Sometimes you win!

We live near a tourist town where there is a farm community, an Arts Centre,  retirement homes, a fine museum, a knit shop, an old Mill waiting to be restored, a few restaurants that come and go, a Tim Horton’s coffee shop,  several veterinarians, a factory for car parts, a small grocery shop, a community centre and a couple of nearby nurseries too. There are several attractive churches and also a wonderful summer music festival. Every spring there is a great used book sale with people who come from miles around to grab a find. There is hockey, fishing, lawn bowling, broom ball,  canoeing, baseball and LaCross. There’s a fine campground as well with swimming, hiking and even a viewing spot called Lover’s Leap! There’s a failing race track and slot machine establishment (which was heavily protested against) and a small nearby hamlet with a gravel pit smack in the middle of the residences  (again, heavily protested against).

Our town

But let me tell you about the gas station in the very center of our town! Over the years the leakage of gasoline into the land there became serious since everything is situated close to a river. Eventually the station was closed and the company was required to clean up the land. And this was done so that this valuable property could once again be sold. To one side of the property is a charming cinema, on the other side is a pub with outdoor tables in the summertime. Across the street are shops: antiques, clothing, jewelry, children’s clothing, kitchen supplies. Behind the property are some galleries.

Then came the citizens once more. They organized and presented their wishes to the town council, and lo and behold they have won and are in the process of having a small but wonderful new park built on that central spot in the community. No more gas station. Sometimes citizens carry the day!

I am enchanted so far with what is taking place. There are sizeable trees of many varieties, an irrigation system, terrific seating spots and sculptures which will change over time. Join me for a look at how the corner park is evolving.

Every single tree here has been newly planted, except for some sumac.  The sculpture in the foreground is called “Topiary”.

Straight ahead you see a semi-circle of mature trees.

Look at the trunk of this one!

This morning while visiting there, I saw a tamarack, a gingko, redbuds and more.

Behind the tall sculpture here, you see the town cinema. It has a charming courtyard where folks can gather.

These days people enter the cinema through a small lane.

Trumpet vines and hollyhocks line the entrance laneway.

The cinema courtyard.

In the near future this courtyard will be accessible from the park.

Other sculptures on display:

The irrigation has been installed as well as some of the shrubs and flowers. I saw some hardy sedums and hostas already planted and watered in.

These tall trees obscure the view of traffic lights and cars and make you feel you are in a private oasis.

Soon the flagstone will be installed and sod as well. There will be lighting for the sculptures too. We turned extremely lucky!  Sometimes you win!


About fromourisland

Gardener, knitter, wife, mother of 2, grandmother, and lots more.
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6 Responses to Sometimes you win!

  1. Sue says:

    What a fabulous use of the space! Is it being funded by the town? I loved visiting your farm and town, Marie. That was such a fun weekend.

  2. How wonderful! what a great idea… Glad to hear the citizens prevailed

  3. I’ll try to do a follow up on the park as it draws to completion. Need to find out details about the funding, though I’m sure a great deal of volunteer effort is involved.

  4. tezalizard says:

    Marie: Once again you’ve inspired me. I am hoping to interview two people whose names seem to gravitate closely with this project for the radio show. When I have more concrete info I will let you know. I am going to be in Elora tomorrow doing garden maintenance so I will do some sleuthing while I am there! It is a wonderful improvement for sure and the sheer size of those trees….. magnificent!

  5. tezalizard says:

    I was standing at the lights, on my way for an ice cream and noticed action behind the fence. A little bit of investigation has landed me an interview next Wednesday with Shawn Waters who seems to be the go-to person on this amazing project. It is a fascinating story, from what I was able to get out of him in the fifteen seconds I took before he was approached by someone more official looking than myself. Tune in on the 15th on 929 The Grand FM for the interview!

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