There are the obvious facts and figures. We are a city of over 185,000 people, plus the babies born at Joseph Brant Hospital this morning.
We have a picturesque waterfront, a thriving downtown and a rural area featuring rich farmland and the Niagara Escarpment.
Burlington is all of this. And so much more.”
–Mayor Rick Goldring, State of the City Address, 2015
There is no surprise that Burlington is constantly growing.
Burlington has been named Canada’s best mid-sized city for the third year in a row, according to MoneySense Magazine’s Best Places to Live 2015 rankings, released just a few weeks ago.
Consistently ranking in the top ten cities to live in Canada, with access to farms, greenery and Lake Ontario, Burlington has so much to offer.
But what happens when there is an influx and higher demand than supply? When Burlington cannot seem to build fast enough to occupy all those on the waiting list to move here?
To understand intensification, we need to understand what is driving our growth.
In Ontario, the Golden Horseshoe is a highly sought after area. The attraction for jobs, accessibility to the USA, and proximity to Toronto – the hub of our country – are all very important factors.
Halton Region has developed the Sustainable Halton Growth Management Strategy. This will help manage the anticipated growth of 780,000 people and 390,000 jobs in Halton by the year 2031.
While all of this is fantastic and growth means opportunity and exciting change, we have to ask the pressing question: where do we grow?
Our city is aalmost built out, and the other 50 per cent of our city is protected Greenbelt land.
We have a lake bordering us to the south and an escarpment to the north, so we cannot adopt any more land.
The best solution is to utilize the space we’ve already got.The downtown core is one of the main sites slated for intensification. This area was established by the province as an Urban Growth Centre.
Burlington is also looking to Urban Growth Corridors, like Fairview Street and Plains Road. We are also reviewing intensification opportunities at the city’s aging retail plazas.
In times of change, it is important to remember why we are building within rather than sprawling out. Protecting what is precious to our city and what makes Burlington unique is something that cannot be debated.
Committed to intensification management, climate change adaptation, economic development, service-based budgeting and the Community Energy Plan, Burlington is keeping up with the shift happening in our world.
Being prepared for and setting the framework for growth is extremely important for longterm effectiveness. We have anaylzed changes to the sewer and water systems, potential traffic flow issues and utilizing the space to the maximum capacity.
Burlington’s growth is exciting. Being part of this fabulous community and knowing how it’s highly regarded feels amazing, and I know Burlington residents are very proud to call this city their home.
“We have the tools to manage our growth in a responsible way – in conjunction with community engagement. Let’s work together to continue to foster a made-in-Burlington approach to growth, creating a sustainable city for generations to come.” – Mayor Rick Goldring