There’s been something odd about Summerside lately.
It sort of snuck up on us, so it took longer than it should have to sink in.
Guess what it is?
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.