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Burlington (2006 population 164,415) is a city located in Southern Ontario at the western end of Lake Ontariomarker, lying between the north shore of Lake Ontario and the ridge of the Niagara Escarpment. Politically, the city is part of Halton Regionmarker. Physically, Burlington is part of the Greater Toronto Area, and rests as the only member of the Halton Regional Municipality that is part of the Hamiltonmarker Census Metropolitan Area. Its geographic position puts it roughly in the centre of the Golden Horseshoe region, a dynamic location with many attractions.

While it contains both some small industrial areas and high-tech companies, Burlington is primarily a bedroom suburb of both Torontomarker and Hamilton. Typical of much suburban growth in southern Ontario in the last half of the twentieth century, the large land spaces available as fully-detached single-family housing - serviced primarily by big-box stores, large shopping malls and smaller high-end boutiques and eateries - has encouraged the use of automobiles to get from place to place within the city. Burlington bears many similarities to the neighboring town of Oakvillemarker, including a high per capita income amongst its residents and a thriving downtown heritage area.

Some of the many attractions include: Canada's Largest Ribfest, Sound of Music Festival, Burlington Art Centre, all located downtown in close proximity to Spencer Smith Park.


Before pioneer settlement in the 19th century, the area was covered by the primeval forest that stretched between the provincial capital of York and the town of Hamilton, and was home to various First Nations peoples. In 1792, John Graves Simcoe, the first lieutenant governor of Upper Canada, named the western end of Lake Ontariomarker "Burlington Baymarker" after the town of Bridlingtonmarker in the East Riding of Yorkshire, Englandmarker,. By the time land beside the bay was deeded to Chief Joseph Brant at the turn of the nineteenth century, the name "Burlington" was already in common use. With the completion of the local survey after the War of 1812, the land was opened for settlement. The sandy, well-drained soil and amenable climate encouraged farming, and the area rapidly became the bread-basket of the region, known for wheat production. Produce from the farms was shipped out via the bustling docks of the lakeside villages of Port Nelson and Wellington Square, as well as Brown's Wharf in the nearby village of Port Flamborough (which was to become Aldershotmarker). Lumber taken from the surrounding forests also competed for space on the busy docks. However, in the latter half of the 19th century, increased wheat production from Western Canada convinced local farmers to switch to fruit and vegetable production.

In 1874, Wellington Square and Port Nelson were incorporated into the Village of Burlington. However, the arrival of large steamships on the Great Lakes made the small docks of the local ports obsolete, and the increased use of railways to ship goods marked the end of the commercial wharves.

Farming still thrived though, and the resultant growth resulted in continued prosperity. By 1906, the town boasted both its own newspaper—the Burlington Gazette--as well as a town library and a local rail line that connected Burlington to nearby Hamiltonmarker. During the First World War, 300 local men volunteered for duty in the Canadian Expeditionary Force--38 did not return. In 1915, Burlington was incorporated into a town.

Following the Second World War, cheap electricity from nearby Niagara Falls and better transportation access due to the new Queen Elizabeth Way encouraged both light industry and families to move to Burlington. The population sky-rocketed as new homes were built, encouraging developers to build even more new homes. In 1962, Burlington annexed most of the Township of Nelson, as well as Aldershot, Ontariomarker, formerly a part of East Flamborough Township. By 1967, the last cash crop farm within the city had been replaced by Burlington Mall.

By 1974, with a population exceeding 100,000, Burlington was incorporated as a city. The extremely high rate of growth continued, and between 2001 and 2006, the population of Burlington grew by 9%, compared to Canada's overall growth rate of 5.4%. By 2006, the population topped 160,000. Continued high rates of growth are forecast as farmland north of Dundas Street (former Highway 5) is developed into more suburban housing.

Geography and climate

Burlington is located at the southwestern end of Lake Ontariomarker, just to the north of Hamiltonmarker and the Niagara Peninsulamarker, roughly in the geographic centre of the urban corridor known as the Golden Horseshoe.

Although it shares the temperate climate found in Southern Ontario, its proximity to Lake Ontario moderates winter temperatures, allowing the most northerly tracts of Carolinian forest to thrive on the Niagara Escarpment that runs through western sections of city. Several species of flora and fauna usually found only in more southern climes have their only Canadian presence here including paw-paw, green dragon (Arisaema dracontium), tuckahoe (Peltandra virginica), American columbo (Frasera virginiana), wall-rue (Asplenium ruta-muraria), the Louisiana waterthrush, the hooded warbler, the southern flying squirrel and the rare eastern pipistrelle. Near the visible promontory of Mount Nemo that rises some 200m (650 ft) above the lake level, a "vertical forest" of white cedar clinging to the Escarpment face includes many small trees that are more than a thousand years old.

