Looking ahead to 2021

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By Nick Seebruch
Looking ahead to 2021

With 2020 behind us and 2021 just a head, I am going to use my column this week to predict what I think we will see in the New Year.

Obviously, there is always a risk to making these predictions. Last year’s column looking ahead at 2020 was completely thrown out the window with the arrival of the pandemic.

Things will get better . . . slowly

The year 2020 has been decried as a terrible time for everyone, with most eagerly awaiting its end.

From the pandemic, to forest fires, an economic downturn and more, 2020 has had more adversity to offer us that we usually see in five years.

When the clock strikes midnight on Jan. 1 however, not much will have changed.

We will still be living with the pandemic, and the economy will not have even begun to recover yet as a result of the lockdown that was announced for Dec. 26, but at least in 2021, there will be a light at the end of the tunnel.

The COVID-19 vaccine is expected to begin distribution in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) region in the early spring, and, with any luck, the lockdown will end as planned on Jan. 25.

Building on up

One of the big stories that was first covered in Seaway News this year was about the hot housing market in Cornwall and the surrounding area.

I expect that there will be an increase in new housing developments in Cornwall and the surrounding area.

Cornwall Mayor Bernadette Clement has already said that she wants to see a housing taskforce formed to address the city’s housing needs.

We already know that there is going to be one affordable housing project located on the corner of McConnell Ave and Ninth St.

I think that we will also see more private developers building homes in Cornwall as well.

If the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us anything, it is that a lot of jobs can be done from home, and that this has been one of the factors driving the hot housing market in the area.

Workers realize that they don’t have to live close to their work, in a sometimes claustrophobicly packed city like Toronto. Instead during this pandemic, many have opted to leave big city life behind to work remotely in smaller towns like Cornwall.

This hot housing market is good for sellers, developers, and also the Cornwall taxpayer. With more housing being built that means the City of Cornwall will be collecting more in development charges. This will help the city weather the financial storm caused by the pandemic better than it otherwise would have.

Tourism re-imagined

Like I said above, in 2021 the COVID-19 pandemic is still going to be with us.

For the tourism industry in 2020 that meant a lot of events being cancelled, and a loss of outside visitors to the region.

Tourism had to be re-thought quickly, and in 2021 I think we will see a more vibrant and active summer than we did in this past year.

The tourism industry has now had time to re-imagine itself and I think we can expect better events, and more activities than we did in the first year of the pandemic.

I believe that we are going to see a stronger focus on tourism catering to residents who live in a region, rather than focusing on attracting visitors.

Successful tourism activities from this past year have all been outdoor based, a trend I expect will continue.

The Art Walk from this past summer saw Cornwall residents come out and enjoy their downtown for an evening.

In South Glengarry, the Holiday Sparkle event just wrapped up a couple of weeks ago, and it saw over 5,000 cars drive through.

I am not certain what tourism will definitely look like in 2021, but I can say that it will be livelier than this past year.

What do you think readers? What do you expect is in store for 2021? Email me a Letter to the Editor at nseebruch@seawaynews.media

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