May 2017 Progress Report

Committee and Council Meetings

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

Burlington City Council – Monday, June 12 at 6:30 p.m.

Committee of the Whole – Monday, June 26 at 1 p.m.

Planning and Development Committee – Tuesday, June 27 at 1 p.m.

Committee of the Whole – Workshop – Thursday, June 29 at 1 p.m.

City Hall closure for Canada Day – Monday, July 3

 Airpark Update

The City of Burlington was disappointed in the Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision on May 24 to allow an appeal by Burlington Airpark Inc. of the Superior Court of Justice’s order from June 30, 2016. The Superior Court of Justice’s order would have required Burlington Airpark Inc. to obtain a site alteration permit for the fill it had deposited on the Airpark site since 2008.

City staff and legal counsel will be reviewing the decision in detail and working with City Council to determine how the city will proceed forward in this matter.

In the meantime, the city will continue to use its regulatory authority, bylaw 64-2014, to require a site alteration permit for any new fill proposed to be deposited at the Airpark site. Burlington will also continue to work with its partner agencies—including Halton Region, Conservation Halton and the provincial Ministry of Environment and Climate Change—on regulatory matters related to the deposit of fill at the Airpark site.

To learn more about the City of Burlington’s position on the Airpark, visit www.burlington.ca/airpark.

Proposed Downtown Development at 421-431 Brant Street

Approximately 100 people attended the neighbourhood meeting about the proposed mixed-use development in downtown Burlington. The proposal is for a 27-storey, 183-unit apartment building, located at 421-431 Brant St. on the northeast corner across the street from city hall.

City staff will be proceeding with a recommendation on this application In October this year, once the land-use scenario for Burlington’s downtown Mobility Hub Plan goes to Burlington City Council in September.

To learn more about my thoughts on this proposed development, please see my January/February newsletter. Read more here.

If you have feedback about this proposal, email Planner Kyle Plas at kyle.plas@burlington.ca. Please copy me at mayor@burlington.ca.

Meridian Brick to Present Final Studies in Fall 2017

Meridian Brick hosted a public meeting on Thursday, May 25 to provide an update on its planned expansion of the quarry near Westhaven Drive in the Tyandaga neighbourhood. At the meeting, Meridian presented studies for air quality and health, at-risk species, archeological and noise control. These are preliminary findings. Meridian will continue their studies into the summer and fall. The final findings from the company’s studies will be presented to the public later this year.

To learn more about the Meridian community meeting, visit www.aldershotquarry.ca.

LED Streetlights to Result in Significant Energy Savings for the City

If approved by Burlington City Council at its meeting on Monday, June 12, the project to convert the city’s high pressure sodium (HPS) streetlight fixtures to light emitting diode (LED) technology would begin in 2017 with a goal to switch 50 per cent of the streetlights by Dec. 31, 2017. This is approximately 7000 units. The remainder of the LED streetlights would be completed by the end of 2018.On May 30, staff brought forward a report (TS-03-17) requesting Council approval to single source purchase the supply and installation of LED streetlights to Burlington Hydro. Converting to LED streetlights has become increasingly common in many municipalities as a reliable and energy saving alternative.

The opportunity to partner with Burlington Hydro would results in significant benefits to the city, including:

  • A significant reduction in energy consumption – as the city’s energy services and power distribution company, Burlington Hydro is committed to meeting industry-related energy conservation targets and the LED Streetlight Replacement program represents a significant portion of the total goal.
  • A significant cost savings – Based on preliminary assumptions including the estimated cost of conversion, debt financing and energy rate changes, the estimated annual energy and maintenance savings to be achieved at full conversion is approximately $900,000.
  • A short conversion time – if approved by Council work would start in July 2017.
  • Better Quality Lighting – More even and efficient distribution of light and better quality of light resulting in increased safety

Expenses for the conversion project work in 2017 would be incurred by Burlington Hydro until the funds for the project are approved as part of the 2018 Capital Budget. At this time, all expenses would be reimbursed to Burlington Hydro.

I will be supporting this report and commend staff for identifying the opportunity to partner with Burlington Hydro. The project will help achieve one of the city’s key directions in Burlington’s Strategic Plan, A Healthy and Greener City as well as the city’s corporate energy management plan, which aims to reduce energy consumption by at least 20 per cent.

Burlington’s New Innovation Centre, TechPlace, Opens June 22

Burlington’s new innovation centre, TechPlace, will open its doors on June 22, 2017.

As first announced during my State of the City address in January this year, TechPlace is a one-stop destination for new and growing technology companies. With the support of partners across the public and private sectors, the new 8,600-square foot facility will provide access to space, programming, mentorship, networking and resources to help connect, develop and advance entrepreneurs at all stages. TechPlace will be home to Angel One Investor Network, one of Canada’s most active angel groups, and Haltech, Halton Region’s Regional Innovation Centre.

Congratulations to the Burlington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) for their leadership in bringing the vision for this outstanding facility to life. Approximately 40 per cent of new jobs in Canada come from companies that are less than five years old and BEDC is committed to supporting the continued growth of these companies.

TechPlace will be a physical space where companies can come together to tap into new technology, ideas, and talent to create and promote opportunities for economic growth. It is located on the 8th floor of 5500 North Service Rd. at Burloak Drive, just north of the QEW.

Registration to help celebrate the grand opening of TechPlace on June 22 is open now. Register here.

New Provincial Law Promises to Give Communities a Stronger Voice in Local Land Use Planning Decisions

On May 16, the Provincial government announced it will introduce new legislation to replace the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). The new law, if passed, would establish the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal which would function as an appeals body for major land use planning decisions.

