Burlington is at the southwestern end of Lake Ontario, just to the north east of Hamilton and the Niagara Peninsula, roughly in the geographic centre of the urban corridor known as the Golden Horseshoe. Burlington has a land area of 187 km2 (72 sq mi). The main urban area is south of the Parkway Belt and Hwy. 407. The land north of this, and north Aldershot is used primarily for agriculture, rural residential and conservation purposes. The Niagara Escarpment, Lake Ontario and the sloping plain between the escarpment and the lake make up the land area of Burlington. The city is no longer a port; sailing vessels in the area are used for recreational purposes and moor at a 215 slip marina in LaSalle Park. The 2.2 km long Skyway Bridge is a prominent landmark.
Burlington's climate is humid continental (Köppen climate classification Dfa) with warm, humid summers and cold, somewhat drier winters. The climate is moderated by its proximity to Lake Ontario. Monthly mean temperatures range from 22.5 °C (72.5 °F) in July to −4.4 °C (24.1 °F) in January. The average annual precipitation is 863 millimetres (34.0 in) of rain and 99 centimetres (39 in) of snow.
Although it shares the temperate climate found in Southern Ontario, its proximity to Lake Ontario moderates winter temperatures and it also benefits from a sheltering effect of the Niagara Escarpment, allowing the most northerly tracts of Carolinian forest to thrive on the Escarpment that runs through western sections of city. Several species of flora and fauna usually found only in more southern climes have their only Canadian presence here including paw-paw, green dragon (Arisaema dracontium), tuckahoe (Peltandra virginica), American columbo (Frasera carolinensis), wall-rue (Asplenium ruta-muraria), plus the Louisiana waterthrush, the hooded warbler, the southern flying squirrel and the rare eastern pipistrelle. Near the visible promontory of Mount Nemo that rises some 200 m (650 ft) above the lake level, a "vertical forest" of white cedar clinging to the Escarpment face includes many small trees that are more than a thousand years old.
Hamilton Harbour, the western end of Lake Ontario, is bounded on its western shore by a large sandbar, now called the Beach strip, that was deposited during the last ice age. A canal bisecting the sandbar allows ships access to Hamilton Harbour, which lies behind the sandbar. The Burlington Bay James N. Allan Skyway (part of the Queen Elizabeth Way), and the Canal Lift Bridge allow access over the canal.
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Updated: 18th February, 2019 4:02 AM.