#BurlON Experiences = Amazing Holiday Gifts

Gift cards are a very popular item under the tree these days as it enables…

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#BurlON Experiences = Amazing Holiday Gifts

Novemburger

Some say November is a “blah” month but here in Burlington it’s definitely not blah….

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Novemburger

Progress being made on the redevelopment of the former hospital site

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 – for immediate release

Progress being made on the redevelopment of the former hospital site

Learn more and provide input on new community centre at December 1, 2016 open house and consultation

Work on the town’s five-year redevelopment plans of the former hospital site is underway and residents are invited to attend an open house at Town Hall on December 1, 2016, from 5 to 7 p.m. to find out more about what’s been done so far and next steps.

In addition to the open house, members of the public are invited to participate in one of two consultation sessions to provide input into the new community centre proposed for the site. The sessions run from 3:30-5:30 p.m. or 7-9 p.m. at Town Hall.

“Council is pleased to see the excellent progress being made towards a new community centre, park and potential future housing on this site,” said Oakville Mayor Rob Burton. “It is gratifying for Council to see our extensive plans begin entering their third and final phase, and to continue exploring the opportunity for a unique community health hub in town.”

Last week, Council received a staff report indicating that public consultation would begin later this year for the new community centre’s amenities and activities. As part of the town’s Parks, Recreation and Library Facilities Master Plan the proposed amenities of the centre include an indoor pool (to replace Centennial Pool), gymnasium, youth space, active living space, multi-purpose space and community rooms. At the December 1, 2016, meeting, the town will be seeking input from the community and user groups to confirm these amenities prior to the start of design in 2017.

Since taking possession in April, a number of in-depth studies of the buildings and the land have been completed to better understand the site. The town has assessed the hospital buildings for hazardous materials and for any potential site contamination and planning for the demolition is underway. The town has completed structural assessments of the parking garage and the former Oakville Trafalgar High School (OTHS) – a designated heritage resource. Earlier this year the town also undertook public consultation on the on-street parking restrictions in the area and established a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the town and the Mississauga Halton Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) regarding the potential concept of a community health hub in town.

The overall Former Hospital Site Project is divided into three phases. The town will be entering into Phase 3 (2017-2020), the final phase of this project, which is about reinventing the site. It involves demolishing the building, conducting a community needs assessment, determining the appropriate location for the centre and park, and developing a plan for potential housing on any remaining lands.

Demolition is anticipated to start in 2017 and take eight to12 months to complete. The development of the community centre will take three years to complete with an opening scheduled for September 2020.

For more information visit the Former Hospital Site project page.


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Community invited to Fire Prevention Week Kickoff on September 24, 2016

Wednesday, September 21, 2016 – for immediate release

Community invited to Fire Prevention Week Kickoff on September 24, 2016

Free BBQ, activities, displays and fire safety demonstration for all ages to enjoy!

The Oakville Fire department invites you to have fun while learning about fire safety at the 17th annual Fire Prevention Week Kickoff event on Saturday, September 24, 2016. The event takes place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Oakville Fire training campus at 1144 South Service Road West.

“The theme of this year’s fire prevention week is, don’t wait, check the date of your smoke alarms,” said Fire Chief Brian Durdin. “Our kickoff event provides a great opportunity to remind people that smoke and CO alarms don’t last forever. It’s important to check the expiry date and replace them before they wear out.”

This year’s event includes exciting rescue demonstrations, a chance to check out an air ambulance and the junior firefighter challenge. In addition to fire safety presentations, other activities include Oakville Hydro truck bucket rides, a visit from Sparky the Fire Dog, pony rides, inflatable air rides, a smoke room simulator, the junior firefighter water squirt, and fire safety games for all ages. Children are also encouraged to bring along their favourite stuffed animal for the teddy bear triage offered by St. John’s Ambulance.

Union Gas provided a financial contribution in support of the event, and McDonalds Restaurants of Oakville will provide a free hotdog barbeque.

Free parking and shuttle bus service provided by Oakville Transit will be available at the Bronte GO station. Parking at the training campus is reserved for people with limited mobility or medical conditions.

Find out more about fire safety and prevention.


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Community invited to Fire Prevention Week Kickoff on September 24, 2016

Oakville Children’s Festival welcomes families on July 10, 2016!

Are you ready for some family-friendly fun in the sun? The Town of Oakville is gearing up for the third-annual Oakville Children’s Festival this Sunday, July 10, 2016, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Coronation Park.

Oakville’s beautiful lakeside park will once again transform into an arts and culture playground for kids of all ages and abilities. This year’s festival will feature performances by Lisa Loeb, Sing Along Tim and the Pacifiers, Big Nazo Creature Show, TUDS Oakville Urban Dance Battle featuring Gadfly Dance, and CORPUS’ Camping Royale. Additional shows taking place at the festival include Team T & J, Fiddlefire, and Magicians Mike D’Urzo and Ray Chance.

“I am so pleased to see yet another opportunity for children and families to get involved in this tremendous event, free of charge,” Mayor Rob Burton said. “Giving kids the opportunity to engage in arts and culture at an early age strengthens our cultural community and makes Oakville a better, more livable place for residents of all ages.”

Exciting opportunities for inspiration and learning will continue throughout the park with hands-on building and art activities, dance and music lessons, interactive shows, City Parent Fun Zone and Scavenger Hunt, skateboard ramp, face painting, vintage fire truck, seed plantings, robotics, Oakville Hydro bucket rides, and more!

“We’re so excited about this year’s lineup of events and activities. We have Grammy-award nominated Lisa Loeb. Incredible,” said Robin Howarth, Oakville Children’s Festival Co-Chair. “We’re proud to have more than doubled the number of groups and organizations taking part in this year’s festival. It just keeps getting bigger and better!”

This year’s food features will include the Kinsmen Club of Oakville BBQ lunch, as well as popular food trucks Dairy Kings, Gotham Grill, Green Machine Smoothies, Kona Ice, Ice Cream 4U, Luchador Gourmet Streatery, Meltdown Cheesery, The Mighty Cob, and Tim Hortons.

There is no parking inside Coronation Park and on-street parking is extremely limited. Free bike parking will be available at the festival. Residents and out-of-town guests are encouraged to take the free Oakville Transit shuttle service. Service from Bronte GO Station (west-end bus loop) begins at 9:30 a.m. with buses operating approximately every five minutes to and from the festival. The last shuttle leaves Coronation Park at 5 p.m. All festival events to end by 4 p.m.

Visitors are reminded to bring sunscreen, a blanket and a reusable bottle for the free water refill stations. The Town of Oakville is committed to providing smoke-free outdoor spaces where kids play. Due to large crowds and event excitement, visitors are encouraged to leave their pets at home.

Festival admission is free and the event will take place rain or shine. Coronation Park is located at 1426 Lakeshore Road West. Visit the Oakville Children’s Festival page for the full event schedule.

The Town of Oakville thanks this year’s festival sponsors: City Parent, FirstOntario Credit Union, Knowledge First Financial, Whole Foods Market Oakville, Brockton Collective, Curbex Media, Creative Marketing, DrainStar, Pizza Pienza, SB Simpson Industrial Supplies, and SOCAN Foundation.


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Town’s new video demonstrates what to do if you encounter a coyote

Monday, June 6, 2016 – for immediate release

Town’s new video demonstrates what to do if you encounter a coyote

Hazing video part of the town’s public awareness campaign to reduce coyote conflicts

While seeing a coyote in Oakville is not necessarily cause for alarm, there is an understandable concern when coyotes come a bit too close for comfort. The town’s new coyote hazing video explains what to do if you encounter a coyote on your property, and demonstrates how to “haze” or scare away coyotes so they do not feel comfortable being around people.

Though coyotes are commonly found in urban areas such as Oakville, they are usually wary animals and are not considered to be a significant risk to people. However, intentional and unintentional feeding, tolerating them on our property, and allowing pets to roam freely contribute to coyotes losing their inhibitions towards people and becoming more brazen around domestic pets.

“With a healthy fear of humans, coyotes can co-exist peacefully with us. This short video gives some simple instructions on how we can help maintain a coyote’s fear of humans and deter them from approaching our backyards and play spaces,” said Cindy Toth, director, Environmental Policy.

Hazing involves using actions and loud noises to make the coyote feel uncomfortable and unwelcome. The video shows the simplest method of hazing a coyote is being loud, appearing large and shouting at it to “go away!” Other techniques include spraying with a hose, throwing small sticks, or waving a rake or other large or shiny objects.

While regular hazing around your home and neighbourhood is important, the video advises not to haze coyotes in their natural environment such as woodlands where they may have dens. Staying on trails and keeping dogs on a short leash is especially important this time of year when coyote pups may be in the den or out seeking food such as grasshoppers and mice in wooded or grassy areas.

The video also recommends residents ensure their property is an unwelcome environment by removing attractants such as pet food, compost, and brush piles, and not leaving pets unattended outdoors.

The video was produced in response to an increase in coyote sightings in Oakville last winter and joins a number of measures the town has put in place to help minimize coyote disturbances. The town’s coyote public awareness program includes:

coyote awareness signs in key areas where coyotes have been sighted;
community workshops and education session in areas where increased coyote activity is reported;
wildlife-proof lids on garbage bins throughout the town;
notices to residents in key areas as a reminder to not dump household refuse or food waste in town bins, parks or trails;
enforced town by-laws including littering, property standards, and dogs off leash;
a coyote reporting form and mapping feature on the town’s website.

The coyote hazing video can be found on the town’s YouTube channel or on the coyote page.


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Share your memories of Oakville as part of the Tale of the Town theatre and media project

Monday, May 30, 2016 – for immediate release

Share your memories of Oakville as part of the Tale of the Town theatre and media project

Visit the Storymobile at various locations from June 9 to 26, 2016

Have you watched downtown Oakville change over the years? If you have a compelling community story or memory to share you won’t want to miss the Tale of a Town project coming to Oakville next month.

The Tale of a Town is a site-specific theatre and media project that captures the collective memories of Canada’s main streets, one story at a time. The initiative begins by gathering the histories of main streets and downtown cores through personal interviews with the people who live there.

“Oakville is a town with a rich history and I encourage everyone with a great story to participate in this unique opportunity to bring these stories to life once again” said Mayor Rob Burton.

The Tale of a Town project is currently touring Ontario and the project’s Storymobile will be visiting various locations in Oakville from June 9 to 26, 2016. Stories gathered during these interviews will inspire the creation of a performance installation where submissions will be showcased through a theatrical, interactive platform at the Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts later this year. Stories collected in Ontario will feed into the Tale of a Town-Canada project to become a multi-platform celebration of the country’s main street culture in tribute to Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017.

Oakville residents are invited to visit the Tale of a Town-Oakville Storymobile when it stops at the following locations:

Towne Square:

June 9 (12-5 p.m.), June 10 (4– 9 p.m.), June 11 (8 a.m.–2 p.m.) June 17 (4–9 p.m.), June 18 (8 a.m.–2 p.m.) June 19 (noon–5 p.m.), June 21 (4– 9 p.m.), and June 25 (9 a.m.–2 p.m.)

Lakeside Park:

June 12 (noon–4 p.m.)

Coronation Park:

June 20 (10 a.m.–2 p.m.)

Oakville Soccer Club:

June 24 (5–8 p.m.)

Oakville RibFest at Sheridan College:

June 26 (noon–4 p.m.)

Visit the Tale of the Town-Oakville project page for more information. To book an interview session, email events@oakville.ca


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Results of the 2015 employee survey show the Town of Oakville is a leading municipality in employee engagement

Tuesday, April 5, 2016 – for immediate release

Results of the 2015 employee survey show the Town of Oakville is a leading municipality in employee engagement

Employee engagement is a key factor for organizational success

The overall results of the town’s 2015 employee engagement survey show that the Town of Oakville is a leading municipality in employee engagement and that staff are dedicated to the corporation’s mission, vision and values. With 93 per cent of staff taking part in the survey, results will be used to create action plans that enhance the town’s positive work environment to maintain high levels of employee engagement and customer satisfaction.

“Whether you’re running a business or a city, maintaining an engaged and invested workforce is essential to delivering excellent service,” Mayor Rob Burton said. “I congratulate town management and staff on our continued success in employee engagement. This is a critical part of assuring Oakville is the most livable town in Canada.”

Conducted by Metrics@Work on behalf of the town, the 2015 survey asked town staff to rate 30 different categories to measure employee engagement and satisfaction levels in areas such as co-worker interaction, customer service, workplace safety, opportunities for advancement, organizational satisfaction, diversity, organizational communication, employee involvement and recognition and reward.

Highlights from the 2015 employee engagement survey include:

Ninety-three per cent of staff participated in the survey, an extremely high and favourable rate when compared to Metrics@Work’s municipal sector database. The average response rate for municipalities similar in size to Oakville is 67.6 per cent.
With a grand driver average of 69.7 per cent (an overall average score that indicates employee engagement), the Town of Oakville is considered a leading municipality in employee engagement.
Scores went up in 21 categories with a slight decrease in six areas compared to the 2012 survey, indicating that the overall direction of change and results are very positive.
When Metrics@Work compared the town’s results to the municipal database average, the town scored at least five per cent above the average in 19 out of 27 comparable areas.

