Adventure #46: Enjoy the Good Life in Downtown Burlington.
“We are so lucky!”
This is a phrase that’s been posted over and over again to my Facebook page by Burlington residents glowing about their dynamic downtown.
With its boutique shops, unique restaurants and first-class services — all in a beautiful waterfront setting — Burlingtonians take great pride in their city core. Downtown Burlington has been evolving since its first beginnings as the commercial centre of what was once known as Wellington Square (I previously wrote about our Downtown Heritage Walking Tour adventure).
One thing that residents boast about is the special feeling they get just walking in the area. One person summed it up recently by saying, “My favourite experience is walking along Brant Street saying hello to people I do not know, and they always answer me with a smile.”
But the vibrant downtown core we know today is no accident. It’s the result of a lot of hard work by the City of Burlington and the Burlington Downtown Business Association (as well as other partners) who have created a “Core Commitment” plan and are putting it into action.
In the past few weeks, three different weekend programs have debuted downtown. We decided to combine them all into one grand adventure:
- Saturdays in the Square
- Fit in the Core
- Centro Farmer’s Market
These summer events infuse downtown with kinetic energy and give people across our
city, and beyond its borders, another reason to make Burlington Downtown a weekend destination.
Saturdays in the Square is a free downtown music series that kicked off with an appearance by 2007 Canadian Idol winner Brian Melo. Until the end of August, this outdoor music event will showcase some of the best musical talent from our region.
This is the type of event that Civic Square (in front of City Hall) was made for. Every table was filled and the shaded sidewalks were lined with people sitting on benches, planters and folding chairs soaking up the summer sunshine and enjoying the vibe. Just as important, those walking past the square were energized by Brian’s music and the scene of others having fun in the sun downtown.
A number of sponsors had booths setup to visit and Coffee Culture offered drinks and snacks for purchase. I understand that a BBQ will be offered starting next week.
At the back of the square, community members were invited to sign a poster congratulating the Sound of of Music Festival for winning ten Pinnacle Awards including the grand prize for best overall festival in the world!
I had the pleasure of meeting some new people too. When David came up to introduce himself, I said that I thought he looked very familiar! After telling me that he helped to manage Jeff’s Guy Shop, I realized that I’ve also seen him model some of their clothes in the weekly emails I receive.
David told me that he loves living in Downtown Burlington and being close to events like this.
I also met up with Leila, the Marketing and Communications Specialist for the Burlington Downtown Business Association.
Leila is a big believer in the power that events like this have in attracting residents from neighbourhoods across Burlington to visit, shop and dine downtown. Leila also helped lead the recent redevelopment and relaunch of the Burlington Downtown website. The new site is always timely in that it focuses on What’s Happening downtown “Right Now” in addition to being an easy-to-use directory of area businesses.
Of course, any kid loves the opportunity to meet a star performer. After his concert, Brian Melo was kind enough to speak with Jr Burlington, take a photo and sign an autograph.
We hope to make it back for more Saturdays in the Square later this summer. The event takes place 11am – 2pm, rain or shine.
Another thing I’ve heard repeatedly on my Facebook page is the recommendation to visit Burlington’s what does cialis do legendary Charcoal Pit restaurant for their giant burgers. This was my chance to check it out.
The Charcoal Pit is about as fancy as its name suggests, but that’s part of the appeal! The restaurant offers all kinds of sandwiches from back bacon to souvlaki to gyros. This is an old school family-run Greek restaurant that has been here for over 40 years.
In addition to the Greek classics, some of their best sellers are the foot long hot dogs and Big Pit burgers.
Many people believe that the Charcoal Pit offers the best burger in town. Indeed, they do make a great burger with whatever trimmings you like and their french fries are to die for!
After devouring our burgers and fries we wanted to top it off with a sweet treat from Crema Di Gelato on the ground floor cialisonline-bestrxshop of the Bunton’s Wharf condos at Lakeshore and Brant.
I first noticed this place at the Sound of Music Festival this year as there was always a long lineup extending out the front door onto their patio.
