Interim Control Bylaw Extended

On February 27, the City of Burlington released that the Interim Control Bylaw (ICBL – also known as the “Downtown Development Freeze”) will remain in effect and will not end on March 5, as was previous reported by the City of Burlington. This is due to appeals filed with the City Clerk.

The City of Burlington received 31 appeals for both Official Plan Amendment 119 and Zoning Bylaw Amendment 2020.418. To view the amendments provided on February 6, please click the buttons below:

The ICBL will remain in effect until the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) has issued a final decision on each appeal of Zoning By-law Amendment 2020.418.

The recommendations from the findings of the ICBL study include proposed amendments to Burlington’s current in-force-and-effect Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw. The staff recommendation report and proposed amendments can be viewed online at

The City is also working closely with Halton Region to confirm with the Province the requirements and next steps for approval of changes to the Downtown Urban Growth Centre (UGC) and Major Transit Station Area (MTSA) designations. City Council has directed the Chief City Planner to report back in May 2020 with recommendations.

The City will share more information on the ICBL appeal process and timelines as they become available, as well as details about the nature of the appeals. Residents can stay up-to-date by visiting the City website at

TRESA Committee Amendments

On February 19, the Government of Ontario passed two amendments to Bill 145, the Trust in Real Estate Act (“TRESA”) at Committee that address two major concerns of REALTORS®: new regulations on advertising and reducing standard forms red tape.


New Regulations on Advertising, re: Salesperson and REALTOR®

First, OREA asked that the term “salesperson” in REBBA be replaced with the term that more accurately reflects the role that REALTORS® play when representing consumers during one of the most important financial decisions of their lives.

The Minister of Government and Consumer Services has committed to bringing forward a regulation to permit registrants to use the terms “REALTOR®” or “real estate agent” in their advertising to consumers. The Minister will amend this regulation to permit the use of REALTOR® or agent in addition to salesperson.


Reducing Standard Forms Red Tape

The second amendment clarifies that only specific forms enshrined in regulation may be approved by RECO. Every year, countless changes to Standard Forms are required to ensure that they accurately reflect the real estate landscape in the province. The Minister noted it is her preference that both OREA and RECO work together to strengthen buyer and seller representation agreements. This change will avoid additional red tape and ensure that necessary changes to OREA’s Standard Forms are made in a timely manner.

Please note that none of these changes have yet to be passed into law.


Next Steps:

The next steps for TRESA is a third reading back in the Legislature, final passage and proclamation. It is also important to note that most sections of the Act will require supporting regulations before they come into effect.

Burlington Mayor State of the City Address Recap

On January 30, RAHB attended and sponsored the Burlington Mayor’s State of the City Address, where RAHB President Kathy Della-Nebbia had the pleasure of introducing Mayor Meed Ward.

In Mayor Meed Ward’s address, she touched upon several topics: community pride, business activity, what has been done, and what is to come.

Business activity: Red Tape Red Carpet Task Force & Burlington One Brand Project

Red Tape Red Carpet Task Force

Mayor Meed Ward discussed how Burlington City Council has implemented the recommendations developed as part of the Mayor’s Red Tape Red Carpet Task Force initiatives. These were developed to help grow and retain business in Burlington, and attract new talent to the city. For more information on the Red Tape Red Carpet Task Force, please click the button below:

Burlington One Brand Project

Mayor Meed Ward also discussed that in the near future, Burlington City Council will be launching the Burlington One Brand Project that will help position Burlington to compete for investments, increase tourism and attract new businesses. For more information about the Burlington One Brand Project, please click the button below:

What has been done and what is to come?

