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Burlington Celebrates 150+ Anniversary at City Hall

Burlington 150 Day_20_Flag Raising

Sept. 9 marks the day in 1873 when the Village of Burlington formed. So today, at City Hall, we not only celebrated our Burlington 150+ anniversary with special flag-raisings and a special proclamation, we also recognized that our city’s history goes beyond 150 years and honoured the diverse Indigenous Peoples who have lived in this area, including the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.

Thank you to all those who came out today to help us make the event extra special, including Elder and Healer WhiteEagle, Burlington MP Karina Gould, Burlington MPP Natalie Pierre and Oakville-North MPP Effie Triantafilopoulos (who presented us with a special certificate from Ontario Premier Doug Ford), Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr, my Council colleagues Councillors Kelvin Galbraith, Shawna Stolte, Paul Sharman and Angelo Bentivegna, Halton District School Board Chair Margo Shuttleworth, Burlington Town Crier David Vollick and our wonderful Burlington Teen Tour Band. Oakville-North Burlington MP Pam Damoff was unable to attend in-person, but she sent some lovely remarks in honour of today that I was happy to read on her behalf. For a copy of MP Damoff’s Burlington 150+ remarks, please click/tap the link.

We were also honoured to have with us the Burlington Chamber of Commerce and President and CEO Terry Caddo, and our Royal Canadian Legion Burlington Branch 60.

Our local veterans are a very special group in Burlington and it’s important we acknowledge and remember their sacrifices, especially as we mark Burlington’s 150+ anniversary — reflecting on where we would be without them when we enjoy the freedoms they earned for us.

We raised three separate flags, including the City of Burlington’s current flag; our special Burlington 150+ flag; and the Burlington Coat of Arms flag. I also read a special proclamation to mark our Burlington 150+ anniversary.

Those who attended also had the opportunity to tour our newly-renovated City Hall lobby, as well as look through historical materials supplied by our Burlington Historical Society.

For those who couldn’t attend, please see below some more photos taken from the day and a copy of my official welcome.


Burlington 150+ Anniversary Celebration – Sept. 9, 2023 — Burlington City Hall

Welcome and thank you for joining us. I want to thank and acknowledge some very special guests we have with us today, including: Elder and Healer WhiteEagle; Burlington MP Karina Gould; Burlington MPP Natalie Pierre and Oakville-North MPP Effie Triantafilopoulos; Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr; my Council colleagues Councillors Kelvin Galbraith, Shawna Stolte, Paul Sharman and Angelo Bentivegna; Halton District School Board Chair Margo Shuttleworth; Burlington Town Crier David Vollick and our wonderful Burlington Teen Tour Band. You know the day is extra special when the Teen Tour Band is here to perform. Oakville North-Burlington MP Pam Damoff could not join us today, but I was happy to read some remarks from her on her behalf.

Burlington’s journey to become the municipality we know today started on Sept. 9, 1873, when the villages of Wellington Square and Port Nelson merged to become the Village of Burlington. That is why today, we are officially celebrating our 150+ anniversary.

The ‘+’ is a very special and key part to the recognition of 150 years of Burlington because it acknowledges the Indigenous Peoples who were on this land long before that.

We recognize the land we now know as Burlington has an Indigenous history that goes beyond 150 years — and we honour and recognize the diverse Indigenous Peoples who have lived in this area and acknowledge Burlington is on Treaty Lands of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.

To reflect this understanding, you may have seen our special “Burlington 150+” identifier around the city. It uses four shapes and colours with:

  • green representing nature and the land;
  • yellow symbolizing unity and our multi-cultural community;
  • light blue symbolizing freedom while living in peace and harmony; and
  • orange representing our commitment to Truth and Reconciliation.

The City of Burlington has been built by generations.

The British purchased the land that we now know as Burlington from the original stewards of the land, the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation through several treaties starting in 1792. Treaty 8 included the purchase of the Brant Tract — 14 square kilometres on Burlington Bay that the British granted to Mohawk Chief Joseph Brant Thayendanegea for his service in the American Revolutionary War.

When the Village of Burlington formed in 1873, its population was little more than 750. In 1914, with our newly elected and first mayor Maxwell Charles Smith, the village grew into a town with 2,100 people. From 1974, when we were designated as a city, to today, it’s now estimated that more than 198,000 people live in Burlington.

Our City Crest carries a lot of our history with the symbols included in it:

  • The peaks of the dividing line represent our major headlands: Rattlesnake Point, Mount Nemo and Flamborough Head.
  • The lighthouse and ship are representative of Burlington’s years serving as a lakeport.
  • The cow and apple represent our local farming industry and the importance of agricultural growth — something we continue to take great pride in protecting today.
  • The beehive symbolizes the role industry has played and continues to play in our city’s development.

The motto ‘Stand By’ on our crest is also significant — I’ve learned from our local veterans that it’s an old nautical term that means stand with and together to help one another, and to also stand ready for action. Our local veterans are a very special group in Burlington and it’s important we acknowledge and remember their sacrifices, especially as we mark Burlington’s 150+ anniversary — reflecting on where we would be without them when we enjoy the freedoms they earned for us.

Our city and our residents have demonstrated all those aspects that embody our City Crest, all these past decades and continue to do so today — being committed to serving each other and our community.

As many of you may already know, I am not originally from Burlington. My family and I chose to live in our wonderful city and I take it as a great honour and privilege to serve you as your mayor.

Over the summer, my staff and I have been going through the wonderful ideas our community has submitted for items to include in our Burlington 150+ Time Capsule. For those of you who may not know, we’re looking for 7 small artefacts – one representing each Ward and an item that reflects our city as a whole – to include in the time capsule. There’s still time for you to submit your ideas and a brief reason why your suggestion is representative of our city or ward. Be sure to send an email to my office at We’ll be looking to host an unveiling of the time capsule and selected artefacts later in the fall.

I want to thank you all for coming out this morning and taking some time to celebrate our wonderful history. I invite you all to walk around our newly-renovated lobby and enjoy some of the historical photos on display thanks to our Burlington Historical Society.

Here’s to 150 more years for the City of Burlington!


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