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Saturday, November 26, 2022
Letter: ‘Respect the Neighbourhood’ signs are embarassing

Dear editor:

I guess the town is not moving fast enough for the residents of Chautauqua!

On our regular drive around town on Saturday we noticed the town was very busy. All along the Niagara Parkway every picnic table was taken and vehicles parked on the grass as the parking lots were at capacity. So we decided to take a peak at how busy Ryerson Park was?

We didn’t see many people or vehicles at Ryerson Park, three of the four spaces in front of the park were taken. No speeders, no illegally parked cars, no people using the sandy beach, no loud motorcycles, though there was a quiet one right behind me, and no one monopolizing the park space. Plenty of room to put down a blanket.

However, to our astonishment, all we saw was lawn sign after lawn sign after lawn sign on many of the homes in Chautauqua and, we have to say, we were and are embarrassed. Lots and lots of signs making the neighbourhood look trashy.  

One side reads “Think Safety, Slow Down” and the other “Respect the Neighbourhood.” Are we to surmise that this is the only neighbourhood that should be respected?

These signs have no place in Niagara-on-the-Lake. This is totally unacceptable and just outright shameful. How do you feel when you see these signs?  Should these be posted throughout the Town?  Did the town approve and OK these signs?

We are not familiar with the town bylaws governing lawn signs, but I can only guess, based on past areas where we lived, these signs probably contravene the bylaws.

Is this what we’ve come to?  A small community dictating to the town what signs should be posted on streets?

We have a 30-year-old daughter who is moving to Niagara-on-the-Lake from Toronto in June. Her favourite place is Ryerson Park. What do we tell her? That she’s not welcome there? 

How have we come to this? We were angry when we first saw the signs, but now we are just sad. I encourage all residents of NOTL to take a drive or walk or bike the streets of Chautauqua. Do you feel welcome?  Is this an inclusive community?

Hermano and Diana Ponte

Editor's note: The signs were installed this past weekend on roadsides and on private property. The project was organized by the Friends of Ryerson Park, which on Sunday asked residents to only erect the signs Friday to Sunday.