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Burlington Post Column: New Map Proposed for Urban Growth Centre

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*NOTE: Below you’ll find my latest guest column for the Burlington Post community newspaper that is currently online and will appear in its Nov. 19 print edition.

Last month, your Burlington City Council voted in favour of modifications to the adopted Official Plan (OP) and a new proposed map for our Urban Growth Centre (UGC).

The revised OP is now at Halton Region for final approval.

The new UGC map shifts it out of our downtown to the Burlington GO station, with a small part of Brant Street overlapping the existing boundary.

It covers a block of area from Drury Lane to Brant Street to Blairholm Avenue and to Plains Road East. It excludes some of our stable neighbourhoods at Leighland Road, Glenwood School Drive and Maplewood Drive.

The new UGC map is included in a discussion paper released by the Region as part of its Municipal Comprehensive Review that outlines the planning rationale for removing the Major Transit Station Area (MTSA) and shifting the UGC designations for downtown to closely align with the Burlington GO station boundary.

Both designations have contributed to overdevelopment pressures. Public comments on the discussion paper are due back to the Region by Dec. 22.

Some of the key points in the planning rationale for shifting the UGC boundary include:

  • Aligning with the intent of the Growth Plan, the Province’s investment in transit infrastructure, and promoting City and Regional policy objectives to put growth where there is significant regional transit;
  • Going forward, growth is expected to be focused around higher order transit — our three GO stations running alongside the highway;
  • As part of the review work of downtown policies, and the MTSA study, there have been multiple analyses showing we’re on track to exceed our UGC densities well before 2031;
  • The downtown UGC represents the past — it’s done its work to revitalize the area and attract municipal investment. An adjusted UGC boundary around the GO station represents the future;
  • Adjusting the UGC boundary to lands in proximity to the GO station will enable sustainable and transit-oriented growth for future generations.

We’re almost through our process and excited to see a new OP approved soon by Halton Region, and the lifting of the Interim Control Bylaw once developer appeals are dealt with.

Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward can be reached at


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A Better Burlington began in 2006 after my neighbours said they felt left out of city decisions, learning about them only after they’d been made. As journalist for 22 years, I thought “I can do something about that” and a website and newsletter were born. They’ve taken various forms and names over the years, but the intent remains: To let you know what’s happening at City Hall before decisions are made, so you can influence outcomes for A Better Burlington. The best decisions are made when elected representatives tap the wisdom of our community members, and welcome many different perspectives.This site allows residents to comment and debate with each other; our Commenting Guidelines established in 2016 aim to keep debate respectful. Got an idea or comment you want to share privately? Please, get in touch:

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