Sunday, 10 February 2008

The Future of Wasaga Beach

In 1907 famed Coney Island Steeplechase Park burnt to the ground. One hundred years later, in 2007, famed Canadian Wasaga Beach burnt to the ground. This is no coincidence. What's the message? Because our beach, the longest fresh water beach in the 'world', is our economy's lifeblood, I think it is only fitting that our local visionaries begin to dream of the future of Wasaga Beach in the same way New York is thinking about The Future Coney Island. (The comments section on this website is very telling of how our residents feel.)
Before there was Disneyland, there was Coney Island. By the turn of the century, this tiny piece of New York real estate was internationally famous. On summer Sundays, three great pleasure domes--Steeplechase, Luna Park and Dreamland--competed for the patronage of a half-million people. By day it was the world's most amazing amusement park, by night, an electric "Eden". Sound familiar? Oh yes indeed. PBS has a wonderful documentary about Coney Island for sale here. It might be a great investment. We could have screenings of this DVD so residents could visualize the potential, the possibilities and be inspired & filled with creative ideas.
I feel very strongly that we as a community need to be clear on our new designs for Beach Area One. Will we have architectural design standards? A 'Coney Island' feel & brand? Job creation? Marketing to focus on tourism? What will 'The New Wasaga Beach' look like? Let's not allow 'any old building' to go up on that sacred beach. If you are someone who has the power to build this dreamland and you would like my help, email me. Our season is right around the corner. Let's put together a planning committee! Wasaga Beach has a glorious past. Let's give it a glorious future for the millions & millions of people from around the world who will enjoy it for generations to come. Wasaga Beach deserves a magnificent revival!

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