I entirely agree with the article by letter writer Lydia Madonia, (“Over-tourism, development could hurt NOTL,” Sept. 21).
Her concerns with respect to over-tourism in my opinion may be understated.
I have written on several occasions how over-tourism will be the death of our Old Town and heritage district.
This patient is nearing a life-support situation.
Tourists have already voiced their opinions about our high service prices and historical parking problems.
The latter goes back almost 50 years. Additional parking meters in front of one’s home never increase your property value. They’re an eyesore.
Have we learned anything from other world tourist destinations ruined by over-tourism, the latest being Mount Fuji in Japan. I strongly proclaim the answer is no.
Procrastination on a number of major infrastructure issues, parking being one, has caught up with us. We are playing defence on over-tourism.
Yet the Chamber of Commerce, our town council and tourism board are hell bent on attracting even more traffic to Queen Street etc., which on weekends is an elbow-to-elbow pedestrian contact sport and an absolute zoo.
The question for the residents of Niagara-on-the-Lake is: are we better off today than we were four, 10, 15 or 20 years ago?
We have lost the town to over-tourism, lost critical infrastructure like our hospital, high school, Parliament Oak and even our X-ray facilities (forcing us to travel to St. Catharines or Niagara Falls for the simplest of scans), but we see our property taxes increasing at an unaffordable rate to support the tourism industry.
Present us, the resident taxpayers, with a compelling argument that Queen Street pedestrian traffic and our residential street parking is not already at capacity on the weekends.