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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Impressions of Day One of the Niagara Folk Arts Festival - May 28, 2011


Here is a short video taken early in the afternoon of May 28th, 2011. This is the first of what I hope will be many videos that will be uploaded to NiagaraWatch on YouTube.com.




Today was a very beautiful day in the Niagara Region. As mentioned in the previous post, I did attend Day One of the Niagara Folk Arts Festival in St. Catharines' Montebello Park. Montebello Park is a wonderful park with intelligent design carefully thought out and executed for the benefit of the public. What a wonderful park but I can't say the same for the Folk Arts Festival. The words incarceration, gaudy and controlling came to my mind after spending 15 minutes there. It wasn't the entertainment or the citizens that vexed me; it was the concept, design and execution that was most troubling to me. Lets start with the incarceration comment. Many of my readers know Montebello Park but did you know that it resembled a prison camp today? The event is totally gated, witness the entrance below, guard and all.

The Guarded Entrance Photo 1
Niagara Folk Arts Festival - May 28 2011 - St. Catharines - NiagaraWatch.com

The Guarded Entrance Photo 2
Niagara Folk Arts Festival - May 28 2011 - St. Catharines - NiagaraWatch.com
 Did I mention controlling? Yes indeed, here we had a government sponsored event taking place on public parkland and the public was not permitted to carry in a bottle of water. It appears that the food vendors had a monopoly on food and drink and the organizers seem to think nothing of suspending the privacy rights of individuals by searching personal bags. Yes, I did mention controlling earlier.

Shame on the organizers of this shameful event and on the sponsors for not watching where the tax dollars were going. This event has effectively locked out families that are feeling financial hardship or God forbid, want to eat their own food that they prepared at home. I wonder if a nursing mother counts as outside food or drink? Some of the sponsors who could review their funding for this event include: Canada Heritage, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Government of Ontario and the City of St. Catharines. Taxpayer dollars could be much better spent by making this an inclusive event and not a gulag-like one.

I can't count the legal and quasi-judicial challenges that the Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre and the City of St. Catharines could face for their callous disregard for the Human Rights of the public.
Now on to gaudy.
Gaudy Photo 1
Niagara Folk Arts Festival - May 28 2011 - St. Catharines - NiagaraWatch.com

Gaudy Photo 2
Niagara Folk Arts Festival - May 28 2011 - St. Catharines - NiagaraWatch.com

 Above are a few of the many photos taken today that demonstrate the gaudy and garish theme that the organizers seem to be encouraging via the permitted concessions. If the organizers from the Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre were trying to demonstrate that multiculturalism is garish, commercial and ugly - they succeeded.
Luckily the public and I know better than that. If you look at the photos of the public in attendance, you will find ordinary people talking and laughing and paying attention to the many fine performances on the stage.
Photos of the Joyful Public
Niagara Folk Arts Festival - May 28 2011 - St. Catharines - NiagaraWatch.com

Niagara Folk Arts Festival - May 28 2011 - St. Catharines - NiagaraWatch.com

Niagara Folk Arts Festival - May 28 2011 - St. Catharines - NiagaraWatch.com

Niagara Folk Arts Festival - May 28 2011 - St. Catharines - NiagaraWatch.com
I encourage people to attend this event for the community spirit, visit with friends and family and to support the performers. You will have a good time in spite of the glaring shortcomings of the organizers. If you have comments or would like to have a review of a feature here in the Niagara Region, please email me at NiagaraWatch at gmail dot com.

A drive along Niagara on the Lakes' Queen Street

 It was a beautiful day to visit the historic and picturesque Niagara on the Lake. So I did exactly that.
My original plan was to walk along Queen Street but it was too crowded to video without walking into other pedestrians - so I had to drive in both directions. I started the drive opposite the Prince of Wales Hotel. I hope that you enjoy the drive with me.
Niagara on the Lake is a great place to live and visit. A wide choice of hotels and bed & breakfasts are available.



