Welcome to the Mayor’s Mailbag – June 2023 roundup.
The Mayor’s Monday Mailbag is a weekly initiative Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward and the Mayor’s Office has launched to share answers to questions from the public we’ve received through our main email inbox at email@example.com or the Mayor’s social media platforms.
At the end of the month, we publish a roundup of those most pressing questions we’ve received in the weeks prior.
Mayor’s Mailbag – June 2023 Roundup
- “When is the outdoor Mountainside Pool reopening and what are the new features as a result of the revitalization project?”
- “The Province has announced it is dissolving Peel Region and making its municipalities independent — how will this affect Halton Region?”
- “Are there any updates on the Bateman Redevelopment Project? I’ve got some questions.”
• • •
“When is the outdoor Mountainside Pool reopening and what are the new features as a result of the revitalization project?”
Mountainside Outdoor Pool (2205 Mount Forest Dr.) is more than 50 years old and while it had served the community well, it was time for the popular outdoor community pool to get revitalized and renewed.
After being closed for two years, Mountainside Pool will be have its grand reopening and ribbon-cutting on Friday, June 30 (scroll further down for more details about the reopening event and free swims).
The Mountainside Pool revitalization project began in September 2021 and was scheduled to reopen in August 2022. While every effort was made to complete the project within this timeline, it had to remain closed due to trade strikes, specifically excavator and concrete in Ontario.
The new and improved Mountainside Pool and Splash Pad has many exciting features for the community including:
- A new pool with a beach entry and three separate 50M lap lanes;
- Accessibility ramps;
- Water spray features;
- Climbing wall;
- Waterslide; and
- Shade structures.
Grand Re-opening Weekend
A grand opening event is planned for June 30 at 3:30 p.m. with Mayor Marianne Meed Ward and members of Council to officially cut the ribbon. The community is welcome to come into Mountainside Pool for the ribbon-cutting celebration followed by a free swim. Swimming at the pool will be free all weekend.
To help celebrate, Mountainside Pool visitors on June 30 will be able to get a free hotdog or hamburger, beginning at 4 p.m., while supplies last. Residents are encouraged to bring a refillable water bottle.
The pool’s revitalization has created an attractive, fun, active and welcoming multi-use outdoor swimming pool. We invite the community to experience swimming and water play here and take part in free swimming on June 30 and July 1-2. Walk-in only; no registrations needed.
|June 30||3:30-4 p.m.||Ribbon-cutting|
|4-7 p.m.||Free fun swim and lap swim|
|4 p.m.||Free BBQ, while supplies left|
|July 1||9-10 a.m.||Free aquafit|
|10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.||Free fun swim and lap swim|
|1:30-4:30 p.m.||Free fun swim and lap swim|
|5-7:30 p.m.||Free fun swim and lap swim|
|July 2||10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.||Free fun swim and lap swim|
|1:30-4:30 p.m.||Free fun swim and lap swim|
|5-7:30 p.m.||Free fun swim and lap swim|
Swimmers and participants are encouraged to use active transportation, Burlington Transit or carpool as parking is limited because of the BBQ set-up.
About Mountainside Outdoor Pool
Mountainside Outdoor Pool and Splash Park is an important community hub and aquatic recreation destination in the Mountainside neighbourhood. The pool is well used and serves on average 27,000 participants in a wide variety of activities including recreational swimming, lap swimming and learn to swim lessons each summer.
For more information about the pool’s revitalization, visit burlington.ca/mountainsidepool
With input from public engagement, Clear Eyes Collective was chosen to create a large-scale mural as part of the Mountainside Pool Revitalization Project. The public art piece Clear Eyes Collective created is called Take a Step.
The final artwork will be unveiled in the coming weeks.
• • •
“The Province has announced it is dissolving Peel Region and making its municipalities independent — how will this affect Halton Region?”
On May 18, the Ontario government introduced Bill 112, the Hazel McCallion Act, that would begin the process to dissolve the Regional Municipality of Peel and make the municipalities of Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon independent. On June 6, the Ontario government has passed Bill 112 that will dissolve the Region of Peel by 2025. The proposed legislation honours the legacy of Peel Region’s longest-serving mayor, the late Hazel McCallion, who was central to the region’s remarkable growth during her 36 years as Mayor of Mississauga and a long-time advocate for greater autonomy for her city.
