Fence that blocked view of St. John's harbour coming down after public outcry
Published Wednesday, July 17, 2019 1:17PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, July 18, 2019 10:08AM EDT
Parks Canada admits that it “missed the mark” when it erected a fence on Signal Hill in St. John’s, N.L. that residents complained ruined the picturesque view of the city’s harbour.
The federal agency said it put up the fence a few days ago for safety reasons and to improve the experience of paying guests watching plays and historical reenactments in a nearby field. But after a deluge of complaints, Parks Canada decided to take it down.
Parks Canada made the announcement Wednesday in a statement, saying it “clearly heard” people’s concerns.
“The existing fence will be taken down this week and replaced with a temporary structure that will only be put in place during performances. This approach will help keep visitors safe and avoid traffic issues while preserving the view,” Parks Canada said.
Tourists and residents pointed out that the fence effectively blocked off non-paying patrons from the performance site, which hosts productions from Shakespeare by the Sea and those put on by the Signal Hill Tattoo, a historical group which reenacts scenes from the 18th and 19th centuries.
Before Wednesday’s decision, Parks Canada told NTV News the fence was designed to improve the experience of those taking in those shows. The agency also said it was intended to prevent a number of close-call vehicle accidents since drivers tended to slow down to allow passengers to take in the view.
One park goer said that the fence was “so antithetical to what I understand about Newfoundland, which is this open-friendly place.”
She called it an “eyesore” and said there was “something that was so in your face about it.” One man said the new design didn’t complement the more historic buildings in the area.
With files from NTV News