In Ontario there is a remarkable natural formation known as the Cheltenham Badlands. At one point in time, the Cheltenham Badlands were occupied by a large river. The hills signify the riverbed and as you follow the trail, you begin to see the river history of the badlands. Thousands of years ago, this lake dried out resulting in today's version of the Cheltenham Badlands. The formation is mostly red in colour due to iron oxide deposits with some faint green streaks due to ground water percolation changing the red iron oxide into green iron oxide. It's really quite a unique and beautiful sight.
Every weekend when the children were young, my wife and I would take them on summer trips to the badlands. As parents, we enjoyed watching the children climbing up and down the many hills of varying heights, giggling the whole time. Our kids met and played with other children whose families took the same day trip to enjoy the badlands. And yes I loved being a kid and would play alongside with them but also took opportunities to speak to hundreds of other parents during those years.
To get to the Badlands from Mississauga was an half an hour drive north and a very pleasant half an hour drive at that. We took a one lane road through rolling hills carved into a thick, luscious forest When we reached Old Baseline Road we turned right and drove another kilometer where there would be a line of parked, Chinese tour buses on the side of the road coming out to enjoy a family day walking through the Badlands as well.
However, as always the case in Canada it seems, one day we made the drive only to find the badlands had been completely wrapped in barbed wire and looked more like Maplehurst prison. Not only was there barbed wire surrounding the complete area but all the parking on the side of the road had been interfered with by the placement of large concrete blocks topped off with sharp, steel poles sticking out. Nobody knew why. Nobody was consulted or even given a head's up that this would take place. Otherwise we would not have planned and made the trip. Tens of thousands of people drove into Caledon specifically to enjoy a day at the Cheltenham badlands. They were disappointed and angry and so were their children
One does not expect something that has been open to the public for a century to magically be closed overnight. In the province of Ontario, you may as well get used to it. The Ontario Heritage Trust in true communist fashion simply caged everything up to the general public. They claim they did it for the "good of the land" without taking into consideration how healthy the community was before any Heritage Foundation got there. It becomes meaningless without people enjoying the aforementioned heritage. The badlands in Cheltenham is a part of our Canadian culture. You may say, 'Ok but it's just local culture." Our Heritage as Canadians is getting together in the beauty of nature to enjoy each other's company and meet new people and that was taken away without a word or any consensus input from the public who frequented the area.
If the Cheltenham Badlands is going to remain wrapped up in barbed wire forever we can no longer meet new people in the town of Caledon the way we used to do. The Ontario Heritage Trust has also made it very clear that they don't care that the decision is costing local businesses tens of thousands of dollars per year. Once visitors had worked up a great appetite and were thirsty from the physical activity, they would proceed to the local restaurants and shops That will no longer be happening and the Ontario Heritage Trust will not be compensating any businesses for their lost revenue in true career politician style.
If local businesses of Caledon who run anything in the hospitality industry are wondering where their customers have gone, you can give a call to the Ontario Heritage Trust at 416.278.0442 and issue your grievances there.
It is all too clear that our flag no longer need be adorned with a maple leaf. Let's just put the hammer and sickle on it and call it a day!
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