On a misty Sunday morning this past week, I strolled through and around David Johnston Park, by the site of the major and somewhat controversial Skydev development proposal. Sadly, Skydev recently bypassed Municipal Council and residents by taking its case for their high-density housing and hotel complex to the Ontario Land Tribunal.
Clearly they hope for the green light to proceed, despite widespread opposition from both neighbourhood residents and many in the broader community who have legitimate concerns about the impacts of the development on many aspects of the town. Their move certainly isn’t ingratiating to many who have simply asked for more innovative, environmentally-sustainable development that reflects and respects Meaford’s small town charm and heritage.
My walk that particular morning was one of both reflection and inspiration. There is so much natural beauty on and around the site next to one of Meaford’s last unspoiled waterfront areas – and so much to lose, not the least of which is the erosion of Municipal autonomy in development decisions and people’s say in those decisions. It prompted the following poem entitled:
Summer Morning Wanders and Wonders
On this magical summer morning.
Into deep fields
Of dreams and nature’s miracles,
Rooted, grounded, stretching high
On this misty summer morning.
I’m beholden, humbled
As beauty abounds,
On ground and beyond
On this mystical summer morning.
Soon to be shaven, cut down,
Paved over with dollars,
As looming buildings rise, shadowing
Memories of magical summer mornings.
Anne Boody Horwood, Meaford