Burlington Baymarker, the western end of Lake Ontario, is bounded on its western shore by a large sandbar, now called the Beach strip, that was deposited during the last ice age. A canal bisecting the sandbar allows ships access to Hamilton Harbourmarker, which lies behind the sandbar. The Burlington Bay James N.marker Allan Skywaymarker (part of the Queen Elizabeth Way), and the Canal Lift Bridge allow access over the canal.



According to the 2006 census, Burlington's population was 164,415 (48% male, 52% female). Minors (individuals under the age of 18) made up 24.5% of the population (almost identical to the national average of 24.4%), and pensioners (age 65+) numbered 15.4% (significantly higher than the national average 13.7%). This older population was also reflected in Burlington's average age of 40.3, which was higher than the Canadian average of 39.5.[26836]

Ethnic Origin[26837] Population Percent
English 59,330 36.51%
Scottish 39,605 24.37%
Irish 33,855 20.83%
German 16,640 10.24%
French 15,980 9.83%
Italian 11,430 7.03%
Dutch 8,575 5.27%
Polish 8,120 5.00%

Race and ethnic origins

As recorded in the same census, 91.04% of the population was white. Other groups include South Asian: 3.1%, mixed race: 1.5%, black: 1.5%, and Chinese: 1.3%.[26838]

The top eight ethnic origins from the 2006 census are listed in the accompanying table. Percentages add up to more than 100% because respondents were able to choose more than one ethnicity.


In the 2001 Canadian census, 78% of Burlington residents identified themselves as Christian. Of these, approximately 41% claimed adherence to one of the mainstream Protestant churches or were Anglican, 32% were Roman Catholic, and the remaining 27% belonged to other denominations such as the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons), the Ukrainian Catholic Church, and various Orthodox denominations.

Of the three largest Christian denominations represented, Burlington lies within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Hamilton, the Anglican Diocese of Niagara, and the United Church of Canada's Halton Presbytery.

Of the remaining 22% of the population that did not identify themselves as Christian, 16.6% identified themselves as following no religion, 1.0% were Muslim, 0.7% Sikh, 0.5% Hindu, 0.4% Jewish, 0.3% Buddhist, and 0.1% Pagan.


Burlington's economic strength is the diversity of its economic base, mainly achieved because of its geography, proximity to large industries in southern Ontario (Canada's largest consumer market), its location within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and proximity to Hamilton, and its transportation infrastructure. The city has a robust economy with potential for future growth - it is located at the hub of the Golden Horseshoe, and is largely driven by both the automotive and manufacturing sectors.

There are also many stores and shops in Burlington. The Burlington Mallmarker and Mapleview Centre are popular malls within the city. The many summer festivals in the city, including Canada's Largest Ribfest, and the Burlington Sound of Music Festival which also attract many visitors.

Map of Burlington metropolitan area:

Media and journalism

Television stations

Burlington is primarily served by media based in Toronto (other than those noted below), as it is geographically located in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).


One radio station, FM 107.9 CJXY, is licensed to Burlington and another, FM 94.7 CIWV, to "Hamilton/Burlington." Both presently broadcast from studios in Hamilton; CJXY, indeed, brands itself "Hamilton's ONLY Rock Station." Burlington listeners are also served by stations licensed to Toronto, Hamilton and other nearby radio markets.

Print media

The following publications are either published in or around Burlington, or have Burlington as one of their main subjects:
  • Snap Burlington


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 de District du Centre Sud Ouest (CSDCSO) and French catholic elementary and secondary schools are part of the Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud (CSDCCS).

Elementary schools

There are 28 public elementary schools and 13 Roman Catholic elementary schools in Burlington.


  • Aldershot School
  • Alexander's Public School
  • Brant Hills Public School
  • Bruce T. Lindley Public School
  • Burlington Central Elementary
  • Central Public School
  • C.H. Norton Public School
  • Charles R. Beaudoin Public School
  • Clarksdale Public School
  • Dr. Charles Best Public School
  • Florence Meares Public School
  • Frontenac Public School
  • Glenview Public School
  • John T. Tuck Public School
  • King's Road Public School
  • Lakeshore Public School
  • Maplehurst Public School
  • Mohawk Gardens Public School
  • Orchard Park Public School
  • Paul A. Fisher Public School
  • Pauline Johnson Public School
  • Pineland Public School
  • Rolling Meadows Public School
  • Ryerson Public School
  • Sir E. MacMillan Public School
  • Tecumseh Public School
  • Tom Thomson Public School
  • Kilbride Public School


