Burlington, Ontario – My Top 5 Picks

Burlington, Ontario – My Top 5 Picks

Burlington is located at the western end of Lake Ontario, lying between the north shore of the lake and the Niagara Escarpment, north of Hamilton.  Before pioneer settlement in the 19th century, the area was covered by old-growth forest 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 Ontario “Burlington Bay” after the town of Bridlington in Yorkshire, England.  Land beside the bay was deeded to First Nations Captain Joseph Brant at the turn of the nineteenth century.  With the completion of the local survey after the War of 1812, the land was opened for settlement. Early farmers prospered because of the fertile soil and moderate temperatures.  Lumber from the surrounding forests was a thriving business.  In the latter half of the nineteenth century, local farmers switched to fruit and vegetable production.  The first peaches grown in Canada were cultivated in the Grindstone Creek watershed in the south-west part of the city.

Hamilton Harbour, the western end of Lake Ontario, is bounded on its western shore by a large sandbar. A canal bisecting the sandbar allows ships access to Hamilton Harbour. The Burlington Bay James N. Allan Skyway, part of the Queen Elizabeth Way, and the Canal Lift Bridge allow access over the canal.

The leading industrial sectors are food processing, packaging, electronics, motor vehicle/transportation, business services, chemical/pharmaceutical and environmental.

Burlington is home to the Royal Botanical Gardens, which has the world’s largest lilac collection.

2201 Lakeshore Road – Gothic Revival, corner quoins

Burlington Avenue – Queen Anne – verge board trim, decorative brickwork below cornice, half-moon window, fish scale pattern on tower

Paletta Mansion – In 1809, the British Crown, under King George III, granted Lot 8, Concession 4 South of Dundas Street to Laura Secord, who was later to distinguish herself as a heroine in the events of the Battle of Lundy’s Lane during the War of 1812. Laura Secord and her family did not settle in Nelson Township but conveyed the lot to settler John Beaupre in 1810. (Enjoy my novel that tells about Laura, Laura Secord Discovered.) Over the next one hundred years the property passed through about fifteen different families. In 1912, it was purchased by William Delos Flatt and Cyrus Albert Birge. The site was used as a park by local residents for leisure pursuits such as swimming, boating and fishing, while the rest of the property continued in use as a fruit farm. Following the death of the prominent Hamilton industrialist Cyrus Birge in 1929, his daughter Edythe MacKay used her inheritance to replace the old Zimmerman farmhouse on her Shore Acres Estate. It was built by local contractors and craftsmen with the finest imported and local materials. The mansion stands on a fourteen acre property on the Burlington waterfront. This three storey, 11,000 square-foot mansion has original hardwood floors throughout, seven working fireplaces, many original fixtures and decorations with a relaxed charm and intimacy.

1401 Ontario Street – Gothic Revival – cornice return on gables, full verandah on second floor

560 Brant Street – Neo-colonial – gambrel roof