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Huge Increase in Residents’ Feedback Reflected in Burlington Council Decisions This Term: 2021 Community Engagement Survey Shows

2021 Community Engagement Results

At our Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk and Accountability (CSSRA) Committee meeting on May 4, staff presented its findings from the 2021 annual engagement report.

The report’s findings shows there’s been a huge increase this term of council in residents’ feedback being reflected in our decisions (see link for full list and highlights below) — more than a 20% increase in you saying the City does a good job of engaging residents in decisions, welcomes your opinions, uses your input in decision-making and our decisions reflect the voice of the majority of residents.

We make a better Burlington – TOGETHER – every day! (Please note that the survey results are statistically valid of Burlington’s whole population).


Page 4 of Appendix A lists all the different ways public input has helped shaped decisions made by Council and the City this term. Click here for the full summary or scroll below for some highlights:

  • Ryerson Park Re-naming – public came up with a short list of names and voted. Council accepted the public sentiment – Sweet Grass Park;
  • There were a total of 129 delegations at 2021 Committee or Council meetings. Most of the delegations were for the Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility Committee;
  • Rainbow Crosswalks – the public helped Council to decide where the next Rainbow Crosswalk to be located. In addition to this, due to feedback from the community, Council also decided to consider rainbow benches and expand the street banner program;
  • Waterfront Hotel Planning Study – public input helped to shape the development of a preferred concept plan;
  • Mountainside pool renovations – community determined features to be added/updated. Based on feedback, it was determined to keep the same features when updating the pool and include items such as beach entry with spray features and accessible ramp with handrails, rock climbing wall and increase the amount of shade areas;
  • Tree Protection & enhancement policy- Public provided feedback to help develop a corporate-wide policy that was approved in January 2021. Focused on 4 categories: Preserve & Protect, Maintain & Monitor, Establish, Replace & Enhance, Engage & Collaborate. This policy will support the City’s Vision to Focus goal of achieving 35% canopy by 2041;
  • Burlington Urban Design Panel – gives advice and recommendations to City Planning staff on urban design matters of development;
  • A resident asked us to post COVID data daily, so the City began doing that;
  • In 2021 residents from the Pink Project asked us to put feminine hygiene products in city facilities; led to a staff direction, report came March 2022 to implement;
  • Residents expressed frustration about the private tree bylaw – costs, complicated, slow process. A staff direction and workshop in 2021 is bringing changes in 2022;
  • Responded to residents asking for support for health care workers, for reopening schools, for additional health measures, through resolutions, advocacy or implementation where it was within our control;
  • Implemented free transit for seniors permanently in the 2022 budget (discussions in 2021). This initiative originated with the city’s Seniors Advisory Committee;
  • Listened to our businesses for waiving fees for patio permits, and a streamlined process;
  • Listened to our businesses to advocate for capacity limits based on size of venue, so small business not disadvantaged by big box stores.

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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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