Burlington (Canada 2016 Census population 183,314) is a city in the Regional Municipality of Halton at the northwestern end of Lake Ontario. Along with Milton to the north, Burlington forms the west end of the Greater Toronto Area, while its metropolitan census area is part of the neighbouring city of Hamilton. Burlington lies between Lake Ontario’s north shore and the Niagara Escarpment. Economically, Burlington is strategically located near the geographic centre of the Golden Horseshoe, a densely populated and industrialized region of over 8 million people.
In 2016, MoneySense rated Burlington as the second best place to live in Canada.
Burlington’s public elementary and secondary schools are part of the Halton District School Board. Burlington’s Catholic elementary and secondary schools are part of the Halton Catholic District School Board. French public elementary and secondary schools are part of the Conseil scolaire Viamonde and French catholic elementary and secondary schools are part of the Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud (CSDCCS). Several private schools are also available in the city.
There are 29 public elementary schools and 14 Roman Catholic elementary schools in Burlington.
There are eight public high schools and three Catholic high schools in Burlington.
- Aldershot School (1964) Sports Team: Lions
- Burlington Central High School (1922) Sports Team: Trojans
- Frank J. Hayden Secondary School (2013) Sports Team: Huskies
- Gary Allan High School Burlington Campus – Adult Learners School
- Lester B. Pearson High School (1977) Sports Team: Patriots
- M.M. Robinson High School (1963) Sports Team: Rams
- Nelson High School (1957) Sports Team: Lords
- Robert Bateman High School (2004) Sports Team: Wild
- Assumption Secondary School (1977) Sports Team: Crusaders
- Corpus Christi Catholic Secondary School (2008) Sports Team: Longhorns
- Notre Dame Secondary School (1989) Sports Team: Fighting Irish
There are 13 private schools in Burlington.
- McMaster University DeGroote School of Business – Ron Joyce Centre opened in September 2010 and offers MBA and Executive Management programs.
- Australian university Charles Sturt University has had a study centre in Burlington since 2005 and offers programs in Master of International Education, Bachelor of Early Childhood Studies and Master of Business Administration. .
- Canadian Therapeutic College (affiliate of the Canadian College of Dental Health).
- Oxford College of Arts, Business and Technology
Burlington Transit, the public transport provider in the city, provides service on a transportation grid centred on three commuter GO Train stations: Appleby, Burlington and Aldershot.
Major transportation corridors through the city include the Queen Elizabeth Way, Highway 403, Highway 407, and Dundas Street (former Highway 5). Commuter and travel rail service is provided by both GO Transit and Via Rail. Rail cargo transportation is provided by both Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific.
The city is divided into six wards, each represented by a city councillor. The mayor, who chairs the city council, is Rick Goldring.
Council elected for 2014–2018
- Mayor: Rick Goldring
- Ward 1: Rick Craven
- Ward 2: Marianne Meed Ward
- Ward 3: John Taylor
- Ward 4: Jack Dennison
- Ward 5: Paul Sharman
- Ward 6: Blair Lancaster
Federally, the city is represented by three MPs whose ridings cover parts of the city:
- Burlington (covers most of the city): Karina Gould, Member of Parliament (Liberal)
- Milton (the mainly rural countryside north of Highway 407): Lisa Raitt (Conservative)
- Oakville North-Burlington (the area bounded by Highway 407 to the north, Dundas Street to the south, Guelph Line to the west and Oakville to the east): Pam Damoff (Liberal)
Provincially, the city is represented by two MPPs, whose ridings were geographically contiguous with their federal counterparts before federal electoral redistribution in 2015. (Current provincial ridings will be re-distributed to match current federal ridings for the scheduled provincial election in 2018):
Recreation and sites of interest
There are 115 parks and 580 ha of parkland in the city.
