Thursday, January 11, 2007

Small Town Pleasures - Small Town Concerns

I live in a special community

On Tuesday evening, we ventured out to our first ever community potluck dinner. A new acquaintance introduced me to the event by simply saying, 'you've got to come to this!'. Because it's hosted by the local youth group, I thought that it was limited to members of the group - WRONG! There was a bit of all sectors of the community, apart from the 'old school blues' (as I like to call the uber conservative - you know, 'blue'- members of a certain corner of the business community. We have a sizable population of assisted-living and community-living citizens and some of them were there, too. A few seniors, a lot of families and a lot of good food. I made a giant batch of iced brownies - there were none left by the time we cleared off our plates so they must have been good ;). K the younger seemed sad that we didn't have any more when we got home.

The organizer was telling us that there was only about a third of the normal 'eaters' because of the big town council meeting, where they were discussing a new housing development that may be going in. 200 houses in a town of 4400 is too much... I fear that it will change this little corner of the world, but not in a good way. I'd hate to see us end up in a fragmented, neighbourhood-based town, not the small town that I found 10 years ago. I look at our neighbour-towns of Arnprior and Carleton Place where this is already the reality. Their development has been virtually unchecked and they are now bedroom communities of Ottawa, not special small towns. With the Walmart and Home Depot being built in CP, the downtown core looks deserted on a weekday afternoon. No signs of life. Contrast that with Mississippi Mills and you'll find people walking down Mill street, stopping to chat or wave to friends, running to Baker Bob's for a coffee or buy a newspaper, dropping into the LYS to grope the wool, checking on the mail. I m just starting to really appreciate this town and now this news...

Like my new acquaintance said, if we wanted to live in Stittsville, we would have moved there instead of Almonte...

2 comments:

Scott from Arnprior said...

I'm not sure I'd agree with your assessment of Arnprior. I think in the past couple of years, the downtown has actually improved. Yes, there are a lot of people who commute to Ottawa, but I don't think it's been at the expense of our uniqueness.

Zia said...

Hi Bumbershootska!

Thanks so much for your sweet comment about my sweater - I hope you do knit it someday and enjoy it too....

From Pia, I mean Zia.

P.S. tee-hee, don't worry, I need about 3 cups of coffee to get me started in the mornings! :)