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Niagara Falls
Thursday, April 18, 2024
Editorial: Two outside-the-box ideas worth discussing
The Lake Report's weekly editorial. File

This opinion piece has been updated to reflect that Samuel Young’s suggestion actually was to have a new long-term care facility built on the old NOTL hospital site, not on the grounds of Upper Canada Lodge.


Generally, we refrain from commenting on issues raised in letters to the editor.

That is the readers’ forum. But two items intrigued us in recent weeks, so we wanted to highlight them, despite the fact they might be considered wild pipe dreams.

Resident Elizabeth Masson, in a presentation to council and a letter in our pages, suggested that, after years of battles, Solmar Development Corp. owner Benny Marotta consider donating the Rand Estate to the community.

His family has already given millions to Niagara College and the region’s hospitals, so why not consider donating the property at 200 John St. and 588 Charlotte St. to the town?

Think of the legacy that would offer a man who has been vilified by many in the community. It’s a historic site and could be revamped as a public property. Details to be determined.

A long shot? Probably. However, it’s been done elsewhere (think, Toronto’s Casa Loma, though that became a civic property due to unpaid taxes). But nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Another reader suggestion also involves Marotta.

Letter writer Samuel Young suggested the town negotiate a deal to sell the old NOTL hospital to Marotta as part of a deal to also build a much-needed, modern long-term care home on the former hospital grounds. It would replace the soon-to-close Upper Canada Lodge.

Rather than let the old hospital site remain derelict, is there an opportunity to build something on the property that benefits the community? A new long-term care home, something that NOTL really needs. And offers a lasting legacy for all involved?

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