I would like to be able to report that the southern end of Caledonia is "back to normal" - but in Caledonia, what is normal?
At the far south end of town where Argyll Street joins Highway 6, there has emerged a new business establishment. It sits illegally on land also claimed by the Six Nations. It includes a shack selling illegal smokes, and a hamburger joint that, after a local protest, was closed by the Health Department. Actually the owners ignored the injunction, but today things are supposed to be all cosy with running water, toilet facilities, and a place for staff to wash their hands. I say supposedly since I have no direct evidence that anyone has been there recently to inspect the place. When I saw it "up close" a year or so ago, there were code violations and infractions of every imaginable sort. Even the bottom of the post supporting a large sign was completely rotten, either by termites or dry rot. I will be kind and say simply that the landscape is not enhanced by these premises.
Moving north up Argyll Street on the west side, the 53 foot burned out trailer is still in exactly the same spot as it was in 2006. At the entrance to what was to be Douglas Creek Estates the metal barricades made from the hydro towers still stand guard, along with a Mohawk Warriors flag to add some charm and give warmth to the place. The pressboard shack still stands, and is used for various purposes generally when local protesters and the OPP arrive. The "model home" way back, across a tick infested field, is still intact, and as far as I know is being supplied with electricity courtesy of the Canadian taxpayer.
Coming from the north one sees a Welcome to the Six Nations Reserve sign, identical to the legitimate ones at the beginning of the Reserve in say Onondaga Township.
What is particularly galling is that to the best of my recollection, the Six Nations made a specific promise to the Province of Ontario when the latter purchased the land and agreed to look into ways in which the property could be used in a way consistent with Six Nations values (or something to that effect). The promise was to ensure that the site was cleaned up. Clearly the promise was not kept and there is no evidence that those involved are people who can be trusted to keep their word.
In a nutshell, the place is a grotesque eyesore and, I would guess, an embarrassment to those who live in Caledonia - the area being the southern entrance to the town. What must out of towners think? Perhaps along the lines of my thoughts - ugly, truly ugly. Of course a picture is worth 1000 words, so here follow some I took one year ago. From top to bottom, burned out trailer, trailer and surrounds, "model home", entrance to the former Douglas Creek Estates (Confederacy flag on left, Mohawk Warriors flag on right), "Welcome to Six Nations" sign.