March 2018 Update

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The City of Burlington asks for review of OMB decision

The City of Burlington has filed a Section 43 review request to the Executive Chair of the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) regarding development applications at 374 and 380 Martha St.

You can read the City’s Request for Review Letter here.

Among the reasons cited by the city for requesting a review of the decision are:

The Board failed to properly consider the planning hierarchy set up in the Urban Growth Centre by City Council when the Board approved the height and density at 374 and 380 Martha St.

The Board did not consider that the city’s Official Plan allocated height and density at different levels with the Urban Growth Centre, with the greatest growth directed to the Wellington Square and Old Lakeshore Road areas. As a result, the tallest building in the city, 26 storeys, is on a site designated for significantly lower levels of height and density.

The city is asking the Executive Chair of the OMB to grant the city’s review request and to dismiss the appeals related to 374 and 380 Martha St. If that does not happen, the city requests an order directing a rehearing of the appeals or changes to the Board decision to reduce the height and density allowed on the site.

As always, I will keep everyone updated on the development of this request.


Open Door Session

I’m hosting another Open Door Session. Join me on Saturday, March 24th at the Burlington Mall, between 10 a.m – 12 p.m, for a friendly chat.

I will have a booth set up where we can sit down to discuss any concerns or questions you may have.

Contact my office to make an appointment or drop-in.
I hope to see many of you there!

To make an appointment:
Call: 905-335-7607 or Email:


Transit Survey

Calling all Burlington Transit riders and non-riders!

Please help us develop the Transit Plan by completing an online survey.

In 2018, Burlington Transit will develop a multi-year Transit Plan that will guide new investment in the city’s transit system.

Improving Burlington’s transit service is a priority for the City of Burlington. As our population grows, providing a variety of convenient, reliable options to help people get around the city is essential. The Transit Plan, along with other city plans like the Transportation Plan and the Cycling Plan, will help to bring this vision to life.

The online survey to gather input is available at and is open until March 26.


Protecting the Jefferson Salamanders

It’s that time of the year again. The annual closure of King Road to allow for the safe crossing of the endangered Jefferson Salamanders during their breeding migration.

The closure began on Sunday, March 11 and will continue until April 1st. King Road will be closed from the base of the Niagara Escarpment to Mountain Brow Road.

Did you know…
Unlike most small animals, Jefferson salamanders can live a very long time; up to 30 years of age.
Learn more about the Jefferson salamander


Thank You Mr. Enomoto

For the last 29 years, Mr. Taroo Enomoto from Burlington’s twin city, Itabashi, Japan, has donated close to $40,000 to our city.

It started in 1989, with the twinning of Burlington and Itabashi. Mr. Enomoto visited our beautiful city and fell in love. Ever since, he has donated generously to various projects such as rhododendron garden at Paletta Lakefront Mansion, the Reach Out Centre for Kids (ROCK), Salvation Army, Halton Women’s Place and Halton Food for Thought.

This year, he has donated $1,022, with the request that it goes to a program for children and youth. ROCK is the lucky recipient.

I feel tremendous gratitude to Mr. Enomoto, for his love for our city, and his generous donations over the years. He is our honourary citizen, and we hope to see him soon.

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Open Door Session

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I’m hosting another Open Door Session.

Join me on Saturday, March 24th at the Burlington Mall, between 10 a.m – 12 p.m, for a friendly chat.

I will have a booth set up where we can sit down to discuss any concerns or questions you may have.

Contact my office to make an appointment or drop-in.  I hope to see many of you there!

To make an appointment:
Call: 905-335-7607 or Email:

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Burlington will successfully evolve to meet the future

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This Op-ed was published in The Hamilton Spectator on Saturday, March 3, 2018. 

The City of Burlington has had many Official Plans, but none have received as much attention as our current draft Plan that council is set to adopt in April.

City building is constantly evolving, and we all want our city to grow thoughtfully and carefully. City Council is no different.

As mayor, I certainly want what is best for the entire community. I hear from residents that they want a more vibrant downtown and are supportive of the protection of our rural lands and those who are concerned about the future of our city.

