As anyone who has ever visited my little town knows, Almonte is a special place.
It's not one thing that makes my home unique. It's many.
The people. The shops. The landscape.
Oh the landscape.
If you've followed me on Instagram, you might be familiar with images taken on my scenic walks home from work.
You may even felt pangs of jealousy following me on my path down quaint little Mill Street - with its heritage architecture and beautifully curated window displays.
Perhaps you've shared my sense of calm as I strolled across the bridge snapping pics of our rushing waterfalls and the old train bridge.
I love this town.
She's a beauty.
But Almonte's beauty is in danger of being compromised.
I haven't said much about this topic not because it doesn't concern me (as an Almonte home AND business owner, it couldn't concern me more), but because I couldn't wrap my head around all the facts of the matter.
So I'm going to try to pare it down simply here in the hopes that I might rally some attention for the cause.
Here it is in a nutshell.
(Please note: Much of this information has been taken from local residents who've written articles on the subject.)
Fact: A company called Enerdu (owned by Jeff Cavanagh) operates a power generating station in the old Maple Leaf Mill building in downtown Almonte. Enerdu is proposing to build a large hydro generating powerhouse beside the mill, which would take up about one 3rd of the existing waterway. (The water space between the Mill and the Barley Mow patio. Aka best outdoor patio in town).
Fact: Enerdu also wants to blast or ‘hoe-ram’ large stretches of the upstream riverbed and construct new inflatable weirs where the scenic upper falls are now.
Fact: Blasting is noisy, dirty and will impact local businesses (like mine and those of all my wonderful friends) by driving away tourists and making Almonte a less appealing destination for visitors.
Fact: No matter how hard they try, a concrete structure in the middle of our beautiful (signature) landscape will:
Fact: It could put me out of business and (to add salt to that gaping wound) lower my home property value.
Then where would you go for your cheerfully made goods?
Think about that for a hot second.
Listen, I am cool with progress, but this thing just can't happen. Not in this capacity anyway.
So what can we do?
At this point, this project is moving forward, but there's still time to cause a fuss.
First things first, take 60 seconds (literally) and sign the petition.
Secondly, I encourage you to share this information and support whatever efforts come down the pipes over the next weeks and months. Almonte merchants are banding together to come up with something spectacular. Watch for it and help us SAVE THIS STUNNING LANDSCAPE!
ps. For the latest updates follow The Almonte Riverwatchers at riverwatchers.ca