Winter at a beach is a ‘no man’s land says reader

To the Editor, our elected officials, including the mayor, council members and associated staff:

Regarding the proposed CCV Development.

This communication is to voice my adamant opposition to the proposed (32,000 sq. ft.) development on our public beach.

Many of us in Port Elgin, plus most visitors don’t want and don’t need a commercial development of this size on our waterfront!

It’s a BEACH!!!

Since the days (over a hundred years ago) when our waterfront housed commercial enterprises for shipping, fishing, and agricultural storage, the only businesses, and events that have EVER succeeded have been seasonal businesses, and events. The Harbourlite Restaurant, “The Town Booth”, Gerry’s Fries, The Tuck Shop, the Beachside Café are testament to that.

Over the years, we have had a bandshell, a dance hall, a “train station” with a miniature train that was manufactured in Port Elgin, flea markets, weekly beach carnivals. They succeed in the summer!! Winter, with the winds and snow, manifests as a “no man’s land” down there! It doesn’t make sense that anyone would go to that winter bleak area for a night out. It would be hard to see to park!

If there has to be some addition to our waterfront, all that would be beneficial would be a small general store for the boater’s supplies, and novelties for the beachgoers. That facility could be attached to a restaurant, if it was thought that some finer dining would be desired in the summer. Placement where the mini-golf was located would be convenient to the boaters, and wouldn’t interfere with the popular sand beach.

We don’t need or want a two story building or development of this size on our beach! There are plenty of locations for an event hall, or whatever it is called, elsewhere in our town. In fact, there are already other venues, such as the UNIFOR (CAW) Family Center, Lakeshore Recreation, and other hotels.

For several years, our beach HAD IT ALL. When it was in better shape, the beach was the envy of the Lake Huron shoreline.

It has always been a place of refuge. More than ever, in our fast paced world, everyone needs, and we can offer the quiet beauty and solace of Lake Huron on our beach. People come to Port Elgin, and spend many dollars, for the privilege and pleasure that we can enjoy as we wish.

People go to the beach for their children – sandcastles and sand pails.
People go to the beach for renewal – a place for walking to the sound of waves and water.
People go to the beach to play – tennis, volleyball, Frisbee.
People go to the beach to gather – families join to be together.
People go to the beach to escape the madness of this crazy, faster paced world we inhabit.
People go to the beach to enjoy simple pleasures – beach fries, ice cream, natural beauty.

Don’t forget our sunsets. It is reported that Port Elgin is among the best locations in the world for, and is known for its famous sunsets. People sit in their cars, and walk every evening to take in just this one feature alone!

We had it all at one time – miniature replica steam powered train that was built in Port Elgin, recreation in the northeast corner – mini golf, tennis. People came annually for these attractions. They were seasonal; their buildings didn’t occupy a large portion of our natural resource, and they had the common sense not to try and run businesses down there in the winters.

All other attempts at all season enterprise have failed and are gone.

Our visitors don’t want commercialism; they are escaping that. We don’t want commercialism; we have that uptown, where it belongs. The neighbours don’t want commercialism; they have invested heavily to be able to see and hear the water. We have a treasure at the west end of our town – a PUBLIC beach to be enjoyed, unencumbered, by all.

What is the first thing people see when they descend Green, Mill, or Elgin Street. It is our waterfront. Let that be their first impression of our treasure. Don’t let a commercial building be their first impression!

Please consider the future of our town and respect the significant resistance of so many people who oppose this “mistake on the lake”. Do the right thing, and protect our natural resources!!


P. Little
Port Elgin