Newsletter Signup

Burlington Celebrating 30-years of Twinning with Official Delegation from Itabashi, Japan with Garden Opening and Other Activities

City of Burlington Itabashi Garden artist’s rendering.
City of Burlington Itabashi Garden artist’s rendering.

Please see a media release from the City of Burlington.

Burlington, Ont. – June 21, 2019 – To celebrate 30-years of twinning relationship, the City of Burlington and Mayor Marianne Meed Ward are hosting an official delegation from Itabashi, Japan from June 30-July 2. The eight-member delegation includes: Itabashi Mayor Mr. Takeshi Sakamoto; Chairman Yoshiyuki Motoyama; Assembly Members Mr. Ichiro Yasui, Ms. Kayoko Shiba, Ms. Eri Tamauchi and Mr. Kazumoto Takazawa; and senior staff members Mr. Tamotsu Yoshida and Mr. Hiroshi Maruyama.

The delegation will visit several locations throughout the city to learn about environmental actions, post-secondary education and childcare. The group will also officially open the Itabashi Garden and attend the Canada Day Opening Ceremony.

City of Burlington Itabashi Garden artist’s rendering.

Itabashi Garden Opening

Burlington residents are invited to join Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward and Itabashi, Japan, Mayor Takeshi Sakamoto as they officially open the Itabashi Garden at Tansley Woods Community Centre at 10:45 a.m. on Monday, July 1.

The Japanese garden, designed by Virginia Burt Designs, has been built in the courtyard area behind Tansley Woods Community Centre. The construction began in the fall 2018.

The design was inspired by gardens of the Itabashi area and local Burlington landscape, including the escarpment and local plants.

About Virginia Burt Designs

Since founding Virginia Burt Designs (VBD) in 1996, Virginia has designed and directed healing landscapes for private residential, educational and public clients. VBD has established a reputation for creating gardens and landscapes of meaning. Virginia’s work has achieved international recognition receiving multiple awards from the American Society of Landscape Architects, Palladio and Canadian Society of Landscape Architects. She is one of seven women in the world with Fellowships from both societies for outstanding contribution to the profession. Clients appreciate and value her deep respect for place and for the human dimensions of each project. Virginia gets things built – beautifully.

City of Burlington photo.

Canada Day Opening Ceremony

Itabashi Mayor Takeshi Sakamoto will join Mayor Marianne Meed Ward in welcoming and addressing the crowd at the Canada Day Opening Ceremony at Spencer Smith Park at 4 p.m. Mayor Meed Ward and other elected officials will also be on hand to kick off the celebrations, which feature the Burlington Teen Tour Band and Nagata Shachu, Japanese taiko drummers.

For full details of the Canada Day events, visit

Japanese Garden Lecture with Hugo Torii

Garden enthusiasts are invited to attend a lecture on Japanese garden landscapes with Hugo Torii, gardener and landscape architect at Ueyakato Landscape Co and Virginia Burt, from Virginia Burt Designs. At the lecture, participants will learn about Japanese gardening plants and techniques and be able ask questions as well as tour the new Itabashi Garden. Light refreshments will be served.

The lecture will be held at Tansley Woods Community Centre, rooms 1 and 2, on July 9 from 7-8:30 p.m.

About Hugo Torii

Hugo Torii has been a gardener and landscape architect at Ueyakato Landscape Co. Ltd. since 2002. With a Master’s degree in Landscape Design from Kyoto University of Art and Design, he has studied Japanese aesthetics and Japanese gardens and also has a background as a florist before stepping into his current career as a garden craftsman. He has managed several notable projects for Ueyakato including the Japanese garden and greeneries for the 24-hectare Keihanna Commemorative Park and for the 5,000 square-meter Yosuien Japanese strolling pond garden. He has also participated in the annual maintenance of pine trees in the Nijo Castle, a World Heritage Site and was a team leader in Kyoto City street trees maintenance program.

30-years of twinning relationship with Itabashi, Japan

In May of 1989, the City of Burlington signed a twinning agreement with the City of Itabashi, Japan. Over the years, the Mundialization Committee has arranged various programs and exchanges between ltabashi and Burlington and relations between the cities have flourished on all levels. The twinning relationship has been demonstrated through regular citizen visits, official delegations, special gift exchanges, student art and pen-pal exchanges and memorable anniversary celebrations.

With a population of more than 500,000, Itabashi is located on the Shyakujii, Shingashi and Arakawa Rivers just 45 kilometres northwest of Tokyo.

In 2019, the Cities of Burlington and Itabashi will celebrate a milestone — the 30th Twinning Anniversary.


We have a great relationship with Itabashi, Japan thanks to our twinning relationship and the Mundialization Committee. Burlington has learned a lot from sharing information, culture and friendship. The Itabashi Garden will be a beautiful and well-thought-out testament to our shared values, and I encourage everyone to come out and visit it. I am proud, as Burlington’s Mayor, to continue this 30-year bond with Itabashi that shares and celebrates parts of Japan’s beautiful culture and traditions with our own local residents.

Receive new post notifications by email

What's your take?

Here are guidelines before you comment, and our expectations before we will post:

  • Be civil. Would you speak this way to a good friend? If not, rewrite.
  • Focus on the issues. Build your argument and make your case in support of your opinion from facts, research or other sources. That way we can all learn. “I disagree with so-and-so because…” is fine; “So-and-so is naïve/stupid  for thinking the way he/she does and here’s why…” is not acceptable.
  • Don’t make personal attacks. Don’t assume motives of those you disagree with, make unfounded allegations, spread rumours, or engage in any other behaviours that would discourage you from participating if someone said this to, or about, you. The Golden Rule applies: Do unto others as you would have done to you. We will edit or not post comments with this type of content.
  • Say it once: When comments from the same individual or individuals become repetitive, going over ground already stated, we reserve the right to close commenting.
  • Use your full, and real, name. If wish to make a comment in public, we expect you will publicly stand behind it with your name. If you don’t want to publicly reveal your name, that’s fine; you are always welcome to share your thoughts with me privately via my email below. I welcome and consider all feedback in making decisions for the community.
  • Have fun, consider and learn. Share your views and read those of others. May we all benefit from a healthy exchange of ideas, and learn a little more about the people in our community, what you think, and what’s important to each of you. You may end up changing your mind about an issue; even if you don’t, we hope everyone will gain a greater understanding of why people have different perspectives.

Newsletter Sign Up

Phone: 905-335-7607

Constituent Assistant: Hannelie van Niekerk
905-335-7600, ext. 7689