A year ago at this time I was campaigning earnestly during the Municipal election for a seat on Collingwood Council. Although I garnered over 3,300 votes, about 700 votes more than what was previously needed to get elected as a Councillor, I fell about 39 votes short and was needles-to-say disappointed.
My desire to run for Collingwood Council and personal campaign platform was based on three main issues. Prudent fiscal management of the Town’s finances, the need for a strong economic development plan and lastly, thoughtful and consistent land use planning. As a full time REALTOR® I have a keen awareness of what draws people to this area. Whether it’s for recreational purposes or as a full time resident still working or retiring, the lifestyle features of the area are something we can’t take for granted. More importantly we can’t lose the very reason why people want to come here in the first place and every effort needs to be made to preserve that.
Most of you are aware that development is happening all around us. It can’t be stopped but it can and needs to be managed in order to preserve the very reason why so many choose to come here to live, work and or play.
The Town of Thornbury in the Blue Mountains is desperately in need of and is getting a new grocery store which is currently under construction. Also in the construction phase is a new liquor store, convenience store and gas bar. No one would argue the need for these new retail amenities but my question is why are they being built so close to Highway 26?
Short of the absence of razor-wire, the north wall of Loblaws along First Street in Collingwood looks like a federal correction facility and across the road we have the new Rexall drug store building towering over the street.
As per these photos, the same transformation is taking place in Thornbury. These imposing new retail structures structures are literally on the shoulder of the road and with a gas bar under construction across the road I can’t help but think it will be like driving through a tunnel. Is this good planning by the developer or the municipality? Will this enhance or detract from the small town rural atmosphere of Thornbury? Notwithstanding the close proximity of these buildings to the road, I hope their exterior facades will at least reflect a look indicative of the area versus the repetitive big box urban design brand that we see in virtually every so called “Smart Centre” closer to the GTA.
There’s a lot of creative talent out there and with computer aided design, I think we can and need to do better in both our planning and overall design standards. I welcome your thoughts and opinions.