Vision to Focus

Mayor Meed Ward discussed how Burlington City Council has broken down the 25-year Strategic Plan into key goals and strategic actions that can be accomplished within the council’s four-year term. For more information on Vision to Focus, please click the button below:

Interim Control Bylaw

Mayor Meed Ward discussed how Burlington wants to control pressures of over development in the downtown core, while remaining open for business. Mayor Meed Ward explained the focus of the Interim Control Bylaw (ICB)*, which froze development in around the major transit stations and Burlington GO Stations for one year. The ICB was focused on height and density. For more information on the ICB, please click the button below:

*To be lifted on March 5, 2020

Climate Action Plan

Mayor Meed Ward discussed how Burlington City Council declared a climate emergency, which has resulted in Burlington creating its first City of Burlington Climate Action Plan. The function of the action plan is to create a net-zero carbon emissions city. For more information about the City of Burlington Climate Action Plan, please click the button below:

2020 Budget

Mayor Meed Ward discussed the approval of the 2020 budget with a 3.99 per cent increase in the City’s portion of property taxes and an overall tax increase of 2.44 per cent – the lowest tax increase in years. For more information on the 2020 budget, please click the button below:

Q&A Session

To end the Burlington Mayor State of the City Address, Mayor Meed Ward answered questions from the crowd. Mayor Meed Ward was asked about housing affordability, and emphasized that it will be the next biggest issue on the horizon for Burlington City Council.

Private Tree Bylaw Public Information Session

The City of Burlington is hosting a series of public information session to help residents and businesses learn about the newly adopted Private Tree Bylaw.

Registration for the information sessions is not required and will be held on:

  • Tuesday, February 18, 2020
    Appleby Ice Centre, Community Room 1
    1 to 3 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.
  • Wednesday, February 19, 2020
    Central Arena, Auditorium
    1 to 3 p.m.
  • Wednesday, February 19, 2020
    Burlington Seniors’ Centre, Freeman and Indian Point Rooms
    7 to 9 p.m.
  • Thursday, February 20, 2020
    Aldershot Arena, Community Room
    7 to 9 p.m.

About the Private Tree Bylaw

As of January 27, 2020, anyone within Burlington’s urban boundary will need to apply for a permit and on-site consultation:

  • To remove a tree greater than 20 cm in diameter measured at 1.4 m from the ground;
  • To remove more than five trees between 10 and 20 cm in diameter at 1.4 m from the ground in a calendar year;
  • To potentially remove heritage trees and endangered species; and
  • To complete work on a tree that could potentially cause harm.

To apply for a permit or to read the full bylaw, please click the button below:

Interim Control Bylaw: Approved

Recommendations from the findings of the ICBL Land Use Study approved by Council.

On January 30, 2020, Burlington City Council approved the revised recommendations from the findings of the Interim Control Bylaw (ICBL) Land Use Study, including the approval of the proposed Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw Amendments resulting from the ICBL Land Use Study.

If no appeals are received, the ICBL will end on March 5, 2020.

The purpose of the proposed Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw amendments is to:

  • Strengthen the integrations between land use and transit by introducing policies related to transit-supportive development;
  • Introduce the concept of Major Transit Station Areas (MTSAs) and a policy framework – MTSAs include the Burlington and Aldershot GO Stations, as well as the John Street Bus Terminal;
  • Introduce development criteria for development applications within the study area;
  • Update or add definitions to the Official Plan to align with provincial policy documents and assist in the interpretation of Official Plan policies; and
  • Introduce additional permitted use, height requirements and other policies on lands near the Burlington GO Station.

To review the timeline, actions and recommendations of the ICBL, as well as Council minutes and reports, please click the button below:

ICBL Land Use Study – January 14 Council Meeting

On January 14, RAHB representatives attended the Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility Committee Meeting where recommendations from the Interim Control By-Law (ICBL) land use study were presented to the Burlington City Council. .

Discussions about the recommendations will continue at a Special Council meeting on January 30 at 9:30 a.m., and a decision will be made on the staff recommendations that same day.

The Interim Control By-Law is still scheduled to be lifted on March 5. It was, not as of yet, extended another year.


The proposed recommendations fall into four categories:

  1. Policy Framework
  2. Functional Policies
  3. Land Use Policies (Urban Planning Areas)
  4. Definitions


Policy Framework

New policy language has been proposed that describes major transit station areas as a component of the City’s Urban Planning Area.


