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Jan. 29, 2022 | Saturday
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Residents split on idea of rainbow crosswalk, Lake Report survey finds
Volunteers help paint a rainbow sidewalk at Niagara College. (Brittany Carter)

Niagara-on-the-Lake residents are narrowly in favour of a rainbow Pride crosswalk on Queen Street, a survey by The Lake Report has found.

As of Monday, 402 people had answered the brief online survey at surveymonkey.com/r/notlcrosswalk

Of those respondents, 341 indicated they are residents of Niagara-on-the-Lake.

And of those who said they live in NOTL, 175 people (51.32 per cent) said they support a rainbow crosswalk, while 146 people (42.82 per cent) indicated they were opposed to the idea. Another 20 people (5.87 per cent) said they didn't care either way.

The survey asked respondents to leave a brief explanation of their reasons for or against the crosswalk. At its final meeting of 2021, town council approved its capital budget for the coming year, which includes $15,000 for the crosswalk.

The findings are not sourced from a scientifically constructed sample of the NOTL population. They should be considered only as a snapshot of the opinions of some readers of The Lake Report and not as a measure of overall community opinion.

There were mixed results, with many of the supporters saying they think it's the right thing to do to show inclusion to the LGBTQ+ community in NOTL, while others simply said they think it would look nice.

On the other hand, many opposed to the idea said they didn't think a rainbow crosswalk was a suitable aesthetic for NOTL's downtown historic area, that it was an unnecessary expense for the town and some found the whole idea "offensive."

Survey respondents who were in favour of the crosswalk offered comments such as:

"We are the friendliest town in Canada. This is about sending a message of love and acceptance."

"If this helps just one person feel safe and accepted, why not?"

"My question would be, why not? The rainbow is a symbol of inclusion. It sends a message of safety and respect — how can this be a bad thing? It tells people something about our town and what we value far which extends beyond only LGBTQ rights."

Those on the opposing side left comments such as:

"I believe that the best way for people to feel accepted is to stop trying so darn hard to make them feel special. As a woman of colour, I want to walk down the street and be accepted like everyone else. Would I like to see a corner celebrating Black, Indigenous, people of colour (BIPOC)? Absolutely not!"

"It’s not necessary. There has never been anything within the downtown character or atmosphere to suggest that it is unwelcoming to anyone. A brightly coloured crosswalk would be an unsightly addition and spoil the historical character of the town."

"God created humanity. He created marriage between a man and a women. Period."

The survey is still open for respondents. The poll will only accept one answer per IP address. Only answers from people who indicated they are residents of NOTL were considered in calculating the results.

Of those who indicated they did not live in NOTL, 43 (75.44 per cent) were supportive of the crosswalk, while 12 people (21.05 per cent) were not. Two people (3.51 per cent) said they didn't care either way.

See NiagaraNow.com for a larger selection of comments pro and con.

 

BELOW ARE MORE OF THE INDIVIDUAL SURVEY ANSWERS

 

IN FAVOUR:

"Shows community support and awareness."

"It's important for representation."

"Why not? Be an ally!"

"Welcoming all tourists."

"It’s welcoming to one and all. Isn’t that what kindness is about."

"Because we should make it clear the city is supportive and inclusive of the LGTBQ+ community. Plus, some colour would spruce up the Old Town a bit!"

"Would love for notl to feel more inclusive and welcoming to all of our diverse visitors."

"it remains important to recognize that members of the the 2SLGBTQ+ community have long been victims of violence, as have Indigenous Peoples, racialized communities, immigrants, religious groups and many others. This act reminds us of the need to continue to challenge and resist all forms of oppression, including homophobia and transphobia, wherever they may arise."

"We are the friendliest town in Canada. This is about sending a message of love and acceptance."

"Show the world our pride."

"It is the least we can do to show the LGBTQ that we do indeed care."

"It is an important statement."

"Installing and maintaining a rainbow crosswalk is a simple and inclusive step. It is a positive and welcoming gesture. It is pretty."

"A symbol of love and tolerance for all. We never have enough of that. A no-brainer decision, what are we waiting for?"

"As an LGBTQ2IA+ person, it would make me feel more welcome in Historic Downtown, where I work. Also, it's just coloured pavement, it's not like we're proposing tearing down the Prince of Wales Hotel or something. It's a small sign that lets me know I'm mostly safe to be out downtown."

"This is a small way we can show love and support and start to be a more inclusive community! Let’s do it!"

"It is the right thing to do and will add some colour.  It also shows we are a progressive and inclusive community."

