Luis Balaguer In The Know Local Burlington

Luis Balaguer

User Experience Expert, Lead Generator, Avid Camper photographed by Rita Zietsma

Three words you'd use to describe your area:

Trendy, Family-oriented, Relaxed

What's your favorite local cafe or coffee shop and why?

Tamp Coffee Co. in Brant Street. The heart of Burlington. This coffee is phenomenal.

Just after the cup of coffee, we could take a walk on Brant Street straight into the Pier, and enjoy the stunning lake views!

You've got a dog lover visiting, where do you go?

I don't have a dog, but I'd take them to the La Salle Park Marina trail, where there is a loop with some interesting paths, and not too crowded that would inspire anyone.

Lake views are amazing throughout the loop and dogs could even wade in a special isolated area as well. Plenty of squirrels for them to have fun with! (No squirrels should be harmed in the process)

Parking is plentiful, and I'd take the dog here all year round, even during the winter, where there is the possibility to walk in the frozen lake, if it's safe.

You need a get-away-from it all escape, where do you go and why?

I'd consider Mount Nemo Conservation Area, a popular location for rock climbers, yet amazing walks, as change of elevations make it a good workout.

Best time to visit is through the fall months, where views are breathtaking.

It's about 15 mins from Downtown Burlington, plenty of parking and a pass required that can be purchased at the entrance; very safe and you can see the CN tower in a good day!

A foodie fanatic is visiting, where do you take them and what will you order?

I'd take them to the Studebaker, a trendy one location and owner operated restaurant that is taking Burlington by storm. Favorite thing in the menu is a Tuna Melt sandwich, but haven't stopped hearing good things about anything in the menu; specially the burgers.

The owner, Naomi, is a mixologist by nature, and offers a great variety of remarkable cocktails and drinks that are Instagram super stars.

You're filling a gift bag that showcases 3 - 5 of your favorite local goods, what do you include?

I'd go to Kelly's Bake Shop to grab some vegan cupcakes, and their recipe book to make some at home. They can't leave Burlington without trying those.

Once there I'd take a bag of a Toronto based coffee called Pilot Coffee Roasters, which is the best coffee that I've ever had.

I'd also take them to grab a box of assorted donuts at The Sunshine Doughnut Co. My favorite treat place as it makes me feel like a kid again!

City explorers unite! Where would you take a visitor if you only had 3 hours to show off your area and why?

I'd take them straight to Brant Street and walk through the Pier, where we would enjoy the lake views. The Brant Street pier is a signature destination and attraction located in Spencer Smith Park at the Waterfront at Downtown Burlington. It extends 137 metres over Lake Ontario that provides views of the lake and Burlington's shoreline.

Depending on the type of visitor, I'd totally recommend a bike ride through Burlington. In this case along Lakeshore Road West from Brant Street, which would take us to our second destination! Not after cycling through the amazing lake views, the Burlington Golf Course, and through the Holy Sepulchre Catholic Cemetery that makes the trip worth stopping and taking some pictures an videos throughout the way. There is an owl living in a tree inside of the cemetery!

We would still have around 2 more hours to go, I'd take them to have lunch at this iconic hot dog parlour called Easterbrooks, founded in 1926. As I agree with the description in their website: " For 4 generations we have been proud to serve our community by providing a dining experience in a clean and pleasant environment that emphasizes exceptional personal service, quality food, a diverse selection, and great value but most importantly a great atmosphere that has not changed over the decades."

After eating I'd take them to stretch out their legs to the Royal Botanical Gardens (RGB): Canada's largest botanical garden, and our third spot. RGB has five distinct formal gardens that are contained with 1,100 hectares of nature reserve, nestled into the slopes of Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve. This would be a picture worth space that would allow to escape from the noise and the routine from every day life. There is a little bit of everything in every season, not only for adults, but kits entertainment and activities, including souvenirs to take home.

We would have realized that time has ran out, and that we barely touched the surface of the RGB and Burlington itself, hoping my visitors come back again!

Sporting teams can bring a community together - what teams do you love to cheer for?

There isn't a very prominent one that I know of in Burlington; although there are 4 teams that people in here love!

But to cheer for them, they need to take the Go Train to Toronto. This is not a hassle, because the train is so well maintained and has tons of space that holds tons of fans in a single ride. You know when there is a game, as you would see fans with their team jerseys all over the place, their jerseys are mostly from the following teams:

- NBA Raptors

- NHL Maple Leafs

- MLS Toronto FC

- MLB Blue Jays.

The Raptors, the NBA team that won the Championship of 2019! What a season to remember. We all went crazy with this.

Only Canadian team in the NBA. The Maple Leafs, the NHL as you know the #1 sport in Canada is hockey.

Something that you see all the time is their disappointed fans every time they go to the play off rounds, as they always loose.

A sport and league that has been taking off is the MLS, and the Toronto FC, who is bringing more and more famous players that are not doing bad at all.

Lastly and not less prominent the MLB Blue Jays, which I haven't had the chance of being on one of their games, people love it. It's in my list of things to do though!

How long have you lived in this incredible place? What brought you here and why you suggest someone else consider moving here?

Burlington has been considered the best city to live in Canada, and ranked in the top spots in several publications for a reason. I have been here for 10 years, and it only took ONE drive-through to know that I wanted to live here.

It is a very family oriented place, where you would be able to find everything from trendy food, outdoor activities, recreation for kids all year round. It's very close to Toronto and a few hours away from other lakes, and historical cities.

One thing that I really like about the city is that the condo high rises haven't hit it too much; making it very special and not very crowded yet.

The neighborhood you call home and what you love about it:

I live in a safe place that me and my family can walk around confidently. I come from a place that safety is a concern, and what I have today is priceless.

I enjoy every minute of living in here and won't consider leaving any time soon.

All About You

With over 17 years of industry experience, a Masters in Communications with Virtual Media, and a BA in Graphic Design, I consider myself an authority within the industry.

I have worked with over 60 brands, six of which belonged to the Fortune 500 Companies.

I have also worked as a University professor for over eight years. I'm currently focusing into building memorable, experiential marketing strategies to help businesses thrive.

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