This is our first week back for Ontario and since I’m a property owner I took the time to check what’s happening in the world of property while in Ontario.
Toronto? …A forest of cranes and condos. One gentleman that I know is selling the condo that he bought for $250,000 about 25 years ago for around a cool $1.3 million. He’s moving to Windsor Ont, he’s picked up a “bargain” for $250,000. Apparently real estate agents have a list of folks that want to buy houses in Windsor so they aren’t even posting FOR SALE signs…there are bidding wars. Did you know that three years ago a national publication called Windsor the “rectum” of Canada and real estate was deeply depressed. So what happened? The City of Windsor and the Real Estate Board teamed up and went to Toronto and started pitching Windsor as a retirement community and, as they say the rest is history. Hamilton? Pretty much the same. Did it ever occur to OUR Mayor and Council and the Saint John Real Estate Board to start pitching Saint John as the “affordable” place to be?
Everywhere we went there were signs of development, new efficient traffic circles to facilitate smooth safe traffic flow. New community centres that are inviting and attract families. We were invited watch one of my relative’s sons play hockey. I said: “Just give me the GPS address and I will find it”. Would you believe in communities a fraction of the size of Saint John they have built and are building “community” centres that encourage families move to their neck of the woods?
Did you know that next year Saint John will turn OUR last community centre over to a local board? When is the last time there was a major quality of life investment in Saint John, by the City, an investment that sent a message to families and businesses we are on the move? We have a re-building of the Reversing Falls facility ……..but it took the vision, leadership and courage of a private citizen to make that happen, didn’t it.
We arrived back in Saint John just in time to learn the one significant hope for waterfront development, the Moosehead micro brewery, has been put on hold. What ever happened to the announcement by the City that the old Coast Guard site “major development” is just around the corner? Then we learn that Hayward and Warwick’s is closing after 161 years.
Oh well on with life in Saint John, I went to get my car undercoated the other day while I was waiting picked up the paper and “BANG” right there as big as life Big project signals city’s bright future for Saint John?……No for Moncton. This hot on the heels of the major $100 million sports development at the site if the old downtown Highfield Square.
Council after Council we hear the same old rhetoric, long on talk and short on action;
How’s that working for us?
I’m glad to be back in Saint John because the people are the kindest and most generous in Canada but when it comes to the City, Mayor and Council’s capacity and/or ability to show the vision and leadership to make Saint John a city on the move? Quite frankly I’m both sad and disappointed.