The people who propose this must worship at the altar of ugliness!

Thoughtful, intelligent and caring communities build on the past. Don’t they?

Are we so short-sighted and lacking in confidence? Have we forgotten that today, we stand on our ancestors’ shoulders and hold the future in trust for our children?

In The Midhurst Secondary Plan: Let’s think again!Word pdf Bill Nieuwland is able to compress and express forty years of beauty and folly in a wonderfully elegant manner:

When I moved to Vespra Township more than forty years ago, it was an area of beautiful natural and agricultural landscape. Midhurst was a small village of mostly modest homes scattered along a few quiet streets. For the most part, residents wisely relied on the wooded terrain to enhance the settings of their homes. Subsequent small developments took their cue from the examples set before them. Thanks to the foresight of those who have come before, this village is a jewel of Simcoe County. Word of this bucolic hamlet soon spread. New arrivals were drawn to it because of the opportunities for a wholesome and healthy family and community life. However, it seems that some powers decided that all this was more than its residents deserved. And so, they imposed on it a planning regime that would overwhelm the community.

On the Midhurst Secondary Plan:

Now Midhurst is to be drawn and quartered. The streets that were laid in the heart of the village more than a hundred years ago are to become busy thoroughfares with tens of thousands of vehicles per day. There will be very few local employment opportunities for the thousands of new residents. The mass of commuters will need to go as far afield as Toronto. They will leave bleary eyed in the early morning and return exhausted in the evening. Commuting by public transit or bicycle will be all but impossible. Old Midhurst will become a pedestrian and cycling nightmare.

Bill’s writing reminds me of stories I’ve been told of people I’ve heard of and known, like Meth Adamson, Ike Merritt, Charles Bowdery, George Monteith, Rid Groves, Harvey Spence, Les Willis, Charlie Day, Dick Pierce, and Dick Brown.

If you want to see what Midhurst’s spirit can build, look to Springwater Park.

Springwater Park was planned and crafted out of a desert of sand when everyone thought it was of no value. So was the Midhurst Tree Nursery.

They  used to call it the Commons. It wasn’t worth anything. Alan Johnston

Every pond was man-made working in concert with the gift of abundant water.

Bill Nieuwland expresses an elegant alternate view to the present slash and burn mentality.

Originally published on iLoveMidhurst.ca on March 2, 2012.

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