This month we’re moving down the road from Hamilton to the community of Downtown Burlington, a beautiful area known for its gorgeous homes, lakefront views and fantastic businesses. Downtown Burlington has a little bit of everything; perfect for young families, retirees and those looking to escape the fast pace of Toronto, new residents will no doubt find something to excite them. This bustling community is full of entrepreneurial spirit, beautiful spaces and residents who truly care about where they live. It’s home to lively festivals, endless amounts of art + culture and fantastic restaurants that have made it quite the culinary destination.
With quick and easy access to the GO Train and QEW, this is the place to be when you want a central location that has countless amenities available within a stone’s throw. A daily commute or quick trip to areas like Niagara Falls and Toronto are right at hand with many different travel options available, although you’ll find just about everything you need right here.
Want to support local business? Look no further than your front door. Downtown Burlington is home to an incredible array of local shops, services and businesses, all within walking distance of each other. Whether you’re looking to pick up some fresh produce or tasty treats (Centro’s weekly farmer’s market is a must-visit after you peruse the store), find stylish accessories and clothing (stores like Joelle’s and Scrivener’s have you covered, though you’ll find no shortage of options), relax a little bit (Village Cigar Co. is calling your name) or treat yourself to some TLC at one of the area’s many spas and salons, Downtown Burlington has a great selection of shops and services to cover your every need.
Fashion designer Joseph Tassoni, whose line is proudly made in Canada, knows how important it is to put down foundations in a community that supports local business owners, saying that “setting up roots and seeing the community embrace and support you is the perfect formula to keep pushing forward.” Over the past few months, he had to adapt his business to the pandemic and became the first fashion brand in Canada to make reusable face coverings, as a way to support the local community, both economically and from a safety standpoint, and to ensure his employees were able to keep working. His masks are made of comfortable, breathable material, making them great for both short and long wear.
Tassoni has also used his masks as a way to support Joseph Brant Hospital and their COVID-19 efforts, with $5 from each set of masks sold through him going directly to the hospital and “Join the J” masks available through the Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation for a donation, mentioning that “Everything that I do is about supporting local and the hospital is less than a thousand meters from both the boutique and the studio… for me, it just made sense to give back to them.”
What’s next for Tassoni? He and his team have started production on masks for kids (available as pre-orders) and is looking forward to debuting his fall collection which will focus on our new needs, with elements of this new normal being incorporated into various pieces.
Spend time outdoors
If you’re planning to spend some of your free time outdoors, you’re in luck; Downtown Burlington boasts one of the most beautiful waterfront parks you’ll find. With an expansive promenade and lots of green space, Spencer Smith Park is the perfect place to spend a day with the family and is a quick walk from Downtown Burlington’s shops and restaurants. Pack a picnic full of goodies from local spots and enjoy the sunshine on a beautiful day while the kids splash around in the Dofasco Waterjet Park or take a trip down the Waterfront Trail which runs throughout Burlington and connects to other local communities, like neighbouring Oakville and Hamilton. During the winter months, a skate on the frozen Rotary Centennial Pond is just what our Canadian roots call for.
Spencer Smith Park is also, during normal circumstances, home to some of the incredible events that make Burlington special. Enjoy some good old fashioned barbecue during Canada’s Largest Ribfest, indulge in delicious dishes from local restaurants at Lakeside à la Carte or live it up during the Sound of Music Festival, Canada’s largest free music festival.
Looking for a place to call home that has lots of culture and entertainment at hand? Downtown Burlington has a growing and vibrant arts + culture scene that keeps things lively. Entertainment is constantly calling, whether you’re watching a show at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre, laughing it up at Yuk Yuk’s, taking in some live music at a pub or enjoying one of the area’s various festivals and events.
If you prefer to learn and enjoy at your leisure, a visit to the Art Gallery of Burlington might be a little more your speed. With multiple exhibitions per year and a beautiful collection of Canadian art, the gallery is a great stop for those interested in discovering a little more about local, national and international artists and the beautiful works they create, along with opportunities to get hands-on through various classes, though these are currently paused due to COVID.
The newly renovated Joseph Brant Museum offers a glimpse into the Burlington of past, commemorating Mohawk native Joseph Brant, Thayendanegea, Burlington’s first citizen. The museum highlights Burlington’s history through multiple galleries, exhibitions and unique programming to inspire citizens both young and old.
Enjoy a Taste of Burlington
Over the last few years, Burlington has become a foodie’s paradise, with a vast array of restaurants and cuisines readily available. You can take a walk down Brant Street or through surrounding streets and find a handful of spots serving up delectable dishes and drinks that will leave you satisfied but still wanting more! The hard part? With so many great choices available, it can be tough to pick a favourite. Try a little Thai at Pintoh Cuisine, go Vietnamese at Saigon on Brant or enjoy some General Tso Chicken at local favourite Blossom City. Enjoy a craft beer and some grub at Culaccino Bar + Kitchen, indulge in some treats at The Sunshine Doughnut Company, or have a delicious meal by the lake at Pepperwood Bistro – you have a multitude of options within a few blocks.
Taste of Burlington, which runs twice a year (in the summer and winter seasons), aims to make trying different restaurants in Downtown Burlington and the rest of the city both easy and affordable, with many great spots offering delicious prix-fixe menus that allow guests to try out a selection of signature and seasonal dishes. This program gives locals a great opportunity to try out a new spot or revisit a favourite.
Downtown Burlington really does have a little bit of something for everyone, whether you’re a foodie, a culture lover or an outdoor enthusiast, which has led to it consistently being named one of the best communities in Canada. It’s time to discover what makes this area so special for yourself!