The Labour Day weekend signals the unofficial end of summer, and travel to some faraway places or just around our beautiful province.
I have been a tourist several times in the past few months and it is so nice to get home to Conception Bay South and reflect on why I love living here.
I always come home refreshed and full of ideas from things I saw in my travels. I then start wishing that our town could be more like the places I just visited.
Before getting into dreaming about what I saw on vacation, there are things about C.B.S. that I love.
I love the best weather in the region, and our location on the ocean, which allows me quick access to the beach from anywhere in town. I love that I can walk along the beach or the T’Railway and enjoy the view of Conception Bay, and at times, I can stop along the way and snack on strawberries and blueberries. I love the fact that I can go the opposite direction, head into the woods or towards the “pole lines,” and spend the day picking blueberries. C.B.S. has Manuels River, where I can walk or swim, explore the geology, or enjoy the new interpretation centre.
We complain about traffic, but driving to St. John’s to shop or to work is a treat compared to driving into the city from some suburban areas.
Being less than a 25-minute drive from St. John’s puts us in an enviable position compared to places outside cities like Halifax, Toronto or Boston. And while it is disgusting to see, it is comforting to see that we are not the only place where litter lines the highways.
One of the real benefits of living here in C.B.S. is our proximity to St. John’s and the employment, education, shopping, arts, culture and recreational opportunities it offers. We can live out here in the suburbs and enjoy more open space, bigger house lots and, most of all, lower taxes.
Yet, when I travel and see what others have, I start thinking about what if we had this in C.B.S.?
It is not the big amusement parks and outlet malls that I dream about when I get home from vacation. I wish for some of the simple things like sidewalks, crosswalks, walking trails and bicycle paths. I long for a farmer’s market and more than two supermarkets.
I always dream about a large open wide park where I can walk, walk a dog, let children play, enjoy an outdoor concert, or just hang out for the day with others from my town. A park like Bowring Park or even a smaller one like Bannerman Park in St. John’s would be nice place for all ages to enjoy and bring the community together.
We have a coastal asset that is the envy of most of the world, yet it remains undeveloped. When you travel, be it to Trinity or somewhere outside the province, you will find waterfront developments designed to attract locals and visitors. I always look at these places and wish we had the same here in our town.
Such a development for Foxtrap Marina has been bandied about for years.
Perhaps once the T’Railway is officially developed into a walking and biking trail, we will finally get a waterfront development where you can eat, drink, shop, rent bicycles, or just have a place to gather and enjoy our town and its people.
It is wonderful to be home, but also nice to dream about what could be. Perhaps, in the wake of this fall’s election, the wish list will be shorter after next summer’s vacation.
Joan Butler is a lifelong resident
of Kelligrews, Conception Bay South.
She can be reached by email