Thursday, April 16, 2009

A man. A plan. Something awful

I don't want to spend too much time on the canal proposal that has recently been designated as 'doable' by a small task force. It doesn't seem right to weigh on a proposal that hasn't even been seen by city councilors. But that hasn't stopped the mayor of Windsor from championing its merits and the likes of Gord Henderson to malign detractors of the idea.

But I wanted to make mention of the issue for two reasons. First, Chris Schnurr has recently researched and written a couple great posts about the topic.

From his post, 60 Points of Light:

Mr. Henderson again attempted to paint the canal as the saviour of the downtown by resurrecting the famed Bricktown Canal completed at a cost of $26-million in 1999 in Oklahoma City, population 1-million.... But what Mr. Henderson did not tell us was that the Bricktown Canal was but one of 9 projects approved by voters there known as the MAPS Master Plan...

This master plan includes: fairgrounds renovations, a new AAA baseball park, a bus trolley system, renovation of its convention center and music hall, a new arena and new library and learning centre. Banking downtown revitalization on a canal is not unlike banking revitalization on a marina, the prospect of which was something that Gord Henderson loathed back in 2003.

The central tenant of the canal proposal is that a water feature will lure Windsor households to move downtown. What I find so absurd is that we already have a beautiful water feature downtown. Its called the Detroit River. And we have a beautiful chain of riverside parks that, with a fraction of the costs to add water a couple blocks inland, could become a truly great public place.

That's all I'll say for the time being. Part of me agrees with Ed that the canal proposal is just a distraction from all the ills from the not so bright side of Windsor.