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Niagara Falls
Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Possible locations for NOTL’s first rainbow crosswalk endorsed by council

Niagara-on-the-Lake is one step closer to having a rainbow crosswalk after council approved four possible locations for one.

During council's meeting Monday, Coun. John Wiens announced four intersections the diversity, equity and inclusivity committee chose as suitable for the crosswalk.

They are the intersections of: Queen and Mississauga streets, Wellington and Picton streets, King and Ricardo streets by Queen's Royal Park, and the crosswalk on Niagara Stone Road near the NOTL Community Centre.

“The committee also supports the idea of public consultation on the choice of one of the four locations and supports giving the public an opportunity to financially sponsor the cost for the crosswalk through fundraising,” Wiens said.

Wiens said the town has already received funding for one out of four rainbow benches in town and that there should be public consultation for the benches and an opportunity for private fundraising to support their installation as well.

“Expediency of installation (should) be a factor in the decision,” Wiens said.

Coun. Gary Burroughs was strongly in favour of a public consultation process but expressed concern it would not be a robust survey.

“I think there’s been lessons learned from some of the social media questionnaires done so far,” he told councillors.

“And, hopefully, those lessons learned, we’ll get a good response from a good proportion of our community so that we actually have a real understanding of what it is and how they feel about the issue.”

“What I’m hoping is that when staff go to the public they don’t use the same format as they did for the wall committee at Mississauga and Queen, which simply took apart the recommendation,” he said.

He suggested questions such as “What do you think about the rainbow crosswalk? Where should it be? Do you want one?”

Burroughs said he was unsure why the project was moving forward.

“I get that the diversity committee wants this. I think we have a history in Niagara-on-the-Lake of looking after a very diverse community for 50, 60 years. This isn’t new to us. Maybe it’s for visitors or maybe I’m misunderstanding what it’s for,” he said.

Chief administrator Marnie Cluckie said town staff would report to council on the format of the public consultation process once it is prepared.

The recommendations were passed unanimously by council.

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