LETTER: Lost sense of community on Mary St.


To the Editor,

Re: Crucial tourist economy navigates uncertain waters, Picton Gazette, August 17

I happen to live on Mary Street, where nearly 50 per cent of the homes are currently non-owner-occupied STAs. There is no longer any sense of community or neighbourly concern on Mary Street. It is now just one, long, car-lined street of ever-changing strangers. During the winter it’s like a ghost town.

This is true of many of the older, central streets of Picton, Bloomfield and Wellington.

Business may be down this year for some businesses and STA investors, but they should consider the effect that their non-owner-occupied STAs have had on the County. Many of the Mary Street buildings, for example, were once long-term rentals. The tenants, many of whom were employees of local businesses, have now been displaced. Most can no longer find reasonably priced accommodation or even afford to live in the County, which in turn affects tourism — many businesses can’t find enough employees. Certainly for many longtime, local residents, the dream of owning a home in their County is now just a dream.

Investors, many of which own multiple properties — a business risk like any other they took upon themselves, not one the County is responsible for — continue to drive up the price of local real estate, which is slowly destroying the soul and livability of this once community-centred County.

Reg Zima