Of interesting note in the Province’s May 18 news release:
- “In the coming weeks, the Province will also name regional facilitators to assess the upper-tier municipalities of Durham, Halton, Niagara, Simcoe, Waterloo and York. These facilitators will be tasked with reviewing whether the upper-tier government continues to be relevant to the needs of its communities or whether the lower-tier municipalities are mature enough to pursue dissolution. Where they recommend that a two-tier government is still required, the facilitators will also make recommendations on how they can more effectively respond to the issues facing Ontario’s fast-growing municipalities today, particularly when it comes to meeting municipal housing pledges and tackling the housing supply crisis.”
Burlington Council and City leadership staff will be watching how things proceed carefully as this could be a template for other regions, as the Province of Ontario is currently undergoing a review of regional governments.
At its May 16 meeting, Burlington City Council meeting unanimously approved a resolution laying out our city’s expectations for the upcoming Provincial review of regional governments.
Click/tap here for the resolution or scroll further down this post: CSSRA-02-23 Motion Memo COB Expectations Re Provincial Review of Regional Govts
A digital copy of a related letter from Burlington City Council outlining first principles and key strategic outcomes in the City’s approach to growth of the City of Burlington was sent to Minister of Municipal Affairs & Housing, the Hon. Steve Clark, on May 25, 2023. It is available to read here: Letter to Minister Clark re: Provincial Review of Regional Governments
Burlington City Council felt it was important for them to collectively land a set of principles they could convey to the Provincial facilitators conducting the review of Halton Region. If the Province is proposing any changes, Council and the City want to ensure, primarily, those changes are an improvement to our current governing model and there will be no loss of services being provided.
The intent behind the regional review for Burlington Council is for the City to be unanimous in encouraging the facilitators to consider, throughout the review process, how this will improve things for our city and our community.
Burlington Council has unequivocally stated in its resolution it does not want a “City of Halton.”
Whereas on November 16, 2022, the Province of Ontario introduced legislation entitled Bill 39, Better Municipal Governance Act, 2022; and
Whereas an outstanding and important element of the Act remains the appointment of provincial facilitators to assess regional government specifically to determine the best mix of roles and responsibilities between the upper and lower-tier municipalities for the regional governments of Durham, Halton, Niagara, Peel, Waterloo, and York; and
Whereas the focus of the above noted review is aligned directly to the Provincial government’s commitment to build 1.5 million homes over the next 10 years to address the housing supply crisis in Ontario; and
Whereas Council fully supports the priority given by staff of Halton Region and the four local municipalities, including the City of Burlington, to work collaboratively to address the immediate implications for the future delivery of land use planning services including of the devolution of regional and conservation authority responsibilities to the City of Burlington under Bill 23, More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022, whereby the Region of Halton is no longer considered a municipal jurisdiction with land use planning authority; and
Whereas the Province has recently set policy for future growth within specific areas of the City of Burlington; and
Therefore, be it resolved that Burlington City Council is fully committed and prepared to actively participate in the upcoming assessment of Halton Region upper and lower-tier responsibilities on the basis of achieving and/or contributing to the following first principles and key strategic outcomes:
- Operating within a clearly defined workplan provided by the provincial facilitator inclusive of scope of work and timelines for completion of review;
- Consideration of all feasible governance options, except amalgamation of the four municipalities into a City of Halton;
- Acting on governance changes as supported by the local-tier councils; and
- Decision making is based on community engagement related to any proposed changes to Halton upper and lower-tier municipal responsibilities.
Key Strategic Outcomes
- Improved long term quality of life for existing and future Burlington residents;
- Improved quality and reduced overall cost of municipal services (existing and proposed new) delivered to Burlington residents and businesses;
- All needed community infrastructure is funded through development and/or by senior levels of government; and
- The City of Burlington is in an improved position to deliver on long term strategic plan priorities, including community focused needs and economic growth.
• • •
“Are there any updates on the Bateman Redevelopment Project? I’ve got some questions.”
We’ve received some questions regarding the City’s Bateman Reconstruction Project and compiled them as an FAQ (frequently-asked-questions) for the community below.
