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Monday, 13 August 2012

Two more down.

We continued our Tidy Towns adventures with two more regional centers on the Burin and Bonavista peninsulas this past weekend. The first stop was in Marystown and I can honestly say that I learn more in one Tidy Towns visit then all previous visits combined.

As a service center the town is not just maintaining but growing in services, businesses and number of residents. The challenges of municipal service delivery become obvious when you look at the shear area that the town is spread over. Highlights of the visit include the town museum with live free entertainment and a great collection of local history, and the Ville Marie Gardens. Occasionally the media take a little interest and in Marystown it was the Southern Gazette and you can read that story here. Nice little spot but the quotes are not exactly stellar. At any rate it's good coverage for the town and the Tidy Towns program.

The next stop on the tour, after a quick pit stop for a cup of tea at Tims,  was the town of Bonavista. Bonavista won it's category in 2011 when we last judged that category so we were pretty familiar with it, but it was nice to see some of the new work the town has been doing. The volume of heritage properties in the town is simply striking. You can barely turn around without seeing a property recently restored or about to be restored, and while the town gets some credit it's largely the volunteer historical society that does much of the work in conjunction with the town. Its a similar story with the beautiful flower displays on town properties. There's a horticultural society that plants and maintains flowers provided by the town. It is good to see that level of community commitment and volunteer effort.

On a related note while in Bonavista we stayed in the Jubilee House B&B and had a great experience there. While I tend to lean toward hotels I do enjoy a good B&B. You are much more likely to find visitors from outside our province staying at them and the communal table can lead to great conversations. This time there was a couple from Peterborough, and a young man from Montreal in town for a visit. We sat together talking about the similarity of community issues across the country for about 2 hours over tea and homemade toast. It was great fun.

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