Loss of nature/history

Dear Editor:

RE: County grants tax relief for Pearle Hospitality’s Elora South development despite Cork’s objection, June 2.

This article states “an estimated $3.81 million in tax revenue [will be] returned to Pearle in the span of a decade,” with the explanation that it is a “brownfield.” This is ridiculous. They own 8.9 acres. It is difficult to believe that the entire acreage is “brownfield.”

I was shocked and disappointed to find out how much the township had sold of our river path. Will we ever get that path back? They have sold the best trail and the best riverside property and view in Wellington County and then our councillors allow them a $3.81-million gift?

And now we learn that Geranium Homes has submitted a proposal to build multi-million dollar mansions on half-acre lots on the southeast portion of the Fergus Golf Club on Wellington Road 19, where they will be filling in two wetlands.

An extension of the industrial park along the trail from Gartshore is in progress right now and further along the trail at Anderson Street, there is a 48-acre industrial park planned. There was an archeological dig to decipher if there were any Indigenous finds there, but since there were no bones found, only arrowheads, I guess they don’t count. 

The Trestle Bridge Trail will have the Gemini Homes development building more million dollar homes after cancelling contracts with the buyers at $800,000 because the township said the development had failed to meet the deadline for infrastructure. 

Maybe those people needed a break or at least an extension in the time limit from the township. They now have to look for homes in a higher priced market. But the developer will make buckets more money! 

There are also plans to put a bridge over the Richard Pierpoint nature reserve, a beautiful natural area with an amazing Black history that is too important to be paved over. This land was bequeathed to our township for the people of Wellington County to enjoy.

Soon our beautiful towns of Fergus and Elora will not have as much nature and history to draw tourists, who gave Elora the title “The most trippable town.” People did not come to see a shopping plaza/condominium/apartment building sitting on the edge of our beautiful Grand River; they travelled to enjoy old stone buildings and bridges, parks, river paths and the entire Elora Cataract Trail. 

A few years ago, any development had to keep 5% of the land they bought for parkland. Now it is money that exchanges hands. 

In the “Make Wellington County Home” ads in the paper the last few weeks, it states that: “Everyone should be able to live here.” Meaning that everyone should be able to afford to live here.

If we have extra money to give to large corporations who compromise the way we live, we should have enough to help the people that are struggling to rent or even buy a home here.

Christy Doraty,