Functional Policies

Additional policy language will be added to:

  • Include pedestrians and cyclists as active transportation
  • Include the term “Major Transit Station Areas” (MTSA)
  • Include the incorporation of transit-supportive development
  • Include the role of transit in the overall urban form
  • Include the importance of more compact forms of development along transit and transportation corridors to support complete communities
  • Include subsections that strengthen the concept of transit-supportive developments in the Official Plan by recognizing the role of MTSA


Land Use Policies – Urban Planning Areas

Mixed Use Corridors – General

Additional policy language has been proposed to establish the role of the Region of Halton’s Municipal Comprehensive Review, which will delineate the major transit station area boundaries and identify minimum density targets.


Mixed Use Corridors – Commercial Corridors

Additional policy language has been proposed to remove reference to time-frame of development and acknowledge the redevelopment of the mixed-use commercial corridors.


Downtown Mixed-Use Centre

Minor policy edits to include a reference to the Regional Official Plan and update the reference to the Urban Growth Centre.


Role and Function of a Major Transit Station Area – Go Stations vs. John Street Bus Terminal

Include language to support transit-supportive development that corresponds to MTSA typology:

  • Burlington and Appleby Go Stations – higher order transit units
  • Aldershot Go Station – higher order, but not priority transit unit
  • John Street Bus Terminal – not higher order or priority transit unit

It is anticipated that the majority of growth within the City’s four MTSAs will occur in the three MTSAs located along higher order transit routes and with planned frequent transit service by way of regional express rail (i.e., the city bus).

These proposed policies will help guide development applications by requiring that the highest density and tallest buildings be concentrated closest to the GO Stations.



The following definitions have been proposed to be updated or added to the Official Plan in order to align with provincial plans and policies, such as A Place to Grow, 2019, and to assist in the interpretation of the proposed Official Plan policies:

  • Active Transportation
  • Compact Built Form
  • Complete Communities
  • Complete Street
  • Frequent Transit
  • Higher Order Transit
  • Major Transit Station Area
  • Major Trip Generator
  • Mid-rise Building
  • Multi-Modal
  • Public Service Facilities
  • Tall Building Transit-Supportive or Transit-Supportive Land Use
  • Urban Design Brief

Taking a Closer Look at the Downtown in Burlington

The Burlington City Council Planning and Development Committee is holding a discussion on the re-examination of the downtown policies in the adopted Official Plan on December 5 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and reconvening at 6:30 p.m. at Burlington City Hall in Council Chambers.

At the meeting, City staff will:

  • Provide an overview of the project.
  • Present a report, PB-89-19: Taking a Closer Look at Downtown: Concepts Discussion, that highlights the themes, principles and land-use concepts developed to show two possible concepts for how downtown Burlington could accommodate growth and development in the future.
  • Share a preliminary review of the public feedback received to date and preliminary directions.

Accessory Suite By-law Amendments Proposed in City of Hamilton Wards 1, 8 & 14

A report proposing to amend the accessory suite by-law in Hamilton temporarily for wards 1, 8 and 14 is going before the Planning Committee on December 3. You can find the plan within the agenda on page 179 here:

RAHB will be presenting a delegation at this Planning Committee meeting, and will keep members informed of any outcomes.

Upcoming Open Houses for GRIDS 2 and MCR

Notice of Open Houses 

The City of Hamilton is holding a second round of Open Houses related to GRIDS 2 and MCR. The dates and times can be found below:


Location Time
Tuesday, November 26, 2019 David Braley Centre


100 Main St W, Hamilton


2 – 4 pm

6 – 8 pm


Thursday, November 28, 2019 Battlefield House Museum & Park (Cellar at Grand)

77 King St W, Stoney Creek


2 – 4 pm

6 – 8 pm

Monday, December 2, 2019 Dundas Town Hall


60 Main Street, Dundas


2 – 4 pm

6 – 8 pm

Wednesday, December 4, 2019 St. Naum of Ohrid Macedonian Orthodox Church (Hall)

1150 Stone Church Road East, Hamilton

2 – 4 pm

6 – 8 pm

The Open Houses will focus on the following topic areas:

  • Residential Intensification and Greenfield Area Density Targets;
  • Employment Land Review; and,
  • Evaluation criteria for future growth options.

