Gentrification of waterfronts threatens our maritime heritage

Who wants another marina of fibreglass yachts and second homes made of particleboard?

EDITOR’S NOTE: This letter first appeared in the October 13 edition of the Toronto Star and has been reprinted here at the author’s request.

To the Expositor:

The Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston was evicted from its waterfront site. Its museum ship, the former CCGS Alexander Henry, sent packing. The mayor of Sault Ste. Marie is calling for the removal of the museum ship MS Norgoma. And, on Manitoulin Island, plans call for the SS Norisle to be scuttled as a dive site.

It seems almost systematic, this removal of Canadian maritime heritage. A culling of artifacts. A cleansing and gentrification of its waterfront.

For me, these vintage vessels, quirky museums and commercial fishing enterprises were the most interesting feature of the Canadian ports I visited when I was with the U.S. Coast Guard.

Who wants to see another marina of fibreglass yachts and second homes made of particleboard? Preserve your character. Sustain our reason for visiting. Conserve your maritime heritage.

Steve Lindsey

Former U.S. coastguardsman on the USCGC Katmai Bay of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan living in Keene, New Hampshire

SHARE