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.
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.