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  • News
  • August 05, 2016

Helping Burlington Homeowners Reduce Risk of Flood Damage

Province Supporting Pilot to Assess 4,000 Burlington Homes

Ontario is investing $237,000 in a pilot project that will help Burlington homeowners reduce the risk of basement flooding from severe weather events associated with climate change.

Ontario’s people and businesses are already feeling the effects of climate change. It has damaged the environment and has caused extreme weather events such as flooding, which can damage basements and homes and increase insurance rates.

After experiencing substantial residential flooding in August 2014, Burlington was selected as the ideal location to run the first large-scale basement-flood risk reduction program. Developed by the University of Waterloo’s Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation, the Home Adaptation Assessment Program will:

  • Assess the vulnerability of 4,000 Burlington-area homes to flood damage
  • Make recommendations to help homeowners avoid costly damage from extreme weather
  • Collect the data needed to inform potential expansion of the program to communities across the province.

Lessons learned from the pilot program in Burlington will inform a broader rollout of the program across Ontario.

As a joint pilot between the provincial government, Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation, City of Burlington and participating homeowners, City Council has approved contributing an additional $50,000 the first year with opportunities to reassess in 2017.

Investing in climate adaptation initiatives is part of the government's economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest infrastructure investment in hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and transit in Ontario's history and is investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.

Additional information about the HAAP experimental design, the names of the designated neighbourhoods and registration details will be announced this fall. Sign up here for updates.




“Two years ago, Burlington received two months’ worth of rain in only eight hours, flooding more than 3,000 homes. Through funding provided by the province’s Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program (ODRAP) and with the outstanding flood relief efforts of the Burlington Community Foundation, our community was able to rebuild their homes and get back on their feet within just 10 months.  Because of climate change, we can expect more severe weather events like this. Thanks to the province’s support, homeowners in our area will be able to reduce their risk of basement flooding and minimize damage in the event of another flood.”

— Eleanor McMahon, MPP Burlington


“Ontario recognizes the need to deal with a changing climate. With Ontario’s support for the development of the Home Adaptation Assessment Program pilot, we are designing a program so that people in Burlington have the supports they need to protect their families and property from the negative impacts of climate change.”

— Glen Murray, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change


“In the time since the flood, the City of Burlington and Halton Region have committed significant funding for short-term and long-term flood mitigation initiatives. The investment in this pilot project to help homeowners prevent damage to their properties is representative of our ongoing commitment to decrease the impact of severe weather on our community. We would like to thank the provincial government for their investment, as well as the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation.”

— Rick Goldring, Mayor of Burlington


"Overcoming the aftermath of extreme weather events is a shared responsibility between governments, homeowners and businesses. The Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation commends the provincial government and the City of Burlington on their efforts to lower basement flood potential through the rollout of the Home Adaptation Assessment Program. This program will provide homeowners with the practical information and support they need to protect their homes from the big storms of tomorrow."
— Dr. Blair Feltmate, Head of the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation (ICCA) at the University of Waterloo



  • Flooding is the most common type of natural disaster in Canada and is expected to increase in frequency as a result of climate change.
  • The Insurance Bureau of Canada has identified flooding as the costliest factor affecting catastrophic losses in the housing sector across Canada.
  • In Ontario, flood-related water damage is now the No. 1 cause of household insurance claims since 1998.
  • Since 2004, the province has allocated over $84 million to help people across the province in 60 different municipalities recover from natural disasters.
  • The Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation is a national applied research centre that focuses on mobilizing practical and cost-effective solutions to address climate change and extreme weather events.



Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation

City of Burlington Storm Water Management

Climate Ready

Climate Change Action Plan


Michelle Cochrane

Office of Eleanor McMahon, MPP Burlington



Mayor Rick Goldring



Cheryl Evans

Home Adaptation Assessment Program







Pdf icon HAAP Backgrounder

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