Significant changes are coming to Burlington Civic Square and residents can still give input

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Published October 16, 2023 at 1:56 pm

Enhancements coming to Civic Square in Burlington
Civic Square - Photo courtesy of the City of Burlington

Burlington’s Civic Square will undergo some significant changes in the coming years and residents who want to have a say in the revitalization project can share their input with city staff next month.  

Recently, the City of Burlington reminded residents that they can weigh in on what they’d like to see in the rejuvenated space on Nov. 15 and 21. The Nov. 15 session will be held in person at city hall (426 Brant St.) at 7 p.m. and the Nov. 21 session will be held online

As far as the scope of the project goes, the city will be refreshing the area surrounding city hall, including Civic Square, city hall’s front entrance and facade and the streetscapes of Brant Street and Elgin Street in the immediate area.

“This is a significant investment for the city and a crucial improvement to a location that is central to the downtown core and an integral part of the City’s network of public spaces,” reads a City report. 

“The main objectives of this project are to improve accessibility, functionality, and the character of the spaces, thus contributing to a more vibrant and complete community.”

The report states that all the work will be carried out simultaneously to save money.

Before any shovels start digging into the ground, the project will go through many steps, particularly consultations with Indigenous groups to gather input on the design and process.

Actual work is expected to begin in the summer of 2025, with the project expected to reach completion in 2026.

The report says the renewal project is expected to add to the health and vibrancy of the downtown core.

“Through a combination of functional servicing, landscape and architectural improvements, the success of the project will be measured on its ability to bring people together in an environment that is welcoming to people of all abilities and backgrounds, while better supporting the community and local downtown businesses,” the report continues.

The project’s total cost is close to $5 million, with financial assistance coming from Ottawa and Queen’s Park. The city has already committed capital funding of $1,323,432. According to the city’s website, funding to support the new Brant Street entrance will be approved in the 2024 capital budget.

According to the city, the revitalization will focus on enhancing walkability, preserving and enhancing nature, attracting festivals, events and ceremonies and creating a “public space that is vibrant, safe and comfortable for all.” 

In an FAQ posted on Burlington’s website, the city says the last major renovation to Civic Square took place in 1986 when the city hall addition was constructed. 

The Millennium Fountain was added in 2000.

The city’s website says the project will improve the downtown core.

“It will improve the overall look and welcoming feel to the downtown core. It will continue to be a vibrant space for meeting people and festivals and events,” it says. 

During the consultation process, residents will be informed about proposed changes to the streetscaping, facade and Brant Street entrance to city hall. 

As for what current features will remain, that will be determined in the future. 

According to the FAQ, exterior washrooms are not included in the project and the revitalization will not impact the heritage building at the corner of Brant Street and Elgin Street. 

As for city hall itself, the Brant Street entrance will be relocated to a “more prominent and central location,” which will require the security desk to be moved. City hall will remain open during construction, though some disruptions are expected. 

Traffic disruptions are also possible, although no in-road work is included in the project. Parking is also expected to be impacted. 

To learn more, click here

– With files from Steve Pecar

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