The ongoing saga of the south side of Colborne Street in downtown Brantford, Ontario is a good example of a lack of methodical taxpayer-centred planning. This site formerly contained 41 commercial properties, which the city expropriated and demolished before a new purpose for the site was confirmed. Wilfrid Laurier University and the YMCA have proposed a Laurier Brantford/YMCA Athletics-Recreation Complex for part of the site. In a 13 July 2011 Brantford Expositor poll, 57% of respondents voted NO to the project.
The south side of Colborne Street has a new purpose. Given the taxpayers’ dollars that have been spent on landscaping and fencing, the south side of Colborne Street is now a green space and lookout point for the enjoyment of ALL citizens. The west end forms a natural amphitheatre, which could be an excellent site for public events.
Enough taxpayers’ dollars have been spent on recreational facilities in Brantford. Brantford has a fairly NEW YMCA. Brantford has the NEW state-of-the-art Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre. Given the growing debt levels of municipal, provincial and federal governments, it is irresponsible for more taxpayers’ dollars to be spent on recreational facilities.
If some feel that there is a need for an additional recreational facility in downtown Brantford, then perhaps the Fitness Institute would be interested in taking advantage of the untapped potential of numerous underused buildings in downtown Brantford.
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