Cathy Marie Buchanan, author of The Day The Falls Stood Still, offers an impassioned plea to preserve the environment and natural beauty of Niagara Falls and prevent the planned high-rise development at the brink of the Falls.....
Lady Howard of Glossop, in her travel journals, published in 1897, describes Loretto Academy as "superbly situated on the highest ground, just above the Horseshoe Falls, commanding the whole bird's eye view of the Falls." Because of its choice setting, Loretto was host to a steady stream of visitors including literary luminaries, ecclesiastical dignitaries and even, in 1901, the King and Queen of England. Unfortunately, its choice setting has come into play once again, this time with a hotel developer planning three high-rises for the seven acres of treed green space surrounding the academy.
The idea of concrete and glass replacing the foliage that today frames Niagara Falls does not sit well with me. I was born and bred in Niagara Falls and have stood at the brink of the falls countless times, filled with wonder, filled with awe. What's more, my debut novel, The Day the Falls Stood Still, opens at Loretto Academy in 1915, and I'd spent countless hours immersing myself in the history of the place. And I have a natural conservationist sensibility. How could I not, after growing up with a natural wonder of the world in my own backyard?
I set out to learn more and discovered the high-rises will spoil more than just the view. Their shadow will fall upon the parkland surrounding the Falls and the Falls themselves, and will likely increase the number of rain-like days at Niagara Falls, as has been demonstrated by recent high-rise development downriver of the Falls. The idea that I must use whatever public profile I might have to stop the ill-conceived development came to me as more of a responsibility than a choice. Friends of Niagara Falls was born, a nonprofit organization working to preserve the environment and natural beauty of Niagara Falls. Our first task: To stop the high-rise development at the brink of the Falls.
Visit FriendsofNiagaraFalls.org to learn more, and please add your voice to those opposing the development by signing our petition.
Cathy Marie Buchanan
Cathy Marie Buchanan's debut novel, The Day the Falls Stood Still, is a Barnes & Noble Recommends Selection, a Barnes & Noble Best of 2009 book, and a New York Times bestseller. Steeped in the intriguing history of Niagara Falls, The Day the Falls Stood Still is an epic love story as rich, spellbinding and majestic as the falls themselves. Born and raised in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Cathy Marie now lives in Toronto.