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Wednesday, June 29, 2022
Letter: Yet another commercial development in Old Town

Dear editor:

Saturday night, while driving down Queen Street, I was amazed at a new shopping plaza being built behind many old homes along Gate Street.

As someone born and bred in Niagara-on-the-Lake, the site of this was enough to make one weep.

I feel as though bait and switch has been taking place. First we had the Rand Estate, then we had the possibility of subdivisions and then Parliament Oak in the Old Town. Now we have this huge development behind these once lovely residential homes.

What a travesty! Creeping, creeping through the streets, hollowing out the residential areas, and all that will be left will be a town called “Business-on-the-Lake”.

While we are here, let's talk about the elephant in the room. This runs counter to another reality.

Local residents with families who have lived here for generations are directed to consult with the planning office to do anything with their own property and rejections rates are anecdotally noted to be very high.

This, while the planning office permits all kinds of other things to happen that are detrimental for Niagara and the folks who live here.

It's fine so long as it is commercial in nature.

Niagara-on-the-Lake has chosen to opt out of affordable housing for Niagara Region's Planning and Development Services, which addresses that pesky issue of ordinary folks living here.

Just curious: is there a Wendy's or a McDonald's in the works too, along with Big Box Stores? How will all the traffic that generates be good for the large population of retirees? More traffic is dangerous.

One positive aspect of all this will be that no one will be able to drive here as Highway 55 will just be a parking lot.

So very sad. I am glad I won't be around in 20 years to see the death of the once beautiful town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. So hard to comprehend.

Elsie Lailey