Steve Hinder believes opposition to Bob Forrest’s proposed development “makes no sense”.
Hinder, who will be jointly moderating the Ward 5 candidates Q&A on 4 October 2016, believes a seven storey apartment building in the heart of the Heritage Conservation District is needed, dismissing as irrelevant the three storey height cap mandated by the Heritage and zoning by-laws.
Hinder, an Aurora resident, believes it is OK to demolish irreplaceable historic buildings – including one dating from 1845 where the first female pharmacist in Canada had her business. This is a matter of no consequence to him.
Surprised at opposition
Hinder is “surprised” at the opposition to the Clock Tower redevelopment.
And yet this is the man who will be holding the ring at the candidates Q&A next Tuesday, responsible for ensuring fair play.
We all want to see the Town’s Heritage District survive and prosper.
But the real question is this: Will Bob Forrest’s Clock Tower development be a dose of arsenic to the old downtown, killing it off completely, or will it be a tonic?
Even with a whole section of Main Street South shuttered and boarded up for years by Bob Forrest the street has gone from strength to strength. Everyone celebrates its vitality.
But can the street survive three or four years of construction with dump trucks thundering along residential roads? Can the Heritage District stay its old attractive self with this monstrous out-of-place development at its very heart?
Steve Hinder clearly thinks so.
The letter below was sent by Steve Hinder to Newmarket Council earlier this year. He staunchly supports Bob Forrest’s Clock Tower development.
How on earth can the Chamber of Commerce consider him an impartial referee?
The letter from Hinder to the Mayor and Members of Newmarket Council reads:
I would like to express my opinion on what I think is a tremendous opportunity for the Town of Newmarket.
I am surprised to hear there is opposition to the Clock Tower redevelopment knowing the benefits it will create for Main Street, adding to the current assets that already exist in the area.
Although I live in Aurora, I shop, dine and visit Main Street on a regular basis. For the last 40 years as a resident of the area, I have watched how the street has changed from one that struggled with maintaining and attracting retailers, restaurants and people, always however recognizing the potential.
To today, where it has become the total opposite and is known as one of the most attractive areas in which to visit and a focal point for the community. A destination for people.
I applauded the leadership of politicians and community leaders that envisioned this “people” place and acted by designing and developing River Walk Commons.
This addition brought people to Main Street. It became alive with activity and commerce because that’s what people bring. New restaurants and retail followed and resulted in attracting even more. It has become a jewel for the area.
Newmarket is fortunate to have a great Main Street, Riverwalk Commons and Fairy Lake all linked in an attractive community setting.
I heralded the news of the Clock Tower redevelopment recognizing that it would bring more residents to the downtown core. More prosperity, more opportunity, more support for small business. This can only be a positive economic boost that will help ensure a vibrant, sustainable Main Street for decades to come.
To present opposition to such a positive addition makes no sense. To maintain the status quo for the sake of not wanting change is the type of thinking that will jeopardize not only local business but risk squandering something very special.
I personally find the lifestyle such a development would offer, extremely attractive. I know I speak for many of friends who shared the excitement about living in such a special community that provided dining, shopping and recreational opportunities all within a short walk. We’ve been talking about this redevelopment as a positive move forward since it was first proposed and considered it the next logical addition.
I encourage members of Council to look forward to what might be, rather than focus on what used to be. If downtown Newmarket does not see this great opportunity before them, others will and this exciting addition will be lost forever.
It’s time to continue building on what’s been started and ensuring the sustainability that will make Main Street the desirable community it can be.
I encourage you to continue with your leadership for the good of all residents, businesses and all that enjoy this great space today AND tomorrow.