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Burlington, Ontario

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Burlington in Ontario.

 

Burlington is a city located in the Greater Toronto Area at the western end of Lake Ontario. The city lies between the north shore of Lake Ontario and the ridge of the Niagara Escarpment. Politically, the city is part of Halton Region. Physically, Burlington is roughly in the centre of the Golden Horseshoe region, a dynamic location in Southern Ontario with many attractions. The city has been rated as one of Canada's best places to live, presently ranking as the nation's third best city in which to reside.

Some of the city's attractions include Canada's Largest Ribfest, Sound of Music Festival, Burlington Art Centre, and Spencer Smith Park, all located centrally in close proximity to the Waterfront at Downtown Burlington. The city is a great location for nature lovers as it shares the Royal Botanical Gardens with Hamilton, and has both the Niagara Escarpment (a key world biosphere) and the Iroquoian section of the Bruce Trail in the north end of the city.

Burlington is home to the Royal Botanical Gardens, which has the world’s largest lilac collection. Ontario's botanical garden and National Historic Site of Canada features over 2,700 acres (11 km2) of gardens and nature sanctuaries, including four outdoor display gardens, the Mediterranean Garden under glass, three on-site restaurants, the Gardens' Gift Shop, and festivals.

There are 115 parks and 580 ha of parkland within the city, some of the more popular being Lasalle Park located in Aldershot and Spencer Smith Park newly renovated with an observatory, outdoor pond, water jet play area and restaurant also on the shore of Lake Ontario. Lasalle Park, is owned by the city of Hamilton but is leased by Burlington, which also assumes responsibility for maintenance.

Mount Nemo Conservation Area is the only area in Burlington operated by the Halton Region Conservation Authority although their main headquarters are located in Lowville in north Burlington. Several conservation areas are minutes away and feature year round activities. Bronte Creek Provincial Park is located along our eastern boundary and features a campground, and year round recreational activities and events.

Kerncliff Park, in an abandoned quarry on the boundary with Waterdown, is a naturalized area on the lip of the Niagara Escarpment. The Bruce Trail runs through the park, at many points running along the edge of the cliffs, providing a clear overlook of Burlington, the Burlington Skyway Bridge, Hamilton, and Oakville. On a clear day, one can see the CN Tower in Toronto, approximately 50 kilometres (31 mi) from the park.

The Burlington Art Centre shows various exhibits throughout the year from local to national and houses the largest collection of Canadian ceramics. The Centre’s exhibition spaces, which feature new exhibitions every eight to ten weeks, are fully accessible and are free of charge to visitors.

The Joseph Brant Museum and Ireland House are also popular attractions. Joseph Brant Museum has ongoing exhibits on the history of Burlington, the Eileen Collard Costume Collection, Captain Joseph Brant and the visible storage gallery. Ireland House at Oakridge Farm is a history museum depicting family life from the 1850s to the 1920s.

Burlington offers four indoor and two outdoor pools, four splash pads, nine ice pads, six community centres and nine golf courses. Some of the best hiking in the world can be done in the local sections of the Bruce Trail and the Niagara Escarpment, which is a UNESCO designated World Biosphere Reserve, as well as along the Waterfront Trail that runs along the northern shore of Lake Ontario.

There are no large-scale stadiums, arenas, theatre or opera companies in Burlington. Construction is underway to add 2 more ice surfaces to Appleby Ice Centre to create a 4 pad facility opening in fall of 2010. In 2008, city council approved the construction of a Performing Arts Centre on Locust Street, in the downtown core. The Performing Arts Centre is designed by Diamond and Schmitt Architects who also designed Toronto's Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Construction is well underway for this 750 seat facility, which will open in 2011.

Many annual free festivals take place in Spencer Smith Park, including Canada's Largest Ribfest and the Sound of Music Festival, Canada Day, Children's Festival and Lakeside Festival of Lights. There is also the semi-annual prix fixe Taste of Burlington dining event.

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