Folk Arts Festival at Montebello Park

The Niagara Folks Arts Festival is happening this weekend. The Niagara Region is a vibrant and interesting place and flks will enjoy themselves. Hopefully the weather will cooperate. I will be at Montebello Park to see the Irish Clovers performing at noon, Vox Violins at 3, Stone Row between 6 and 8 this evening. There are many other interesting performances to see as well. Sunday will have many more performances as well.

Montebello Park
I hope to post photos and perhaps a few video clips on our NiagaraWatch channel on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/user/NiagaraWatch .

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Go Train Service - what service?

Well here we are coming into a Provincial election in Ontario. The federal Liberal Party has just been given a well deserved whack by the electorate for not paying attention to the issues that concern the public. I see that property developers are being taken care of with the GO extension to Grimsby but why isn't the population centre of Niagara, St. Catharines, the goal for immediate GO service? Can it be that there isn't a fortune to be made by land developers in St. Catharines? Yep, that is the reason alright. While the government is addressing the Niagara GO train issue, the line should be electrified all the way to Niagara Falls. Not diesel, peak oil is real and implementation of electrified locomotives is critically important to Ontarians.

If it can be electrified between Toronto and Burlington / Hamilton, it can be electrified all the way to at least St. Catharines. Bombardier Transportation (http://www.bombardier.com/en/transportation/products-services/rail-vehicles) is a world leader in these technologies. If the railroads involve don't want to play ball and start electrifying their railroads and locomotives, the rail lines and land should be confiscated and be government administered in the public interest. Seriously, bold actions will be required to make electrification happen soon. I would encourage all residents of the Niagara area to contact the Premier at the telephone number below and DEMAND that the GO service be extended to St. Catharines immediately.

Here is the Premier McGuinty's email address: dmcguinty.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org.

Hon Dalton McGuinty
Queen's Park Room 281,
Main Legislative Building,
Queen's Park Toronto, Ontario
M7A 1A1

  
Tel   416-325-1941   
Fax 416-325-3745


Hon Dalton McGuinty :Constituency
1795 Kilborn Avenue Ottawa,
Ontario
K1H 6N1

Tel 613-736-9573
Fax 613-736-7374 d


Where is St. Catharine's MPP, Jim Bradley, in all of this? Wake up Jim and smell the upset electorate.

Hon James J. Bradley
Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
18th Floor, 25 Grosvenor Street
Toronto, Ontario
M7A 1Y6

Tel 416-326-5000
Fax 416-325-6067


Hon James J. Bradley: Constituency
Unit 2, 2 Secord Drive
St. Catharines, Ontario
L2N 1K8

Tel   905-935-0018
Fax 905-935-0191

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Eastern Redbuds in front of the St. Catharines Central Library

Eastern Redbuds ..... I love them. Many of people find the crocus and forsythia to be the harbinger of Spring but I know Spring has really arrived and Summer is soon coming when the redbuds are in bloom. The Cercis canadensis (Eastern Redbud) below are to be found in front of the St. Catharines Library on St. James St. just North of King St. These photos were taken 17 May 2011.



The photos don't do these trees justice. Go see them for yourself and while you are there, register at the library. Contrary to popular belief, books are not passe.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Why are gasoline prices higher in the Niagara region than the Ontario Average?


As I write this the current average for Ontario as described by TorontoGasPrices.com is 132.32. For St. Catharines the average is 136.4. The prices are set to rise by 6.5 cents/litre tonight. Gas prices are too high!
What are our governments going to do about this? That is a ridiculous disparity and there is no good reason for this. I encourage Niagarans to contact our two Parliamentary representatives and have a chat with them. Their contact information is below.


Jim Bradley, MPP
Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, St. Catharines
Queen's Park, 77 Wellesley Street West, 3rd Floor,
Ferguson Block, Toronto, Ontario,
M7A 1Z8
Telephone: 416-327-9200
Fax: 416-327-9188


Constituency Office
2 Secord Drive, Unit 2,
St. Catharines, Ontario,
L2N 1K8

Telephone:  905-935-0018
Fax: 905-935-0191




Rick Dykstra, MP
Room 880, 151 Sparks Street, House of Commons Ottawa,
Ontario, Canada K1A 0A6

Telephone: 613-992-3352      
Fax: 613-947-4402


St. Catharines Community Office: 905-934-6767    

Charles Daley Park

It was a beautiful day to visit and enjoy Charles Daley Park in Lincoln Ontario.  
Here is a link if the reader would like directions. People were walking and talking, picnicking, playing bocce and just relaxing on the benches. The park is a favourite place for locals to watch sunsets but all should be aware that the park is locked closed to vehicles at 10 p.m. Here are a few photos taken 8 May 2011.

If you have comments or would like to have a review of a feature here in the Niagara Region, please email me at NiagaraWatch (at) gmail dot com.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Minor Fisheries in Port Colborne

I spent this sunny afternoon in Port Colborne.
It is a picturesque city on Lake Erie. The Welland Canal goes right through the town and is the main reason that the city exists. I followed my nose and a few of the locals into the Minor Fisheries.
By the decor, I quickly realized that the food had to be the draw so I had the fisherman's dinner. 
Wow, what a wonderful meal of perch, shrimp, scallops and calamari. The seafood was accompanied by very tasty French fries, bread, a wonderfully fresh and tasty cole slaw. All that for $10 plus tax. It was delicious.

Minor Fisheries - Port Colborne - Ontario - 5 May 2011 - NiagaraWatch.com

After my lunch, I walked across the street and walked along the Welland Canal on the Port Promenade.
Welland Canal - Port Colborne - Ontario - 5 May 2011 - NiagaraWatch.com

Welland Canal - Port Colborne - Ontario - 5 May 2011 - NiagaraWatch.comc

Welland Canal - Port Colborne - Ontario - 5 May 2011 - NiagaraWatch.com
It was a wonderful day for a good meal and a nice walk in a pretty city. I recommend a visit to Port Colborne, I think that you will enjoy the visit. If you have comments or would like to have a review of a feature here in the Niagara Region, please email me at NiagaraWatch (at) gmail dot com.

Is this the smallest home in Ontario?

I know that the average size of a home is finally starting to getting smaller in North America but really, the original part of the house below in Port Colborne can't be much more than 100 square feet.
 To describe it as tiny would be an overstatement, minuscule is a better description. It really is a micro home and that means that while it is very tiny, it is probably very affordable. Here are a few photos.

21 Dolphin Street, Port Colborne, Ontario - 5 May 2011 -  NiagaraWatch.com
21 Dolphin Street, Port Colborne, Ontario - 5 May 2011 -  NiagaraWatch.com
Below is a lovely old fashioned Dairy Queen across the street from the small home. You can see the home in the background, across the street from the Dairy Queen.
Port Colborne, Ontario - 5 May 2011 -  NiagaraWatch.com
Port Colborne, Ontario - 5 May 2011 -  NiagaraWatch.com
If you have comments or would like to have a review of a feature here in the Niagara Region, please email me at NiagaraWatch@gmail.com.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Sunset in St. Catharines #2


Another beautiful sunset in the Niagara Region and St. Catharines. This area has beautiful weather and typically 3 weeks less winter than Toronto.

What's Up with this?......The "Relax Bar"

Below are some recent photos of the Relax Bar on Niagara St. in St. Catharines. As I have never been in the establishment, I invite the reader to reach their own conclusions.

Relax Bar - St. Catharines - Ontario - 4 May 2011 - NiagaraWatch.com

Relax Bar - St. Catharines - Ontario - 4 May 2011 - NiagaraWatch.com
Here is a review of the place. The opinions expressed in the review are those of that reviewer.
Relax Bar - St. Catharines - Ontario - 4 May 2011 - NiagaraWatch.com
Relax Bar - St. Catharines - Ontario - 4 May 2011 - NiagaraWatch.com
Is there anything as lovely as the bouquet of stale cigarette butts?
Relax Bar - St. Catharines - Ontario - 4 May 2011 - NiagaraWatch.com
Relax Bar - St. Catharines - Ontario - 4 May 2011 - NiagaraWatch.com
If you have comments or would like to have a review of a feature here in the Niagara Region, please email me at NiagaraWatch@gmail.com.