Metrics@Work is a human resource management and consulting firm and leading provider of employee surveys for the municipal sector. The town has partnered with them since 2008 to oversee the town’s employee survey every two years. A three year survey cycle is now being used to measure ongoing progress in employee satisfaction.

“The town’s response rate is a strong indication of staff engagement and speaks to the excellent survey practices of the project team and management. It is the highest achieved in our 15-year history of engagement surveying with municipalities in Ontario,” said John Yardley, president, Metrics@Work. “The year-over-year improvement in many areas, plus the overall number of areas that have ranked higher than our municipal database averages, is a testament to the Town of Oakville being a leader in the creation and maintenance of an engaging work environment.”

Oakville’s employee engagement survey is a key tool used in our commitment to performance measurement. The employee survey will be correlated with the results of the 2015 Citizen Survey to develop strategies for continuous improvement.

To read the employee survey staff report, review the April 4, 2016 Council agenda.


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International Women’s Day

 

On March 8th the world celebrated International Women’s Day. In the 98 years since women were granted the ability to vote by the Canadian government, women have made significant contributions to Canadian public and private life.

Take for instance, in Ontario’s political realm, thirty-seven out of 107 Members of Provincial Parliament are female, including the premier, the leader of the third party and 7 ministers. This is the highest number of female MPPs in Ontario’s history and the first time the province has elected as woman as premier.

Late last year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made history by appointing Canada’s first gender-balanced cabinet. Fifteen out of 31 members of his cabinet are women, many of whom are responsible for prominent portfolios.

Within our own industry, women now make up half of all real estate professionals. This is a huge jump from the early 1950s, when barely 5% of REALTORS® were female. This year, OREA has 6 female leaders on our board of directors.

 

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International Women’s Day

5 Web Design Trends for 2016

Web design in 2016 is about to go minimalist. At least that’s what the experts are predicting. If you’re thinking about redesigning your website or about to make your first foray into website ownership, here are five website trends experts say we should expect to dominate this year.

1. Flat Design

Over that past couple of years web design has leaned towards naturalistic imagery ie photographs or 3D illustrations. It seems this trend is rolling back. Now web designers are using 2D images that often look like icons. These image are smaller in terms of file size and so enable pages to load more quickly and websites to work faster.

The flat design look is very modern, it employs bright colours and makes websites more usable because the focus is not on bells or whistles but on enabling you to carry out your tasks with the least amount of distraction, confusion and delay.

2. Responsive web designs

Last April Google rolled out a mobile-friendly update which would rank websites more favourably if they were optimised for mobile devices. Google’s reasoning was simple: websites are used by a growing variety of devices. Regardless of the device and its screen size, websites should display optimally on all devices. Users should not have to zoom in to read copy, should be able to tap buttons with ease, scroll easily and use any other functionality the website offers. Google’s mobile-friendly push encouraged web designers to build sites that would automatically display well on every screen ie respond to the device. Responsive websites can enlarge or shrink content, they can hide items that get in the way or rearrange content so that it’s easier to read. It’s a trend that grew in 2015 and promises to expand further in 2016.

3. Cinemagraphs

It’s hard to believe that the GIF turns 30 next year, but like a fine wine it’s been getting better with age. The blinky, animated graphic has always been playful and fun, and now that millennials are pairing it with captions it has successfully evolved it into a storytelling device with a more sophisticated level of humour.

In 2016 the GIF looks set to advance once more, this time into a cinemagraph. Cast your mind back to Harry Potter and those newspaper covers with one or two animated features. This is the cinemagraph. It’s actually been around for a while, but this this year the more spare, cinematic style of use is likely to become as ubiquitous as the caption.

4. Flash Video

Adobe’s Flash video was once a popular software program for streaming video. However, its popularity has been on the wane since 2010 when Apple decided not to use it on mobile devices claiming that it consumed too much battery and lacked robust security. Flash’s reputation took a further battering in last year when the Flash Player was found to be vulnerable to hacking. Mozilla responded by blocking all versions of Flash for Firefox users and Facebook’s security chief tweeted that it might be time Adobe set an end-of-life date for the software. While the format continues to be used on larger streaming sites like Youtube, this year is likely to bring it closer to retirement.

5. Card-style designs

Cards have proved popular on websites because they make it easy to differentiate between blocks of content, they are easy to illustrate and highly versatile. Cards also fit perfectly into the responsive design trend as they can be made to stack one on top of the other on smaller screens.

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5 Web Design Trends for 2016