For an acting editor to come into a newspaper and try and guage what is going on in a community can be difficult. The Chronicle’s editor took a much needed break and left behind ideas, tips and sources. What he didn’t leave behind were impressions.
Ladysmith is not a place I have explored much and at first glance it appeared just a little ho-hum. That was until I took a closer look, walked a few blocks and talked to people. Ladysmith is a bit of a hidden secret to many of the folks who drive along the Island Highway. She sits on a hill and unless one comes up the hill, her uniqueness can be lost.
The painted heritage buildings are what make Ladysmith. Ladysmith is not unlike Nelson situated in the south-eastern part of the province. Both were mining towns and both have reclaimed their heritage buildings. Reading the yearly report from the Town of Ladysmith shows revitilization exemptions are given to local businesses to encourage them to revitilize their premises. It shows a respect for the past and an eye to the future and helps promote small business. A very wise step, as small businesses provide a lot of employment, something crucial to keeping the core of a small town alive. Now if only there was more access to the waterfront, both visually and physically.
But everywhere you turn there is something more to discover, Maritime marinas, farmer’s markets, a waterfront art gallery, theatres, parks and hiking trails. Both Ladysmith and Chemainus enjoy a vibrant and vital arts community.
This area has something special and every effort should be made to maintain what is beautiful while striving to enhance that which is not. Development will happen, councils just have to ensure they are well-planned and thought out with societal needs being met, such as an affordable housing component, and environmental issues dealt with.
This is a great community, keep it that way.
Pirjo RaitsThe Chronicle