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  #21  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2020, 2:58 AM
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  #22  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2020, 3:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Chadillaccc View Post
There’s no “population rule” but if you were to take a quick glance, there are no city-specific threads in the entire Canada forum, that’s literally why the sub forums exist. We have a forumer from Rimouski who posts proposals and skyline shots from there regularly, ditto Moncton and Castlegar. They didn’t create their own threads, they just put the data into the necessary threads (Great Canadian Skyline Thread, Canadian City Proposals, What is Your Weather Today?, etc).

I’ve obviously got nothing against Sarnia, this is merely about the basic tenets of this forum.
Thanks Chad.
And I actually came here to post the same thing lol.
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  #23  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2020, 4:05 AM
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I always liked this building, it looks like a boat






And I love this house on the left, just outside of downtown Sarnia

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  #24  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2020, 4:13 AM
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Proper forum or not, I'm glad this was posted here. I like Sarnia and everything between Lake St.Clair and Lake Huron. Glad some other Canadians get to see this interesting area. Great mix of beauty and heavy industry.

Here are a few photos from the last couple times I passed through:








Stateside, Port Huron from the bridge:


View of Sarnia industry as seen from Port Huron:
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  #25  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2020, 4:18 AM
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The Chemical Valley, massive concentration of industry. These are older pics, the area has changed a lot in recent years.

















The old ten dollar bill
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  #26  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2020, 7:40 AM
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It's nice to see Sarnia finally recover from it's decades long slump of basic population stagnation. The city still gets a bad rap due to the petro-chemical industries and the old joke was that you could always smell Sarnia before you saw it and while that's history now, old beliefs die hard.

Sarnia has a fairly mild climate, not much snow, and a very picturesque location. Considering Canada's massive size and having the world"s longest coastline we actually have only 2 main "beach town" cities...........Kelowna and Sarnia. Both have similar winter climates but Kelowna has the mountain beauty but Sarnia offers far a far less isolated location and a vastly cheaper cost of living.

Sarnia does need to work on it's downtown and these new towers will certainly help but if I had to say one big drawback od Sarnia is that it's probably the biggest city in Canada without easy access to a university. Western in London is the closest and still an hour drive. Lambton College is quite substantial but it's still not a university forcing many young people to leave even if they really don't want to.
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  #27  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2020, 11:24 AM
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At the end of the day Sarnia isn’t that large anyway, it’s only, what, 70,000 people?
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  #28  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2020, 12:34 PM
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Sarnia does need to work on it's downtown and these new towers will certainly help but if I had to say one big drawback od Sarnia is that it's probably the biggest city in Canada without easy access to a university. Western in London is the closest and still an hour drive. Lambton College is quite substantial but it's still not a university forcing many young people to leave even if they really don't want to.[/QUOTE]


Yes! I have never understood why Sarnia doesn't have its own university by now. Most of us leave and never return, and I think this is one of the reasons why.

Also, I am very disappointed in the look of those new towers, and the Tridel ones put up recently. The Front street one isn't nearly as awful as the River St proposal, but considering the prime location you would think that a design committee should have been put together for new proposals. Sarnia isn't so small that this isn't possible. Have they already done this? If so, they need a lesson on comparable cities and what is possible. The River street proposal is SOOOOO ugly To be honest, it actually makes me quite upset - I remember growing up in Sarnia with people saying any growth is better than no growth at all, and so we just accept any developer's proposal without an inch of skepticism. The greatest sadness is the incredible opportunity it has given its location and natural beauty. And it does have several examples of beautiful old homes along Vidal, Brock, London, and the south part of downtown on Christina and area.

I like the Kenwick building, and always have. The former Nova building was also well transformed into residential. Mayor Mike's tower is ok, my mom lived there for a while, but I forget the name of it. All along Front street, across from Centennial Park, none of the towers address the streetscape or the park well at all. They all have little driveways into underground parking or a main entrance and first floor apartments that might as well place them in a Toronto suburb with box stores all around. Urbanistically, Sarnia needs A LOT of work. If only it was proud or bold enough.
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  #29  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2020, 1:04 PM
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I should say, I'm quite negative, because I love Sarnia with all my heart, and spend countless hours re-imagining it as I have done throughout my childhood there, and even to this day while I live overseas. I literally go over Google maps and sketch out alternate massings and urban designs of the downtown area, including Point Edward, imagining land swaps for better civic lands on the waterfront and rejuvenating brownfields in the vast industrial areas - the Old Dow site, and the Holmes Foundry (where a new university would be ideally located, or, if high speed rail or hyperloops are ever going to happen, would be an ideal station for such a transit node before continuing on into the USA).

I would envision a long-term plan to move the harbour south to the old Dow site or just south of Rainbow Park, get rid of the train track that cuts downtown off from Sarnia Bay, opening up VERY prime waterfront residential, cultural and parkland areas. Again, any renovations to the existing towers along Front would be mandated to open up their main floors and frontage to the street and park, with cafés, restaurants, shops and the like. You name it.


The city is mostly 'yellowbelt' and could be made much denser in specific zones to increase transit viability and protect the very rich farmland on its Eastern edge. Which, mind you, by the airport used to be a lake, and is at risk for future flooding problems, and requires a lot of sump pumps. There is massive potential in this agricultural area to develop new agricultural industries, as the area is warming and lies at the northern edge of the Carolinan forest zone. It could well be a new wine region.

It is very much an aging city, and the retirement and nursing homes have been hit hard by COVID. I think these should be better integrated into areas where our elders can actually leave the homes and enjoy the best that the city has to offer. I can't imagine spending the last of my days in most of them, to be honest.

