Michael Lansdown: a man who shaped Oakville passed

Michael Lansdown
Michael Lansdown: a man who shaped Oakville passed
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Nolan A Machan

Nolan A Machan

Nolan Machan is the Publisher of OakvilleNews.Org and has over 41 years of local Oakville knowledge. He is committed to providing Oakville residents with the most up-to-date information about our great town.

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On April 9th Michael Lansdown passed. He was more than a regional councillor for Ward 1, but was a person whose positive impact on Oakville can not be forgotten.

The Oakville legacy of Michael Lansdown

Bronte Creek Provincial Park

As you drive along the QEW just east of Burloak Drive look North. It’s the Bronte Creek Provincial Park. The park is a vital as well as integral part of Oakville; however, it wasn’t always that way. He realized in the early 1990’s that if the park was going to continue, something needed to be done.

So, he founded the Friends of Bronte Creek Park, because losing the park to development was a possibility if something wasn’t done. Initially, the Friends of Bronte Creek Provincial Park was just one person Michael Lansdown, but soon others joined.

As a group, they recognized that money was required to start projects in order to keep the park interesting.

Here is how he ensured Bronte Creek Provincial Park’s survival.

  • hired summer students to run a gift shop at the park and to help drive the tractor.
  • became a tractor driver.
  • started the wagon rides: these rides toured the park and collected donations from the riders.  This project involved getting a safe trailer built for the passengers.
  • became a beekeeper, he lovingly tended to the bees at the park, with the help of his wife harvested the honey and sold the honey at the Parks gift shop.
  • worried about gorgeous Oak trees on the Park property, he got Davey Trees in to prune the magnificent oaks and brought his family in to spread mulch under the trees to protect the roots and preserve moisture.
  • ran an Earth Day site in front of the Park gates every year since his grandchildren were tiny. He would set up an awning and hand out gloves and garbage bags, he always ensured that there was water and timbits (he loved donuts and this was mostly his excuse to buy them).
  • developed coops and reintroduced peahens to the Park as it only had a lone male peacock at the time – Percy.
  • wore period costume along with his wife and worked the Sugaring Off
  • put in coin operated animal feeders in the barns as a means to raise money for the Friends, this meant he was always emptying the coins and filling the feeders.
  • went to meetings where Friends groups from other Provincial Parks would meet and share best practices.
  • attended conferences on beekeeping to hone his skills.

Halton Multicultural Council

Mr. Lansdown was also involved with the Halton Multicultural Council. He devoted a great deal of time and energy. He volunteered to do the following:

  • taught new senior Canadians to speak English
  • promoted english language skills for newcomers so they could understand Canadian culture and bring them into the community.
  • took his students on field trips to the Town Hall to see what a council meeting looked like
  • fought to get the free bus fare on Mondays for seniors when he realised that many of his students could not afford the bus.
  • He fought to get the free bus fare on Mondays for seniors when he realized that many of his students could not afford the bus.
  • loved the stories that his students would share with him

From 2003 to 2007 Michael Lansdown became the Regional Councillor for Ward 1.

For his service he received the Oakville Community Spirit Award and the Senior Volunteer of the Year for the Province of Ontario Award.

He was 85. He leaves behind his wife Elizabeth, his children Sarah and Christopher, and his three grandchildren.

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Michael Lansdown

Michael Lansdown with his grandchildren

On April 23rd a memorial service will be held at the CHURCH OF THE EPIPHANY starting at 11:00 a.m.

Michael Lansdown

Michael and Elizabeth Lansdown

“Michael was a founding member of Oakville Green who was committed to preserving as much open space-environmentally sensitive area – as possible within the mandated Provincial growth requirement.

When he subsequently ran‎ for council, Ward 1, he quickly learned more about provincial legislation and the role of the OMB. Michael was gracious enough to comment on the significance of Provincial control that limited the options of Municipal council.

The latter put into perspective what I had shared with the public during the Official Plan process. Michael was always anxious and open to learn: to share his time, talent and treasure. For years an active member of Epiphany Anglican Church, boating community and Canadian Club.

Michael always came prepared for every committee/council meeting and thus made a meaningful contribution as he worked hard to represent not only the people of Bronte but the entire town.

His work as a community volunteer and member of Oakville and Regional Council made a difference as he supported the democratic process to improve the quality of life of all.” – Ann Mulvale past Oakville Mayor

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