Thank you for your November 9 article and insightful editorial on the heritage designation issue in general, and the fate of 50 First Avenue in particular. I did want to acknowledge that Councillor Bryan has also been on our side since Day 1 (July 7th council meeting). At that time, he voted against Heritage Uxbridge’s plan to pursue designation without our consent. He repeated his opposition again at council’s November 6 General Administration committee meeting. He was joined by Councillors Ballinger and Molloy who had previously indicated their discomfort but have now stated their full opposition to enforced designation.
Three other councillors (Mr. Highet, Mr. Barton and Ms. Beach) have been holding their cards close to their chest on the issue. We believe there are at least six strong reasons to oppose designation without consent, including the “rights of the individual over the rights of the state,” to precis Councillor Bryan. We hope that when decision time finally arrives, at least one of the three councillors who have not stated their positions will vote against enforced designation and the motion will be defeated.
As your headline said, “heritage designations (are) becoming a hot-button issue.” Heritage Uxbridge’s enthusiasm for adding more properties to the list for potential designation seems to be increasing. Hence we can imagine that the issue of property rights in Uxbridge will only get hotter as next November’s municipal elections approach.
Robert Bishop & Jennifer Durkin
I have been quietly rooting for Robert Bishop and Jennifer Durkin in the controversy over whether or not their home for the last 30 years should be designated a heritage site.
However, since reading the report in last week’s paper, I’m too heartened to keep my thoughts to myself any longer.
I cannot begin to express how relieved and grateful I am to read that our mayor “stands very firmly on the heritage side” of the debate. Now I can rest assured that when Council moves to sell our little historic Lions Hall in Goodwood next year (already designated a heritage site), our mayor will come to bat for us and use her considerable clout to either prevent the sale, or at least make sure that our heritage building will not be demolished or substantially altered in any way.
And, getting back to the controversy over the Bishop/Durkin residence, I have a possible solution to offer. I believe that it is usually the birthplace of famous people that is singled out for recognition. Sam Sharpe was born in Zephyr, I believe, so his home there could be designated a heritage site instead. As Mayor O’Connor says, we have to decide – “either heritage counts or it doesn’t.”
I’ve been following your articles on how to make our town great and to fill those vacant storefronts instead of letting it fade away.
Our town needs an identity. What are we known for? Uxbridge could become lots of things but we need someone to lead us with a vision and convince the others to follow. At present, it looks like keeping the status quo is the plan and it’s not working.
One vision is to transform Uxbridge into a world-class trail system and attack visitors/tourists like Kingdom Trails in Vermont. We have a great base trail system and the slogan “Trail Capital of Canada.” We have undeveloped Ontario government parcels of land that could be developed into more trails. We have the Rouge National Park that will be one day connected to Uxbridge by trails. The Great Trail, Oak Ridges Moraine Trail, Green Belt Trail all go through Uxbridge.
A lot of people come to use our trails, but go elsewhere afterwards to further enjoy some food or beverage. Most of this money isn’t spent in Uxbridge. We lack the commercial infrastructure to support the trail system near the trailhead, i.e., food, a bar, outdoor shop, rentals (bikes, snowshoes, skis). We need businesses with a vision to draw people to downtown Uxbridge. Second Wedge is a great example of a business that supports many user groups and pulls trail users to Uxbridge. If we get people to spend their money in Uxbridge, a motel will open, the shops will fill up. We also need a paved cycling lane or a paved shoulder on Conc. 7 from Durham Forest to town, and more trails connecting Uxbridge to the trails around Durham Forest. A great pump track at Durham Forest would be a natural extension of the trails system.
We have a great opportunity but it would require hard work, cooperation, enthusiasm, and commitment.
Check out Kingdomtrails.org It’s a great example of what Uxbridge could become.
Thank you to all the brave visitors who came out to Uxbridge Historical Centre’s 5th annual ‘Fright at the Museum’ Halloween Haunted Village and Scavenger Hunt. Over 600 enthusiastic visitors came out to experience thrills and chills at the museum site. We couldn’t have done it without the help of many individuals and groups.
A huge thank you goes out to our wonderful volunteers who helped create the spooky buildings and grounds and brought the scary scenes to life. First Durham Medvents generously came out over the two nights to make sure everyone stayed safe. Healthy Kids Community Challenge provided healthy snacks for everyone.
We greatly appreciate the assistance of our local business sponsors: Canadian Tire, Tim Hortons, Walmart, and Zehrs, for donations of decorations, refreshments and treats. We also thank the Cosmos for the great coverage you gave our event! Also, thank you to our event partner, Uxbridge Public Library.
All our events help support local history and heritage education programming. Thank you for supporting your community history museum!
