Burlington’s New Official Plan Update

There has been significant interest from many people about the proposed new Official Plan and as a result city staff have created a revised schedule of meetings.

Discussion with Burlington City Council about the city’s proposed new Official Plan, including the proposed new Downtown Precinct Plan will take place over the next two months.

If you have any questions or comments, I encourage you to contact my office.

Tel: 905-335-7607 or mayor@burlington.ca

The meeting dates are as follows:

Jan. 8, 2018
1 p.m.
City Hall, Room 247, Level 2
Topics of discussion:
Sections of the proposed new Official Plan that relate to the rural area, agriculture, natural heritage, greenspace and mineral aggregates.
This meeting serves as a continuation of the Nov. 30, 2017, Planning and Development Committee meeting.
The public is welcome to attend the meeting or watch a live webcast. The meeting will not include further delegations.
Jan. 16, 2018
1 and 6:30 p.m.
City Hall, Room 247, Level 2
Topics of discussion: Employment policies, employment conversions and the mixed-use intensification area policies. This meeting serves as a continuation of the Nov. 30, 2017, Planning and Development Committee meeting.
The public is welcome to attend the meeting or watch a live webcast. The meeting will not include further delegations.
Jan. 23, 2018
1 and 6:30 p.m.
City Hall, Room 247, Level 2 
Topics of discussion: A recommendation report related to the downtown will be presented. The report will contain the supplementary information requested by the council (e.g. background information regarding the Urban Growth Centre boundary; proposed heights compared to the existing in-effect Official Plan; and potential redevelopment sites).


This meeting will consider a new staff report.
The public is welcome to attend the meeting or watch a live webcast.Delegations are invited to register.Note: All delegations are expected to be accommodated in the afternoon or evening session. Additional time may be scheduled if required.
Feb. 6, 2018
1 and 6:30 p.m.
City Hall, Room 247, Level 2
Topics of discussion: Growth management, implementation and any remaining topic areas identified by City Council. This meeting serves as a continuation of the Nov. 30, 2017, Planning and Development Committee meeting.

The public is welcome to attend the meeting or watch a live webcast. The meeting will not include further delegations.

Feb. 27, 2018
1 and 6:30 p.m.
City Hall, Room 247, Level 2
A second statutory public meeting to present any revisions to the proposed new Official Plan. The public is welcome to attend the meeting or watch a live webcast.

Delegations are welcomed but not required to register in advance to speak.

Links and Resources


September 2017 Progress Report

Media Shines Spotlight on Burlington

CBC’s “The Current”

CBC’s “The Current” host Anna Maria Tremonti and producer Kristin Nelson, spent the day in Burlington to talk about how our city is adapting to climate change after being hammered by the flood of 2014.
The show features residents of Burlington and Blair Feltmate from Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation.  The episode came together exceptionally well. You can listen to it here.

Metro Morning

The producer of Metro Morning with Matt Galloway contacted my office because they were so intrigued by our Official Plan“Grow Bold”.
Especially the idea that the City of Burlington won’t build another single family home again. We’re building up, not out.  Listen to the full interview here.

 Reality on Transit

At the last Committee of the Whole Workshop, city council received news that our Transit department is operating at a level that will not meet future growth. Simply put, we haven’t made the investment needed to keep up.
Our service lacked reliability. Our maintenance team was unable to keep up with demands. Our transit staff and drivers continue to go above and beyond despite the lack of funding.
The message is loud and clear. We need significant investments in our Transit department to support a key pillar of our Strategic Plan. A City that Moves.
A report will be coming out ahead of budget schedule on how we can stabilize our system, and we’re taking this opportunity to review our entire Transit operations to make sure it meets the needs of current and future residents.

Mobility Hubs

We continue to collect public opinion on the four Mobility Hubs planned across Burlington. DowntownAldershot GOBurlington GO and Appleby GO.
I’ve attended many public meetings to listen to what residents have to say.
What do they think of the proposed concepts? Likes? Dislikes? There are a range of opinions dependent on a number of factors. Our younger residents are very supportive of more urban development while older residents prefer more traditional suburban development.
The next step on Downtown Mobility Hub is the Committee of the Whole workshop with the city council that will feature a presentation by our staff. That meeting is Thursday, September 28th at 1 pm.
I also encourage you to attend the Appleby Go Mobility Hub Concepts Public Open House on Wednesday October 11th at the Appleby Ice Centre.
No matter where you stand on the issue, your opinion is being heard and considered.

Waterfront Hotel Planning Study

On Thursday, September 14th, two community workshops were held at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre.
The public had the chance to study the preferred concepts for the site followed by small group discussions.
At these meetings, an emerging preferred concept was introduced along with the three original concepts used for the public survey. You can view the presentation here.
We are asking Burlington residents to continue engaging with us through this process. This is your city, your waterfront and your opinions matter. Staff will be delivering their recommendations in November. Stay tuned!