This was most apparent when late last year City Council approved a 23-storey building across from City Hall at 421 Brant St. I voted against this development for three reasons; it is the wrong location for a 23-storey building, where the adjacent roads are narrow, this approval would lead to similar requests for similar height, and from a policy perspective, this was inconsistent with the proposed 17-storey limit identified in the City’s earlier draft Downtown Precinct Plan.

While residents are trying to digest this decision, we were recently informed of the decision by the Ontario Municipal Board to approve the ADI development at Lakeshore Road and Martha Street. The board sided with the proponent on a proposed 26-storey highrise plan. Again, in my opinion, this is the wrong location for the height of the building, and I am very disappointed that the OMB did not prefer a height that was comparable or lower to those in this area.

It is more important than ever that we approve our new Official Plan. The city’s current Official Plan is out of date and doesn’t conform to provincial policy which is one of the significant reasons why the OMB did not agree with the city’s opposition to ADI’s 26-storey proposal. Clearly, our current Official Plan is unacceptable in planning for an Urban Growth Centre.

With two tall buildings recently approved in the downtown, I understand why residents feel anxious about what is going to happen in the future. I disagree with the decisions to allow the 23 and 26-storey downtown buildings. However, I am supportive of well-planned and justified intensification in appropriately targeted areas of our city.

Burlington is not an island unto itself. We are part of the Greater Hamilton Toronto Area that currently has 7 million people and will grow to 10 million within 23 years primarily because 40 to 50 per cent of newcomers to Canada want to live in this area. We must accommodate our share of growth.

We also need to be realistic and acknowledge that Burlington is a highly desirable place to live with an amazing waterfront and rural areas that includes the Niagara Escarpment, great neighbourhoods, wonderful festivals and events that contribute to the creation of an inclusive and caring community. In addition, interest rates are low, undeveloped land supply is depleted, and single family house prices are high. This has made condominium apartments an attractive housing form to all demographics for different reasons.

It is simply not true that we will have tall buildings at every corner of our downtown. It would be wonderful to protect our downtown and limit growth to exclusively low-rise buildings, but this approach is simply not realistic. By only allowing low-rise buildings, we are making downtown very exclusive to those that have significant wealth.

After listening and considering input from residents, Burlington City council made many important amendments to the proposed new Official Plan. We reduced permitted heights and increased building separations, and heritage building preservation is addressed.

Once the high-level vision of our new Official Plan is approved, we can get to work completing the details to be included in area specific plans. City staff is currently working on new transportation, transit, cycling and parking plans. We will dramatically improve our transit system to provide reliable and frequent service along our key areas, including our GO stations.

I am confident that Burlington will successfully evolve to meet our growing population and economic needs. We will be champions for great design and continue to give careful attention to all the important city building details that have made Burlington the city we are so proud of. We need to plan for our children and grandchildren so that Burlington is an inclusive, environmentally and fiscally sustainable city for generations to come.


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OMB Approves ADI development on Martha St.

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Today, the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) released its decision on Adi Development Group’s proposal at 374 Martha St.

I am extremely disappointed by this Ontario Municipal Board decision. In my opinion, the Board approved height is excessive and is not good planning for the site or for Burlington’s downtown. I know that many residents will be very unhappy with this decision and I share this reaction.

I want to thank the City’s staff, consultants and legal counsel for their work and effort defending the City’s position at the OMB.

You can read the full report here OMB ADI DECISION

Read the details of the application here.

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February 2018 Update

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2018 State of the City

2018 State of the City Address. Feb. 1, 2018. Mayor Rick Goldring and Tim Caddigan, Senior Director of Programming Cogeco

On Thursday, February 1st, I delivered my 2018 State of the City address to an audience of over 400 at the Burlington Convention Centre.

My speech celebrated the great accomplishments made by the City of Burlington, the residents and various organizations who call our city home.

Burlington is evolving in many ways. I’m very proud of the work being done to develop and leverage a strong brand that positions Burlington as a highly attractive business location.

The State of the City address will be airing on YourTV next week.

