It’s official, new Burlington community centre will retain old name

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Published December 14, 2023 at 3:51 pm

Burlington new community centre robert bateman high school

Following an overwhelming response by the local community, it was made official yesterday that Burlington’s new recreation facility will be named the Robert Bateman Community Centre.

The City of Burlington originally panned an elaborate poll of residents and a shortlist of names, but the response was so overwhelming in favour of Bateman that it was decided to just go with that.

“This is a really great outcome. Thank you to City staff, stakeholder groups and the selection committee for overseeing the consultation and selection process, as well as to all those in our community who submitted suggested names for our newest community centre,” said Mayor Marianne Meed Ward.

“City staff course corrected after the results they saw in our naming process and from the selection committee, an overwhelming support to keep the Robert Bateman name. Mr. Bateman has informed the City he is delighted to have this honour.”

The new community hub, which will be a mixture of recreation and education facilities, is in the home of the former Robert Bateman High School.

Local councillors agreed unanimously with the new name, citing several reasons they thought it appropriate:

  • Bateman is a recipient of the Order of Canada
  • The community is already accustomed to calling this location “Bateman” or “Robert Bateman
  • The community voice has been clear how proud they are of Bateman’s accomplishments and his Burlington heritage
  • Bateman has donated artwork to the City in the past, most of which is in the safe keeping of the Ireland House Museum and consists of 297 prints, limited edition prints, preliminary sketches, and artist proofs

The initial survey of residents showed 44 per cent were in favour of the name Robert Bateman Community Centre. The next highest in terms of ranking was Lord Elgin Community Centre at seven per cent, but concerns around this name have been raised regarding ties to colonialism.

Names that had to do with the physical location of the building, like Pineland, Pinedale, Appleby and New Street, combinedfor about16% of the total names submitted, but the highest, Pinedale, was at three per cent.

The community centre will be home to a pool, library, and a Brock University campus, among other things.

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