  • Ascension Roman Catholic Elementary School
  • Canadian Martyrs Roman Catholic Elementary School
  • Corpus Christi Catholic Secondary School
  • Holy Rosary Roman Catholic Elementary School
  • Sacred Heart of Jesus Roman Catholic Elementary School
  • St. Christopher's Roman Catholic Elementary School
  • St. Elizabeth Seton's Roman Catholic Elementary School
  • St. Gabriel's Roman Catholic Elementary School
  • St. John's Roman Catholic Elementary School
  • St. Mark's Roman Catholic Elementary School
  • St. Paul's Roman Catholic Elementary School
  • St. Raphael's Roman Catholic Elementary School
  • St. Timothy's Roman Catholic Elementary School
  • St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Elementary School

High schools

There are seven public high schools and three Catholic high schools in Burlington.




  • Fern Hill School
  • Halton Waldorf School
  • Burlington Christian Academy
  • Burlington Montessori Preschool
  • Glenn Arbour Academy
  • Halton Centre for Childcare
  • Hillfield Strathallan (Hamilton)
  • Summerhill Day School
  • Trinity Christian School
  • John Calvin Christian School


There are no universities in Burlington, although there are several within a 75-kilometre radius.

  • McMaster University sub-campus: On September 30, 2004, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Burlington Mayor Rob MacIsaac and Hamilton's McMaster Universitymarker President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Peter J. George to bring a McMaster campus to Burlington. However, this project was stalled over the issue of money for several years. In April 2009, this project finally moved forward with the announcement that Burlington and the Region of Halton would both contribute $5 million towards the McMaster University DeGroote Centre for Advanced Management Studies and Family Medical health Centre.



Burlington Transit, the public transport provider in the city, provides minimal 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.


Local Government

The city is divided into six wards, each represented by a city councillor. The mayor, who chairs the city council, is former provincial MPP Cam Jackson.


Federally, the city is represented by three MPs whose ridings cover parts of the city:

Burlington (covers most of the city): Mike Wallace (Conservative)

Halton (the northeast corner of the city as well as rural areas north to Miltonmarker: Lisa Raitt (Conservative)

Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale (includes Aldershotmarker): David Sweet (Conservative)


Provincially, the city is represented by three MPP, whose ridings are geographically contiguous with their federal counterparts:

Burlington: Joyce Savoline (Progressive Conservative)

Halton: Ted Chudleigh (Progressive Conservative)

Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale: Ted McMeekin (Liberal)

Although the federal riding of Burlington has voted Liberal on a regular basis (most recently Paddy Torsney was Liberal MP from 1993 to 2006), in provincial elections, the riding has not had a Liberal MPP since 1943.

Sites of interest

Burlington shares the Royal Botanical Gardensmarker, Canada's largest botanical garden with neighbouring Hamilton, which incorporates both untamed and cultivated landscapes.

There are 75 parks and 325 ha (800 acres) of parkland within the city, the largest being Lasalle Park located in Aldershot and Spencer Smith Park newly renovated & located centrally, also on the shore of Lake Ontario. Lasalle Park, is owned by the city of Hamilton but is leased by Burlington, which also assumes responsibility for maintenance.

Mount Nemo Conservation Area is the only area in Burlington operated by the Halton Region Conservation Authority.
The Burlington Coastline on Lake Ontario

Kerncliff Park, in an abandoned quarry on the boundary with Waterdownmarker, 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, Hamiltonmarker, and Oakvillemarker. On a clear day, one can see the CN Towermarker in Torontomarker, approximately from the park.

The Burlington Art Centre shows various exhibits throughout the year from local to national talent, including the Canadian artist Robert Bateman.

The Joseph Brant Museum and Ireland House, which showcase the history of Burlington, are also popular attractions.

There are no large-scale stadiums, arenas, theatre or opera companies in Burlington. However, in 2008, city council approved the construction of a Performing Arts Centre on Locust Street, in the downtown core. The Performing Arts Centre is designed by Diamond and Schmitt Architects who also designed Toronto's Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Artsmarker.

Not widely known to many residents is that one of the three naturally occurring magnetic hills in Ontario is found in Burlington, on King Road just north of Bayview Park.

Many annual lakefront activities take place in Spencer Smith Park, including Canada's Largest Ribfest and the Sound of Music Festival.