On the shore of Lake Ontario, Spencer Smith Park features an expansive shoreline walking path. The park is newly renovated, with an observatory, outdoor pond, water jet play area and restaurant. Many annual free festivals take place in Spencer Smith Park, including Canada’s Largest Ribfest and the Sound of Music Festival, Canada Day, Children’s Festival and Lakeside Festival of Lights. There is also the semi-annual prix fixe Taste of Burlington dining event.
The Brant Street Pier opened in Spencer Smith Park during the Sound of Music Festival on Father’s Day weekend, 2013. Thousands of people from Burlington and beyond flocked to the pier to enjoy sunshine and scenic views. The pier extends 137 metres over Lake Ontario and provides views of the lake and Burlington’s shoreline.
The Art Gallery of Burlington is adjacent to Spencer Smith Park, and contains diverse permanent and changing exhibits. The Gallery houses a prominent collection of Canadian ceramics. The Gallery’s exhibition spaces, which feature new exhibitions every eight to ten weeks, are fully accessible and are free to visitors.
“Royal Canadian Naval Association Naval Memorial (1995)” by André Gauthier is a 6’4” high cast bronze statue of a WWII Canadian sailor in the position of attention saluting his lost shipmates, which was erected in Spencer Smith Park. The model for the statue was a local Sea Cadet wearing Mike Vencel’s naval service uniform. On the black granite base, the names of Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Merchant Marine ships sunk during WWII are engraved. On the granite wall, the names of all Royal Canadian Navy ships and Canadian Merchant Marine vessels which saw service in WWII are engraved. A monument commemorating the Korean War was erected in the summer of 2014 to mark the 61st anniversary of the armistice to end the war.
Burlington is home to the Royal Botanical Gardens, which has the world’s largest lilac collection. Ontario’s botanical garden and National Historic Site of Canada features over 2,700 acres (11 km2) of gardens and nature sanctuaries, including four outdoor display gardens, the Mediterranean Garden under glass, three on-site restaurants, the Gardens’ Gift Shop, and festivals.
Several conservation areas are minutes away and feature year round activities. Mount Nemo Conservation Area is the only area in Burlington that is operated by Conservation Halton. Bronte Creek Provincial Park is along the eastern boundary of the city and features a campground and recreational activities and events year-round.
The local sections of the Bruce Trail and the Niagara Escarpment, which is a UNESCO designated World Biosphere Reserve, provide excellent hiking opportunities. Kerncliff Park, in an abandoned quarry on the boundary with Waterdown, is a naturalized area on the lip of the Niagara Escarpment. The Bruce Trail runs through the park, at many points running along the edge of the cliffs, providing a clear overlook of Burlington, the Burlington Skyway Bridge, Hamilton, and Oakville. On a clear day, one can see the CN Tower in Toronto, approximately 50 kilometres (31 mi) from the park.
The Joseph Brant Museum and Ireland House are also popular attractions. Joseph Brant Museum has ongoing exhibits on the history of Burlington, the Eileen Collard Costume Collection, Captain Joseph Brant and the visible storage gallery. Ireland House at Oakridge Farm is a history museum depicting family life from the 1850s to the 1920s.
Burlington offers four indoor and two outdoor pools, four splash pads, nine ice pads, four community centres and nine golf courses. The Appleby Ice Centre is a 4-pad arena, used year-round for skating and ice hockey.
Malls and shopping
- Appleby Mall – a mall at Appleby Line and New Street. The mall has been recently renovated as an outdoor box store centre.
- Burlington Mall – a one-storey mall at Guelph Line and Fairview Street, opened in 1968, with several renovations completed at various intervals over the years.
- Mapleview Centre – a two-storey mall, opened in 1990, with many upscale and destination stores Banana Republic, Guess?, XXI Forever, H&M, Bath & Body Works and Pink by Victoria’s Secret) at Queen Elizabeth Way and Fairview Street, recently expanded in the Fall of 2009 with GUESS by Marciano, Zara, Coach, Aritzia, Apple Store and Sephora.
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