The Sauble Town Square Fiasco (7-6)

There is a special public meeting of Council on August 5, 2017 at 11:00 am at the Sauble School to get reaction to the latest Sauble town square proposal.   I encourage all residents to attend.

It started out as a sound enough idea.  The town owns land near lakeshore and main street.  Someone said let’s have a town square there where residents could gather on special occasions.

The cost at the early stage was estimated by some as no more than $200,000.

Then somehow the idea morphed into something completely different.

Instead of having a low cost community town square for the residents, the plan is to build an ugly million dollar rock concert venue monstrosity for the enjoyment of tourists and for the benefit of the tourism trade.

The ugly monstrosity was revealed in the July 18 council agenda at:

In the presentation it was made crystal clear that the town square was not at all a place for residents, but was rather a “bold gesture to reinvigorate tourism”.

The number of times “branding” and encouraging “tourism” was mentioned in the presentation?  – ten!.  Number of times residents mentioned – zero!

What concerns me most is that taxes keep going up and town roads keep falling further and further into disrepair, yet taxpayers’ money is being gobbled up by the ugly and  noisy “town square” fiasco as taxpayers are once again being forced to subsidize the tourism trade.

Proponents are saying that the increased tourism from the square will bring revenues into the treasury.  Don’t buy it.   Tourists pay parking fees, but the cost burden of tourism is far larger than those revenues, and as a result tourists are a net cost to the municipality.

Proponents are saying there will not be much noise impact because the amphitheatre will be pointed toward the lake.

Don’t buy it.  The sound of very loud rock bands will carry for many kilometers in all directions, not just toward the lake.   And the current council, a majority of which has total disregard for the rights of residents to quiet enjoyment of their properties and the commons,  is geared up to exempt the town square from the TSBP noise by-law.  We could have the noise every night of the summer. Confiscation of one million dollars from taxpayers and what you get for it is to be driven out of your quiet home.

Some, including mayor Janice Jackson, have invited tourists to come to the August 5th meeting and have their say.

Do you want tourists to decide how much taxes you pay?   Do you want tourists to decide how your scarce tax dollars are spent.   Of course many of the tourists will favour a noisy rock concert venue.   It costs them nothing.  But it will cost the taxpayers a million dollars.

The meeting should only recognize taxpayers.  After all the million dollars is your money.

The concept as presented to council July 18th is a monstrosity.     It is a cross between 5 storey industrial scaffolding and a scene from Mad Max From Thunderdome.

Is that really what the residents want for Sauble Beach?

Please come to the August 5th meeting.  Please say no to the confiscation of a million dollars of your money for subsidization of the tourism trade.  Please say no to the confiscation of a million dollars of your money for this inappropriate monstrosity.

Please insist on a low cost town square designed for the residents who appreciate the special quiet rural ambience of Sauble Beach.


Craig Gammie

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3 Responses to The Sauble Town Square Fiasco (7-6)

  1. yabder4 says:

    Forgot to mention that the “open” scaffolding looks good in an architectural concept presentation, but the safety aspect is missing. Looking at the other structures, and in accordance with the building code, you cannot have more than a 100mm opening on structures above ground. That scaffolding must be encased in wire mesh wherever the stairs are, or some sort of safety grating. That slide structure will NOT be see through once safety and building codes are applied.
    A Council Report regarding the history of the old slide should be requested. May reveal some interesting problems.

  2. yabder4 says:

    Craig, this was my first post. combine if you can.
    Craig, since when did the town become an amusement park operator – or even build something at our expense for someone else to run? A slide or climbing structure of that size MUST (likely) will increase insurance for the town. Scrap any “activity” structure that requires safety inspections and maintenance.
    Since when did the Town become an entertainment promoter? Wiarton Willie Fest is a prime example of the Town getting out of the business. For this structure, as an entertainment venue, unless there is some way to charge admission, very few promoters will book entertainment for tourists and loose money – so is the Town or the Chamber going to fund this?
    Concert stages, when given a choice on positioning, try to get the wind on the back to reduce wind noise through microphones. This amphitheater is facing the prevailing winds, that’s in Acoustics 101 – school of architecture. This will be a mistake that speakers and performers will constantly fight. In my past, I experienced this many times.
    The whole bio-washrooms aspect is another drain on our taxes. Consider that city folk (aka tourists) have a hard enough time figuring out septic systems, let alone what they can’t and can but in the bowl. What is the backup when a system fails? At least now we can call a septic hauler for help – but with this concept town workers become septic workers. A very impractical design feature that will never work here in North America, and Sauble.
    I am amazed that the “center” isn’t entirely build of locally supplied stone. There could be some very unique structures that would last a long time, that would be user friendly in that portable sound systems could be utilized, and that would not require tax dollars (or parking revenues) to maintain year after year.
    Sauble is sand and water sports, why is there no creative “sail” shape in the design? If you build it – will they come? The only sure users of that structure will be seagulls, maybe even Sunny the Seagull could use it!

    I totally agree that this has become a tourist attraction, and does Sauble really need that to attract more? I would strongly argue that weather is the main draw, followed by advertising – NOT an amphitheater. Scrap this design, and get back to rocks, designed for 12 months of the season, meaning for the residents who will be paying for this even if parking revenue is used.

  3. John Azulay says:


    I think town square proposal looks great. It will bring tourists to Sauble who spend money and eventually may buy existing cottages or build new homes. It is a fantastic looking modern structure and will likely make Sauble unique. I am sure it will attract more tourists and residents,

    I certainly support the project 100% at this point. I do not see it as a “fiasco” at all.

    As it attracts more tourists, I am sure there will be demand for more food and other businesses, including mobile vendors (food trucks) and opportunity for the extension of existing restaurants to the beach area.

    This project, I believe represents a great move forward for Sauble Beach.

    I think you are really over exaggerating the negatives (as you see them) for this venture.

    Rock bands or other noise every night of the week – I really don’t think so.

    Possibly there could be a retractable movie screen where you could show your “Mad Max” movies and the like during the week or on regular weekends at a low but audible sound volume using multiple speakers..

    Craig, – It is time for you to face facts. Sauble beach is for everyone and the old idea of “the quiet rural charm of Sauble beach” is long gone and will not return. You need to embrace the current situation and the future of Sauble Beach.

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