Image:Spencer Smith Park in Burlington, Ontario.jpg|Spencer Smith Park, downtown, Burlington, Ontario, CanadaImage:WWII Navy Memorial in Spencer Smith Park in Burlington, Ontario.jpg|The WWII Navy Memorial in Spencer Smith ParkImage:Burlington, Ontario Mall.jpg|Burlington MallmarkerImage:Burlington, Ontario City Hall.jpg|City Hall, on Brant StreetImage:Brant Street in Downtown Burlington, Ontario.jpg|Brant Street, downtown

Image:Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital in Burlington, Ontario.jpg|Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital, downtown


  • Appleby Mall - a mall located at Appleby Line and New Street. The mall will begin renovations in late 2009 into 2010 which will see the mall become an outdoor box store centre.
  • Burlington Mallmarker - 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, currently undergoing expansion and renovation, due to be completed in the Fall of 2009. Zara, Coach, Aritzia and Sephora are slated to join the mall in 2010.
  • Millcroft Shopping Centre - an outdoor mall located at Appleby Line and Upper Middle Road.


The Burlington Teen Tour Band (BTTB) has operated in the city since 1947, including members between the ages of 13 and 21. The marching band goes by the nickname The Redcoats due to the colour of its uniforms, and are regular participants in major international parades. They are also occasionally referred to as "Canada's Musical Ambassadors" and have represented Canada all over the world.The band is currently led by Rob Bennett, managing director, along with Sir William Hughes, musical director.

Along with the Junior Redcoats which is the younger version of the Teen Tour Band. It includes children between the ages of 9 to 12. Their major performances are the Burlington Santa Claus Parade, the Waterdown Santa Claus Parade, Hamilton Place (along with the Teen Tour Band) and the Sound of Music Parade. It is currently directed by Bill Rolfe

Since 1961, 715 "Mohawk" Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets has been a fixture in the city. The Royal Canadian Air Cadets is only one of the three branches of the Canadian Cadet Movement. The CCM is a partnership between the Department of National Defence, and each of the three cadet leagues: The Air Cadet League of Canada, The Army Cadet League of Canada, and the Navy League. The CCM is the largest federally funded youth program in Canada, and is open to youth ages 12–18 who are interested in leadership, citizenship, physical fitness, the Canadian Forces, and personal discipline. Currently financial difficulties, among other reasons, have caused 715 squadron to consider relocation to a new squadron building in Burlington.

Burlington Area Scouts traces its organization back to 1910 when the town's population was about 1,000. The first local Scoutmaster was Archie McGibbon, who remained in his position for more than a year, after which there was a succession of leaders including Hughes Cleaver and William Gilbert. The original enrolment of 25 boys was considered excellent for the small population of Burlington.

About 1918, Rev. George W. Tebbs took over the troop. It was in the 1920s when Scoutmaster Tebbs and the local troop met Baden-Powell in Burlington. The founder was motoring to Toronto and broke his trip for a short while when he saw the Scouts lined up at Gore Park on the waterfront. For many years, Rev. Tebbs led the boys as they marched out of town, hauling the trek cart to some distant camping place. It wasn't until 1958 that the Scouts' combined group committees were able to buy the 90 acre camping grounds in North Burlington at Camp Manitou.

The current Burlington Area Scouts came into existence in 1958 as "Burlington District" with amalgamation of several groups from Burlington and surrounding area. There are 17 active groups within the Area, providing Scouting to over 700 members. The Area stretches outside the city limits of Burlington and encompasses the additional communities of Waterdownmarker, Kilbride, and Carlisle.


Local Teams

The Burlington Cougars are an Ontario Provincial Junior A Hockey League Team. Formerly known as the Burlington Mohawks

The following are the names associated with Burlington's rep-level sports teams:

The Burlington Youth Soccer Club (BYSC) is the organization behind all levels of youth soccer in Burlington.The Burlington Soccer League is the organization behind most men's league soccer in Burlington.Soccer Club Organization of Burlington Youth (Scooby Soccer) is a unique youth soccer club with ties to DPS ACADEMY.

International Competition

Also, Burlington, Ontario founded and is still a participating city of the Burlington International Games (B.I.G.). The games were first held in 1969 " to offer an athletic and cultural exchange experience for the youth of Burlington."Up until recently, the games took place between Burlington, Ontario and Burlington, Vermontmarker, U.S.A.marker. But, other cities from places such as Quebecmarker, Japan, the Netherlands, and the U.S. have all had athletes compete since 1998.

Notable natives



Authors/ writers

  • Paul W. Fitzgerald -Writer, Academic and Author, attended Burlington Central High School.
  • Sylvia McNicoll, (1954- ), author of over twenty novels for children and young adults.
  • James Sidney, author and environmentalist



TV/ film/ stage

Sister Cities

Other City Relationships:

See also


  1. [1], Oakville Economics
  2. Burlington Liberals get some high-profile help, Hamilton Spectator, 27 January 2007
  3. Burlington Area Scouting Website
  4. City of Burlington Website, Burlington International Games

External links


Health Care

Local media Photos and Attractions Arts and Music Sports

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