We Are An Engaging City

This is a proud moment for the City of Burlington. We have been named the Organization of the Year for being An Engaging City!
The award was handed out this month byInternational Association for Public Participation (IAP2) and it recognizes our mandate to consult and engage with residents in all matters. As one judge put it “Employees now ask how to engage — not whether”
Congratulations to the city staff, my colleagues on council and to the residents of Burlington!

Milton Logistics Hub Consultation

Canadian National Railway(CN) has chosen Milton as their preferred location to build a new logistics hub.
Currently, they are undergoing an environmental assessment to assess the project’s potential environmental and socio-economic effects.
From September 18 to October 31, CN will be consulting with Halton Region residents about the proposed mitigation measures to reduce the effects of the Milton Logistics Hub on communities and the environment. Further information about the proposed Project and the fall consultation period is available at cnmilton.ca.

Love My Hood Block Party

Have you hosted your Love My Hood event this summer?
My neighbourhood had ours this month, and it was fantastic! Our organizer Mary managed to pull out all the stops.
We collected over 3800 canned goods for the Burlington Food Bank. Our goal was 2500. They estimated that our donation was worth over $10,000!  Thank you Fortinos for giving us a head start on donations.
I also wan to thank Dairy Queen, The Coop Wicked Chicken, Turtle Jacks and Frat’s Cucina who donate their time and food for the event.

What’s Happening Burlington?

Agendas, minutes and videos on standing committee and council meetings, as well as agendas and reports for upcoming meetings, are available online.
The next found of committee meetings begin on Monday September 25th.

First day of fall arrived Sept. 22! As we welcome fall, another round of great festivals and events are in the works! Take a look at our calendar for all the events in your area.

My Summer in a Nutshell

Our family on the beach at Hilton Head Island waiting for the eclipse.

I hope everybody had a great summer! Although the weather wasn’t as hot as I was expecting it to be, it was still fantastic nonetheless.

The highlight of this summer was celebrating my 60th birthday in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina with thirteen other family members. I read books, watched the eclipse with my family and even hit a few golf balls. The uniqueness of Hilton Head that attracts me is that they have the most stunning tree canopy I have seen anywhere.  The island has a tree ordinance that states that one cannot remove any tree unless you have permission from the city.  It truly is gorgeous.

I also had a daughter get married this summer.  It was a beautiful ceremony.  And my wife Cheryl and I took in a Nascar Race in Watkins Glen, New York.  It’s my favourite sport to watch.

For my personal growth, I took courses to keep my accreditation for my financial planning and life insurance designations. Although I’ve stepped away from that career for the last seven years, I think it’s important to continue to build on your skills no matter where you are in life.

When I wasn’t with my family, I was back at the office where I had a packed schedule.

My council colleague Paul Sharman and I took a drive to Detroit and met with the leadership of the Presbyterian Villages of Michigan.  We wanted to learn about their not for profit Seniors Living Communities that we believe could take place here. I will be sharing our findings with the Mayor’s Seniors Housing Task Force at our next meeting.  You may not know that Burlington identifies itself as an Age-Friendly City, so I’m always looking for ways to improve the quality of life for all citizens.

I was in Ottawa for the annual Association of Municipalities of Ontario Conference. We discussed the long term financial sustainability of municipalities, the effects of the legalization of marijuana and new changes proposed for the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).

Community events are in full swing during the summer.  I participated in a Burlington Chamber of Commerce Business Forum, the first Halton Freedom Festival, Joseph Brant Day and the Rotary Club of Burlington Central golf tournament just to name a few.

As we transition into September, there is much to look forward to on Council’s agenda, particularly with regards to development.  I hope you’ll be engaged as we move forward with the city’s strategic plan. A City that Grows.  A City that Moves. A Healthy and Greener city. An Engaging City.

I hope to see you out there on our beautiful streets.



Impressive Achievements by The Mayor’s Millennial Advisory Committee: Year One

Guest blog by Mark McGuire, Co-Chair of the Mayor’s Millennial Advisory Committee.

After operating for 12 months, Mayor Rick Goldring’s Millennial Advisory met in April and June to take part in a two-part workshop series at the Haber Recreation Centre.

Stephanie Venimore facilitated a two-part workshop aimed at helping the committee brainstorm ideas that could be explored to rough out a strategy for when the committee met again in September 2017.

The workshop meetings discussed the vision of the Millennial Advisory Committee, what we set out to accomplish to date, and to brainstorm concepts for our organization and operations to be enacted.



