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Ups and downs at the waterfront

We can start with the good news.

The Oshawa Harbour Lands will soon be open for residents to enjoy, and the large swaths of green space will prove to be a key piece in the revitalization of the city’s waterfront. At present, there may be little more than trees and trails and empty space, but as the park design comes together, this piece of nature will become a perfect place to spend an afternoon and enjoy the natural beauty this city has to offer.

The opening of these lands is made all the more significant by the sheer amount of time it has taken to get to this point. The land has seen extensive remediation and countless hours of work, both administrative and hard labour, to get things up to speed. For that, the city should be commended for the effort, regardless of the amount of time it took.

It’s a good news story for Oshawa’s waterfront, a key component to any great city. Right now, Oshawa has all the potential in the world to develop and manage what could be a spectacular combination of living space, leisure and business.

And with that, we can turn the coin over.

A central component to any successful waterfront is the boating culture, and the community that surrounds it. Sure, park and beach users are key, and on that vein, the city has things buttoned up quite nicely. Lakeview Park is beautiful and the people of this city know it and certainly make use of it of this precious space.

However, it is hard to believe that a city this size has nowhere for recreational boaters to launch into Lake Ontario.

At the most recent meeting of Development Services committee, Paul Ralph, the commissioner of development services did everything but beg council to give the direction to staff to start seriously looking at the boat launch and putting resources towards making it happen.

Council needs to present a motion for city staff to begin working on this vital Harbour Lands project since no councillor was willing to step forward with one.

But, hopefully, council can come together during this last week before the final council meeting on June 25 to come up with a plan to give boaters something.