Monday, May 26, 2014
The shutters are coming down; lawns and gardens are being spruced up; and snowbirds have returned from warmer climes. Yes, it's the beginning of the summer season in Crystal Beach and all over North America in fact.
Visitors are now greeted with colourful bicycles all pointing in the direction of our great public beach. Like this one on Ridgeway Road, they are the brainchild of the award-winning Crystal Beach Beautification Committee. On Friday the Thirteenth of June (and Saturday) The South Coast Cookhouse will sponsor a Crystal Beach Bicycle Night. Check it out on South Coast's Facebook page.
A lot has happened over the past few months. Many of us are relieved that the Molinaros have decided to pull up stakes on their hotly contested high rise on our public waterfront property. That project brought out the best and the worst in everyone and its ramifications are still being felt as the Molinaros move on. It must be said here that the fight was never directly with the developers; it was with the planning department and the mayor over the proposed P3 agreement that would see the last good public beach front land be developed into a twelve story building. Many of us are opposed to any high rises on the beachfront, especially ones on public waterfront land.
So, the property will remain in public hands for now, but we are well aware that there may be other plans for this property to be developed. Cripes, you'd think it was the only property in town worth developing the way some go on about how people standing up to protect a legacy will drive everyone else away. Marz Homes has built a model home for its development on Ridgeway Road on what was once the amusement park's arena and parking lot and there are other developments about to break ground in the beach. Lots of building and renos going on all over the beach and there is a brisk business in homes sales. It seems that people from outside Crystal Beach, mainly the GTA, are discovering our little hidden gem and are buying up reasonably priced homes and moving/retiring to Canada's South Coast.
We're still waiting to see if our endangered Fowler's Toads reappear in Bay Beach. Some have been spotted on Point Abino. The toads figured prominently in the fight to save the Bay Beach Properties from development. Their natural habitat would have been destroyed with construction of the condo tower - even with the area to be set aside for their home.
You might notice that something is missing from Bay Beach this year: the Bay Beach Snack Bar is no more. The eyesore that was once run by a cheese smuggler has taken a well-deserved dirt nap, thankfully before anyone was injured by the monument to engineered blight that adorned the beach. The Lobster House still stands and there are proposals for its use as it has been deemed "solid" at this time. Parking lots remain and the Park and Display machines will be used again this summer.
At the May 26 Regular Council Meeting, town planner Rick Brady advised that the Molinaro Sales Trailer would be removed from the Bay Beach Properties by June 14.
Oh, and over the winter, we had a phenomenon happen down near the Waterfront Park. Ice caves were formed as shove ice built up over the freezing cold winter. Quite rare so close to shore. Thousands of people visited. Never so much traffic coming into Crystal beach since the days when the amusement park was going strong.
So, Welcome Back everyone. May you have a safe, happy and healthy summer in the best beach town in Canada.
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