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Port Stanley News RSS Feed  Editorials Port Stanley Just Be Careful What You Wish For

by Doug Harvey
Port Stanley Just Be Careful What You Wish For

A lot of people say that history sets a good example for directions to follow in the future. Choices, patterns, successes, and failures are all there in some way, shape, or form. But moving forward and making the right choices at the right time is never as easy as it looks.

The other day when I was talking to a friend, somewhere into the conversation Port Stanley's population popped up, and it was stated that in 1949 Port Stanley had a population of roughly 900 people. That took me by surprise, but then I compared that 1949 population of 900 to the roughly 2,300 people that live in Port Stanley now in 2018, and that roughly equates to just over a two and a half times increase over a period of 69 years. When you use percentages, that two and a half times increase sounds pretty impressive, but when you use just the additional 1,400 people increase, then it sounds rather small.

Now today Port Stanley is at a crossroad of planned growth in population, new developments are being planned or being built such as Sunset Bluffs where a total of 110 new homes will be located, and closer to town on the west side of East Road, Little Creek Phase 3 Subdivision where a total of 42 new homes will be located is another development that is going forward. Another significant new development that is proposed on George Street that had an Open House presenting preliminary plans for 151 new homes and 4 apartments that are estimated to have a combined total of 288 housing units. The Berm could also have a substantial amount of new housing if the current version of the Harbour Secondary Plan is used as a guide. Using the Central Elgin standard of 2.49 people per household and taking just the 591 planned new housing units, we come up with 1,471 people. It's amazing how that 1,471 people compares to the population increase of 1,400 people over a 69 year period. Even if this rise in population is attained in seven years, that's ten times faster growth than the last similar 1,400 population increase that took over 69 years .

When it comes to history Port Stanley has more than most places, enough history to be designated as a national historic site of Canada, and the plaque to prove it is in the road island in front of the Kettle Creek Inn. Looking through Port Stanley's history shows a colourful past with many successes, failures, and more than enough unwanted legacy that has caused Port Stanley to take two steps forward and one step back too many times. What seemed to be the best direction to follow never lasted and the price paid, too high.

If there is one common phrase that many people like to use when describing Port Stanley, that has to be "Quaint Village", Quaint meaning pleasingly old-fashioned and Village meaning small country town. Dramatic growth in Port Stanley is starting to show, many of those big city issues now seem to pop up way too often, the most distressing is road rage and speeding. Watching people pass by at double the speed limit, never seemed to happen too often before, but now happens too many times to count. Another sad event was watching a man get out his car by the King George Lift Bridge when the geese were crossing the road and to then witness him chasing and kicking at the geese trying to get them out of the way so he could continue on his way. Growing too much too fast seems to make it harder to know your neighbour and maybe taking away too much of that friendly atmosphere and respect that small villages are known for. Times are a changing for sure, but Port Stanley just be careful what you wish for.

Last Updated: Friday, 19 January 2018 13:39:41 PM EST

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