Our Record:

  • Elected by a majority. Two Co-Chairs, Mark McGuire and Chris Ritsma.
  • Hosted the Inspire Burlington: Millennial Entrepreneurial Success in April 2017.
  • Delegated to Development and Infrastructure Committee on the New Street redevelopment, focusing on cycling infrastructure in July 2016.
  • Held monthly meetings with a focus on providing relevant policy insight to Millennials to engage with the City of Burlington.
  • Began planning a Resident Survey to determine what Millennial Burlington residents are looking for in terms of Housing and Accommodations.
  • Met with Burlington’s Members of Provincial and Federal Parliament.
  • Discussed pertinent concerns for Millennials with Ontario’s Premier.
  • Represented the Millennial Advisory Committee at a City of Burlington Transit Strategy Workshop.
  • Represented the Millennial Advisory Committee at a City of Burlington Climate Change Adaptation Workshop.
  • Represented our diverse demographic of Burlington’s Millennials, residents born from 1981 to 1998.

Our Mandate:

Conduct outreach and make recommendations to help Burlington foster and retain millennial-age residents.  Activities may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Delegating or submitting written documentation on behalf of the Millennial Advisory Committee to Burlington City Council and other Committees and Boards,
  2. Participating in engagement opportunities at the City of Burlington and creating new engagement opportunities,
  3. Organizing and participating in events that help to shape policy, and
  4. Other initiatives, as determined by the group.

Why Millennials?

According to Statistics Canada, there are more than 30,000 residents in Burlington born between 1981 to 1998, representing approximately 17 per cent of Burlington’s population. Mayor Goldring heard from a number of millennials that they want to be more engaged with their city in a meaningful way, which led to the formation of a Millennials committee.

The Mayor’s Millennial Advisory Committee is a collective created for and run by millennials. There are 18 members on the committee, and they are inspired, passionate and enthusiastic. The committee concentrates on creating opportunities to engage millennials within their community.

Where do we go from here?                                                                           

The next meeting of the Mayor’s Millennial Advisory Committee will be on Thursday, September 21st, 2017. The meeting will run from 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM at the Haber Recreation Centre, 3040 Tim Dobbie Drive. All meetings are open to the public, especially millennial-aged residents. Meeting attendees are encouraged to bike, bus or walk.

Want to get involved?

To apply to be a member of the committee, please email mayor@burlington.ca with the following information.

  • Name
  • Age
  • Primary email address
  • City of current residence
  • Social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.)
  • Profession/Student status
  • A 500-word (max.) response to the following question: What ideas do you have for Mayor Rick Goldring’s Millennial Advisory Committee that would help meet its mandate of helping Burlington foster and retain millennial-age residents?

The Mayor’s Millennial Advisory Committee was created to develop initiatives and provide input on how to keep and attract residents aged 19 to 36 in Burlington. The Millennial Advisory Committee identifies millennials as people born from 1981 to 1998.

Why get involved?

The City of Burlington has the best reasons to get involved with any Committee or Board:

  • meet new people
  • share your talents
  • develop skills
  • address a common interest
  • make a difference in your community

Want more information?

Read the March Update from co-chairs, Chris Ritsma and Mark McGuire. You can keep up to date on the news from the Mayor’s Millennial Advisory Committee by visiting Burlington.ca/millennials.

For more information about the committee, contact the Office of the Mayor at mayor@burlington.ca.

2017 Budget

At the January 23 Burlington City Council meeting, council approved the City of Burlington’s 2017 operating budget.

The tax rate increase for the City of Burlington portion is 4.42% and the overall tax rate increase, which includes the effect of taxes at the region and school boards is 2.56%.

The City portion includes a 2.09% increase to cover increasing commodity and compensation costs and 1.58% increase to help address the $130 million infrastructure gap. The balance of the increase (.81%) was for enhanced services that include: additional resources for tree service, project management resources and improved play field maintenance.

The increased investment ($254,000) in tree service is required to meet current levels of service for inspections, removals, stumping, planting, watering, etc. Our urban trees are a tremendous asset to all of us. They act as an air filter, they absorb carbon dioxide emissions, provide a cooling effect in the summer and add to the aesthetics of the city.

The additional resources ($550,000) for project management will assist the city in becoming more effective in how the many projects including those related to our strategic plan, are implemented. Our City Manager will direct how this funding is used and he will be reporting back to council on a regular basis. Without the investment, project work would be more expensive and not as timely.

Our play field user groups have pointed out to us that the maintenance service that the city provides for play fields is inferior to all our neighbouring municipalities. Staff were recommending that we increase the service in 2018, however council has decided to provide partial funding ($200,000) in 2017 in order to see some improvement this year. Continue reading