Nancy Marr, Curator
Rebecca Stoddart, Assistant Curator
Uxbridge Historical Centre
My issue, and also many others, is to prevent heavy truck traffic driving through Uxbridge – 50 foot delivery trucks, 30 foot concrete trucks, 50 foot tanker and pup trailer trucks and 50 foot sand and gravel trucks.
In particular are the sand and gravel trucks who start early at 5 a.m. and end at approximately 7 p.m., Monday to Friday and continue throughout the day. These trucks, driving past Toronto St. S. residences, pass nine feet from the lot line and approximately 20 feet from the front doors.
Numerous studies (world wide) have proven that humans require a minimum of eight hours of sleep per night in order to function at close to 100 per cent. Less sleep has been shown to cause strokes, heart attacks, respiratory problems, anxiety attacks, asthma, cancer, and many other ailments. Residents along this corridor would need to be asleep by 9 p.m. in order to achieve the recommended amounts of sleep. In addition to the residents being subjected/exposed to contaminants, there are the business people visitors and students who walk to the high school each day.
In my earlier correspondence, I mentioned that meters should be installed along this route to gather information, a) number of vehicles, type and time; b) measure the noise pollution (decibels); c) measure the air quality – diesel & gas fumes and engine exhaust; and d) measure the dust problem, particularly in summer months.
It may well be that these recordings would exceed the recommended levels and could motivate the region and province to take action.
A recent Toronto Public Health survey indicated that vehicular traffic pollutants were a cause of premature deaths and other ailments.
There IS in existence an Uxbridge Hwy. 47 by-pass. Approaching Goodwood from the west, there is a sign for truckers to use Goodwood Rd. (21) to Lake Ridge Rd. (23). There is a similar sign on Hwy. 47 when approaching Lake Ridge Rd., and a sign on Lake Ridge Rd. for truckers driving from the north. However, driving north from Ajax on Lake Ridge Rd. and driving north on Brock Rd., there is an absence of signs for truckers.
Unfortunately for Uxbridge residents, these signs are only advisory. Why?
A solution to truck traffic on Uxbridge roads would be to have the signs be enforceable. This is a regional responsibility.
Hwy. 47 is a regional road that no longer is necessary to pass through Uxbridge. The days are long gone when Uxbridge was a hub for area farmers, flour mills and timber mills, etc. Modern, reliable transport allows people to travel further afield in the same time.
Therefore, if the region were to re-route Hwy. 47 via Lake Ridge Rd. and Goodwood Rd. to the York/Durham Line, it would also take the decision away from Uxbridge council and council would be able to make by-laws for the benefit of the Uxbridge residents. There is very little that can be done for the homes and businesses affected by this truck traffic on Brock and Toronto Streets. The re-route of Hwy. 47 would result in more truck traffic on Lake Ridge Rd. and Goodwood Rd. An earthen bern, together with a more dense mixture of shrubs, bushes, deciduous and coniferous trees, could be planted along this route to help reduce the noise levels. When there is future development along the re-routed Hst. 47, it would be required to meet strict building by-laws created by Uxbridge Council.
Looking at area business, Uxbridge wants to be a “green community,” and with this in mind, these businesses can promote themselves as being in the forefront of making a “green community” happen.’ There may be concerns that businesses would close or move away from Uxbridge. During the past 18 months or so, a number of pit owners have applied for and been granted permission to extend their pit operations. The ongoing growth in Ontario will ensure the need for sand and gravel. The future looks excellent for a long time to come for the pit owners.
The businesses in the south end of Uxbridge have a steady stream of regular customers and as the area grows, so will their businesses. These businesses could request their suppliers to make deliveries after 8 a., and to arrive via Brock Rd. to Hwy. 47 to the south end of town, and exit the same route. Again, they would also be able to promote their business as being a major supporter of making Uxbridge a green community, in addition to the Trail Capital of Canada.
We had a very successful 18th year for the annual Operation Warm Hearts coat sale. Our new home is the Arena, where 634 coats were donated by individuals and families from our exceptionally caring and giving community. Many of the coats and other winter necessities like boots, scarves, mittens, tec., were brand new. Two hundred and sixty-one coats were sold in three hours. The community raised $705.60 for the Loaves & Fishes Food Bank. The remaining 373 coats were donated to shelters and Ontario Shores.
We would like to thank all the hard-working volunteers who came out the day of the event. They were simply incredible. Jason from Wash Worx Laundromat made sure the coats were cleaned and delivered to us. Like Jason, Cathy and the Roxy Kids were sensational. Also, Michele and all the other wonderful volunteers made this a banner year for Operation Warm Hearts. Special thanks to the Rotary Club of Uxbridge for 10 coat racks, and to the Arena for donating the space.
To all the other people who helped, a big thank you. We appreciate your continued support of Operation Warm Hearts, keeping everyone in our community toasty and warm!
Next year’s coat sale will be Saturday, November 3, 2018.
Operation Warm Hearts