A Community with Vision and Will for the Future

The following photograph and accompanying article below was submitted by Tim Warris and published in the Simcoe Reformer  October 3rd, 2013.

Members of the Board of Port Dover Waterfront Preservation Association have received enthusiastic and positive feedback about this article.  We are posting it on the website for those who do not subscribe to the Reformer and were mystified by Mr. Travale’s response in the most recent Port Dover Maple Leaf which appeared without reference or context.

An example of what can be done with vision and will!

An example of what can be done with vision and will!

“I spent the afternoon on Sunday wandering around Tillsonburg, especially around Lake Lisgar and I came away very impressed and disappointed at the same time. I lived in Tillsonburg some 30+ years ago, right next to this lake, but haven’t been back to the lake in some time.

I was quite impressed at just how great the entire area around the lake looks, and with the condition of the lake itself. I seem to recall when I lived there it was a lot more like what our Silver Lake in Port Dover looks like today, a silt filled swampy mosquito factory.

A quick look at the images I took of the lake on Sunday will show just what can be done when a community and council are behind a project to improve a major piece of their town. The lake is clean, accessible and inviting. There is an active sailing club, a great looking gazebo over the water, a huge, well maintained public dock for the local rowing club, which is in its own nice looking building and clear, deep water. A large bridge spans the middle of the lake allowing access to either side easily. The lake is surrounded with parks and benches and the surrounding area is teaming with wildlife and activity. From what I could tell, a lot of the work was done in the last 10 years or so from a private foundation and provincial grants.

The area is incredible and something Tillsonburg should be very proud of.

Now let’s contrast this with what we have in Port Dover at Silver Lake, the former Sutton Pond, and what looks like the next victim, Lake George in the middle Simcoe.

Silver Lake has been made into a disaster at the hands of an incompetent council that should have done some due diligence before opening up a can of works with the MNR and MOE. It’s filling quickly with silt, it stinks in the summer and all the good will and effort put forward by the Lion’s Club to build a park around the lake has been squandered.

Efforts to solve the problem have been met with resistance from people outside the of the community, that, for some reason that is lost on me, think this is better then spending what it would take to build something similar to what I saw on the weekend in the next county over.

Why can we not come up with the people, effort, funds and pride to have these amazing places in our towns? What is it about Tillsonburg that is so special that their citizens can see their way to something so much better than abandoned parks? For a hundred years Lake George in Simcoe with the centerpiece of the town, what has changed so dramatically that the current generation is not able to maintain and build on what was there? The best we can do is to let it all rot.

Clearly as can be seen in Tillsonburg, anything is possible if the community wants it enough.

We need to not give into the CAVErs (citizens against virtually everything) and impotent short sighted councils. It’s time to take a trip to Tillsonburg, have a look at what they have done, and be embarrassed.”

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2 Responses to “A Community with Vision and Will for the Future”

  1. susan daniels Says:

    Bravo !!! very well written..and very true..and we all should be embarrassed that we have allowed our incompetent council to continue to bow down to the MNR..
    how can one committee decided on the fate of the once beautiful Silver Lake. Get rid of them..and lets get on with it.!
    Susan Daniels

  2. Gordon Leaker Says:

    Tim’s article is just one of probably many such stories. To see what can be done on a larger scale google ” The Big Dig” in Regina Sask.
    It shows just what can be done when the will is there and people work together. In the interests of full disclosure, I used to skate on Lake Wascana in the winter and rent a row boat in the summer and just row around.
    Gordon Leaker


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