Mariko’s Downtown Memory

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.

Moriko’s Downtown Memory

Mariko's Downtown MemoryI was born and raised in Kobe, Japan, and came to Canada in 2004. In the first 5 years I lived in many different places. From Oakville when I arrived, to Whitehorse, then to both the countr

yside of Ontario and the large city of Toronto for several years each. All had good things about them, but none felt quite right for me.

In the spring of 2012, on a beautiful spring day at Spencer Smith Park, I married a man who was born and raised in Burlington, and then moved here immediately after. Burlington has been well-known as one of the best places to live in Canada, and Canada is often ranked in one of the best countries to live in the world. I was thinking that this means Burlington must be one of the best places to live in the world!

My thought was correct. Burlington is just a perfect size for families. It is not too big, but not too small, either. It is convenient to do all sorts of activities here, especially in downtown Burlington.

The cherry blossoms in Spencer Smith Park, a gift from Itabashi, Tokyo, Japan, remind me of my home country. Big festivals like Sound of Music Festival and Ribfest are now downtown Burlington traditions. The coloured leaves on Brant Street in the fall get you in a mood to wander around for shopping, dining, and going to the Burlington Performing Arts Centre. And skating outdoors at Spencer Smith Park is such a fun Canadian activity. You can do all those activities within walking distance which is the best part of downtown Burlington!

A year after our marriage, we had a child who was born in Burlington (Joseph Brant Hospital, same as my husband). When we took her out for the very first time, it was to Spencer Smith Park. I felt somewhat nostalgic because our child’s life would be starting in Burlington. She has been a regular park visitor since then, in all seasons. She went from walking unsteadily, to now climbing everything in sight. She even first learned to skate there. We have always enjoyed so many of the delicious restaurants in downtown Burlington, and lots of the shops, too. My daughter loves books, and since she was a toddler one of her favourite places to visit has been A Different Drummer Books on Locust St. (and it still is).

Mariko's Downtown MemoryIt is impossible for me to pick just one favourite memory of Downtown Burlington, because there are just so many. It has become such a part of our lives, and our daughter growing up.

In these difficult times, we still try to support Downtown businesses however we can. But like everyone else, we are looking forward to the day when we can go to Spencer Smith Park and safely gather sometime very soon. Spencer Smith Park and downtown Burlington must miss us as well!