The announcement is significant in many respects. Currently, when a municipal government makes a decision not to approve a proposed planning development, the developer has the option to appeal this decision to the Ontario Municipal Board on the basis that the municipality did not reach the best planning decision. The final decision about a development is taken out of the hands of the municipality and made by the OMB.

With the introduction of the new legislation, the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal would only be able to overturn a municipal decision only if it does not follow provincial policies or municipal plans. In cases where the tribunal does overturn a municipality’s decision, the municipality would then be provided with 90 days to make a new decision on an application under the proposed new law.

I am pleased to see the proposed changes put forth by the Ontario Government and would like to thank city staff and the Association for Municipalities in Ontario for all the work they have done in helping to bring about the new legislation.

These proposed changes will restore planning decisions back to municipalities where the expertise is and where the community’s values are best known. This will be especially valuable as Burlington grows over the next 20 years in areas around our GO stations and the downtown. It will also help to reduce the length and cost of hearings and create a more level playing field for all participants.

I look forward to further details about the legislation.

Input Needed as Work on the Waterfront Hotel Planning Study Continues

Thank you to everyone who took part in the May 24 meeting to discuss their vision for the redevelopment of the waterfront site at Lakeshore Road and the foot of Brant Street, including the Waterfront Hotel located at 2020 Lakeshore Rd. More than 200 people participated in two workshops to share their thoughts and ideas about what should be located on this property as the property owner considers redeveloping the site.

As I have shared previously, I am very concerned about the impact any redevelopment in this area could have on our waterfront. I believe open space in any redevelopment option needs to be considered to ensure Burlington residents continue to enjoy access to the waterfront.

More opportunities to share your feedback about the waterfront site will take place over the summer. On July 5, residents are invited to take part in a design day where participants will be divided into small working groups to explore options for things like buildings, land use, public access and open space.

Two sessions will be held on July 5 at the Waterfront Hotel in the Blue Water Ballroom. The first session starts at 1 p.m. and the second session will be held at 6 p.m. To learn more or register in advance, visit www.burlington.ca/waterfronthotelstudy.

Talking Burlington Real Estate with CFRB Radio

On May 20, I had the opportunity to be a guest on the CFRB radio program Simply Real Estate with Todd C. Slater.

Todd and I covered a range of topics from the average price of a single detached dwelling in Burlington to how our city is going to grow over the next 20 years. Listen to the full conversation here.

Mayor’s Seniors Housing Task Force

On May 19, I hosted the first meeting of my Mayor’s Seniors Housing Task Force.

The difficult issues facing seniors in our community have been of great interest to me for some time and I hope establishing a seniors’ housing task force will help to make a difference.

I have spoken to a number of people in our community who tell me they are experiencing challenges finding seniors’ housing. I have heard this from seniors who have raised their families here and want to downsize so they can stay in their community.

The challenges shared by residents are varied, from health to financial and social inclusion needs. Often, it is a combination of a number of obstacles, frustrations and factors that affect their quality of life. Adding another level of complexity to this issue is that Burlington has a higher percentage of seniors than the provincial average.

The Task Force will meet for a one-year period and is made up of representatives from many different areas of our city including non-profits, citizen committees, seniors, developers, planners, regional housing, private sector seniors housing and healthcare.

I am both confident and excited to form a task force that will benefit from the collective expertise, experience and knowledge that each person will bring so that together, we can develop some potential solutions and improvements to the issues that seniors are challenged by.

Tune in to the next Mayor’s Town Hall on CHML

Tune in to the Bill Kelly Show on 900 CHML for my monthly appearance on the Mayor’s Town Hall. Host Bill Kelly and I discuss a wide range of news and topics related to Burlington. My next Mayor’s Town Hall is set for Thursday, June 22 from 10-11 a.m. Listen on the radio or online at http://www.900chml.com/.

Burlington Matters, Season 2, Episode 12: Faith and Community

Burlington Matters with Mayor Rick Goldring, is a community television program I host on CogecoTV. In the most recent episode, I spoke to representatives from some of Burlington’s churches to learn more the different faith-based programming that exists in the community and the many ways they give back to Burlington.

My thanks to the panel of guests that participated in this discussion, including: Rev. Dr. Orville James, Minister, Wellington Square United Church; Lisa Lunski, Director, Friday Night Community, Wellington Square United Church; Anna Kiani, Program Manager, Open Doors at St. Christopher’s Anglican Church; Steve Swartwood, Community Life Pastor, Glad Tidings Church and Rishia Burke, Research Associate, Community Development Halton.

Watch the episode here.

Burlington Matters will return for a third season in the fall. If you have a show suggestion, email my office at mayor@burlington.ca.

Improving Burlington’s Open Data Portal


This spring, the city made several improvements to its open data portal in an effort to make information even easier to access and use.

Open data is the idea that some data should be freely available to everyone to use and republish as they wish, without restrictions from things like copyright and patents. At the City of Burlington, we believe it is important to provide the public access to the data that is produced, collected, and used by departments across the city.  Information about parks, parking lots and the city’s budget is just some of what can be found on the open data portal.

Included in the recent improvements are:

  • A simpler, easier-to-use user interface
  • Open data sets sorted by categories
  • Updated GIS datasets with current information
  • Visualization tools to better understand the data before it is downloaded
  • New datasets including WiFi, vacant land and fire station locations.

The city views open data as an effective way to increase citizen engagement and increase transparency. There are many people who can do amazing things with the data provided including developing new applications that we can all benefit from.

Visit the open data portal at www.burlington.ca/opendata.