Community rallies to save Freeman Station

Burlington's Freeman StationHistoric Freeman Station is safe from the wrecking ball – for now. Council unanimously supported my staff direction in January to put the demolition on hold to allow councillor Blair Lancaster and myself to form an ad hoc citizen’s committee to find a location, use and funding.

The committee cannot consider any locations previously voted on by council (Spencer Smith Park, Ireland House grounds and behind the Burlington Art Centre), and must find independent funding. The city has previously committed to paying relocation fees, which are about the same as the what the city would have to pay to demolish the station.

Already, many residents have stepped forward to get involved, pledging time, skills and money to the project.

There are several ways you can help. We’re accepting pledges for donations until a bank account is set up. We’re also particularly interested in hearing from residents with expertise in heritage restoration, construction and engineering; grant application writing; fund-raising; incorporating a non-profit organization; administration and bookkeeping; and putting in sweat equity.

My take:The majority of residents I heard from want to save the Freeman Station, as do I. It’s an important heritage resource we need to preserve. However, a number of residents, and some members of council, don’t want tax dollars going to this project. With the formation of the ad hoc citizens committee, we’ve reached a win-win solution that saves the station using primarily community fund-raising, donated goods and services, and grants. I’m confident the community will be able to do what City Hall couldn’t, based on the outpouring of support we’ve already received.

We’re held our first public meeting Thurs. Feb. 10, 7-9pm, Rm 247 at City Hall. You can still be involved, even if you missed it. Find out more by contacting my assistant Georgie Gartside at 905-335-7600, x 7368, or gartsideg@burlington.ca.

Volunteers Needed Sat. Feb. 12

We also have an immediate opportunity for volunteers to take a 1-2 hour shift to staff our Freeman Station booth at the Heritage Fair at Central Public Library, Sat. Feb. 12, between 9-3:30. We will provide materials; we need volunteers. If you can help, please contact Georgie.

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Councillor Marianne Meed Ward
Please check out the articles covering issues that you’ve told me matter to you. I value your feedback on them because it informs the decisions I make. If you want to let me or others know about concerns or events in your neighbourhood, please get in touch.

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  1. Hi Marianne, I am pleased to hear about Freeman Station. It is amazing how disillusioned some councillors are in regards to taxpayers dollars. It is not okay to spend $ to protect a piece of history but we can waste taxpayers dollars on an unnecessary pier, legal costs and city employee wages to handle this pier disaster. Come on people…Spencer Smith was beautiful without a million dollar and then some pier

  2. Why do we not put the freeman station in hidden valley park and get all the area model train clubs involved too. There are clubs in hamilton and milton too as for the pier i don’t think we should spend any more money time on this subject. just let the high school students taking art do a art project paint a picture to represent the pitfalls of spending tax payers money on useless projects. award a winner of the best painting must be done in iol paint then stand hang all the pics on the unfinished pier for all visitors and taxpayer sto see it would be a very good attraction for the tourist and make world news. to it would attract people from all over the world a big talking point too on twitter and the news and it would involve young people in getting involved with their city too . e c

  3. Hello Marianne, how about the beach area between the lift bridge and Maple intersection. This area is very popular with the public and perhaps the Freeman Station could be turned into a restaurant come bath house with changing rooms. I walk this stretch frequently and believe it would be an ideal spot.

    • then the city would be charging parking fees and we have change rooms showers on the pavilion beach now leave the beach alone please

What's your take?