I noticed in yesterday's paper the assurance from Coun. Mitch Tweel that the promised new ramp at Victoria Park approved by the previous council last year will go ahead. I think this is a mistake. My opinion is based on my experience as a candidate in the municipal election last fall. In conversations across Ward 5 many issues were identified. The issue that came first in terms of mentions and concern was the proposed ramp at Victoria Park. Not a single person was in favour of it.
Reasons include the following: (1) The impact on the rock facing that now protects the shoreline; (2) A lack of space to park and off-load canoes or kayaks and to return them to the vehicle after use, and to do it safely; (3) No room for a building to store craft; (4) The need to explore potential at existing wharfs; (5) Concern that the boaters would be in danger from the motorized Sea-Doos and/or Jet Skis that operate in the area from the other wharfs; (6) Interference with walkers on the existing sidewalk; (7) The service could be developed at the other wharfs that operate in the area.
I was privileged to assist in the creation of the most recent waterfront master plan. It included a proposal for a beach area on the western side of the Hillsborough Bridge. The beach development would/could include the launch now proposed for Victoria Park. Consultants noted the requirement for parking, storage, safe place to unload, and concern for safety on the water.
During the campaign I met a very interesting senior citizen who suggested another option. From her patio on Vista Street you could see the north end of Queen Elizabeth Park. She thought this could be turned into the ideal site for a launch for Sea-Doos – parking is already there, space exists to build the storage, very little existing traffic on the water, and likely a lot safer and less expensive.
My point is that this needs a lot more thought before launching and more careful consideration on the public view.