A new Easlink cellular tower has been constructed off Walker Avenue in Summerside. Colin MacLean/Journal Pioneer
SUMMERSIDE – The North End of Summerside’s Granville Street has a towering new feature.
A 40-metre-tall monopole was installed this week, just off Walker Avenue and directly behind the new P.E.I. Mutual building.
It’s an Eastlink cellular tower.
The structure is by far the tallest in the area and one of the tallest in the city.
When the Journal Pioneer asked Easlink about it, the company said it had informed the residents and business owners in that area of their intention to erect the tower back in January and February, as per Industry Canada regulations, and received their city building permit in April.
Cellular towers have been hotly debated issue in some municipalities with some residents voicing health concerns.
However, when the Journal Pioneer spoke with several employees at various businesses around the Walker Avenue tower, no one seemed to mind its presence.
“It’s kind of an eyesore, but in today’s day and age cell towers need to go up. I’ve already gotten used to it,” said one businesses owner.
Others hadn’t even noticed there was a new tower and had to have it pointed out to them.
Health Canada states on its website that the global scientific consensus is that there is little or no human health concerns from modern cellular towers.
According to the city of Summerside’s bylaws, communications towers are permitted in any zones labelled: industrial, agricultural, downtown commercial, service commercial, conservation and institutional.
Walker Ave. is a service commercial zone, so all the company required from the city was a building permit.
Eastlink said in its statement that whenever it is putting up a new tower it tries to find structures that are already standing to piggy back onto, however, it was unable to do so in this case and had to find a local landowner willing to lease some land for a monopole.