Burlington doesn’t need another Wal-Mart

I walk past a pleasant green space every day from Burlington Station. I’ve seen deer, groundhogs, Canada geese and even snow geese on this land. It’s pretty.

But Wal-Mart Canada wants to build a huge ugly store on it. The area is zoned for properties up to 5600m2, but this store is more than twice that, at 12000m2 — and yet city staff are recommending approval.

This is craziness, especially since the project will have a parking lot of at least the same size as the store. Who is going to manage the water runoff from that? There will be extra sets of traffic lights, making Brant Street even more stop-go. This is supposed to be a mixed-use development, yet a single behemoth store doesn’t make for much mixing.

The Burlington Downtown Business Association opposes the Wal-Mart proposal, as do many other locals. Burlington has a fine downtown, and it doesn’t deserve a wage-lowering, opposition-closing cheapo crap emporium in its midst.

There will be a a public meeting on May 17, 2005 commencing at 4:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers, Level 2, City Hall, 426 Brant Street to discuss the proposal. Be there, or be stuck with a big grey box.

Here’s the council letter about the Burlington Wal-Mart proposal. It includes diagrams. Full text of it is in the ‘read more’ section.

first groundhog siting of the year!

8:48 this morning, on the south side of the tracks about half way between Appleby and Burlington, I saw a groundhog digging. Though it’s still a bit parky (something like -6 °C), it does seem that winter might finally be on its way out.

The sight of groundhogs always fills me with more joy than it should. I mean, the idea that a terrier-sized rodent can still live in decent numbers in an urban environment with having been hunted out of existence, amazes this Scot.

Still, there’s a lot of weather to go by before we hear these guys again …

two blue herons

standing in a field at the edge of Burlington; standing close enough to be together, but obliquely apart, like a couple who have said all they ever will.

big bogging box

Every day, I walk past some fields in Burlington. They’re alive with the ringing of crickets, the autumn crops are coming on nicely, and Canada geese pad around warily. Idyllic, no?

Today I discover that this is slated to become a Wal-Mart. Yuk! Can there be anything more hideous than a Wal-Mart? Always Low Wages … Always! should be their motto. Catherine’s hometown square has been destroyed by a gargantuan Mal-Wart just outside the city limits. These stores are ugly, and they smell.

I don’t often find myself agreeing with a Toronto Sun columnist, but Marianne Meed Ward wrote:

What’s right and fair is a living wage. Until Wal-Mart (and other discount retailers, restaurants and businesses) provide it, it’s not ethical to shop there.

in her June 27th column, titled Lining up for poverty.

So, please, Burlington Ontario doesn’t need another Wal-Mart. It needs green spaces.