ANNIE SILVESTER/Bullet News
The face of St. Catharines is changing and it is just the beginning, Mayor Brian McMullan told a roomful of people Friday at the Holiday Inn in the annual State of the City address.
DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT OF SPEECH HERE
Citing the numerous developments this past year, the mayor emphasized that there “have never been in our history so many structures rising from our ground and “that we’re writing a new chapter in St. Catharines’ history.”
McMullan spoke of projects including the $3.8-million Kiwanis artificial turf field, the $27.9-million Carlisle Street parking garage and the $20-million Kiwanis Aquatic Centre and Grantham Library.
Future developments like the $54-million performing arts centre, a $5.95-million fire hall for Merritton and the new downtown arena provide the mayor with a long shopping list of achievements.
The mayor emphasized that the city’s investments have encouraged the private sector to move in with plans, for example, like the first residential condo development downtown in 25 years.
“If it wasn’t for the new spectator facility, if it wasn’t for the performing arts centre, if it wasn’t for the new hospital complex, those investments wouldn’t have happened.”
McMullan didn’t stop there. He said he was confident the $40-million Shickluna hydro generating station would begin this year.
McMullan noted “this is the right kind of green energy project for the City. It’s water, it’s renewable energy. It met all of the parameters of the Green Energy Act. The project could also mean tens of millions of dollars to the residents of the area in the future when it becomes a reality.”
The mayor also gave a nod to the new Niagara Health System’s $900-million dollar health care complex and Brock University’s $111.4-million Cairns Family Health Centre.
“St. Catharines can become a true leader in research and innovation.”
All developments in the City of St. Catharines past present and future aside, McMullan vowed to the crowd that “the best is yet to come”
After his presentation McMullan told Bullet News that it will take time for the full impact of all the new beginnings to affect our local economy.
“But the encouraging part and the good part is that it’s actually happening here and it’s not just talk. We’re not waiting for it to happen we’re seeing signs of it happening now.”