The Burlington Downtown Business Association is celebrating 40 years of memories! From November 15 – December 15th, 2020 we invited all residents and business owners to join us for a walk down memory lane for a chance to make even more memories with one of 3 grand-prize overnight visits to our beautiful downtown core. View full contest here.
My name is Andrew Shane Rodgers and I was born and raised in Burlington Ontario, third generation “Burlingtonian” with what feels like a tickle trunk full of moments filled with memories. I have a palpable taste for the history of our town, and I’m thrilled to share a few stories with you all.
Remembering stories told by my Grandmother, Marie Margaret Anne, an orphan girl born in 1926 who was adopted to the Green’s farm on Elgin Avenue in the early 30’s. Nana would cart produce on her wagon from the farm to sell at the Aylmer’s canning Factory along the lakeshore. By the 1940’s Nana would listen to the big bands at the Brant Inn and watch the dancers at the “Sky club” which was an outdoor dancing terrace that extended out over Lake Ontario. As a poor farm girl, Nana would watch and enjoy for free from the sides along the train tracks that used to run along the shores.
Later on In 1961 my Mother, Katherine Louise was the 25th baby born at the newly established labour and delivery ward at the Joseph Brant hospital. In the 60’s our town was bustling with growth and becoming what it is today. Burlington’s residents were delighted at the technical advancements our local Hospital was undergoing to meet our city’s growing needs.
In 2016 I was able to start a Guest Services job at Burlington’s Waterfront Hotel (The old TeavelLodge where my Parents were married in 1986). The same location my sweet Nana would bring her family’s produce to in the 30’s, and for me, a full circle moment that felt like an opportunity to become more involved with my hometown and community.
(Spoiler alert-did just that)
It has been a true honour and pleasure working in our downtown core, and getting to know some of our amazing eateries and retail shops that I so enjoy sending my valued guests to.
Venues where I know my guests will be well cared for, and will return to share with me their favourite parts of their nights out in Burlington.
It goes without saying that it takes a village to create something magical and I believe our downtown businesses have set the bar high!!
I have depended on specific spots in our core for many years by sending my guests to places like The Martini House where Barry the Owner and Staff truly go above and beyond to create and experience that lasts a lifetime, or Di Mario’s Trattoria with its warm rustic atmosphere and traditional Italian favourites everyone raves over.
Within walking distance in our core you can experience a world of history, community, connection and togetherness. There is something incredibly unique about our town, from its breathtaking waterfront views to the incredible shops and restaurants, but to me, it’s the people and traditions that our downtown community has carried throughout the decades that sets our humble town apart from the rest(Like our Festival of Lights display in Spencer smith park) .
I’m so grateful to call Burlington my hometown, and will be forever thankful for the opportunity to show guests from around the world, our Burlington.
Signed, Proud “Burlingtonian”
Andrew Shane Rodgers -Guest Services, Waterfront Hotel