Haldimand County CAO Don Boyle says that citizens shouldn’t worry about the design for the new Cayuga library not fitting in to its 150-year-old surroundings because “this building is not about today; it’s a 50-year building, it’s also for tomorrow.”
The implication seems to be that this new library — along with the $30-million administration building, the demolition of our museum, and the removal of our log cabin — is just the start of the makeover he has in mind for the historic village of Cayuga. Before he’s through, all the heritage buildings surrounding the proposed new library site will have been demolished and replaced by new, modern ones. Then the library will fit in perfectly.
Mr. Boyle’s lack of appreciation for heritage architecture is to be pitied. However, it does not give him the right to destroy something that is valued by many citizens who, unlike him, actually live here.
Now that citizen volunteers have saved him the bother of locating the Market Square patent, perhaps Mr. Boyle can spend some time reviewing the many planning documents that identify Cayuga’s downtown as an exceptionally rich and intact collection of 19th century buildings that should be preserved and enhanced, not demolished and replaced.
After that, he can check out the Haldimand County Economic Development Strategy (2017) which will remind him that Haldimand citizens value their small-town atmosphere; that 42% of them view arts, culture and heritage as real economic opportunities; and that some business owners have relocated to Haldimand County based on the quality of life and small town feel.
Finally, he should consider whether he is equipped to serve such a community, or whether his talents might be better used elsewhere.
David McClung, Cayuga