maple into Spencer Smith Park. 


The Parapan torch relay will be coming to Burlington on Wednesday, August 5. The celebration site for this event will be Spencer Smith Park. All activities related to the relay will take place in the park and no road closures will be required. 

Pan Am Day in Canada

TO2015 in partnership with CBC Sport are declaring June 13, 2015 Pan Am Day in Canada. Parks and Recreation staff and Burlington Youth Soccer are planning an event at Sherwood Park to mark that day. 

Live Video Feed

Staff has secured an agreement with CBC to televise the Games live on the video displays at Haber, Tansley Woods and Appleby Arena. We can show live feed of the Games as people are in our facilities for other activities.

Facility Development & Management

City View Park will be utilized as a practice venue for soccer during the games period. During this time from July 5to 25, TO2015 will have exclusive use of the northwest quadrant of the park, including the three artificial turf soccer fields. 

Traffic Management During Games

TO2015 in partnership with MTO has developed a Games Route Network for all venues including game and main practice areas. There are two game venues that will affect the traffic in the city: Hamilton Soccer and Milton Velodrome.

The City has one main practice venue and that is City View Park for Soccer. Transportation Services has met with MTO to review these routes, their potential impact and solutions to manage the traffic during the Games. During this period there will be minor adjustments made to signal timing on Dundas Street and Appleby Line to facilitate travel to venues.

The City is also coordinating traffic management plans with OPP, Halton Region Police and our Emergency Management Office. There will be direct communications with TO2015 and the City of Burlington to ensure minimal negative impacts to traffic, and to respond to any emergency that occurs on the roads during the Games.

Burlington’s Best Awards

Burlingtons Best Winners

Award winners: Mary Nichol, Tomy Bewick, Bonnie Purkis, Ron Foxcroft, Kevin Han, Jan Morris accepting on behalf of late husband Dave Morris, and Susan Fraser.

The City of Burlington honoured 15 nominees and seven award winners at the annual Burlington’s Best awards ceremony on May 14.

Burlington’s Best Awards are managed by a citizens’ committee established in 1965 with the mandate of recognizing Burlington residents who bring honour to the city and make a difference in their community.

When you look into all the great things about Burlington, such as our festivals, our culture and our open spaces, they are always linked to volunteers. The seven winners are very deserving of our gratitude and admiration, as are all of the nominees. Volunteers help create vibrant, livable communities.

The award winners are:

Heritage Person of the Year Award: Dave Morris, posthumously

Morris was a dedicated volunteer who worked tirelessly to help promote and conserve Burlington’s heritage.  He was a member of Heritage Burlington from 2002 to 2010 and the president of the Burlington Historical Society (BHS) from 2009 to 2010. His work in the community supported the efforts in the creation of Heritage Month and Doors Open. Morris built and maintained the BHS website and kept it up to date. One of his last projects was to digitize the oral histories and post them on the website. He was a member of the SOS – Save Our Station team that helped to preserve Freeman Station.

Community Service Award: Mary Nichol

Nichol is responsible for the outstanding success of bringing sport groups together and in advancing the opportunities for sport in Burlington for more than three decades. She exemplifies this criteria as she “makes sport grow stronger” through her leadership as a Board of Director of the Burlington Gymnastics Club (BGC) and the President/Past President of the Burlington Sport Alliance (BSA), both volunteer positions. She served on the BGC Board since 1979 and on the BSA board since it started in 2001.

Environmental Award: Susan Fraser

Fraser is BurlingtonGreen’s longest serving volunteer (since 2007). She has assisted with planning the citywide Community Clean Up Green Up events, dedicated hundreds of hours to help the team deliver the popular and impactful Youth Eco-Summit and has assisted with elevating the voice of the environment on a number of issues in Burlington, such as tree protection and wildlife habitat protection at LaSalle Park. Arts

Person of the Year: Tomy Bewick

Bewick has been involved in the Burlington Slam Project for nearly seven years. He has brought his love of the spoken word and developed the achievements of each poet who has come through the Slam. Bewick has contributed his time, energy and a focus on youth initiatives to building the art community in Burlington.

Junior Citizen of the Year: Kevin Han

Han is a committed volunteer with the Chillzone after-school program, a free after-school program focused in latchkey children in marginalized families. Kevin shows dedication to investing in the children through homework help and problem-solving help, and has become a reliable friend and role-model to the children.

Senior Person of the Year: Bonnie Purkis

Purkis has been very active on a number of fronts regarding services specific to seniors. She is an active volunteer at the Burlington Seniors Centre, has been a member of the Burlington Seniors Advisory Committee and has also started a very successful initiative at her place of residence (an apartment complex) to engage seniors in various social activities.

Citizen of the Year Award: Ron Foxcroft

Foxcroft is well known in the community and is a tireless supporter of everything Burlington. But nothing tops how he responded to the flood relief challenge on behalf of all of the affected citizens of Burlington. The short time given to this initiative to be successful, and the focus required by Foxcroft in leading the team, was inspirational. For more information and a complete list of categories and past winners, see

Love My Hood Program love-my-hood[1] The City of Burlington is launching a new community development program, Love My Hood, to encourage neighbourhood and community celebrations. Vibrant cities are based on vibrant neighbourhoods.

We want residents to be a part of making their neighbourhood and community a vibrant part of Burlington. The pilot program was inspired by a recent visit and workshop by Jim Diers, former director of the department of neighborhoods in Seattle, Washington.

City of Burlington staff has developed a planning guide with ideas, resources, tools and templates to help residents plan an event for their neighbourhood or community.

