In “2050: A Cottage Odyssey,” Jay Teitel’s story about cottaging in the future (in our Summer ’12 issue), one prediction envisions high-speed rail lines criss-crossing Ontario, whisking cottagers to and from their summer places. Well, it appears that future is becoming less of a possibility, with the Ontario government announcing that it is selling off the one rail service that currently operates in cottage country, Ontario Northland.
Needless to say, the northern communities and the almost 1,000 workers affected by the divestment are not taking this decision lightly, organizing protests and a petition and setting up a website to promote the cause.
I understand the government’s rationale (paying off the huge provincial deficit), but cutting rail service will only mean more cars and buses on the highways and more pollution and traffic jams. And a lot less of the fun and romance of riding the rails.