"My wife and I are proud residents of Old Town. Love is love so we believe in inclusivity. Rainbow makes people happy. Bright like life should be so let’s do it."

"To embrace diversity!"

"Provides a feeling of inclusion. Besides, rainbows are pretty."

"Because it would be fun, attractive and show that NOTL is a supporter of inclusivity."

"Something like this long overdue in our town!"

"I think the question should be "why not do this" rather than "why do this." Who can it possiby hurt?"

"They are inclusive, supportive, cheerful and friendly. These traits should be encouraged in every way."

"It’s a bare minimum, with little expense and effort, to show an inclusive attitude."

"2021"

"Its a good way to show our support to the LGBTQ+ community"

"I think they are beautiful!"

"I support diversity in our community and a highly visible cross walk makes the right statement."

"Supports those that have been and are still being marginalized and excluded and shows that NOTL is supportive of diversity and inclusion."

"Born and raised here in town it would be nice to see not for us, we are adults, but having that here it's for people that come and visit and live here and know that they are supported and it is a safe place for them."

"It will send the message that this town of mostly white, privileged residents, is welcoming of all people. It will also help to delineate the crosswalk. It will give cars and pedestrians something to ponder while they WAIT their turn at the four-way. That intersection is mayhem.  Perhaps a rainbow crosswalk will help inject a little thoughtfulness."

"Everyone needs to feel welcome."

"This town needs to talk about LGBTQ much more than it does. People are still showing on this and if this does nothing more than raise awareness and get people talking I’m all for it."

"NOTL needs diversity and more acceptance. We should advocate for others and be a more accepting community."

"If this helps just 1 person feel safe and accepted, why not."

"Council have decided and I agree. No more to be said."

"NOTL needs to continue to move in a more inclusive, progressive and welcoming direction and this would be a symbol of that movement."

"Let's be inclusive! Welcome to the 21 century!"

"This town needs to be inclusive of all people in all walks of life regardless of colour, sex, religion, sexual preference etc.  The rainbow crosswalk will signal that we accept folks from all groups."

"Just make the sidewalk. Who cares? People are people. Just support them."

"Why not?" (By several people)

"We need to show support to all. And stop discrimination."

"We have many visitors visiting the town it would be a warm welcome that anyone is accepted no matter there gender. I understand perhaps concerns that it doesn't go well with the charm of the Victorian houses but it is perhaps time we let a bit of modern world in. Love is love."

"Sounds like a great idea."

"It’s a great way to bring awareness."

"To be welcoming and inclusive."

"As long as it is done by the volunteers and not from the taxpayers money — yes."

"We live in a town that has sadly not evolved into a place of inclusiveness … we are no longer living in a world of traditional roles. Showing the gay community that they are accepted and part of the fabric that now is part of the community. From my short time being here I can see there is plenty of racism and disdain for anyone or anything that is not considered normal. Too much hatred. All one has to do is sign up for NOTL4all on Facebook and see how divided this town is, and filled with adult bullies."

"NOTL needs to be accepting of all human sexual orientation."

"A rainbow crosswalk will show visitors that NOTL is a community that is welcoming to all and safe for everyone."

"Would be great to show representation."

"It signifies acceptance of the LGBT community and showcases to the worldly tourists that NOTL is inclusive and progressive— and not a town full of old-fashioned people with outdated ideas from prejudice and ignorance."

"It’s inclusive, compassionate, and fun."

"I don’t understand why we wouldn’t!!"

"It is one of the best ways to visually show the community iOS inclusive and sends a positive message, especially to LGBTQ2 youth."

"Inclusion. You need to show it."

"The town needs to embrace diversity."

"A crosswalk is a reminder to those of us with power to look out for the vulnerable people, to respect their right of way, and to let them pass unharmed."

"Everyone needs to be included. The fact that in 2021 there are people who are scared to be gay because they are worried about getting beaten or killed. It has to stop. This will be huge if you can have a Pride sidewalk"

"Niagara-on-the-Lake has a reputation to be a snobby, older community. I think this is a step in the right direction to show how loving and inclusive we can be. Everyone is welcome. :)"

"I think this is really important. A rainbow crosswalk will be a symbol of inclusivity. It’s warm and welcome. A sign that NOTL is for ALL. My vote is YES to the rainbow crosswalk."

"Queen Street is one of the most central and visible locations within the area. Placement here would bring great visabilty to the cross walk."

"I would expect town council to support inclusiveness. Young people need to know that they are safe and supported."

"The world needs more love right now."

"The community should absolutely show it is inclusive! Something so simple will mean a lot."

