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No fishing, no swimming, no building, no jobs

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A crudely hand-painted sign was put up against the the boards surrounding the Admiral Collingwood Development recently. I haven't been downtown in a few days, so I missed it, but an astute reader caught a picture of it and emailed it to me last night. You can see it on the left.
It reads:
Carrier Pond.
No Fishing. No Swimm(ing).
No Building. No Jobs.

Practical joke or a visible indication of the anger and frustration of local residents? I think the latter.

I can think of 2,500 suspects right away: any of the 2,500 names on a petition presented to the mayor and council asking for council to restart the project this council had cancelled by pulling the permits legally approved by the previous council. That was shrugged off by the mayor, much to the anger of the presenters.

Me, I think we should stock it with some trout, put a few paddle boats on it and turn it into a tourist attraction. That way no one will be able to say this council's legacy is just a hole in the ground. No: it will be a hole in the ground filled with water. But either way, it will still be a hole that by today could have been a major downtown development full of stores and hundreds of residents, all providing taxes to the town, shopping and eating downtown. Not to forget the hundreds of jobs we could have had in the construction phase, and from the stores and the offices there.

All those could-have-beens and should-have-beens are our real legacy. The hole is just the visible reminder.

There's a certain irony in recent email traffic from some councillors concerned the site is an eyesore. Well, dear colleagues, if you hadn't voted to repeal the permits, it would not be in such a state today. If it is an eyesore today, that is not the fault of the developer, but rather of this council.

The next election cannot come soon enough for me. As one who contributed to the carrier campaign, had his sign in my yard, and voted for him, I apologize to anyone who listened to me. How can you trust someone with a hidden agenda? I had assumed that Admiral Collingwood Place would have proceeded. I should be moving in and enjoying my brand new home. Instead I'm mad as Hell!!! I and many others like me will never ever vote for anyone who sided with Chris and blocked the building of my new condo. I lost, business lost, my town lost with that evil decision.........ANYONE BUT CARRIER!!!
Well Ian, I take it you don't share the Mayor's vision of a gentile retirement community with nice old buildings and no working people? Everyone knows working people are uncouth, and some of them smell!!

I think you are too harsh on the Mayor, who I believe has shown excellent judgement (such as endorsing the ignoramus Guergis when we had a smart and talented Collingwood resident running).

I must say that I did have suspicions that you yourself may have had something to do with the sign in question. However, I know you are a big animal lover and the sign appears to call for no swans and no bulldogs. I guess that lets you off the hook. I myself have been out of town, although I lend my support to the culprit from afar.
Ian Chadwick
Mar 20 2009 05:55 AM

The signs - apparently there were two - were removed yesterday, although they did get play in the media. They came down before I had a chance to go and see them myself.

That makes me wonder: was town staff directed to do so? I don't know. But I do wonder who removed them.

That then makes me ask (perhaps rhetorically): is protecting the mayor's reputation an appropriate job for taxpayers' money? (I know, I know, you're going to ask "What reputation?" but that's a discussion for another post...)

The general merriment from their appearance was appreciated as spring begrudgingly returns after a long, hard winter. I doubt we've seen the last of them. The sentiment is widespread. I had heard the site called "Carrier's Folly" in the past, but more recently heard it referred to as "Carrier's Pond." Paris has its Eiffel Tower, New York its Statue of Liberty, Toronto its CN Tower... Collingwood its water-filled hole.

On the other hand, think of it as an opportunity to establish Collingwood as a centre for scientific research. We have a ready-made site for the breeding and development of mosquitoes. Turn the sales centre into a lab and presto: we could become Ontario's first West Nile Virus research centre. Add a few bullrushes, some tadpoles, a few stickleback - the place is perfect! Perhaps we should apply for funding while the government is in a giving mood...

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