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Niagara Falls
Friday, June 14, 2024
Editorial: Poppies, Parliament Oak and perseverance

As many have no doubt seen (because it’s hard to miss!) the Niagara-on-the-Lake Museum has created an incredible art project to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the poppy being used as a symbol of Remembrance Day.

Museum volunteers worked long, hard hours creating the display, composed of some hand-knitted and crocheted 3,500 poppies.

We are duly impressed at the end result and commend all the dozens of volunteers who worked for many weeks to create this art installation.

If you haven’t taken a drive by, make sure to get out and see the display, which cascades down from the museum’s tower and across the lawn.

This is by far one of the most inspiring and novel ways to mark Remembrance Day – but it also is a fitting commemoration for the 100th anniversary of the use of poppies to remind us of the sacrifices others made for us all.

NOTL is also getting ready for an open house regarding the planned Parliament Oak redevelopment and, as evidenced by a story and letter in this edition of The Lake Report, residents have a lot to say on the matter.

Most seem to agree that the development is completely inappropriate for the centre of Old Town.

And we agree. The town needs to find a way to tame this project and encourage the developer to create something more suited to an infill development in the middle of a residential neighbourhood in the midst of the heritage district.

Meanwhile, about a kilometre away on the historic Rand Estate, Solmar’s proposed subdivision — which has been blasted for its jam-packed cookie-cutter style homes — might actually be more NOTL-like than the proposed apartment development at one of NOTL’s landmark sites.

That's not to say Solmar's plan is acceptable. It is not. And as we've said before, the Rand project is a great opportunity for Solmar to do something special and memorable.

On Parliament Oak, it’s time for residents to persevere and make their concerns known to councillors and the developer.

This project needs to fit in with our community, not destroy its charm.

As NOTL resident Alan Gordon says, people who are concerned about this should attend the virtual public meeting Nov. 8.

The good thing is, we’ve seen positive results from the hard work and perseverance of the people behind Save Our Rand Estate (SORE), who this week celebrate what they see as another victory in the saga of this special property.

Solmar and Two Sisters have withdrawn their challenge of the town’s heritage designation of 200 John St. E. and 588 Charlotte St.

If, as residents, we can all find the same dedication within us regarding Parliament Oak, we may also be able to effect positive results there.

So let council know we don’t want this oversized apartment building in the middle of an area that’s filled with detached homes, on a property that has significance to the entire community.

And let the developer know it’s not going to fly here in NOTL.

But, ultimately, let’s remember who is to blame for this situation — the District School Board of Niagara, which refused the town’s offer for the property and instead sold Parliament Oak to a developer.

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