Burlington and its people sure know how to have fun, even 150 years ago!
Dating back to the 19th century, early settlers of Burlington knew how to relax and enjoy themselves through Arts & Entertainment. Large estates, such as the Ireland House, would throw lavish parties and host formal events like strawberry socials for members of the community. The Ireland family was one of Burlington’s most prominent pioneer families. The Ireland House today is a living museum where people can experience what life was like on a 19th century farm.
The Brant House Hotel and the Brant Inn made the Burlington lakeshore the biggest resort area in the county. Recreational activities at the resorts during this time were boating, swimming, playing croquet and riding horses to name a few. Aside from the outdoor recreational activities one could participate in, the Brant Inn offered live music from some of the best musical acts of the period and boasted a large outdoor dance floor to jive to the tunes.
Burlington’s history of art can be directly traced back to Delos Cline Bell, who was a famous portrait artist that lived in Upper Canada in the early 19th century. Delos is best known for his three portraits of Sir John A. MacDonald, which at one point were showcased at the Royal Ontario Museum.
Burlington has had a strong tradition in Sports & Recreation that dates back to the time of First Nations people who played lacrosse. In the 1900s lawn bowling became Burlington’s sport of choice. Lawn bowling remains a popular past time for many in today’s Burlington. As Burlington’s City Council recognized the needs of its community members for more sporting and recreational facilities, it approved the construction of buildings and bought land to build hockey rinks, baseball and soccer fields.
Today, one of the more famous marathon events in the country is held in the Hamilton-Burlington area. The Around-the-Bay Race is the earliest and longest running footrace in North America.