As an Ontario newb, I generally have no idea what is going on in this province and this ignorance presents a rather large liability when studying a profession that is heavily weighted towards local examples. Take for example an upcoming presentation I am giving on Ontario’s latest sexed up regional ‘smart-growth’ plan. The region in question is the Greater Golden Horseshoe which is in the vicinity of the Greater Toronto Area…which includes the City of Toronto and many other municipalities. For someone who has spent less than 24 hours in that part of Canada, getting a grasp on the political geography is rather daunting. This area is home to many places I have heard of (Peterborough, Durham, Missasauga, York, Brampton etc…) but they remain places with which I have no spatial connection. When a issue or critique is mentioned…say regarding a proposed transit line linking Markam, say with Oshawa…or whatever…with the critique being that it is a really, really dumb idea – I have no idea what is being discussed because to me the two locations might as well be the same location.
In some ways I feel like the old Colonial masters locked away in their drawing rooms carving up Africa and Asia without any clear understanding of the actual physical geographical reality.
The bright side to this spatial confusion is that it forces one to actually try to learn the geo-relations of all of these municipalities…even if it does involve old-school geography memorizing.
This absence of local knowledge also permeates to the Kingston level. Take for example the Wolfe Island Wind Farm, which is apparently a very controversial project despite the fact that construction is well underway. I had no idea about this development until I noticed these massive wind towers and associated high-rise cranes popping up on the Wolfe Island horizon.
* For those of you who also suffer from local-lingo voids, Wolfe Island is an rural island in Lake Ontario just south of Kington.
I should probably start reading the local paper.
The controversy seems to be your fairly typical wind farm “the world is ending if you build these here” opposition.
Speaking of NIMBYism’, I picked up a new acronym a few weeks ago that still has me chucking
BANANA – Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything (or Anyone).