Taking a Closer Look at the Downtown

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In early 2019, Burlington City Council directed City staff to re-examine the downtown policies in Burlington’s adopted Official Plan.

By the fall of 2020, Burlington City Council will vote to endorse changes to the policies in Burlington’s adopted Official Plan that guide development in the downtown until 2031, including the height and density of buildings.

To assist Council in making their decision, the City is committed to leading an open and transparent public engagement process to ensure the voices of people from every corner of the city are heard and valued.

Please register with Get Involved Burlington and subscribe to this project page for details about opportunities to provide your meaningful input.

The downtown belongs to all of us. Let’s work together to make the core of our city the best it can be.

In early 2019, Burlington City Council directed City staff to re-examine the downtown policies in Burlington’s adopted Official Plan.

By the fall of 2020, Burlington City Council will vote to endorse changes to the policies in Burlington’s adopted Official Plan that guide development in the downtown until 2031, including the height and density of buildings.

To assist Council in making their decision, the City is committed to leading an open and transparent public engagement process to ensure the voices of people from every corner of the city are heard and valued.

Please register with Get Involved Burlington and subscribe to this project page for details about opportunities to provide your meaningful input.

The downtown belongs to all of us. Let’s work together to make the core of our city the best it can be.

  • Feedback Report - What we Heard in August and September

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    27 Sep 2019

    Read the Feedback Report

    An objective set out in the public engagement plan was to create an ongoing record of what is said during engagements and to make it available to the public throughout the process. This is so the public can track the progress of the project, including reports back to the community to highlight how feedback was or was not incorporated in the final recommendations to Council.

    The purpose of this report is to provide that record. The Feedback Report summarizes what we heard through the August engagement period and includes feedback received up to and including the September 14th Food for Feedback event.



  • Thanks for your feedback! - What we've heard so far:

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    25 Sep 2019

    Thank you to everyone who participated in the first round of public engagement in August to share what matters most to them about the downtown.

    Some things heard most often include:

    • Keep and attract new businesses
    • Protect and enhance existing green spaces, strengthen connections to the waterfront and plant more trees
    • Enhance downtown's role as a year-round cultural, tourism, shopping, leisure and event destination
    • Housing options and affordability
    • Mid and low-rise built form is preferred in many areas
    • Enhance pedestrian spaces and provide more transit and cycling options, and reduce congestion
    • Maintain the small-town charm and preserve heritage
    • Safer, more usable, inclusive public spaces
    • Parking
    The full Feedback Report will be out soon. The next phase of public engagement on this project is starting in October.

  • Background Report - What you need to Know is now available

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    22 Aug 2019

    The background report - Taking a Closer Look at the Downtown - What you need to Know is now available.

    This report is provided on behalf of the City of Burlington by SGL Planning and Design Inc. It is the first step in the re-examination of the Official Plan, and it is intended to provide you with a guide to the background to the City’s Official Plan (OP) Policies for the Downtown and the process the City is currently undertaking to re-examine the Downtown OP Policies


  • Citizen Action Labs - Taking a Closer Look at the Downtown

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    08 Aug 2019
    In the summer and fall of 2019, there will be two key opportunities for public engagement where your input will directly inform a recommendation that will be presented to Burlington City Council in March 2020.

    The first public engagement opportunity will take place in August both online and in person. Look for the following events to participate:

    1. Citizen Action Labs: Taking a Closer Look at the Downtown
    To help identify what matters most about downtown Burlington, the City will host two Citizen Action Labs on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019. No registration is required.

    Citizen Action Labs: Taking a Closer Look at the Downtown
    When: Thursday, Aug. 22
    Times: 1 to 3 p.m. or 7 to 9 p.m.
    Where: Art Gallery of Burlington, 1333 Lakeshore Rd

    What to Expect
    At these in-person, public sessions, participants will work in small groups to discuss and identify what is most important to them about downtown Burlington. The feedback gathered will be used to inform the creation of two concepts of what the downtown could look like in the future. These concepts will be shared with the public in October for further review and input.

    Please note:

    • Free parking passes will be provided
    • This event is accessible to people who use mobility devices. To request other disability related accommodation, please contact thomas.douglas@burlington.ca or 905-335-7600 ext. 7811.

    2. Participate Online
    For those who are unable to attend one of the Citizen Action Labs, an online survey will be available beginning the week of Aug. 12 until Aug. 30 on Get Involved Burlington.

    3. Drop by a Pop-up Event
    Throughout the month of August, City staff will be visiting a variety of locations and events throughout the community to talk with residents and identify what is most important to them about downtown Burlington. Stay tuned to Get Involved Burlington for a full list of locations and times.


  • First Steps in the Project

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    11 Jul 2019

    Over the next few months, the City of Burlington will be looking for your feedback and ideas to help refine and improve the downtown policies.

    In early August, the City will share with the public:

    • An engagement plan that will outline opportunities for the community to share their input
    • Background report that will contain everything you need to know to get involved in this project.
    Engagement opportunities will begin in mid-August. Stay tuned for more information.