Thursday, May 03, 2012

Blog Guelph: No, I Won't Back Down

Church of Our Lady Immaculate by Davey S
Church of Our Lady Immaculate, a photo by Davey S on Flickr.

Life is full of challenges. Some of them bigger than others. Some personal, some not.

But I believe that when we know what’s right, within ourselves, we have an obligation to stand our ground and to also, make a stand.

At the Downtown Secondary Plan meeting last Monday at City Hall, it was suggested by one of the delegates that they understood people against high rises were passionate about their city but that they were wrong in their opinions.

Personally, I felt patronized. And now, I wish to know, what is their measure of wrong and right? Is it right to undermine a legacy of almost two centuries of having the cathedral at the heart of our community and at the highest point of any built structure? It is our most stunning and remarkable example of architecture and it has a right to hold that place. So, unless developers are prepared to build an ever-more impressive building, I’m going to hold my ground and say today –

No, we are not wrong.

We are the citizens of this community who live here, who love here, who have families here, who will also leave our legacy here.

And we want that legacy to be a beautiful one. Not one motivated by money.

I keep hearing about businesses saying that they will have increased profits. Have they thought about the increase in taxes that will go towards funding this development? Have they thought about the subsequent increase in rents and real-estate? And honestly, have they even considered that the people living in those condominiums would be far more likely shop at the mall? Because that is what that demographic predominantly does.

But if you do want to talk money, it was announced that our taxes are set to increase towards an average of an additional $500/year per household in 10 years. So, I’m convinced we have a say in how our future unfolds. In fact, we have an obligation to take the stand. To speak out. To offer our wisdom and our emotion on this. Next Monday Tricar will present their high rise application to City Hall at a Planning Meeting at 7pm.  I encourage everyone that can, to attend this meeting

Finally, if in life, someone ever makes you question yourself, don’t ever listen. Hold your ground in knowing, truly, that what you feel is right.

And no matter what, don’t back down.

~ Aidan M.D. Ware

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