On the last day of March, after more than 47 years of full-time living, my wife and I said goodbye to Whistler and moved into our new home in The Village at Brickwater.
Discovering Maple Ridge was a lot like discovering Whistler in 1970 when it was called Alta Lake. We immediately knew that this was the place we wanted to call home.
We had many good years, during which Whistler went from a non-descript village with few amenities to a world-class resort.
We had the best years of Whistler.
Then in recent years, Whistler changed and we changed.
It no longer felt like home.
We knew it was time to move on. But to where?
That was the question. We were drawn to Maple Ridge by Fred Formosa’s Falcon Homes.
Maple Ridge was karma. It was meant to be.
In a letter to mayor and council, I described our feelings about our Brickwater home and Maple Ridge in the words of Lover Boy’s Paradise:
We’re knocking’ on Heavens door,
How could we ask for more.
We had found our new home.
But over the coming weeks I started to sense the emergence of a pandemic, one worse than COVID – a pandemic that can destroy whole communities. A pandemic for which no vaccine is possible; developer densification.
It starts off slowly.
First it infects local politicians with promises of streets paved with gold and money to build projects they could never dream of.
Then the signs of densification begin to appear like a benign cancer.
Then densification starts to metastasize and spread.
Before we realize what is happening Maple Ridge is terminal.
In a second letter to mayor and council, I warned that Maple Ridge was ripe for developers to pitch the benefits of densification.
I asked them to listen to the wisdom of Joni Mitchells words in Big Yellow Taxi:
They (the developers) paved paradise
And put in a parking lot.
You, the politicians who enabled densification, won’t know what we got till it’s gone.
I pray that it’s not too late to heed Joni’s words. She warned us.
David MacPhail, Port Haney
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