Monday morning at 9:50, I arrived at the Court House to lead my daily “Free Walking Tour of our Town,” for the 74th straight day.
Imagine how my heart soared, as there were over 100 women standing around the clock tower cenotaph.
I was quickly advised they were waiting to be part of the group picture, organized by The Lake Report to celebrate International Women’s Day. Darn!
Sometimes all the stars align and this was one of those days. Confident and beautiful women of all ages, gathered on Queen Street to feel good about themselves.
Try as I might to join in with my red and white vinyl banner reading, “Free Walking Tour Niagara-on-Lake,” it soon became clear that I shouldn’t even try to wedge my way into the big group picture.
Even videographer Rene Bertschi wouldn’t allow me to attach my advertising to the back of his drone, which would have provided visibility and good advertising. I made myself scarce and delighted in the scene.
It takes a good man to know when to back off and town activist Barbara Ahluwalia agreed with my decision. So did Andrea Kaiser and several others.
After the event, I spent some time wandering on Queen Street. We are so fortunate, aren’t we?
I thought back to the opening day of our new Dairy Queen a few weeks ago. The former Taylor’s is now thoroughly modern and staffed by professional and enthusiastic young people.
And they have decided to keep the traditional name instead of giving a regal nod to our new head of state. Yes, even Charles would have found Dairy King to be a bit of a mouthful.
Its opening day back in February had been cold and snowy. Many of the stores on Queen Street had bailed and decided to hang the dreaded “Closed” signs in their door windows.
I wanted to show support for a new business and braved the blizzard. How I love DQ soft ice cream.
Devesh was anxious to show off his ability to defy Newton’s law of gravity, by turning a large vanilla cone upside down and dipping it into a bucket of chocolate sauce. Why does the ice cream not fall into the sauce with a loud plop, creating quite a mess?
He deftly showed off his skill and made my day. Then, perhaps due to subliminal forces, and the bright and well-located “Buy One Blizzard Get One Blizzard” poster, I manned up and ordered a Blizzard for my tennis pal Ken, another DQ aficionado.
Pretty cool, the idea of buying a Blizzard during a blizzard. Weird.
Perhaps they should consider offering a reduced-price Blizzard whenever we are hit with a blizzard? I’ll see you there, neighbours.
A bit farther down Queen, I was enjoying the variety of building design offerings on both sides of the street. Some good attempts to fit in with the character of our town. Some not so good.
I remember, only 30 or 40 years ago, when there were three of four gas/service stations on this one street. Not that long ago, eh? Change, change, change … “We try to keep up.”
Then, whack, I came upon our Canada Post building. Where were our design gatekeepers when this important civic structure was being designed? Are you kidding me?
Could it be any more out of synch with the environs? How did it get past the C.A.V.E. people? Heritage character? Lot coverage? What am I missing?
The Canada Post employees are champions, but the building? And let’s try to get rid of the Bell Canada building just down the street at the corner of Queen and Gate? Could it be any less attractive and less historical?
But I digress.
Let me ramble to the weather prognosticators. Is it just me, or are other NOTLers fatigued by the repetitive warnings of snow “events.”
I understand our fear of litigation and everyone’s perceived need to cover their posteriors. But, ENOUGH!
For several full days on the radio this winter, we heard from Storm Desks, Storms Channels, Storm Reporters and Storm Trackers. One would think we lived up north, where a snow storm is a snow storm, not a dusting of a few centimetres.
Our magnificent Canada wasn’t built by people afraid of a few snowflakes, or precipitation that left a centimetre or two of ice on our roads and sidewalks.
Winter has been winter again this year, and there are a few weeks remaining. Chins up, folks. Dress warmly, be thoughtful about your dogs and enjoy our bracing wintry weather.
We are so fortunate to live in Canada. In 2023.