John Bentley Mays in Oakville

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Missing the Point

From: U Thant
Date: 31 Oct 2003
Time: 21:08:40 -0500
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Isn't the point of Oakville that there isn't supposed to be anything to do? 'Things to do' attract the wrong kind of people. Oakville is a place of isolation. A 'community' gated by attitude. Unfortunately, excessively fast growth has wrecked the sustainability of this mindset. The Falgarwoodization north of the qe has damaged the cohesion of the town. I first came across this when I met someone who lived up on Sixth Line who complained about the exclusionary nature of the 'Lakeshore Living' section in the Beaver('85). Another factor that is killing the scene is the town's attitude that it should use our taxes to support promtions such as the Mayor's Picnic (sorry 'Waterfront Festival'). This event in particular highlights everything that is going wrong. It attracts attention to the town. It attracts attention to a neighborhood park and makes it unusable for two weeks of the year. It damages the quality of life for residents. It has no redeeming value: bad music, crass commercialism, pollution, traffic, parking attendants/tow trucks/police cruising the streets, teenagers sitting on private lawns leaving beer bottles, Tim Hortons cups etc. More to the point, the promotion attracts more outside traffic to the area during the rest of the year due to the increased exposure. With respect to the articles, I think they are a step in the right direction. They are, however, excessively light in their criticism. This is likely due to the fact they were written by a guest of the town. Furthermore, the focus on a commercial/social struggle for dominance trivializes the predicament of the existing residents who are at the mercy of predominantly non-local change agents.

Last changed: 04/02/04