"To show that we are inclusive of all people regardless of sex race and orientation."

"The hate people display in opposition is horrific. If painting a rainbow crosswalk let’s even just one person know we offer a safe, welcoming community, it is worth it."

"I am gay. This supports my lifestyle."

"I feel as a community we should show support."

"Why wouldn't you want it?!"

"I think it would be beautiful  and a way to include everyone in town."

"It's a great idea."

"Why wouldn’t we do something so simple to support members of our community?"

"It is time for NOTL to broaden its look towards many aspects, people of different religions, people of colour. It is simply put, time NOTL!"

"These crosswalks have been proven to communicate to questioning youth that they are accepted. An established 50-year-old gay man doesn’t need it, but some conflicted teen might need it."

"Something so simple town can do to show unity and inclusion."

"I would love any crosswalk! This will help with pedestrians crossing the road in a safe way. A rainbow would just be beautiful."

"We are seen as an older conservative town which alienates visitors and residents who are part of the LGBTQ community. Why not show inclusitivity where you can?"

"Visible inclusion in a straight world. Of course straight people may never understand and they may think we are included however, we are not. Visible declaration to make everyone stop, look, listen and reflect that the world is not only about you, it's about us and that has so may colours and vibes."

"I feel that a crosswalk that is both pretty and shows support for a marginalized community is a wonderful idea. Money well spent to make the town a more inclusive space. It is also certainly a better way to spend our tax dollars than a lot of things this town does!"

"There isn’t enough kindness in the world. Sending a message of inclusivity is a great way to show some kindness!"

"Rite thing to do."

"2SLGBTQ+ communities have faced many hardships and have fought tooth and nail to have the same rights as cis gender and heterosexual individuals. In Canada, homosexuality was illegal until 1969. Same-sex marriage was not legalized until 2005. Not until 2017 was Bill C-16 passed, adding gender identity and gender expression to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination in the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code. We celebrate many other triumphs in relation to people's rights and identities in NOTL (war victories, Canada Day, women's rights). If you have a problem with celebrating and acknowledging the victories of 2SLGBTQ+ people, you clearly have the privilege of never having to fight for your rights within your lifetime, and lack the capacity to empathize with someone different than yourself. One should consider deep reflection should this be the case. Pride crosswalks are symbols to those facing ongoing experiences of oppression, discrimination and harassment that there is hope and that they are support by their municipality. I would hope Lord Mayor Disero would want to spread that message to residence and visitors of NOTL. Thank you for your attention to this matter."

"To have its full effect in regards to social and economic impact it needs to be where the majority of citizens and tourist trave.l"

"I am all for the rainbow crosswalk but I don't know if Queen Street is the best intersection for it. Maybe at Mary Street and Missasaugua or in Virgil at Creek Road and Hwy. 55 would be a better place as people would see it entering the town."

"It’s the right thing to do!"

"If it is a way of showing that our town is inclusive, I’m all for it."

"I feel it would take a positive step towards showing that our town is welcoming to everyone and is dedicated to moving toeards a culture of peace and inclusion (note that the rainbow flag is also a symbol of peace)."

"A rainbow crosswalk demonstrates to citizens from around the world that NOTL is a welcoming, inclusive community. It is an important symbol of a loving, caring community. Let’s do this. There are no reasons not to."

"Inclusivity is of the utmost importance in this works."

"This gesture is a public demonstration of support for a marginalized group of people, both for those who live in our town and for those who visit. It’s a way of saying we see you, you belong here and you matter. As heterosexual cis gendered people, who are in the majority,  we have a responsibility to see, welcome and make room for all in our community. This rainbow crosswalk is a visible representation of this message."

"Believe in inclusion."

"It's the 21st century. Let's demonstrate love for all."

"Right thing to do."

"It’s nice to be an inclusive town."

"A rainbow crosswalk would be a nice gesture in support of the LGBTQ people, who have been abused throughout history (and still are in much of the world today) for being who they are. A welcoming symbol like a rainbow crosswalk would show that NOTL is a compassionate place."

"I believe in inclusivity and with that, excluding a segment of our society is not even a consideration.  I believe in acceptance of others even if their choices are not my choices."

"Wholeheartedly support inclusion for ALL! Yes we should do it."

"People in this town have to learn to be inclusive of anyone who is not a WASP."

"My question would be why not?  The rainbow is a symbol of inclusion it sends a message of safety and respect – how can this be a bad thing? It tells people something about our town and what we value far which extends beyond only LGBTQ rights."

"I believe in inclusivity."

"We need to foster inclusivity."

