It rises above the mists of the 19th Century on the southwest corner of Kempenfelt Bay. Surely, you can catch the train to Hogwarts on Platform 9¾. The Polar Express should also leave from here. This is Babel’s multi-million dollar donation to history. The exterior is beautifully restored. There are no travellers. There are no trains. Not from Babel’s Allandale Station. There are only the ghosts of travellers past.
The GO station hides behind the Allandale Station. It’s its own expense file. Babelites will be boarding trains to Toronto at this new GO Station, this year, maybe, sometime. It includes an underpass for those parking on Gowan, the street behind. It includes bus shelters for home-bound travellers to wait for a Babel bus—that will also come, sometime.
But do not confuse the South Lakeshore GO Station with the Allandale Train Station. They are not one and the same.
The Allandale Train Station is historical. The property around it is an opportunity for an entrepreneur. If you cannot make money from development in the area, you can maybe sue the city for something you think it should have done or maybe did do. The lawyers will take charge of the file and will argue over it. Only the lawyers will be enriched. When everyone is tired of it, there will be recompense paid. It all comes from the taxpayers anyway.
But for now, the mystic Allandale Train Station sits all pristine, buffed and polished, it holds court as the jewel on the bay. It awaits the decisions as to its fate. What it should be is a destination for the world to see. It could become a pride of place for Babelites. It could also become a favourite destination for Torontonians. They can stand in line to buy GO tickets to bring them to our prize.
For optimum return on investment, we have recommended that the Allandale Train Station front an entertainment complex with casino and hotel. It could also front a family-oriented complex with water park and roller coasters and take us all back to our childhood. Another recommendation is that the lands include a world-class concert hall to be built in the style of the Algonquin longhouse. Babel needs music. It needs culture. And we need to take pride in Babel.
Or if not, we can think small-town and stay a small town. We can easily coast along as a bed-room community of the Greater Toronto Area. Or we can believe in ourselves and what we can be. The original Allandale Station was built for a thriving town at the gateway to Ontario’s north. It was a destination place then. It should be today.
Copyright 2012 © Peter Lowry
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