What are GRIDS and GRIDS 2?

In 2006, City Council approved the first Growth Related Integrated Development Strategy (GRIDS). GRIDS is an integrated planning process that identified a broad land use structure, associated infrastructure, economic development strategy and financial implications for growth options to serve Hamilton for 30 years. GRIDS planned for growth up to 2031. 

GRIDS 2 is an update to the City of Hamilton’s growth strategy that will plan for growth in employment and population; as well as, how this growth will impact Hamilton’s infrastructure and how it can be accommodated. It is projected that Hamilton will see an increase in 40,000 jobs and 100,000 people. GRIDS 2’s growth strategy is planned for the years 2031 to 2041. 

What is MCR?

A municipal comprehensive review (MCR) is a process that brings together the City of Hamilton’s Official Plans and updated Provincial Plans into conformity. Many of the studies that are required as part of the MCR is also part of Hamilton’s growth strategy – GRIDS 2.  As a result, MCR must be completed concurrently with GRIDS 2. 

Prime Minister Trudeau’s New Federal Cabinet

Trudeau’s federal cabinet has grown by two spots reaching 36 members this term. Below is a full list of the new cabinet. We have noted the cabinet ministers who are from RAHB’s market area at the top

RAHB-area cabinet ministers:

  • Karina Gould: Minister of International Development
  • Filomena Tassi: Minister of Labour.

And the remainder of Trudeau’s new cabinet is as follows:

  • Chrystia Freeland: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intergovernmental Minister Affairs.
  • Anita Anand: Minister of Public Services and Procurement.
  • Navdeep Bains: Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.
  • Carolyn Bennett: Minister of Crown-Indigenous relations.
  • Marie-Claude Bibeau: Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food
  • Bill Blair: Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.
  • Bardish Chagger: Minister of Diversity, Inclusion and Youth.
  • Francois-Philippe Champagne: Minister of Foreign Affairs.
  • Jean-Yves Duclos: President of the Treasury Board.
  • Mona Fortier: Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance.
  • Marc Garneau: Minister of Transport.
  • Steven Guilbeault: Minister of Canadian Heritage.
  • Patty Hajdu: Minister of Health.
  • Ahmed Hussen: Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.
  • Melanie Joly: Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages.
  • Bernadette Jordan: Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.
  • David Lametti: Minister of Justice and Attorney General.
  • Dominic LeBlanc: President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada.
  • Diane Lebouthillier: Minister of National Revenue.
  • Lawrence MacAulay: Minister of Veteran Affairs and Associate Minister of Defense.
  • Catherine McKenna: Minister of Infrastructure and Communities.
  • Marco E. L. Mendicino: Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.
  • Marc Miller: Minister of Indigenous Services.
  • Maryam Monsef: Minister of Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development.
  • Bill Morneau: Minister of Finance.
  • Joyce Murray: Minister of Digital Government.
  • Mary Ng: Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade.
  • Seamus O’Regan: Minister of Natural Resources.
  • Carla Qualtrough: Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion.
  • Pablo Rodriguez: Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
  • Harjit Sajjan: Minister of National Defense.
  • Deb Schulte: Minister of Seniors.
  • Dan Vandal: Minister of Northern Affairs.
  • Jonathan Wilkinson: Minister of Environment and Climate Change.
  • Jim Carr: the Prime Minister’s special representative for the Prairies.

Below is an overview of the promotions, demotions and cabinet rookies.