"I'm gay and I think this would be funky fresh."

"Everyone in society needs to see things 'out loud' to show they are included, supported and truly a part of the community. By installing this, the vast LGBTQ community can see themselves represented, and important."

"I think it would show great support to a part of our community and visitors that we are allies."

"It would show support to marginalized people."

"The letters to the editor this week in opposition of the sidewalk were ridiculous. NOTL is certainly viewed by many as an exclusive town, and is stereotyped as a rich white old conservative place. This sidewalk would be one small helpful step in being more inclusive."

"I think that people over think something like this. I've seen the one in Iceland and it actually adds a nice touch to the city of Reykjavik. Besides representing the LGTBQ community, who doesn't love a rainbow?"

"It's good to support LGBT+"

"Let’s welcome EVERYONE to our town. I would love another crosswalk that indicates we are inclusive of every race & religion as well."

"Rainbows are not only visually pleasing and bring a sense of joy, but it's a simple way to show that we are an accepting community. Nobody should feel unwelcome in the one of the so-called "friendliest" towns in Canada!"

"It is only paint and anyone against it is a homophobe."

"We've got a LOT of diversity here, from very open-minded all to way to heads up their own arses. Showing everyone, including ourselves, we are more inclusive/woke/with it/caring/understanding of everyone, wouldn't hurt. It will eventually find its way to all communities ... and when they come to check us out, they'll bring some money. Maybe stay awhile? Who knows, some of our dogmatized may even open their minds and see that LGTBQ+ sex is more than sex ... that they are forms of love. And if there is anything we need more of in this world, it's certainly more love."

"I feel we need to be inclusive. It’s very important that everyone feels welcomed."

"An expression of solidarity with people who have been historically persecuted and defamed. It is not preferential treatment or a diminishment of the injustices sustained by other persecuted groups or individuals. Rather, like our collective realization of the transgressions against First Nations peoples, and our acknowledgement that Black lives matter, a small but powerfully symbolic statement that such abhorrent inequalities can no longer be tolerated towards anyone, in a caring, humane, inclusive, compassionate, and equitable society."

"Equality does not equal equity. Some groups who have been historically marginalized require support to be better integrated into mainstream society. I work within a college environment and find that this current dialogue in NOTL surrounding the rainbow crosswalk is disheartening.  This community – and in particular youth within this community – need to know they're loved, supported and important within our community.  Gestures like this help reinforce this point."

"I believe it would be a potent symbol of inclusivity in a town that is less than inclusive."

"Inclusivity."

"Shouldn’t all proud NOTLers want a symbol of support and inclusion in our beautiful town?"

"Lots of anti-gay sentiment in the area of St Davids. People want to live in a safe, secure place. Gays are people too, they work, worship God, are good neighbours. Many people scorn the unknown – gays need acceptance, are people who bleed red, obey laws & don't want trouble but equal opportunity to live in peace. This endeavour would show acceptance of whats been considered a subculture. Would be kind & passionate thing to do."

"I have many friends and family who are part of the LGBTQ community. Love is love and it is time for us all to accept all kinds of love."

"As I read the extensive back and forth in both the Lake Report and the Local, I can’t help but read between the lines. All this talk about majority opinions, recognizing one group over another is simply a ruse to hide behind inherent discrimination."

"A rainbow crosswalk would be beautiful and tell our fellow LGBT residents that they are supported here. I don’t know why anyone would argue against that."

"It’s an inexpensive way to demonstrate tolerance. Come on, NOTLers, it’s time to enter the 21st century  …"

"Who wouldn’t want a colourful crosswalk in our beautiful town. I support LBGTQ Pride and the symbolism of acceptance a crosswalk signifies. I want to live in a town like that."

"It would be an indication to the LGBTQ plus community that Niagara on the lake is a safe place to come to. I also think that it would stir constructive discussion which would lead to a learning experience for those people in Niagara on the lake who have had very little exposure to Or understanding of the LGBTQ+ community."

"I'm neither pro or con. I'm more why not?"

"Why not? The mere definition of the word “inclusivity” should be a good enough reason.  Move on people."

"NOTL is a diverse town with many LGBQT+ residents and tourists. Despite that, it hasn’t always felt like a safe space for LGBQT+ children growing up there. A rainbow crosswalk would help send the message that they are loved, welcomed, safe and appreciated."

"It is a simple way of showing support for the LGBTQ community. Contrary to opinions expressed by some letter writers, this community continues to face hurdles: https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/statistics-canada-lgbtq-pride-report-1.6066638 Frankly I am stunned anyone objects to it, especially considering how much NOTL spends on things like flowers on Queen Street."

