Innisfil – Just Not Ready

As I write this, Innisfil is making good on its promise to demolish the streetscape median east of St. John’s Rd. Let me share the result with you:

MedianAfter2

Road

 

 

 

 

It only took a couple of whiners and an ignorant, weak-kneed council.

Apparently, a certain unelected individual has the power to veto town planning that was years in the making. The median was an attractive addition in all seasons and we had five good years before this myopic, small-minded and petulant act of municipal vandalism, but the truth is, saving the streetscape was a losing battle.

Too many residents and officials of Innisfil never took any pride of ownership in what was created. Shortly after the streetscape was completed, vandals started inflicting petty damage on metal railings and stone work. Some graffiti-punk defaced several buildings along the street including the Lakeshore Library as soon as it was built. A number of trees planted along the sidewalk were damaged. In winter, snow plow drivers caught the edge of planters with the blade and either smashed or ripped off the stone cap. One careless plow demolished a pair of waste receptacles over the first winter.

If that wasn’t enough, a couple of retailers made loud noises about how the median was a ‘hazard’ that interfered with traffic. There was never any quantitative evidence to substantiate that claim and, in spite of their whining, both businesses are busier (and larger) than ever.

That’s what we’ve been up against. Punks, drunks, hooligans, hostile retailers, and a don’t-care council.

The town itself failed to provide proper maintenance. Shrubs need a clip, and trees are left damaged and dying. At least one tree was choked by the wire brace that was put on when it was planted. Trees along the sidewalk are gasping for water in the current drought. Ironically, the trees and shrubs remaining in the surviving median, situated away from pedestrians, are the healthiest.

The grave site created in the middle of the road is an appropriate place to bury the town’s ambitions. I’m sure the hundreds of visitors to the park will be shocked by the latest ‘beautification’. And some new residents who thought they were moving into a progressive community will have their eyes opened to reality. Innisfil just isn’t ready to be “the place to be in 2020”. No vision. No leadership. No pride. No guts.

Related:

Stupid Is as Stupid Does

All Hail The Car!

Inspiring Innisfil – the Path Divided

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Innisfil – Just Not Ready

  1. These medians should never have been installed. Let’s not give the current council for the removal; the argument has been ongoing for a long time. Rather we should reflect back on the previous group that pursued and implemented these ridiculous and dangerous glorified flower pots.
    What surprise me is that there were no pictures of the Mayor and his sidekick Councillors, when the removal began. Being photographed seems to be their favourite pastime.
    Soon enough, residents will begin to realize the future name for the “current” Township of Innisfil; it be “Developer Ville.
    After all, it is apparent who is controlling the growth of Innisfil.

    • Calling the late streetscape “ridiculous” and “dangerous” demonstrates that you are unfamiliar with the design objectives laid out in the original planning document. As I recall, many people turned out to celebrate the completion of this project. Similar medians have been successfully implemented in many other communities. What makes Innisfil so uniquely difficult? Maybe the people?
      I’m sure the mayor and councillors did not want to be photographed wasting $100,000.
      I’ve tried to point out to readers in several articles, we can’t hold back the tide of change that’s coming our way. The best we can do is steer developers toward building the kind of neighbourhoods we really want. But that will take a strong council, unwavering planning staff and some new powers for municipal governments, and an aware and engaged public.

  2. What an idiot……clearly the planners screwed up initially and its about time it was changed. From one of your original articles about these boulevards you clearly had never experienced the way cars and especially trucks could turn into Home Hardware. I was nearly tail ended because of these. Of course the holes will be filled in and then you’ll have a proper turning lane. Your comments about council are inappropriate as they took needed action as they have with a number of community enhancing projects. Maybe instead of being critical of most things in your articles you could inject some positives in to our community. No more dribble from you….I will be unsubscribing. D.Cooper

    • It was never – and should never have been – an either/or choice. Sensible people would have used readily available options to resolve any traffic issues while preserving the median which was in planning and construction for several years. Traffic is not the ‘be all and end all’ of community building. Thank you for proving my point – Innisfil just isn’t ready. I don’t keep track but I’m pretty sure that I have been positive about a number of things. I try to write balanced articles that reflect different arguments. I write this blog so that residents have an opportunity to express their views in this space. You have mine.

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