When we walked inside and saw the incredible variety of flavours, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard more buzz about this place. The photo below represents just a third of the selections available.
The gelato is made with real fruit and fresh in-house filtered Kangen water. Crema Di Gelato is most famous for their nut flavours because they make their own nut butter from fresh nuts roasted to perfection.
On Sunday morning we were back downtown to visit the Centro Farmer’s Market and take a peek at Fit in the Core. This is an open air fitness event happening every Sunday in Downtown Burlington that’s free of charge.
From across Brant Street, we could see the square filled with people enjoying a unique mid-day workout.
The fun thing about Fit in the Core is that every Sunday is something totally different!
Workouts this summer include:
- Full Body Pump & Jump
- Kinetic Yoga
- Tai Chi
- and more!
Each week is hosted by a different instructor and viagra from canada legal all programs are designed to be accessible to all skill levels.
We saw Burlington’s danceScape present QiGong, Yang Style Tai Chi led by instructor Bruce Leun.
Photo Credit: Rolly Astrom
Bruce began Tai Chi and QiGong at the age of 14 and taught Tai Chi to private groups in Hong Kong before moving to Canada. Bruce is part of the instructor team for danceTONE QiGong, Yoga and Meditation at danceScape.
Burlington Downtown General Manager Brain Dean joined in the workout himself and, when the program ended, he encouraged everyone to visit the Centro Farmer’s Market across the street. So that’s exactly what we did!
I previously wrote about what mg does cialis come in our adventure to the Burlington Mall Farmer’s Market that has been run by the Lions Club in our community for over 50 years. The Centro Farmer’s Market is purposefully different. It is a smaller, more foodie-focused market with a goal of “connecting healthy food lovers viagra at walgreens with passionate food producers in the region, sharing in the common vision of living a healthy lifestyle.”
With about a dozen regular vendors, the market has quickly become a staple of downtown Burlington since it was introduced in 2012.
An example of the quality food that can be found here is seen in the newest vendor, Blossom Bakery. Jackie Troup from Jordan (near St. Catharines) has quite a reputation for her gourmet flatbreads prepared with local veggies, fruit and artisan cheeses — all featuring seasonal flavours.
Jackie has also developed quite a following for her sticky flatbread as well as incredible cookies, fruit crisps, scones and prepared seasonal fresh salsas.
A close-up look at her products is mouth canadian pharmacy with online doctor watering!
Damian Wills, from Burlington’s Farm to Table Meats, scours the local area for organic and hormone and pesticide free meets as well as sundries.
Vandenbroek Farms from Campbellville brings in locally & sustainably farmed (soon to be organic certified) vegetables including asparagus, tomatoes, peppers, herbs, english cucumbers, potatoes and more as the season progresses.
Other market vendors include:
- The Wandering Locavore – Local delicacies including fresh Ontario and Quebec cheeses and preserved vegetables
- Terra Teas – Ethical, organic, child labour free teas
- Babalink Farms – Weekly harvest of fresh fruit, herbs, edible flowers & more
- Rudy’s Paletas – Latin American ice pops
- Days of Harvest – Organic seedlings and edible landscapes
- Tamp Coffee Co. – Incredible hand poured coffee experience
- Gibbs Honey – Honey, in-season
- Grain Revolution Breads – Local sustainable grains plus cold pressed and unfiltered olive oils
All this is in addition to Centro Garden’s unique mix of art, design and indoor and outdoor garden products.
For example, their living herb garden is grouped by what dish to match the herb with: chicken, beef, fish, pasta, etc.
Downtown residents and visitors have been clamouring for a farmer’s market for many years. If this is important to you, please support Centro Garden and these vendors by buying their local produce.
Of course, there’s far more to explore downtown than we’ve tackled in this two-day adventure. Next
time you’re headed to the mall, why not try Burlington Downtown instead? The atmosphere is incredible and the small businesses would love to show you their personal brand of service.
Do you have a favourite downtown destination? By sharing your best-kept Burlington secret, you’ll help to spread the word and bring prosperity to those who’ve embraced their entrepreneurial dream while enhancing the vibrancy of our downtown core.