My age must be showing because, in spite of all the nonsense going on south of the border, 2017 just kind of flew by. And it was an interesting year here in Thorold or involving Thorold. Here are just a few items of note, though by all means not all:
ALL YEAR LONG
This was the year of Canada 150 and the Canadian government had decreed that it be celebrated in through a series of events, rather than with one big, Canada Day blow-out, although we still had a good showing on Canada Day with music and Kid Kryers, followed by two days of Shuffle blues music. Some of the other events were a historical day at the Beaverdams Church, a Living Flag at Club Castropignano in Port Robinson, a walking tour of Allanburg, family skates, the Red and White Dance at the TCAG, and many more.
FEBRUARY: COUNCILLOR EJECTED
When Councillor Jim Handley ignored an out-of-order ruling, Mayor Ted Luciani pushed the panic button, literally (there’s one under his desk), to summon Niagara Regional Police. When they finally arrived, Jim went along quietly.
MARCH: COUNCIL PASSES A “BREWFING” BY-LAW
Concerned about the safety aspects of the practice and the complaints of student neighbours about the extra noise associated, Thorold City Council passed an anti-brewfing by-law, to stop students (and anyone else) from climbing onto rooftops to lift a few brews and party hearty.
MAY: QUEEN ST. BRIDGE CLOSED
They’d fought it for some time, but Thorold finally had to close the Queen St. Bridge. But at least it’s still a bike and pedestrian route for a few years.
MAY: ARTS AND CRAFTS SHOW
The Annual Thorold Arts and Crafts show went off without a hitch at the Thorold Arenas as usual, proceeds to the TGAC.
JUNE: BRIDGE-IT RELAUNCHED
It was late because of construction work and a failed motor, but Bridge-It (the Port Robinson Ferry, for those who don’t yet know) finally made it into the water in June. New ramps and docks had been built at the termini and the ferry itself now sported a ramp and and rear deck platform to make it accessible. Council and the Region came to an agreement later in the year to jointly fund it for another 10 years.
JULY: CLASSIC CAR SHOW
The annual BIA Classic Car Show went off as usual in July, to the great joy of Niagara’s motor heads.
JULY: DECEW-MERRITVILLE TRAIL OPENS
The new multi-use trail along Decew Rd., from Richmond St.to the Merrittville Hwy. and on to Brock University, a joint venture between Thorold, the Region, Brock, and the Province, had their opening ceremonies on the lawn of Regional HQ.
SEPTEMBER: WINTERBERRY BUS REMOVED
Claiming it had to be done for safety reasons (poor sight lines, speeding buses, etc.) and nothing to do with the big Winterberry Blvd. Homecoming street party, Council passed a by-law removing the buses from Winterberry as of Jan. 1, 2018.
SEPTEMBER: THOROLD NEW ARENA RE-OPENS
After working all summer, contractors got the finishing touches in place for a September re-opening. With new pipes, floor, boards, glass, baffles, and a redone lobby, it got a whole new lease on life.
OCTOBER: FIRST NATIONS PEACE MONUMENT
Although it was partly a Canada 150 project, it was also separate, having been planned for years. Now the First Nations Peace Monument, in Decew House Heritage Park, was officially opened to the public with great fanfare.
OCTOBER: THOROLD WENT TO THE DOGS
The BIA held their first Canine Costume Contest and Puppy Promenade, to great acclaim, both by spectators and participants. Dog owners and dogs dressed up for a parade through downtown Thorold, ending at the Library, where the judging took place.
OCTOBER: LIBRARY MASTERCHEF COMPETITION
One of the hardest things I had to do all year was to choose a winner in Thorold Public Library‘s own version of the MasterChef Competition. Family teams had to use the food items and tools provided to create dishes as best they could and the results were great. This was the culmination of the Library’s participation in the Region’s Healthy Kids programme, which saw kids plant and tend a vegetable garden behind the library and learn about healthy lifestyles.
OCTOBER: THOROLD WINS HERITAGE AWARD
It was announced in October that the City of Thorold had been awarded the Prince of Wales Prize for Municipal Leadership in Heritage. This put Thorold in some heavy-weight company, including Quebec City and Victoria, BC. Councillor Mike Charron and LACAC Chair Craig Findley went to the awards dinner in Ottawa t receive the award on the City’s behalf.
NOVEMBER: WELLAND CANAL FALLEN WORKERS MEMORIAL
Okay, I know that this didn’t happen in Thorold. In fact, the monument is located at Lock 3 in St. Catharines. However, most of the workers who died on the Welland Canal died in the deep and massive Flight Locks holes that had to be dug into the Niagara Escarpment for the Flight Locks and Lock 7, which are mostly in Thorold. And the City of Thorold was a partner to this project, along with St. Catharines, Welland and Port Colborne.
NOVEMBER: SANTA CLAUS PARADE
A good crowd showed up for the 27th Annual Historic Thorold Santa Claus parade, as usual. Kudos to Lauren Kraus and her committee for pulling off anther great show.
DECEMBER: OUR PAPER’S BACK!
Well, alright, it isn’t actually paper, but it is the Thorold News. When the Thorold Edition was closed, former Thorold News partner Bob Liddycoat and his start reporter, his wife Cathy Pelletier teamed up to get ThoroldNews.com up and running. It features many of the things we were used to in a community newspaper and we wish them all the best.