We don’t have to be ‘Scummerside’

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There’s been something odd about Summerside lately.

Summerside City Hall

It sort of snuck up on us, so it took longer than it should have to sink in.

Guess what it is?

Give up?

The answer: optimism.

It’s hard to believe.

This is “Scummerside,” as the kids have oh so colourfully called it for many years.

This is the town that the Oran Group, Micheal Jackson concert and Dynasty Spa didn’t build.

This is the city who’s own business community said in the “Working Together to Grow Summerside,” report of November 2013 that there is a defeatist attitude here, un-conducive to growth.

So forgive us if we’ve grown unaccustomed to hearing optimism of late.

And yet, seemingly in spite of itself, Summerside has started to show signs of kicking off this rut its been stuck in for the past number of years.

For example, there’s the Summerside Port Corporation’s grand designs for the waterfront. The paper has spilled enough ink on this topic so we won’t go into detail. Suffice it to say, we’re supportive.

Then consider the Summerside Capital Corporation and its planned renewal of Spinnakers’ Landing – as well as their proposed 40-unit condo development for the waterfront.

Local businessman, Peter Brown has various residential developments in the downtown, both completed and in the works. There are other productive local developers, of course, but Brown’s have been highly visible.

Holland College has come to town in force, having taken over the old waterfront mall.

The former Dynasty Spa is finally being developed, into a hotel and conference centre. This project in particular is a huge opportunity for the city.

Credit Union Place is hopping with activity almost every month of the year.

The Summerside Farmer’s Market is the place to be on Saturdays, not only as a venue for buying great food and crafts, but a place to meet neighbours and share ideas.

The list goes on.

These are all really great things happening in this community – things other towns would give almost anything to have.

Looking back at this modest list, it’s hard not be impressed with this city’s progress of late.

It’s a great time to be an optimist in Summerside. 

Organizations: Holland College, Oran Group, Summerside Port Summerside Capital Union Place

Geographic location: Summerside

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Recent comments

  • Ryan
    May 11, 2014 - 13:46

    I agree, but most of your article talks about things that are "in the works", which is sort of a common theme since I was a child in the 1990s an 2000s growing up. These are not things to move home for, let alone if they are ever completed. BTW: the waterfront mall turned into the Holland College is a good idea, but still scummy looking. However, they did a great job building one in Alberton.

  • CATHY
    May 11, 2014 - 08:08

    I love Summerside too ,I lived IN Toronto for many years ,and i missed P.E.I. So much! Lots of variety and people away but home is so much more then shopping and variety and tons of people,Summerside is a really nice place to live and has great people living here.Love it! love the whole Island♥

  • Bill Schurman
    May 09, 2014 - 08:24

    The headline may not be the best choice I've seen from the good ship Journal. Summerside has been, can and will be whatever it wants to be. We sometimes can be very hard on our leadership, developers and on each other & sometimes we need to be reminded that how we feel about our community is how it is seen and sold. To quote from Kyle Sexton's book on new thinking for tomorrow..."If you build a place where people want to visit, you build a place where people want to live. If you build a place where people want to live, you build a place where people want to work. If you build a place where people want to work, you build a place where business needs to be. And if you build a place where business has to be, you'll build a place where people have to visit". That Summerside Pride is in all of us. Let's celebrate it.

    • Livehereandloveit
      May 10, 2014 - 05:43

      I think the headline is great! Definitely attention getting and I think would make way more people check it than a good old "Summerside is a good place to live". I choose to live here even though I work elsewhere. I love it. I love the boardwalk, the coffee house, the CUP, the Harbourfront Theatre, the cinema, the farmer's market, the community events, the progress the city has made in going green,... etc... With this positive momentum one of my hopes is a more openness to some great diversity with new ethnic restaurants. Oh and someone to open them.

    • don
      May 11, 2014 - 09:35

      bill i agree but when you left as head of the sporting area we lost the person who went after them. what the city needs is a person who will not just sit in his office and get paid but will GO AFTER event like what we had in 1994 etc. we were known as the tournament town but now we are nothing but a joke. we need a go getter bring back the sporting events plus. we need events also for the inter not just a few hockey games maybe the esso hockey,etc.

    • Wherehaveyoubeen
      May 11, 2014 - 15:58

      Don where exactly have you been hiding? This past month alone we had The Grand Slam of Curling, and three major concerts. Last year the Royal Bank Cup was here, and the future will be just as busy. There will be lots of national and international tournaments in our City in the next few years.

  • Kim
    May 08, 2014 - 19:52

    First of all, I applaud the article for discussing the positive attributes Summerside has made over the past few years with the developments, new structures in place, etc. The issue that concerns me with this article is the fact that you have just opened Pandora's box and are going to have islanders mocking it more than this article deserves because sometimes people see a key word such as "Scummerside" and will harp on the negative and focus their attention on that. I personally think you could have refrained from using that term. Good article, but the title.....not a good one. Just my opinion.

  • EMily
    May 08, 2014 - 19:16

    I love summerside. always have and always will. I take offense to the term Scummerside. It is not the city thats the problem. It's the people in it.

    • Sside Resident
      May 09, 2014 - 08:07

      It is true that the negative people are the problem without a doubt but unfortunately it is the people that make the town. Without these people there is no town. The optimistic attitude needs to come from the top down. Town Council needs to take a lead and be out and about. Not just at the fundraisers and public events. They need to be at the events where the people with the defeatist attitudes are. I have lived in Summerside for 5 years and just know a handful of the 'decision makers' they need to be out and mingle with those who are in need and feeling defeated. Remain positive - it is amazing what a positive attitude can accomplish!!

  • Susan Rodgers
    May 08, 2014 - 15:49

    I agree! I admit it hasn't been easy for me to stay here and piece together a living over the last four or five years but you know something? At some point we have to band together, think positive, and make our beautiful city into what we know it can be. And we're well on our way. Go Summerside!