By MAGGIE M, Wedgee-in-Chief, Editor, theWedge.LIVE ❤️ TO SHARE click icons at story’s end. Comment on upper right. Subscribe at upper right column.
It was December 2016 when we wrote a story on Smiths Falls and it went viral–by all analytics conventions. The story was a ray of hope much needed in Smiths Falls. The signs were visible of a coming boom.
“Four years ago, the town had $7-8 million in building permits. Our population had been dropping since the 70s. In 2018, we have somewhere between $150-$200 million and realtors are scrambling to find listings,” Mayor Shawn Pankow quotes to the Wedge. This is by all definitions, a sign of stratospheric growth.
Likely, no established town in Canada is growing at this pace. And undisputedly, none are rising from the ashes in like manner.
“Smiths Falls is the fastest growing town in Canada.”
It is safe to say, “Smiths Falls is the fastest growing town in Canada.” Cynics will toy with these words; but, there is no solid argument against it.
We took a screen shot of our December 2016 organic views on the story (see below). These numbers are from just a few days directly related to the story. Clearly, Smithsfallians were hungry for good news.
Now, its good news has become reality : Tweed has a $1 billion dollar market valuation, le boat is flowing on the rideau, the mall is filling up and more beautiful than ever, and Hotel Rideau has finally obtained key permits and a new architect moving forward with its glorious plans.
Investors are oogling Smiths Falls for land, investment and opportunities. All eyes are on this town.
Next year, its revitalization begins on Beckwith street; when complete in 2020, this main thoroughfare will be rejuvenated–exquisite. High value retail brands will battle for storefronts–let this be another prophecy.
The wedge viral numbers, December 2016 Smiths Falls story – Organic Story Views and Organic Facebook Shares
Within days, organic reads of our story, “Former Chocolate Capital of Canada is Sweet Again,” reached 11,843 and organic Facebook shares reached 9,990. The numbers have climbed ever since.
Here are screen shots of traffic captured today of the traffic day of and days immediately following the December 2016 story:
Many are searching and desiring to see the story again. So we re-upload as we celebrate the start of our third year. Here it is, verbatim.
Former Chocolate Capital of Canada is Sweet Again
by Maggie M, Host of “Where in the wedge is Maggie M?”
The departure of Hershey’s, Smiths Falls, is still raw in many hearts.
“It was a great place to work,” a former employee shares. “People arrived in droves by bus daily,” another opines.
‘Tis true, Hershey’s put Smiths Falls on the map as a preferred travel destination. The Town has been in rebuild-mode ever since it received Hershey’s response to the union’s hammer, driving a 6-inch nail into the town’s heart.
Unions are unfortunately more often harm than good in a free market. (I don’t need a visit from the Teamsters on this point.) They coerce employees into agreements and hefty fees, resting control into their own hands. They can destroy profits in a matter of days, rendering management and boards powerless. Hershey’s said, “no”, and kissed Smiths Falls, “Goodbye!” It was a victory for the free market at the expense of a lovely community; but now, it is rising with new savor.
Smiths Falls, under a new entrepreneurial “can do” leadership, has not been sitting on its laurels; the fruit of their labors is now showing. The sweet taste of success is returning.
First, there was Tweed which took up 40% of the former Hershey plant. Yes, the corporation produces and markets medical marijuana, a medicine that saved this writer’s brother from the ravages of third stage cancer. Now, with several million dollars injected, this corporation is in good stead to leap, perhaps worldwide. While we rejoice in these good tidings, there’s so much more.
THREE CHRISTMAS PRESENTS FOR SMITHS FALLS
Did you hear about le boat ? It is Europe’s largest self-drive boating company and it is dropping its anchor in Smiths Falls. Smart move on their part since the town is situated in the heart of the Rideau Canal. The corporation’s spokesperson says the Rideau Canal is a, “vacationer’s dream.” 16 state-of-the-art Horizon cruisers are scheduled for 2018. Parks Canada staff must be ebullient. It will add some excitement in the Lockmasters’ lock-unlock-daily-grind (my term).
So you can hardly wait for 2018? Well something else happened. The County Fair Mall scheduled for closing by Christmas (a Scrooge-move that triggered Cratchit lamentations among staff and shoppers on the heels of Target’s evaporation), has now been purchased. The buyer is a secret angel; but, I am guessing the Saumures have saved the day. They tend to purchase end-of-life properties and resurrect them. The Best Western Hotel in Perth is testament to their talent. It is still a rumour; but staff and shoppers are all saying, “Saumure.” I drilled a dignitary who was mum on my queries; but, little did she know, I have studied facial responses in my career. Let’s see if this writer is a good read.
Is your stocking not full enough? Let’s top-it-up with Hotel Rideau. This focal point and historic building in the heart of downtown, currently frayed and shuttered, has also been purchased and will come to life in 2017. The buyer is Parkview Homes of Kemptville. This will soon be the flower in Smiths Falls’ lapel, a beauty that will grace Ontario’s widest downtown road–by design it harks back to the charming fifties.
Brace yourself SmithsFallians, good times are ahead. The Hershey curse is lifted. Expect more blessings on this sweet, friendly community. Enjoy a look at this Town below.
SMITHS FALLS IMAGE GALLERY – PHOTOS : the wedge