"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Wednesday 6 May 2015


I thought about the days when Aurora residents had to pick up mail at the old post office on Yonge Street. 
There was always a line-up. People chatted while they waited. 
Same thing happened  at Elwood Davis garage where we lined up every year to re-new car licenses. 
Former Councillor Walt Davis told me once, the sidewalk on Yonge Street was impassable on Friday nights. Folks came in from the country to shop and gather in groups on the sidewalk to catch up on the week's news.  
A person on the move had to step into the road to make headway. Every store  downtown was a retail outlet. Retail is no longer in the same place. 
People need to drive here and there. No Chat. No gossip. No interaction among residents. 
The Aurora Banner was sold. 
The change was phenomenal. 
Modern planning is responsible.

Homes must be separated from commercial amenities. Homeowners are passionate about that.

Retail must have parking and planting and screening.

More space is required so it sprawls into the
Tenants pay rent for space and parking and lighting and cleaning and to be where retail is.
Downtown became an old-fashioned concept. 
Malls were the place to be. 
Then along came consultants with goofy advice about replacing sidewalks with decorative concrete and placing heritage street furniture.
where  crowds once entirely occupied said sidewalks standing about chatting and catching up on the news. 
Councillors, with little knowledge and less interest in how things were, before they became what they are and why...swallow the goofy advice holus-bolus to the delight of administrators, who take it as validation and proceed with time and effort to make it happen. 

Then .... common sense prevails ... it doesn't happen... it's back to the drawing board with  a new work load generated. 

And so the world turns. 


5 and dime. said...

OMG that's it.We MALL the downtown area.Why did I not think of that.Please pay me $75,000 for the consulting.

Anonymous said...

The only place left for communications without stress is in and around local gardens as the year progresses. Much information and lovely gossip is exchanged over the fences that remain. Another remnant is the swift exchange of news from dog walkers and runner/riders/walkers who frequent the trails and golf courses. Highland is terrific this year........

Anonymous said...

I think the mall thing is going to be the thing of the past in the future. With online purchasing growing in leaps and bounds, we've already seen some of these big box stores disappearing in the last several years. Small and local might be the new trend.

Anonymous said...

And it was also a time that Aurora residents worked near where they lived. Lives change because the way things work have changed.

Consultants only come up with goofy advice because those that we elect tell them what they want the report to say.

I don't think councillors have little interest in how things were. I think older councillors have little interest in changing to the way things ARE. You can't go back to Kansas Dorothy!

Anonymous said...

No amount of studies or influx of cash will fix downtown Aurora. It is what it is. Council should let market forces sort it out and lend a Small, Helping hand occasionally.. Benches are ok but anything more radical is ludicrous.

Anonymous said...

"Councillors, with little knowledge and less interest in how things were, before they became what they are and why" -

That is a profound statement about ignorance - well crafted.

If you want to read an excellent book that demonstrates exactly what you are saying, read DEALING WITH CHINA by Henry M. Paulson, Jr., former head of Goldman Sachs and former U.S. Treasury Secretary under George W. Bush.

This book is informative, educational and profound. Chapter 16, titled SKYLINES AND SHORELINES, should be compulsory reading for everyone.

Anonymous said...

It seems that Mr Gallo was not completely wrong. Someone that I know had a family member working at State Farm. That person has left the company. In February they were told that it would be in their best interests to look for new jobs as there will be rationalization.

Anonymous said...


Even if true, that's a long way from closing and leaving town, as Gallo claimed.

Anonymous said...


The begining of the end. I have StateFarm life insurance. I received a letter from the Agent that he was quitting and my file has been moved to another agent.

Anonymous said...

Mr Gallo played a stupid hand for such a smart guy. He also associated himself with a group of crazy goofs. They lost track of their target who should at least had some challenge to wishy-washy man of staff.


Anonymous said...

11:28 and 21:50

A typical response. If the person was not Gallo, you would be all over this. Your contempt of the man is clouding your perception of the message.

The message is clear. A significant employer of the Town is warning it's employees that they should start looking for other work, because their jobs may move or be taken over by someone in Quebec.

One job lost because of this acquisition is too many, but you are too focused on the person that sent up a warning. In fact, I have personal experience with a number of acquistion situations. The company being bought or taken over, ultimately will lose the majority of their employees in the end, that is a fact of life.

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Anonymous said...

No - you miss the point that the opportunity was blown no matter who blew it. They did keep Gallo out of the loop about event, Evelyn too. It is not working for them this term.

Anonymous said...

Everyone knows that Desjardins is purchasing State Farm - I would be careful when jumping to conclusions from a handful of people that are more than likely disgruntled. (that includes some of the people defending Gallo) - he did not just lose, he was an awful councillor, and his campaign was narcissistic to say the least. You can change the hair, but you cannot change the character.