“Why not a Cadillac?” – An accessible public space for the township of Erieau, where currently there is none

In 2011, we proposed a new Viewing Terrace for the municipality of Erieau which would provide the only publicly accessible space on Rondeau Bay. This is of particular importance because of the unique nature of Erieau and its peninsular nature – the lake on one side of the street, the bay on the other. For visitors to Erieau, this would have been a special opportunity to see the water and landscape on the bayside – sailboats, wildlife, small crafts, and wonderful sunsets.

The Viewing Terrace would have been found behind the newly constructed Fire Station and Community Room looking out across Rondeau Bay. The site consisted of the new parking lot for the Fire Station with the basketball court with surrounding chain link fence immediately adjacent to the lot. Between the existing basketball court and the water’s edge was an area of shrub growth and several mature trees. The Viewing Terrace would occupy this space between the court and the water.

Photographs of the site.

The Terrace would have been reached by the right of way immediately adjacent to the newly constructed Fire Station and Community Room. A new signage element would be located at Mariners’ Road and this right of way to invite visitors and residents down the lane to the terrace.

This surface opened around the existing trees to provide an added area for indigenous planting, and steps down at the basketball court to provide a seating edge. Wood screens made from recycled ash would have been positioned at the site to act as a threshold, a community notice board and to provide information about Erieau and Rondeau Bay. The screen heights would have been adjusted to ensure that the neighboring cottage maintains its view to the west.

The water’s edge of the deck will have a small lip with cleats for attaching small watercrafts, with steps made from the existing concrete slabs at the west edge to step into the water and an area at the eastern edge for launching crafts by hand. The terrace deck is anchored to the water’s edge by poured concrete sono tubes that are set well back from the water’s edge to prevent damage from spring thaws.

The site plan for our proposal.

Building the Erieau Viewing Terrace would have opened this site for viewing sunsets, fishing, launching small crafts and relaxing at the bayside for the people who live in Erieau and those who have come for a visit.

The proposal did not go through, as the price was too high by the municipality’s standards claiming the design was more of a “Cadillac,” while they were looking for a “Chevy.”