Creating Tomorrow’s Victoria Park

 The Guardian

March 16, 2007 


I’ve been meaning to write a letter to the editor for some time now on the topic of Upton Farm, but after reading Prof. Nagarajan’s commentary (‘Let’s hold off developing the Upton Farm’, The Guardian, March 13, 2007), my letter is much shorter. His arguments for leaving the Upton Farmlands alone were excellent and I couldn’t agree more. Here are a few more:

In 1873, when 40 acres were set aside as a public park for a population of 7,000, I’m sure there were those who thought it was excessive. We are now closer to 70,000 than 7,000 and I have yet to meet one person who thinks Victoria Park is too large. With ball diamonds, swimming pools, tennis courts, playground equipment, a skateboard park, the track and skating circle, the green space is rapidly shrinking.

The beauty of Upton Farm is not just what is there (rolling hills, trees, fresh water springs, and a mile of waterfront) but what isn’t.

We are the smallest province in Canada. Our land is everything to us and we cannot afford poor planning. People from around the world come here to see the natural beauty that the Island possesses. They come for the landscape, the water, the open spaces and the people. Lack of development is what makes PEI special. We will never be famous for our subdivisions. What we are famous for is a type of serenity that people from cities crave. Overdevelopment, traffic, pollution and crowding will only turn us into one of those places; that people escape from. This decision wil have a substantial impact on the future on Charlottetown. Allowing this development will benefit few, leaving it alone will benefit many. This is our chance to create tomorrow’s Victoria Park.

Heidi Hyndman,