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Monday, January 30, 2023
Letter: We arrived in 1959 and surely there are alternatives to bird bangers

Dear editor:

I have never penned a letter to any newspaper before, but I take particular umbrage to the suggestion in last week’s letter to The Lake Report by William Cochrane Sr. that  those of us who do not enjoy the ceaseless noise of the propane cannons should hop a bus and go back to enjoy the sounds of genuine gunfire in Toronto instead, (“I am OK with bird cannons,” Nov. 7). 

I also live on York Road and have done so since 1959, so I have been living here for 60 years, long before the vineyards currently surrounding us, and indeed remember the days when most of the farms in Niagara-on-the-Lake grew not grapes but tender fruit.

The farm the Baker Estate Vineyards has grapes on now was formerly a quiet fruit farm, as were all the other farms on this road, including the 20 acres that are now part of the Sheppard Crescent subdivision, which is the other property from which the sonic cannons boom.

I knew these farmers and worked on their farms as a student in the summers and can say that they were all considerate neighbours.

This has always been a quiet street. It is one thing to move to an area with either established odiferous or loud farming practices and then complain afterward, but this is not the case on York Road.

We, and I include my neighbours, were here first, I’m afraid. 

Secondly, I do not understand why the vineyards near St. Davids and the town manage to use netting on their grapes and avoid the use of the sonic cannons and the York Road farms cannot?

Do the people living there have a greater right to peace and quiet than we do?

Or perhaps it wouldn’t do for the tourists enjoying their holidays and meals in those vineyards’ restaurants to accidentally think they had booked their vacations in a war zone?

For indeed, when the cannons are going off loudly every few minutes from dawn to dusk, that is exactly what it sounds like, especially on our road where they echo off the Niagara Escarpment.

If it is possible to find other, quieter, more neighbourly means to deal with birds in some parts of town, it should be possible here as well. 

Christine Buksbaum


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