This past year has brought out the very best in people, along with the very worst.
One needs to look no further than Niagara-on-the-Lake’s community Facebook page, NOTL 4 All, to see this bad behaviour on full display.
The self-righteous keyboard warriors were out in full force in response to The Lake Report's article on a dispute between neighbours over a school bus, (“School bus in driveway sparks neighbourly dispute,” Jan 21).
It was absolutely shameful to see hundreds of negative comments accumulate on Facebook over the course of the day, largely targeting one member of the community.
It felt as though the vigilante mob was looking to drive him out of town. The fact that the moderators have yet to remove these posts (and yet quickly took down photos of a fox after receiving a few complaints), is another issue in itself.
From referring to the gentleman in question as a crook, to telling him to go back to where he came from (where else but Toronto?!) and insinuating that they knew where he lived so perhaps karma was coming his way, the nastiness and vitriol on display was shocking.
Anyone who dared say that they wouldn’t want to have a school bus parked across from their house within the comments was met with the same hostility.
I, for one, would not want to have a school bus sitting across from or next to my house and I suspect if you asked many people in Niagara-on-the-Lake, they might feel the same.
According to the NOTL Facebook mob, this would make me an evil elitist who should go back to where they came from.
This is a beautiful community, but the them versus us mentality certainly takes the shine off.
As a Toronto transplant (who can trace their family history back to NOTL in the late 1700s), I feel quite fortunate to live in such a special town.
However, I know there is some deep-seated resentment toward Torontonians. All you need to do is check the Facebook page to see the nastiness simmering just below the surface.
Perhaps NOTL 4 All should really be named NOTL 4 Some (but don’t even think about joining if you’re not from here!).