Why do we need more parking?
Parking is needed to accommodate the higher parking demand generated by the new uses including Brock University, Burlington Public Library, Tech Place, Halton District School Board, and the communities use of the existing and new community spaces.
Why do you need to put parking in the area of the track?
Under the city’s existing zoning by-law, site parking requirements are to be accommodated on site. However, as directed by Burlington City Council, staff will review all options, including street parking in the neighbourhood, on-site parking, off-site parking and building a parking structure. Staff will report back in Q4 2023 with parking recommendations. Once a parking plan is in place, we will know what can and can’t be done with the existing track and open space. Residents will have an opportunity to provide feedback on the parking and open space plan for the site.
Can I still access the track and football field now?
Yes. The track and the area will be accessible for informal use in 2023 and while parking options are being developed and construction activity is not impacting this area. In 2024, construction activity will impact the area behind the school and the open space area including the track will not be accessible during construction.
Will any trees be cut down?
The City will work to protect the trees as much as possible; however, there are four trees within the construction zone that will be removed and one tree in poor health that needs to be removed for public safety. Those trees will be replaced. There may also be an opportunity to increase the number of trees as part of the landscaping plan.
What will happen to the track and football field?
We won’t know until staff report back to Council later this year with all parking options and a recommendation.
Who makes the final decision on the parking spaces?
Staff are looking into all parking options including a parking structure, on-street parking, leasing agreements and reducing the number of parking spots required on-site. Staff will report back to Committee and Council in Q4 2023 with parking recommendations. If there is to be a reduction in parking, an application will be taken to the Committee of Adjustment. The committee will review the uses of the building, number of spaces required to meet demand and make a decision based on Council-approved Zoning Bylaws.
I don’t want to lose the track. How can we keep it?
Council has directed staff to report back in Q4 2023 on parking alternatives, so during this time, there will be no impact to the track. All options will be considered, including street parking in the neighbourhood, on-site parking, off-site parking and building a parking structure. Once a parking plan is in place, we will know what can and can’t be done with the existing track and open space. Residents will have an opportunity to provide feedback on the open space.
Can we build a parking garage to save the open space and track?
All options are being considered although this would be an expensive option.
Will there be public engagement on the use of indoor space?
Yes, there will be multiple opportunities. Staff will be asking for expressions of interest for the 21,000 square foot of space for rent, programs and user groups, as well as an additional 9,000 sq. ft. of potential temporary space available to the community at Bateman in the fall of 2023 and a visioning exercise in the summer and fall of 2023. The expressions of interest will help staff to know who is interested in working with the City, and what kinds of space requirements may be needed. Over the summer and fall of 2023, Recreation, Community and Culture staff will have an extensive community engagement planned for the Parks and Recreation Master Plan and the Parks and Recreation Cultural Asset Master Plan (PRCAMP) along with a review of direct delivered programs and services. Residents will have an opportunity to provide feedback on these items.
In the late fall of 2023, staff will consult with the community on proposed high-level program mix for Bateman and share the community comments back with committee in winter 2024. More details of the program mix will be further refined as phase two of the construction is finalized and shared with the community.
Residents can stay informed about this project on the City’s engagement portal getinvolvedburlington.ca/bateman-highschool
When does Phase 2 of this project start?
Stage 2 of the current construction contract will not start until Q2 2024.
• • •
- Mayor’s Mailbag – May 2023 Roundup – Beachway Free Parking Pass; Twin-City Agreements; & ‘TellCityHall’ Automated Calls
- Mayor’s Mailbag – April 2023 Roundup – Parking Permit Program Update; Spring Cleanup; & Mayor’s Chamber Award Update
- Mayor’s Mailbag – March 2023 Roundup – Recognizing a Cause/Event, Burlington City Crest, & Windrows/Snow-Clearing
- Mayor’s Mailbag – February 2023 Roundup – City Winter Service Levels, Tax Support for Seniors on Fixed Incomes, & Support Accessing Recreation Programs
- Mayor’s Mailbag – January 2023 Roundup – Mental Health Resources, Arts & Culture Fund, & Homelessness Support
- Mayor’s Mailbag – December 2022 Roundup – Bill 23, Neighbourhood Community Matching Fund, & Winter Storm Updates