You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one


On the eve of what would have been John Lennon’s 70th birthday there is the expected ramping up of the Lennon catalog for radio play.

One song stands out above all others and that is of course his peace anthem “Imagine”

Just as we reflect on the peace that John has us all imagine those many years ago, here in Aurora we can take some time to reflect on what outgoing mayor Phyllis Morris imagined for our town when she took office and delivered her inaugural speech, which I have included here:

“Come join me on a stroll through one small part of a future Aurora that I can envision.Imagine… our historic rail station with the lands around it being brought back to life as an all-day transportation hub – a place to enjoy – a welcoming centre of public life.”

…which was provided by Go Transit, the Federal and Provincial government incentives.

Trying to take credit for realizing a vision like this is pathetic.

“Imagine them as an attractive, first impression of our community – as people come and go – an area full of lovely homes, vibrant commercial activity and life.”

I have already commented on the horrible first impressions Aurora makes on others. 

From our broken, rusty and out dated signs, to our websites both corporate and now more laughably the micro-site for economic development we couldn’t be selling ourselves any shorter.

Lovely homes existed before this term of council, in fact one could argue that some of the cardboard constructs that have been erected on the east side of town give the impression of middle America, there is nothing there to be proud of.

Vibrant commercial activity?  Where is that exactly?  Not in the downtown core.  I guess we are supposed to be impressed with the Promenade Study and just have to keep dreaming on that one.

“Imagine if our downtown was linked to the hub, with nice lighting, attractive landscaping, places to stroll – a fashionable place to live and work.”

Sure, would be nice, but downtown revitalization hasn’t been effectively planned let alone realized.  Where is this fashionable place to live and work exactly?  Are we supposed to dream about living in a cookie-cutter house and work at Wallmart?

“Graced by many interesting venues, to be entertained, to shop and to dine.”

What exactly qualifies here? 

“Imagine a downtown where our heritage architecture is preserved and replicated, and compliments the existing neighbourhoods.”

This is a vision that has come true, most likely due to the efforts of the historical society and heritage committee and has been happening before Phyllis arrived, and will continue long after she is gone.

‘Imagine… an Aurora that is able to attract and build new businesses to employ a large share of our working population, and to create a strong economic base for the town.”

This is desperately needed but the opposite has happened.  Our town has an extremely fragile economic base.  I hope there is a vision to salvage and rebuild the mess we have been handed by Phyllis Morris’ lack of experience and unwillingness to collaborate and work with town staff.

“Imagine… our town as an appealing place for hikers to stop and rest a while along the Oak Ridges Trail system surrounded by the natural beauty of the moraine.  There will be many other important challenges facing Council, and I’m certain we can also be creative in addressing them.”

Looking back on it now I guess the operative word here is “creative”.

It took one sick mind to come up with the dysfunction we have had to endure.

To borrow another line from John:   “War is over if we want it.”

After listening to the overall response from the crowd at the first All Candidates Meeting held on October 3rd I have no doubt that the majority of the people in our town want to restore peace.

To all those people I say :  Imagine there’s no Morris, it’s easy if you try

Watts on your mind?

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