Coventry TransportationCoventry Transportation
The Weather Network
Jan. 18, 2021 | Monday
Editorials and Opinions
Letter: Old rifle range is a better solution to Ryerson Park traffic woes
Supplied photo.

Dear editor:

Using Niagara Shores Park to solve Ryerson Park's traffic problems seems like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

It also seems totally unnecessary when another square peg that would make a perfect fit is available less than 100 metres away from Ryerson Park. That square peg is what used to be called the "rifle range."

This roughly 25 hectares of open grassland recently purged of noxious substances and dangerous objects is similar to Ryerson Park in that it has access to Lake Ontario’s beach and offers an identical view of the sunsets.

It is superior because of the amount of open space available and its distance from human habitation. 

It will be a much more interesting place for visitors because it has Two Mile Creek and Carolinian forest on its flanks and is easily traversed along an old military road.

The location also has additional attractions like  the Americans landed there in 1813, Secord homesteaded there in the early 19th century and prehistoric people fished there.

It is also easily doable; the town simply has to obtain a memorandum of understanding with Parks Canada to convert the area into a recreation park.

Unlike Niagara Shores Park, the erosion problem is being taken care of by the Department of National Defense. Also, unlike Niagara Shores, the ecological integrity of the area will not be threatened if the town uses it has a recreation park similar to its other recreation parks.

It has ample space for parking and public washrooms can easily be connected to the town’s infrastructure. Access from Lakeshore Road is controllable and a parking fee will take care of operating expenses.

Niagara Shores Park, on the other hand, is a fragile ecological jewel with one of the richest ecosystems in southern Ontario.

Parks Canada’s new action plan has committed to conserving and protecting Niagara Shores’ ecological integrity and has already begun to act toward that end by denying motorized vehicle access.

Research on the native butternut trees and recognition that interference with shoreline erosion will jeopardize the bank swallow colony show just how seriously Parks Canada is committed.

This convinces me Parks Canada is much more likely to approve a request to use the old rifle range rather than Niagara Shores as a solution to Ryerson Park’s recent user problems. 

Ryder Payne