Burlington Beach Strip Cottages, A Bygone Era!
In 1975 the City of Burlington (Ontario, Canada) began the process to purchase lands on Burlington Beach Strip along Lakeshore Rd. for the purpose of creating Beachway Park.
Up to this time much of the properties were privately owned with little access for the public to an amazing sandy beach at the south-western end of Lake Ontario.
One large land parcel belonged to Canadian National Railways for their railway tracks with their surplus land between the tracks and the beach that had been rented out to people to build cottages. In the mid 1970s the City of Burlington and Halton Conservation Authority purchased all this land from CNR. The tracks were removed and made into a wide multiuse pathway. There were at least 79 cottages that had been built on the CNR rented land with a 99 year lease from CNR, with some dating back to early 1890's. The City of Burlington allowed these 79 cottagers to remain until 1999 at which time they were to move out. Up to this time the City would buy out the cottagers for the value of their cottage and most did this. As can be expected there were a few holdouts.
In addition to purchasing the cottages on this rented land, the City also purchased home/cottages on freehold lands, as they came up for sale, and paid the appraised value of both the land and buildings.
The following pictures of cottages are mostly those on the rented land, except for the six buildings that belonged to Mr. Terry which also included the land.
In the mid 1990s, Beachway Park opened to the public and became an instant hit with the citizens of Burlington.
In 2004 the last cottage was obtained and demolished. This process took 29 years and I had the opportunity to be involved in this project for the entire 29 years, looking after all the demolitions and the construction of Beachway Park until I retired in 2005.
The following photos, which either I have taken myself or collected, show some of the cottages that did exist in a bygone era. Hopefully this Hub will be of interest to any Beach Strip history buffs. Comments are welcomed!
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