This program will offer resources and waive fees for select city services to make neighbourhood celebrations more accessible to Burlington residents.

For more information, download the Love My Hood planning guide at or contact the Burlington Events Office at or 905-335-7600, ext. 7391.

Canada Day lineup announced canada-day[1] The City of Burlington has announced an entertainment lineup that includes the Stellas and Symphony on the Bay for Canada Day Celebrations on Wednesday, July 1. The Burlington Canada Day Celebration is a Top 100 Event in Ontario.

The great entertainment at this award-winning event contributes to a vibrant downtown and a vibrant Burlington. The Stellas have been selected to headline the Canadian Tire Main Stage on  at 3 p.m. Brad and MaryLynne Stella make up the husband-and-wife country duo from the Toronto suburbs, and have toured with Zac Brown Band, Johnny Reid and Terri Clark.

Symphony on the Bay became an orchestra in 1973. It recently made the Burlington Performing Arts Centre its home and will play the celebrations again this year. The community-based symphony will accompany the fireworks presentation at 10 p.m.

New this year, the Burlington Events Office held a Twitter contest for musicians to win a performance spot the Canadian Tire Main Stage. Residents voted on three finalists, with Devin Moody the winner. Moody, from Burlington, Ont., is influenced by 1950s’ music. He’s toured throughout Canada, the United States and Japan and is currently a semi-finalist in CBC’s Searchlight contest.

Other entertainment planned for the annual celebration includes: White Pine Dancers, Burlington Teen Tour Band, Jessica Mitchell, Mystic Drumz, Johannes Linstead and fireworks.

For more information, visit or call the Festival and Events Hotline at 905-335-7766.

Regional Update

Burlington Beach Regional Waterfront Park 2015 Master Plan

This week, Halton Regional Council approved the Burlington Beach Regional Waterfront Park – 2015 Master Plan.burl_beach_plan_ER0035___Gallery___Content[1]

The Master Plan was approved by a 17-4 vote. There was strong support from councillors across

Halton for this world-class master plan that will further transform Burlington Beachway into a space where residents from across the city, region and elsewhere can connect with nature.

The approval of this master plan has been a long and emotional process.

My Number 1 concern about this beach project was making sure our residents were being treated fairly. Based on the options given to residents where they can spend the rest of their lives in their homes and no expropriation will occur in a true willing seller/willing buyer structure, it is clear they have been treated fairly and will continue to be treated fairly.

This past weekend, I cycled along the Beachway to the canal. I took the opportunity to again look at the beach and see what a treasure it is.

The development of this park will enhance the Region of Halton. It will further build on our quality of life, which in turn has economic opportunities as businesses choose cities where their employees want to live.

I would like to thank my colleagues on Halton Regional Council for their strong support for the Burlington Beach Regional Waterfront Park Master Plan.

The estimated project cost is more than $51 million. Among the costs are the development of six destination areas connected by trails and boardwalks, re-configuration and re-alignment of Lakeshore Road, relocating the hydro towers away from the beach, and property acquisition and demolition.

The majority of the Burlington Beach Regional Waterfront Park plan will be developed over the next five to 10 years. It could take up to 20-25 years to acquire all the properties and finish the park.burl_beach_plan_ER0031___Gallery___Content[1] Staff has been directed by Regional Council to research options for non-Regional funding sources. A senior stopped to thank me last weekend while I cycled along the pathway. While he said he would not likely live to see the completed park, he thanked me on behalf of his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren who will enjoy this beautiful legacy.

To read more about the plan for the park and see artists’ renderings of the park, read the reports and appendices here.

Upcoming Events

4th Annual Burlington Accessibility Awards

The 4th Annual Burlington Accessibility Awards will be held on June 2 at 2 p.m. in the Studio Theatre at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre. Sarah Harmer will be the keynote speaker.

Launched in 2012, the Accessibility Awards program recognizes and celebrates individuals, businesses and organizations that have made significant contributions to increase access and participation of people with disabilities in our community.

Admission is free. Register your seat online here.

Food Truck Workshop

The City of Burlington is hosting a public workshop to gather feedback from the community about the operation of food trucks in the city.

The public workshop is on Wednesday, June 3 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Shoreline and Rotary rooms at the Burlington Art Gallery, 1333 Lakeshore Road. City staff will prepare a recommendation on mobile eateries for city council’s consideration, and input gathered from the workshop will help form the report.

The current city licensing and zoning bylaw regulations require updating to address where food trucks can operate within the city, when or how often. The city is looking for input from residents, restaurants, businesses and foods truck operators to find out how they see food trucks operating in Burlington. For information or to participate, contact Tracey Burrows at or 905-335-7600 ext. 7628.

Kite Festival

The City of Burlington’s annual Kite Festival takes place on Sunday, June 7 between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. at Brant Hills Community Park. Residents are invited to join the fun and build a kite for free, while supplies last.

Event attendees will be able to fly their kites in the open space at Brant Hills Park throughout the day. Event highlights include vendors, entertainment, face-painting, a photo booth and a balloon artist.

The Kite Festival will take place rain or shine. Brant Hills Community Park is located at 2255 Brant Street For more information about the event, including the entertainment schedule and list of booths, visit


Seniors are invited to learn more about taking the bus in Burlington at one of two upcoming Lunch-and-Learn seminars on June 9 and 17 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Burlington Seniors’ Centre, 2285 New Street.

The sessions are being offered by Burlington Transit, where participants will learn more about using public transit, the new Community Connection service and the PRESTO Card. Lunch is provided.

Participants are asked to register by calling 905-335-7869, ext. 7521.

Open Door Session June 25

15-195-MO Open Door Ad

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