When it comes to polarizing topics around town, it's hard to top the Downtown Plaza.
But love it or hate it, the Sault's $11.6-million plaza is here to stay — officially opened during a ceremony Thursday night.
One of the most vocal opponents of the plaza's escalating price tag was now-Mayor Matthew Shoemaker. As a city councillor last term, he did not support the final cost of the project.
During an interview this week in our SooToday studio — just hours before the mayor delivered a speech at the plaza's grand opening — we asked him what he thinks of the final product. Now that it's actually finished, are you happy we built it?
“I am eager to see it succeed, I would say," Shoemaker replied. "My difficulty with it, as you noted, has always been the cost of it, not necessarily the concept. The concept, I think, is sound: to try and create a community gathering space in the heart of downtown. The costs — frankly — got to be more than I was willing to support over the course of the last term. But it was built. The majority of council supported it in the last term and I accept that the majority of council has the authority to proceed with that even if I disagreed with it. And now that it is there, it would be a shame to not see it succeed.”
Still have strong feelings about the plaza? Check out this poll, too.