“I ask of you – please take into consideration the joy, memories and history you will be taking away from future generations all because you decided greed was more important than the heritage and culture that make up our little town of Port Dalhousie.” – from a presentation made this past December 12th at a special meeting of St. Catharines City Coucil by 22-year-old Port Dalhousie resident Alexa Plato
A Presentation to St. Catharines City Council by Alexa Plato, posted here with her permission
Posted December 14th, 2017 on Niagara At Large
(A Brief Foreword Note from NAL publisher Doug Draper – Alexa was one of many residents of Port Dalhousie/St. Catharines and surrounding communities to speak out at a special meeting of St. Catharines council this past December 12th against yet another plan to build a high-rise condominium tower in the heart of Port Dalhousie’s heritage district.
Her remarks, coming from one of the more youthful voices in the large theatre at the FirstOntaro Performing Artis Centre where the meeting was held, received a hearty round of applause from the more than 200 people in attendance.
As a veteran journalist who has found myself attending too many meetings of Niagara regional council lately that have been disturbing and depressing to watch and listen to – to say the least – I found my spirits being lifted by the passion and intelligence that came across in words Alexa and so many others spoke this past December 12th in support of saving what we have left of our great heritage places in this region. If we only had as many people now sitting on our municipal councils speaking with as much passion and intelligence for what matters the most in our communities!
As I said to Alexa Plato following her presentation, we need people like her running for municipal government in Niagara – given what little we now have, we need them desperately! … although, in Alexa’s case, she says she is soon heading off to medical school, which is a good thing too.
In the meantime, Niagara At Large is pleased to share her words here.)
From Alexa Plato –
“Port Dalhousie has been my home since the day I was born.
Growing up I spent most of my time in Port Dalhousie, going to the ice cream shop, riding the carousel for a nickel with my Nana, and getting some treats for my parents and I at the local candy store.
It is easy to say that I will be able to do all of this in the concrete conglomerate they are proposing but that would simply be missing the point.
People visit port Dalhousie for the nostalgia and heritage that has been preserved from generation to generation, so that generations like mine had the opportunity to appreciate what are founding citizens of this city were able to create.
I was never able to appreciate buildings such as the St. Catharines library, post office building or the public St. Nicholas School which were all torn down and replaced with insignificant architecture.
There is a reason that Canadians travel to Europe and talk about how beautiful the towns were- and we all know they are not talking about ugly, newly constructed concrete buildings.
Canada is a relatively new country and with few historical buildings standing in contrast to the likes of Europe-and that is why it is important that we protect and preserve what we have left.
On another note- In Port Dalhousie it can be hard to find a parking spot- with many store owners declaring that parking is an issue when it comes to running their businesses- and yet the developers just proposed that the number of parking spots be reduced.
Thorold is currently being placed on the map with several prestigious awards for historical preservation meanwhile the city of St. Catharines has sat back and let pure greed ruin our beautiful and historic port Dalhousie.
As quoted in the book lighthouse and ports of Lake Ontario –written in 1857, it states “without a doubt it is the most important port on the lake, every vessel bound to or from the upper lakes is obliged to pass through this port”- the buildings that are left are daily reminders of the historical significance of our town in the industrial revolution of Canada in addition to the foundation of this city.
It is one of the few places where families can come down and enjoy the historical architecture, and partake in family activities.
People come to visit our town because of its historical charm which will all be lost in the unappealing and intrusive condo development. It is simple greed by not only the developers but the City of St. Catharines .
Not only have you not listened to the people who live in this town, but you are allowing for such a gem to be destroyed.
Port Dalhousie is my home, and it will be a home for future generations. So I ask of you – please take into consideration the joy, memories and history you will be taking away from future generations all because you decided greed was more important than the heritage and culture that make up our little town of Port Dalhousie.”
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“A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders