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LETTER: Disappointed in changing face of Sidney

Sometime in the future…

“Where do you want to go today?” “How about Sidney? It’s a cute little place.” “Not anymore.” “How so?”

“It’s completely changed. The waterfront is now full of glass and concrete condos. The mom-and-pop shops are chain stores. It’s full of high-rises, like in big cities. You can only see the sun at noon. Except for the ocean, there’s nothing to see in Sidney anymore.”

“Is that little book store on the corner still there?” “Nope. Gone.” “What? I loved that little book store.” “So did I. Gone.”

“How about the fish market and the coffeeshop on the end of that wharf?” “Gone.” “The little park with the bandshell, right near the water?” “Gone. Hotel city man.”

“Wow, that’s too bad. I used to enjoy walking along Beacon Avenue, looking in the shop windows, having a coffee. Sitting by the sea, sniffing the fresh air” “Yeah. I did too. But as usual, money dictates everything. It’s always about the money. More people live in Sidney than ever before and they never have enough tax money, so they sell out to developers. It’s now just like any big city. No soul. No character. ‘Nothing to see here’ is the right phrase when you talk about Sidney.”

“Too bad the Town of Sidney doesn’t have a theme. I know they call it Sidney by the Sea, but that seems only on the signs.” “Yeah, I know.” “Maybe if Sidney had a theme or a vision, there would have been better focus on how to develop the town.”

“Yeah, I went to Leavenworth, Wash. a few years ago. The town almost died when the logging industry closed and the railroad rerouted. So they chose a theme and it’s now a Bavarian village. It’s a beautiful place and does a hopping tourist trade.” “Yeah, the same thing happened to Chemainus and they did the historical murals on the sides of the buildings. It has kept its charm. I take visitors there all the time.”

“Hey! Want to go up to Chemainus?” “Yeah! Let’s do it. Nothing to see in Sidney anymore.”

Gwyn Davie