"Absolutely should be done. Recognizing many other previously disenfranchised seems to be fine (which it should) for some, but I fail to understand why this disenfranchised part of our community have to fight to get equality and recognition by us all that things need to change. The council are dithering on what should have been an immediate “yes” decision."

"This is an appropriate action to take to show our support for the LGBTQ community."

"It’s time to show acceptance /safety/live for people who for centuries have been abused."

“Love one another.”

"No need to explain anything it’s the right thing to do."

"Yes, but in front on the welcome garden at the end of Mississagua Street. Safer to take selfiesā¤"

"Small gesture to recognize and welcome a community that has been discriminated against for decades."

"Let’s make my town NOTL welcome and inclusive for all residents and visitors."

"This town has way too many conservative old people and we need to start trying to bring in the young people."

"My parents are gay, we live here and attend a local school. This would be amazing."

"Being a safe and inclusive place for the LGBTQ2+ community means we are a safe place for every single human being … every woman, child, boy, refugee, immigrant, senior or even those in the process of learning to be tolerant. The rainbow represents love and acceptance for all and is beyond the boundaries of sexuality."

 

AGAINST:

"No thanks."

"It has a message attached. A crosswalk should just be a crosswalk. There are conventional communication media for messages."

"I believe that the best way for people to feel accepted is to stop trying so darn hard to make them feel special. As a woman of colour, I want to walk down the street and be accepted like everyone else. Would I like to see a corner celebrating Black, Indigenous, people of colour (BIPOC)? Absolutely not!"

"We seem to be separating society rather than bringing us all together. Different religions, different skin colours, different sexes, different languages, and on and on ... when do we stop and just say, "We are all human beings." By bringing attention to differences we bring fear of these differences into the equation – we can celebrate each other and our differences as friends and family."

"Not needed."

"The bright rainbow colours would be aesthetically attractive, and I am fully sympathetic to the LGBT+ community. However, I have always regarded the rainbow as a neutral, universal wonder-of-nature symbol of optimism, good fortune, better future&weather and diversity in unity and harmony. I am disappointed that it has now become identified with a much narrower meaning/purpose. As laudable as that meaning/purpose may be, there are many others equally worthy. I am also concerned about the prospect that rainbow crosswalks could generate a host of calls for crosswalks, or equivalents, recognizing other equally worthy individual causes. For these reasons, I reluctantly prefer no rainbow crosswalks.  PS How about a yellow brick road pattern; or, a checkerboard design incorporating all colours; or, UN blue with white peace doves; or, neutral 'murals'(terrals???) reflecting the whole NOTL community, selected from designs submitted by local artists or groups."

"Crosswalks are for public safety not political statements."

"It’s not necessary. There has never been anything within the downtown character or atmosphere to suggest that it is unwelcoming to anyone. A brightly coloured crosswalk would be an unsightly addition and spoil the historical character of the town."

"Garish – would spoil the historical character."

"Our town is historic and a rainbow painted on its streets would take away from its beauty and charm.  It also hi-lites one group of humanity over others."

"I believe if you start support for one group then we should be open to this for all groups which has the potential to become overwhelming.  I have a brother who is gay and have nothing against LGBTQ but don’t feel they should be put before anyone else."

"Historical town. Bit by bit it is losing its charm."

"This community supports a vast spectrum of causes and beliefs. It is not necessary or appropriate to initiate such a high-profile display of support in the centre of our town. There may also be some who, while supportive of the cause, are not comfortable with such a display to something less."

"This group is already recognized. We don’t need to paint the street. It's ridiculous."

"Don’t see the need for a Pride crosswalk. You're either all-inclusive or not and a crosswalk won’t change your opinion."

"Respect is given and earned by people not a symbol on a road. Do we have to have more flags or symbols for other people? Where will you find a place for my flag or others' flags for whatever they believe in."

"A rainbow crosswalk would be an eyesore in a historic town."

"Stripes on the roads are effectively murals which are not appropriate for a historic town."

"Niagara-on-the-Lake abiding taxpayers should not let their tax dollars go to waste. There are far more important projects that urgently require the town’s attention. Studies have shown that the typical rainbow crosswalk can be problematic as it may attract vandalism. Also, the painted crosswalk may serve as a detrimental “distraction,” causing potential accidents, threatening the safety of the people who use them."

"It s not a necessity."

"The painted rainbow on streets is ugly and an eyesore and not fitting to the town. Paint it in Virgil or somewhere else. Painting a street does not change anything for gay pride or rights. Show support in other ways. Don't ruin the look of the town with clown paint."

"Meaningless virtue signalling that is unlikely to change additudes and more likely to create discord and invite vandalism."

"I think we make appropriate acknowledgment of the LGBTQ community during Pride week and I feel the general attitude of the town and many of its citizens reveal our gratitude that they are part of us. As btw are people of colour, people of all religions and aboriginal people, to name but a few."

"Out beautiful town has been welcoming people from around the world. They all feel welcome in this friendly town. We do not need to make anyone feel more welcome than anyone else."

"It’s a waste of taxpayer dollars. It will look ridiculous in Old Town."

"Painting a rainbow on a roadway does not demonstrate acceptance of diversity."

"Acceptance by the way we treat one another, not by symbols."

"I don’t feel groups have to be segregated.  We respect each other’s rights and there is no reason to give one group individual recognition. I think council has more important issues to deal with."

"Would fit in more in a big city feel like T.O. not so much the small, charming town. Nothing against it, just doesn't fit, in my opinion."

"This is a Catch-22. If residents say they don’t want it, that shows we should have it. Should we therefore have a technicolour memorial downtown for every minority out there?"

"We don’t need to promote every special interest group."

"I don’t think that NOTL needs a rainbow crosswalk to prove that we are an accepting community. There is a difference between being an accepting community and an actively promoting community. The rainbow crosswalk would detract from NOTL's historical atmosphere."

"It is not appropriate in an historical town and not necessary to make people in the LGBT community feel welcome in this town."

"They are all over the place. Let’s leave NOTL  as it is."

"It does not need to be on the main street,  maybe Mary & Mississagua,  but "NOT" downtown."

"What happens when other groups come knocking? How many crosswalks do we have?"

"Putting this on Queen Street is asking for accidents. Bloggers etc. will stop traffic to get a picture. Also, what happens next? When another group comes to the town to ask for a painted sidewalk (BLM, Indigenous group etc.)."

"NOTL doesn’t need  a rainbow sidewalk to show acceptance. If this is done for one group then it is only fair to do it for another. Don’t open Pandora's Box!"

"Niagara-on-the-Lake is known, visited and celebrated for its historic significance. It’s historic charm is what makes it so beautiful. Adding a modernized crosswalk does not complement the historic nature."

"Stop trying to welcome people in Old Town. They have already been in town since crossing the canal or coming down from the escarpment."

"I am a gay man. I don’t think rainbows need to be added to everything. If a rainbow crosswalk makes some older (possibly more conservative) people upset. Will it really benefit anybody? If not, then what’s the point."

"We have had enough virtue signalling this year."

"While I understand the movement around this, I don’t think it’s necessary to have a crosswalk."

"Ew."

"I don’t think this is at all necessary, especially when we have better ways to spend our tax dollars."

"Singling out praise for one group and not all"

"I'm gay, however I don't believe installing a rainbow crosswalk on Queen Street proves any inclusion and acceptance to the LGBTQ+ community. And I think those who have voted no and if the town decides to not put one in doesn't mean they are homophobic. The Town of NOTL has worked hard on developing an atmosphere that no other town has. For many people it is a destination that takes them away from what they see back at home. I believe adding the rainbow only adds more modernization and takes away from the NOTL charm. I understand this is trying to cause inclusion, however it really just causes division in the community."

"NOTL is supposed to be old school. It’s not what old town is. What attracts people is the historical aspect. Let’s not change that."

"There are many groups of people who need equity and inclusion. This should not be an effort to attract business or make money. Would we do a walk for all people groups?"

"There are many other concerning issues at this time. If the community wishes to donate to install one, have at it. The town should be directing resources to affordable housing. I'd rather support all the less fortunate, rather than a group fortunate enough to enjoy their sexuality."

"Yes NOTL supports LGBTQ+ rights, however putting paint on the ground makes no difference and is not necessary just to prove “we support gay rights.” NOTL has no reason to put that on the ground. It doesn’t change anything besides adding more feuds and disagreements amongst the people of the town."

"It doesn’t suit the style and look of the town."

"I don't see how painting a crosswalk could possibly make someone feel or not feel included."

"A rainbow crosswalk only represents a portion of people.  You are ignoring other people when you only highlight one group. I do not want my tax dollars to be spent on a rainbow crosswalk when there are homeless, hungry and others who need help and recognition. NOTL has been the site of many collisions, some fatal. Maybe monies and effort should be allotted to safety on our roads, especially the back roads that need street lights, traffic lights, stop signs, speed bumps. These roads are being used by many and not just farmers any more. I think for our town to invest in a rainbow crosswalk shows a complete lack of responsibility to our residents. I do realize the tourist dollar is important to businesses, but tourists are not only of this one group."

