I have been following the discussion about the location of the proposed events centre/arena with great interest.
I am sure I am not the only Sudburian who would be upset and concerned to see a major community events centre/arena, paid for by local tax payers and built primarily for local families with children and grandchildren, being co-located with a casino.
Building the events centre on The Kingsway location will also add to the problematic sprawl that most other cities are trying to avoid.
The “parking advantage” being discussed for The Kingsway location in my opinion is an environmentally-unattractive option, because those numerous parking spaces will sit empty outside of hockey games and special events. In contrast, a downtown parking garage will be used every day by people working, living and shopping in the heart of the city.
Having grown up in Europe and having spent the last 25 years travelling around the world, there is no question in my mind that the only option is to build our new events centre/arena downtown.
Every beautiful, successful and touristy city that I have ever seen has a vibrant, interesting centre, or as I would call it, a healthy, pulsing heart. I always head straight to the centre of any city or town I visit, because there I will find the places of interest, the local history and museums, the hub of arts and culture and the most appealing restaurants, cafés and accommodations.
I believe council has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape our city and to implement our vision of being a growing community, recognized for innovation, leadership, resourcefulness and pride.
We have a window of opportunity to implement the Downtown Master Plan, to increase densification and to invest in large projects that will stimulate growth throughout the city.
We need to continue to build on our existing reputation of being the global centre for mining research, environmental restoration and innovation — an important centre for health, education and tourism — in other words, we strive to be the capital of Northern Ontario with a vibrant downtown.
The exciting new proposed projects, built in the downtown location, will play a transformational role with tremendous economic impact — the result could be that we will have a city similar to those cities that we all admire elsewhere.
We succeeded to regreen and revive our environment, and there is no reason why we cannot revive the heart of our city.