There was a 100% increase in the number of stoplights in Frontenac County when the new light was switched on at Road 38 and the Wilton Road in Harrowsmith a couple of weeks ago.
Both of the stoplights are located in South Frontenac. There is one on Perth Road in Inverary, along with the Harrowsmith one.
The inauguration of the new light was front page news last week in our paper, so it must be a big deal.
The last new stop light to be put up in our readership area was in Northbrook on Hwy. 41, in Lennox and Addington County, about ten years ago and it was front page news for us as well. It’s becoming a bit of an epidemic.
But consider this. Poor Sydenham, the heart and soul of South Frontenac, does not have a stoplight.
Both Inverary and Harrowsmith have something that Sydenham does not have.
Sydenham has benefited, it might be said, from local government building projects as well over the years.
A water system was built there, as well as a new ambulance base, a new library, a township office renovation. Then there was the Point Park lighting project, and the Point Park renovations parts 1 and 2.
Sydenham also has seen a major upgrade to the High School, and the renovation of the Grace Centre into a public space.
But there is no stoplight, and none is in the works, even though a pretty good argument can be made that one is needed at the corner of Rutlege and Wheatley.
And this is not the first snub of Sydenham in recent times. The new dog park is located in Harrowsmith as well, and a new fire hall was opened this year, the first ever constructed in the 20 year history of South Frontenac. And it was built, not in Sydenham but in Perth Road Village, of all places.
How is it possible that Sydenham has been left behind, supplanted in a township where it has always been at the centre of everything, at least in the minds of its to its own residents.
I asked our reporter Wilma Kenny, a daughter of Sydenham who is steeped in the storied history of a town that peaked as a commercial hub well over 100 years ago, how it feels to be living in a town that is no longer the only big fish in the South Frontenac pond.
She had nothing to say.
Sydenham has a couple of opportunities to return to a state of glory. It could become the home of a new senior’s housing complex that the township is contemplating building. Or it could become the host of the multi million-dollar Frontenac County/CRCA/South Frontenac HQ that may or may not be built over the next few years.
But what if those projects are never built?
Or worse yet, what if they too are built in Inverary or Harrowsmith?