As I mentioned in an earlier post I am over in England at present. I thought to myself “Self, maybe it’s me, maybe I am not seeing the big picture with the waterfront of Collingwood”.
I have a few pictures of the BMO/Rexall situation on my phone. Plus Mr. Chadwick very kindly did a blog late last week explaining his and Mr. Assaff’s view on the whole thing. I asked a few people over here, whom I respect, including a chap I have been hiking with the past few days who happens to be a town planner in the U.K. The general consensus was that for this continuing blight to our waterfront to happen someone must be getting paid. I do not think that for a second. But from an outsiders stand point you can understand that sentiment. We had a blank canvas to develop something spectacular in that part of town and we will end up with strip mall/office buildings.
In a recent blog Chadwick berates Brian Saunderson because he is quite rightly trying to put a stop to any further development in that area until a strategic plan is in place for the town as a whole. Which in any normal situation would make perfect sense. Collingwood is not normal. We have had years of thoughtless development with little or no regard to what that means in the big picture. Any attempt to put a plan on place such as Vision 20/20, has been disregarded and ignored by the old order of things, who have had more interest in short term financial gain rather than what’s best for the town and the towns future . A good example of that is the fact that close to 30 years after the ship yard closed it’s gates, we still cannot go for a meal, a beer, or a coffee anywhere on our towns water front. In fact when you drive into town you wouldn’t even know the town was on a very spectacular body of water. Assaff’s future development will set that fact in stone never to be changed.
One thing Chadwick is correct about is even if town council does block selling the piece of property in between Assaff’s strip malls to him, it will do very little to stop his plan to build his monstrosity on the corner of Heritage Way and Huron Street. That will take some serious effort and some intestinal fortitude by the good guys on this current council and members of the public. My thought is a group like V.OT.E. needs to be formed to put various road blocks in his way in terms of OMB appeals and getting the uninformed informed in town. That course of action was very successful in blocking at least one of Assaff’s past developments. My thought is his current plan to continue to strip mall block the waterfront, is actually more important to put a stop to than what he had proposed on the corner of Hume and Hurontario.
Another interesting thing that I noticed, was after people over here in England read Chadwick’s blog on the subject. The general consensus was that he is a pompous fool. So that locally well known sentiment has now spread over to England.