Thursday, November 6, 2014


The secret is coming out!  The Globe and Mail published an article about Canada's South Coast, especially Crystal Beach, as the first of seven desirable places for the over fifty crowd. Of course, those of us who live in the Beach have known this for a long time. Every year, the population of Crystal Beach and Ridgeway increases with refugees from the GTA who long to live in a quaint and quiet community free of traffic congestion, high rises and urban blight.  

This "news" is further proof of the divide between different communities within Fort Erie. we just went over to Buffalo the other day and upon return, when asked, "Where do you live?" I responded with, "Crystal Beach" and my friend said, "Ridgeway." Not Fort Erie, which is technically where we live.  Although the town was amalgamated decades ago, the disparate villages remain loyal to their own brand.  

That is a good thing, except when it comes to politics.  Remember when now Lame Duck Mayor Doug Martin wanted to change the ward system to an at large configuration?  Did he really think that would happen?  That idea will not be discussed again now that the mayor's buddies have been elected in all but one ward. Just as various communities within the amalgamated GTA retain their identities, so too Fort Erie has at least five distinct sectors; some of those broken down even further into neighbourhoods which retain their own identity.  There are many who wish that the former towns within the Town of Fort Erie would return to their former autonomy.  

No wonder there is a divide in the community.  The villages of Crystal Beach and Ridgeway are changing because of the new demographics provided by the influx of people from the GTA and other areas.  It seems that Fort Erie proper, including Bridgeburg, remains static as does Stevensville while Ridgeway/Crystal Beach is growing and changing.

I think we live in interesting times.  I still see great things ahead for the Ridgeway/Crystal Beach area Fort Erie.  Let's see how this new council faces these challenges and opportunities.