Friday, February 13, 2009

shocked but not surprised

I'm usually really good about staying on track with this blog. I'm a cyclist/racer and it's all about the bike but I can't hold this one in. I need to rant about this so please bare with me. Hell this might even be happening in your area and your on the same side as I am.

I grew up in this nice small town called Port McNicoll. It has history. It was a port for the grain ships of the Great Lakes. It's how the town came to be. Over the years as technology changed and the rail line and grain boats were phased out the huge grain elevators sat empty. So did the waterfront.

As you know I moved to a new house a couple months back... One reason was I love this house, the second was that the sleepy town of Port McNicoll is a changing. Like the Gold Rush the search for undeveloped waterfront has people buying up anything that looks wet. That is what is happening in Port McNicoll. A large development company called Skyline bought up the land and has some major plans for it. First Phase are homes, second phase brings in a marina and conference center, third phase is???

Now I can understand expansion but I have a problem with the way things went about. First, the plans were sold to the town's people showing a nice park at the end of what used to be a pier and lots of green space. Of course that didn't take long to before it was altered to the current plan which has the lead developer's house sitting on top of that park..

Ok, yes I know people are greed in the corporate world. They were promoting this development world wide and it didn't take long for the first phase to sell out. I looked, maybe if I sold all my asserts, my company, my dog and sold my soul to George Bush would I have enough money to live in a few of these places. There won't be to many locals in a new home at this end of town.

Just after that the signs on the main street went up promoting the heritage of the town and the area. Hell, even on their website promotes this and talks about the grain elevators. Click HERE This is about the time I moved out of town. . SO why else am I bitching. Because of this article.

Wow. So lets all move to a quiet old heritage town where the history is deep, oh wait why was this town even started? HMMM don't know because they wrecked it. They are taking down the reason the town even exists. Why?? Well you know why. It's interesting because I think the town crest has the grain elevator on it. I cannot believe there was not more protest to this. The interesting thing was there were talks of what could be done with the elevators. Collingwood managed to keep theirs because during the redevelopment of the town because they realized that it was the backbone of their existence. They have a restaurant on top of it I believe.

It's not that I'm against development but I don't like seeing a small town walked all over by the ultra rich and I feel that this is exactly what is happening here What are the town people going to do. Get out the pitchforks??? . They have yet to put them up and they say they wont' but I would put money on it that there will be gates at the entrance in the very near future.

I know money drives the economy but at what price? History smashed to ashes, Marshes back filled, Trees taken down. but I can dock my yacht with no problems.

I have vented enough plus I'm hungry so I'm going to grab some comfort food and wonder what historic site is on the agenda next.

Should be back on topic tomorrow


fellow Port boy said...

One one hand, it's an abandoned and dirty old building. On the other hand, it is a bit of a landmark much like in other port towns. Most elevators are disappearing now though, and thoughts are mixed because in the end it's hisoric, but it's still just a huge concrete behemoth (much like skydome, a bit of a landmark but not exactly the prettiest of structires). We'd all feel better if they'd tear it down in favour of a park or other greenspace, but not houses for the rich out of towners.

Matt Spak said...

I do agree that the elevator is not the prettiest of things but they could have done something very similiar to Midland's with the murals.

Anonymous said...

Happen to know one of the developers--a stand up guy in all respects. The fact is, the elevators sit on paid for land. Some developers see merit in these things (see Toronto's distillery), others don't. The real culprits here are (a) the people who sold the property and (b) town/county council, mayor, etc--they are the real sellouts.

Gary Sturges said...

I lived in Port McNicoll as a young lad , in the late 50's and early 60's and remember the elevator well . It was the first thing you'd see driving into town . Sad to see that the elevator , the Hogg's Bay trestle, the enormous CPR freight sheds and passenger dock are long gone . Anything of history or anything of interest has been destroyed , making Port McNicoll just another beach side town .

Gary Sturges said...

hey Anonymous - the town didn't own the land the elevator sat on , it was originally owned ( as was most of the town ) by CPR ( the railroad) and then Cargill and finally CPR bought it back . as to the developer being as a standup guy , BFD !! he and his company have no sense of history and like all developers are motivated by the greed of money . eventually Port McNicoll will become a very costly ghost town which will look good on Skyline Investments !!!