Agree to Disagree


By Lindsay Advocate

Advocate columnists Kirk Winter and Nancy Payne weigh the pros and cons of projected growth in Lindsay. Photo: Sienna Frost.
Kirk Winter

Lindsay is growing too fast

While there is nothing wrong with gradual, well thought out development, the current plans for Kawartha Lakes to build 6,500 new homes by 2031, and another 11,000 by 2051 largely in Lindsay, causes me to take pause. Will this be too much too fast, with a handful of builders and real estate professionals the only real winners?

I say yes.

Before the city approves the bulk of these new developments, I need the following questions answered, and real government money committed.

When is the massive addition coming to Ross Memorial Hospital to service this ever-expanding community, and where is the new staff going to come from?

Where are the primary-care physicians going to be found to care for residents in this new City of Kawartha Lakes that will likely be older on average than almost anywhere else in the province?

Are any families with school-aged children moving to the community and if so, where will their kids go to school?

Where is the provincial money for mass transit links to Peterborough and the GTA?

When is the province announcing highway expansion that better services the people of this new city of over 100,000 people?

Who is going to build these new homes? There is no local workforce development plan in place, and skilled trades are in chronic short supply.

Where is the additional ongoing provincial investment in childcare spaces, community and supportive housing, long-term care beds and emergency services?

Until I see fully costed plans in place that address the bulk of the questions above, I say no to much of the development planned for the city over the next two to three decades.

— Kirk Winter, a retired high school teacher. He covers municipal affairs for the Advocate.

Nancy Payne

Keep the people coming

Let’s be clear: The previous council has a lot to answer for in fast-tracking developments on prime farmland around Lindsay. That said, properly managed growth can be good.

Manufacturing on the scale we knew it in the 1970s is gone, so we need other sources of tax revenue to ensure Kawartha Lakes continues to offer a great way of life. Some of the people moving into those new houses will be retirees, while others will work at least partly from home, meaning they’ll also be shopping, dining and volunteering locally.

The past decade or so has seen renewed vigour in our downtowns, among local entrepreneurs and in our cultural sector. Why would we object to even more energy and diversity warding off stagnation in Lindsay and our other communities?

No matter how great their ideas or restaurants are, a newcomer’s purpose is not simply to improve the lives of current residents. And whatever we might think of the actions of some developers, new residents aren’t responsible; they just want, like us, a place to live in a wonderful part of Ontario.

We should all be concerned about dog whistles (not, I hasten to add, from my colleague on this page) like “we don’t need those people from Toronto moving up here and changing things.” If you’d prefer Lindsay stay “the same” — read: overwhelmingly white — remember that newcomers have moved here and changed things for centuries. Groups ranging from Roman Catholics to Jews, Icelanders, people of Chinese heritage and others have been made unwelcome, sometimes violently.

We can continue to grow and evolve without losing what makes Lindsay and Kawartha Lakes special. What our community will be is up to us.

— Nancy Payne, a freelance writer and editor who grew up southeast of Lindsay and now lives northeast of Lindsay. She feels municipal politics may just be the most important kind.



  1. Karla Forgaard-Pullen says:

    Thank you Ms. Payne for naming the racism that Lindsay sustains. This, along with Mr. Winters’ concerns, should be heard clearly by the municipal officials and the Province, and possibly by potential newcomers.

  2. Richard Procter says:

    “They paved paradise, put up a parking lot”, said Joni.
    We reap what we sow. The entire economic model of the western world is predicated on endless, unfettered growth. In larger terms, that growth is fuelling the collapse of the world’s ecosystems, a.k.a. our support systems.
    Lindsay now has a front row seat on the action. Farmland will be devoured. Biodiversity will diminish. Quiet, small-town lifestyles will fade.
    We asked for it, voted for it even, and now we got it. We had our cake, and it has now been eaten. Kiss it goodbye.

  3. Wallace says:

    Karla——–What? Why bring in the ‘r’ word? My wife is a visible minority and has never experienced any racism here in Lindsay whatsoever. But the white woman says Lindsay is a racist town , therefore it must be …. What is your evidence that Lindsay is a racist town? Are your friends racist? Are your co-workers racist ? Is your family racist? Are you racist ? Surely you have witnessed racism to come to such a conclusion. The last refuge of a liberal virtue signaler is to throw around the ‘r’ word to get attention. Can you not make any valid points without going there ?

  4. Diane Engelstad says:

    Without (more) people, we won’t have labour (professional, skilled and unskilled) or the needed tax base to build infrastructure. Without infrastructure — like purpose-built mixed rental housing — we can’t accommodate people. So, yes, planning is key because everything is intertwined. But hand-wringing and trembling before problems can often be packaged to look like “planning.” What we really need is the courage to try what other jurisdictions have already tried creatively and successfully. I would love to see Kawartha Lakes become known as a “yes” culture, where every problem is an immediate opportunity to collaborate, using the resources and people we have.

  5. Graham says:

    Yes there is definitely racism in the town of Lindsay, as well as homophobia and transphobia. I’ve lived here for 30 years and have seen it in all walks of life in this town.

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