"Queen Street is not the place for politics or any issues that would cause tourists or even residents that feel strongly one way or another to have to look at it. It’s a divisive issue that should not be in our historic town."

"God created humanity. He created marriage between a man and a women. Period."

"Niagara-on-the-Lake is a historic community. We shouldn’t fall victim to modernization in our community."

"I see it as a waste of taxpayer dollars for something that doesn't actually make any meaningful difference. Instead we should look for alternative ways to support actually support members of that community."

"Would be happy to see a rainbow crosswalk in town, but I don’t think Queen Street is the right location."

"NOTL is not as inclusive as people say/think."

"Not necessary. LGBTQ rights are firmly established."

"Would be an eyesore."

"Are you prepared to include another groups' requests to also be included at another crosswalk? What are the requirements/restrictions for such a proposal?"

"Not everyone agrees with the LGBTQ lifestyle. I think the town should stay neutral. The rainbow colours do not match the aesthetic of the town i.e, old, classic, traditional.  If there is a rainbow crosswalk will there also be a Christian crosswalk and a crosswalk for various races? We don't need to paint all over old town to support all of these different groups. Treating everyone well and equal will do more than painting the road to show that everyone matters and is welcome here."

"Totally unnecessary especially at that intersection. Then why not Black Lives Matter? The list goes on and on. Keep downtown NOTL in its current heritage state."

"I am not 100 per cent against it but paying my tax dollars for a minority the answer is no. Let them who want it pay for it."

"Crosswalks are black and white for a reason, so they are more visual for drivers."

"We are diverse enough."

"As someone who is bisexual and very proud to be. I don't find a reason for it. There is more that can be done than a crosswalk that will fade. I find that to have someone walking across something that is supposed be celebrated insulting. The feeling of being ignored and walked all over is what comes to mind."

"I support LGBTQ+ 100 per cent but don't think a crosswalk in the middle of a historic town is a good option."

"Don’t think it adds any value to our already quaint town."

"I can’t see the point. I am certainly not against LGBT etc. but why a painted crossing. Acceptance can be shown in many ways. Waste of money."

"We have a way too many special interest groups.  We need to get on with life without distractions."

"Tacky and unnecessary."

"Ruins the look of historic Old Town."

"Many groups have symbols that they would like to see displayed in town. We shouldn't give preferential treatment to just one of them."

"Rainbow crosswalks don't equal inclusion. There are other ways to show how as a community we are inclusive. The crosswalk does not fit into our quaint little town."

"Heritage district not best place. Lots of great places other than Queen Street."

"Waste of resources when the money could be used for tangible community benefit."

"I feel it doesn’t represent the historic aspect of the town. Am in full agreement with other aspects of the Pride movement … a parade, flying the Pride flag etc."

"Why do we need a crosswalk to show inclusion?"

"Not in the heritage district."

"Frankly, it would ruin the aesthetic of old town. Plus it would imply that one group of people deserves to be highlighted over all the others in town. NOTL is a town for all people not just Toronto refugees, not just LGBTQ, not just tourists.  Mennonites are a historically persecuted minority too and I don’t see them calling for a quilt pattern crosswalk."

"Waste of money."

"I believe in equality for all and not to one special clique. Acceptance for all without special treatment. Cuz where does it end?"

"NOTL dosen't need to advertise how gay-friendly it is. It always has been, long before it was in fashion. I say it's not needed."

"It’s absolutely not necessary. Please leave the town as is."

"Not needed."

"Why favour one group over another?"

"I guess it’s an age thing but I aren’t we past putting up symbols of this kind."

"No need for this extra cost."

"The Lake Report, page 7. Letter by Cindy Carter she says it perfectly."

"No group should be given preference over another.  We are all one."

"Wearing badges, slogans in T-shirts or painting crosswalks doesn’t promote inclusion. Most will remain indifferent and the minority ‘for’ or ‘against’ will remain entrenched – perhaps more so."

"I think NOTL needs to put that money to better use for more important things."

"Wasted money and resources to make one group special over another group."

"NOTL doesn't require an expensive rainbow crosswalk to recognize any specific group. All feel welcome anyway. Would look out of place aesthetically there."

"Queen Street is a heritage district and a rainbow crosswalk would not be historical."

