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Gathering

Tuesday, March 25, 2012


My daughter and I just came back from spending 12 days in Puerto Morelos, Mexico located just south of Cancan on the Mayan Riviera.  Puerto Morelos is a small fishing village that is a tourist town offering vacationers a quiet and peaceful place to spend time.  We loved it there.  We loved the vibrant people, the incredible food, the beautiful beach and ocean and the colourful décor.  Every day we would take a short walk into town and hang out in the “town square.”  The square is a place where people gather to visit and children play.  There are long winding benches, a kid’s playground, a court for basketball or bike riding, washrooms and a fountain.  We enjoyed going to get an ice cream or a fresh juice and hanging out and watching the people and the ocean and just enjoying the view.  Shops surround the square and so it was easy to shop a bit and hang out a bit. 

Spending time there every day made me think about how towns and cities are designed and what encourages people to gather, to shop, to be active and just feel really welcome and relaxed in a place.  The kind of planning that allows for an environment where people feel safe and can ride their bikes or walk without the fear of getting hit by a car.  I wondered, as I sat feeling so relaxed and welcome, is this how cottagers and tourists feel when they come to Haliburton? 

I walked along the beach with many Canadian and American seniors every morning at 5:30 so that we could all enjoy the sunrise and get some exercise before it became too hot.   It made me think of all the house bound seniors in Canada this winter in the minus 30 weather.  Although there are lots of hardy ones who get out to ski and snowshoe, there are lots who don’t have the equipment, clothing, health  or skill for those activities. 

It made me think about the planning that is going on related to the possibility of building a swimming pool in Haliburton.   What would our community be like for locals and vacationers if we had a pool?  Who would gather there?  What kinds of activities would be available that might invite people to stay in the community, move to the community or visit the community.  Pools are usable by infants, toddlers, children, teens, adults, pregnant women, people with injuries who are in re-hab and seniors.    Young families looking to move to Haliburton might be influenced by the possibility that their children or teens could learn to swim and develop leadership skills in the county.  Seniors considering a move here might be interested that there are indoor options for exercise all year round.  

One think I know for sure is that the older I get the more I realize the importance of staying active and strong and healthy so that I can enjoy my life as much as possible till the end.   The planning that go’s into our community affects how every single person lives and vacations.  There are lots of beautiful places to live and vacation in this world and we have to keep planning in a way that keeps Haliburton as a place that people want to be.

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