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Located along the shore of Lake Ontario, Burlington has a population of over 175,000 people. The city is surrounded by the communities of Oakville, Milton, Cambridge, and Hamilton, and covers over 185 square kilometres in the province’s southern section. Burlington’s location next to Lake Ontario, along with its many parks and golf courses, make it a visually pleasing place to live. Its proximity to larger urban centres like Hamilton provides access to many entertainment, dining, employment, and education options.
Compared to other communities in the Regional Municipality of Halton, Burlington’s housing options are affordable, with average prices ranging from $480,000 to $550,000. Single-family homes in Burlington tend to be on large lots, particularly homes closest to the lakefront. They are often large and include a mix of older and newer builds. Condo options can be found throughout the city and are usually more affordable than single-family homes. They include a mix of newer and oldercomplexes. Vacant land is available on the outskirts of the city for a high price, and commercial retail space can be found mostly in the northern section.
Burlington has not seen much change in vacancy rates over the past several years, and its rental market remains tight, with a vacancy rate of around 1.5%. Rental townhouses are a popular option in the city, making up about 14% of the rental supply and costing about the same as traditional apartment units. While there has been some small growth in the number of rental units available in the area, demand for the units means they are occupied quickly and do not contribute to a higher vacancy rate. Vacancy rates are lower for larger apartment buildings than they are for smaller buildings, likely because of the amenities and locations associated with larger buildings. Average rent costs in Burlington range from $860 for a bachelor apartment to $1,500 for an apartment with three or more bedrooms.
Burlington has a diverse economy, with major industries including advanced manufacturing, business and financial services, food processing and packaging, information and communications technology, life and earth sciences, steel and metal fabrication, and transportation and logistics. Private companies that employ a significant number of Burlington’s workforce include Fearmans Pork Inc., EMC2, Boehringer Ingelheim, Evertz Microsystems, and Cogeco Cable, while major public sector employers include the Halton District School Board, the Halton District Catholic School Board, the City of Burlington, and Joseph Brant Hospital. The unemployment rate in the city is normally between 5% and 6%, which is close to the national rate.
Burlington Transit operates public bus services in the city and has a fleet of 67 vehicles. The buses service about 25 routes throughout the city and provide accessible transportation, even for those with mobility issues or baby strollers. Burlington Transit routes connect residents to other transportation options such as Hamilton Street Railway and Oakville Transit. Burlington is also serviced by GO Transit, Greyhound (long-distance bus), and VIA Rail (train).
Four school boards operate primary and secondary schools in Burlington: Halton District School Board, Halton Catholic District School Board, Conseil scolaire Viamonde, and Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud. The school boards operate close to 40 secular public schools and around 20 Catholic schools. Schools in the area include Alexander’s Public School, Clarksdale Public School, Charles R. Beaudoin Public School, Nelson High School, Robert Bateman High School, and St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Elementary School. Private school options are also available. Burlington’s post-secondary options include Oxford College, with programs in business, dental hygiene, office administration, healthcare, and esthetics; Edge Academy, offering personal support worker courses; and the DeGroote School of Business (affiliated with McMaster University), which provides programs in executive management, health leadership, and technology.Other post-secondary options can be found in nearby communities such as Hamilton and Oakville.
Royal Botanical Gardens, a national historic site, is the largest botanical garden in Canada. There are four formal gardens that feature a wide variety of plants, and 1,100 hectares of nature reserve that provide 27 kilometres of walking trails. The RBG Centre provides indoor and outdoor displays and is host to events and programs throughout the year. The Art Gallery of Burlington holds numerous exhibitions throughout the year, showcasing works by local and national artists. The award-winning gallery also holds classes and workshops for people of all ages and hosts arts-related events throughout the year.