Name Previous Title/Job New Title/Job
Chrystia Freeland Global Affairs Minister Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
François-Philippe Champagne Infrastructure Minister Global Affairs Minister
Jonathan Willkison Fisheries Minister Environment and climate change files
Seamus O’Regan Indigenous Services Natural resources
Pablo Rodriguez Heritage Minister Government House Leader and cabinet point personal on all matters Quebec


Name Previous Title/Job New Title/Job
Bardish Chagger Government House Leader Portfolio of diversity, inclusion and youth
Kristy Duncan Minister of Science and Sports Deputy House Leader
Ginette Petitpas Taylor Minister of Health Deputy Government Whip

Cabinet Rookies

Cabinet Rookies
Name Previous Title/Job New Title/Job
Anita Anand Law Professor at the University of Toronto Minister of Public Works and Procurements
Steven Guilbeault Environmentalist from Montreal Heritage files
Mona Fortier Director of Communications for La Cité Collégiale Minister of Middle-Class Prosperity and Associate Finance Minister
Marco Mendicino Federal Prosecutor Immigration Minister
Marc Miller Lawyer for Stikeman Elliott LLP Minister of Indigenous Services
Deb Schulte Local and Regional Councillor for the Vaughan City Council and York Regional Council Minister of Seniors
Dan Vandal MP for Saint Boniface—Saint Vital Minister of Northern Affairs

If you have any questions regarding the government relations efforts of RAHB, please contact Wendy in the RAHB Office at or 905.529.8101 x295.

Bill 145 the Trust in Real Estate Services Act, 2019

On November 19, Bill 145, the Trust in Real Estate Services Act, 2019 was introduced into legislation. If passed, Bill 145 will:

  • Permit personal real estate corporations;
  • Protect multiple representation; and,
  • Enable specialist certification.

RAHB is encouraging all members to e-mail your MPP asking them to vote YES in support of Bill 145.

MPPs in the RAHB Market Area

Burlington Jane Mckenna
Oakville – North Burlington Effie Triantafilopoulos
Flamborough — Glanbrook Donna Skelly
Hamilton Centre Andrea Horwath
Hamilton East — Stoney Creek Paul Miller
Hamilton Mountain Monique Taylor
Hamilton West — Ancaster — Dundas Sandy Shaw
Haldimand Toby Barrett
Niagara West Sam Oosterhoff

Hamilton City Council Votes “No” to Investigating Implementing a Municipal Land Transfer Tax

On October 30, at the General Issue Committee Meeting where the budget was being discussed, Mayor Fred Eisenberger brought up the possibility of implementing a Municipal Land Transfer Tax (MLTT) in Hamilton. Discussion was had both against and in favour of the MLTT. Mike Zegarac, General Manager of Finance & Corporate Services at the City of Hamilton, informed the councillors that they cannot simply implement such a tax or revenue generating measure – they would first need to approach the provincial government to gain approval for such a tax collection.

As you may know, the provincial government under Doug Ford rejected York Region’s plan to implement a MLTT this time last year – essentially setting precedent in the matter.

A vote was held at the meeting to inquire with the province about a possible MLTT. The exact wording of the motion was:

“We direct our staff to ask the province if the revenue tools that Toronto was given are available to other municipalities, including Hamilton.”

This motion was voted down 7 to 6 votes. Below are the councillors who voted in favour and against the motion.

Voted in Favour of Investigating the MLTT Voted Against
Mayor Fred Eisenberger Ward 2 – Jason Farr
Ward 1 – Maureen Wilson Ward 5 – Chad Collins
Ward 2 – Nrinder Nann Ward 6 – Tom Jackson
Ward 4 – Sam Merulla Ward 7 – Esther Pauls
Ward 8 – John-Paul Danko Ward 9 – Brad Clark
Ward Ward 11 – Brenda Johnson Ward 10 – Maria Pearson
  Ward 13 – Arlene VanderBeek

RAHB will continue to monitor this issue, and will advocate against such a measure should the discussion at City Hall move forward. We would also work with our partners at OREA and the provincial government for support, as well as the public – as we know, this is not a popular issue with Hamiltonians.

If you have any questions, please contact Wendy in the RAHB office at