Tuesday, Feb. 13 @ 10 am
Wednesday, Feb. 14 @ 10 pm
Friday, Feb. 16 @ 11 am

You can also watch the entire event on my youtube page or read my full script here.


2018 Operating Budget Approved

Burlington City Council has approved the city’s 2018 operating budget with a 4.36% increase in the city’s portion of property taxes.

Combined with tax increases from Halton Region and the boards of education, the overall tax increase is 2.55% or $20.27 per $100,000 of a home’s current value assessment.

The 2018 budget is focused on community investments that deliver on the city’s 25-year Strategic Plan while ensuring the programs and services residents depend on are well-maintained and cost-effective. Investments, including much-needed funding to improve transit, are designed to meet the needs of our growing community

You can take a look at the copy of the 2018 operating budget online here.

Latest Draft New Official Plan

The Burlington City Council continue to have discussions over the proposed New Official Plan this month.

On January 29th, City Council approved the amendments made to the draft New Official Plan from the January 23 & 24 Planning & Development meeting. The amendments include lowering building height, parking and preserving heritage buildings.

I wrote about it in detail here on my blog for you to review.

You can read or download the revised new draft Official Plan here.

There will be 2 Open House dates for the public to review and discuss the latest revisions with the staff.

Dates are as follows:
* Monday, Feb. 12 @ Haber Community Centre in Community Rm #2, 6:30 pm – 8 pm
* Thursday, Feb. 15 @ City Hall Rm. 247 from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

A second statutory public meeting will take place to present the revisions.
That meeting is scheduled for February 27th at 1 pm and 6:30 pm. Delegations are not required to register in advance to speak.

Reverse Town Hall Q & A

When I held my Reverse Town Hall on January 18th, I received many questions from residents about the draft New Official Plan.

Some I answered at the meeting and some I decided to answer here on my blog because I didn’t want to take away the time that was meant for resident speakers.

It has taken longer than I had hoped to get this out, so thank you for your patience.

Aldershot Quarry Update

Last month, in an effort to obtain answers and clarifications to specific concerns over the Aldershot Quarry expansion, I organized a stakeholders meeting.

At the meeting were representatives from Tyandaga Environmental Coalition (TEC), representatives from Meridian Brick, MPP Eleanor McMahon, Councillor Rick Craven, Conservation Halton and Provincial staff from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) and Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.

The meeting provided an opportunity for an open dialogue, and it proved to be very informative.

I remain committed to supporting the efforts of residents seeking to obtain information related to the Meridian Brick Aldershot Quarry operation, plans and regulatory requirements, including TEC’s specific areas of concern.

We will hold further meetings to continue the discussion, answer questions and provide any necessary clarifications.

Burlington’s Cycling Plan

We are looking for your thoughts and ideas about improving cycling in Burlington.

Your feedback will be used to help shape the city’s new Cycling Plan, which will guide the future of cycling infrastructure in the city.

Take the survey or visit a series of drop-in sessions throughout Burlington.

Province opening Cannabis store in Burlington

The Ministry of Finance and the Liquor Control Board of Ontario have identified Burlington as one of 40 municipalities set to have a cannabis store by July 2018. The LCBO will make the determination of where a cannabis store is located in Burlington.

Staff will continue to monitor the direction emerging from the Province and report back to Council with a recommended approach once the provincial regulatory framework is known.

The City of Burlington has posted links to helpful information at, including to provincial and federal web pages.

The City of Burlington buys the office building at 390 Brant St.

The City of Burlington has purchased an office building located at 390 Brant Street, across from City Hall, for $17.5 million.

We have been leasing space at 390 Brant St. for employee use since 2005. Our Finance, Legal, HR, as well as some services from Capital Works and Parks & Rec. currently work out of this building. The reason for our purchase is to retain office space within the downtown and to diversify our assets.

The city will maintain the current tenants and contracts to ensure seamless operation.
All existing leases in the building will remain in place with few changes to the current operation of the building.

What’s Happening Burlington?

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

Wondering what to do on Family Day? There is no shortage of events around our area. Take a look at the Burlington Events Calendar to plan your long weekend.


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