"I do not believe in differentiating people. We are all Canadians and it would be more helpful if we don’t label  LGBTQ and treat everyone as people. We do not need to create barriers. I do believe that supporting LGBQT requires giving increased attention. And to be very clear, I am a person with gay and Black family members."

"Rainbow crosswalks are not attractive and it would detract from the appearance of the town. I support equal rights for All and don’t think the town should promote any one group over others."

"It is not effective in educating people in being respectful and accepting our fellow human beings. It will only cause more division."

"There is no necessity for this expense. If we start pandering to one group then every group should have the right to have their desires granted. It isn't affordable."

"No group needs special consideration if we want to be a uniform society. There is no benefit to the town."

"They are normal people as the rest, why is it necessary to show it? Why not for Blacks and Indigenous people as well?"

"We need to respect all people who come to our town. By categorizing people as "unique or different, we are actually encouraging  class distinctions. There will be no end to recognizing sexual diversity so let's just change our mindset to loving everyone for their uniqueness."

"Why not a black one, a red one for our Indigenous people who were here first. I’d like a white one for myself. Come on, NOTL, spend tax dollars more wisely and stop wavering to every race, creed, colour or sexual preference."

"Why honour/represent just the one group? Do that, well then you should also do the same for the heterosexual community, too."

"This is a public place and should be neutral."

"To highlight one group over another does not show inclusion to all who live in this community."

"I think everyone is special regardless of colour or race or choice of lifestyle so individual groups should not be singled out."

"It is a leftist ideological and political symbol. Political symbols and ideology have no place in our public square."

"This, to  appease  one group of people. What group  is next?"

"If people are against the crosswalk and it is painted the LGBTQ+ will be led to believe they are wanted when they are not. If people are for the crosswalk then LGBTQ+ are welcome and there is no need for the walk. Equal rights not special rights. NOTL people don’t care about what LGBTQ+ do. They just don’t need to paint a crosswalk. That is just virtue signalling."

"If we are going to do that we should have a crosswalk for every cause, minority and also non-minority on the planet. Why are we discussing this in the absence of celebrating traditional relationships? We are an historic town and need to protect that heritage."

"I prefer to keep the town free of' logos and of  signs and of special  inclusion of groups."

"Why single out one group. Were all special."

"We are a historic town. Keep it historic."

"Why identify one group over all other groups?"

"I think Queen Street is the wrong location. Would rather see it at entrance to Old Town. Say, Mary Street by Tim Hortons."

"Not in keeping with the architectural history of the town."

"NOTL is a quaint, historic, beautiful, walkable town. We should not have to advocate one group over another.  All are welcome.  Maintain the Old Town charm. Advertising for one group over another is not fair."

"Put it at Mary Street. Paint a few benches. Who's paying for it? If it's done at all the town has just given in to its first set of protesters so where does it stop then?"

"I find it offensive. You might as well paint Black Lives Matter all over the place also. Where will it stop?"

"My objection is to the proposed location. It is a heritage district. Soon we might be painting all the downtown heritage buildings rainbow. I suggest the crosswalk could be more suitably located at the new bump out for people to see and walk on as they enter our town."

"It would be too close to the cenotaph, which would be inappropriate as it honours those who paid the ultimate price."

"I just don’t think it is necessary as the community is already inclusive of all. I also find it unattractive but that is my personal opinion and nothing to do with LGBTQ+ community. There are many members of society who feel marginalized or discriminated against. I don’t think we should choose one group over many others."

 

 

 

 

DON'T CARE:

"It shocks me how many people are against something that is in and so we’ll received in so many amazing cities around the world.  NOTL is one of those cities but some of its residences are obviously not."

"I don’t know why it is such a devisive choice, paint one up, doesn’t natter to me one iota"

"I think we can do better than a rainbow crosswalk, maybe something more classier!"

"Just reading the resistance from many readers makes me want the rainbow painted more to fight what we all know is underlying homophobia."

"I'm fine either way"

"It really makes no difference to me on way or the other."

"People's sexual preference is nothing to me. Love who you love. We don't need a sidewalk to tell us to accept all people. We just need to live it."

"They are all over the place. Let’s leave NOTL  as it is."

"What happens when othere groups come knocking?  How many crosswalks do we have?"

"With the exception of the very few, our town has always been very excepting of individuals of all sexual orientations"

"Doesn’t bother me at all"

"I don't think its a big deal in 2021. Just do it."

"Doesn’t bother me but also don’t think it’s necessary"

"I believe in inclusion, however it would be difficult to include an orange crossing for residential school victims, a pink one for breast cancer, a red one for veterans and service personnel, and the list goes on of valuable members of our inclusive society."

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