Friday, December 5, 2014


A Ceremony to Re-Dedicate the Plaque that replaces
 the original one that mysteriously went missing. 
3:00 O'clock in the Afternoon
at Queen's Circle, Crystal Beach
Performance by 
Crystal Beach Public School Choir 
Guest Speakers
Unveiling of Plaque
We invite all to attend. 

I remember well the original dedication of the refurbished Queen's Circle and the plaque that was unveiled on that beautiful June day in 1999.  Then Mayor Wayne Redekop gave a great speech to the schoolchildren who attended.  He urged them all to take care of the circle because it was the birthplace of what we now call Crystal Beach.  A local theater group performed a historical recreation of the sacrifices of the Burd Family which had placed a memorial in the circle close to a hundred years earlier to honour the son who gave his life in WWI.  The Ridgeway Lioness, of which I was a member at the time, provided lemonade and cookies for the event and the service club's name was included on the plaque as a sponsor for the refurbishment of the circle.

On Sunday, Mayor Redekop is expected to be a guest speaker and many of the original sponsors will be in attendance to see the replacement of the plaque that has suffered through years of vandalism.  Too bad that some in the community have no respect for the rich history of the once Chautauqua-style meeting place at the circle, named for then Queen Victoria. From Queen's Circle came the amusement park just south on the shores of Lake Erie.  It is only right that this hallowed ground be celebrated and preserved for all. 


I am encouraged that the Niagara Parks Commission is taking another look at an improved marina on the Niagara River along the Niagara Parkway.  Janice Thomson, chair of the NPC, has set forth a two-pronged approach to the marina that currently stands on NPC property on the river near Fort Erie. In the Bullet Media article, Thomson states that the first priority is to find a company to operate the marina for the 2015 season. The marina contains 135 berths and has a small concession stand and washrooms.  It is definitely in need of a major overall.  The consensus of opinion from a June, 2014 open house into the matter, was that any new marina project should take into consideration the neighbouring residents.  

Homes along the scenic Niagara Parkway pay some of the highest property taxes in the region and many were upset about an earlier planned development that would have taken a large chunk of the parkway to convert into condos and a huge retail area and marina. I got a laugh from the statement by Economic Development Tourism Corporation honcho Jim Thibert that he was unaware of the new direction the NPC is taking with regard to the marina until he was contacted by Bullet Media. Hah! And keep him out of the loop, please.

 Many of us remember his ill-fated attempt to help a developer build a golf course on the Niagara Parkway. That's when he plucked Kimberly Zanko out of a customs brokerage and paraded her before the press in his dog and pony show in favour of the golf course.  Except, Stella Ziff lived on the Parkway and took the developers to the OMB and won. Flash forward and Thibert championed the huge Kuwaiti development for the marina and found out what the people who pay big bucks to live on the Parkway think about "Winston Churchill's Favourite Sunday Drive" being cut to shreds for a commercial development. Another grandiose Thibert dream that failed when the NPC pulled the plug on the development. Add that to Thibert's big idea of buying the horse race track and you might get a clue why I think he should be fired.

It took a lot of effort to stop the Bay Beach Condo Tower on our public beachfront property. The residents along the Niagara Parkway on both above and below the Falls will not take lightly to their magnificent parkway being ruined by a foreign developer's plans.  Keep it local and keep it within proportion and look for the area.  All one needs to do is look across the River to the Buffalo side to see how a community can screw up its waterfront.  Buffalo is slowly reclaiming its waterfront for the public and great strides have been made at the mouth of Lake Erie and the Niagara Rover, but so-called "Riverside" is still a mess. Why would Fort Erie want to copy that?


  1. Never saw the old plaque that you speak of but if some made off with it by pulling up an old post or unscrewing it from a board on a table or something like that (although its probly too late to offer any sugestions) lets hope the people that seem to know how important a little bit of recognition for what the area means to a lot of us will pour a little cement and imbed the plaque in a small cairn where some weenie with a taste for scrap metal cant sneak off with it with a pair of 2 dollar vise grips from the convenience store. Its probly too late (as so many of the important political decisions made lately in the area). however, we can only hope someone had the foresite to look into the matter, (besides, 2 or 3 sacks of quickset would be less than 20 dollars, and would set a fine example how to cut costs and solve a seemingly sestemic problem of overspending with results that will .last a lot longer than the last 20 tax dollars spent on our behalf.) Perhaps if the mayor stands over this last effort and reads something ,it could be an expression of what once was, and what can be ,when using a little common sense

    1. That poor plaque has been through a lot. It was once broken in half. Someone had to bash the hell out of it to achieve that end. Ever see the plaque at the Madeleine Fiazza Playground near Lincoln Road and Belfast? Bashed. There are still some remnants of the losers who took over the Beach when it was at bottom. Most are gone now, fleeing gentrification of the former welfare dumping ground. As neighbourhoods stabilize, vandalism usually decreases. Let's hope that this new plaque is respected and protected. Such disrespect really pisses me off.

  2. The new plaque was reinstated with donations by community members not with tax dollars.

  3. The Marina Project basically died when the two Reps, that represent Fort Erie, Wayne Redekop and Douglas Martin ,killed the main trunk sewer line that was supposed to go past that Marina , the agreement was promised in 1980 in the MOE financing of the Stevensville/ Black Creek sewer system, after 20 years the sewage lagoon (Cess Pool) was to be closed down and the sewage piped to Anger Road Sewage treatment Plant. The Mayor was Stella Ziff. more broken promises by Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum.

  4. Sorry to stray off topic, but speaking of vandalism and heritage reduced to scrap metal - does anyone know what happened to those beautiful doors stolen from the Mausoleum? Sorry if I've asked this before. Many thanks!

  5. The Circle looks very nice at night...........

  6. According to insiders at the historic oval, the track is finished once the money from the province runs out.

    The sleazy developer only bought it because it was a bargain with all it's ajoining lands and has no intention of keeping horse racing "Alive and Kicking" in FE when the provincial Liberals say enough is enough. Looks like King Jimmie will have tp look for another BS gig.......ooops he's already got one and with the CofC run ol boys club sitting around the local council horseshoe, he is safe to do nothing for another 4 years or about 3 MILLION $$$$$ at his current wages and rate of making out taxes disappear.

    Well done Fort Stupid, you voted for them, now you will pay.

  7. Thank you for this Sharon. It is sad that The Friends of Crystal Beach had this rededication of the Queen Circle and did not inform anyone from the Burd Family. I know my mother and aunt would more than glad to represent there Family (Burd) at this occasion.


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