I think about it a lot. These thoughts are just at the top of my head; and I won't always have the best ideas or most appropriate ones without proper civic consultation of course. I just know that it could be a great city one day, even while maintaining its sense of quietude if it so desires.
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  #30  
Old Posted Jun 25, 2020, 9:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Innsertnamehere View Post
At the end of the day Sarnia isn’t that large anyway, it’s only, what, 70,000 people?
70,000 in the city but 100k in the CMA and 133k in Lambton county, Remember also that there is no university in Chatham-Kent either so that's a quarter of a million people without easy access to a university. This means that any kid who wants to go to university has to leave the city and when they do most don't return.
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  #31  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2020, 1:55 AM
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I'm not too familiar with Sarnia like I am with the other major cities of southwestern Ontario, but I've been up a few times and I quite like what I saw. I'm glad to hear that it's heading back on track and experiencing some form of growth again. Aside from London, the rest of southwestern Ontario has had a pretty rough go lately, and it's good to see some good things finally happening in the region.

I suspect that Sarnia will have no problem reaching 100,000+ over the decade. The fact that a significant amount of new rentals are being proposed is a good sign. As the other forumers have said, a university for Sarnia is a must in order to help retain the population and reduce the amount of young people that move away. I believe that Sarnia will one day get a satellite campus of Western or UWindsor, with the former of the two being most likely, considering the presence of the Western Sarnia-Lambton Research Park, which indicates that Western is already putting some degree of thought into this.

I would also like to see a more direct road connection between Chatham and Sarnia start to take shape, assuming demand eventually warrants such a thing. Some parts of HWY 40 are already built up well enough, but it would be neat to see some kind of bypass system planned for Chatham and Wallaceburg. There is a really wide protected ROW along HWY 40 from Sarnia to Wallaceburg, so some twinning and eventual upgrades to a more defined freeway aren't out of the cards. Either way, it would be nice to have, Sarnia is relatively isolated as a spur in the provincial highway network. A triangular freeway connection between London, Chatham, and Sarnia could help this somewhat.

I'd like to see the downtown eventually expand, and the city boundaries sprawl out a healthy amount. I'd prefer to see some more inspired towers that interact with the streetscape better, but this will come in time. I hope that a "backbone" starts to emerge on either Wellington St or London Rd. It'll be hard to work around the scars of industrial lands, so I suspect the city will sprawl mostly eastward along the 402. I doubt there will be any significant non-industrial expansion below HWY 25.

Last edited by ericmacm; Jun 26, 2020 at 6:09 PM.
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  #32  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2020, 3:04 AM
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Highway 40 was built to be twinned from Wallaceburg to Sarnia. All they need to do is build the other half. Doubt it will happen in our lifetimes.
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  #33  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2020, 7:32 PM
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Sarnia has a lot of potential with it's relatively mild winters, being a border city and on a major trucking route, good highway connections, beaches and a lovely setting, all with affordable housing. Actually it recently made the list of the world's top "smart cities".

Again, the city's biggest drawback is not having a university. Obviously Western is the biggest draw but is still an hour away. Of course when young people move away, especially for university, they rarely come back. This is more true today than ever as most professional jobs now require life long learning and with university educated kids that mean more university. Remember that this not only effects the kids themselves but also younger parents who are moving and who won't consider Sarnia in the first place knowing it requires their kids to move away from home when they hit 18.

I am surprised that Sarnia hasn't over the years applied a lot more pressure on Queen's Park during elections and especially pressure on it's MPPs to make a university a reality. For the city to reach it's potential, a university is a must and until such a time it will continue to bleed it's young to places like London.
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  #34  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2020, 3:13 PM
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Actually it recently made the list of the world's top "smart cities".

Again, the city's biggest drawback is not having a university.
really strange how it could be a smart city without a university.

Western should consider a campus there. It would offer more pedigree/credibility to students than a novel university would.
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  #35  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2020, 3:29 PM
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Originally Posted by bolognium View Post
Here are a few photos from the last couple times I passed through:

I’m jealous of your touring bike
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  #36  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2020, 6:46 PM
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Western should consider a campus there. It would offer more pedigree/credibility to students than a novel university would.
Completely agree. Western remains one of Canada's most prestigious and well respected schools and a degree from Western will mean a hell of a lot more than one from the "University of Sarnia". Having a Western pedigree means not only more than some small regional schools but even larger ones like UVic, Manitoba, or Ottawa. There is a reason why foreign students only want to go to our ivey league schools.

It would also make transferring credits a non-issue and allow for the students to take the courses in London when needed without having to apply which helps in life-long learning or getting wanted niche courses.
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  #37  
Old Posted Jun 29, 2020, 2:19 AM
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^indeed.
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  #38  
Old Posted Jun 29, 2020, 5:49 AM
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A Western campus in Sarnia would do wonders for the city and due to being a campus it doesn't have to be built all at once from scratch like a new university would. Having the Western pedigree behind it's name would also help entice some of the best researches and profs that may not consider lesser known and less well endowed schools.

I really think that this is Sarnia's "missing link" when it comes to meeting it's full potential. Until such a time Sarnia and all of Lambton county and Chatham-Kent {which would be in the catchment area} will continue to bleed not just young people but more importantly the ones who will become the most educated and scare away younger parents who don't relish the idea off their kids having to leave their home city as soon as they hit 18.

A university offers endless opportunity and if the city doesn't offer those opportunities then the young will vote with their feet and find it elsewhere.
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